Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Globetrekking Mercedes W123 300TD

Traveling overland in a rugged car has always been one of my dreams. Here is an epic journey taken by a Dutchman, his wife, and their son in a vegetable oil-powered Mercedes W123 300TD wagon. They traveled 29,000 km throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North and West Africa. The pictures are beyond spectacular.

















French Alps

Czech Republic

Burkina Faso



Carspotting (1): Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series 2

Welcome to Carspotting, a new series on this blog. I was inspired by Murilee Martin of Jalopnik's Down On the Street series. Whenever I see a cool car on the street, I will snap a picture of it with my crappy cell phone.

I came upon this beauty while grabbing lunch. A real classic Ferrari 2+2. The 330 GT 2+2 Series 2 was in almost concours shape. My jaw nearly dropped when I saw it parked on the street. Egads.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Arthur's Porsche 924

I just watched Arthur, the 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. It was one of my favorite movies during my childhood. One of the reasons I liked it so much was the car collection this guy had. Here is the scene where he's driving a race-prepped Porsche 924 around the track. Watching it now as an adult, I can finally appreciate what a great actor John Gielgud (Hobson the Butler) was.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Order: Regret (1993)

1993 was an interesting year. For all of today, I've had this song in my head. I remember that I had the CD, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name of the band. Thanks to the power of Google, I give you, New Order's Regret:


Acura: More of the Same

As a child, my talent was being able to correctly identify 70-85% of the cars on the road. In the last decade, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes have made an even more concerted effort to make all of their model ranges conform to a corporate look. Acura is following suit as well. I went to an Acura showroom a couple of days ago. Not only do the three sedans in its lineup look almost identical up front, they are all nearly the same size. Even with the pictures in front of me, I can't be certain which is which.

Acura TL?

Acura RL?

Acura TSX?


Subaru Charities

In the U.S. market, Subaru will donate $250 to a charity of your choice (5 to choose from) if you buy or lease a new Subaru. This led me to ask myself, what are these charities? The ACLU? GLAAD? The National Parks Foundation? I went to the Subaru website and after some difficulty, found the charities. They are:
  1. Boys and Girls Club
  2. Habitat for Humanity
  3. ASPCA
  4. Meals On Wheels
  5. National Wildlife Foundation
They are definitely benign, non-partisan, safe. I guess from a marketing point of view, they make sense.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ten Most Popular Posts On This Blog (2008)

Well, it's the end of the year. In 2008, I have worked hard to up the quality and quantity of my posts on this blog. Readership and interest have increased significantly. I am particularly proud of this blog's diverse readership, even in faraway places like Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, and Micronesia. Although this blog will never get thousands of hits a day on a consistent level, I am happy that it fills its own unique niche-- readers who admire customized French cars, travel by bus everywhere, are willing to try suspicious looking street food, and know the difference between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Expect more in 2009. I hope to start a series of interviews with people of interest. Thanks for your continued support, comments, and suggestions.

Here are the ten most read posts of 2008:

10. Nazi, Star Wars & Chilean Helmets

9. 1970s Matchbox Car Collection

8. The Yellow Headlights of France

7. Mercedes W116 450SEL 6.9 Wagon

6. American World War II Propaganda Posters

5. Conan O'Brien's Ford Taurus SHO

4. Citroen DS Chapron Extravaganza

3. Lancia Thema 8.32, the Other Ferrari Engined Sedan

2. My Fantasy Garage

1. Nurburgring Stickers


Garage du Lac Citroen Museum

Car enthusiasts abound in Confederation Helvetica

Given the number of car nuts in the region, there are quite a few world-class car museums within a few hours of Geneva. The Schlumpf collection in Mulhouse is arguably the greatest car museum in the world. Even the collection behind the Geneva airport deserves honorable mention.

For Citroen, and especially Henri Chapron, fanatics, there is the Garage du Lac Museum in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel. Though I have not been there, the sneak-peek pictures on its website hint at the treasures there.

Here is another Citroen museum that I like.


The Taxi Cabs of Kashgar

We've already seen Afghan taxis. Now, let's take a look at the taxis of Kashgar. In every major Chinese city, the taxis are usually the same make (Volkswagen) and have similar paint schemes (green with white roof). Here are some shots I found on flickr of Kashgari cabs.

Off-roading 1

Off-roading 2

Wedding cab

Two VWs
Streets of Kashgar

Road to Karakul lake

Approaching Karakul Lake

Gateway to Karakul Lake

Quantum/Santana in alley near Id Kah mosque

Bread carrier


Xinjiang In 1943, According to Life Magazine

The Opposite End of China had a recent piece about a 1943 Life magazine article about Xinjiang, a.k.a. Sinkiang. The pictures that accompanied the article, taken by William Vandivert, are fascinating. Here are some of the varied faces, and a few tourist spots, of East Turkestan.

Uzbek woman

Uyghur woman

Uyghur man

Another Uyghur man

Another Uyghur woman

Russian man

R.O.C. soldiers

Manchu miner

Kirghiz man

Kirghiz woman

Han man

Another Han man

Kazakh woman

Kazakh man

Emin minaret then

Emin minaret now

Heavenly Lake then

Heavenly Lake now