Not so fast
AutoKnow May 24, 2016

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Not so fast</br>AutoKnow May 24, 2016

In so many ways, Joey Cowan’s life didn’t really begin until he died. A history of drug and alcohol abuse, starting with his first six-pack at age 11, came crashing to a halt in 2008 when his opiate abuse led to the inevitable overdose.
‘I was clinically dead for nine-and-a-half minutes,’ he said. ‘Fortunately, the ambulance got to me in time.’
So when Cowan, now a contractor and addictions counselor in Winnipeg, Canada (pop. 670,000), has strong opinions on the legalization of marijuana (now in place in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, and pending in Canada) he has arrived at them the hard way and doesn’t mince words when it comes to stoned drivers.

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Art work
AutoKnow May 17, 2016

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Art work</br>AutoKnow May 17, 2016

A sketch pencil and paper, an airbrush and whiteboard and a paintbrush and canvas.
They are three distinct styles, represented by three different artists, three roads to success and one common theme. Automotive artistry is certainly a niche market; finding buyers interested in a vehicle portrait to hang above their mantel is never easy. But for legendary auto artists Tom Fritz, Dean Loucks and Ed Tillrock, turning their passion and creativity into life’s work is the only way they know.

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The Real Autobahn
AutoKnow May 10, 2016

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The Real Autobahn</br>AutoKnow May 10, 2016

‘Move it! Move it! Move it!!’ The driver is growing impatient. If you’ve lived your whole life where he has lived it, you would be, too. We’re riding in a BMW 7 Series highway cruiser. It is German engineering and my driver is a German trying to engineer a move around a Volkswagen that has found its home in the left (gasp!) lane on Deutschland’s infamous highway, a road network known everywhere as the Autobahn (pronounced auto-bon). He’s impatient. He wants to hit the accelerator. We are already going 120 mph.

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15 years after Dale Earnhardt
AutoKnow May 3, 2016

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15 years after Dale Earnhardt</br>AutoKnow May 3, 2016

The shockwaves caused by the death of Dale Earnhardt 15 years ago rippled across the racing landscape faster than any of the 850 ponies under the hood of his racing machines could have ever carried him. ‘NASCAR has lost its greatest driver ever,’ then-chairman Bill France, Jr., said the evening of Feb. 18, 2001, after the on-track death of the circuit’s biggest star. Earnhardt, 49, died on the last lap of the season-opening Daytona 500 in Florida. In the short term, the NASCAR world was devastated, but in many ways Earnhardt’s death was not in vain.

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Rush hour
AutoKnow April 25, 2016

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Rush hour</br>AutoKnow April 25, 2016

Ask anyone.
Spending money on a new exhaust system is mostly about the sound. If you pick up a bit of extra power, that’s just a bonus. But it’s also risky business for buyers with hundreds of dollars or maybe even as much as $1,000-$1,500 on the line. It took 2007 Mustang GT owner Gilles Belliveau months to make up his mind and all the usual questions came into play. The most important, even ahead of price: will it have the right sound?

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Just one shot
AutoKnow April 18, 2016

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Just one shot</br>AutoKnow April 18, 2016

Even though my wife Lisa and I are in a sleek Cadillac CTS, it feels a bit like a police stakeout parked on a side street in southern California’s urban sprawl. There is nervousness in the pit of my stomach as I fiddle through the XM satellite radio stations, oblivious to the music filling the comfortable leather-appointed interior.
“Another 14 minutes and we can go in,” I tell Lisa, who has been checking the chin size on every driver of every car that goes by.

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Powder Play
AutoKnow April 11, 2016

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Powder Play</br>AutoKnow April 11, 2016

I can see that he’s telling me all about powder coating since his lips are moving. But, no words are coming out. They’ve been replaced with the ringing in my ears.
It’s not the first time Marcel Allain has slammed together two hollow aluminum cylinders (the kind used to carry oxygen) to show just how tough their powder-coated finish is. And it won’t be the last.

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Spring/summer show time
AutoKnow April 4, 2016

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Spring/summer show time</br>AutoKnow April 4, 2016

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Head down to the park or Main Street and check out the cool cars gathered at the show. Then it happens. You rub a fender with your watch. You drop your bike against a door. Your 80-pound dog jumps up on the other door, paws flailing. And your kids start climbing on the hood. And then what? Actually, custom painter Serge Leger knows exactly what. “You’re looking at maybe $8,000-$12,000 for a high end paint job. “And if it’s really custom and a repair can’t be made to match, you have to paint the whole car.”

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Wrap artists
AutoKnow Feb 29, 2016

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Wrap artists</br>AutoKnow Feb 29, 2016

Painting a car is expensive, you’re graphically limited and, well, your decision to proceed is pretty irreversible. These are three key reasons why vinyl is gaining popularity. Whether for advertising or for nothing more than personal preference, Bernie Michaud, president of INCOLOR, Inc., ( explains that vinyl wraps are quickly becoming the design option of choice for business and vehicle owners who crave visibility, with some flexibility.

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All show (but a no-go)
AutoKnow Feb 22, 2016

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All show (but a no-go)</br>AutoKnow Feb 22, 2016

There are generally two kinds of concept cars. The first closely emulates an upcoming production model. They usually have slightly exaggerated features, but are close enough to accurately gauge public reaction. The second kind of concept is more fanciful and, well, usually completely pointless. The intention is to attract crowds with some take on future style and technology. The 1958 Ford Nucleon could supposedly reach 5,000 miles on one fill-up of uranium, while the 1997 Cell Craft G440 Flying Car rolled down the road but also lifted and flew on demand like a helicopter. Well, you have to admire the effort.

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