Face facts: you are not moving to Canada if you are somehow dissatisfied with results of this insane election. You may say you are, but you won’t do it. Still, hope—however unrealistic it can be—is often the only thing we have in dark times. So here are the cars we will drive if (when) we move to Canada.
The Jalopnik staff has been known to scour the listings from our cold northern neighbor because unlike America, who doesn’t allow you do import cars less than 25 years old, Canada will let you bring in a car as long as it’s 15 years old.
That means there are some seriously cool rides in Canada that would be illegal to own in the U.S. If given the opportunity, many of us would take full advantage of Canada’s liberal import stance. Plus, the country has some interesting exclusives that America never got, and many of them would make fine choices for any ex-American looking to get around.
Tom McParland - 2001 RS4 Avant
I love my Audi Avants, and this particular Audi longroof has a magical alphanumeric: RS4. If I am going to make the decision to renounce my citizenship, I might as well go all the way and buy what I consider the best forbidden fruit with four rings on it. Never sold in North America, it can now be had in Canada thanks to that country’s less-strict import laws.
Despite the fact that these things are maintenance nightmares and will probably leave me broke and stranded, it is a practical pick as I can haul both my kids in comfort. The 2.7-liter bi-turbo V6 with 375 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual and Audi’s legendary Quattro system will satisfy the enthusiast in me when the damn thing isn’t in the shop.
Kristen Lee - Nissan Skyline R34 GTS-T
I have always loved the body style of the R34s, and as much as I would like to own an R34 GT-R, this will do perfectly well. I don’t feel like having to go broke in a new country. It’s a right hand drive with a five-speed manual. Power comes from a 2.5-liter straight-six NEO turbocharged engine.
I won’t need anything more than a four-seater coupe because I’ll assume that most of my friends and family won’t be joining me in Canada, so the backseats will mainly be for out of town visitors. That’s what they get for not moving in the first place.
I’ll also invest in a good set of snow tires, but as this is a rear-driven sports car, I’m not optimistic about my mobility during the Canadian winters.
Freddy Hernandez - 2001 TVR Tuscan 4.0
Time for some doom and gloom. There’s only one reason to move to Canada, it’s because the America you loved no longer exists. To remedy that, there’s no car more in the spirit of the hard-drinking, unapologetic, and safety-third American culture than a nearly 400 horsepower car with no airbags or traction control. The time has come to grab your bags, get your ass to America’s Apologetic Northern Cousin, and get behind the wheel of this insane TVR Tuscan while you still can.
While it might be too late to Make America Great Again, there’s still time to Make Canada America. For those saying that TVR is a British company, then I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of my parking lot burnout.
I got offered a free Ford Ka when I went to go cover the 6 Hours of Nürburgring last year. That’s right: free. A friend from a forum had this beater so long that he was willing to give it to me to run the 24 Hours of LeMons. I’ve always wanted to put a LeMons car on the Nürburgring, so I’m still trying to figure out how to do this.
Look, I’ve got a road car. It’s a Lancer. I saw so many Lancers when I was last in Canada, that shoot, Canada would practically be a Lancer homecoming. I don’t need another stupid road car. This one’s paid for and still runs.
What I don’t have is that free Ka, though. The plan was to see if someone wanted to cage it in Germany so I could ship it over as a race car, but America’s laws about importing race cars are pretty stupid. I would have to renew my permission to have it annually because it wasn’t originally manufactured as a race car, and I could only renew that for up to five years. Grumble.
In Canada, I could have my free Ka for as long as I want because most of the beater Kas that qualify as “please just take this car” in notoriously beater-hostile Germany are old enough by now. Now that’s freedom. Why does the U.S. hate freedom, especially when it involves our own blue oval?
Raphael Orlove - Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution
I once thought I would never be so cowardly to ditch the country that raised me for the maple-suckers to the north, but then I overnighted in Vancouver and, well, shit. It’s actually super pleasant over there. Within about five minutes of driving around, I spotted an small, three-door Mitsubishi Pajero. It made sense and it did it in a way that seemed so obvious and so painful we never got it here in the United States. It was universal healthcare in a car.
There is, of course, one forbidden-fruit Pajero to buy, and that’s the Dakar-dominating Pajero Evo, the greatest forgotten homologation special.
They’re strangely affordable for how great they were and I’d sell my worldly possessions here in the U.S. to nab this one in Toronto and make an immediate road trip to go rafting on the Stikine.
I’m not even going to be cute about any of this. If Donald Trump wins tomorrow, it won’t be because America somehow didn’t live up to its loftiest ambitions, or any flowery bullshit like that. It will be because a.) we allowed ourselves to give in to our ugliest, nastiest, most base desires and b.) whatever “progress” that has happened in the last few years has completely left behind a sizable portion of our population, leaving them angry, disenfranchised and willing to give in to those desires. In short, it will have happened because we failed.
You think that’s an occasion to go get yourself an Audi wagon or a Mitsubishi Pajero or a Nissan Skyline? Get fucked. American expats who flee to Canada won’t deserve the happiness cars or the sunshine times. I, like them, should be forced to drive constant, daily, abysmal reminders that they came from a country that failed; that they, too, failed.
I can think of few ways to wallow in permanent self-loathing more effectively than driving the Canadian-market Nissan Micra everywhere. With the optional four-speed (!!!) automatic, too. Not even the manual. Let us all be made to pay for our sins.
Feel free to disagree in the comments. I don’t even care anymore.
Jeezis, Patrick! I have to follow that? Why am I even writing this; I should be driving over to Patrick’s house and hiding all the sharp things, including the cheddar in his fridge. What Patrick doesn’t understand is that we just have to wait in Canada until the shit blows over, then trundle back down to America and clean up the mess. That’s why I’m getting a Lada Niva.
I fell in love with the slipshod, gleefully half-ass Niva when I had one in Iceland. It’s a bewildering contradiction of something that both seems to be built like a Jenga hydroelectric dam and also like it’s hacked out of solid granite. It terrible and capable and wonderful and awful. It’s the contradiction I’ll be feeling if I have to flee to Canada, in car form.
Also, it’s perfect for driving over whatever the hell is left in America when I crawl back over the border to try and proclaim myself emperor over all the warring tribes of the Alt-Right Rangers and the Social Justice Warlords and the Oathgrippers and whoever else needs to be crushed under my boot heel.
I’m gonna disagree with Freddy on the “ there’s still time to Make Canada America” thing. Look, if if you’re going to give up on The Land Of The Free and head to Canada with your tail between your legs, then you might as well leave your American-ness behind—you don’t deserve it. Your job is to now integrate seamlessly into the culture of your host country.
After all, you’re Canadian now, so show a little patriotism and grow a thick beard, play hockey, apologize profusely and— above all—buy a damn Canadian-built car like this 1971 Manic GT.
You don’t like that? Then don’t invade another country because you’re sad about an election. Instead, relieve your stress by taking your huge-displacement car and ripping burnouts in a Dairy Queen parking lot. Just like our forefathers intended, except now you’ll be doing it at Tim Hortons.