Wednesday, February 22, 2017

AUTOS: London Motor Museum - Herbie'




Herbie, the Adorable Love Bug sits ready to Rock 'n Roll and G-O Racin' (The Tomaso Collection)
The vehicle pictured above may/may not still be on display. As these pictures were taken during last Summer; August, 2016...

SPECIFICS
Year: 1963
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Beetle
Engine: 1.2-liter (1192cc) Air-cooled Flat-4 cylinder
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Transaxle
Layout: rear engine/Rear Wheel Drive
Horsepower: 40bhp @3,900 RPM
Top Speed: N/A

Ferdinand Porsche, Sr. was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to build what he deemed the "People's Car" in 1934, in what ultimately became known simply as the Beetle or Bug  with production beginning in 1938. And would go onto record the most mass produced vehicle of all-time with its final original body-style's production finally ceasing in 2003, before the new Beetle permanently replaced it.


And just for reference, during the 1963 Beetle's model year's introduction that inspired Herbie the Love Bug', gasoline cost a whopping 29-cents per gallon in the good 'Ol USA...

NOTES
Everybody knows who Herbie the Love Bug is, right? As I know I saw I-T as a 'Wee lad growing up, but it's been a long time ago, although pretty sure I must have seen one of the originals staring the late Dean Jones, who passed away in September, 2015.


Ironically, Jones died  just over one month before I left for that year's United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, at Circuit Of The Americas. Where Yank' Alexander Rossi, perhaps you've heard of him by now? Was making his North American Formula 1 debut as part of his five race deal at Manor-Marussia as Roberto Mehri's replacement. As Rossi was the first American to compete in Formula 1 since Scott Speed's stint at Scuderia Toro Rosso between 2006-07.

As Rossi, who'd go onto win the following year's Indy 500, the magnanimous 100th running as a rookie in 2016, driving for Andretti Herta Autosport, chose the number 53 as his personal number in F1 supposedly due to its Love Bug connection...



1965 Beetle
ETC
Ironically, Karmically, or Symbiotically? Take your pick Folks, as just days after wrapping-up this story 'N puttin' a Bow upon I-T; Hya! Tuh-Duh!

After waffling on whether or not to watch; Err listen to another rambling, perhaps funny? Episode 'O Fast 'N Loud. The Feb 13th show just so happened to feature the Monkeys giving a 1965 stock VW Beetle the Gas Monkey Garage treatment...

Pictures
 Herbie Love Bug photo Courtesy of Clarity Pictures
1965 Beetle image source: photobucket.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

AUTOS: London Motor Museum - Mr. Bean




The famous Mr. Bean's Mini, replete with folding chair upon its roof. (The Tomaso Collection)

The vehicle pictured above may/may not still be on display. As these pictures were taken during last Summer; August, 2016...

SPECIFICS
Year: 1976
Make: British Leyland Corp
Model: Mini 1000
Engine: 1.0-litre (998cc) Inline 4-cylinder
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual/Automatic (5-Speed Manual optional)
Layout: Front Wheel Drive/front engine
Horsepower: 39bhp @ 4,750RPM*
Top Speed: N/A

(Horsepower figure taken from 1978 Mini 1000 Specs; closest info I could discern)

Sir Alec Issigonis designed the legendary Morris Mini-Minor for the British Motor Corporation, debuting in 1959 - spanning countless model variations built in multiple countries until its production ended in 2000.

The original Mini has been subsequently replaced by BMW's very successful, modern, current adaptation, which began production in 2001.

NOTES
Having never seen, listened to or heard any of the Mr. Bean episodes, I'll not try describing the show, other than I'm told I-T exhibits that classical British Wit!

Reportedly the show began its five year run on British television January 1, 1991, and during Season One Mr. Bean's automobile was an orange 1969 Mini MkIII, which was demolished in an off-camera accident after episode-one.

Thus Mr. Bean resorted to a green with black bonnet 1976 Mini 1000 for the duration of the show - finishing on December 15, 1995, hence presumably the vehicle in the photograph above, since it's replete with chair strapped to its roof, from which the aforementioned Mr. Bean drove said vehicle! As well as apparently getting dressed inside his Mini and countless other clever pranks...


(Photo Courtesy of Clarity Pictures)