Monthly Archives: February 2014

O.G. Vee-dub is an inspiration for the ages

Faithful companion

Faithful companion

We were delighted to happen up this 1965 Volkswagen Beetle and got to meet its owner.  She’s had the car for the past 41 (!!) years and, yes, it’s a daily driver.  Our response was, frankly, an emotional one, inspired by the relationship that has endured for so long.  You did the math, right?  The car was already 8 years old when it was purchased; its second and current owner paid $600 for it which works out to $14.63 per year.  That’s value!

No end in sight

No end in sight

The car has, obviously, been well maintained and the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous as the numbers on her original California “black plates,” admits to applying the “BAJA” decal many years ago and is currently having second thoughts about that.  The DK (Denmark) sticker, a reflection of her heritage, is something with which she’s more comfortable so no need to be melancholy about that add-on.  There’s so much to love here: the headlights encased in glass covers, the stout bumper overrides, the classic VW hubcaps, the outside rear view mirror that’s integrated into the external door hinge and no stinkin’ backup lights. With a car like this, it’s all in the details.

'65: Beetle in the middle

’65: Beetle in the middle

We did some more math and determined that the ’65 model year was exactly halfway between VW’s introduction into the US market and the last officially imported Beetle cabriolet in 1980. Before the onslaught of Toyota, Nissan (née Datsun), et al. the original Beetle was a phenomenon unto itself.  In 1965 VW sewed up an incredible 67% share of the U.S. import market with 288,583 units sold.  Even with that huge number snapped up, it’s breathtaking to find such a straight, mostly un-messed with, example still in daily use after 49 years.   Just imagine it’s 1965 and you find a car from 1916 used for daily transportation to get some perspective.

Beetle brigade march of time

VW march of time

Speaking of 8 year old Volkswagens, check out this commercial in which a VW of that age is featured to advertise the then-current model.  It’s another brilliant ad from Doyle Dane Bernbach, the true Mad Men of the era.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

DRIVEN was a wild ride

FeralCars is delighted to have played a role in last week’s DRIVEN installation at Palm Springs’ Stephen Archdeacon Gallery, attended by scores of cognoscenti in town to celebrate Modernism Week.

Art parked

Art parked

“Bob,” a swanky orange Mercury Bobcat begged the question, “Would a Pinto, by any other name, would still explode on impact?” Bob, along with an anonymous though glamorous, in a 1984 K-car kind of way, Chrysler LeBaron convertible greeted guests at the event celebrating the ‘car noir’ art of Eric Nash, hosted by ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons.

DRIVEN co-conspirators: Matthew Reader, Bob Merlis, Billy F Gibbons, Eric Nash

DRIVEN co-conspirators: Matthew Reader, Bob Merlis, Billy F Gibbons, Eric Nash

Matthew Reader, a/k/a “Mr. Palm Springs Modern,” curated the collection of cars deployed in the area that included a “Smokey and The Bandit” style Pontiac Trans Am, complete with “screaming chicken” hood treatment, an Oldsmobile 98 the length of three Smart cars, a Lincoln Continental Mark IV plus a “plain Jane” Ford station wagon that is the subject of one of Eric’s pieces.   His set design sense was spot on with matches strewn around the Bobcat along with a gasoline can, a vintage lunchbox exhibition in the “wayback” of the Ford wagon and a literal “trunk show” of women’s shoes in very large sizes next to the Olds.

"Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty eight hours? That ain't never been done before." "That's cause we ain't never done it."

“Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty eight hours? That ain’t never been done before.” “That’s cause we ain’t never done it.

Kickin' it Oldschool

Kickin’ it Oldschool, curbside

After sundown, Feralcars presented a breathtaking slideshow in which 190 images were projected on an outside wall of the gallery.  We’re told that some of these could be seen from the International Space Station but this has not been confirmed.

Pura Vida powered non-Pinto

Pura Vida powered non-Pinto

Let’s take stock: great art, legendary rock ‘n’ roll star host, curated cars, Feralcars slideshow. And, oh yeah, our friends at Pura Vida Tequila were kind enough to send along Sara Abbas who most artfully and responsibly poured the finest agave-based cocktails we’ve ever enjoyed at an art installation.

Portrait of the artist with a portrait of a feral Ford wagon

Portrait of the artist with a portrait of a feral Ford wagon

Life imitates art

Life imitates art

When she pours she reigns

When Sara pours she reigns

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

DRIVEN to remind

Slide show ride

Slide show ride

Ever so brief reminder here, should you find your way to Palm Springs this Wednesday evening, February 19. Drive over to DRIVEN, an art installation sponsored by Feralcars.com, featuring the noir car art of Eric Nash plus curated car show by Matthew Reader. The evening’s host is Billy F Gibbons.   The fun starts at 5 and we’ll be running a big, boss FeralCars slide show that includes this ’64 Buick Riviera booty shot and lots of other scrumptious car flesh visuals.

Cadillac by Nash, yes it really is

Cadillac by Nash

Host d with ehydrated band members + The Reverend Willy G + Wiilys + freeze dried band members a.k.a "Flavor KryZZtals"

The Reverend Willy G + Wiilys + freeze-dried band members a.k.a “Flavor KryZZtals”

The Archdeacon Gallery is located at 865 North Palm Canyon Drive, deep in the heart of Palm Springs’ très chic Uptown Arts District.   Stop by to ogle, mingle and enjoy a cocktail courtesy of the good folks at Pura Vida

Speaking of "Dat Gibbons boy!"

Speaking of “dat Gibbons boy”

Product placement pro

Product placement pro

 

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

Sinkhole survivors say “Damn you, ‘Vettemageddon!”

Sting Ray hey day

Sting Ray hey day

Like all right thinking Americans we were appalled, horrified, shocked, even gobsmacked (whatever that means) when we heard that a sinkhole had opened up beneath the NATIONAL Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky swallowing up eight great Corvettes.  Clearly, this catastrophe is the work of of sinister forces operating under the earth’s crust who hate our freedom and, possibly, fiberglass objects.   No two ways about it, this is the work of the devil whose name we don’t even bother to capitalize as a reflection of our disdain.  Imagine if a volcano erupted and spewed molten lava on the Museo Nazionale di Lamborghini — if such a thing existed.  You just know the UN Security Council would be called into emergency session to deal with the crisis but the world seems to be sitting on its hands as our Corvette legacy tumbles into an abyss.  This happened in Kentucky and have we heard a peep out of its very own Senator Rand Paul?  Nope! He’s seems to be spending his time plagiarizing speeches and lawsuits and suing the the Obama administration over the NSA’s  surveillance program.  What he should be doing, besides keeping his hairpiece nicely groomed, is demand that the NSA keep watch on all remaining Corvettes, lest they succumb to Satan’s gravitational pull.

Satan, eat my dust!

Satan, eat my dust!

One which we strongly urge be kept in our sights and out of harm’s way is this delightful green ’67 Stingray convertible finished in Goodwood Green.  Those Coker Classic Red Line tires are a great finishing touch so we must do all we can to keep this beauty out of Beelzebub’s evil grip.

No surrender!

No surrender!

Even in socialist Sweden, our national treasure is revered.  We saw this ’69 convertible cruising the streets of Stockholm as if a gauntlet were being thrown down to the dark forces who would deny the world the benefit of American automotive beneficence. To the dauntless owner, piloting his topless Kentucky-born thoroughbred in freezing temperatures, we can only say Må Gud välsigna och bevara dig!

Nordic warrior

Straight outta Bowling Green

Just so you have an idea of the power of freedom’s adversary, we offer you a look at surveillance video, NOT shot by the NSA, of true infamy visited upon the Homeland’s greatest treasures. 

..and just to show that not everything in Bowling Green is totally evil, we offer the sublime Everly Brothers’ recording of “Bowling Green.”  Listen here to ward off the darkness.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

Сочи специального!

Soviet survivor

Deer caught between the headlights

We were quite impressed by the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.  While everybody  else seemed to be obsessing about the snowflake that flaked out, we were thrilled with the parade of Soviet-era cars including  a Chaika limousine, a Moskvich, a Zaporozhets and a Volga.

Red sled

Red sled: proud product of the real Government Motors

Speaking of the latter, we combed the files here at FeralCars  and came up with an iconic GAZ-21 (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod) Volga Series III sedan that we espied loitering at a gas station in Great Falls, VA, just a few minutes from CIA headquarters in Langley.  This one was built sometime between 1962 and 1970, meaning it rolled off the line in Nizhny, Novgorod under the watch of either Khruschev or Brezhnev.

When George W. Bush (remember him?) visited Moscow back in 2005, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin (PootiePoot in Bushese), showed him his own Volga. We offer a look at this automotive encounter as a remembrance of (some) things past. Pootie-Poot is still very much in the driver’s seat — shirt optional — despite what you see here.

"I looked the dashboard in the eye..."

He looked the oil pressure gauge in the and got a sense of the car’s soul

Volgas were, typically, powered by a 2.4 liter OHV 4 cylinder motor developing around 80 horsepower.  There was a very limited production V8-powered version, GAZ-M-23, known colloquially as Dogonyalka (“the “Chaser”),  used as an escort vehicle for motorcades and high speed police work.  It used the 5.5 liter motor from the Chaika limousine and was the Soviet Union’s embodiment of the Pontiac GTO/Plymouth Roadrunner formula:  light car + big motor = go fast.

Former NBC chat show host Jay Leno actually owns one of these. If you want to see his and his not-all-that-great Russian accent click here.  This 1 minute film from the Khruschev era provides some glorious Soviet context.

We highly recommend a visit to this amazing Volga website which is worth a click, if only for the Little Richard-inspired music.

Dosvedany’all!

If you’ve stalked a feral car near CIA headquarters, the Kremlin or anywhere else and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.