Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Funkengroovin - The News Only Edition

Let's see if VB gets in trouble for publishing so many photos that are not hers. The warning says "for personal use only," and she considers this blog highly personal. All the photos in today's post are from, Google archives LIFE photos -- classic wheels included, as the LA Times states. They have an amazing number of photos, some of which have never before been published. VB's thinking about having a few prints made to hang on her mainly, black and white postered walls, back in Cairo. You can search via decade, car name, country, you name it. All the photos are from archives, and here's the link to the search engine: Search millions of historic photos. Have fun!


"For Shrestha, his battered German-built bus is perfect for its current job, ferrying passengers between Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, just a few kilometres away

"I've driven plenty of buses but this one still feels wonderful, despite being 11 years older than me," said Shrestha, 24, as he nosed his way into the frenetic traffic.

"Hippies brought this bus to Nepal during the 70's and sold it to locals. I heard that the interior was like a room and had a toilet.

"They used to sleep inside. The locals who bought it converted it into a passenger vehicle."

Nepal was often the end of the road for countless overland travellers who made the trip from Europe, through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India."

"The hippies and their vehicles were very exotic for me as a kid growing up near what we called Freak Street," he said, referring to the area in central Kathmandu where the hippies congregated.

For day-to-day use he drives a Hyundai hatchback but the weekends and holidays are for his cherished 1976 Beetle. He bought it eight years ago for $1300 then spent three times that much renovating it.

"When I wash and wax my Beetle I feel like kissing it. It's the shape that makes it so attractive and you can never get bored with it."

The blue and white Beetle still turns heads, he said. "You look at modern vehicles - Toyotas, Nissans, Tatas - and they all look the same.""- AFP

Same story, but more photos: Hippies' old vehicles evoke lost era in Kathmandu

16 years of cruising in Cleveland

"For the Cool Breeze VW Club in Cleveland, the breeze they refer to is not the one blowing through their hair, but the breeze blowing across their engines. Cool Breeze VW Club is an air-cooled club, meaning their members drive Volkswagens with air-cooled engines, as all the classic cars had. They also focus on street vehicles.

For more information about the Cool Breeze VW Club, visit www. myspace.com/coolbreezevw."

Is Your Car in a Good Mood Today?
"People thought cars had facial expressions. For example, participants felt elongated cars with pronouncedly low chassis or angular headlights set wide apart suggested a manly frown. Conversely, headlights with their upper edge relatively close to the middle like the Volkswagen Beetle suggested a smiling child or woman."

Oil should pay
"This is intended for the older people who were around in the 1960s. Remember the billboard on the highways that advertised a Beetle for $1,799? Remember Ralph Nader? He led the nation into believing that VW was the most unsafe vehicle in the world. Why? Because the VW was capturing the automotive market in America.

GM, Ford, Chrysler and don't exclude American Motors (Rambler), and the big oil companies ganged up on VW using Nader to bury Volkswagen...."

Obama Saves Auto Industry, to Build "Obamawagens"

"Modeled on the popular beetle-shaped Volkswagen, or "people's car," the new vehicle will feature the utility and cheapness of the original Volkswagen Passenger Cars ordered by Germany in the 1930s, designed by Porsche and built in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The two-door cars will have an air-cooled, rear mounted engine and will sell for about $2000 each, thus competing with the Tata vehicles made in India.

"Obamawagens will be made in some of the factories formerly owned by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler," said President Obama. "Imports of foreign cars will be banned.""

Canadians Start 28,000-Mile Voyage In Veggie-Fueled Van, Attempt World Record

Heading west in a Westy
"Not settling for anything ordinary, the Henrietta couple decided to take the journey in a Volkswagen bus from the 1970s instead of a typical recreational vehicle or camper.

Accompanying Josh and Kim on their travels will be their 4-year-old cat, Fink, and their appropriately named 6-year-old dog, Westy. Along the way, Josh and Kim will post pictures, videos and blog updates on the Web site www.greenbusadventures.com, which they created to keep family and friends updated on the trip."

Build Your Own VW Camper Van

You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone
"Just Kampers (www.justkampers.co.uk), the insurance specialist for camper owners, has launched a home insurance policy that includes cover for personal effects away from home. Tailored especially for the needs of camper van owners, the policy is easy to arrange online, and very competitively priced. It offers piece of mind and covers multiple trips so once it's taken out - that's it, job done."

(Many photos and a link to a video, that VB can't get to work.)
Volkswagen Funerals

"Volkswagen Funerals fleet includes our VW Bay (camper van style) hearse, two matching classic stretched Beetle limousines which are modern Mexican Cars for reliability, and this countries only New Beetle Limousine. To keep to the 'camper' theme we have a 1963 VW 21 window Samba split screen bus and new for 2009 our bay window 'camper van' style Bus , which is perfect to follow the Bay Hearse. All cars are in matching white."

1973 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback

Caught the bug: Lifelong mechanic has a soft spot
"When Verle Allen met Kay Wensel in 1972, he didn't know he was being introduced to the two loves of his life.
One was her. They were married about two years later.

The second was her little red Volkswagen Beetle."

Florida tinkerers building their own electric cars

"So he bought two 1965 Volkswagen Beetles for $2,000 each and spent some time poking inside them and taking measurements. After the engines came out, he and his colleagues custom-built a special mount and installed an electric motor and batteries. The entire process, from design to driving, took about three months.

Now Bourgeois drives an all-electric Beetle to work each day and said he doesn't mind that it needs recharging every 25 or 30 miles or so. That's less than his daily commute. He also doesn't mind the cost of recharging his batteries: He figures he's paying about 2.5 cents per mile, or 75 cents per recharge.

He also has started selling the conversion kits through a new company, RebirthAuto. The $7,000 kits include the motor mount that they designed, and soon will include a specially designed controller that regulates the electric power."

Wheels: Frank Zappa’s Compact Car From Hell

Study Says Cars Make Us Fat
"It would be easy to chalk this up to American laziness and our love affair with cars, but it isn't that easy. European cities tend to be compact and densely populated with excellent transit systems. American cities, on the other hand, tend to sprawl on and on and on — ever been to Atlanta? Dallas? Phoenix? — and our mass transit infrastructure generally is not as advanced, so it can be harder to get out of the car and onto a bike."

From the LA Times: 10 gifts for gearheads

Doggone it: Car companies’ pet accessories to keep animals safe

"Either way, all bets are off when the dog could roam free in the car. As one commenter said another time when Up to Speed broached the subject of in-car pet restraints, “I doubt anybody would want to get hit in the head by a dog of any size.”

Programs like Bark Buckle Up, which works with 15 auto manufacturers, teach the importance of pet safety, such as latching animals to seats for drives. And car companies have come to our aid with lines of pet accessories for both safety and messes."

(Below): That's Bob Hope with his VW Bus. VB's as shocked as you. She's not sure what to think. Very odd looking license plate, though.

Christmastime: Special Edition

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