Saturday, January 26, 2013

Accidentally cool car day in Benecia

Benecia is one of those towns near your house that never garnered your interest.  You have no friends there.  You don't know of any restaurants there.  You have no business to conduct there.  It's just a freeway exit.

Today, I went to Benecia to see my friend's artwork at a local exhibition.  The exhibit, along with many artists' studios, are housed in what was the Benecia Arsenal.  For a century, it was the largest ordinance facility on the West Coast.

In Benecia, thousands of new cars are unloaded off of ships every year.  A lot of petroleum products are refined here as well.  So if you are a car, ship, train, or industrial design buff, this is Disneyland.

This isn't my friend's piece.  It's a Plymouth grill.

Right outside the Arsenal was this behemoth, a Wallenius Wilhelmsen-owned ship.  The company is Norwegian-Swedish.  It's unclear if all those Priuses in the foreground came out of that ship.

This was a cool find.  A whole bunch of Coda electric cars.  They are sold only in California.  Would anyone buy a $37,000 electric car with Chinese build quality?  The answer is a resounding no.  These cars are not going to find any buyers.  This may be Coda's entire world inventory.

Nearby are the camel barns.  In the mid-1800s, the U.S. Army cavalry had a camel corps.  And it was based in Benecia.

Across the street from the barns was a huge lot.  There were a few of these Holden/Chevy police interceptors.  The rest of the lot was filled with Buick Encores, a compact crossover.  It's apparently the Opel Mokka in Europe.  It is made in South Korea.

Seeing these Encores being delivered was amazing.  Hundreds of them were being transferred from the ship to this parking lot.  Drivers in identical cars would follow closely to each other and speed into the lot.  Every 10 cars was followed by a 15-passenger van.  As soon as the cars are parked, the drivers would hop into the van and the van would haul ass and transport the drivers back to the ship to pick up more cars.  It was beautifully choreographed, and so fast.

Here are a bunch of police cars being delivered.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Neat. I live right near the bay, and up a few miles along an industrial road is a similar depot where new cars are unloaded from overseas, mosstly VW's and Audis.

I interviewed a guy who ran for congress who had just purchased a Coda. I didn't have the heart to tell him I thought it was a mistake.