Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Renault Fuego Turbo ad commercial

Carspotting (58): Datsun 510

I spotted this a block away from the Earthroamer (see previous post).  I like this 510 because it has not been modified and seems like a daily driver with just one owner since new.  Can someone tell me what B&W Full Automatic means?  I assume it's some kind of automatic transmission.


Earthroamer in background

Carspotting (57): Earthroamer XV-LT

I was having lunch on the Peninsula today and came upon this behemoth.  Just look at it next to that puny RAV-4.  It's one of those travel-around-the-world trucks.  Personally, my dream would be to use a modified Unimog.  But realistically, these are just too big and wide and they scream: Banditos, please rob us gringos!

Here is the price list.  The Ford F550 costs $56,000.  The conversion costs $172,000.  And that doesn't include the Warn wench or the PIAA lights!

Here is the manufacturer's description of the vehicle.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Las Vegas Imperial Palace auto car collection review

The car collection at Imperial Palace is an institution.  I've been going there since I was a wee boy in the 1980s.  Back then, the highlights of my trips to Vegas involved visiting the collection and being given a $10 roll of quarters to use at the video game arcade at the oh-so-pink Circus Circus.

Most of the cars on display are for sale.  If you visit once a year, I guesstimate the turnover of cars is around 20%.  My biggest complaint involves the display.  This place seriously needs freshening up.  The fluorescent bulbs and ugly 1990s high school classroom blue carpeting have got to go.

Without further ado, here are my favorite cars:

1963 Ford Thunderbird Italien concept car

Engine bay of 1987 Buick GNX ($95,000; 5,480 miles)

Lancia 037 bought new in Guatemala

1 of 2 RHD Ferrari Superfast Series II ($1.8 million) (and look at that atrocious lighting!)

1968 Toyota Corona RT-52 Coupe with 2,274 original miles ($25,500).  I love the diversity of the collection.  So long as the car is cool and interesting, it's in!


1980 Peugeot 505 sedan with less than 8,000 km for $39,500

1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Vignale Saloon ($450,000)

Ford RS200 traffic jam

1956 Lancia C10 Appia panel van ($65,000)

1954 Alfa Romeo 1900SS Ghia coupe ($325,000)

Jaguar XJ220

Ferrari Daytona and Datsun 280ZX

1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Superleggera

1966 Bizzarini P538 Spyder prototype (red) and 1967 Bizzarini P538 Coupe (white)

Las Vegas Atomic Testing Museum review

The museum is a very short cab ride away from the Strip and is a good way to spend an hour or two after losing your car and first born at the craps table.  It was put together really well and contains a lot of authentic artifacts.  My only complaint was that there was too much information (text) that went along with each display.

Adult tickets are $12.  No photography allowed.

This is some of the cool stuff I learned and saw:

1. The atomic cannon (1953).  This was the first and only atomic cannon.  The shell delivered 15 kiloton's worth of nuclear goodness.

2. Testing near Vegas Strip.  I had no idea how close the testing was.  You could actually see the mushroom cloud from Fremont Street.

3. Kosmos 954 (1978).  A nuclear powered Soviet satellite crashed into the Canadian wilderness.  Full story here.

4. Bikini Atoll test (1946): The water-borne test left me speechless.

Here is a great overview of the museum:

Museum website.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Airplane the movie slot machine

Coolest theme for a slot machine.

Citroen H van in Rockauto.com ad commercial

Betting on Formula 1 in Vegas (and watching)

Betting on F1 in Vegas is like installing a competent and corruption-free central government in Afghanistan-- nearly impossible.

I just wanted to make a simple bet-- that Mark Webber will win the Driver's Championship in the 2010 season.  I checked out nearly a dozen casinos on the Strip, even the sportsbook at Caesar's Palace, and no one took F1 bets.  When I asked a lady at a sportsbook if I could bet on Formula One racing, she said: Yeah, you can bet on NASCAR.  Groan.

You can bet on the WNBA, and even Canadian football, but you can't bet on F1 on the Strip.

So I then went to the Hilton on Paradise Road, several blocks east of the strip.  It has the largest sportsbook in the state and is the only place I found that took F1 bets.

I arrived after the Belgian GP.  I learned that I can only bet on races, not on the season.  Plus, for each race, I can only bet from the Monday prior to the race.  I couldn't make a bet even if I wanted to since the next race was two weeks away.  Frak.

I was able to get the odds for the Spa race.  Here is the breakdown below.  (X) signifies how the driver finished the race.
Hamilton 8/5 (1)
Webber 2/1 (2)
Vettel, 5/1 (15)
Kubica 10/1 (3)
Alonso 12/1 (Ret.)
Massa 25/1 (4)
Sutil 50/1 (5)
Rubens 100/1 (Ret.)
Rosberg 200/1 (6)
Liuzzi 300/1 (10)
Hulkenberg 300/1 (14)
Schumacher 500/1 (7)
Buemi 500/1 (12)
Alguersuari 500/1 (13)
Kamui 1000/1 (8)
Petrov 1000/1 (9)
De La Rosa 1000/1 (11)
Glock 5000/1 (18)
All others 300/1

This is a non sequitur, but I saw this monstrous limo while searching for a place to bet. 

My hotel room did not have Speed so I woke up at 4:30 and ran downstairs to watch it at a bar.  I went to a dozen places and the TVs were either pre-programmed or only had four channels.  I finally found a place-- at the Paris sportsbook-- that had the race on.  It was on a crappy projection TV and had no audio.  To make matters worse, I argued with a security guard mid-race because he thought I was sleeping (I was alone in the entire sportsbook).  Ugh.

Ahmed Sharif donations (Stabbed New York cabbie)

Earlier this week, a man stepped into Ahmed Sharif's taxi cab in Manhattan.  He asked Sharif if he was Muslim.  When Sharif said yes, the attacker slit Sharif's throat and arm.  Sharif survived the brutal attack but cannot work for at least four months.  He supports his wife and four children.  One of them is just 10 months old.  Donations to help the Sharif family so far has been lackluster.


Arc de Triomphe Paris-Vegas comparo

While waiting for my ride in front of the Paris casino hotel in Vegas, I wondered how accurate the 2/3 scale Arc de Triomphe in front of me was.  So I looked up a photo I took of the "interior" many moons ago of the real thing and snapped a picture of the fake thing from approximately the same location and angle.

Here is the real Arc:

Here is the fake Arc:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Carspotting (56): BMW 3.0 CS at Atomic Testing Museum

Woah!  Atomic cannon.  280mm shell with a yield of 15 kilotons, Nevada 1953.

I went to the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas.  I spotted this in the parking lot.