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Spotted is Globe Drive writer Peter Cheney's weekly feature that takes you behind the scenes of his life as a vehicle and engineering journalist. We also highlight the best of your original photos and short video clips (10 seconds or less), which you should send with a short explanation. E-mail, find him on Twitter @cheneydrive (#spotted), or join him on Facebook (no login required). All photos by Peter Cheney unless otherwise noted.

Douglas Rushton

Aerial invasion

Reader Douglas Rushton spotted this Mazda in North Vancouver. Looks like the local birds targeted it for a carpet-bombing mission.

Peter Cheney

Parking like a boss

I came across this assertively parked pickup truck at a liquor store in Toronto.

Peter Cheney

A taste of the sixties

Turning cars into pickup trucks was a short-lived styling trend back in the ’60s. I spotted this Ford Ranchero in Kensington Market, in Toronto.

Peter Cheney

Italian style

This tastefully modified Ducati Monster 1100 was parked in Toronto’s Yorkdale neighbourhood. I like the subtle changes the owner made – note the carbon fiber Termignoni exhaust pipes, billet-aluminum brake reservoirs, and bar-end mirrors. This is café-racer style at its best.

Peter Cheney

Mercedes: The next generation

I was out in Seattle to test-drive the new 2015 Mercedes C-class cars. This one was my favorite – the C-400 with a turbocharged six and 19-inch wheels. I’ll write about it soon.

Peter Cheney

The rolling iPad

The new C-Class interior features a floating display screen. It seemed odd at first, but I got used to it quickly, and it worked really well – there’s lots of screen real estate to work with.

Matthew Vangelisti

Low flyer

Matthew Vangelisti spotted this Ford Ranger in Markham, Ont. Amazing what you can do with a set of hydraulic cylinders. Looks totally practical to me (unless you actually wanted to drive it).

Peter Cheney

Save the whales

I spotted this vintage Porsche Turbo on the freeway in Seattle. Now that’s a whale tail.

Peter Cheney

Little car, big tail

Here’s another angle on that vintage Turbo.

Jane Leckey

A personal vision

Jane Leckey noticed this tuner Honda in Toronto. Those blue wheels and the matte purple wrap are sure to jack up the resale value. The decal on the windshield has a raised finger and the following message: “I didn't build it for your approval. I did it because it meets mine.”

Patrick Dell

World jewel shortage explained

My friend Patrick Dell spotted this art-bike Honda in Toronto. Amazing what you can do with some plastic decorations and Superglue.

Peter Cheney

Creative panhandling

I spotted this panhandler in Seattle. Now that’s a sign you don’t see every day.