Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funkengroovin - King Farouk's 1931 Packard

A few weeks ago, as we were driving through Maadi, we spotted the scene below:

The Boss Man suddenly veered to the right, so we could get a better look. It's being decorated for a wedding at the Maadi Coptic Church.

As VB shot the photos, a man supervising the ornamentation of the car, and who spoke little English said, "Packard...1931...King Farouk." This is where VB got her information. If you're inclined to do a google search, you won't find much specific, unless the car is in exile with a very proud owner. Otherwise, there are numerous images of his cars, of this same color. From Sayyid Qutb: The father of Al-Qa'ida, extracted from The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, "...As his people hissed, the obese Turkish king, Farouk, raced around Cairo in one of his 200 red automobiles (his were the only cars in the country allowed to be red), seducing - if one can call it that - young girls, or else sailing his fleet of yachts to the gambling ports of the Riviera, where his debauchery tested historic standards...."

Typically for weddings, from what VB has seen in Egypt, one fender in the front, one in the back, and the roof are decorated with flowers, and then connected with satin ribbon. But, it does look like this one is getting the full treatment (last photo.)

A video of the car interior is available here: Packard "King Farouk"


Egypt leads nations whose diplomats are deadbeats on New York parking tickets
"The top three scofflaw nations owe just over $4 million: Egypt is on the hook for more than $1.9 million in unpaid diplomat tickets; Kuwait owes nearly $1.3 million; Nigeria's parking debt is $1 million."

"Egypt's consistently poor ranking is perhaps not surprising to most Egyptians. If the state of parking and driving in Cairo is any indication, Egyptian diplomats abroad are doing a fine job. In Cairo, there are streets with double-parking on either side. Sidewalks are often blocked by vehicles and people take to walking in the street instead...And the concept of parking violations in Egypt is virtually unknown. In short, parking is a spirited sport."

"Whether Egyptian diplomats will start parking their cars legally remains to be seen. You can take the Egyptian out of Cairo, but you can't necessarily strip him of his battle-hardened parking practices, even in New York."

Wheels: Recreating a 100-Year-Old Road Trip
"First a spring bolt broke not long after their departure from Manhattan on June 9. With a quick welding job in Tarrytown, N.Y., the Maxwell was up and running — until later that day, when a connecting rod bearing failed, necessitating the first of several babbitt repairs. Babbitt — a metal alloy that provides a low-friction surface between moving metal parts (for a fuller explanation click here) — has been a continuing sore point for the Maxwell, as it turns out."

Feds roll out consumer-friendly tire label rules
"As some car owners strive for ever-greater mpg, tires have drawn more focus as a potential source of savings. Factors such as a tire’s “rolling resistance” can change fuel economy by 10% or more. And burning more gasoline produces more CO2, a major greenhouse gas.

The proposed label from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also would provide consumers with easy-to-digest information about a particular tire’s wet-weather traction and tread wear. The ratings would be displayed on a removable label that would be affixed to all replacement tires. (See the proposed label or read the full text of NHTSA's proposed rule, both in pdf.)

The new three-tiered rating system will also be accessible at safercar.gov so consumers can do some comparison shopping before going to the tire store. The information would also be displayed on posters in tire shops."

MIT Hopes to Exorcise ‘Phantom’ Traffic Jams
"Phantom jams are born of a lot of cars using the road. No surprise there. But when traffic gets too heavy, it takes the smallest disturbance in the flow - a driver laying on the brakes, someone tailgating too closely or some moron picking pickles off his burger - to ripple through traffic and create a self-sustaining traffic jam."

VW Related:
VW California Biker: a dream van come true
"Why not sell the California is the U.S.? Why do we get only the rough-trade Routan? One rather large word: homologation. It would cost far too much to make the diesel California legal in the States, considering the small number of vehicles the company could actually sell at a price exceeding $50,000.

On the other hand, maybe not. What if VW of America heard a loud outcry for the California? What if people started sending deposits? In these more constrained times, the California seems like the perfect vehicle for people downsizing from the awful hugeness of traditional RVing."

Check out the photo gallery for A Pop-Top in Paradise
"On previous visits to Hawaii, I stayed at traditional resorts and took day excursions by car. Standard vacation. But for this trip to the Big Island and Maui, I wanted a change.

The alternative: a Volkswagen camper."

(From the UK): Barmy chilli takes to the road
"A CHEF is today hoping his love of food, festivals and VW camper vans will provide the perfect recipe for business success.

Brian Bussell has launched a unique catering firm - Chilli Gone Barmy - providing quality food to festival goers from his rare 1964 splitscreen van.

The 42-year-old believes the distinctive vehicle is one of only a handful in the world still in working order and the last surviving van in the UK."

Porsche Museum celebrates 75 years of Volkswagen production
"The Porsche Museum in Germany is dedicating a Special Exhibition to the 75th anniversary of the order to build the Volkswagen, held from 22 June – 31 July 2009." And more, Porsche Museum To Show Off Rare Volkswagen Beetles

The best smelling cars
"However, the most instantly recognizable car scent for me, was my dad’s VW Beetle convertible (pictured). He owned it in the late 70s & early 80s, but I can still smell that car as if I’m sitting in it right now."

Mary Belk: Nothing better than my trusty old VW Beetle

Kickin’ Down Madison Ave., Feelin’ Groovy
"Macy’s, General Mills, and Procter & Gamble are among companies with 2009 ad campaigns recalling aspects of the ’60s."
Check out the photos, like: "A VW Microbus, used in a cartoon by Procter & Gamble for its Luvs diapers, painted in a style reminiscent of the late 1960s."

On The Road: A capital cacophony in Cairo
"My taxi has ground to a halt amid downtown's traffic gridlock. My driver lets out his frustration in the only way he knows how: he makes noise. Two million cars fight for space on Cairo's woefully inadequate roads every day, and all of their drivers have their hand firmly placed on their car's horn. The city's relentless soundtrack is a cacophonous symphony of bass honks and baritone beeps that ring out from the overcrowded streets. Ambient noise levels in Cairo were recently revealed to average 85 decibels: the same level that causes hearing loss with extended exposure. We are all sinking into deafness in this city."

Renewable Energy in Egypt
"To alleviate traffic and reduce CO2 emissions by about 1.5 million tons a year, the government is planning six new bus rapid transit corridors in Cairo, and light rail transit to connect Cairo with fast-growing suburbs.
The plan also calls for replacing 613 old and polluting public minibuses with 1,310 large clean technology buses."

Razing the City of the Dead to breathe new life into Cairo
"CAIRO // The Egyptian government is studying plans to move the historic Cairo cemetery of Arafa – a neighbourhood in which residents include both the living and the dead – to a location outside the Egyptian capital."

Penned-In Egyptians Find Peace in City’s Din
"Space is tight in Cairo, so residents often head to bridges and other public places for a bit of contemplation."

"They know how to ignore what they cannot change and improvise where they can. They drive the wrong way down one-way streets, are blind to traffic lights, never voluntarily wait in line and regularly circumvent a government bureaucracy that is less than user-friendly. They are not trying to be rude; they are just fighting to get by.

Technically, setting up on a bridge is illegal. But this is Egypt. Who cares about technicalities?"

A fun discussion on Cairo Traffic: Obama vs the Traffic in Downtown Cairo

Lens: Essay: A Strangely Empty Cairo
"Accompanying President Obama on his visit to Egypt, Stephen Crowley of The Times found the streets of Cairo remarkably deserted."

How To Survive A Cairo Taxi Ride
"You’ll spend most of the ride spluttering and wheezing your way through the inevitably gridlocked Cairo traffic, but when a gap does open up, you’ll career through it like a kamikaze rally driver on crank.

Lane markings and traffic lights are treated as irrelevant urban art installations, and rules of the road as nothing more than a quaint rumour.

Most drivers think indicating direction is a sign of weakness, and only use their brakes as a last resort.

They use their horns, however, with passion and commitment: like a cacophony of bats that avoid bumping into things by constantly squeaking."

Video of how Cairo looks to the river to ease traffic congestion

Billy Idol White Wedding High Quality


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