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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. In coming weeks, we'll 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.

Globe and Mail Reader

Test Drive Fail

One of my readers was on the scene this week when things went bad for this Ferrari F40 in Woodbridge (north of Toronto.) As you may know, the F40, which was built between 1987 and 1992, is one of Ferrari’s more desirable cars (one sold for $1.6-million.) This crash happened on Auto Park Circle (home of the Ferrari of Ontario dealership. According to my reader, the F40 was T-boned by a Dodge Dart that ran a red light. As to the repair – if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

Giant Mystery Machine

My wife and I spotted this strange machine on Yonge St. in Toronto this week. I have no idea what it is, but it looks like a one-off. (If any of you know what this is, I’d love to know.)

A Closer Look at the Giant

As it pulled up alongside, we got a better at the mystery machine. It looks like two car bodies grafted together, Dr. Frankenstein-style. And it sounded like a truck, suggesting that the chassis beneath came from something like a Ford F-350. The wheels don’t quite fit the wheel wells, which tends to support my theory of a one-off body dropped onto a donor frame.

The Villagers With Torches Were Right Behind

And here's a rear view of the giant. Definitely a Frankenstein job – look at the way the front section of the body aligns with the rear bodywork. Looks like Igor collected the parts for this one. Definitely interesting, though.

Creative Driving 101

The driver of this Acura decided to make a right turn onto Spadina Ave. Unfortunately, he was in the left lane at the time. This was his solution.

Cue the Theme From Shaft

I noticed this Cadillac in Parkdale, This isn’t really my genre of car, but I like the black paint with the wire wheels and low-profile tires. The fake knockoff hubs also add a certain touch.

Ian Greig

Fall of an Icon

If you’re a Mercedes buff, you may remember the legendary 6.3 sedan, which was built between 1968 and 1972. With a monster V8 engine wedged into a car that originally came with an inline six, the 6.3 could cruise at over 200 km/h while carrying five passengers in limousine-like comfort. My friend Ian Greig spotted this 6.3 in Halifax this week. Although it seems to be in good condition, that trick air-suspension system looks like it could use some work.

The Anti F-150

I’ve been noticing a rising number of tiny, Japanese-market trucks in Toronto lately. This Honda Acty was parked a few streets away from my house. When the owner noticed me taking pictures of it, he came out to see what was going on. As he explained, this isn’t a collector’s item – he uses the Acty for his landscaping business. In a time of crippling fuel prices, a small truck with a 656 cc engine makes sense.

A Wheelbarrow With a Windshield

The Acty may be small, but that plastic-lined pickup bed looks pretty useful. On closer inspection, I realized that you can open both the tailgate and the left side of the pickup bed, which would probably come in handy sometimes.

Where Air Cooling Still Lives

I spotted this vintage Porsche 911 and Karmann Ghia outside Peter’s Garage here in Toronto a while ago. (I drop by Peter’s regularly, because it reminds me of the days when I worked in a Porsche-VW shop.) Peter and his son Vaso are great guys, and they understand the mechanical intricacies of air-cooled engines like the ones you’ll find in these two cars.

Werner Watzdorf

Speaking of Air Cooled…

If you look under the hood of a Karmann Ghia, this is what you’ll see (but it probably won’t be this clean.) Reader Werner Watzdorf of South Africa spotted this Ghia at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rendezvous in South Australia. If you’re a VW performance buff, you’ll notice the Bosch 009 centrifugal-advance distributor and the dual Kadron carburetors (two items I experimented with myself back in the disco era.)

The Hillbilly Corvette

If any of you can explain what the logos on this Corvette mean, please let me know. I spotted it on Highway 401 a while ago during a trip to Montreal, and have been wondering about it ever since. (In particular, I’d love to know what “Honor the COB” means.)

Santa’s Hyundai?

I spotted this strange-looking contraption on the back of a Hyundai last fall. At first, I thought it was a bike rack made by Santa’s elves.

The Rolling Ornament

As I got closer to the Hyundai, I could see that the tail-mounted contraption was made from wrought iron. I have no idea what its intended function might be, if any. Clothes-drying rack? Ornament?

The Art of the Homemade Repair

Rust repair is a little-understood skill. The only way to eliminate rust is to cut out the corroded section, replace the rotten metal, and seal both sides to prevent further moisture intrusion. Or you could do what this minivan owner did – slop a bunch of body filler on the outside, which will trap even more moisture inside, accelerating your car’s demise.

Duct Tape for the Titanic

Here’s a close-up of the rust repair on that minivan. Next to sticking a piece of duct tape on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, fixes don’t get much more futile than this.