Monthly Archives: July 2010

Pagani Zonda R – Nürburgring Lap

I just had to post this! The Pagani Zonda R smashing the record for fastest production car around the ring. 

The previous record was held by the Ferrari 599XX with a time of 6:58.16. The Zonda R does it in 6:47.5 and the driver even makes it look easy! Put it in HD mode and crank up the volume. I have to go now! time to switch on the Playstation and practice a few laps on Gran Turismo. 



Thought I'd include this too, this guy's even more crazy!


Pomona

During my two years in California with Audi I had the chance to discover the incredibly rich car culture that exists there, either every day on the street or at car-meets and organized events.

Pomona is just one such example I’d like to share with you. In 2008 I compiled a book which try’s to capture the spirit and color of this fantastic event.

In the coming months I hope to be bringing you some more stories and pictures from my times in California. 

Enjoy!

Schloss Dyck

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Zekerheidshalve, gezien de wel erg korte lead time, schrijf ik dit maar twee keer – 'Doppelt gemoppelt haelt besser' zeggen onze oosterburen. Met dank voor de tip aan Tom van formfreu.de vond ik dit bijzondere petrolheads event net over de grens.

We zouden wel het één en ander even snel moeten uitvogelen v.w.b. kaarten (online te bestellen, gelimiteerd) maar het is bijna te makkelijk en dichtbij om zomaar te negeren.

Anyone?

- G.

Schloss Dyck

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Mark your agendas and mark them now: in slightly over 1 week there seems to be an impressive petrolheads event not far across the German border (from Dutchland that is, of course). 

Check the website of the Schloss Dyck Classic Days and let me know who's in for a trip across… it's just a stone's throw from Eindhoven! We would need to sort out tickets online and in advance, as these appear to be limited.

Special thanks to Tom of formfreu.de for tipping us!

- G.

GRAND FINALE

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Prepping up for the grand final. The washing machine tumbles and shakes. With every rotation its content changes its hue. White suits turn orange.

We had to wait 32 years for this moment. A mellow sunday afternoon that will turn into a hot, bright orange night.

With a small group of orange supporters we head up to our local plaza. Although we lost, heaps of kudos came our way.

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Oranje !

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Oranje.

Bij uitzondering dit keer niet boven, maar verder wel alomtegenwoordig aanwezig op mijn nieuwe bijdrage aan de carfreax garage… de keuze is uiteindelijk dus toch niet op een silberpfeil gevallen maar op een -zeg maar- 'mechanische sinaasappel'.

Precies 2 maanden na een levendige discussie over de betekenis en het nut van badges alhier en precies 2 dagen voordat de oranje-cult het land in volle hevigheid zal overspoelen is in Gilze al een eerste vloedgolfje (schokgolfje!) gearriveerd in de vorm van mijn nieuwe vierwielige vriendje.

Na enkele maanden volledig ondergedompeld geweest te zijn in het kenners-forum (ik heb het bijna uit), na vele gesprekken met past and present eigenaren en na een onaflatende, veelal nachtelijke jacht middels mobile.de, kapaza.be, vx220.org.uk, pistonheads.com en gaspedaal.nl (en dan vergeet ik er vast nog een paar) trof ik hem nota bene uiteindelijk aan op het weinig glamoureuze maar o zo effectieve marktplaats

Verschillende serieuze kandidaten gingen hem voor, waarbij 3 auto's daadwerkelijk aan de tand gevoeld werden; NA (normally aspirated?), Supercharged, Turbo, gechipt, alles passeerde de revue om mij uiteindelijk bij een bijna-standaard exemplaar uit te doen waaien – eentje in mijn lievelingskleur nog wel!

Alleen het sportuitlaatje was non-stock; een investering die zeker te waarderen viel, wetende dat een standaard Speedster zich nagenoeg geruisloos door het verkeer beweegt. Het beestje werd bovendien, op een paar overkomelijke zaken na, middels drift-ige proefrit en grondige inspektie goedgekeurd en aanbevolen door de in Nederland wereldberoemde Lotus- (en Speedster-) dokter.

Voorlopig ben ik dus weer de koning (van oranje) te rijk. De middelste twee letters van mijn kenteken slaan wat mij betreft dan ook op de nog steeds pakkende reclamespreuk waarmee ooit een andere, inmiddels op leeftijd gekomen image-builder van het merk uit Rüsselsheim werd aangeprezen. 

En die badge? Ach, het heeft wel wat.

- G.

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Saabje op de rit

Afgelopen zaterdag was het tijd om de Saab uit z'n winterslaap te halen. 

Hij stond al maanden in een caravan opslag tussen een aantal Lotus Elite's en Healey's.

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Eerst was het nog een tour om iemand te vinden die verstand heeft van Tweetakt Saabs..
Bij mij in de buurt zit een garage die al bestaat sinds 1936 en Saab dealer was vanaf '59. 
Een oude monteur, die inmiddels met pensioen is, werkte sinds '64 voor de garage en kent de tweetakts nog van binnen en buiten. Hij had wel weer zin om te klussen en gaat binnenkort met mijn Saab aan de slag. 


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De garage is sinds 1936 vrijwel onveranderd en is en soort museum waar je doorheen loopt. Prachtige Humbers, Sunbeams (Ook dealer van geweest vroeger), Saabs en vitrines vol met de mooiste modelletjes.. 
Wat fotootjes voor de impressie en als het mee zit ben ik er de volgende rit bij!


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AROUND GOOD WOOD

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The early bird catches the worm. It is late december as Steve rings me up. "Are you in, we have to book now". Ingolstadt is packed with snow and the summer of speed is miles and months away. "Yes, let's go". And now, half a year later we pick up the fruits. We just got our cars at Gatwick airport, or to be precisely, they were delivered in style by two guys dressed up in tuxedos. The beginning of a short holiday at the Isle.

We hit the back roads of England, our navigation programmed for Good Wood. A warm zoom through the green hedges that cut the flowing landscape into a patch work.

This is the first day of our long awaited Good Wood weekend. The growling cars can wait until tomorrow, today we take it easy. Steve takes us along places he grew up. The Black Rabbit is situated aside a canal. Lunchtime, sandwiches and salad. These Brits can cook a good meal, that is the lesson learned this weekend.

Our sanctuary for the coming days is hidden behind a high hedge. The gravel crackles as we slowly roll to our final destination. A dog called brush welcomes us, followed by Rose, our host that runs this fantastic bed and breakfast. Teatime on the terrace of the infinite green garden. We arrived and are ready for speed.

And yes, we will come back next year, be it for the great steak in the Swan Inn, the relaxed atmosphere, the inspiration or…..the whole Good Wood experience.

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Mixed Feelings

1910-2010: 100 years of Alfa Romeo!

Of course this was something to look forward to, this is something you want to experience when you call yourself a red-blooded (though not hot-headed) Alfisti!

 

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Tuesday the 22nd me and my wife steered our ’79 Spider away from our house and kids to drive to Lörrach, close to the Swiss border, only the next day would we attack the Alps. Although we stuck to the highway most of the distance, we were very much aware that this is the only way to travel: Experiencing every single mile, the landscapes and the tingling of all our senses. Open top motoring really puts you in contact with the world and its inhabitants! The closer we got to Italy, the more thumbs and smiles came our way. Pulling up anywhere immediately evokes conversation and respect. Although the Italians choose to drive ‘German’ these days (like almost anybody else) they all have fond memories of their own FIAT’s and/or Alfa’s. With a sense of shame they are grateful that we keep their memory alive by coming down in such numbers. Around 16.00 we turned up at ‘Grand Hotel Dino’ on the Lago Maggiore in Baveno.

The actual birthday was the 24th of june and was to be celebrated on the Arese site, around the factory museum to be more specific. The factory as well as the clubs from all around the world have been involved in organizing all sorts of activities.

This is where some cracks started to appear. Protesting workers of the Alfa Romeo Factory in Arese, who had recently been layed off, blocked the gates in protest. Of course these people have the right to stand up for their livelihood (and ‘our party’ gave them an ideal podium), so in general most Alfisti were sympathetic. Turns out that only very shortly FIAT AUTO had closed down the last offices on the Arese site, including Alfa’s Centro Stile! For this occasion the Factory Museum opened its doors for two days. It also turned out that FIAT AUTO had only very marginally invested in the celebration (they haven’t kept their promise to the clubs!). All this sparked the feeling that we had come down to put a flower on a grave………….

 

 

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From day one it was clear that the biggest delegation would come down from the Netherlands: Over 300 cars and 600 club members subscribed to the pilgrimage. But let’s not forget those enthusiasts who travelled all the way from the USA, Australia and Japan! The sheer enthusiasm of these people made up for everything. There were also a lot of private initiatives that easily put the official celebrations in the shadow: The 100×100 exhibition in Novegro, the ‘Alfa Blue Team’ exhibition, the classic Cannobio to Domodossola hill climb (especially organized for the Dutch club members by an elderly race-driver from Stresa: Fulvio Ballabio) etc.

And there was the lake….situated in between the snow-capped Swiss Alps and the grand city of Milano; mountains, water, Italian culture: This is not far away from my ideal holiday resort, as a matter of fact it may be just that!

 

Saturday all Alfisti joined on the premises of the ‘Fiera the Rho’ (the well known fairground north-west of Milan). Over 4000 Alfa Romeo’s turned up (which resulted in the most beautiful traffic jam ever), cars built throughout the 100 years of the brand’s existence. Legendary must be the only word to describe this gathering and again it were the invitees who had to built their own party. FIAT AUTO didn’t put up their best performance. At the lunch-table we were reflecting: What a bright history, but how about the future???? Future under FIAT AUTO looks grim. There wasn’t a lot of confidence and quite a few times we could overhear people saying: ”Please, let VAG buy Alfa”.

 

 

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So where does this leave me? I was truly glad to ‘just’ be there on this important moment for ‘my’ brand. I enjoyed the cars, the Alfisti, the Italians. I enjoyed spending time with my wife around this magnificent lake in this luxury hotel, I loved the drive up and down………..my Cuore Sportivo is still beating like mad!

 

The Alfa Club of the Netherlands is celebrating their own 100th birthday party at the (yearly) ‘Spettacolo Sportivo’ at ‘Circuit Park Zandvoort’ on august 28th-29th.I would like to invite you to come over and have a sniff of the glorious history of Alfa Romeo and the enthusiasm of its drivers!

 

wwwold_imageslfaclub.nl

www.spettacolosportivo.eu