Sunday, September 30, 2012

Passionate lover and his muse












THE DIARY OF A FIAT 124 SPIDER
Already during many years I am following a magnificent shaped diary with about 70 entries and wonderful clear ( technical ) pictures from the passionate Spider-lover Eduardo ( Eddie ) Relvas and his muse ( he calls her tenderly ' Betty ' ) from Portalegre, Portugal under the compelling title:
A QUEST FOR BEAUTY .

Today ( September 30. 2012 ) Eduardo writes in his diary:
'Reading back on my previous posts, it seems I've acquired the routine of apologising at the beginning of every post for not writing more often. So no more apologies.

No, the irregular post frequency does not mean the car has not been in use. Far from it.
In fact, it continues at its peak. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, and get the story up to date.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fascinating Automotive Designs











About ten years ago I stumbled over a thrilling picture of a quite UNUSUAL MOTORCYCLE .
Because of my unremitting curious nature, I wanted to know who designed and created this
WONDERFUL VEHICLE and found out on a Russian ( ! ) website, that it was created by the Italian engineer, automobile and motorcycle designer ( Francesco Zefferino ) FRANCO SBARRO , living and working in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

And . . . . on these completely unexpected Russian pages a fascinating new world opened in front of me. I lost all my consciousness of time and was dreaming in a fantasy world for many, many, many hours.
I found myself on the website of CARDESIGN.RU which was at that time only in the Russian language. Because of the widespread international interest in the site, a part of it was separated later in the English language with the address CARDESIGNCOMMUNITY.COM


CarDesignCommunity.com describe themselves as: a professional informative online service and online community aimed mainly at professionals in the automotive industry, design students and transportation design devotees.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Romancing the Road













TRAVEL TIPS FOR COUPLES ON A ROLL
Maybe it's built into us, or maybe it's the influence of literature and the movie screen, but few would try to deny the romantic appeal of A HAPPY COUPLE riding off together into the sunset. It's the honeymoon ideal, the inspiration for a thousand song lyrics, the fantasy of untold legions of Cupid-struck lovers. Even if the mode of transportation is a trusty Toyota instead of a red convertible or a black stallion, many lovebirds find the call of the open road irresistible.

For every couple that returns from a maiden road trip in dream-come-true mode, however, there's another that comes home thinking: "Never again!" The gap between fantasy and reality hits many road trip dreamers like four simultaneous blowouts at speed. "This is nothing like we imagined!" blindsided travelers wail as a simple decision like where to eat turns into a full-blown civil war.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leading Auto Innovation











Volkswagen presented last February its new platform called MODULAR TRANSVERSE MATRIX - the German acronym is MQB ( MODULAR QUER BAUKASTEN ) - for the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands. This platform will be shared by a larger number of models within the Volkswagen's group in relation to current platforms.

It's an important enhancement in automotive production representing a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles. VW expects to cut costs, production time and cars weight with the MQB platform. This platform represents a major step forward in VW's strategy to become the world's largest auto manufacturer by 2018.

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OVERVIEW

The Volkswagen Group is based in Germany and is one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and the largest in Europe. The Group is made up of ten brands: Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, VW Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN. Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity on the market. The product spectrum extends from low-consumption small cars to luxury class vehicles. It also has a stake in Porsche AG, which is expected to fully integrate the VW Group in the short-term.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tom Tjaarda's creation: Ferrari 365 California Spyder












Shortly after the last FERRARI 500 SUPERFAST was made in 1967, the Ferrari 365 California Spyder was announced as the model's successor. It was the continuation of a series of limited production cars which included the 410 AND 400 SUPERAMERICA'S.
These cars were marketed to attract premium customers who demanded a MORE UNIQUE COACHWORK on their grand touring machines. To keep costs down, but exclusivity high, the 365 California was only offered to select VIP clients of Ferrari.

To much success, the California title had been already been associated with the earlier 250 GT SERIES . Around one hundred 250 California Spyders were built with some light alloy competizione examples actually racing Le Mans and Sebring. Drawing on this rich heritage, Ferrari decided that the NEW 365 SPYDER would be marketed as the next California model.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Top 10 signs of transmission trouble - part 2











5: LEAKING FLUID

Leaking transmission fluid is probably one of the easiest ways to identify that your transmission needs attention. Automatic transmission fluid is vital to your car's shifting capabilities, so a little fluid on your driveway can quickly turn into a major problem. Automatic transmission fluid is bright red, clear and a little sweet-smelling when everything is working correctly.

When you check your automatic transmission fluid, make sure it's not a dark color and that it doesn't have a burnt smell. If it is, you'll need to take it to a mechanic and have it replaced. Unlike your car's motor oil, the transmission doesn't really consume or burn up any fluid during use, so if you notice you're running low on fluid, then it's definitely leaking out somewhere.

If you have a manual transmission, checking the fluid levels may not be as easy as simply lifting the hood and reading a dipstick. Manual transmission fluid has to be checked right at the transmission case -- usually through the fill plug. Again, if you suspect your transmission is losing fluid, have a mechanic locate the leak and have it fixed.

If your fluid level is good, there's another easy way to know if there's something wrong with the transmission: go on to the next item to see how you can find out if your transmission is having problems -- without even having to pop the hood.

Top 10 signs of transmission trouble - part 1











Diagnosing car problems yourself may seem like an impossible task, but try to think of it in terms of your own body. For instance, if your stomach begins to hurt without warning, you'll probably start thinking of the last thing you ate in order to figure out why you're having the pain.

A similar type of thinking goes into diagnosing car trouble. The moment you start noticing something out of the ordinary, it's time to start considering the problem and finding a way to fix it.

Mechanical auto problems, as opposed to electrical auto problems, are usually coupled with distinct sounds and sensations that are key indicators that something isn't functioning the way it was designed to. Transmissions take a lot of use over the years, and after a while, they're bound to start having some problems. Transmission repairs can be expensive, so it's worthwhile to pay attention to anything that seems unusual.

If you think you may be having some car trouble or if you're just looking to learn more about potential transmission problems, check out these 10 signs of transmission trouble and stay one step ahead of your car.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Auto China 2012: Electrification and Connectivity











General Motors unveiled at Auto China Motor Show 2012 Chevrolet conceptual vision of the EN-V 2.0. This is another version of an innovative electric vehicle, which debuted at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The original EN-V or ELECTRIC NETWORKED-VEHICLE was presented in SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and became famous as one of the most interesting concepts in the history of GM. This two-seat electric vehicle that redefined the concept of the car due to the convergence of electrification and connectivity. The concept was designed to solve the problems of traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability in cities.

THE NEW MODEL EN-V 2.0 uses extra features desired by customers, such as air conditioning and practical storage space. The car also gained the possibility of movement in all weather and road conditions in the city.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

From Fort Lauderdale, Florida










Nice to observe that my Spiderblog pages are also followed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and in
"The Grand Canyon State" Arizona through the American forum pages of FIATSPIDER.COM as well as in a few OTHER COUNTRIES ( number of page views in 1 day: August 31. 2012 ).

Thanks "Europa", "SunnySideUp" and "azruss" for your appreciated comment. Spread the word !

The California based FIATSPIDER.COM FORUM has been online since 1996 and has become - as described by themselves: "home to some of the most knowledgeable people on the planet when it comes to fixing-up this classic sports car".
Within the contents of their forum you can find answers on:
  • Fiat Spider tuning and performance
  • Fiat Spider trouble shooting
  • Fiat Spider wiring help
  • Fiat Spider parts
  • Fiat Spiders for sale
  • And just about anything else you can think of about Fiat Spider automobiles.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The myth of the Pirelli calendar












The Calendar is the icon of Pirelli's communication. A symbol that for over forty years not only celebrates female beauty, but also celebrates the complexity of an art that has been able to transform itself over time. With constantly changing styles and authors, this art always manages to express a new aspect of history.

A PERSONAL IMPRESSION OF THE 2012 PIRELLI CALENDAR MODELS ( wait while loading ).

The Pirelli Calendar's photographers have always immortalised a very sophisticated concept of beauty, mid-way between fashion and glamour. And every year the Cal offers a collection of images that interpret the concept of beauty in an original way, different to the previous year.

The locations are sometimes far-away and exotic, like the Bahamas, the Seychelles, Majorca and Tunisia. This year it was the Corse turn. At other times it is simply the lights of the photographer's studio that illuminate the scene.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inspiration for the Fiat 124 Spider - part 2












Tom Tjaarda continues in his letter:
" Thus the idea for the 124 spyder was born from this Corvette. My next assignment was to take this theme and prepare full size drawings to construct the WOODEN MODEL - PIC 2 - PIC 3 - PIC 4
( these are wooden models of the Ferrari 500, 365 and 330 just to give an impression how these models look like ).

To prepare these drawings was not an easy job for the simple reason that the Fiat chassis was much shorter than the Sting Ray, smaller also were the overhangings both front and rear. Thus to adapt the lines of the Rondine, which were rather long and flowing, to these shorter proportions was a real challenge.
It took me days just to plot the first profile of the car, it just did not seem to work, and it took no end of time to come up with something satisfactory. SIGNORE MARTINENGO ( left, Tjaarda - right ) could see that I was having trouble coming up with a solution and above all that it no longer looked like the Rondine. That is where he kind of saved my day, or month in this case.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Inspiration for the Fiat 124 Spider - part 1












In 2004 Tom Tjaarda - the designer of the Fiat 124 Spider - wrote me in a personal letter:

"The design of the Fiat 124 spyder has a somewhat interesting aspect in that the theme for this car is derived from a Chevrolet Corvette concept proposal from Pininfarina. It was wintertime in 1963 when I was handed a drawing of the CORVETTE STING RAY chassis and began making idea sketches including a 1:4 scale model of a concept car to be shown in the Paris Auto Salon that October. My design was the one selected and the full size running prototype completed for the show.

Every so often Battista Pininfarina ( the name had been officially changed now ) would come to the factory to check on things. He was somewhat retired but still followed every aspect of the business, also because he still had that "eye" for proportions, forms and everything else which made his name so important all over the world.

It so happened that one time he asked the modelers to slim down the sides of a wood buck however being such a slight change was left as is and so happens that it went undetected by the "maiestro". The prototype was then built and before the final painting Pininfarina painfully said that he had made a mistake that it needed to be slimmed down just a bit more - this time they did just that!! He had a fantastic eye and so did Martinengo and so being in this kind of company was learning very quickly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Italian temperatures - Italian refreshing ice









It was hot, muggy and steamy all over Europe, especially in Northern-Europe where temperatures raised to unusual tropical levels this memorable August 19/20, 2012 weekend.

How did I keep myself cool and enjoy a treat without suffering a chocolate meltdown? Well, I just indulged in a refreshing chocolate Italian ice.
Italian ices are well known all over the western hemisphere. They are smoother than granitas, softer than sorbets and just generally different. They are also incredibly refreshing.

Although I love Italian ices, I really didn’t know much about them and not at all about the difference between an Italian ice and an Italian water ice. Some sources use both terms interchangeably, others say there is a difference.
An Italian ice is flavored, then frozen and shaved for serving. An Italian water ice is plain ice that is flavored after it has been shaved into soft, snowy mounds, except when it is not and then it is the same as an Italian ice.

Regional differences among Italian immigrants and European cities probably account for the differences in technique and nomenclature. Italian immigrants to our country brought with them a long tradition of frozen desserts including granita (made by freezing water, fruit juices or other flavoring ingredients and sugar in a pan and periodically flaking and scraping the ice as it forms to break up the ice crystals) and sorbet (made by freezing similar ingredients in a ice cream freezer).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fiat 124 Spider in the US











Here is what I think is an excellent overview of the Fiat 124 Spider in the US from Hemmings Sport and Exotic Car ( the world's largest collector car marketplace ). It is from 2006 so figures quoted
( included is a list of various parts with prices attached ) need to be adjusted, but it is a very nice overview.

Over 18 years, Fiat--and then, later Pininfarina--sold somewhere around 120,000 124 Spiders in the United States, the lion's share of cars the manufacturer ever built. It's a testament to the Pininfarina-designed car that it still looks as fresh and sporty today as it did when it was introduced in 1966.

But for one reason or another, whenever Americans ready themselves to purchase a sports roadster, the Fiat 124 Spider falls to the bottom of the list. Some claim it's due to the bad reputation Fiat had in the 1970s for turning out pretty cars that ran every third Tuesday. Others blame demon rust, which seems to have a particularly ravenous appetite for Italian machines. Or maybe it's the fact that there were so darned many of them that they've fallen off the radar of many sports car fans here.

Whatever the reason, it's time to rethink our attitude toward the 124 Spider. These cars have been on the road long enough to dispel any urban myths about their longevity and original build quality, and there are plenty of parts suppliers, experts and club advisors around to sort through any common problems these cars have had over the years. According to Dwight Varnes, a past vice-president and co-founder of Fiat-Lancia Unlimited (FLU), and the co-founder of that group's Fiat Freak Out annual meet (July 14-16, 2006), the biggest problem with a Fiat 124 Spider was often not the manufacturer, but the dealer. "An awful lot of dealers took on the Fiat franchises as a second or third line," he says. "Lots of the dealers specialized in American cars, and they took on Fiat as a cheap import. The service departments just didn't want to understand them."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Recession ?












The ultra rare FERRARI 625 TRC SPIDER with its fine coachwork by Scaglietti is one of the most exceptional cars ever created. Ferrari made only two of these 625 TRC Spiders. The Ferrari 625 TRC Spider was one of the first Ferrari cars designated with the mystical name "Testa Rossa".
This ultra rare FERRARI 625 TRC SPIDER ( in my own home-made animation movie specially created for this blog ) was up for auction at the RM Auctions’ eagerly-awaited biennial event in Monaco, coinciding with the 8th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. Before the auction the estimate was still to be determined...but expected to dig deep in your offshore trust fund for this one, the nouveau riche from the Middle East, Russia and China were expected to face off with European and American collectors.

If you need more proof the recession is just a myth - created to control the masses - here are the results of the RM Auction held in Monaco in May last.
RM Auctions, the world's largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, continued its record-breaking sales run in Europe generating a spectacular €33,521,710 in sales* ($43,410,615 million USD**) with 87 percent of all lots sold at its biennial Monaco sale at the Grimaldi Forum.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hotel California: few facts - more fiction











The opening animation movie on my FIRST SPIDERSWEB PAGES was accompanied by the Eagles' classic song HOTEL CALIFORNIA .
For me it is by far the most appropriate music while driving my open 124 Spider. Therefore it is my favourite music on my new re-designed Spidersweb pages again...

The lyrics 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, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s.

Don Henley - singer, songwriter, drummer and the founding member of the Eagles - 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."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Istituto Europeo di Design - Torino











ISTITUTO EUROPEO DI DESIGN of Turin presents the CISITALIA 202 E, an thrilling style exercise based on the study of the glorious Cisitalia 202 of 1947, now re-designed by the students of the Master of Arts in Transportation Design - work experience.

The eleven students of the Master course were coordinated by Luca Borgogno, Pininfarina Lead Designer, and Luigi Giampaolo, Maserati Designer, with the support of Alessandro Belosio and Luca Dazzan.

Meanwhile rumours about a possible comeback became reality: the Italian brand Cisitalia introduced a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012.
Cisitalia ( 'Consorzio Industriale Sportive Italia') once started as a small Italian car builder under the guidance of Piero Dusio in Turin. Their first car was the D46 driven by no less than Tazio Nuvolari.

The new Cisitalia concept is based on their best known car: the 202. Designed by Pininfarina and created by the famous engineers Dante Giacosa and Giovanni Savonuzzi, it started its life in 1947 and only 220 units were ever realized.

More info about the preview sketches you'll find HERE as well as a video of the Cisitalia CONCEPT . Also two other Istituto Europeo di Design videos, one for Abarth: THE SKORPION and the second for FERRARI .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You don't need words to speak Italian




You don't have to study Italian or travel to Italy to communicate like a true paesano.
All you really need is this unique "phrase book" of Italian body language. It's the fastest, and funniest, way to learn Italian ever published.

Now, even if you don't know a single word of Italian, you can learn the most common greetings, dining small talk, bargaining tricks, hot vows of love, vicious threats and bloodcurdling curses.
This book shows you how. There's no faster or funnier way to learn how to communicate in Italy, Italian restaurants, with your grandparents or your friends.

Italian gestures are a language unto themselves.
In ITALIAN WITHOUT WORDS 86 expressions are presented, paired with the Italian phrases they conjure and their English translations, all demonstrated by a man and woman who have to be seen to be appreciated.
They're funny, but the intent is not to ridicule; rather, they are holding on to a part of their heritage. The facial expressions that accompany the phrases are entertaining to practice, and visits to Italy are enhanced by the ability to communicate "You're a disgrace!" (Disgraziato!), "I dare you!" (Ti sfido. Provaci!), and "Don't leave me, I love you!" (Non lasciarmi, ti voglio bene!) without saying a word.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A celebrated French cartoonist


CLAUDE SERRE (1938-1994) was a celebrated French cartoonist, draughtsman and illustrator. Famous for his bizarre sense of humor and beautiful detailed drawings.

After academic studies, he studied the craft of stained glass for eight years. He then started drawing cartoons and became an illustrator for many French journals, including Plexus, Planet, Hara-Kiri, Lui, Pariscope and La Vie Electrique. He also began illustrating books.

He incorporated his interest in the fantastic into many of his early lithographs, which were published, sometimes exclusively, in many countries including Japan and Germany. He also participated in both group and solo exhibitions.

In 1969 he met Jack Claude Nezat, and they became friends. Nezat wrote numerous articles devoted to his art and his work and organized two exhibitions in Germany in 1975 and 1976-1977 that met with great success.
This relationship also allowed Serre to work with the magazine Pardon. Serre, meanwhile, started drawing cartoons on such topics as medicine, sports, automobiles, and his first book of cartoons, Black Humor and Men in White, satirising medical professionals, was published in 1972 by Editions Grésivaudan. The book won the Black Humor prize.
He also continued to work as an illustrator and worked in particular on books by Francis Blanche and Frederic Dard, author of the San Antonio series. Claude Serre died at the age of 60 in a car accident.

Many books were published about his work, from which one is titled L'AUTOMOBILE.

His web site with a number of his albums and cartoons you find HERE.
His unique album L'AUTOMOBILE ( approx. 8 Meg ) you can download HERE as a zipped file.

Download the Automobile cartoons, unzip and laugh your heart out !

36 unique Fiat 124 Spider wallpapers

Already for many years I am looking out for nice wallpapers of the 124 Spider on my internet roamings, that I could use as desktops for my digital steam-engine. I only found two productions during all those years and - to be honest - they were awful.

So I created a serie of wallpapers myself in the screen resolutions 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 and 1280 x 1024.

You will find these Fiat 124 Spider wallpapers AT NO OTHER PLACE IN THE WORLD. In case you find them anyhow, they are definitely stolen, pinched and copied from my blog or web site !


Because the total size of all the files is about 60 Meg, I zipped these into 5 larger files that can be downloaded below.

1. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 800 x 600 - 3 items

2. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1280 x 1024 - 3 items

3. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1024 x 768 Set1 - 10 items

4. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1024 x 768 Set2 - 10 items

5. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1024 x 768 Set3 - 10 items

You find a compilation of 30 wallpapers in the screen resolution 1024 x 768 pixels, from which screen size I made a substantial larger number, HERE.

I wish you a lot of pleasure with my Fiat 124 Spider wallpapers !

Friday, August 3, 2012

Splitsky Oldtimer Auto Klub







Recently I received the following mail:

Hello and congratulations Anthony,
Only today, just few hours ago, I have found your website and by the way, your site is one of the best ones I have ever seen, designed and devoted to our timeless 'Pieces Of Art On Wheels', to the worldwide spread & famous, loved and used Pininfarina Spiders.

Myself, I am an Italian sportscar collector. My 'Spider-connection' and involvement with the 124 Spiders started 40 years ago. I had and enjoyed many of them. In the late 60' I lived in Bavaria, when I bought my 1st 124 Spider, a 1400 ccm AS model. I remember driving my Spiders even during the winter, when going skiing in the Alps!

From the late 70' I lived for 7 years in South Africa and there, I have found and also bought the only 2 Spiders available (in the whole country). Of course, I did restore them too, and drove them all over. I made few long trips in South Africa and several times I visited even the Cape of Good Hope with my black 1968 AS Spider.
In 1984 I moved to California and of course, soon I have found new Spiders and drove them all along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Oregon and all across the USA.

In an 1983 DS Spider I drove from Los Angeles, along the Route 66, all the way to Chicago and Detroit. I was close to the Niagara falls, have crossed America from North to South, to Georgia and Florida. And at all times I had at least a few Fiat 124 Spiders in my garage.

Then in 1996 I did move my vintage car collection back to Europe. There were 11 cars, those that I 'could not' leave behind and 'had' to ship from Los Angeles to Bremen. Later, one by one, I drove them down to the Mediterranean, back to the roots, to Croatia. Since then, I have sold a few of them, as the storage/ parking space has become a problem here.

Soon after I moved here, in 1997 I founded our Spider Club Croatia.
Croatia has a population of just about 4,6 mill. and the total amount of Spiders in Croatia is only 16, and two of them serve just as parts donors. Myself and few others from our Club here are very active, and we do take part on various Vintage Car Rally events along the beautiful Croatian coast. Now, the next Rally (1000 km Dalmacija Rally, a 4 days event). starts in Split and ends in the National Park Plitvice Lakes. The organizer of that big Rally Event is the SPLITSKI OLDTIMER AUTO CLUB, and only sports cars and roadsters can take part in it. Cars from the 50' up to 1977.

My Fiat 124 Spider navigator







I replaced the standard startup image of my TOMTOM ONE XL (Western Europe) by an image that I made myself and pleases me a lot more than the old impersonal one.
Click here to see how it looked BEFORE and how it looks NOW .

Also the standard shut-down image had to disappear and I replaced
the OLD one for the NEW image. Looks much more personal and attractive, isn't it?

You are allowed to use these 124 Spider images for your own TomTom as well. Just download them directly and save these to your hard disk, but don't change the present name and file extension (splashw.bmp en antitheftw.bmp).
P.S.: these new Spider-images are suitable for the socalled 'wide screen devices' like the TOMTOM ONE XL, GO 510/710/910 and higher.

A clear explanation how these personal images can be mounted on your own TOMTOM, you will find HERE for the start-up picture and for the shut-down picture HERE .

The GARMIN navigator has the same option of replacing the old image for a more personal one. Just follow the next steps: After you have loaded JPEG picture files onto the nuvi, follow these instructions to set the picture as the Splash Screen (start up screen).
1) From the Main screen touch Tools
2) Touch Picture ViewerSplash Screen
3) Select the image you want to set as the preferred image
4) Check the box next to Display at power on?
Once you check the box, the image is now set as the Splash Screen. To view it simply turn the unit OFF and back ON

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Inspired by Eric Clapton – The Ferrari SP12 EC







Just as music is created, so was the creative process behind the SP12 EC

Exclusively in the Ferrari Magazine the great English musician talks about his passion for Ferrari and his one-off model.
For a Ferrari enthusiast and great musician like Eric Clapton a one-off car just had to be produced. Designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina and the engineers from Maranello, the SP12 EC was created as homage to Clapton’s career and his long lasting experience as a Ferrari owner.
SP stands for special project and EC stands for Eric Clapton. Clapton paid $4.7million ( £3million ) for the one-off model which took two years to make, US reports said.

In the interview with Ferrari Magazine, Clapton, 67, admitted the start of the project was like “being in front of a gigantic blank canvas that had to be painted on”. He added that overseeing the manufacture of the car was “one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done”. It is based on the 458 Italia model but features styling from the rock legend’s favourite Ferrari model 512 BB, of which he has owned three over the years.

Specifications haven't been announced, but the model reportedly features a 4.5-liter V8 engine with 570 PS (419 kW / 562 hp) and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) of torque. It should enable the supercar to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 325 km/h (202 mph).

Meticulous attention in terms of style and technology was paid to the proportions and architecture of the SP12 EC – which is part of Ferrari’s One-Off Programme – making this exceptional car even more significant.

You find a few pictures of this almost 5 million dollar car PIC 1 , PIC 2 and PIC 3 .

Wake up call about texting

Sometimes a simple, non-professional movie has a lot more effect than any official governmental TV- or radio-warning.







A young lady, actually a teenager, is texting an SMS-message while she is driving: 'James, my mate fancies u.' Her giggling friends are meddling with the text and, during a few seconds the car is driving on the wrong side of the road.

Bammm . . . . frontally on an oncoming car. The girls are launched and catapulted through the car, necks are dangling on their shoulders, blood, glass, screaming, a lot of noise. Then an ambulance, a baby with a motionless sight, a couple in the oncoming car that does not react anymore. This simple four minute movie is an gigantic hit and just doing where dozens of governmental movies failed: being successful to young people. Up till now it has been downloaded more than ten million times.

The Gwent police department in South Wales decided to address the dangers of texting while driving with the help of filmmaker Peter Watkins-Hughes. The title is “COW – The Film That Will Stop Texting and Driving. It is named after the character Cassie Cowan, the name of the character in the short film/PSA that causes the lethal chain of events.

'It was only meant to be used within our department', says Kate, the flabbergasted spokeswoman of the Gwent police. 'Its popularity surprised us enormously and overwhelmed us'.
Fox and CNN broadcasted it meanwhile, just like networks in India, Canada and Australia. The Gwent police department received feedback from young people from all over the world, promising never texting anymore while driving.

Although the movie is very intense, it really puts things into perspective. Is texting when your driving worth risking the lives of your friends? Your family? Other drivers? People’s parents? Peoples kids? Was the text that important? Is it worth the risk of living as a vegetable for the rest of your life?
Texting, drinking, eating, fiddling through music, whatever the distraction, it really isn’t worth it. I’m not saying I’ve never done it, but I wouldn’t say that I do it anymore. Getting into an accident is scary enough when it isn’t even your fault. You don’t need to increase your chances of getting into one by doing something stupid.

The Chief Constable Mick Giannasi said that it was the department’s intent for the PSA to reach a larger audience than just Wales. They were successful. This film will save lives.

You find the shocking movie HERE

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A lady . . . . a lovely, sensual, responsive Italian lady







The California based magazine 'Car and Driver' published an extensive Road Test of the Fiat 124 Spider in August 1968 and specified her ( ! ) as:

A lady.
A lovely, sensual, responsive Italian lady.
There is no other way of thinking about Pininfarina's Fiat 124 Spider.
It's time you knew it.

Like women to dream about, the really good Italian cars always had a mysterious irrestibility and an eagerness to please. Somehow, they seem to exist solely for the pleasure of their drivers. Where there are moments of tight-jawed hardship with the British cars, all is sweet willingness with Italy's 124 Spider. We see the Fiat 124 Spider as a milestone -the beginning of the end of the hardship sports car.
It's the only machine in its class in which we'd enjoy taking a long trip.


The lovely, sensual, responsive pictures were made by photographer Adam Rindy and are published on the automotive section of the extensive web site of the French Telecom and Internet provider ORANGE.
The photo shoot has the French title:' Une Fiat 124 Spider fort bien accompagneé '
but I wonder who of the two sensual ladies is so well accompanied ....

The rhetorical question is:
WHO IS THE LOVELY, SENSUAL, RESPONSIVE ITALIAN LADY !

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Virtual Italian City Tours






During many hours I enjoyed breathtaking virtual city sightseeing tours in Rome, Genoa, Verona, Florence, Assisi, Parma, Milan, Pisa, Bolzano and Varese owing to the impressive photographic work of AROUNDER.COM

My farmost favourite Italian city is Rome, that you are able to visit HERE.

About their amazing work they mention:
AROUNDER is an online travel magazine, that features a unique world-class city in 360-degree fullscreen panoramas with each issue.
It gives travelers a vivid sense of what a city has to offer: historical cathedrals and works of art, museums featuring famous artists, local cafes and stores, breathtaking mountain-top views, quiet parks and gardens.
Each issue contains a series of panoramas in a selection of formats - QuickTime Full Screen, QuickTime Medium and Java - so that both dial-up and high-speed Internet users can participate. Navigation is easy with Google maps of the city and surrounding area.

The nucleus of the AROUNDER concept is the virtual tour - fullscreen 360-degree photographic panoramas, which enable the user to pan left, right, up and down - a far superior format than the standard photograph as it gives the viewer a real sense of actually 'being there'.

Users can click on hotspots within each panorama to move on to another pano, and thus take a virtual tour. Each panorama within the series highlights a historic point of interest within that city - such as cathedrals or old town squares, and places where a tourist would visit if physically in that city - museums, parks, local marketplaces and seaside promenades.

A real must-see !

Monday, July 16, 2012

From the Seventies: Fiat 124 Spider & La Linea











Both our Fiat 124 Spider as the famous cartoon serie La Linea originate from the Seventies from Italy.

Osvaldo Cavandoli ( January 1, 1920 - March 3, 2007 ), also known by his pen name Cava, was an Italian cartoonist. His most famous work is his short cartoon series, LA LINEA (The Line).

Cavandoli was born in Maderno sul Garda, Italy, but moved to Milan when he was two years old (later becoming an honorary citizen of that city). From 1936 to 1940 he worked as a technical designer for ALFA ROMEO.

When he developed his interest in cartoons in 1943, he started working with Nino Pagot, who later created Calimero. In 1950 he started working independently as a director and a producer. He became famous for his La Linea, a simply drawn cartoon, first appearing in 1969.

See and listen MOVIE 1 | MOVIE 2 | MOVIE 3 or MOVIE 4 to a few of his favourite La Linea cartoon movies. The files are rather large, so be patient.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fiat 124 Spider - Maintenance + Modification







Welcome to Bradley Artigue's guide on FIAT 124 Spider engine maintenance and modification.

Spiders are great cars, born in the mid 1960's when sports cars were fun to drive, affordable, and easy to work on. They remain a hobbyists’ dream.
In 2002 I started to compile the various pieces of knowledge I obtained over the years into guides, first on carburetion and intake/exhaust systems, then, in 2004, a guide (more like a pamphlet) on fuel injection. I revised both guides over the years and finally compiled everything into this single document.

My goal is to help you enjoy your FIAT as much as I enjoy mine.

DOWNLOAD (PDF - 2.8 MB)
More excellent documented info, manuals, schemes and drawings you find HERE .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oldtimer Events, Meetings and Rallye's 2012







A GREAT SITE ( in German ) publishing a large number of oldtimer events, oldtimer meetings and rallye's in 2012.
Apart from the actual information and time schedules, you'll find a lot more about oldtimers, types, furnishings, maintenance and much more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

La Fiat Centoventiquattro







La Fiat Centoventiquattro . . . UN AUTOMOBILE PER FAMIGLIA
(an automobile for the whole family and how to sell that specific aspect in the best way to your buying audience ) !

The driver of the Fiat 124 in this short movie is Rémy Julienne (born April 17, 1930). He is a pioneering French driving stunt performer frequently called on his services for TV and film commercials, stunt coordinator, assistant director and occasional actor. He is also a former rallycross champion and 1956 French motorcross champion.

He is a veteran of over 1,400 films. Notable large film projects in which he has arranged stunts, consulted or manufactured special stunt cars include The Italian Job and six James Bond films, five of which were directed by John Glen and three with his sons Dominique and Michel.

At the end it is said loud and clear once more:
La Fiat Centoventiquattro . . . un automobile per famiglia !

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The very first Fiat 124 Spider blog








July 1. 2012

Although I registered this Fiat 124 Spider Blog already in november 2006, I did not activate it up till July 2012.

When I started to set up a web site dedicated to the Fiat 124 Spider in 2003, I decided that I should not limit my website for a rather small audience of only Dutch speaking Fiat Spider enthusiasts, but for all 124 Sport Spider enthusiasts worldwide ! So I made my site completely bilingual: in the Dutch and in the English language.

It was my intention to provide my website not only with direct Fiat 124 Spider related material and information, although this specific information should be the main and leading thread running through it. But I also tried to provide more general information around the creation- and production period of the Fiat 124 Spider during the end sixties and seventies decade. About music, news and other worth mentioning “automotive highlights” from those legendary years.

So, not just and only Spider info about nuts and bolts, as if the rest of the world did not exist, but also a "sketch" inwhich the Fiat Spider was situated in "his ( or her ) time".

Because building and maintaining the web site was purely a voluntary job, this represented picture would not be realised from one day to another and would of course demand a certain amount of time; should have the time to grow further.

And it grew tremendously with hundreds of pages in the Dutch and English language. And with thousands of enthusiastic Fiat 124 Spider owners and visitors from all over the globe up to January 2014. What happenend then, you can read HERE.

In my present-day blog, all additional, important, valuable, relevant, nice or funny information of EVERY Fiat Spider owner, fan or freak from whatever country or whatever continent will be appreciated highly and -when any material is published- will be provided with the name of the author or supplier.

Simply mail your messages to Anthony Westen, creator of this blog at anthony124*live.nl