“We love Canada!” This is a line you’ve surely heard if you’ve ever travelled south of the border and informed the locals of your nationality. My unwavering admiration for our neighbours to the south has been put to the test on a number of occasions -- every challenge automotive in nature.
Over the years, my fellow Canucks and I have said goodbye to a number of cool cars, or worse longed for many of them as they never would have sold well in the U.S. We all know too well that the U.S. auto market pretty much dictates what it is we Canadians drive.
The cool cars, in my opinion, are the ones that are usually denied access to our shores or have the carpet pulled from under their tires after a few years of poor sales. I’m thinking of the Mazda6 wagon
, the Ford Focus wagon, the BMW 5-Series wagon and, well, a bunch of other wagons. The Americans are also responsible for limiting the influx of French and other European cars such as Renault, Citroën and Peugeot.
In the last little while, I’ve taken my carcass over the 49th parallel many times and discovered that not all is lost. One recent excursion opened my eyes to treasures of such a rare nature that I almost lost it.
In less time than it takes to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
, I ogled and drooled over a trio of Saab Sonetts, a number of old Volkswagens (including two MKI Sciroccos), some rare Peugeots, and a crazy Citroën XM.
I felt as though I had fallen into the automotive Twilight Zone
of America. More precisely, I was in northern Vermont and nearly surrounded entirely by Subarus, Saabs, Nissans, Volkswagens, Kias and Hyundais. The usual barrage of pickups was also very prevalent.
Later that evening, I returned to my igloo with a strange sense of hope; perhaps not all is lost. The U.S. does have a large portion of its population interested in more than Chevy Impalas, Ford Fusions
and Chrysler 200s
(and pickups, but I like them so they’re fine). It may therefore be conceivable to believe that the future holds hope for Alfa Romeo, Fiat and perhaps even Renault should Nissan decide to dedicate a small portion of its dealership showroom floors to the funky French cars.