Archive for March, 2011

Tropic Thunder

Posted: March 23, 2011 in Videos
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A deluge of brightly colored classic and modern 911 variants buzzing around Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan Speedway? Of course I’d love to see that. Filmed beautifully with muted colors and set against the lush foliage surrounding the track, this video stirs me in the way that few things can. There’s just something different about old 911s, and it’s a rare thing to see this many vintage examples running around together across such a lovely backdrop. Enjoy!

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“Volkswagen” it was called: it was the people’s car. Affordable, practical, and fun by nature, the VW Type 1 has with time become the longest running single most manufactured car in the world. However most of you would not know what a VW Type 1 looked like unless you heard it by its more commonly used moniker, the Beetle.

Another interesting fact is that the Bug was issued by Adolf Hitler to Ferdinand Porsche (before his own name became fame) to be a car that would allow ordinary citizens who could previously not afford a car to do so. Porsche also borrowed heavily from Czech automaker Tatra when designing the Beetle, which would also influence the direction he’d take later with cars created under the Porsche brand.

The influence the VW Type 1 had on the car industry worldwide is tremendous, but often goes unnoticed. Such was the case with this ’62 Beetle, owned by an elderly woman in Pleasant Hill, CA. After she passed away her nieces who had inherited the Bug didn’t believe it to be of any value when it wouldn’t start. So they listed it for the nice price of $1,500 and it made its way into the hands of its new owner Karen.

Karen said she knew what the car was worth and that it was in good shape. After purchasing the car she had a new battery brought over and after dropping it in, the original 1200 boxer-4 motor started up immediately and has been turn-key since, with mostly basic maintenance. The people’s car indeed, no?

Driving around both locally and on the highway the car shines (though not literally, the burgundy paint has faded with time). It gets around without fuss or drama, and has character to spare. This particular Bug may not be the cleanest example, and it won’t win any best of show awards, but it’s still plugging along and it does so in good fashion.

Karen told me that truck drivers get angry and honk at her from behind when on the freeway but that otherwise people are usually enthusiastic and stop her often to talk about the car. She enjoys owning a car that everyone can appreciate, as well as the thriftiness it provides at the pump.

Though she doesn’t emphasize it you can tell she’s a fan of its personality too. She keeps the interior clean and picked up  a very fitting black die shift knob to accent the cabin with. Take a look at that key too – far cooler than switch blade VW keys of today.

The Volkswagen Beetle is a car with an extensive history and story, and it’s one that keeps unraveling mile by mile. And judging by this one, the story’s far from over.

Hello H4H readers, I’ve not been able to update the site as much as I’d like lately due to my busy schedule and preparing for my new job as a sales representative at Niello Infiniti of Concord, California.

I did however want to take a post to ask that you all pray for Japan in the midst of the 8.9 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Japan and its people and culture are close my heart, having experienced it firsthand on multiple occasions and being involved with many Japanese students studying abroad as well.

Please keep Japan in your prayers and if you desire to help, I have listed below several reputable organizations with whom you can donate to in order to send aid to the people of Japan in this time of crisis. Thank you.

American Red Cross

World Vision

Samaritan’s Purse

Kyoto Lotus

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Oh, Snap!, Vehicles
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While strolling through the Ginza district of Kyoto not so long ago, I ran across this key lime Lotus Exige.

The car would have honestly looked good anywhere, but fit so well in the small streets of Ginza where shrubs and trees shade passing vehicles – blending nicely with the green Exige.

Moreover the deep red and browns of the surrounding buildings contrast the bright Lotus beautifully.

If you’ve ever been by Ginza in Kyoto, you’ll know how the setting really makes any car look great (or if you’ve ever watched the Gran Turismo 5 menus like I often have, you’ll notice this too). This Lotus though, was truly picture perfect.

Enjoy!