Monday, October 27, 2008

Car wash

Went rallying!!!

Nah, just jesting, I'd most probably have crashed into a tree or suffered a horrible fate if I did with my driving skillzzzzzzzzzz, or lack thereof.

I love rain, but I hate the mud that comes with it, and coupled with the current roadworks being carried out in my neighbourhood, this is the worst time of all to want a shiny car. The contractors are so good and fast at digging and covering up holes you won't believe it. Roads get blocked up partially, then totally, then cleared, then blocked again, then cleared again. Holes appear, pipes go in, hole disappears, hole appears somewhere else. Going home felt like gymkhana, and I must have went through at least 4 patterns just in Saturday. Anyway, I like the roadwork guys, this bunch really do their job well. They clean and cover up the roads properly after digging em up, they place signboards and warning lights at the appropriate places, and traffic controllers are everywhere all day, even in the night, as long as roadworks are being carried out. Kudos to them, I appreciate their thoughtfulness. Hell, maybe I'm too jaded, but I wasn't expecting to see this type of standard in Malaysia at all. They're just too good to be true here, more of such responsible people and Malaysia will be a very pleasant place, if it's not asking too much. Guess there're still standards in Malaysia hor, surprise surprise.

Dirt + mud + brake dust = a very sad looking car + unhappy me

And so, since I already need a bath after coming back from a haircut, I (SURPRISE) got off my lazy butt and washed my car, under the sun!

Loads of sand, grease, soap, water and mouthful of profanities, and about an hour later:
I never knew the wheelwells could hold so so very much mud. Mud fell out in chunks when I hosed up the wheelwells and brushed em up. Scary. It's like not cleaning your ears for a year and then suddenly discovering how much wax you have in those cavities.

I like this pic. It's underexposed and dark, so it hides all the flaws and lets me perceive the form that I enjoy without reminding me how farked up the entire bodywork and paint really is, so sad but so true.

Washed the car in the afternoon, had to drive Mom out at night, so it came back with dust all over again :( I thought it could at least stay clean until Sunday morning. The LHM also started spurting again after coming back from drinks tonight. Need to send the car to the hospital again tomorrow morning, wonder if they open on Deepavali. Even after all that tender loving care, my car still hates me. Damn.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The price of joy..

Came back home late this evening and soaked off an insane amount of water from the GTV's cabin. It rained heavily last night and I carelessly left it in the open as I headed off to another service with Dad. That's the 4th funeral I've been to this month; one for each week. Wow, anyway, the water in the GTV's cabin, I could be raring fishies in it, I think I should seal off the windows with silicone glue for Uncle Kim Kooi, soaking off bucketloads of water while it's raining hard wasn't fun at all :D Still haven't got the radiator fans fixed because I didn't drive it out today.

Hehehe, today's ride! Radio, sufficient headroom, air-con, power-steering with massive freeplay, no clutch, 2.8l of lazy DOHC L6 grunt (why oh why is my Xantia so lame with no twincams? And what, only 8 valves?! Damn!) and no wheelspin! Brakes are also crappy though, dang old cars :D Couldn't believe how much I used to dislike it, always telling Dad to just sell it off. Now I'm the one who's always talking Dad out of selling it. I've just grown very fond of it over the years. It's harder to be pissed at anything while driving it. Something about everyday feeling like a weekend driving it.

Dad's driven the Xantia home for me, the 116 needs some tweaking, the GTV needs a fix... ... ..., I'll decide when I wake up. It's die die die anyways because I'll still have to clean up all 3 cars. Yay. Pouring days, love the rain, hate the mud.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A day with the Alfa Romeo GTV

YAY!!!! I've always wanted to own one of these mean little coupes, finally got a chance to drive one! Uncle Kim Kooi borrowed my Xantia for an outstation trip, so I get to drive his GTV while at it! I could just drive the 116 (despite my constant dissing of all cars Mercedes-Benz, I'm actually quite fond of it) instead, but Uncle Kim Kooi offered to lend me his car, so I couldn't resist :D :D

My ride for the day, sitting there, looking every bit as awesome as it is, and more!! This is the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce, a later incarnation of the mean and punchy Giulia Sprint GTVs, 2-door sibling to the oh-so-sexy Giulia berlina sedans!! Roughly 1038kg of Italian sculpture powered by 1779cc of DOHC L4 fury!! To me, it is "very t3h awe5ome!!!" to say the least! The excitement I get from getting to drive this car or the Alpine A110 outrivals any of my fantasies of driving Citroen XMs and GSs, I daresay, although a Citroen SM or Datsun S30Z would be pretty close to instant orgasm, Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale or Group 5 Lancia Stratos Rally Turbo, and you can have my soul :p

Well, anyway, despite the 1750 in the name, the engine's actually a 1779cc unit, maybe 1750 runs off the mouth smoother :D

Erm, what can I say about this car? It's very cramped with it's low roof and all so it was pointless I gelled my hair up nicely today; my hair was all flattened after the drive, and I couldn't even straighten my neck throughout the drive! I also had to push the front seat all the way to the back, where it touches the rear seats, before I could fit in properly. The brakes are all spongy because the brake cylinder seals aren't good anymore, normal braking in this car can get pretty exciting. Clutch is heavy, stepping on it was like trying to flatten a radial tyre with your foot. The window seals are all about dead so it's noisy in there, and it leaks when it rains. No radio, no music. The seatbelts have no pretensioners and keep falling off my shoulder. No power steering means every other small corner or parking is like a bout of wrestling with the bulls. I don't think there's enough insulation, so engine heat gets into the cabin, fast, especially when the car is stationary, even with the aircon turned on!

But guess what? I enjoyed the drive a lot!!!! The car is cramped because it's body is small and low, so it's pretty light and stable, and goes off pretty fast too, what with the grunty and powerful engine under the hood! No sound insulation and radio? Who cares? The sound of the engine is sweet, it could be smoother still, but the grunts and growl of it are music to my ears, I find myself revving the engine a bit more than necessary many times, just to hear those notes!! The brakes really suck but I compensated with my driving patterns. Heavy clutch, hell I love it. I've always loved heavy clutches and wouldn't have em any other way, as long as I don't get caught in traffic with them. I was "fortunate" enough to get caught in traffic thrice with the car today, my left foot kinda survived :D By the way, I really like floor-hinged pedals; Dad's 116 280S has one, the GTV have all 3 on the floor, they're great! The seatbelts, well, they're kinda novel to me, reminds me of bumper cars, or the good old days in Dad's rally AE86 Levin! The aircon is pretty cool when the car is running, really, as long as it isn't stationary, but I get a huge sweat everytime I drive the car, wrestling with the steering, wheeee!! Keep the revs too low from a standing start turn and the car will choke a bit, put in a bit more pressure to the pedal and it will come of the turn with the engine roaring and rear wheels skiing on the floor, wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Fun fun fun!!!!

At the end of the day, the radiator fans stopped working so I had to cruise back home "slowly" at a lowly 2500rpm against 5000-7000rpm all day, thankfully it was drizzling, gotta fix it up before returning the car :p Oh, and I think the GTV might have nearly drunk up all RM50 of petrol in it's tank too; I saw the fuel light blinking on my way home ;) Dad told me it was just an erratic fuel indicator though, pretty common for Alfa Romeos of old. He should know, he's owned and fixed quite a few himself as a youth, Uncle Kim Kooi has literally been in love with Alfa Romeos all his life. Ah, the joys of driving old cars, such a joy, yet such a pain, but I ain't complaining :D Now that I've actually driven one, I'm officially hooked, and my desire to get one for myself is getting stronger, I'd look for a GTA though!!!

One of these days, one of these days, just wait :)

Pizza, lasagna, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Piaggio, Aprillia, Panerai, Monica Belucci, damn it, those Italians, they have it soooo good!! Well at least we have char koay teow, wan tan mee, and kari kambing, hah!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hot Wheels 1/24 Mach 5 & Mach 6

Saturdays are for non-productivity, and it doesn't count unless you get to spend it doing something completely pointless, so here are the pics of the Mach 5 & Mach 6!!

Mach 5 and Mach 6! I wish they'll make Mach 4 in this scale too! It's kinda like a Mach 6 with the Mach 5's front, and it's red, pretty interesting combination to say the least!

Can't find any pictures of the Mach 4, but Mach 6 butt, body and Mach 5 face, should be easy enough to imagine :p

Everytime I look at the Mach 6, I can't help but think of spiders, maybe it's those 6 headlamps, or maybe it's the claw-like front, or maybe because it looks evil and I think spiders are evil...

I absolutely love how the wheel braces are all M-shaped. The red Ms were a dark grey in the movie, not that it bothers me, I actually like them better in red, the shiny turbine-like wheels are cool too! Anyway, notice how the M-shaped wheel braces are shaped like spiders too, with their spindly evil legs? :p

Yes, the cockpit can open!

Inside the cockpit..
Nothing much, I'm a bit disappointed Hot Wheels didn't put in that nice shift stick and those pedals, would have made the model so much nicer, and the fact that you can see the floor from the cockpit at a certain angle is lame. Very lame. I wish they'd at least moulded those Sparco harnesses into the seats too.

Stingray VS Arachnid!


The Mach 6 actually has a much longer wheelbase, but it's also a bit higher, making it appear less sleek compared to the smooth Mach 5. They didn't get the Mach 6's ride height correct too, so it also appears clumsier. Overall, I think Hot Wheels didn't put as much effort in getting the Mach 6 right as they did with the Mach 5, which is almost perfect.

A more interesting view of the butts ^^ From this angle, the Mach 6 reminds me of the 1989 Tim Burton version Batmobile, which happens to be my favourite Batmobile of all times!

Oh btw, I just noticed something when Sis was holding the Mach 6 a few days earlier; at a certain angle, the Mach 6 also actually looks like:
A face. With a somewhat horrible expression.

See? Told ya the car is actually evil :D

Friday, October 17, 2008

On your Mach, get set... GO!!!

Couldn't resist, picked the Mach 6 up too last night! I wish they made Mach 4 in 1/24 too, really liked it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hot Wheels 1/24 Speed Racer Mach 5

Picked this up last night!

The Mach 5 is too classy and aggressive for words! I love every part of the design; it looks fast even when it's stationary! Long overhangs have never been this sexy!!!

Tapered tail to match the sharp nose, very slippery looking profile, tailfins are hot too!

Spinners! No, not those lame spinner hubcaps on lala cars, but spinner lock nuts most common on sportier cars from 4-6 decades ago, classy!

Cockpit looks inviting..

It's a pity the cockpit doesn't have the trademark Speed Racer steering wheel with gadget buttons, but otherwise it looks pretty good! I wish they'd at least included the pedals for it too though.


For such an affordable model, Hot Wheels sure did a good job with the proportions and details!

Even the finish is great; the paint is almost flawless, the surfaces are all smooth and pristine!

OK, now that I've got the movie version, I need to get hold of the Jada Toys original anime version, and hm, maybe I will pick up a Mach 6 too! Done showing off! I'm gonna go molest the tailfins off of my Mach 5 model now, oooh, so beautiful :D

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rust and shine!

Saw this Uncle Wai's workshop today. With a name like Walzflex you'd have thought it's a product from some European nation or the sort, well, wrong, hey, it's actually Japanese, and it's over 50 years old too, how cool!! Dang, I didn't know Uncle Wai didn't want it, Dad told me he just picked it up randomly from the workshop floor!! I'm gonna ask Uncle Cheong to get it for me then, doesn't matter if it's rusty or non-functional anymore, I love rusty, stylish junk, just hope Uncle Wai hasn't thrown it away :D

Btw, those interested can read more about the camera here. It's a pretty charming looking piece of gadget!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mui Mui is putting on weight...

...and getting more adorable!! I love her and her silly antics :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cars, cars, cars, and cars

I'm very sad of what happened to the Multipla last night.

As of 2 weeks ago, the Transit has been sold to Uncle Lai as we've hardly any use for it anymore. I miss it.

Uncle Kwai drove 1612 back for a visit today. It was in horrible condition. I feel sad for it.

Got the V230 back today and finally had time to check it out real as well as drive it. Lots of creature comfort and amenities in the car, it will double up real good as a people carrier or goods transporter, too bad you really can't expect anything nice aesthetics-wise from the Germans; the exterior is bland and the interior is fugly as hell.

While checking out the car, I noticed something though:

CHI SIN!! That's all I have to say about the undercarriage. How could it be so clean?!!! Siao man, I thought it was already weird that all the interior carpets are still wrapped in plastic, but even the undercarriage looks so.. NEW! Madness! The van is in incredibly immaculate condition. Recall those "Must see to believe!" claims in Motortrader? Some things need to be seen to be believed.

Anyway, I mentioned I drove the van too, so how was it? One word: sucks.

OK, one word is not enough, I'll elaborate a bit. The steering is numb. The slippery seats offer no lateral support at all, trying to throw me off at every corner. The auto gearbox is stupid. I knew from the get-go that it's no match for Citroen's Hydractive awesomeness, but the Airmatic suspension is epic fail; it couldn't even absorb small bumps properly, even the Multipla and Transit absorb bumps better than it, and they handle better too! Speaking of handling, I think the V230 seriously lacks in that department. It has no cojones in corners. Mou chun doi. Tarak bola langsung. What a wuss. Or maybe it was me. Anyway, it made my balls shrink in the corners, I didn't enjoy the drive. End of rant. At the end of the day, I'll still drive it when I've no other choice. Beggars can't be choosers :p