Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Carspotting: Triumph TR6

2011 Tokyo Motor Show Tomica display

Courtesy rchen.  In the last photo, the dude is custom making Tomica buses.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The most valuable commodity in the Eastern Time Zone

E's 1990 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE

E was kind enough to share these shots of his red Esprit and his thoughts about the car.

1. The intellectual pleasure of driving a 4 cylinder car which, at the time of its launch, went quicker to 100 km/h than a 911 Turbo (6 cylinders), a Ferrari 328/348 (8 cylinders), and a Lamborghini Countach (12 cylinders).
2. Handling.  No hype.  Julia Roberts was right.  It does drive like it's on rails.
3. Looks.  It is stunning from any angle.
4. Value for money.  Where can a normal car guy buy into the supercar league?
5. Bonus: Fiberglass body means no rust!

1. Not suited for tall people.
2. On-off nature of turbocharging.
3. Mundane sound and feel at normal speeds.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka, everyone!

Piilani Highway, Maui, Hawaii

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mercedes in the snow

Courtesy: Swine of Opposite Lock.

Friday, December 23, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

1. A diecast V8 Supercar.
2. A win in the Iowa Caucuses.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top 10 James Bond chases

Another post on Hooniverse.  Check it out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Visiting a Saab dealership

With all the eulogizing this week after Saab's bankruptcy, I thought I'd visit the local Saab dealership.

There were nine new Saabs there: three 9-3s, two 9-4Xs, and four 9-5s.  I scooped up one of every brochure they had left.  The employees there were surprisingly upbeat, holding out hope that the Chinese would buy what's left of Saab.  The new Saabs do not come with warranties, despite pleadings to GM to cover the 2010 and 2011 models.

This 1967 Sonnett II is for display purposes only and belongs to a local enthusiast.

Carspotting: Lotus Esprit

Saw this engineless Esprit on Sunday.  Thinking about writing it up for Hooniverse.  Aside from our Swiss reader, does anyone else have any first-hand knowledge about this car?  TIA.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kim Jong-Il funeral motorcade video preview

Wow!  This was his father's funeral motorcade.  American limos, black W140s, green W123s, UAZ's, an old Merc Pullman, and lots of motorcycles, all in the formation of an arrow.

The video cuts between the motorcade and screaming Koreans.  The volume should be turned down.

Kim Jong-Il's hearse is a Lincoln?

Speculation is rife about the make and model of Kim's funeral car.  Something Communist, like a ZIL or a HongQi?  Or maybe German, like a Mercedes or a VW Phaeton.  An archival search revealed that his father, Kim Il-Sung, was transported atop an American Lincoln limo during his 1994 funeral.

Bad year for despots

In 2011, we saw the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, al Qaeda, Libya, Yemen, and now North Korea unceremoniously "go".  With 11 days left, perhaps the technically retired Fidel Castro will "go" as well.

Am looking forward to Kim's funeral car.  Maybe they're converting his Phaeton into one as we speak.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Icelandic Mercedes Sprinter 4x4

Via Stipistop.

Mourning Kim's death (video)

The residents of Pyongyang are the most loyal (and best compensated) of North Koreans.  Perhaps the mourners are upset that their relatively nice apartments, jobs, and perks are in jeopardy.

The Announcement

No, I did not have anything to do with Kim Jong Il's passing.

Rather, starting today, I'll be a contributor to the car blog Hooniverse.  It's exciting because it will give me a chance to reach a larger audience. 

The plan for now is to contribute one to two posts a week to the Universe of Hoons.  Tamerlane's Thoughts will continue as-is, with no changes. 

I hope you will visit Hooniverse more often, not only to read my posts, but the posts of other like-minded car nuts.  Though I'm new there, I can attest that Hooniverse is a labor of love, in its purest form.

Plus, you get a peek at my miniature car collection.

Thank you for your years of support and words of encouragement.  You are the all the best!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Announcement tomorrow

Check back Monday around 7:30 a.m., Pacific Time.  Thanks.

Citroens and Concorde

To quote the great Quagmire: Giggity!

Last U.S. and Soviet troops leaving quagmires

U.S. leaving Iraq and crossing into Kuwait:

U.S.S.R. leaving Afghanistan and crossing back into Soviet Central Asia (skip to 34:18):

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three (3) Ferrari 400i's for sale in Bay Area

Holy cow!  They're everywhere.

1. 1983, mileage unknown, auto transmission, $30,000.

2. 1984, mileage unknown, auto transmission, $17,000.

3. 1984, 10,000 miles, auto, $27,500.
Two-thirds of them were equipped with GM's Turbo Hydramatic (3-speed).  Over six years, a little over 700 LHD automatics were sold.

Mercedes CLK 55 AMG promo video

The cheesy promo shows a CLK 55 beating a private plane from SoCal to NorCal.  During the housing bubble in California, these coupes were everywhere.  I'm sure it's a very competent car, but I just didn't see its appeal.  It seems like Merc just got lazy and decided to stuff the "55" AMG engine in everything.  Was there ever an A55 or B55 AMG?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Romy and Michele's Jaguar

Am doing research for an article and came across this:

Protests in Wukan, China

1. How the heck did the BBC get the interviews and video footage?
2. The civil patrols at night are akin to what's going on in Syria.

Short BBC News clip here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

KAW FS Hybrid Concept = New Toyota Century?

Rchen shared this shot he took at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Here's what I found online and on Youtube (skip to 4:05).

Phaeton HVAC trivia

I was looking for a picture of a diesel car with smoke coming out the back end but found this instead.  Isn't it much cooler?

Outside the horse track yesterday, I was following an old W123 sedan.  It was accelerating and spewing out tons of black soot.  I held my breath, but then realized-- outside air wasn't coming inside the cabin.  The Phaeton had automatically switched to recirculating air.

1. The Phaeton is equipped with an air quality sensor (G238).  It's right next to the fresh air intake.  When it detects pollutants outside, it closes the air flow flap and opens the air recirculation flap.

The sensor contains an oxide mixed with tungsten.  The compound changes its electrical properties when it comes in contact with oxidisable or reducible gases.

Oxidisable gases include carbon monoxide, benzene vapors, petrol vapors, hydrocarbons, and unburned/incompletely burned fuel components.  Oxidisable gases absorb oxygen and bind it.  When the sensor comes into contact with an oxidisable gas, the gas absorbs oxygen from the mixed oxide.  This changes the electrical properties of the mixed oxide in the sensor, and resistance falls.

Reducible gases include nitrogen oxides.  Reducible gases pass oxygen to other elements or compounds.  When the sensor comes into contact with a reducible gas, resistance rises.

If the measured resistance deviates from the default value, then the air conditioner control unit concludes that the ambient air is contaminated and starts up the automatic air recirculation function.

2. Every time the Phaeton is shifted into reverse, the recirculation function is turned on automatically so that exhaust gases do not enter the cabin.

3. And here are all 25 of the motors used to circulate air inside the cabin:

Air conditioner 
- air flow flap control motor 
- defroster flap control motor 
- air recirculation flap control motor 
- control motor for front cold air flap 
- control motor for front warm air flap 
- control motor for left footwell flap 
- control motor for right footwell flap 
- control motor for front right shut-off flap of defroster and chest vent 
- control motor for front left shut-off flap for defroster and chest vent 
- control motor for rear right centre console warm air flap 
- control motor for rear left centre console warm air flap 
- control motor for rear right centre console cold air flap 
- control motor for rear left centre console cold air flap 
- control motor for right B pillar and footwell shut-off flap 
- control motor for left B pillar and footwell shut-off flap 

Dash panel 
- control motor for right defroster/chest vent flap 
- control motor for left defroster/chest vent flap 
- control motor for indirect ventilation air flap 
- front left centre vent 
- front right centre vent 
- control motor for left design panel 
- control motor for right design panel 
- control motor for centre design panel 

Rear distributor housings 
- rear right footwell/defroster flap control motor 
- rear left footwell/defroster flap control motor 

Lambo model bloat

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Phaeton and a GoPro

Tomorrow, I'll post a piece about the car's HVAC system.

This is the 3.0 liter V6 TDI version.



Interior shot:

Underbelly shot:

American Humvee in Iraq

After almost a decade, we're finally pulling out of Iraq.  This 2007 video succinctly summarizes the occupation.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why political reporters have no business describing cars

In yesterday's New York Times article about Romney's thriftiness:

"Soon after Mitt Romney handed out eye-popping bonuses to top performers at his private equity firm in the early 1990s, a young employee invited him to ride in his brand-new toy-- a $90,000 Porsche 911 Carrera.

Mr. Romney was entranced by the sleek, supercharged vehicle...."  (Emphasis added.)

To his credit, Romney drove a beat up Chevy Caprice station wagon with red vinyl seats.

Worst song of 2011

This man-made disaster is horrible.  The Hague is looking into bringing crimes against humanity charges as you read this.

The following version is slightly NSFW.  Skip to 1:00.

Dollar Tree Frosted Flakes

Meet Tony the Tiger's deeply discounted, generic cousin, Albert the Albino.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Female candidate in Egyptian Salafist Al Nour party

The ultra-conservative Al Nour party had a female candidate on its party slate in the recent election.  Here is the campaign poster.

Can't find her picture?  She's the rose, at the bottom.  Al Nour actually doesn't want a woman to win, because running a government is supposedly a "man's job".  So why was she running then?  The law requires every party to have at least one female candidate.

Surely, birthers and their like-minded allies will see the uncanny similarity between Al Nour's logo and Obama's logo.  But in reality, Al Nour's graphic designer was probably just lazy.

Uruguay kids with laptops

Every school kid in Uruguay has a laptop now as a result of Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop per Child program.  This 30 minute piece not only looks at the challenges and effects of the program on Uruguay, but it also delves into the small country's recent history, the current state of its society, and its monk-like president Jose Mujica.  The documentary is informative, insightful, and entertaining.

Find the video here.