By on August 3, 2012


The email was pleasant enough.

I had finally become a world famous ‘blogger’ according to the lady whose job was shucking an unloved SUV to anyone who would care to write about it.

“Sure!”, I thought. “Why the hell not! Where else would the term ‘SUV Sally’ have so much acceptance?”

The opening got right down to the nitty gritty.

“I’d like to extend a personal invitation for you to join our invite-only Canyonero! “BEST DAY” Social Community. To introduce the new Canyonero Titanic Edition to consumers through social media, we created a community just for bloggers and influencers where, throughout the year, we will invite you to experience and help promote the Canyonero, and in return provide  VIP event passes, exclusive content, amazing experiences and chances to win your dream “BEST DAY” – maybe you’re a fashion blogger who wants passes to NYFW to interview the designers; or a sports reporter who wants dugout access at a Yankees game to interview Derek Jeter. You get the idea.”

Oh boy did I get ideas…

Let’s just say that one of my wife’s best friends is a writer of ‘romance’ and I sometimes like to create Mad Libs versions of her work.

As the phrase, “The hulking Canyonero glared at me like a morbidly obese homoerotic hunter seeing its prey for the first time.” crossed my mind, I thought to myself,

“What would Robert Farago write? Better yet, what would some of the more gifted writers throughout the ages provide this benevolent corporate contest during one of their off days?”

I’m sure even the old-school Homer wanted at one point to take a vacation in the Peloponnesus territories. Who knows?

I’m still debating the outcome of that internal struggle between ‘selling out’ in a way no self-respecting journalist ever would, and leveraging our audience to make a PG rated lifelong dream come true.

To sing this song with the legendary Neil Diamond.

Did I mention I can’t sing worth a lick? This little Hamlet of  a situation will be fun to ponder. But I do have to give the PR lady credit. She did inspire a fascinating question that every auto enthusiast ponders to some degree every now and then.

“What is your dream day… car wise?”

Mine involves a pickup truck and a trampoline. But seriously folks, what would be your dream day when it comes to driving various motorized machines in different places? An M3 thru Modena perhaps?  An Abrams Tank through the neighbor’s house? That wouldn’t quite count… although it may as well given that we’re in the clutches of a Friday afternoon.

Share your thoughts. Enjoy the soon-to-be weekend.


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68 Comments on “Question Of The Day: What Is Your Dream Day…. Car Wise?...”

  • avatar

    Stelvio Pass closed to myself for an entire day, a Ferrari F12berlinetta, and a stereo full of unreleased Prince songs… Oh, I almost forgot: shrimp. Lots of shrimp.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Claw

      LMAO. I just thought of some of the most fun I’d ever had in recent memory. Driving in a rented Kia Soul through Boston and Cambridge one night with the sounds of a bootleg Prince concert from the early ’80s playing.

      In other words, I love this reply.

      • 0 avatar

        I knew someone out there understood the beauty of bootleg Prince recordings.

      • 0 avatar

        I am getting old. I’m almost 36.

        I am tired of road noise, wind noise, tire noise, or any noise.

        I am tired of bumps, rattles, jarring potholes and firm suspensions.

        I am tired of 99% of the cars and trucks offered for sale.

        I want serenity and loafing, and to have the world melt away when I shut the door.

        I want to relax, peace, quiet, serenity.

        And I don’t want to pay Bentley money, damnit.

        I want a Mitsuoka Galue.

      • 0 avatar


        The car you just described is a 1995 Buick Park Avenue.

      • 0 avatar

        This shocks even me, but I am genuinely considering a Cadillac DTS of the 2007 to 2009 era as my next car, even though I’m not fully convinced that GM really did fix the head gasket thread bolt issue (where the threads expand and contract or otherwise fail to secure the head gasket bolts, especially under extreme high temperature).

        I was looking at a Lexus LS430, but they’re just too expensive on the used market, plus rear wheel drive is a demerit given that I live in the snow belt.

        I also considered a Buick Lucerne of the same vintage, but it’s just too generic looking, even though it’s essentially the same car as the DTS (well, it is in CXS form; otherwise, one gets a 3800 series V6 – not a bad motor by any stretch, but I could’ve had a V8).

        I never felt the Panther love, and that’s also rear wheel drive.

        I don’t have too many bad things to say about the Taurus, but the ratio of front seat real estate given its exterior dimensions is one of the bad things, as well as the lack of room in the back seat. It is front wheel drive, and it drives decently enough, although fuel economy isn’t much better than the DTS in the real world, and it lacks the plush ride of the DTS. It’s also overpriced, IMO, for what one gets.

        Chrysler’s 300 is a nice car, IMO, but there’s only a choice between rear or all wheel drive (that won’t be available until this fall). I’m still considering a 300, though, because the revised one is quiet, has better materials and a better ride than the last generation, and a decently equipped one can be had for about 22k without leather or 26k with leather (although a low mileage DTS can be had for about 16k if one is patient).

        So, if you see some dude in a black DTS flogging it like a stallion, that’ll be me, in the left lane, NOT annoying the cars behind me.

        I just want peace and quiet with the throaty exhaust of a V8 from time to time when called upon.

      • 0 avatar

        DTS may be the only game in town given your criteria… I suppose Lucerne CXS but you won’t find as many since this was the top level package.

        While we are on the subject B&B, is there a workaround or in computer terms a ‘hotfix’ for the Northstar threading and head gasket issues? So if someone wanted to pick up a late model many years out of warranty and could turn a wrench, could they proactively guard against the problem?

        There’s a ’96 Eldo in the parking lot across from work with a for sale sign on it which intrigues me.

      • 0 avatar


        What you are really after is a 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille. Effortless completely effortless.

      • 0 avatar

        28cars – From what I’ve been able to gather, the only real way to prevent (a better idea) or fix (a costly resolution) the head gasket bolt issue on the older Northstars (time will tell if this is true of the last batch, or newer, Northstars) is to stud the bolts. There’s a widely varying degree of opinions as to whether the aftermarket stud bolt kits really work or not, though, and even which ones work (or not). The pisser is that if you get the bolt problem, you have to literally yank the entire motor out of the car to do anything in terms of trying to resolve the issue, and this is a very time consuming process that makes it all but a no go on older Northstars.

        daveinchina – That car is a marshmallow, and floats, but the DTS gives a better compromise of still being plush, but not wallowing as much (especially the DTS performance package with the Magneride shocks, although they’re expensive to replace if they go bad).

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, there’s nothing you can really do to prevent the Northstar head gasket issue other than preventive maintenance & prayer.

        I’ve looked into the repair extensively as I was considering buying an absolutely pristine ’95 STS with the pearlescent white paint that had the problem, for about $500.

        You have to drop the entire front subframe transaxle & all, remove both heads, drill out the existing 17 bolt holes in each bank of the block to a huge size (5/8″ or so, and they better be drilled straight as well), tap the holes, and finally insert steel threaded inserts (with permanent threadlocker) to a precise depth, using a special tool. There are two different thread insert kits, one from GM and one from a guy who says that his are better than GM’s. Just the insert kit runs over $300 IIRC. I think the total parts cost is closer to $1K.

        It’s a 17-hour job for a shop, which means that it would take me 40-50 hours to do it at home. And while you have the engine apart, you really should replace the starter and alternator (which are just about impossible to get to otherwise), water pump, A/C compressor, every last coolant hose, (new & improved) crank seals, and heck, you might as well split the block halves and reseal those to prevent those nasty oil leaks that crop up, and hey, since the transmission is already out, you might as well freshen up that baby with new clutch packs & seals as well . . .

        I talked myself out of that car, even though I really wanted to want it. I just don’t have time for that kind of project anymore. I’ve got a dead TDI Passat (leaky IP seals) and a dead Civic (carboned-up valves) sitting in my driveway and I don’t seem to have time to fix those either . . .

        My dad had a ’93 STS with the Northstar for ten years and it was a great car for him so he lucked out. It was a hoot to drive though and got 25mpg easily when you were cruising on the highway.

      • 0 avatar

        I think you’ve talked me out of it RedmondJP; 17 hour shop job… yeahhhhhhhh the magic 8 ball says all signs point to no. This Eldo looks clean and someone is driving it so they will probably want real money, as opposed to the $1500 or less I want to spend. Incidentally I’ve read/heard bits and pieces over the years about a 3800 swaps into pre-OBD II Northstars and 4.9s but have never seen it in person.

        However though for the right price is maybe 10K worth of stylish miles worth it till the engine (or transmission) grenade?

      • 0 avatar

        redmon – great information! Do you have an opinion as to whether the last and newest batch of Northstars (’06 to ’11s) will fare any better than prior batches did in terms of the bolt thread issue?

      • 0 avatar

        p.s. – Just to clarify, when I said I wanted peace, quiet and serenity, and that I wanted a Mitsuoka Galue, I clearly meant a Galue III.

        But alas, that won’t be possible here in the U.S. Shame.

        Back on the Northstar, though, if I could get one and do an engine swap and put a Chevy LS2 in there, done. But it’s obviously not possible given the front wheel drive of the DTS.

    • 0 avatar

      I actually owned an 05′ SRX with the Northstar, and mine had around 100k miles on it when I gave it to my mother earlier this year, with no sign of the earlier head issues. Though I had a 99′ STS before that that ended its life catastrophically due to the issues laid out above. I haven’t heard many other people with the longitudinal Northstars having much problem with the issue either.

      • 0 avatar

        I didn’t even know that Cadillac made the SRX with the Northstar until you mentioned it.

        My rationale was that if I was able to get an ’07 to ’09 with the right equipment and under 50k miles for around 16k, I’d take a chance and try to reduce my odds of head gasket issues by being super anal retentive in a preventative sense in terms of the cooling system (whether that’d make a difference or not, I don’t know).

        It does appear that if this issue does bite one, it’s going to hurt. A lot.

      • 0 avatar

        If the issue pops up, the car is as good as dead. Simple as that. My STS had died in such an ugly way, that I would wish that fate on no one. And it died at 81k for knowledge sake. Oh, I didn’t know the SRX came with an optional Northstar until I saw it sitting in the showroom.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Kagoshima to Kitakyushu via backroads with a few pitstops along the way for takoyaki, ramen and ramune. In a small, slow, fun car. Probably a Suzuki Cappucino or Autozam AZ-1 would be ideal.

  • avatar
    Old Guy

    California Route 1 from Monterey to Morro Bay, no other traffic or cops, in a 911.

  • avatar

    A Ferrari 458 Italia on the Nurburgring.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d settle for a slower car, a Toyobaru or Renaultsport something rather, or more exotic like a E30 M3 on Nordschleife….so I don’t kill myself too quickly to enjoy the day…

  • avatar

    Hummer, Land Rover, Touareg, or G-Wagen through the rocks of Moab.

    (Yes, I’m aware of the video Sajeev posted of a Panther doing that very feat).

  • avatar

    For starters: A Porsche 911 (Ferrari 458 or supercharged Miata(if I have to be realistic)) on the Amalfi Coast with a hot local female and no other cars (or buses) allowed.

  • avatar

    Getting the overall victory at a Lemons race in a wild prototype class car that I built.

  • avatar

    For me: Becoming 30 years younger, TWO good eyes and the newest Chevy Corvette convertible with the biggest, baddest engine possible and an open credit card for all the gas I can burn and a week to do it in somewhere in wide-open Montana!

    If that isn’t possible, re-visiting an old friend – a Goldwood yellow 1964 Chevy Impala SS convertible in Northern California near my old air force base to contrast driving a nearly 50-year-old machine with my 2012!

    All this while blasting contemporary big band/jazz standards with dear wifey along, too.

    I don’t ask for much, do I?

  • avatar

    I’d like my old Saab 9-3SE back. I’d like to be driving it after it’d been completely fixed up and confirmed to be free of troubles, issues and upcoming expenses. I’d like a day of not worrying about seeing “Check Gearbox” when I stomp on the gas.

    On second thought, I think I’d like the same, but I’d prefer a Viggen to my old SE.

  • avatar

    My spirit has been crushed. I’d settle for a drive through the ‘burbs in the family minivan without the kids fighting.

  • avatar

    Actually learning to drive – about 10 years ago I took a 2-day Skip Barber high performance driving school and I learned how poor of a driver I am. The smile did not come off my face the entire time. Really need to do that again, maybe this time I will push myself harder.

  • avatar

    One of these please:


  • avatar

    Any mountainous road system, on a hot summer night, with the sky ablaze in starlight with the windows open, the sunroof open (or even better, with the droptop down) with “Hot August Night” playing, and shifting through the gears on an empty road. Friggin’ nirvana.

    I don’t want a fast car; I’d rather have a good handling slow car.

    Maybe some Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to go with the Neil Diamond.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    A red Mustang GT convertible. Driving top down on a perfect Saturday. Shifting gears with no particular place do go.

  • avatar

    Glendora Mountain Road, sans ricers and police. So close, yet so far.

  • avatar

    My ’66 Elan, restored, driving from Cross Village to Petoskey and back on M-119, aka The Tunnel of Trees, in late August or early September.

  • avatar

    Team of mechanics & detailers to show up at my house and repair/replace everything that is wrong with my vehicles free of charge.

  • avatar

    Taking an armored truck done up in full University of Michigan livery through every street in Columbus, OH.

  • avatar

    I’ve got the car, now I’m waiting the right set of circumstances ( like a late diagnosis of panceeatic cancer). I’m pulling up right next to a state police officer and tell him; your about to be involved in a high speed chase. Then I’m gonna run my damn car as fast and hard as tha som’bitch will run.

    Other than the few weeks left to live scenario. 911 GT2 RS on the ‘ring.

  • avatar

    Volvo 245 with a nice under-stressed Ford 5.0.

  • avatar

    My late father used to call this type of thing a “100% day” when referencing a weekend motorcycle ride. A previously planned ride, other responsibilities already handled/pushed off, beautiful weather (in fact actually perfect stoichiometric weather for the cycle’s engine balance), no mechanical issues, no traffic issues, good fellowship with the other riders, good food at stops and a safe round trip, etc. for an “All is Good” 100% day of riding. I’ve had a couple of these in my life.

    Apply similar to the automotive realm…

    My best day would be pulling away from a state lottery office in my POS car or truck after having won a big payout knowing that I will have an entirely different set of problems with which to deal with tomorrow.

  • avatar

    New Viper at Road America with someone else footing the bill for everything. Or in order – Nelson Ledges, VIR, Lime Rock, Laguna Seca (Mazda if you must, Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio. Hey, can I have a week?

  • avatar

    Ferrari F40 + the old Jacarepagua circuit.

  • avatar

    A mostly sunny, dry day, 74 degrees, a light breeze, no traffic, ,300 miles of open Western U.S. smooth country roads and a 1964 TR4 in meticulous condition, which just so happens to start every time.

  • avatar

    A graphite-grey Aventador from Perpignan to Nice on May 17th, with a naked and drugged Bar Refaeli roped like a dead deer to the front bumper, drinking Death In The Afternoons with a pet cheetah in the passenger seat who flips off every French cop along the way.

    -To which they just say, “Oy, c’est pas grave; seulement l’Americain fou; laisse passer.”

    +We’d definitely skip Marseille and Toulon via the outskirts of Aix and then back down to the coast, though.

  • avatar

    Picking up a nice new BMW wagon in Munich and romping on the Autobahn…

  • avatar

    Cloudless 75 degree summer day on California Route 1 from San Louis Obispo to Fort Bragg with the road closed to all other traffic and no repair work going on in my newly-turbocharged Miata with my wife by my side.

    Late breakfast at Nepenthe, catered lunch on the Golden Gate Bridge, dinner at North Coast Brewing Company. Video crew following to capture every minute for future enjoyment.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Driving a New Jersey State Police cruiser around on the highway, and pulling over every driver that is not keeping right, not signalling turns, is using a cell phone, or has visibly underinflated tires or multiple brake lights out. And torching their car, breaking their kneecaps, and speeding off with their phone.

  • avatar


    I drove a 1992 Lincoln Towncar with RED carpet and white leather (superfly edition!). perfect condition. i was 29 and i had had ‘normal’ nice cars (this was like 1997 or so car was used). funny thing happened. EVERYONE loved that car.

    26mpg and roomy for me. i am 6 foot 3. i could not afford trendy SUVS (yet). later got a 1995 blue towncar.

    my brother recently after living in NYC got a i think 2006 or 07 Deville. I am guessing headgaskets ok by now but u will need a local mechanic bec caddy dealers will eat u alive. car has battery under rear seat etc.

    I realize the love for 3.8 buicks but a caddy is a caddy. and the v8 does sound nice. plus i am huge fan of rwd but recent towncars feel squishy bad compared to that caddy. that caddy does not drive too FWD ish. funny thing is though i think the earlier models float along better bec Caddy went to bigger rims with the modern look.

    FYI gas prices be damned i am tired of smallish cars i drive an F150.

    i think they are a bargain. cant remember what he paid but maybe $18k and car was loaded with AC seats and nav etc etc low miles.

  • avatar

    1980 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, triple black, with a modern DI big block and an unlimited amount of gasoline to fuel it.

  • avatar

    A fuel-injected Sting Ray at Deadman’s Curve. I want to watch that Jag slide into the curve.

  • avatar

    A white-on-blue custom built BUGATTI VERYON SUPER SPORT with MORE interior space to make me comfortable (I’m 6’6), LARGER/ EVEN MORE EFFICIENT TURBOS, a 0-60 time of 2.5 seconds, a weight decrease of 800 pounds (using technologically advanced materials) a top speed of 300mph, vanity plates that say DNTRACE, and a Brazilian bubble butt model with waist length hair, C-cups and olivine skin in the passenger seat.

    If there is a God in Heaven, NOW’s the time for him to show me his power.

    I’ll settle for any holy being who can make this happen – even if it’s Xenu.

  • avatar

    An early V8 Vantage or Enzo-era V12 Ferrari, a cool day somewhere in the Alps, reservations at a snug little inn 150 km away… “We’re running late,” she says, “better step on it, see what this thing can do”… you guys can keep your 21st-century video-game cars, I want to hear Weber carbs on old roads again.

    Or how about a dream day that doesn’t involve driving? A cold rainy fall Saturday, an old barn, lots of good tools, a couple of vintage Astons or Ferraris that need some TLC, Art Blakey on the old tube stereo… just puttering with old cars, well away from anything that looks like a computer.

  • avatar

    ICON FJ40 on the Rubicon or maybe even a well cleared Salang Pass.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    There are a couple.

    One would be a hillclimb from Valera to Pico El Aguila, that’s in Venezuela. That would take me from around 1500mts to 4300mts. Car is not that much important (but it better be powerful). With that road, Stelvio Pass is not necessary.

    Another one would be driving the route 66 in a Mustang GT convertible, or a Challenger.

    Then, and considering that here it seems to be a very popular convertible, drive the Great Ocean Road on a Saab 900 or 9-3 during a nice warm sunny spring day. UV levels during spring are still livable to drive with the top down.

  • avatar

    This is easy,

    Driving down a dirt road with the GENERAL LEE kicking the rear out with Roscoe chasing me… Now that would be cool… and since its my dream, Daisy would be next to me and we wouldnt be related if ya know what I mean…

  • avatar

    My Celica XX, down through National Park across to Waiouru, up the desert road to Taupo, through Rotorua and home. Ok, so that would be a big day but it could be done Maybe break it up to a multi day and make a proper tiki-tour of it.

    I feel pretty lucky that I own my dream car, sure there are better looking cars, faster cars, better handling cars, more fuel efficient and more comfortable cars, but I now own the car that I wanted as a teenager, so I’m a happy man.

  • avatar

    So, I’m a nerd. Give me a DeLorean with all the Back to the Future II bits added on and a stretch of road where I can run at 88 miles an hour.

    Watching heads turn would be fantastic.

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