Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Oh Lord....

Vagabondblogger is taking a break from VW's this week. In addition to VW's and Fiats, you can spot some nice old Mercs around Cairo. At one time, about ten years ago, The Boss Man and VB contemplated buying a Mercedes. VB doesn't remember which one, but she does remember Mercedes had an advertisement with Yul Brenner standing next to his car, and she actually got to "test drive it" - not Yul's car of course, the car at the dealership! Then she and The Boss Man moved overseas. End of story.

Here's a couple old Mercs VB found in Maadi, Cairo (parked one in front of the other), with a few references. These are the cars VB was trying to photograph, when a young beggar girl decided otherwise - check it out.

Since it's the season of giving, VB has decided to do the Mercedes thing with a song by Janis Joplin, which is
not an indication of what VB wants for Christmas. (We don't have enough space for the cars we already have.) BTW, even though VB likes some of these Mercs, it in no way designates her as an authority. (Actually, she's not an authority on anything really.) These cars were both in very good condition. VB will post more Mercs she found at the Nasr City car market at a later date.

(As always, click on the links for the full article and / or photos.)

Mercedes Benz 220S Fintail

"The Mercedes 220 and 220S were part of the middle range or Mercedes saloons built from 1958 to 1968.

The 220S is considered by collectors to be among the best of the group, a cut above the lower models and one of the first cars to feature crumple zones and, from April 1962, a dual hydraulic braking system (these two systems were seen as the beginning of safety engineering in current motor vehicles).

Born into an era when Mercedes were still in love with the idea of the swing axle, the "Fintails" at least had the low pivot type - favoured by most drivers and deemed to provide better road holding ability.

Today there are still many "Finnies" on the road, such was the high build quality of these cars, and because the fins that were to date the design of the car so quickly are now seen as an exercise in design and beauty the 220 and 220S are appreciating in value."

The Heckflosse (Fintail) Homepage

"Well, the name Heckflosse, or Fintail in English speaking countries, is just a nickname given to this type of Mercedes. Because these cars show American influences, in this case the little 'fins' on their back (though in comparison with the ones found on the Americans these fins are barely noticeable), people started calling them Heckflossen. It must be said that the name is not officialy given by Mercedes-Benz. The word Heckflosse is simply the German translation of the word Fintail, 'Heck' means 'tail' and 'flosse' means 'fin'."

Classic Cars: Mercedes-Benz 'Heckflosse'

"...But there was a time when Mercedes tried to cater for the needs of most of its customers with just one model range. That car was the famous Heckflosse, or fintail Mercedes. In its day, the Heckflosse covered most of the market territory covered by today's E-class and S-class using a single bodyshell.

Far from apologising for this lack of choice, the company claimed it as a virtue -- all of its customers, whether stinking rich or merely very comfortably off, were entitled to the same standards of comfort and space.

It is impossible to understand the place the Heckflosse holds in German motoring history without also understanding the conditions in which it was launched in 1959. The German economy at the time was an economic miracle, far removed from the basket-case it has become today in the minds of Anglo-Saxon economists.

Millions of families celebrated important milestones of personal consumption: the first foreign holiday, the first TV set or the first fridge. And, of course, the first new car.

For most, that car wasn't a Mercedes. It was more likely to be an Opel, a VW Beetle or a Taunus from the German arm of Ford...."


"60 Years VW Bulli - The Book" goes to print

"A total of 71,000 visitors converged on the Hanover Exhibition Centre last October, where the International VW Mini-Bus Meeting was held to celebrate 60 years of the Volkswagen Transporter. 5,100 VW Mini-Buses and VW Transporters made their way to the meeting, and 11,500 camping enthusiasts from 28 nations celebrated their cult-mobile, the Volkswagen Mini-Bus. Lutz Schilling (author) and Cliff Serna (photographer) have now compiled an endearing documentation of the event. “60 Years VW Bulli – The Book” will be available for ordering before Christmas.

Just weeks after the event, the book is due to be published in A4-plus format in German and English. The book will cost 14.90 euro (plus shipping charges); VW Mini-Bus clubs will be able to place collective orders; and the work will be available via the website from December 14. A special link will be placed there. This book will be a must-have Christmas gift for all VW Mini-Bus enthusiasts, old-timer fans and, of course, for everyone who visited the event in October.

The book features 330 pages of both studio shots of the most stunning VW Mini-Buses and their owners as well as a catalogue of photos of almost all the registered participant vehicles."

VB is glad to see this New York Times article, as she had seen the GEICO magazine commercials and had not been able to find a picture anywhere on their website. They also have (VB loves this TV ad) The US Trust TV Spot : "He owns an Italian Roadster, a Le Mans Racer, and a British Limousine, and yet, the most valuable car in his collection is his 1968 Bus...."
The ’60s as the Good Old Days
"A new trend in advertising presents many of the contentious aspects of the ’60s — the protests, the hippies, the challenge to authority — in a positive, even romanticized light.

IF you remember the ’60s, as a popular saying goes, you probably weren’t there. No matter. Madison Avenue is taking you back with a skein of campaigns celebrating sights and sounds of the decade.

The ads are filled with images like Volkswagen buses festooned with groovy graffiti, daisies and other power flowers, peace signs, psychedelic drawings in DayGlo colors and hair, long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen (to quote a lyric from the era).

The bus is a symbol “of the values you grew up with, the values that made you successful and the values you want to pass on to your children,” she added."

My Name Is Earl: Early Release

"The next time we see the holy VW microbus, Joy is driving in nun’s garb (I was strangely aroused), and Darnell is riding shotgun dressed as a priest. The guards at the main gate wave in Father Darnell and Sister Joy, and the dominoes are falling into place."
(Just to make it clear: VB was not aroused, the writer of the article was.)

A Review: Living it up in the Hotel California

"There are no mirrors on the ceiling
but you can have pink Champagne on ice.
And in the master's chamber,
you can gather for the feast.

Welcome, to the VW California,
such a lovely place, such a lovely place...

My apologies to The Eagles for mangling their classic "Hotel California" hit but I battled to get the song out of my head while driving (and living in) Volkswagen's new mobile home. I don't know whether the song inspired the name but it's apt because this is kind of a hotel on wheels.

The VW California is basically a kombi mated with a caravan and built for people who seek to explore the wild yonder with an adventurous spirit but in minimal discomfort

To mince another Hotel California line:
"You can check out any time you like,
but you'll never want to leave."

From Jalopnik (again - great photos as usual): Another Low Volkswagen Transporter
"OK, this VW Transporter isn't quite as low as this insane machine, nor is it quite as old. However, it makes up for those shortcomings by having such a great Survivor Patina, and by parking on one of the busiest streets in town. It's hard to tell how many donor vehicles contributed body parts for this bus, but it's got to be at least four. And, once again, I'm unable to provide an exact year for an older German vehicle; I'm pretty sure it's from the 1963-1967 period, but- as always- clarifications from VWology PhDs are welcomed."

Still looking for that perfect gift for your Funkengroovin Luv? VB is, and she's also sad to see that the folks in the UK and Australia have much more VW stuff to offer, than the U.S. Sometimes Funkengroovin love can just leave you in a funk. Here's more stuff to buy. VB may have exhausted her VW shopping search. Also, please note, VB has added numerous new VW links, some of which also offer items for sale.

JC Whitney has several items like: (More available at the site.)

Cartoonstock has VW cartoons for sale.

Tee shirts, mugs, fridge magnets, bags, metal signs and all sorts of oddities you don't need are available at kapowgifts, thepillarbox (UK)

Australia the gift has mugs, Kombi banks, Kombi egg cups, Kombi salt & pepper shakers, Kombi moneybox, clocks, model cars, and more. (AU)

Same as above (UK) and (AU) also available at, and grandprixlegends. (UK)

rediff books has How To Hotrod Volkswagen Engines. (India)

Geek Alerts has an article and links on VW (camper and beetle) usb memory sticks, and where to buy them.

And for the young ones (girls) you can buy the Barbie VW New Beetle, available at Walmart.
"Styled after the Volkswagen Beetle, this vehicle features realistic VW design and popular Barbie colors. It also has a real working door that opens and closes, for easy entry. The Barbie VW features foot pedal operation for easy stop and go, and drives on hard surfaces. It goes 2.5 mph in forward and reverse and has a Power Lock brake system."

Even though this video is a mish-mash of scenes, those VW lovers will spot a beetle (if you pay attention.) - Janis Joplin / Mercedes-benz

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