Posts Tagged ‘VW’

DRIVER SEAT> 40 Years of Volkswagen Golf GTI

This year, Volkswagen is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular VW Golf - the best selling European car of all time! More than 30 million Golf models have been sold since the Golf Mk1 went on sale in May 1974 in Europe (the car made its debut in the United States as the Volkswagen Rabbit in December of the same year). Seven generations later, the successful formula remains the same: compact, yet elegant styling; space-efficient interior design; small displacement yet powerful engines; and responsive front-wheel-drive handling.

While on a short trip to San Francisco, I had the unique opportunity to test drive both the all new 2015 Volkswagen Golf Mark 7 and a 1984 Golf GTI Mark1. What an awesome experience that was!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Speed&Stance Swarms SpeedVentures

This weekend's inaugural Speed&Stance meet was crazy!!! I can't believe so many people turned up to the event, because we organized and promoted the entire thing in only five days. FIVE DAYS! Thanks to our friends at Speed Ventures, we were able to throw this gigantic car event in the parking lot of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana!

We advertised the meet to run between 12 noon and 5pm, but every single one of the infield parking lots at the speedway were FULL by 2:45pm! There was a crazy line of cars backed up from the infield parking, through the tunnel, wrapping all the way around to the Cherry Avenue entrance! I was told that once the parking lots allocated to the event hit capacity, the people at the gates had to turn away well over 100 cars! Insane.

Since traffic and road congestion became an issue, the good folks from Auto Club Speedway quickly opened up a couple more parking lots so that cars could pre-stage before rolling in to the actual show area, which saw both autocross and high speed road racing with Speed Ventures on the ROVAL course, and a beginner level car control clinic for Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ owners called the 86 Dynamic Driving Academy.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Cars Of The 2013 New York Auto Show

NYIAS is here! The New York International Auto Show Media Preview Days have just kicked off, giving members of the automotive press a sneak peek into what's new from all the automotive manufacturers this year. There are tons of cars to look at and lots of ground to cover, so we'll keep updating you with more photo updates on the blog and of course, our social stream...   Read more...

GALLERY> VW of Van Nuys Volkswagen Gathering

As most of our readers already know, my automotive background has been primarily focused around the culture of Japanese cars. I still remain a purist in this sense, but in the last few years, my automotive tastes have broadened. Ever since my first trip to Europe (something like five years ago), my interest in German cars has been steadily increasing. I never really paid attention to the Volkswagen brand because I've been a long time fan of rear wheel drive cars... but I immediately saw the light the first time I drove a Volkswagen Golf R.

My good friend Mitch Sison from EcoShine Auto called me up over the weekend and told me about this meet happening at Volkswagen of Van Nuys, organized by Brandon Chasin of Wustefest. I figured it would be a good opportunity to see some nice looking local Vee Dubs, so I grabbed my camera and my brand new Canon EF 35mm 1.4L lens and headed to the meet.   Read more...

GALLERY> Celebrating HotRod Culture w/ Mooneyes

Los Angeles is a melting pot of many cultures, so the car culture in Southern California is diverse as well - this place is ground zero for modified cars! Los Angeles has automotive heritage that spans from the first hot rodders and dry lakebed racers in the 1940s and 1950s to the evolution of the European and Japanese car scenes on US shores that began in the late 1960s and continues strong until today. People complain about all the smog and traffic and crappy roads in LA, but we're lucky - as far as I'm concerned, we have it all.

As Southern California car culture evolved from traditional handcrafted V8 powered hot rods to include the modification of small bore, high power output Japanese cars, our car scene truly has come full circle. It may be difficult for some to grasp this, but today, one of the most popular events in Southern California celebrating hot rods and the culture behind them is actually run by a group of hardcore hot rodders from Japan! The event I speak of is the annual Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway, and year after year, it captivates me like it was my very first car show. Year after year, the Mooneyes Christmas Party remains paramount in my mind as the very best hot rod event I've ever attended.   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Volkswagen Golf R: Turbo AWD Fun

The new Volkswagen Golf R just might be the perfect daily driver - but only if you value things like nimble handling, quick acceleration, a sporty-yet-comfortable interior, a good stereo system, ice cold air conditioning, and the ability to bring friends on road trips with you. If you don't like those things, then the Golf R might not be for you. But wait - who doesn't like those things???

My first experience with the new Volkswagen Golf R certainly caught me by surprise. As a person that has been primarily focused on sporty Japanese cars all my adult life, I'll honestly admit that I've never really looked into buying a Volkswagen. As a result, I've been a bit ignorant and unfamiliar with the VW brand in the past - something that I will definitely be changing in the future!

I knew that the Golf R was Volkswagen's top contender in the sport compact segment. However, until I actually had the chance to spend an entire week with the car, I had no idea that I would like the car as much as I did! Of course, the Golf R did have some pros and cons...   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Fifteen52 Volkswagen Jetta Variant

The first time I met Matt Crooke, co-owner of Fifteen52, was on a cold night in Upland, California. We were at a locally-famous restaurant called The Hat, which is known for their great pastrami sandwiches. However, I wasn't there for the beef. I was there for the weekly gathering of Volkswagens that come out in droves just to hang out and chit-chat about the trials and tribulations of owning and modding a Volkswagen. We quickly got acquainted and I soon found out what Fifteen52 really meant.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Porsche Powered VW with Patina

It's been a while since MotorMavens published some car features from Europe. Come join us as we dive deeper into the Euro car scene in the Netherlands! This is a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle, is there anything more classically Euro that you can think of? I think not... but don't be fooled, this Beetle is not quite stock. It's also a daily driven car. Let's have a look at the details...   Read more...

COVERAGE> Historic Rallycars at RMS in N. Ireland

ReallyMeanSounds.com (or RMS) is a local motoring forum here in Northern Ireland. The site was set up by Andy Cooper many moons ago to showcase ICE installations but, as the popularity of the forum grew, it became one of most popular motoring forums in Ireland. I have been a member since late 2006 when I was losing heart with my rallying exploits and RMS was just the fix I needed.

The site and its members have been very good to me in the last few years. I have made many great friends and have had very special times going to car shows and meet-ups. Now, in its tenth year, Graham Curry, who is the RMS resident photographer and a good friend of mine, decided that the milestone should be marked with a Birthday show. So, after months of planning, we found ourselves at Junction 1 in Antrim - where all sorts of fun ensued!   Read more...

COVERAGE> The United Kingdom of Lowered Cars

The stance scene in the UK has been around for a while, starting off with Volkswagen owners modifying their cars with the stretched tyre style from Germany... however, it has really taken off over the past few years; more and more high quality cars have been coming out of the woodwork. However, being so involved with drifting, I haven't really had the chance to see much of this scene in the flesh. So, as you can imagine, it was just my luck that UK based members of the wheel fitment specialist website StanceWorks, decided to kick off the year by holding their very first meet on Sunday at Milton Keynes Hockey Stadium. Through threads on other forums, word got out about the meet and a whole host of cars rocked up - well over 50!

The majority of the cars were European, such as Volkswagens and BMWs, and I have to confess I didn't know a lot about them. So I'll keep it short and show you some cars that really stood out for me at the meet!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> 1965 Type II Volkswagen Bus

Many of us are dreamers, striving toward our dreams and goals, stopping at nothing to reach that finish line. Rolando Alvarado’s 1965 Type II Volkswagen Bus took 30+ years to cross the metaphorical finish line - but what a great finish line to cross!

Growing up, Rolando was always a fan of the air-cooled Volkswagen scene and it quickly became a personal goal of his to acquire one. It was his father’s 1954 European oval window VW Bug that got his heart pumping and started his love for the air-cooled engines. Despite that, it took a while for Rolando to realize his dream. It wasn’t until 1980 that he finally got his very first VW. Of course, being the die-hard VW head that he is, it ended up being a 69’ VW Bug.

The first time I laid eyes on this Bus, I just knew that there had to be a story behind it. To many, a Bus may just be another form of transportation, but to me this iconic Bus was a moment in a time when life was a lot simpler - the time of Wood Stock, hippies running through Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, Jefferson Airplane...good times. During the photo shoot, this Bus almost became a time capsule to channel what life was like back then - an icon to remind us how things used to be.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Imports at Bonneville Salt Flats

I'm stoked to be writing about the Bonneville Salt Flats for MotorMavens! I've been a HUGE fan of the site since it started last year. A super quick intro might be in order, I guess... I'm Chris Hecht, originally from SoCal, now living in Utah. I'm a husband of ten years, father of four boys, Quality Engineer for a medical device manufacturer by day, and car fanatic by... day and night. I live two hours from Lands End - where paved road meets the other planet known as the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I've been going to Bonneville's "Great White Dyno" for three (going on four) years. I was first invited out by my co-worker and friend Dallas Volk (too bad he's no relation to Volk wheels haha) - but he is a member of the prestigious 200MPH Club. He and his family have been racing a 1929 Ford Roadster his entire life. Dallas, his dad Larry (current President of the 200MPH Club!), brother Patrick and sister Allison (nicknamed "Hollywood") are all in the 200MPH Club. I'm not, but I have contracted a dreaded disease...

I've officially been diagnosed with Salt Fever - and it's uber contagious. Bonneville has its own culture and feel, just like drifting, time attack or drag racing. There are the old timers and veterans who keep the traditions alive with the new blood learning the ropes while adding their own style, flair and background.

I hope to bring to the MotorMavens readers a view of this motorsport and share the cars and culture that make it what it is today. For this first post, we'll have a look at some of the import land speed cars I've spotted. As you'd guess, the majority of cars built to make top speed runs down the long salt, of course, are American. However, the great part about Bonneville (and El Mirage) is that there are A LOT of classes to run in - many of which are perfect for Japanese and European cars because of their engine selections and aerodynamics.

Check the first picture. This Ferrari (#288) runs in the AA/BGMS class (AA = over 500 cubic inches, Blown (super or turbocharger), Gas Modified Sports). According to SCTA's site, it went 235mph and there's a comment on the notes..."Smoke?" Like any motorsport, land speed racing is all about the details. Check the front fenders...aero diffusers (not sure what they call them) to help direct the airflow and add stability. Most of these cars never see a wind tunnel, but the aero tricks are tried and true.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Leavenworth Euro Cruise, Part 2

Summer is late this year in Washington state. Usually, around this time, the sickness of the overcast weather breaks and June is quite nice. However, this year the clouds are sticking around longer than expected - make that wanted. But the weather can be beaten - by those with enough motivation to attempt it.

Through the mountain pass where it looks the gloomiest and down the other side; hope shines through. The clouds break away slowly as you come down Stevens Pass and the rays warm you through the windows. As you get closer to the end of the mountains, the river next to the highway rushes and you can hear it now that you've rolled down your windows. There, nestled at the bottom of the east side of the Cascade Mountains, lies a small and amazing little town called Leavenworth - where every year, for the last 10 years, hordes of Euro cars descend from the mountains to disturb its unsuspecting calm.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Leavenworth Euro Cruise in WA

All my friends know that I stay up really late every day, so when I wake up early for an event, it's usually because I'm motivated to shoot a drift event or some kind of local Japanese car-based meet. However, waking up just to go to a car cruise is a completely new concept for me. I've heard about the Leavenworth Euro Cruise for few years now, and to be honest.. I never really cared to check it out until now! It's a good thing I stepped out of my shell though, because there were a lot of cool cars at the event that I probably wouldn't have ever seen if I didn't go!

It's true what they say - as we get older, things change, our minds open up, and sometimes... we realize what we been missing. This cruise from Bellevue Community College to the touristy city of Leavenworth, with a stop at Washington's famous Steven's Pass was definitely something I've been missing out on for a long time! I attended the cruise with our writer Lucas Perez and photo newcomer Jeff Santiago, and even though we rolled up with Lucas's R32 Skyline and Jeff's Honda S2000, mostly everyone seemed cool with our non-euro cars attending. Well, at least they didn't throw eggs at us or anything.   Read more...

WEBMINING> Wagenwerks and DubKorps AWOL Teaser

AWOL – The Teaser from wagenwerks on Vimeo.

First off, I recently realized something. Just because I may have seen a video, it doesn’t mean everyone else has. This being said, my New Year’s Resolution will be to pass on video links to every bad ass video I have seen.

So, I bring you a Wagenwerks and DubKorps video from 3 months back. This was the first time I had heard of DubKorps, so you Euro guys hold your horses!! I am incredibly familiar with the Wagenwerks videos and the guys who make them. Hey! They are from my home state of Virginia! After watching this video I suggest you check out their website Wagenwerks.net (their DVD is beast by the way) then hop on their Vimeo channel and watch everything you have not yet seen.

These guys produce legit videos. Their film and editing style are top notch in my opinion. If anyone actually could muster up the ability to claim their videos suck and back it up with a proper argument, send an email my way! I have a knuckle sandwich my mom made me a few years ago that has been waiting to be gobbled up. HAHA!!!

And one more thing… Our readers will begin to learn a few things about me… I don’t just stick to one car scene, I love them all (in a manly kind of way). While I do have a passion for rotaries, I follow the Euro, Honda, and Toyota scenes just as much. I even ride a fixed gear bike, (that would be a fixie for those of you want to call it that!) Bet you might never have guessed that!

(In case you are wondering: First song: Hollywood Undead_ City , Second song: Innerpartysystem_ Don’t Stop ) Both of which are amazing bands.

:: Scottie Scheetz


CARSPOTTING> German Folks Wagens at Mooneyes

When I think of Mooneyes and their Annual Christmas Party at Irwindale, I normally think of hot rods - rat rods, traditionals, kustoms, roadsters... things of that sort. However, as I was trudging along the Irwindale Speedway parking lot with soaking wet jeans (and even worse... wet socks. Grossss!) from the torrential downpour that Mother Nature subjected us to... I noticed this small grouping of Volkswagens, and immediately began making my way toward them.

These Vee Dubs had their own sense of style. The color and rust spots on this blue Deluxe VW bus reminded me of the Volkswagen Single Cab from Miami that we featured just a few months ago when we started this site. I'm admittedly not a maven of VW knowledge, but I do have a strong opinion on what I think is stylish and what's not.   Read more...

COVERAGE> FixxFest 6 Euro Meet in FL

For my first post on MotorMavens, I hope I can entertain you. My name is Scottie Scheetz and I have only recently become a Florida resident. I grew up in Northern Virginia, just a few miles south of D.C. Cars have always been in my life, as I am one who only looks to shops for alignments and welding work (for now, but I will remedy that shortly). I frequently enjoy taking my car apart just to give me something to do when I am bored. One thing I am passionate about is drifting. I have been following it since 2000-2001, and I absolutely love how it has grown. Many late nights and exam study times were spent watching drift videos on any sites I can find.

That's enough about me... Let's talk about the car scene in Florida. Before moving here, I heard lots of talk about Florida having a terrible car scene. I must say, since I relocated to this amazingly warm state, I'd have to disagree with that completely. My view point has completely changed. There is quite a large scene for car enthusiasts that are into Hondas, VWs, Toyotas, Nissans, etc. There are car events every weekend, from huge blowouts to smaller 60 car beach meets. I legitimately mean every weekend something is going on.   Read more...

WEBMINING> Aggressive Offset Deja VW

I was reading Yoshi Shindo’s Passat story the other day and it really jumped off the page at me when he said he had “never been the greatest fan of VWs”. Not that there's anything wrong with liking what you like. It just reminded me of something my boy Steve told me about the VW scene awhile back. He said (I’m paraphrasing): “There’s nothing new about aggressive offset and rolled fenders. VW guys have been doing that for over 30 years.”   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> A Well Dunn Passat

From compact commuter cars and SUVs, to GTs and supercars, most in our "scene" have seen just about every imaginable car "upgraded"- with the possible exception (in my case) of Zach Dunn's 2007 Volkswagen Passat. I must admit that I had yet to see one of these cars done right. And, since I seem to be in the mood for confession, I'm not going to lie, I've never been the greatest fan of VWs. However, the more I see of them (especially this one), the more they're starting to grow on me. Zach's 2007 Passat was the first I'd seen that had been slammed and enhanced with superior fitment - and that made all the difference in the world.   Read more...

WEBMINING> VW Vanagons at Hockenheimring

While I spend most of my free time dreaming about JDM minivans, I often find myself wanting a sport-tuned German kid hauler. Germany seems to have an abundance of Porsche-powered VW Vanagons out there, and the Deutschlanders just love to take these hopped-up vans to the track. Here we have a vid of a blue VW T3 Vanagon tearing it up around the famed Hockenheimring.

While it’s hard to pick a favorite van, the campervan seen at the 0:40 mark is my favorite just because it’s so absurd. Anyone out there want to help my dreams come true by setting up a Vanagon vs. Estima race?

::Justin Kaehler


COVERAGE> Ratsuns x Japanese Nostalgic Car Meet

There's a popular SoCal meeting place that attracts all sorts of car nuts at the Torrance In & Out Burger on Crenshaw just north of the PCH. The parking lot is big enough to hold several little meets and everything from classic V-Dubs to American muscle shows up. Recently some members of Ratsun.net and Japanese Nostalgic Car forums have put the call out to old school Japanese cars to meet here on the first Friday of every month, and owners turned out en masse. This sublime Datsun 1200 is just one example of the kind of cars that rolled up.   Read more...