Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Funkengroovin - News

VB has been busy with the invasion of the flying red ants, the electricity going out constantly, five kittens born on her windowsill, and some sort of strange illness. VB thinks it's called, "I'm sick of stinking bug spray, dirty air, hot weather, no electricity, and can't fucking wait to get out of Dodge blues." No she does not have a fever! Is she pissed (as in angry for you Brits out there)? Yes!!!!!! Someone explain to VB why the electricity needs to go off more than seven times a day?! Subsequently fucking up all connections - some including air conditioners, the Internet (glaciers move faster!), the Vonage phone (which operates through the Internet), the oven, blah, blah, blah, the fucking satellite TeeVee! Does the person in charge not realize that VB's life is based totally on electrical availability?! Rant over.

Today is mainly a news day since VB has been remiss at adding it on to the posts. Some old, some new, and two brand new music videos featuring VW Buses. Make sure you check those out. Both are very folksy - let's just say they're not the usual music videos VB features for Funkengroovin Wednesdays, but they do have VW Buses in them. The news articles are all interesting, and most have photos. Yes, some might be a bit oldish, but still newsworthy.

Here's your complimentary photo for the day (Thanks be to God for the most exquisitely allotted amount of electricity, which provides Internet, to download this totally worthless photo).


VW Related:

Touring Europe's Best Auto Museums
"Volkswagen's Autostadt, located directly adjacent to the sprawling factory that churns out Golf sedans, may be the most ambitious. In addition to a museum devoted to the history of the Beetle and other company products, the Autostadt (German for "auto city") features 11 restaurants, a Ritz-Carlton (MAR) hotel, and outdoor attractions such as an obstacle course where adults can muddy up VW's Touareg SUV. There's even a course where kids can learn driving basics in miniature Beetles."

You Will Respect This VW
"Count your blessings this thing isn’t running around your town, because the embarrassment of being shut down by a ‘53 VW van might be too much to bear." 1953 VW Bus Sets World Record on Dragstrip With 12-Sec Quarter Mile Run

Propane Conversion: How to Make LPG Cars
"It works. New York, Maine, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Utah, California . . . I've traveled miles and miles and miles in a VW bus converted to run on LP (liquid propane) and the easy-to-install system really does result in lower operating and maintenance costs, much longer engine life AND 70% less air pollution."

Karmann Fixes Its Own Roof
"A subsidiary of the German company that made the Karmann Ghia with Volkswagen has begun an aftermarket business to restore convertible tops."

"Replacing the original fabric, steel supports and even wooden components that make up the relatively primitive convertible tops takes skill and attention. Restoration jobs are expected to cost from $1,000 to $3,000, the company said.

“When you do convertible tops, you have to know also the body and the engineering of the vehicle,” Mr. Roeren said.

Mr. Roeren said the company will be able to work on only two vehicles at a time and each restoration will take two days.

The company said it expected to open up to five such restoration centers in the next five years, including in California and Florida, and to reach about $5 million in gross sales.

Wilhelm Karmann filed for the German version of bankruptcy in April, but Karmann U.S.A officials said the filing will not affect the American unit."

Ten dangerous vehicles (or are they?), part two

(From Ottawa, Canada) Beker’s favourite Bug

Temple man's VW affection started 25 years ago

I’m Ready To Give This Deadhead Thing a Try

Thornbury couple's camper van business is riding the recession
"Their rental business, Campers Away, has seen a huge increase in demand as the credit crunch is stopping more and more families from travelling abroad and encouraging us all to explore the great outdoors."

Unlocking The Mystery Of The Mystery Machine On The Movie Awards Set

Teen finally gets to drive his vintage cars "Dylan Tischer has seven Volkswagens"

The Perfect Beetle "Paul Amicone's Dream for a Rust-Free VW Comes True"

VW Bug Out fun with the people's car (Slideshow)

Super Project '71 "Part One: Introduction to the Subject, a 1971 "1302" Super Beetle"

Students take spin into the future
"TRENTON - At first, the vehicle circling the bus loop behind Trenton High School appears to be just a relic of the past. After all, it is a 1968 Volkswagen SandRail dune buggy."

Editor's Note: It's a Small Show After All
"So next time you catch yourself saying, "I don't want to go to that show because it is too small," remember, every big show out there, from the Classic to the Florida BugJam to Bad Camberg, started life as a small get together with people who share a common bond, these little cars. Support your local shows."

Groundbreaking Works by Artists with Cultural Ties to Mexico and Latin America To Be On View
"PHOENIX, AZ.- Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement, opening July 12, 2009, at Phoenix Art Museum, is the first comprehensive consideration of the legacy of Chicano art in two decades and the largest exhibition of cutting-edge Chicano art ever presented at Phoenix Art Museum."

I can't believe someone makes... Snail Art Cars (video at the link)

(Great photo) - Reindeer Sausage Van in Alaska, Not Yet on Twitter
"...The guy parks on West 4th Avenue and F Street (map), serving up reindeer dogs from the blue Volkswagen van..."

VW Owner Shifts Gears, Goes From Gas to Electric

Volkswagen's Newest Twist On Camping: The 2009 Volkswagen California Black Edition
"All this coolness doesn't come cheap though. Pricing for this sleek people mover is 77,736.75 euro, or around $109,921 in Yankee money. Of course, that's if you could buy one here -- which, ironically, you can't. At least we get the actual state as a consolation prize."

Need an escape? Author Gordon Hempton listens for the sound of silence in new book
"Hempton takes his quest for quiet on the road, crossing the country in his¤¤'64 VW van, listening to a landscape and a people, putting together a "sonic EKG" of the country. He originally intended to make this trip with his daughter, who begged off, unable to engage with his quest, unable to detach from -- you guessed it! -- her iPod."

Meals On Wheels: Ten Great Mobile Eateries
"Sénor Tacombi
Located in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, the Sénor has combined two great Mexican products: the taco and the VW Combi, which was produced in Mexico until the mid-1990s. The story of Sénor Tacombi is one of a wandering soul/wrestler who marched across the Andes with Che, partied at Studio 54 with Freddy Mercury, and chilled with Gandhi in India. Today, he mostly served tacos to college kids who are looking to carb-up after a night on the town."


Earth to California: Learn how to drive!
"GMAC surveyed more than 5,000 licensed drivers throughout the country, asking them to answer 20 questions gleaned from actual state drivers license exams. Based on the results of the survey, the insurer concluded that 20% of the licensed drivers in the U.S. — or about 40 million people — wouldn’t pass a written test if they had to take one today."

100 year anniversary of first woman to drive across America

Commute Driving You Crazy? Read On
"Commuting sucks. There’s no two ways about it. Our roads are clogged with half-aware nitwits less concerned with driving than with applying makeup or taking that call from Ed in accounting. If it isn’t brain-dead morons trying to kill you, it’s the potholes, congestion and countless other nightmares awaiting you every time you get in the car.

We feel your pain. So do the guys at Transportation for America. They’ve launched a website called, appropriately, My Commute Sucks, where you can spout off and tell Congress to do something about it."

World’s Smallest Car Fits In a Mini

Right-to-Repair Law Is Right On
"The Right-to-Repair Act would allow independent repair shops to compete for business that currently goes only to franchises and dealer-approved establishments. The bipartisan bill, introduced in the House of Representatives, would drastically increase the number of shops that could service late-model vehicles and make those repairs significantly cheaper.

By limiting the number of shops that can service your car, dealers drive up the cost to owners of those vehicles by 34 percent, according to a study Lang Research conducted for the Automotive After Market Industry Association. The study found consumers pay $11.7 billion in excess costs annually."

Not safe: Poll finds 1-in-4 Americans text while driving
"The problem is that texting while driving isn’t seen as an inherently dangerous activity, at least compared to something like drink driving; everyone knows that’s a no-no. “What’s the harm in sending out a text while I’m behind the wheel?” Well, mister-think-you’re-Fernando-Alonso, any time you take your eyes off the road that puts everyone in danger, and not just you. All it takes is one stray maneuver and you’re looking at a huge pile-up.

So, in conclusion, just knock it off already. That, or Greg will get really sad. We don’t want that to happen, now do we?"

(Photo Essay) - A Brief History of the Indianapolis 500

'Electric Car Guy' Has Been On The Energy-Efficiency Case For 40 Years
"He's watched as big car manufacturers compete to deliver the first practical all-electric car.

He celebrated when Northeast Utilities announced its plans last month to build the country's largest network of electric-car charging stations.

But the idea of an electric car is old news to Bob Rice, who for nine years has been zipping around in a Volkswagen Jetta that he converted to electric power. He recharges its batteries with an outlet he built and nailed to a tree outside his home in Killingworth.

The 67-year-old retired train engineer has been quietly tinkering and toiling for decades building electric cars and batteries. Thirty years ago, the automobile world wrote off guys like Rice as crackpots. Today, they're trying to catch up with them.

"Well," Rice said, "it's about time."

Even in electric car circles Rice is known as a pioneer. Members of the Electric Auto Association, a nonprofit group based in San Jose, Calif., described him as a "fundamental change agent" when they gave him a lifetime achievement award last month."

From Caracas, Venezuela
For a City in Gridlock, a Lifeline and a Scourge
"In an anarchic city, thousands of motorbike couriers known as motorizados make life there treacherous and viable at the same time."

(Slide show at the link.)
Sparkling Chrome, Beer Budget
"For those who would rather be driving an interesting car than fussing over the originality of its headlamp bulbs, there are many vehicles in the lower price brackets."

The Real Car Crisis:the Disappearance of Style and Passion in Design”

Funky Cars You Love to Hate

From reestore
Theo, The gearbox table
Date of birth:
Previous occupation:
Car gearbox

Highlighting our investor's love of cars, the aptly named Theo table's glass top rotates on the salvaged gearbox pedestal. Suitable for meetings and dining alike, looks great accompanied with shopping trolley chairs.

Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.


10 Reasons to Visit Cairo
"Whether you love it or hate it, a Cairo taxi ride is a simultaneously life affirming and life threatening experience. Taxi drivers are a law unto themselves, and the only thing in Cairo more insane than the traffic is the cavalier way in which the drivers negotiate it. There’s nothing to do but hold on tight, and try to convince yourself that true traveling is more about the journey than the destination. Just pray you don’t get one of the taxis with musical brakes, because you really don’t want to know how seldom they get used!"

"Founded in 1960, and known for producing licensed versions of Fiat, FSO Polonez, Tofas and Zastava, “Nasr has a long history in Egypt,” said Salah El-Hadari, secretary general of the Egyptian Automobile Manufacturers Association."

Reed KD has spent the better part of the last three years between two places: his VW Vanagon (living out of it in 2007 and 2008, traveling the country and writing music) and his Santa Cruz bedroom (where he recorded his new album "In Case The Comet Comes," out June 9th). Reed KD shot a video for "Winding Roads," a song he wrote about traveling the country in his van. He filmed it recently while driving from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles. It's a trip he's made often - driving his van through forests, sprawling coastline, desert and maddening LA traffic.

Below: The video "Winding Roads"

Yusuf Islam (remember him as Cat Stevens) has a new video out as well. Here it is:
YUSUF Islam - Roadsinger


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