I am a mid twenties car enthusiast. I spent the majority of my youth in a family run car-dealership washing cars, cutting the grass, doing oil changes and organizing parts.

How Did You Acquire This Vehicle?

Where do I start… I have a big passion for manual transmissions. I enjoy driving manual a lot, it makes my drive to and from work or the grocery store a pleasure. I was doing research on what my next car would be, and I realized there are not many sporty, compact-luxury, manual transmission cars. I looked at Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz how ever only Audi offers manual transmission in the A4 and I came to realize they are hard to source. I started reading about the Cadillac ATS and how it was available with 6-Speed manual transmission in a rear wheel drive configuration with a 2.0 liter turbo engine and at a much lower price point then some of the German competitors. I went into my local Chevrolet Cadillac dealer and put in a deposit, they sourced a 6-speed manual in black for me just how I wanted! 2 weeks later I was on the road shifting gears!

What Modifications Have You Done or Are Planning to Do?

Cadillac Side View

Generally speaking my car is very stock, with some minor exceptions. When I purchased the car it came with the stock 17 inch chrome wheels, they were wrapped in Michelin Primacy run-flat tires. I did not feel that these wheels did the car justice also run-flat tires are known to take away form performance in summer and winter so my first modification was to switch up the wheel and tire combo. I purchased Cadillac OEM accessory rims that are lightweight, aluminum alloy, 19-inch five split-spoke wheels. They feature an ultra-bright machined faced with sterling silver premium painted pockets. Bigger rims gave the car a wider and lower to the ground stance which is exactly what I wanted. The added brightness of the chrome finish made the other chrome trim pieces on the car stand out more. As for rubber I wanted a quality tire that would match performance so I went with Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires. I live up north so winter tires are just as important, especially in a rear wheel drive vehicle. I got the run-flats off the stock rims (sold them online as they were brand new) and put Michelin X-Ice Xi3 winter/ice tires on the car. My next step was adding quality rubber floor mats to protect the carpeted ones that came with the car. It is good to have a rubber mat to keep the floors free of snow, salt and mud (less cleaning in the long run). Lastly I installed a K&N air filter. It is designed to increase horsepower and torque while providing outstanding filtration. The real world gain is likely somewhere around the 2-7 horsepower mark, but I bought it because it never needs to be replaced. Simply wash it after 50,000 miles and it is good to go for another 50,000. Another added benefit I find with the K&N air filter on a turbocharged car is that it tends to make the blow-off valve a bit louder. When you shift gears and release the clutch you get a satisfying “pshh” or “woosh” sound as built up air is released from the turbocharger.

I want to feel what it is like to really open up the engine.

Todd’s Showcase

I have not taken my car to any shows, events or even the race track. I intend to take my car to the drag strip / race track but unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity yet. There are some local tracks that offer track days so I really need to take advantage of that. I want to feel what it is like to really open up the engine at the drag strip and feel the suspension carve up corners on the track.

Cadillac Back Side View

Not a pleasant story but just 3 months into owning the ATS a large deer jumped in front of my car while traveling ~45 MPH. It severely damaged the front end of my car including the grill, headlights, hood, windshield, and roof. Sadly the deer did not make it and my car was undriveable. I guess that’s what we pay for insurance because within 2-3 weeks my car was as good as new and I was back on the road. A very nice thing about owning a Cadillac is they offer the Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance program. This program covers routine oil changes, tire rotations, and thorough multi-point vehicle inspections for 4 years or 50,000 miles. This meant that aside from fuel and the cost to change my winter/summer tires over I have yet to incur any additional expense. It is a great way to stay on top of your oil change schedule because you do not pay for them and the dealership calls to remind you.

About Todd C.

Todd Campbell-Cooper

I am a mid twenties car enthusiast. I spent the majority of my youth in a family run car-dealership washing cars, cutting the grass, doing oil changes and organizing parts. Fast forward years later and I was leading the online, advertising and used car departments at the same dealership which was at that time a Chevrolet and Oldsmobile franchise. I always enjoyed taking pictures of cars and writing detailed descriptions. As the internet became a increasingly important factor in the car industry I was able to establish a strong understanding of the importance of the online car buyer. When I started the ratio of online to print advertising was negligible, but in only a few years time the split was around 50/50. Today we all know how important the internet is for the car industry. I have always had the opinion that every car has a story, it has pro’s and con’s and for the most part there isn’t a terrible car on the road. I have owned and driven a large variety of cars which include: 2001 Chevrolet Trailblazer 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 2003 Jeep Liberty Renegade 2004 Mini Cooper S (Manual) 2004 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sahara (Manual) 2007 Volvo C30 (Manual) 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman (Manual) 2002 Saab 9-5 Sedan (Manual) 2001 Saab 9-3 Hatchback (Manual) 2013 Ford Escape Last but not least, my current car 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.0T (Manual) As you can see manuals are and will continue to be a large factor in what I like to drive. Who knows what’s next for me but you can bet it will have a stick shift!