Thursday, April 16, 2015

Herbie The Love Bug rolled into West Palm Beach this week for the annual Barrett-Jackson car auction at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

This version of Herbie was used in two movies, Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo and Herbie Goes Bananas.

Folks snapped selfies with the car at CityPlace in West Palm Beach Wednesday afternoon. I got to take a fun (and bouncy ride) in the little Beetlem which can still squirt oil (or now water) from its rear right wheel.

Here's my Sun Sentinel article on Herbie.



















Thursday, February 26, 2015

50 Shades of Beetle

50 Shades of Grey had two beautiful actors, lots of grey ties, rope, handcuffs and a lot of huffing and puffing.

But that's not what revved up my engine after catching a screening last Saturday afternoon.

There was a small uncredited role and it belonged to Wanda, Anastasia Steele's light blue classic Volkswagen Beetle.

Yes, I loved the car in the movie. To me, it was a scene stealer, diverting my eyes to its Lady Bug body in the few scenes it appeared.

In one early scene as Anastasia and longtime buddy Jose talk in the parking lot at their university, they do so in front of this little bug before she climbs in. When she cranks it up, the Beetle carried its traditional rear-engine puttering sound.

In another scene after she sees Christians' lavish sports and luxury car collection,  she tells him something along the lines, "What, you didn't know I was a collector of classic cars?" referring to her VW.

When Anastasia renegotiates Christen's S&M contract at his office, she decides to leave and head back home and she does all this in front of her VW as if making a statement - you can't change me, I'm an original.

I think the car says a lot about Anastasia.  Both are independent, reliable, determined, down-to-earth and of course, curvy. (They're also loud in their own way but I won't get into that here. Go see the movie or check out the book at your local library.)

Although there are newer car models out there, she prefers this little tough Beetle to dart around to and from school, her hardware store job and the so-called "Grey House." After he has her car sold (without her permission) to surprise her with a red Audi, she later demands Wanda back (which his driver sold.)

Perhaps I'm reading way too much into this fictional story but you don't see many of these old Beetles on the roads these days, at least not in Miami.  So while moviegoers gushed and giggled about the sex scenes and this sex toy thing called flogger, I sat in my seat and smiled whenever Wanda the Beetle rolled on the screen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mobile businesses on a roll



South Florida's car culture is driving more businesses to take to the wheel. Besides food trucks, we now have mobile boutiques, hair salons on wheels, even door to door gyms in a truck.

Here's my Sun Sentinel story on the mobile trend. 






Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rare bug : the VW Beetle Red Rock edition


Found in downtown Fort Lauderdale: the 2010 Volkswagen Beetle Red Rock edition.  What makes it a special edition is the color, which has a brownish-reddish tint, almost like an autumn-orange.

But the color looks different, depending on the lighting (or how dirty the car is.)  It reminds me an orange Jelly Bean with four wheels.

The German car maker reportedly only produced 750 of sweet potato-colored bugs in the US for that model year. This version also has a black sunroof and interior.

So if you see one of these Red Rockers in your city, take notice because there are only 749 others on the road. 




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Classic Bug

I've seen this classic Volkswagen Beetle during my lunchtime travels in Fort Lauderdale. The car stops me in my tracks and I had to take some photos. It's been parked in front of a home in the Victoria Park neighborhood off  NE 15th Ave and NE Sixth Street. The plates say Alabama, '66, Heart of Dixie.

The Bug strikes me as car art, something to marvel at during my commutes.

If this is your car, feel free to contact me. I'd love to know the year and the story behind it.




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fort Lauderdale's crazy rat rod




This car turns people's heads in South Florida so much that people stop and shoot the car with their smartphones and then upload the footage on Youtube.  Here's my Sun Sentinel story on the online fame that follows this customized 1949 Ford which looks like something that rolled out of one of those Mel Gibson Mad Max movies.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Back to the Accord

Beep beep! AOL AUTO published my first-car story which is a tribute to my clunky former Honda Accord which I really loved and still think about. (Yes, I used to have New Kids on The Block hair.) The photo to the left with my shaggy curly hair was taken outside my friend Aime's apartment building in South Beach across from Fienberg Fisher Elementary on Pennsylvania Ave. I was by default the designated driver (because I had a car.) And the photo to the right is how the model looked from the rear. (Note: this car below wasn't mine. Just a clone.)