Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 3

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL


WHO WAS THERE?   WHAT DID THEY PLAY?  ( click for more details ).
Saturday was the day of the well-known names such as  THE GRATEFUL DEAD,  JANIS JOPLIN  and  THE WHO. The first played their worst concert ever. It was raining and the members of the band got electrical shocks continuously because of the enormous water trouble with all the electrical instruments on stage.

JANIS JOPLIN  had one of the highlights of her career that resulted in a definitive confirmation as a rock-icon. For The Who it meant the salvation of the band. Their recently released rock opera Tommy was after all a major financial disaster and only after the triumph at Woodstock their double album was sold like a hot dog.

JOE COCKER ( HERE or  HERE )  THE BAND,  CROSBY, STILLS, NASH  & YOUNG,  TEN YEARS AFTER  and others played on Sunday. As the smashing conclusion there was the breathtaking show of  JIMI HENDRIX. He started his repertoire at nine o'clock in the morning on Monday and made an unforgettable GRAND FINALE  in which Hendrix played and teared apart the American National Anthem by playing through it the sound of  exploding bombs, jet planes and machine gunfire as his flaming protest against the Vietnam war.
The massive exodus started after his last chords. It was only after days that the traffic in Bethel was back to normal again.

For the organizers the festival stood for a financial disaster of at least two and a half million dollars. This sum was forked out without blinking the eyes by the Roberts family, that earned back a multiplication of this amount for film rights and many released collection albums in the years after.

Woodstock also became a magical aura owing to the movie made by  MICHAEL WADLEIGH.
He rounded up a crew of about 100 from the New York Film scene, including the ( at that time ) unknown movie director  MARTIN SCORSESE. Wadleigh couldn't pay them until much later, but he could get them inside the event of the summer. The crew signed on a double-or-nothing basis. If the film made it, they'd get twice regular pay. If the film bombed, they'd lose.
Wadleigh's plot ran like this: Woodstock would be a modern-day  CANTERBURY TALE,  a pilgrimage back to the land. He wanted the film to be as much about the  HIPPIES  who trekked to Woodstock as about the  MUSIC ON STAGE.  He wanted the stories of the young people, their feelings about the Vietnam War, about the times. The stories of the townspeople and the chaos. These would make the film, not just the music.

The movie meant - together with the triple album - free publicity for the artists for many years. When seeing the movie pictures now one realises that the Summer of Love mainly was a spiritual event, because for the human body this Woodstock weekend was just in one word: exhausting.

Despite the rain and the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs there was no violence at the festival whatsoever. The Woodstock festival was the subculture  HIGHLIGHT OF THE SIXTIES      and of the hippie era.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 2

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL


THREE DAYS OF LOVE & PEACE  ( click for more details ).
After the deal with farmer  MAX YASGUR, the organisation got down immediately but the Bethel residents had read about the worries in  WALLKILL: drugs, traffic, sewage and water. Public fury mounted once more. They did not like at all the perspective having ten thousands of  HIPPIES  in their backyard. A variety of attempts to stop the festival, failed.

The opposition plotted a last-minute strategy to stop the show: a human barricade across Route 17B on the day before the concert. As soon as this news was on national radio the consequences were disastrous: from Tuesday on  THE ROADS TO BETHEL  were crowded with people on their way to the concert.

The  TRAFFIC JAM  just grew spectacular in the course of the week. Spectators just left their cars everywhere and camped in gardens and on the festival grounds. Woodstock's momentum was accelerating like a runaway train. At that time, it had progressed so far, any kind of order to stop it would have just resulted in chaos.

On Thursday the organisation found out, that it was absolutely impossible to move the two dozen ticket booths into position because there were already more than 100.000 people walking around, too many cars and abandoned (vacant) tents blocking the way.

"My most vivid memory was that there was this chain-link, CYCLONE FENCE  that went all the way around," said Bert Feldman, who was working security on the hill near the Hog Farm base. "I had the uncanny feeling that there were 500 million people there. Suddenly, the fence was no more. TRAMPLED  into the mud. It disappeared like magic."
Organizer and promoter Michael Lang said he never exactly decided Woodstock would become a free show. But he did decide to make the announcement. "It was kind of like stating the obvious," he said.
And because of the complete inaccessibility to the grounds in a normal way, all the artists had to be flown in  BY HELICOPTER.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 1

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL
In time I will republish most of my files, photos, images, videos and music of my worldwide well-attended former website on this blog again.


In the very early years of our  FIAT 124 SPIDER  a unique music spectacle took place that was unparalleled in history: WOODSTOCK.

Although  LIVE 8  was the largest television event held at different locations in the world that mankind ever observed before, at the largest visited location  HYDE PARK  in London there were no more than 200.000 visitors gathered and cannot be compared at all with the Woodstock crowd where almost 500.000 people shared three days and nights with each other, even in heavy storm and rain !

THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC & ART FAIR  in 1969 drew almost half a million people to a pasture in  SULLIVAN COUNTY. For four days, the site became a counter cultural mini-nation in which minds were open, drugs were all but legal and love was "free".

The music began Friday afternoon at 5:07 pm August 15 and continued until mid-morning Monday August 18. The festival closed the  NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY  and created one of the NATION'S WORST TRAFFIC JAMS.  It also inspired a slew of local and state laws to ensure that nothing like it would ever happen again.

Gathered that weekend in 1969 were liars and lovers, prophets and profiteers. They made love,
they made money and they made a little history. ARNOLD SKOLNICK, the artist who designed Woodstock's dove-and-guitar symbol, described it this way: "Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And everybody just came."

The counterculture's biggest bash - it ultimately cost more than $2.4 million - was sponsored by
FOUR VERY DIFFERENT, AND VERY YOUNG MEN, namely: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, ARTIE KORNFELD  and  MICHAEL LANG. The oldest of the four was 26. John Roberts supplied the money. He was heir to a drugstore and toothpaste manufacturing fortune. He had a multimillion-dollar trust fund, a University of Pennsylvania degree and a lieutenant's commission in the Army. He had seen exactly one rock concert, by the Beach Boys.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Two dazzling Enzo Ferrari Museums

Last year in June, when I made my round trip through North and Mid-Italy with my always loyal, PERFECTLY RUNNING 124 SPIDER, I stayed two days in the small city of  FORMIGINE  in the district  EMILIA ROMAGNA  in Northern Italy.
After a wonderful dinner in a superb small restaurant in a nearby hamlet, I consulted - back in my hotel - the local maps and navigation, planning a tour for the next day.

Although I did not plan or intend to visit any (!) tourist town, city, event, monument or touristic sight in  MY ITALIAN ROUNDTRIP  other than my favorite rural  AGRITURISMO  accommodations such as olive grove farms and vineyard estates, I found out to my completely unexpected surprise that Maranello was merely  5,7 KM.  and Modena  12,5 KM.  away from my hotel in Formigine.

Although visiting these places of Ferrari- pilgrimage never crossed my mind, I changed my original planned tour and visited the  FERRARI  FACTORY , where I blocked the  MAIN ENTRANCE  for a while, THE STORE  and  THE MUSEUM  in Maranello as well as the museum in  MODENA (OLD)  and  ( NEW ),  where at that moment was an extraordinary exhibition of  "100 years of  Maserati" in a dazzling  FUTURISTIC BUILT MUSEUM , the  MUSEO ENZO FERRARI MODENA.

Talking about pilgrimage: In Maranello I met a nice couple from California who exclusively came to Italy to visit  THESE TWO FERRARI EXHIBITIONS  only. (Sorry for the short ad right at the start)

I experienced not only the story of Enzo Ferrari told by a spectacular 360 degrees video, which with a total of 19 projectors captivated me completely ( see  HERE  for a short summary of this amazing show ) and placed the car models on display in their historical context alongside the men and drivers who created and drove them, but I admired also the most famous Maserati models on display in its  CENTENARY MASERATI  history.
A unique exhibition that was opened just  THREE DAYS BEFORE  on June 19. 2014.

And to be honest, looking back I was really glad I changed my route for a few days.
It was just one of my not-planned but great surprises during my  SPIDER ROUND TRIP  in Italy.

Monday, August 3, 2015

About Italian automotive design 3

From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
More recently, another American has shaken up the Italian status quo. Mr.JASON CASTRIOTA hails from the New York City area and took an internship at Pininfarina while still a student at Art Center College of Design. When his internship ended, he dropped out of school and stayed in Torino as an employee where he worked on the FERRARI 599 GTB FIORANO as well as other clients’ projects.

 His work was so appreciated that he was named Head Designer for Special Projects. It is there that he executed what may be his best-known work: The  FERRARI P4/5 BY PININFARINA. It was based on the  FERRARI ENZO  ( and HERE  )  but completely redesigned to pay homage to the FERRARI P3/4  ( and HERE  )  endurance racers of the 1960s. Additionally, Castriota designed a one-off  FERRARI 612, AS A SOPHISTICATED LADY ( or HERE )  called the Kappa based on the Scaglietti and bodied entirely out of aluminum.

To see more of Castriota's creations, click  HERE  and  HERE.

Now let’s be clear: Ferrari is a purely Italian phenomenon.
But it’s Ferrari North America’s sixtieth anniversary and like  LUIGI CHINETTI SR.  and  JUNIOR contributing to Ferrari’s success during the early days, we’re recognizing a couple of American contributions to the storied marque in the field of design that might be surprising to some.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

About Italian automotive design 2

From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
North America has long been Ferrari’s most important market and even from the beginning they had one eye keenly fixed on American tastes. But it hasn’t strictly been a one-way road. Even the first North American distributor, Mr. Luigi Chinetti sometimes requested special cars be built that he knew would sell briskly in the US.

One aspect that has always remained firmly in Italian hands is the styling though, right? Yes and no. Ferraris have always been designed in-house or by Italian coach builders like Pininfarina, Scagletti, et al. But famous American designers have made significant contributions to Ferrari’s design language by their employment within the design firms. And this isn’t a new phenomenon either; it began with TOM TJAARDA in the early 1960s.

Tjaarda seemed destined to be a designer from birth. His father, John, was a car designer, and in an industrial design class as an architecture student at the University of Michigan the younger Tjaarda impressed the teacher so much that his teacher shared Tom's model with his friend, then-head of design at  CARROZZERIA GHIA ,  LUIGI SEGRE.  Tjaarda received an offer of employment as a result of the one model and moved to Torino, Italy. In his first couple of years at Ghia, he designed several concepts and production cars for firms such as Innocenti and Renault. Following some work for the city of Torino’s ‘ ITALIA 1961 DESIGN EXHIBITION ’ Pininfarina snatched him up.

And while he worked on a variety of projects for a few different clients, among his most memorable are the  1964 FERRARI 330 GT 2+2 PININFARINA SERIES 1  and the ’66 FERRARI 365 GT CALIFORNIA ( see also pictures below ). The  CALIFORNIA  replaced the 500 Superfast and was built on the same chassis but equipped with a cabriolet top for an open-motoring experience. It debuted at the  1966 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW  but sadly  ONLY FOURTEEN  365 Californias were ever produced.

Tom Tjaarda standing next to ' his ' Ferrari 365 California Spyder.

About Italian automotive design 1

From a recent article on CNN - Style:

The Italian studio Pininfarina designed the twentieth century's greatest Ferraris and through their work with the Prancing Horse -- plus the likes of Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, BMW and Maserati -- helped define the emotive Italian style of the mid-century sportscar.

On the company's 85th birthday, CEO PAOLO PININFARINA, the fourth patriarch of the family to head up the company since its founding by BATTISTA "PININ" FARINA in 1930, looks through the almost 1000 automobiles sculpted by Pininfarina to bring us its 10 most striking creations.

" The 10 icons I selected... are not necessarily the best, the ' top 10, ' says chairman Pininfarina, " they are to me probably the most emotionally involving."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Car concepts between past and future


The Hungarian  DAVID OBENDORFER  ( 40 ) attended the University of Art and Design in Budapest and now works as a ship-designer in Bergamo, Italy. In his spare time he interprets and remodels the design of car classics in a new way.

His studies are causing a furore. The ship-designer David Obendorfer is creating in his spare time automobile neo-classics that do homage to their four-wheeled ancestors - so far, unfortunately, only virtually.

Actually, David Obendorfer has no idea about cars. Or almost none. Except for a six-month apprenticeship at Alfa Romeo, which finalised the Hungarian-born after graduating from the University of Art and Design in Budapest, he had been in no contact with the car industry.

In his professional life Obendorfer - as employee of  OFFICINA ITALIANA DESIGN  in Bergamo - is designing extremely luxurious yachts for the "financially happy few" in the world.

But while others after daily closing time in the car-free Città Alta Bergamo are enjoying a glass of Chianti, Obendorfer is devoted behind closed doors to his passion, creating neo-classic automobiles.

That is to say : He is wrapping up legendary Chrome Jewels as the BMW 2000CS ( + VIDEO ) , the RENAULT 4 ( + VIDEO ), the FIAT 127 (  + VIDEO ) or the FIAT 500 ( + VIDEO ) in a modern shell, without breaking with the tradition of the former style icons. And should not exist a model, as in the case of the Fiat 500 Spider, it will be redesigned by Obendorfer in a retro style look.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider: la italo - giapponese

THE 124 SPIDER - The result of the agreements between the Mazda and Fiat Chrysler Group FCA, the heir of the legendary Fiat 124 Spider from the 60's will be partly built in Japan on the platform of the new Mazda MX-5.

The name should be 124 Spider, since it was recently registered at the US Patent Office. It is still uncertain whether it will be Fiat Abarth 124 or 124.
According to rumors, in fact, the FCA could decide to give the Abarth brand this model exclusively.

Or the other theory, perhaps the most plausible, is that it is applied the same policy adopted by the 500, with a "normal" version Fiat and a more "peppered" brand Abarth.

The image above is a very, very close representation of the new Italian-Japanese 124 Spider.
See for the first Fiat Spider spy shots in disguise in Detroit  HERE

Pending further technical details and spy shots, which certainly will not fail, remember that the most likely date for the public debut of the new Fiat 124 Spider, which should be on the market from the beginning of 2016, is at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2015.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Daydreaming . . . . .

Daydreaming in images, trying to find anywhere a glimpse, a photograph, a picture, a drawing or a sketch of the new Fiat 124 Spider !

Although I know that the reflected image is NOT a picture of the new Fiat 124 Spider but of the new Mazda, inwhich plants the new Fiat Spider is or will be built, these pictures help me dreaming, phantasizing and trying to visualize the new Italian designed "belleza" and love of my life:
the one and only 2015 / 2016  FIAT 124 SPIDER.

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to see my daydream animation or  HERE  ( with a different browser ) and another one ( just for fun )  HERE  and  with a different browser  HERE .

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Automotive icons





Contact me at

Sunday, June 7, 2015


                                      FIAT 124  SPIDER

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A short time-out to work on my bucket list

As you might have noticed, I am not spending much time these days to my beloved, time-consuming Fiat 124 Spider blog "La Bella Macchina" since the beginning of this year.
And that has a significant reason.
To be honest, I am too busy in a startup of a new personal adventure: a new enterprise in my old line of business again as a designer and creating craftsman.

So, this is not a goodbye or farewell message, but just an announcement of a temporary time-out.
I do regret daily that I am not able to split up myself and combine the time consuming activities owing to my new business ambitions and my undiminished, lifelong passion for the Fiat 124 Spider.
Read about my passionate 5000 kilometers, solo  ITALY TOUR  of last year earlier in this blog.

Although I am 71 years of age, I have all the energy and enthusiasm in the world to make a success of my new thrilling enterprise, because I am eager to  GO FOR ANOTHER 16 YEARS.
Why? Because I strongly intend to reach the ultimate age of 87. ( I like that number ;-)) ).

I will be back soon. Ciao !

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Feel flattered

One of my followers / readers sent me a mail with THIS LINK.
Clicking one of the headers is giving THIS RESULT.

Nice ! I know that my blog is read worldwide.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A warm heart problem

A Fiat Spider Club member was removing the cylinder head from his car when a good friend of his, who is a well-known heart surgeon popped in to see what he was doing.

So he said to his friend: “ Doctor, can I ask you a question?
I’ve just opened up the heart of this engine, taken the valves out, fixed ‘em, put ‘em back in and, when I’ve finished, it ‘ll work just like new.
So how come you earn such a big salary doing basically what I’ve just done? ”

The surgeon paused, smiled, leaned over and whispered: “ Now try doing it with the engine running! ”

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's wish embellished by great Italian Maestros


And start the untouched New Year with the music of the brilliant Italian baroque

Bringing you a relaxing serenade to make a festive start with the most talented
English trumpet soloist of our time, who I admire immensely :  ALISON BALSOM

Sit back, relax and let these Baroque baubles ( composed when the world was a far
gentler place, some 300 years ago ) waft you to  A WORLD OF RAREFIED BEAUTY .

And you may listen  HERE  to the complete recording ( lasting 1 hour ) of this
flamboyant Italian baroque concerto composed by these great Italian maestros.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dutch generosity

As " old " paper-media  like magazines and club magazines, are under increasing pressure of digital media nowadays, I noticed that this also shows off in the increasing number of visitors of my blog.

Although my Fiat 124 Spider blog is in the English language, I'm happy to see that specifically for most of my Dutch fellow countrymen ( and -women ) and for most German, French and Italian 124 Spider enthusiasts this language barrier is not an issue anymore.

A rapidly increasing number of Dutch Fiat 124 Spider lovers is frequenting my blog.
The number of visitors tripled in the last three month, nice !
Just to let you know . . . . and for the record.

The official Dutch  FIAT 124 SPORT SPIDER REGISTER  avoids already more than 12 years in a constrained way ( from the moment on when I started my bilingual Fiat Spider website ) to mention my website or blog on their internet links page.

Absolutely incomprehensible in this small Fiat 124 Spider world.
Is this what they call " Dutch generosity ", narrow-mindedness or is it just plain envy ?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Hotel California 3

The lyrics of  HOTEL CALIFORNIA  describe the title establishment as a luxury resort where
" you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about  HEDONISM, greed and self-destruction in the music industry of the late 1970s.
Don Henley called it " our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles " and later reiterated
" it's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."

In 2008, Don Felder described the origins of the lyrics:
        "Don Henley and Glenn wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into L.A. at night.
         Nobody was from California, and if you drive into L.A. at night... you can just see this glow on
         the  HORIZON OF LIGHTS  and the images that start running through your head of
         Hollywood  and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of  about that... what we 
         started writing the song about. 
         Coming into L.A.... and from that 'Life in the Fast Lane' came out of it, and 'Wasted Time'
         and a
bunch of other songs."

In a 2009 interview, music critic John Soeder asked Don Henley this about the lyrics:
        " On Hotel California  you sing: " So I called up the captain / 'Please bring me my wine' / 
          He said, We haven't had that spirit here since 1969." 
         " I realize I'm probably not the first to bring this to your attention, but wine isn't a spirit. 
          Wine is fermented; spirits are distilled. Do you regret that lyric?"

Henley responded:
        "Thanks for the tutorial and, no, you're not the first to bring this to my attention -
          and you're not the first to completely misinterpret the lyric and miss the metaphor.
          Believe me, I've consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are 

          made and what the proper nomenclature is. But that line in the song has little or nothing to 
          do with alcoholic beverages. It's a sociopolitical statement.
          My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the 

          purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and
          irrelevant argument about chemical processes." 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Hotel California 2


 As one of the most well-known songs of the rock era, and the 49th greatest song of all time according to  ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE,  chances are high you’ve heard the famous song Hotel California by the Eagles from the 70s  –  unless you’ve been living under a rock.

Due to the cryptic nature of the song’s lyrics, it has been the victim of several misinterpretations by both critics and fans alike. Some believed that the Hotel California was THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA
in Baja, Todos Santos, Mexico ( nevertheless the owners are still calling their hotel suggestively
THE LEGENDARY HOTEL CALIFORNIA ), and the Eagles were venting about the hospitality industry.
Others hypothesized that the band was referring to the  CAMARILLO STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL
in Ventura County, California.
Still others divined that this was a devil-worshipping song about  ANTON LAVEY,  who was notorious for converting people to Satanism. The threatening lyric “ you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave ” are likely to be to blame for these bone-chilling theories.

Despite popular belief, the Eagles have confirmed that Hotel California actually has nothing to do with hotels, satanism, psychiatric hospitals, or cocaine addictions.
The hit song is actually an examination of the pitfalls of living within Southern California in the tumultuous 1970s.
Written by  DON FELDERGLENN FREY,  and  DON HENLEY  of the Eagles, the Hotel California lyrics meaning is focused on the excess of materialism of California, as well as across the nation in the 1970s.

And BTW: The famous picture on  THE ORIGINAL LP-COVER  was not a picture taken from a MISSION POST  with  BELLS  ( 2 pictures I made myself on my California roundtrip in 2011 at the mission post San Juan Bautista, California ), but from the three small characteristic towers of the luxurious  BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL  in Beverly Hills near Los Angeles, California.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Hotel California 1


From many thousands of car radio speakers from open Fiat 124 Spiders echoed music of the
Eagles back in the Seventies.
Especially their Grammy Awards winning song HOTEL CALIFORNIA ( Live at Largo, Maryland 1977 )  appealed many convertible drivers in that time while the text started with:
On a dark desert highway,
Cool wind in my hair . . . . .

Step right in and experience this great California Sound that defined a generation during the hippie heyday of the late 1960's and early 1970's.

THIS UNIQUE SOUND  was during more than ten years the intro and favorite signature tune of
my Fiat 124 Spider website !
  Click on the link and turn your speakers wide open !

On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy,
and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be Heaven
or this could be Hell
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Underrated driving danger

Eating and drinking while driving is a far underrated danger.

Have you ever thought how dangerous it might be to have to concentrate on opening a candy bar while you are driving? Or, have you ever been sitting at a stoplight and watched the dad in the
minivan next to you unwrap six junior cheeseburgers for the kids in the car seats behind him?

Like TEXTING WHILE DRIVING , eating is also a big distraction that can interfere with your reaction times. “Most car accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention,” says Eric Bolton, a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Distraction was most likely to be involved in rear-end collisions in which the vehicle was stopped, and in single-vehicle crashes.”

Hagerty Classic Insurance, a company that provides insurance for classic cars, often receives claims for damage to car interiors caused by food. They took a closer look at the issue and found some of the top offenders. Anything that spills easily is likely to be distracting, particularly during drivers’  morning commutes. When drivers are on their way to work, a clothing spill can make drivers more eager to try to clean up the mess while driving because they are pressed for time.

Here are ten of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving…

1. Coffee is most likely to spill out of the cup even with a lid when you hit a bump. This is yet
    another reason to start using a secure reusable cup.
2. Hot soup is also likely to spill when you hit a bump, if you are sipping it from a cup.
3. A food that can disassemble itself without much help, leaving your car looking like a salad bar.
4. Chili dogs are dangerous for the same reasons as tacos, with the extra mess factor of chili.
5. Hamburgers are considered one of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving because they
    make your hands greasy, making it harder to grip the steering wheel.
6. Barbequed food. We’re not sure who’s eating ribs while they drive, but the messy sauce is sure to
    give a driver slippery hands and necessitate finger licking.
7. Fried chicken will also cause your hands and the steering wheel to get greasy and be slippery.
8. Jelly- or cream-filled donuts are dangerous because they are almost impossible to eat without
    some of the gooey center dripping out.
9. Like coffee, soda easily splashes out from a cup or a can.
10. Chocolate melts on fingers and then you are trying to get it off the steering wheel without

In addition to most of these foods being unhealthy on their own, they can also put your health at risk by taking your attention off the road. The next time you are hungry before taking a drive, take a few extra minutes to eat before you leave or wait until you reach your destination.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spyder - Spider - Speeder - Speedster

Many people here have heard the term " Spyder " or " Spider " when it applies to cars.
The term in fact has NOTHING to do with insects, but everything with OUR NOBLE HORSE RACE and horse-drawn carriages as shown in the video below of an original  " SPIDER " - carriage:


As with other automotive terms like  BROUGHAM PHAETON WAGON  and  CABRIOLET describing different styles of horse-drawn carriages, a " Spider " was a lighter version of a Phaeton, having narrower, spindly wheels and two-seat accommodation.

The name implied an extremely rudimentary top mechanism originating from a small two-seat horse-cart with a folding sunshade made of four bows; with its black cloth top and exposed sides for air circulation it resembled an eight-legged spider. This term was subsequently applied to automobiles.

The term " Spyder " was first used in cars like this ALFA ROMEO TIPO 8C  Why?
Because a Spider carriage was a lightweight open carriage with tall wheels. Pretty cool huh?
The first automotive chassis builders were horse-drawn carriage builders. They simply used the same terminology for horseless carriages.
Even the term " car " comes from the term " Motor Carriage " which was shortened to " Motor Car " and eventually just to " Car ".

Alternatively, a native Italian who has had no English influence in the pronunciation would pronounce  " Spyder " or " Spider " as Speeder. Thus a car labeled by an Italian car manufacturer as
" Spyder " or " Spider " is intended to be simply a " Speeder " or a sports car.
( Aston Martin used to have a car labeled " SPYDER " but now have a model labeled " VOLANTE ", an Italian word that translates into English as " Speeder " or " Speedster " )

Contrary to popular belief, the first car to be officially called a " Spyder " was not the  PORSCHE 550 SPYDER.  Aston Martin produced a  SPYDER  in the same year.
Spyder is found on a wide assortment of car names since the advent of the automobile - for example, the  ALFA ROMEO 8C 2900B SPYDER  that won the  MILLE MIGLIA IN 1938  ( before Porsche existed ) by Biondetti of the Scuderia Ferrari team - but arguably did not receive particular notoriety or significance until the popularity of  JAMES DEAN'S 1955 PORSCHE 550 SPYDER  " Lil Bastard ", which he was driving at high speed on a Californian highway in an awful, fatal crash that killed him.

Other later Spyders include Mitsubishi, numerous Ferraris and later Porsches. However, the most significant and known model to wear this name was our Fiat 124 Spider / Pininfarina Spider.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 3


Paul McCartney has called Brian Wilson's ' GOD ONLY KNOWS  ' his favorite song of all time.
In an interview in 1990 he stated " It's a really, really great song — it's a big favorite of mine ".

" I was asked recently to give my top 10 favorite songs for a Japanese radio station ...
   I didn't think long and hard on it but I popped that God Only Knows is on the top of my list. It's
   very deep. Very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. There are certain songs that
   just hit home with me, and they're the strangest collection of songs ... but that is high on the list,
   I must say God Only Knows' lyrics are great. Those do it to me every time. "

Each of the black-and-white pictures below of the young Brian Wilson ( at that time 24 years old! )
is separately clickable and performs once again the unique studio tape recordings from that era.

                                               Soundtrack instrumental - God only knows - take 1

                                                        Soundtrack vocal - God only knows

                                                 Soundtrack final performance - God only knows

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 2


Apart from personal preference or taste, the album  PET SOUNDS  of   THE BEACH BOYS  is a major musical monument from the Sixties and Seventies and could be heard out of many open convertibles at that time.

To discover for yourself the virtuosity of the passionate, creative Brian Wilson ( at that time 24 years old! ), I made audible here a number of unique, original studio tracks from 1967.

Each of the black-and-white pictures below of the young Brian Wilson is separately clickable and performs once again the unique studio tape recordings from that era.

And turn your speakers to the max!
If not possible at this moment, wait till you are home alone and repeat this once again.
Make a bet that you will be impressed ?

                                           Soundtrack instrumental - Wouldn't it be nice - take 1

                                                    Soundtrack vocal - Wouldn't it be nice

                                              Soundtrack final performance - Wouldn't it be nice

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 1


A classic among music classics: PET SOUNDS  of  THE BEACH BOYS.

Generally accepted as one of the most important albums, Pet Sounds made that The Beach Boys entered the history of pop as one of the most innovative groups ever.

The record mainly is the creation of the 24-year old musical genius  BRIAN WILSON  who called on session musicians for the recording of most musical parts. Nevertheless, because of the outstanding, excellent harmonies a pure and genuine Beach Boys record was created with a number of the most beautiful tracks that the group ever had sung.

The great American composer  LEONARD BERNSTEIN  ( among many other things composer of
WEST SIDE STORY ) conductor, songwriter, pianist and music-teacher wrote about him:
" Brian Wilson was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century ".

A statement of  PAUL MCCARTNEY:
" I often played Pet Sounds and cried ".

And  GEORGE MARTIN  producer of the Beatles, stated:
" If there is one person that I have to select as a living genius of pop music, I would choose Brian Wilson. Without Pet Sounds,  SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND  wouldn't have happened. Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds ".

For Paul McCartney, Pet Sounds was the great source of inspiration creating Sgt. Pepper.
Up till today the former bass player of the Beatles, and with him a lot of important musicians, has a deep admiration for the masterpiece of  BRIAN WILSON  the genius of The Beach Boys.
McCartney gave as a present to all his children a copy of Pet Sounds: " No one is educated musically 'til they've heard Pet Sounds. It is a total classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ".
The statement of McCartney is exemplary.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

World-wide fans & followers

It's most satisfying to perceive, that visitors of my blog are coming from every corner in the world.
In other words: Fiat 124 Spider enthusiasts are everywhere and they know to find my blog as well !

To prove this statement, I reveal the number of visitors that frequented my blog LAST WEEK: 529 !
So 529 unique and returning visitors, practically from all continents and from every region of the globe found their way to my blog.

Per country in detail: CHART1 | CHART2 | CHART3.
Per region: CHART1 | CHART2 | CHART3 | CHART4 | CHART5 | CHART6 | CHART7 | CHART8.

Funny to see, that there were 39 visitors from Holland last week . . . . and 35 visitors from Russia !
In comparison: there are about 600 officially registered Fiat 124 Spider owners in the Netherlands
( supposedly at least  more than 1000, including unregistered ) and maybe there are 1 or 2 ( ! ) in Russia !

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tom Tjaarda: A Fantasy Lived

You earn a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. You're a Detroit native whose DUTCH-BORN FATHER -- once an engineer for aviation pioneer and aeroplane manufacturer ANTHONY FOKKER  ( with FOKKER F36 - aeroplane and CHRYSLER AIRFLOW 8 - vehicle ) in Holland -- designed in Detroit the 1936 LINCOLN ZEPHYR.
At the suggestion of your architecture professor, you spend a summer working at Carrozzeria Ghia.
In 1958, at the age of twenty-four and with degree in hand, you move to Turin with the notion of becoming a designer of Italian cars.

You work for Ghia and design such historic milestone cars as the INNOCENTI 950 SPIDER.
After working with Battista "Pinin" Farina on Italia '61 -- the centenary celebration of the reunification of Italy -- you move to Carrozzeria Pininfarina.
There you design some more historic milestone cars, including the CHEVROLET CORVETTE RONDINE, FERRARI 330GT 2+2, FIAT 124 SPIDER, and FERRARI 365 CALIFORNIA.

You return to Ghia and design more significant cars, such as the ISUZU BELLETT MX1600,
After Ford buys Ghia in 1970, you create the first FIESTA.

You marry Paola, a beautiful Torinese school principal. You discover that, in the mid-1960s, both Enzo Ferrari and Pinin Farina drive, as their personal transport, cars for which you designed the bodies. At a time when other supercars trickle from factories, De Tomaso builds more than 7000 of your Panteras.

You establish your independent firm, Dimensione Design, to create cars for Aston Martin, Honda, Rayton-Fissore (Laforza), Saab, Spyker, and a host of others.
You become a sought-after judge for prestigious Concours d'Elegance all over the world, including a special class dedicated to your designs at the forty-seventh PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

From Tucson - Arizona

The blog spot of the FUN ITALIAN AUTOMOBILES OF TUCSON is sharing:
 "Check out THIS GREAT HISTORICAL OVERVIEW on YouTube produced by Anthony."

The FUN ITALIAN AUTOMOBILES OF TUCSON CLUB has a blog spot for a group of Tucson and Southern Arizona owners of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati and DeTomaso automobiles.

It is a club without fees or dues - just their personal contribution of time, talent, and energy along with others who enjoy any type of Italian cars in their area. They have regular meet-ups and participate in car-related events around the region and also have several "Sunday Drives" planned throughout the year.

Great to see we are sharing THE SAME AWESOME PASSION !

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spider in bird's-eye view 3

Vocal music with text and words can be rather disturbing or distracting while watching picture book images also with text, like in my Fiat Spider picture book.

Plenty reason for me to search for wordless instrumental music, hoping for a better match.
Anyhow, I give it a try in seven new screen savers.

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 4 - Ludovico Einaudi in 'Una Mattina'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 245 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 5 - Ennio Morricone in 'Matrimonio Col Vizietto'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 260 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 6 - Toots Thielemans in 'The Windmills Of Your Mind'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 270 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 7 - Vangelis in 'Bilitis'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 200 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 8 - Irish Panpipes in 'The Town That I Loved So Well'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 260 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 9 - James Kline in 'Turlough O'Carolan'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 235 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 10 - James Kline in 'Si Bheag, Si Mhor'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 235 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

Like mentioned in my previous post, I built in an important  ' MUTE ' - OPTION in the Settings-box
for all Spider friends who prefer a silent screen saver instead of a musical one.
For installation and configuration instructions, click  Read more >>  below.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Spider in bird's-eye view 2

It took me some time to realize a screen saver identical to the YouTube videos in my former post, showing 30 of the finest pictures from various catalogues and of all versions of the 124 Spider during several decades.

And to make sure that - apart from watching - you will enjoy listening too, I fixed the screen saver up with three different types of easy-listening background music.
To find out what music pleases you best, I've cut a short fragment out of each of the three pieces of music to make your choice easier.

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 1 - Toto Cotugno in 'Cantando'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 190 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 2 - Paul Simon in 'Still Crazy After All These Years'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 200 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

MY FIAT 124 SPIDER SCREEN SAVER 3 - Rod Stewart in 'Sailing'
that can be listened to HERE and the installation file (about 260 MB) can be downloaded  HERE .

For those who enjoy a silent screen saver: I built in a ' MUTE ' - OPTION in the Settings-box.
For installation and configuration instructions, click  Read more >>  below.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spider in bird's-eye view 1

Although several impressive books and countless articles were written about the history and the "making-of" of the Fiat 124 Spider ( including MY OWN STORY FROM TOM TJAARDA ),
I tried to make a new picture-book in the form of a short bird's-eye view video of my beloved Spider.

In the creative process 30 of the finest pictures from various catalogues and of all versions of the 124 Spider during several decades had to be transformed and worked up graphically to a great extent before it could be used and satisfied my imagination for this nice challenge.

Respectfully dedicated to Pininfarina and Tom Tjaarda.

Fiat 124 Spider - my bird's-eye view 1
Fiat 124 Spider - my bird's-eye view 2 - same movie with different background music.

I am busy to convert the YouTube videos in a screen saver under the condition that it is identical to the YouTube movie you just saw, and that the music can be turned off so it can work silently in the background on your computer or on your notebook.

Note: click the header picture above to admire a larger image (as with most of my header pictures).