Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Lemons Are Green

"The Volkswagen missed the boat.

The chrome strip on the glove compartment is blemished and must be replaced. Chances are you wouldn't have noticed it; Inspector Kurt Kroner did."

Remember the old VW ad? (from murketing):

"There are 3,389 men of our Wolfsburg factory with only one job; to inspect Volkswagens at each stage of production. (3,00 Volkswagens are produced daily; there are more inspectors than cars.)

Every shock absorber is tested (spot checking won't do), every windshield is scanned. VWs have been rejected for surface scratches barely visible to the eye.

Final inspection is really something! VW inspectors run each car off the line onto the Funktionspr├╝fstand (car test stand), tote up 189 check points, gun ahead to the automatic brake stand and say "no" to one VW out of fifty.

This preoccupation with detail means the VW lasts longer and requires less maintenance, by and large, than other cars. (It also means a used VW depreciates less than any other car.)

We pluck the lemons; you get the plums."

And, for those of you who have seen the print ad, VB wants to celebrate the New Season of Mad Men, by celebrating "the lemon." ( The ad, that drove the ad men in Mad Men, mad last season.) How could an advertisement like that actually work? It just did, and has been considered a stroke of genius. Mad Men, VB's favorite TV show starts it's new season on July 27th. And, FYI, even Mother Jones Magazine has an article about this amazing show. (WTF? Doesn't Mother Jones have enough to chew on with the upcoming elections?) More articles about Mad Men at The LA Times and The New York Times, calling it "the smartest show on television."

So, today VB celebrates lemons! Obviously, the cars shown are not really lemons.

(Below): Lemons for sale at the local stand. Unlike the US, lemons are sold here before they turn yellow. And, no, your homemade Limoncello will not turn green.

(Below: Bright green bug, on Port Said Road (spelled Bort around here).

(Below): This beetle recently showed up, parked near VB's apartment. A lot of people drive by, stop, back up, and then ask the attending boab (doorman) about it. Apparently, it had been stored in the owner's garage for a long time. He then gave it to his driver to use. According to the boab, since being in storage, it's worth has gone up eight times in value. From what VB can tell this is a "66-"67 Beetle.

Question: Why does this car have black license plates?

(Below): Another lime bug we passed on Road 9.

(Below): And, sometimes lemons are actually yellow! (That is, among other colors too.)

(Below): Too many baskets? Maybe this is the way all those lemons are transported...

Ford at 100:
Mr. Ford’s T: Versatile Mobility
"Nearly as significant as the Model T’s ubiquity was its knack for performing many tasks, going far beyond basic transportation."

A Week of Car Shows, a Century of Transportation

The Racing Is Fast and the Police Aren’t Furious
"Police officers in Lodz, Poland, have tried to deal with illegal street races by helping to organize them."

Freakonomics: FREAK Shots: How Many Bumper Stickers Make a Bad Driver?
"Driving a car can be depersonalizing. That’s why drivers use bumper stickers, bobble-heads, fish brake lights, racing stripes, etc. to show others on the road their personalities, explains Tom Vanderbilt in his book, Traffic. A recent study by Colorado State University psychologist William Szlemko found a link between road rage and the number — but [...]"

Film and Geotag Your Next Car Accident

East Texan's Electric Car Creation
"Al Kelley has had a burning desire to build an electric car for nearly 30 years, and now with his "bug truck" as he calls it, that dream is a reality. A skilled auto-electrician, Kelley built the battery-powered bug with his bare hands." (Video available at the link.)

The Tygan 356 Speedster
"Yet in spite of its prosaic underpinnings the Tygan is effectively a new car selling for new money. Part of its value is in the stripping of the old Beetle. Behind the Dorset factory is a Beetle graveyard, where these old workhorses are stripped of mechanical components like carrion from old bones before the remains are sent to the scrapyard. It's rather a sad place, especially when you consider that each one of the 600 or so Chesil/Tygans built over the years means one less Beetle on our roads. Only the spine of the Beetle is retained, shortened by 11 inches and fitted with new but similarly shortened floorpans. Tygan prefers to fit the safer, better-riding rear suspension from later Beetles, but will still use original trailing arms if masochistic purists demand it." (Full article and photos at the link.)

He's got the recycling Bug: Man brings VWs back from dead
"To celebrate the 50-year milestone, its silver anniversary, Kulungian brought the car out of barn storage and did some needed work on it to make it again serviceable, this time registering it as an antique auto." (Full story and photo at the link.)

Another reason to watch Dancing With The Stars:
Christina Applegate, Alec Baldwin Grateful for Emmy Nods
"Want to see ... the glamorous life of an Emmy nominee: When we're done talking, I'm getting in my 1978 Volkswagen beetle convertible and driving to the garage so they can install a windshield [part]. Nothing like show business!" – Dancing With the Stars' host Tom Bergeron, who earned a nod in the brand new category for reality-competition show host."

Classic search to celebrate 60th anniversary of VW Transporter
"As part of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Volkswagen Transporter, Paul Burke and his colleagues at Volkswagen Group Ireland have initiated a search to find Ireland’s classic Transporter van, pick-up, combi or passenger bus.

The company is seeking out the best example of a classic VW Transporter currently in existence here.

Owners in possession of such a vehicle are invited to post photos of their van along with stories relating to its history, journeys, maintenance or restoration projects to the 'Create your own Memories' section at the web site www.volkswagenvans.ie."

Car Clinic
"Q I’ve always wanted to buy a funky camper van so I can give up my job and head off around Europe. I’m hankering after an old Volkswagen, probably of 1960s or 1970s vintage. Are VW vans as reliable as their reputation suggests or would I be better off with a less sexy Ford Transit conversion? HA from south London" (Go to the link for the answer.)

Right Guard Plots 'VW Van' Live Gigs
"Three winners of a monthly competition on the Right Guard- sponsored Yahoo! 24-hour music festival guide website will be invited to watch a gig in the camper van and sample the deodorant.

The work also involves the creation of a mobile WAP site, while a documentary about the restoration of the 1965 VW van being used for the gigs is being seeded online." (Many photos of the van can be seen here, at flickr.)

Lastly, VB used to take her Vanagon down to the Windsor Locks drive-thru Starbucks, for a latte. Vagabondblogger Doggie would ride in the back seat, and bark at the attendant. It was her thrill for the day. She passed away a year ago, and Lotus the new pup has only had a couple of trips to the drive-thru. Now it seems, the Windsor Locks Starbucks (the one near Bradley International Airport) will be closing. It's a shame, since the staff there was much friendlier than the people operating the Enfield store (not drive-thru.) Plus, the Barnes and Noble, just a few hundred feet away in Enfield, sells Starbucks coffee! (Let's talk about the thought process on that one, shall we.) So much for that. And, regarding friendliness, Dunkin' Donuts would toss a donut hole to doggie for a treat! So there Starbucks! Go ahead a close your damn drive-thru. Oh, and BTW, VB's sure, when she's shopping at Evergreen Walk, (the only other Starbucks she patronized), that she'll find a replacement for that one too, since you seem to think the folks, in Connecticut, on the east side of the Connecticut River are not worth your time. Dunkin' Donuts has drive thrus all over, their cheaper, and their coffee is just as good!

Here's a full, alphabetical, list of state by state closures, throughout the US: All 600 Stores

Mad Men - Theme Song - "A Beautiful Mine" by RJD2

VB heads back to the US Tuesday night, for a two month stay. She will still continue postings from there. She has also been informed that the electricity at her house will be out most of Thursday too.

1 comment:

  1. Hiya... we are still hunting Bugs in France now, saw a blue one on the Autobahn yesterday and I have a photo of a little van being towed by a caravan that I will post for you soon...