Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Max Hoffman, Frank Lloyd Wright and the birth of VWs in the US

An interesting bit of news came into my Facebook feed this morning. The New York Times just covered the destruction of Max Hoffman's Park Avenue showroom. The demo of the lobby happened in early May, but the word took a while to spread. The reason why it is of interest to some is that the showroom was one of the few remaining Frank Lloyd Wright pieces in NYC still standing.

Why it is of interest to me is that is was the gateway for several foreign auto brands coming into America. VW, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW among them. It had been occupied by Mercedes until late last year (2012) but they moved out, leaving the street level vacant.

There are 2 good articles on the situation:



Here are a few more pictures:

This is what it looked like most recently, before Mercedes left:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vintage Tuesday: Vintage scene in France.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hawaiian Big Blue

A co-worker sent this to me this week after her trip to Hawaii. Apparently, this is what the blue ones look like when they are shiny!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A thing in Michigan

On a recent trip to Michigan (for my 20-year high school reunion!) I happened upon this thing near Traverse City. It was in fantastic shape, and part of me wanted to ditch my rental car and head to Buses by the Beach.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bus City 2014 - May 16-18, 2014 at Schoolhouse Canyon Campground, Guerneville, CA

Put it on your calendars now!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Out of gas

One wonders sometimes - exactly where the bottom of your tank is. Well, now I know.

On Memorial Day, coming home from the airport, I ran out of gas. How I ran out of gas is an interesting exercise in how my mind works.

See, when I parked Big Blue, who had been pressed into daily service, at the airport for my trip, I knew I had a half tank of gas. (half full, half empty is up to you). So upon return, when I turned the bus on, I noted the gas gauge had stopped working since it didn't register anything at all.

Now, you might ask, looking back, why not assume I had no gas? Because, after a long flight and owning the confidence that I had parked with a 1/2 "full" tank, my conclusion - based on the fact that things stop working in my 1968 bus more often than gas gets siphoned out of gas tanks - was that something was out of sorts with Big Blue.

This logic was adjusted when, shortly after paying a bridge toll at the Carquinez Bridge, Big Blue conked out and I rolled him onto the shoulder. The bus wanted to start but, it dawned on me, it sounded like it wasn't getting gas... Mmmm. A quick check revealed an empty fuel filter - no gas where there should be gas.

So I hiked about 1/4 mile to a gas station, bought a 2-gallon can, filled it. Upon return I found that Big Blue had already been tagged as an abandoned vehicle - they work fast! I put the gas in the tank and with a few pumps of the gas pedal, Big Blue came to life.

 The gas tank - even with 2 gallons in - didn't register any gas. So I drove to the gas station I had just bought the can from and filled up. Sure enough, the gas gauge registered a full tank!

So, there are 2 options.

1. I have a leak - which has been eliminated since then as the gas tank has held the gas this week.
2. Big Blue was siphoned in the SFO parking lot. Actually, this isn't too far fetched. It would be easy to do and I assume this is what happened.

There is a 3rd option. But that involves me getting old and forgetting details like how much gas I had in the tank when parking, but let's assume that wasn't it until I do it a second time...

Monday, June 3, 2013

My new subcompact MINI Cooper

Sooooo, I went back to driving Big Blue around for a few days last week, because this happened... $9500 worth of damage. No one was injured, except the still-un-named MINI cooper and a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup. I will tell you that the Dodge had to be towed away while I was able to drive to the body shop...

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