Monday, March 31, 2014

E Bay Motors; Find of the Day, Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Here's our random ebay motors find of the day.  One of only two Aston Martin V12 Zagato's in the United States, this model was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original DB4 GT Zagato.  This is a rare opportunity to own a very limited production hyper car for a low low price of half a million.  Even if this one is way outside of any of our price ranges, it's still worth the look just for those photos.  Check out that headliner, and those seats.  If any of you do decide this is the car for you and that you have a half million or so dollars burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to invite us over to help with the pre-purchase inspection. We promise not to drool too much.  Check out the full listing here with all the photos and info. Just make sure to act fast, the auction ends on 9 April.

A Visitors Guide to the Audi Museum and Forum in Ingolstadt, Germany

 The Audi Museum, located in the town of Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Germany was opened in 2000 and is co-located with one of their main assembly plants. This is also the same location where many new Audi's are delivered to their owners.  Any American Audi owner will be intimately familiar with this facility if they selected the European Delivery option.  I had the change to visit this museum a short while ago and though I'd take a moment to share my experience to help others interested in going.  Before visiting, I checked out the official website as well as some blogs but didn't seem to find all the info I was looking for and hope this post answers those questions for others.
  The closest major airport to  Ingolstadt is Munich, which is approximately 70 kilometers and an a little less than one hour's drive away.  Once outside of the city limits of Munich the highway (autobahn) leading to Ingolstadt will have those famous circular white signs with three gray diagonal lines indicating an unrestricted zone.  If you are unfamiliar with those signs or driving in Germany the best thing to keep in mind is stay to the right.  If you are not passing, get out of the left lane.  Those HID daytime running lights may look really far behind you, but believe me, when they are moving two times your speed, will be on your rear bumper in seconds.   On these unrestricted sections of the autobahn, most cars in the middle and left lanes will be travel around 120 miles per hour (around 200 KPH) but there are always a few that will be closer to 180 mph (290 KPH).    Don't bother trying to catch them or keep up with them and just get out of the way.  German drivers are not competitive like American drivers and do not feel slighted or superior based on their highway speed.  If there is slower traffic in front of you, just be patient as they will move over to the right as soon as possible.  Do not attempt to pass them on the right or you could end up paying some hefty fines in addition to the scorn of all the drivers on the road.
  Once at the museum, there is a small outdoor parking area and a larger parking garage accessed through an underground entrance.  A small parking fee is charged for utilizing the parking area, however when you purchase entrance tickets to the museum, you can have your parking ticket validated.  However, we attempted to use this service during our visit but ended up stuck at the exit to the parking lot because our ticket would not raise the gate.  It took a quick run back to the parking payment machine with euro in hand and a few honks from the cars waiting behind us to finally get the gate open.
  While slightly smaller and older than the Porsche, BMW or Mercedes Museum, the Audi facility is worth a visit especially if you are a fan.  Some of the highlights of the museum include the history of the four rings and the Auto Union,
  After touring the museum, it's worth taking a few extra minutes to head into the building located to the left of the museum.  This is the Audi Forum, where a large percentage of new vehicles are delivered to their owners.  It's an interesting site seeing all the new cars lined up under the bright lights ready for their owners.  A mildly amusing game can be made of trying to pair the new car with the guests in this area.  Is it the young 20 something guy with wife and kids in tow picking up that new RS7 or the 60 something retiree and his wife.  The Audi shop is also located in this building and has options for every buyer and price range.  All the standard branded items from pens, hats, jackets to model cars are available.  While the prices were similar to what is found in the Audi catalogs from any stateside dealer, there were a few discounted and discontinued items available during our visit.
  While there are factory tours available, we were not able to take advantage of that opportunity during this visit or find out much information about booking a tour.  Maybe next time.
  The museum is open Monday through Sunday 9 am to 6 pm with a 4 Euro entrance fee.  Check out their official website here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Car and Driver's Ring Guide for First Time Visitors

Car and Driver magazine has just published a short but interesting article on a first timers trip to the ring.  There is some great info contained in this article for anyone planning a trip to the ring.  Especially take note of the need to rent a car for the ring from a track oriented rental agency.  Many Americans run afoul of the law by taking the car they rent at the airport on the track.  The majority of the German rental agencies specifically ban the use of their cars on the ring and in all probability had you sign a document agreeing to such.  It's not worth the risk, that armco barrier is very expensive and the the rental agency will be even more so.  Check out the full article here and let us know what you think.  Also, as frequent visitors to the ring, if you have any questions about planning a trip to the ring or traveling around Germany, hit us up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Schumaker's Family Confident He Will Wake Up

 According to articles published today in several German newspapers.  Michael Schumaker's manager has released a few statements indicating the family is confident Michael will awake from his coma.  Michael has been in a medical induced coma since December and numerous rumors have been spread regarding his condition and potential for recovery.  Best wishes for him and his family.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Double Parker Revenge AKA Stay Between the Lines

As a car fanatic, I am always searching for the perfect parking spot.  You know the one, at the end of the row, away from the cart return and other cars, slighting wider than the rest because one side is against the grass or planter.  And of course uphill so as to prevent the chance of any stray shopping cart from rolling into the car.
  But I always park in one spot and only one spot.  If the spot is against the grass or a striped no parking area, I will definitely ride the line on that side because it offers some extra protection without infringing on any other spots.  That's probably one of the fastest ways to upset other drivers and incite anger against your car.  Just don't park across multiple spots, even at the very end of the lot where no one else is parked.  You never know what could happen...

Saturday Morning Motorvation: RUF Yellow Bird

The following video is one of those epic car videos that anyone claiming to be a petrol head must watch.  If you haven't seen it, watch it and if you have watch it again.  It's an amazing display of car control, track knowledge and 10/10ths driving on the edge.