Anybody have any recipes for groundhog stew? Ground hog chicken fingers maybe?

It’s not that I have a hankering for rodent meat. It’s just that somebody should pay for six more weeks of winter.

And it was Wiarton Willie that scrambled out of his hole this Monday —- Groundhog Day — saw his shadow, and therefore condemned the lot of us to schlep to the corner store once more, to drag back yet another 15-kilo bag of rock salt.

It’s been a tough winter, and even a tender winter is tough on people who like to hear the squeal of rubber on pavement. So that’s why I am so looking forward to the big car show in Toronto, which kicks off its 10-day run this month on Friday the 13th.

It’s a chance to recharge the auto enthusiast batteries, and to get knocked into a better sate of mind — like anticipation, wonderment, or even something delusionary, as in, “I will get one of those before I die.”

I dare anybody to think bad thoughts when you’re looking at shiny metal objects, like the new BMW Z4, or the new Infiniti G37 Convertible, or the new Audi R8 V10, or the new Jaguar XFR, all of which will be at the Toronto show.

If your tastes run more toward the classic, you could check out the Cruise Nationals (which will feature winning rides from regional cruise shows), and the Corvette display, which the show people are calling, “the most complete historical record of Corvette production seen at any auto show ever.”

But this is a new-car show, with virtually every automaker represented, and, owing to the state of flux in the industry right now, there is an unprecedented array of various technological directions on display. From pure electric cars (Zenn, Subaru G4e, Mitsubishi MiEV, Chrysler Town & Country EV), to hybrid cars (the new Totota Prius, new Lexus H250, new Honda Insight, and the BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid concept), to cool “conventional” cars (Nissan Cube, Nissan NV 2500 Concept, Ford Fiesta, Cadillac SRX), to fuel-cell cars (the sexy Honda FC Sport Concept).

So, to summarize, even if you’re not in the market any time soon, looking at cool cars in the dead of winter has its own rewards. More entertaining, even, than trying to chase down a groundhog with a shovel.

– Michael Goetz has been writing about cars and editing automotive publications for more than 20 years. He lives in Toronto with his family and a neglected 1967 Jaguar E-type.

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