Archive for the 'Cars' Category

Top 10 Cars: Aston Martin DB4GTZ

I’ve added a write-up for the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato to my Top 10 Cars list.

My top 10 cars update

I’ve re-formatted my top ten cars list. I’ve completed the list, but haven’t finished any more write-ups.

The Oldtimer Grand-Prix

On Saturday 6th of September we went to the Oldtimer Grand-Prix at the Emil Frey Autocenter in Safenwil.

Switzerland has a particularly rich automotive heritage, especially since motor-racing has been banned since 1955, following an horrific accident in the 24-hour Le Mans.

So while this wasn’t the biggest of events, there were some awesome cars present. They had configured a circuit around the complex, and so while there wasn’t any official racing, plenty of fun was being had by those behind the wheel.

There was a great turn-out of classic motorcycles; plenty of British metal; BSA, Norton, Triumph (and even a Triton, which appeared to be a Triumph/Norton hybrid), and Royal Enfield, with plenty of European and American bikes too; BMW, Harley, Ducati, et. al.
And they just sounded amazing, revving up in the pits. It literally gave me goosebumps!

There was a Ferrari, a couple of classic Aston Martins, a few E-types, and XK150. There was also a Morris Minor van re-powered with a Mazda 12A rotary engine, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The Emil Frey Autocenter is a large sales and service center, and so all the showrooms and workshops were open to the public, also. Being a strong Ford dealership, there were plenty of new and near-new Aston Martins and Jaguars.

I’ve gone to the effort of writing half-decent descriptions for these images, so please browse through them. I also have a bit of a challenge for you. What is the red car in the first photo?


So most of you will know that I like cars.

Switzerland has no shortage of great cars, which is to be expected, since we have Audi, BMW, Porsche, VW etc. to the north, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Fiat to the south and Citroen, Peugeot, Renault to the west, and TVR, Lotus, Aston Martin and co. just a bit further west still. We won’t go east to the Trabants, Ladas and Tatras.
There’s a healthy smattering of Japanese cars here also, particularly Toyota.
And if you look hard enough you might find a Rinnspeed.

So, I’ve always had a handful of cars that I’ve liked, and thought I share them with you all. I’ve created a page on which to list my top ten cars. They’re in no particular order, since I just cannot pick one. I’ve added two cars, so far – the Citroen DS, and the Audi RS4 – along with a bit about them and why I like them. More will be added shortly. I hope over time that as my perceptions and experiences change, and as new cars are created, some will be bumped off and new ones will be added. So, feel free to add your 2-cents-worth!


Germany – driving fast on the Autobahn

We are so privileged to be able to travel around and see the sights of Europe. The boys went to England last weekend and yesterday we headed out to Germany. We hired another Mobility vehicle and took it over the border to Freiburg. Germany is beautiful. Love the big open roads and loads of trees and countryside. We were driving in the Black Forest region.

The recommended speed limit is 130 (unless otherwise stated) but there really is no speed limit. And I am cruising along at a 130kph and feeling a little guilty with my NZ brain telling me that I was going to get a ticket for going over the 100 speed limit. There were plenty of Audis, Porsches, Land Rovers, Maseratis and Ferraris – along with the odd family wagon – overtaking me at speeds of around 200kph. I got up the guts to go 170kph at one stage but with the whanau in the car, thought it wise to slow down a bit. It did make for a quick and stress free journey though. I found the German drivers very courteous and patient.

Freiburg is beautiful. We had a look through the Münster and ate some beautiful fruit from the Farmers Market. The boys played in the Bachle. At one stage a German lady wandered up to me very deliberately. I wondered if I was going to get a telling off as Noah was splashing around in the bachle water. But instead she told me how there the bachle ran all through the city and to let my kid splash all he wanted. How cool is that!

We then headed up to Titisee in the Black Forest region. A beautiful spot (lake) which I had once visited when my most excellent and talented sister-in-law lived in Freiburg. I wanted to show Missie and Simon. They fell in love with it. We had to have slice of Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte and looked at all the cuckoo clocks for sale. Just wish we had more time there.

Missie and Simon leave tomorrow back to cold, wet and stormy NZ. We will miss them, especially Noah, who has become quite attached to Simon.


Oooh, another very cool thing about this place… Mobility cars! We have just signed up for a four month trial. It is like a car sharing / car hire company. You pay a small subscription fee, then you have access to 2000 vehicles at over 1000 stations around Switzerland. You book it over the internet and then can collect the vehicle anytime day or night using a special card, so no key required to unlock. Quite a fantastic idea.

You pay an hourly fee and a price per kilometer (which includes petrol). Very reasonable and you could just use the car for an hour grocery shop, or for a weekend away (we hired a seven-seater over the weekend to get us out to the mountain hut and back). There are over 80,000 customers in Switzerland. So, you really can get by here without having to own a car, and this is much better option for the environment too! Here’s to much more Mobility!

Crazy Swiss bus

1962 split-window VW Kombi with a 3.6 litre twin-turbo Porsche engine producing over 420PS. Insane. Videos.