Thu Nov 21 2013 15:39:48 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Ludovic Barras is a 27-year-old marketing executive at Fig & Olive restaurant group. This is the story of his search for old Hollywood glamour in a Porsche Speedster.
Growing up in Paris, I was always reading books about everything that was happening in Hollywood in the 1950s and '60s. It was my dream to come to Los Angeles, and a car was part of the dream. I moved here five years ago and today I live on Sunset Boulevard. I found the car in 2011—a 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster that I got a great deal on at an auction in Florida. I had it painted the color of seafoam and restored every piece, from the chrome to the camel-colored leather.
People are so distracted by the technology in their cars. When I am at the wheel, I can turn off my phone and I'm in another world. I can go back to the 1950s for a while. There is nothing modern about the car. I can concentrate on driving, on the purity of the experience. I love the smell of the leather and the song of the engine. And L.A. is the perfect place to have a Speedster. The weather allows you to drive without a roof year-round.
When I was young reading about James Dean, this is the kind of car I imagined him driving. It embodies the old Hollywood glamour that I have always been searching for.
Fri Aug 23 2013 13:59:04 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Massive Porsche Collection Going to Auction.
Reader Guy K. sent us a message on facebook about an upcoming auction in the United Kingdom that he thought might interest us. And boy was he right! The auction is being held by Anglia Car Auctions in the United Kingdom and features over 200 Porsches from a private collection in north west England. The auction house is splitting it up with the first 30 cars set to hit the block on August 24th.
The original story that Guy sent us can be found at ClassicDriver.com and according to what they have been able to find out, this hoard includes a number of early 356s, a couple of Speedsters, 911s, 912s, and 914s. Most of these cars are American spec and still have their original US titles. While the collection has been transported to the auction house’s warehouse, seeing all these Porsches together is awe inspiring, even if you’re not a P-car fan you have to respect so much automotive history in one place.
Many of the cars in this collection are in rough shape, but most look salvageable. Auction houses often use the term “barn find” to drum up interest, but we think it is justified here. Seeing this 1956 356 Coupe out in the country helps a bit too. We would love to know more history about this stash and how so many American Porsches ended up in England. Any speculation or rumors as to how this massive collection came to be?
Besides the Porsches, there are a number of other rare and interesting cars crossing the block at this auction. There are even a few American classics on offfer, including a ’72 Dodge Charger and a ’75 Corvette. We wish we could be at this one, but the trip to Norfolk is a long one. If any of you UK based followers can make it, we would love to get an update!
Fri Aug 23 2013 13:59:58 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
It’s a motorcycle, it’s a plane, no it’s a 1985 Pulse AutoCycle! Now that is something you don’t hear everyday. We spotted one of these plane-bikes a while back in the corner of a garage so when this one came up for auction on eBay, we couldn’t resist. It’s strange, but should make for an interesting conversation piece.
Sun Jun 09 2013 01:54:06 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
So it's a ship, but what a cool story. Read on..
Motor Vessel Kalakala was a ferry that operated on Puget Sound from 1935 until her retirement in 1967.
MV Kalakala was notable for her unique streamlined superstructure, art deco styling, and luxurious amenities. The vessel was a popular attraction for locals and tourists, and was voted second only to the Space Needle in popularity among visitors to Seattle during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The ship is known as the world’s first streamlined vessel for her unique art deco styling.
She was constructed in 1926 as Peralta for the Key System’s ferry service on San Francisco Bay. On 6 May 1933 Peralta burned as a result of an arson fire at the terminal where she was moored, resulting in the complete destruction of her superstructure. The hull was still intact and on 12 October 1933 the vessel was sold to the Puget Sound Navigation Company (PSNC), also known by its marketing name, the “Black Ball Line”. PSNC funded a refit at Lake Washington Shipyards in Houghton, Washington (since annexed to Kirkland) to restore the vessel as a ferry.
After her retirement in 1967, Kalakala was sold to a seafood processing company and towed to Alaska to work as a factory ship. After a period spent working as a crabbing ship, the Kalakala was beached in Kodiak, Alaska in 1970 and used to process shrimp.
Peter Bevis discovered the rusting hulk on a fishing trip in 1984. Kalakala had been turned into a cannery and the internal structure had been reworked to create a building with cement floors, drywall, and ceiling tiles. After complicated financial negotiations, the ship was refloated and towed back to Seattle in 1998. The vessel has since been a source of controversy as her owners were unable to raise sufficient funds to refurbish the vessel or even to keep her moored in Seattle’s Union Bay.
In December 2011, the Coast Guard declared the ship a hazard to navigation. Among other issues, the Coast Guard stated that her mooring arrangements are inadequate. The Coast Guard set a December 19 deadline for the owner to repair the hull of the ship and submit a plan to tow her away from her current mooring in Tacoma. This deadline was not met. The owner, Steve Rodrigues, appealed this order, claiming that an anonymous person had purchased the ship. The Coast Guard rejected the appeal as there is no evidence that any work has been done on the ship and no evidence of the supposed sale.
The Coast Guard described the ship as being in such fragile condition that it may not withstand being moved to other moorage and might have to be scrapped. In July 2012 Steve Rodrigues sued the state of Washington claiming that the state had failed in its “duty” to help preserve the ferry. Rodrigues’ suit asks that the state be prevented from forcing Kalakala to be moved, confiscated, or sunk and seeks to force the state to pay approximately $50 million for restoration of the ferry under a proposal Rodrigues previously submitted, which was rejected. As of November 2012, the ship is owned by local businessman Karl Anderson.
Sun Feb 24 2013 21:10:05 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
A difficult end to an amazing race at Daytona International Speedway. During Saturday's Nationwide race, Kyle Larson gets airborne with several cars piling up behind him. Tony Stewart managed to slide through, finding his way to victory lane.
Sat Jan 19 2013 02:06:14 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Detroit Auto Show Booths Show Biz is Back! Automakers took the wraps off 59 new models and concept cars in Detroit this week during the press days of the North American International Auto Show. And several auto brands, including Nissan, Toyota, Lexus and Porsche, also showed off bigger, new displays, a clear sign the companies are more upbeat about the industry’s turnaround in the U.S.
New booths aren’t cheap. Depending on the scope of the exhibit, the price tag can range from between $5 million and $10 million, according to an executive in the know who asked not to be named. “They don’t look at the exhibits as a one-time expense,” he said. That’s because they amortize the cost over the multiple years they are used. Plus, the exhibits get deployed to other auto shows
That’s what Nissan plans to do with its new multi-level display, probably the most dramatic at the show this year. Nissan is also the first carmaker at the show to use a piped-in scent. “We did some research and found that scent is one of the most emotional triggers,” Simon Sproule, group vice president of communications for Nissan Motor Co., told Forbes.com. The automaker will use the stand- or parts of it- at 10 other auto shows around the world this year, including the Shanghai Motor Show in China in April and Geneva show in March. He declined to discuss the cost of the booth, describing it only as “a great value.”
Nissan worked with scent marketing outfit Air Aroma to create a unique smell that from time to time wafts in the booth. The fresh, light scent, called Vert Oriental, is meant to mimic green tea leaf during the Chinese spring harvest.
Sproule said Nissan took a cue from super markets in the U.K. that pipe in a fresh bread smell.
Nissan rented 14,063-square feet for its booth, which is topped with a 150-foot-long halo that’s 45 feet wide. The three “rings” in the halo are cantilevered, not hung from the ceiling.
Music of three different genres will be piped into the exhibit during the show’s public days, depending on the time of day, Jon Brancheau, vice president-marketing for Nissan North America, told Forbes.com. “It’s all about sensory marketing- not just about sight,” he said.
The new display is a bold move for Nissan, which didn’t even show up at the 2009 auto show in Detroit during the depths of the recession.
Nissan wasn’t the only automaker to skip the show that year. It sibling Infiniti, as well as Porsche, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Ferrari also decided not to have a booth in Detroit. All except Mitsubishi, Rolls- Royce and Suzuki were back at this year’s show.
Toyota and its upscale sibling, Lexus, are also making major plays this year with new displays for the auto show.
Lexus wanted a new, uniform booth design that mirrored its car design philosophy and to spotlight the new look, technology and luxury of the brand’s vehicles.
The new exhibit uses LED panels on the floor, covered with white etched glass that reflect on the cars and portray a high-tech aura. Two massive video screens at opposite ends inside the booth project serene scenes like water falls. The space also features an iconic box with mirror accents and an ultra suede interior to showcase the new LS F SPORT.
“Our vehicles appeal to global audiences so we wanted to develop a way to optimally highlight our cars and SUVs at all major auto shows,” said Mark Templin, group VP and general manager of Lexus USA. Among the other big shows the Lexus stand will be used are Geneva and Frankfurt.
The Toyota brand took the wraps off its biggest exhibit ever at the Detroit show. The Toyota brand added 6,000 square feet to the roughly 29,000 square feet it had last year. The brand wanted enough room to display 34 vehicles, including its big introduction the Furia Concept sedan, which made its world debut this week at the show.
“This year’s exhibit is a testament to Toyota’s standing as a world-class automaker,” said Ruslan Polinovsky, auto show engagement manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
The suburban Detroit office of George P. Johnson designed and built the exhibits for both Toyota and Nissan.
Ford Motor Co.s Lincoln brand returned with the cool booth it introduced a year ago in Detroit that cost some $8 million.