Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Collecting

Vagabondblogger's family likes VW's, (as if she hasn't indicated that already). We have two: an '87 Vanagon Camper (Weekender version) and a '65 VW Beetle Convertible. Two years ago Vagabondblogger (VB), who was not happy with the new VW's bought a Mini Cooper S, in Purple Haze with racing stripes. VB's family of four has six cars in total, and only a two car attached garage (and an "association" with rules like, you can't leave a car parked in your driveway, overnight (like we even pay attention to that crappola). O-kaaay, with the Mini or the Beetle, we can actually squeeze in three cars, but then we can't use the connecting door to the house. Our problem is one facing people who collect cars, or just have too many to house (or totally picky neighbors). What to do? Today, VB has a few articles on storage options, and also how to winterize your collectible car (something similar to winterizing your home.) Actually, the advice for winterizing a car, is one VB suggests for any expat who leaves their cars unused for a long period of time.

So, for a change, VB is focusing her photos on a Chevrolet Bel Air, which she found in Maadi, on her way home from Alpha Market. It is a collectible. Interestingly, it has those cool tail fins, which VB has seen on a few Mercs around Maadi, as well (she'll do a blog on those another time.) Since she lacks knowledge on the Bel Air, she suggests checking out the links, and just enjoying the photos.

Chevy Bel Air (More Images here.)

Auto hibernation

Tips for storing your collector's vehicle for the winter.

Below, VB's rich neighbor's garage. Just recently built, it's a whopping 3500 square feet (that's bigger than VB's house). There are three floors. The ground floor houses six cars, and is for his son (how sweet.) The second floor houses six cars, including, he says, his limousine. And the third floor is a study. Click on the photo to enlarge it, and you'll see both entrances to the garage - one on the left, and one on the right (top of the hill.) He says he'll give The Boss Man a tour. If so, I plan on tagging along, with my camera.

Hey, did you hear the one about Jay Leno and his eco-friendly Burbank garage?
The green room.
(Video tour and photos included.) He's even got his own site at jaylenosgarage.com!

Jay Leno's Tips for Collecting Classic Cars

Ralph Lauren who has an expensive collection of cars, must have a pretty awesome garage. Unfortunately, VB couldn't find any info on it, but here's a photo essay of his cars.

The 50 Top North American Collectors in 2006.

Ultimate Garages has a collection of articles with photos on car collectors, and their garages, here.

A Place to Keep All Those Old Toys
A garage service for the collector who has everything, and wants more.

HIDDEN in the thoughts of collectors of old automobiles is the ambition to, one day, collect the whole set. Terms like enough and too much are meaningless — too much is never enough. And should the day arrive when part of the collection must be parked out in the snow, a collector’s response is practical. This overflow is not an inventory problem; it is a storage-space problem. The solution is simply to make the garage larger.

At least one American entrepreneur is trying to solve that problem. Robert B. Machinist (his business card reads, Bob Machinist, Garage Man) is moonlighting from his day job as a managing partner at MB Investment Partners in Manhattan to provide succor to collectors by opening the Collectors Car Garage in Bedford Hills, in Westchester County, N.Y. (www.collectorscargarage.com).

“We opened in March 2005, and we’re now almost completely full,” says James Machinist, Robert’s son and the manager of the garage.

And this is just the beginning. With 120,000 square feet in three stories holding more than 200 cars, the garage is adding a 25,000-square-foot building adjacent to the original. In addition, a new 50,000-square-foot garage is planned for Jericho, N.Y.

Luxury lodging for your machine
And now, for the car collector who has everything, including too many cars: the Taj Garage.

Obviously, a public parking structure or a dusty warehouse is the wrong place to store that 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL coupe you picked up for $350,000 at the Pebble Beach auction.

The solution could be a car condo.

Imagine a garage with a bathroom, a wet bar, no oil stains on the floor and security guards 24/7. With a concierge who will arrange your next service appointment. With a private rooftop club where you can share a bottle of wine and talk cars with fellow collectors.

All for the cost of a modest single-family home.

As the market for human housing falters, developers around the country are pushing ahead with plans to build homes for four-wheeled investments. The projects are being marketed as part-garage, part-home away from home, part-clubhouse for car nuts.

"This isn't something for the Jay Lenos who have their own [car] hangars at the Burbank airport," said Greg Anderson, automotive editor of the Robb Report, which chronicles the high life of the upper classes. Nor for Shaquille O'Neal, who can squeeze his 30-vehicle garage onto the grounds of his home in Florida.

"But if you have a dozen cars, or even five -- enough that you can't fit them into your garage -- it can make sense."

"The genesis for this whole thing was that I found myself going to a parking garage on Saturdays and taking a tarp off my car and saying, 'This is not the way I want to manage my collection.' "

The standard unit at Luxury on Main will comfortably house four vehicles. Two to four more can be stacked vertically.

Those who want to go the extra mile -- and spend the extra dollars -- can customize their condos with decorating schemes offered by GarageMahal, an Arizona company that specializes in indulgent interior designs for garages.

Interior design packages at Luxury on Main start at $60 a square foot and go up from there. Options range from Art Deco classic to gas station modern to just about anything you can imagine.


MTV Looks to Conquer Middle East Market
MTV Arabia, which launched over the weekend, will feature 60 percent international music and 40 percent Arabic music, along with local adaptations of the channel's popular non-music shows.

MTV Arabia also will broadcast an Arabic version of the popular car makeover show "Pimp My Ride," as well as "Al Helm" ("The Dream"), which is based on the show "Made," in which MTV transforms awkward teenagers into the successful models or rap stars of their dreams.

Shows in Arabic will be subtitled in English for foreign viewers in the region, channel officials said.

More information available at MTV Arabia

Fiat Wins 2008 European Car of the Year with 500

No Volkswagen Scirocco for U.S. - Auto Shows -
Return of the Phaeton could be the consolation prize.

From jalopnik (again) - nice photos. - 1969 Volkswagen Beetle

Rule 5: Buy a car without air bags. You might need to scout used-car lots, but your efforts will pay off. Better yet, buy an old Volkswagen Beetle. Then you can whimper, "Sorry, I'd love to do the pick up on field trip day, but my vehicle has no air bags and no room.
Volkswagen Beetle ("People's Car" ): The Car of the Century
(part 1)
- Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka - Geneva - Switzerland (Nice photos.)

VB saw some wild turkeys last week and was hoping to post photos for Thanksgiving, but she unfortunately has not had time to do so (car trouble - yes, two cars at once). So for all the readers, have a Happy Thanksgiving / Happy Turkey Day! VB plans on getting totally plastered, enjoying the company of family, two dogs (most likely being totally naughty) and fill herself with huge amounts of food. Cinnamon ice cream for the homemade apple pie courtesy of Aglamesis Brothers (the best) in Cincinnati finishes it all off!

While this video does not address the garage problem, it does speak well to family and home, and thankfulness, which is what Thanksgiving is all about. Of all the holidays in the U.S., this one is truly a day for everyone to celebrate - it's the all-inclusive U.S. holiday.

Our House C. S. N. & Y. LIVE


  1. I really enjoy reading you posts VB though sometimes I don't have a comment. Every post you write is an ocean of interesting info and pictures. Where do you get time to do that

  2. Well, most of the photos I upload immediately sometimes with previously loaded pics, but similar. So the blog is mostly done, and then I add the articles; or I save articles, and add photos later. My Funkengroovin Wednesday is the one I try to do regularly. Weekends I like to add something, preferably political, but sometimes that's too depressing, soooo, I try something else.

    Actually I would like to do more than two posts a week, which I have in the past, but right now (not being in Cairo & with the holidays and all - traveling), I'm lucky to get out what I have.

    Thanks, again. Glad you enjoy it.