San Francisco Car Culture: Unusual Jaguar XK8 paint job

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Found this earlier this month while on the way to work. The color scheme really threw me off, so at first I couldn’t even tell it was a Jaguar. I remain speechless.

Ferrari F430 on 18th street

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The old joke is “You know you’ve lived in San Francisco too long when… the sight of a legal parking space can bring you to tears”.

There’s two noteworthy things in these photos:
1) These photos were taken on 18th street, San Francisco, which is always packed because that one block has Dolores Park, Tartine, BiRite market, BiRite icecream and two Delfina restaurants. Walking or driving down this street is super-busy. Parking is… Well, to give you an idea of how hard it is to park here, I’ve lived in the area for years now, and can count on one hand the number of times I parked legally on this street.
2) Oh, and yes, the car is a Ferrari F430 – a rare sight. (2006 year I’d guess, from matching the photos). From the new-dealer-tags, I think someone just bought themselves a very nice pressie.



“Speed enforced by drones”!?!

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These signs were spotted last week on Highway 101, right here in the bay area! Full story is on CBS local, the Marin Independent Journal, and the interview with the artist who created the fake signs as well as with the CHP spokesman. Well worth the 2 minute watch.

My favorite quotes are:

No, we do not have drones… especially not drones that fire any type of weaponry” Marin CHP spokesman Andrew Barclay.

(chuckle) yeah, the firing missile was a bit of an added touch” artist Stephen Whisler

They were very professionally done, someone knew what they were doing” Barclay said.

Triumph TR3 in San Francisco

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Walking to a neighborhood coffeeshop, I found this immaculate Triumph TR3 parked on a side street near my house.

Really spectacular to see, especially with the neighborhood street-parking sticker! For anyone curious for more details about this Triumph TR3 car click here

San Francisco Car Culture: Flowers on your antennae

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If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers on your hair^Wantennae?!?

(With respectful apologies to the late Scott McKenzie’s song from 1967: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…”)

protip: I like how the flowers aerodynamically sweep back, and how zipties keep the flowers safely attached when driving fast.

R.I.P. Carroll Shelby

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On Thursday, 10-may-2012, Caroll Shelby died, aged 89.

Originally a chicken farmer, he became a race car driver until 1959, when heart problems brought his successful racing career to an end, so he switched again to focus on designing and building powerfully fast, brash, muscle cars that he loved to drive, including some great icons:

AC Cobra/Shelby Cobra
AC Cobra

Ford Mustang GT390 (made famous by Steve McQueen in the movie “Bullitt“.) Bullitt screenshot
…and several other
Mustang-variants.

Dodge Viper
Dodge Viper

Ford GT
Ford GT screenshot

Even at 84 years of age, while a consultant on developing the new high-powered Ford GT, he still loved driving fast, and test drove the new Ford Mustang GT500 on a race track at 150mph.

I didnt realize until today that he was also one of the world longest living heart transplant recipients, having received a heart transplant in 1990.

A more detailed bio is available on his Shelby-America company website, on Wikipedia, The New York Times and The Washington Post .

Mis-communication in a rally car

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This in-car camera footage was taken during the rally in Tasmania a few days ago, and catches some mis-communication between the driver and the navigator. The car was doing 118mph (190km/hr) at the final corner.

How people behave, and treat others, when things go wrong is quite telling. In this case, you can hear the first “sorry” while the car is still airborne. Also, they keep working together, and checking on each other, all the way to the end. Nice to see.

Best quote: “You cleared (flew over) the first fence, second fence you went through sideways, and the third fence you went through sideways.”

PS: In case you wonder just how hard can it be to give pre-written directions in a car, here’s a snippet from last years Circuit of Ireland Rally where the driver/navigator team worked really really well together. Note:

  • the navigator reads out directions in a non-intuitive way. The driver is already
    committed to the approaching corner, and has already been told what to expect around the corner. The navigator is telling the driver what to expect after the next corner.

  • the large LED display near the steering wheel shows 1…6 depending on what gear the driver is in. Green is normal, but red means the driver is running engine dangerously fast and should change gear. All other information is distracting, so is removed! This makes it hard to tell speed but you can get an idea how fast they are going by noticing the number of times the driver redlines the car in 6th gear.

GODDZLA in the Mission

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Walked past this Nissan GT-R parked on the side of the street in the Mission district of San Francisco. Spent several minutes walking around it, admiring. The license plate was a nice touch – wonder if the owner is involved with Mozilla? All the jokes about “a monster from Japan” are appropriate for this beast when you realize this 3.8L V6 Twin-turbo produces 485HP!

Morgan in Tokyo

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Walking the back streets near Shibuya, in Tokyo, I found this immaculate Morgan +4 parked on the side of the narrow street, outside a crowded barber shop.

Really spectacular, especially in this setting of narrow streets where even the delivery vans are super-compact. For anyone curious for more details about this Morgan +4 car click here

San Francisco Car Culture: Custom License Plates

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Almost drove past this parked vehicle before I got the joke. The drive back around the block to take this photo was well worth it!