Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Man’s Best Friend

World Volkswagen Day 2006

A historic June, isn’t it? Independence Day has just been celebrated and now Dependence Day. It all started in June of 1938, from a noble advocacy by a ruler of Germany. To put his countrymen in the industrial age of mobility and progress was his dictates. Ironic it seems that Hitler has the heart to conceive a righteous formula for a people’s car. An admirable concoction which represents simple clean living and its concern for mankind’s resources and of the environment as well.

The result was the-go-ahead of the Volkswagen into the pages of history. And a remarkable history it wrote, for the little rear-engine car proved to be the most loved vehicle of all time. Well, the Maggiolino, the Kafer, the KotsengKuba, the Bug all specifically meant “VW Beetle” in every corner of the world, and is really a global phenomenon. People form groups and even sub-groups to show their affection to this seemingly animated car. Most enthusiasts treat them as pets, and likewise these cars have pet names too. Others view the VW Bug as wonderful pet dogs. Lovable, loyal and truly an enthusiast best friend. Much like any friendship, mutual bonding and dependency on each other, is a natural progression. And like a habit that wouldn’t go away, this reciprocal dependency can be a good thing. Care for it and you’ll be bestowed upon, unexplainable joy and fulfillment, derived from being its custodian and friend. So hats off to “Man’s best friend” and “Happy Dependence Day” to all VW Bug aficionados!

Loyal pet…. Pulis Dog

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sakbayan

Mabuhay!
Just had our Independence Day celebration as a nation, and it was something to rejoice about. Or was it? It wasn’t any different from last year, but hey you can’t fault consistency. Would you? Personally, doing some export orders to U.S. territories, more than ever made me proud to be Pinoy. Our products and services are really world-class; at least I could vouch for that. Ingrain discipline, hard work and commitment…we stand among the very best.

Well, as far as the automobile is concern, we have a few home-brews. Volkswagen in particular has been around much in this sun-kissed country. Speaking of country, we were blessed to have the “Country buggy” from VW no less. Actually the Country buggy is an Australian conception, yet our locals caught on, developed and assembled their version. This by the way is truly a peoples car, in local lingo “Sasakyan ng Bayan” or Sakbayan.

In terms of design, “ugly” really cannot be measured with the Sakbayan. Flat surfaces and sharp corners everywhere, are bestowed upon these little beasts…no angle seems flattering. Much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this odd-ball (or would odd-cube be more apt) appeal grows on you. Mind you, these cars are rare. I’d say go for the 1974 model with IRS rear setup, 5-stud wheels and 1600cc twin port engine. If you want to get the ire of enthusiasts; smoothen it, slam it, put Centerlines and give it attitude. Who would do such a thing? I would…if I could get one myself! The hunt is on!

SlamBayan, local hero

Friday, June 16, 2006

Smoky and the Barn-ditch

A British Lesney production

The Plot: To transport a load of Hot Rod Ford roadsters, in time for the Royal Tractor Drag-race. The Lordship wouldn’t want any delays and failure is non-negotiable. Penalty would be a dose on the head with hot tea…with crème of course.

Therefore only the best were tasked for this “Top Gear” job.

Smoky: The one and only “Hot Hatch” a.k.a. Volkswagen GTI will clear the way and escort the precious load. Driving is no other than…who else… Jeremy Clarkson.

Barn-ditch: A “Hot-tempered” Ford transporter 10-wheeled monster carrying three Hot Rod Dragsters. Behind the wheels is…cool as ice…”The Stig”.

The ending: Ahhhh….we don’t watch car movies for the meaty stories….only see it for the cars. So, who cares about the ending…. “The cars are the stars” anyway.

Special thanks to the cool dudes at Matchbox Collector’s Community for the “help on K20A”.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Karmann Gato

The Karmann Ghia is a wonderful blend of all that is good about its lineage. A German draped in Italian sleek. It is the automobile equivalent of Claudia Schiffer in a figure-hugging Versace. No wonder, smitten enthusiasts go crazy about it. Need I say more?

Aptly so, this special VW is bound to be a true Vrod legend. Its curvaceous body feels at ease in the company of classic heavy rollers, like the 40’s Mercury and ’55 Chevy. Black paint will definitely set you right into the Hot Rod attitude, once you see this applied in its tasteful permutation of curves and cleavages.

Oh, let us not forget “Tweety’s buddy”, Sylvester. Whiskered flames on its nose….a white tipped tail, decked with louvers to let that Californian 2332cc motor breath and roar. A stance ready to pounce… with polished Centerline wheels clawing the pavement furiously…. burning rubber.

Kitty Ghia, El Gato Loco

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hot Rod Legends
I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to watch the classic 1973 film "American Graffiti" during the era of Betamax tapes in the 80's. I can vaguely recall the story line right now, but to me the featured Hot Rod cars were really the stars. So when "Hot Wheels" released a 25th year commemorative diecast diorama of the "American Graffiti" famed cars, I immediately got myself one in 1998. Admittedly I'm a discerning VW and Porsche specific miniature car collector, but with those must-have Hot Rod legends, an exception to the rule happened.


The duo amidst Mel's Diner; a '32 Ford Coupe and a '55 Chevy 2-door viewed as two protagonist embodying the Hot Rod and Drag racing culture in the 60's Rock and Roll Era.

That yellow Ford Coupe is reinterpreted in a Vrod using a 1950's Stoll Coupe by Manilaghia....aptly named "Tweety"

If you're wondering about the Vrod version of the black 2 door, that will be named "Sylvester"...soon to come!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Rebel with a cause

Remember the first time joining a VW club, one was told to stay away from the '69 model and also the Bug a year before that. One of the reasons being purported was it is not collectible. The older Bugeyes or 1966 below model and the one-year-only 1967 are the ones to go for.
Maybe the '69 is commonplace and thereby not rare enough. But this '69 Bug owner doesn't think in that unfair assessment (nor even try to discriminate) and frankly neither do I. This person is a positive thinker and view that being commonplace is a testament to the year model's sales success, and he is right. At 1.2 million sold that year, it was a roaring success. This owner is a person that does not conform to set convention but unconsciously makes his individual and unique choices. He sees the '69 as sexy, even erotic. This prodded him to go the "Full Monty", took off the top and stripped his Bug off, without fenders. He knows the bulbous behind of this beauty is an asset being able to accommodate an exciting Type 4 mill, while resembling the Hot Rod Deuce's rear end. Going for a white hot paint and smoldering solid red flames, this baby is ready to make a scene.
The one behind this Vrod is a truly welcomed rebel, a very individual VW enthusiast.

'69 Duece Vrod