In the Spring of 2009, my wife and I were driving a 2006 Cadillac STS-V and a 2009 Pontiac G8 GT. With a combined horsepower of 830, we got where we needed in a hurry, but once winter hit, we realized neither car was very practical. So, we decided to sell both cars and go with a SUV. We seriously considered the BMW X5, GMC Yukon, Mercedes ML and Audi Q7. We ended up going the Q7 route, and it really was the right choice. We both loved its looks, practicality, and overall driving experience.
Our Q7 was equipped with the 3.6 litre V6 which put out a mediocre 286 bhp. Honestly, I always felt like the vehicle was underpowered. The TDI version would have been our first choice at the time, but there was a huge waiting list in my city. The 4.2 was substantially more expensive and offered a relatively small power upgrade of 54 bhp. We chose this car right off the lot because we loved the Garnett Red Pearl paint and it was loaded with all options minus the 3rd row seating. We enjoyed our four years of relatively trouble-free ownership. The only problems we had with the vehicle over that time was a malfunctioning door handle, squeaky sun roof, and a "clunk" when engaging the car in drive. All problems were rectified by our dealer with little to no fuss. One modification I made to the Q7 was the brakes. I upgraded the pads and rotors shortly after purchasing it. The OEM pads produced a merciless amount of brake dust, so I went with a set of Hawk LTS pads that lasted until the car sold almost four years later.
A fun modification I made was moving to a 22" Porsche Cayenne replica wheel in a gloss black. I went with 285/35 Yokohama Parada Spec-X A/S performance rubber. It was a real head turner. I sold the Q7 with under 60k km's on the clock. There was some wear on the outer edge of the passenger seat, but the car was otherwise perfect. I got over 70% of what we paid. I was quite happy with that.
This is the car that transported our son home following his birth, so it will always hold a special spot in our hearts. It served our family well during our time together. It was dependable, comfortable, and I was proud to drive it. You can't really ask for much more than that from a family hauler.
Polishing the SQ5's paint is an annual affair, and one I look forward to. This year, in anticipation of the big event, I decided to upgrade my collection of polishers. I parted with my 3" and 6" Griot's Garage polishers and acquired a Flex PE 8-4 80 to compliment the Flex 3401 I currently use. I did love my Griot's polishers, but the Flex units are superior.
One thing I am really looking forward to with the PE8 is the three different backing plates I purchased. With a 1", 2", and 3" version, there is no part of my car I can't get to. I hope to do the job in the next few weeks. I hope to document my polishing process in video format, so stay tuned.
For the first time since owning my SQ5, I had an opportunity to put it through its paces on a mountainous drive to a vacation town in British Columbia. The 3-hour drive was fantastic, and the SQ5 performed brilliantly on some of the most amazing roads in Western Canada. It was also a great chance to use our bike carriers. After the initial 30 minutes of constantly looking skyward to see if our bikes were still there, I actually forgot all about them. According to Audi, the car recognizes when the roof bars are installed and somehow accounts for this in terms of handling. I will have to look into that a little deeper when I get the chance, but the racks were great and we all arrived at our destination happy and safe. I give a full 5-star review to our bike carrier system. I am also pleased with how easily they store on my pegboard wall.
I posted a video featuring some of my favourite shots from Geoff's photo shoot. Enjoy.
One of my friends is a professional photographer. A while back, I did some work on his Nissan Murano. In return, he spent almost six hours at my place, earlier this week, photographing my car and garage. I was blown away by the quality of the images he captured. I have put a slideshow together that demonstrates his skill as well as my garage's beauty. After viewing the shots I have selected, I'm sure you will agree that they are stunning in their depth, clarity, and composure.
To learn more about Geoff and check out more of his work, be sure to visit his website here.
Click here to view even more beauty shots
In the late-70's and early-80's, the fashion forward minds at Lincoln enlisted the services of the top fashion design houses and designers to put their stamp on the Lincoln line up. By far, my favorite iteration of the Mark series was the 1979 Bill Blass Edition. I remember staring at the above photo for hours as a young kid. Thirty-five years later, and I still think I could pull off that white suit worn by that dude in the background. In addition to Blass, Lincoln collaborated with other design houses such as Givenchy, Pucci, Cartier, and Versace to produce some of the most decadent examples of automotive opulence. At almost 20' in length, the Continental Mark V wold just barely fit in my garage. If a mint one came available, I think I would have a hard time resisting. It is my favourite car of all time.
The owner of this absolutely pristine example of the '79 Bill Blass Continental posted a few YouTube videos. It's like a time machine.