Category Archives: winning

Google’s logo for the 2014 Winter Olympics

Google's doodle and Fiat's old logo

Google’s doodle and Fiat’s old logo

Is it weird that the first thing I saw from Google’s 2014 Winter Olympics logo was that it looked like the old Fiat logo? I don’t think it’s a coincidence. The winter olympics is being held in Sochi, which is in Russia. One of the most famous cars to come from Russia is the Lada. Ladas were a cheap, small car built to last in the harsh Russian weather and landscape. The funny thing about the Lada was it was really a rebadged Fiat 124. The world has come a full circle.

On the road again

How quaint.

How quaint.

Just recently read an article about Buc-ee’s in May/June 2013’s Texas Journey and just had a laugh about the image they used to headline the article. What was humorous about it is that unless they were depicting a scene from the early ’90s, the family in the photo clearly look like they’re from Austin. It’s not just the way they’re dressed and presented, but it’s the old Volvo that pinpoints it. The photographer could have used a family dressed in western clothes with a huge pick-up truck (to satisfy the Texas stereotype) or a family dressed in nice casual clothes and a newer car (which would satisfy the magazine stereotype), but they picked plaid/striped shirts and jeans (with folded-up cuffs) and an old Volvo (which satisfies the Austin stereotype). I thought the photo was more entertaining than the article!


Sunday drive

Sunday drive

There’s nothing more satisfying than a perfectly timed, rev-matched down-shift. That feeling of approaching the top of the hill with a stale green light not knowing when it’ll change to yellow just gets the adrenaline pumping. Once you’ve past the point of no return and know you can make it before the light changes, your heart bursts with emotion for the next trick. Clutch in… downshift… tap gas… clutch out… and BAM it’s perfect. Accelerate through the left turn and upshift out of the intersection. The smile shows itself as the others wish they could be as awesome as you.

Crown Vic vs Impala

There is nothing more fun than ganging up on a FWD Chevy with two classic police cruisers. I am too obsessed with making videos of Driver: San Francisco because this game is so damn fun for car film aficionados.

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs

Blocking up the scenery, breaking up my mind

Do this don’t do that can’t you read the sign?

Drive Recklessly

Driving 5 MPH slower makes you a moron.

Sleeper Volvo

I came across an interesting Volvo while I was in California this weekend. I was driving in the left lane of I80 outside of Sacramento keeping up with traffic. I note in my rear-view mirror a faded blue Volvo 240 station wagon. It must have been a late ’70s model from the round four-eyes and yellowed highbeams and original blue California plates. It was very unassuming, but I thought it seemed odd that it was not only keeping up with traffic, but also closing the gap between us. He stays behind me for a little while until I pulled over to the middle lane. The Volvo blew past me like nothing! I caught a glimpse of it and saw the Corvette brake calipers sitting behind some thin-spoked, black aftermarket wheels. As son as he got past I could see the new shiny exhaust peeking out under the rear bumper. Thats when I realized this Volvo had to have had a V8 swapped into it. Very nice Mr. Volvo driver.

Gasp! Jerk stole my spot!

Here is a video of a parking duel. You can see the person in the red car attempts to back into the parking space and then some jerk in the white car comes in to steal it. Instead of getting out and confronting the driver of the white car, the driver of the red car just casually backs into the spot. Now I’m thinking, how are they going to get out? The twist: the red car is a convertible! Even bigger twist: the driver of the red car is an Asian woman! Breaking stereotypes and having an exit strategy? Win!

The Crown Vic

This post is a bit lengthy, but it makes up for the days I’ve skipped writing. 😛

Crown Victoria

Look at that mug!

The Ford Crown Victoria may be an outdated dinosaur of a car in terms of technology, but it is a car that intimidates other drivers due to the fact that it was the only car that was used in police fleets for over a decade. Ford stopped selling the Crown Victoria to civilians a few years ago so all recent Crown Vics have been sold to fleets. I happen to get one for a rental car and it was such a pleasure to drive.

Junk in the trunk

When you come across this your foot immediately hovers the brake pedal

The newest 2011 Crown Victoria has a black rear panel between the taillights like the Police Interceptor (normal civilian models have a body-colored panel) which makes this the perfect car for being mistaken for a police car. Unfortunately, the trick only works if the person is approaching from the rear because this car doesn’t have the black Police Interceptor grille (it has the normal chrome grille).

It was quite fun to toy with people. Most people would be too afraid to pass me until they got closer and saw that it was not a police car. It was also nice that the car slips under the radar because it was so official looking. The only real thing that stuck out was that it was red. It’s ironic because they say red cars attract the attention of cops, but it’s a Crown Victoria which means it’s the least likely car to be pulled over. Luckily, the fact that it was a Crown Vic outweighed it being red.

I felt so high and mighty cruising down the road. It wasn’t because it felt like I was driving a living room (the leather seats could very well be made by La-Z-Boy), but because everyone was too afraid to drive terribly around me. Since I was not driving five under, no one assumed that I was some old-timer so they had to be cautious around me. I know I’d do the same. I have never felt such a power trip, even when driving a pickup truck or SUV. I was the king of road rolling in a comfy fortress.

Besides feeling so assertive, I also felt as if I was in a time warp. I felt like I was a typical ’60s traveler. It was quite refreshing to drive a car again where I could see the hood! The last cars I drove where I could see the hood was an ’87 Chrysler Fifth Avenue and am ’88 Oldsmobile Delta 88 which says how much car design has progressed. Seeing the hood always reminds me that I am piloting a real car. New cars with sloped hoods and giant windshields remove the element of driving a giant mechanical beast and make it more like piloting a sterile spaceship.

The car had a CD player, but who brings CDs with them on a trip anymore? Unfortunately, there was no way to hook up my phone to play my music through the car’s stereo so I just listened to FM radio. It wasn’t bad as there were plenty of stations around to pick from. Listening to FM radio always makes me feel at-home. The music is the same, but the ads are different. The different ads catered to the residents always make me feel like I’m already a local there. I had to tune to a new station every time one dropped out as I moved from town to town, but it wasn’t bothersome.

Look at me, I’m rambling, but the point is I felt like the quintessential American of decades past sitting on a sprawling leather bench cruising in my classic American sedan through the rolling hills of green and skies of blue. To further the illusion, I was dressed in my nice clothes (collared shirt, tie, and slacks) for an event. I was only missing my fedora. I’m romanticizing it, but this car is a handsome time machine.

I felt so sad turning in the car back to the rental agency. I had my fun, but I felt it wasn’t over yet. It was a pleasure to drive as it was a smooth cruiser that commanded people’s attention. If I ever get a large enough garage for a fleet of cars, I’d have a Crown Vic in there for sure.

Speed Carefully

This weekend, I drove to Dallas and I saw the police fishing for speeders where I-35 splits (looks like they caught a few, too). This reminds me of how careful one has to be if one chooses to speed. I’m not condoning speeding, but be careful if you do and remember these tips.

  • Find yourself a blocker. This person should be already speeding. If you can’t find one immediately, just do the speed limit and one will appear.
  • If the blocker is moving as fast as you’d like, give him a 10-15 car length lead. This will allow you to be warned if there are any speed traps ahead because he will either slow down or get caught first.
  • Try an avoid being stuck in a cluster of car because not only does it not give you an escape route, but you could be randomly picked for a speeding ticket.
  • Stay alert! You’re not in the clear even with a blocker. Keep an eye out for any vehicles parked on the side of the highway or any place that can hide a vehicle.
  • If you see a police car or motorcycle cop, lift you foot off the gas. The car will naturally loose speed without the tell-tale sign of nosedive associated with braking. It also helps to know your vehicle and know how fast it can slow down naturally.
  • Keep an eye on your mirrors. Sometimes the police will sneak up on you and pace you (match your speed). This is how they catch speeders without radar.

Again, I’m not condoning speeding, but be alert about it. It’s a gamble and the prize is not getting a speeding ticket. Also by being alert and paying attention you’ll be able to react quicker than the other drivers if something does happen. Be responsible out there!