Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 8 - Fiat Auto

The job offer from Fiat came about in the winter of 1978, and turned out to be an interesting proposition in that it was a managing position for the Fiat Advanced Design Studio.

Working for such a big organization was a bit different form Tjaarda's previous experience but it was here that he was able to learn the techniques of industrial giants internal methods of management.
It was a difficult period regarding automotive design, especially at Fiat with many strikes and adverse political conditions. On the other hand many interesting developments were applied to car design such as the use of the wind tunnel for aerodynamic efficiency and the use of color-coded plastics for integrated bumpers.

Working in a design office together with 15 designers and modelers, the four years at Fiat resulted in a number of interesting prototypes with Tjaarda working this time not as an individual designer but as group manager. Following are a few of the projects which resulted in prototypes and styling demonstration models.

TIPO 4 - LANCIA / FIAT - 4 door                           styling models    1979

FIAT POLAND - off-road vehicle                            prototype            1979

FIAT BRAZIL                                                      prototype            1980

FIAT BRAZIL - small car                                      styling model      1980

FIAT 124 - restyling                                             prototype           1980

LANCIA Y-10                                                      PROTOTYPE     1981 

© Copyright Anthony Westen 
In virtue of a personal relationship exclusively written for me and my Fiat 124 Spider Blog - The Netherlands. 
Auf Grund einer persönliche Beziehung exclusiv geschrieben für mich und für mein Fiat 124 Spider Blog - die Niederlande. 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Anthony Westen - Netherlands.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 7 - Sinthesis

While still working at Ghia, Tjaarda teamed up with a friend, Peter Giacobbi, to design and build a running prototype. Called the SINTHESIS, this concept vehicle was hand built over a two year period. Using the power and suspension unit of the LANCIA FLAVIA placed in a mid-ship position, a new chassis was designed by Giacobbi and a coupé sports car body designed by Tjaarda to complete this hobby project.

The car was shown in the TURIN AUTO SHOW in 1972. The public showing of this one-off prototype turned out to be shocking and created dramatic speculation as to who did it, where did it come from and what was its purpose. Even DeTomaso called his friends at Fiat to find out if they had engaged Tjaarda to work for them !

The ashes settled when both Giacobbi and Tjaarda produced all the evidence that it was indeed - a hobby project.

The SINTHESIS was awarded the PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD in the 2011 LA QUINTA DESERT CLASSIC CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE (scroll furter down), in the 1992 CONCORSO ITALIANO  and was also displayed at the 1997 PEBBLE BEACH  CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE. The car is now in permanent display in a Automobile Museum in southern California.

The divided circle selected as THE LOGO for Giacobbi's and Tjaarda's one-off GT coupe, Sinthesis, tells the whole story: "The Yin and Yang of it", to use the owner's words.
Giacobbi and Tjaarda have accomplished an ambition that most of us have merely fantasized....they have had a car built to their own specifications. By that, we don't mean anything so prosaic as ordering from some manufacturer's lengthy list of options, powertrains and colors. Anyone could have done that, at least up until a few decades or so ago. Engineer Giacobbi and designer Tjaarda spent two years creating a one-off GT solely for their own personal gratification, a car they intended to drive daily as his "beater". Built in 1970, Synthesis was the first car to be fitted with air bags - for both driver and passenger.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tour along the magnificent Croatian Adriatic coast 2

As mentioned in my previous post, the initiator of the tour in Croatia along the Adriatic Coast is Sany Antonio and can easily be recognized by one of his 8 (eight!) Fiat Spiders as you may see HERE.
And a number of his Spiders HERE.

Sany wrote earlier about his passion for the 124 Spider: 
Myself, I am an Italian sportscar collector. My 'Spider-connection' and involvement with the 124 Spiders started 40 years ago. I had and enjoyed many of them. In the late 60' I lived in Bavaria, when I bought my 1st 124 Spider, a 1400 ccm AS model. I remember driving my Spiders even during the winter, when going skiing in the Alps!

From the late 70' I lived for 7 years in South Africa and there, I have found and also bought the only 2 Spiders available (in the whole country). Of course, I did restore them too, and drove them all over. I made few long trips in South Africa and several times I visited even the Cape of Good Hope with my black 1968 AS Spider.
In 1984 I moved to California and of course, soon I have found new Spiders and drove them all along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Oregon and all across the USA.
In an 1983 DS Spider I drove from Los Angeles, along the Route 66, all the way to Chicago and Detroit. I was close to the Niagara falls, have crossed America from North to South, to Georgia and Florida. And at all times I had at least a few Fiat 124 Spiders in my garage.

Then in 1996 I did move my vintage car collection back to Europe. There were 11 cars, those that I 'could not' leave behind and 'had' to ship from Los Angeles to Bremen. Later, one by one, I drove them down to the Mediterranean, back to the roots, to Croatia. Since then, I have sold a few of them, as the storage/ parking space has become a problem here.
Soon after I moved here, in 1997 I founded our Spider Club Croatia.

Details about the day-to-day Adriatic Coast / Croatia round trip program you find HERE.

About the approximate costs of lodging during the tour Sany Antonio reports:
If you would choose an accommodation in a private apartment you would have to spend Euro 80- for a very good & clean apartment per night for 2 persons. That does not include breakfast, as one can get things in a nearby store and prepare breakfast in the apartment or just have in a nearby café a coffee, tea, juice & a croissant for just a few Euros. 
And those are the prices in the SELCE region (in the North on the Croatian coast) and in Split we have a nice lodging in a little private hotel right by the water for about 45- Euros per person, including a nice breakfast too. In Dubrovnik I have also found good , nice and clean rooms for Euro 50- per night for 2, included breakfast. This lodging is right down by the water, in a little beautiful bay , just 5 km in front of Dubrovnik.
Anyhow, if you prefer individual lodging in hotels...then there are many in Selce, Split, Dubrovnik and all over the coast...and you can find and book them on the internet in advance. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tour along the magnificent Croatian Adriatic coast


Mr. SANY ANTONIO from Croatia (click his name to read more about him and his passion for the 124 Spider) is the initiator of a magnificent 15-days tour next June when the roads are not that full and the weather is NOT TOO HOT yet. A perfect period in which hotels and good private accomodations are still available.

Two years ago Sany Antonio wrote: It would be nice to meet some new Spider enthusiasts / friends, and for sure it will be an unforgettable Spider tour, with the top down along the ADRIATIC COAST, over to the Islands, then to DUBROVNIK and back to Split and in the mountains to PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK.
If needed, I can arrange accommodation during the roundtrip, here on the Northern coast where I am at, or in Dubrovnik where one other Spider Club Croatia member has rooms/apartments too to rent, right down on the water.

In my own Spider collection today, I have a 1970 BS1, 1971 BS1 USA Racing, 1975 CS1, 1983 DS Pininfarina Azzurra, 1958 1200 TV Pininfarina Spider, 1957 1200 Pininfarina Spider (in restoration process), 1986 Maserati Spider 2500 Zagato, 1976 A.R Alfetta GT Sprint Veloce 2000 Injezione and a 1968 Fiat Dino Spider (in restoration process).


Now - Spring 2014 - Sany Antonio repeated his unique offer and wrote:
I hope to hear from you and meet you and some of your Spider enthusiasts from Northern Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom) here in Croatia for a magnificent long Spider round trip along the Adriatic coast .... with the top down. Also other open roadsters are more than welcome !

Anyhow, I seized this new opportunity right away and booked meanwhile a motorail train that will bring me and my Fiat 124 Spider in one night from Düsseldorf (Germany) to Villach (Austria) close to the Slovenian border to avoid driving boring highways southwards. From there it is only 250 kilometres to SELCE (near Rijeka) where Sany Antonio will start his unique Croation Adriatic round trip.

Total length of the 15 days trip in Croatia about 2000 kilometres.
Needless to say, that your Spider (or Roadster) should be mechanically in top condition.


                                HOTEL CROATIA
                                On a dark coastal highway
                                Cool wind in my hair
                                Warm smell of perunicas
                                Rising up through the air
                                Up ahead in the distance
                                I saw a shimmering light
                                My head grew heavy
                                And my sight grew dim
                                I had to stop for the night

Let me know and send a message to
Participants must be registered before May 1. 2014
Details about the day-to-day Adriatic Coast / Croatia round trip program you find HERE.
Information about motorail trains to Villach you'll find HERE.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

On repeated request: electrical schemes

Two of the frequently visited pages of my former web site were the pages with the electrical schemes. Because these pages were still on my external hard disk, I repost these pages with pleasure on my blog again.

Click HERE to open the complete electrical schemes of the 124 Spider - USA versions 1970 in four parts that can be downloaded and printed.
And subsquently click HERE (or below) to get a compilation of 46 (!) electrical circuit schemes according to the below-mentioned specifications. These files can be downloaded and printed as well, to use it as you wish.

    • Relay Location
    • Key to 1976 124 Spider Wiring Diagram
    • Fuse A and Unprotected Circuits
    • Fuse B
    • Fuses C, D, E, F, G and H
    • Fuse 1 and Inline fuse
    • Fuse 1
    • Inline fuse and Unprotected Circuits

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 6 - Ghia DeTomaso

In the spring of 1967, ALEJANDRO DETOMASO gave a call to Tjaarda asking if he was interested to rejoin Ghia. Even if having a reputation of being rather difficult and demanding, DeTomaso was full of ideas and had many projects in mind. In fact, the ten years Tjaarda spent at Ghia the number of prototypes and production cars which emerged was startling, to say the least.

GIORGETTI GIUGIARO had worked at Ghia before Tjaarda's arrival and had started to rebuild their reputation with such cars as the MANGUSTA, the MASERATI GHIBLI and a number of show cars.

LEE IACOCCA, then at Ford, came along to work with DeTomaso to produce the Pantera, the Deauville, the Longchamp and a long list of prototype study models used as incentives for Ford production vehicles, the most famous being the FORD FIESTA, being produced in great quantity.

By 1975 the reputation of Ghia had grown to the point that Ford bought the Ghia company outright. De Tomaso left in 1976 to set up his own small empire with Maserati, Innocenti and the Guzzi and Benelli motorcycle companies, however Ghia continued on as the Ford European Design and Prototype Center for many years until closing down for good, in the year 2000.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Life - and money - is better in a classic

At the HAGERTY web pages - see my former blog - I learned, that the auction price of the unique and extremely rare 1966-1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder, designed by Tom Tjaarda, moved up exceptionally in the last 7 to 8 years. Just have a look at its spectacular rise HERE and HERE.
To be exact: it quadrupled in a period of 7 years !

On Hagerty's web pages you'll find valuation tools which are designed to empower enthusiasts who are buying, selling, or simply becoming familiar with a classic.
They provide vital details on a vehicle’s value in a variety of formats, and strive to deliver a meaningful visual representation of not only a car’s present value, but how it has performed in the past and where it might be headed in the future.

They do this all in an effort to make you a smarter enthusiast, and they strongly believe that greater information and transparency in the marketplace lead to more satisfied owners and a healthier hobby overall.

It's all about passion . . . . and money

Traverse City, Michigan USA
In 1983, Frank and Louise Hagerty realized that appropriate insurance coverage for their collector wooden boats didn't exist. So — armed with years of general-lines insurance experience — the Hagertys launched a revolutionary agreed value policy for collector boats. Within a few years, half of the vintage boat owners in the country were Hagerty clients.

In 1991, HAGERTY created a similar product for collector cars.
And in 1995 two of Frank and Louise's three children, Kim and McKeel, came home to run the family business - despite their vows to never make a career of insurance!
Together they've overseen the company's tremendous growth, which has been supported by a great product, exceptional client service, cutting-edge technology, creative marketing and, of course, intelligent, forward-thinking and hard-working employees.

In 25 years, Hagerty has grown from a small agency headquartered in the Hagerty family basement to the leading provider of collector car and boat insurance in the world !

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mail from Tom Tjaarda

Dear Anthony,

Am surprised that the Italian mail system is now functioning very well and you have already received the material which I sent. Actually I sent this to you thinking that it would be usefull for your archives and to use it as you wish, when the need comes up, since you are interested in many forms of art, design and architecture.

Interesting that you are a jewelry designer. Where I live in the hills of Torino, my neighbor is married to the nephew of Pietro Frua, the famous Torinese auto designer. He is a well known jewelry designer himself and also owner of the entire Frua archives which is housed on the property where I live.
I am sure that you learned patience from your profession.

Let me know if you need something more concerning my work or if I can be usefull in some way. Someday I will have to create a new website, more complete and up to date and so may call in on your expertise on this project if you can spare the time and naturally accept being paid for this service.
But for now I have enough to think about concerning the new PSV vehicle we are reading for production and also a new sports car which should be ready for next years Geneva show.

All the best for now
Tom Tjaarda

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 5 - Pininfarina

After the hectic and exciting period of Italy 61, things settled down a bit when moving on to the Pininfarina design studios.
Deadlines were an important factor, but first of all the design mock-ups had to be absolutely perfect before being given the OK by Battista Pininfarina to be made into running metal prototypes. This was an important aspect, every line, surface and form had to be dead on, even the angle of the exhaust pipe.
Wooden bucks would be first covered in hammered out aluminum panels, taken out into the sunlight and covered with oil to detect any imperfections. Striving for such perfection sometimes took a lot of time, but also put Pininfarina on the international map of automotive design.

The first model designed by Tjaarda was the FERRARI 330 2 PLUS 2. This occurred after almost a year with the firm but after that, many more started to emerge. FRANCO MARTINENGO (right, with Tom Tjaarda left) was the director of design and encouraged and supported Tjaarda in working together on the numerous vehicles coming out of the Carrozzeria Farina design studios.
Following is the list of cars designed by Tjaarda while working there from 1961 until 1966.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 4 - Italia 61

In the winter of 1960 Tjaarda was offered a job at Pininfarina, known then as simply Carrozzeria Farina. Before going directly to work for them however, he was put on special assignment with a group of architects which were planning a huge exhibition known as the

The maestro himself, BATTISTA FARINA, was the director of this exhibition which was part of the overall international fair being planned for Torino during the summer of 1961 called ITALIA 61.
Click HERE to see more pictures of this unique Tjaarda monorail train.

ITALIA 61 was a huge success and took place during an important phase of Italy's emerging from the bleak period after the Second World War into a new and positive attitude and economic prosperity. "The Economic Boom" as they called it, and everyone seemed happy and full of enthusiasm for the future.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 3 - Carrozzeria Ghia

Coming to Italy in the late summer of 1958, Tjaarda was fortunate in that he was fresh from studies in college, for he had to learn Italian and pick up the techniques of designing automobiles, both as quickly as possible.

LUIGI SEGRE was a very charismatic type and had friends everywhere, especially in the States which resulted in many projects being done for Chrysler and Ford. Special coupé's were built for the famous Hollywood actors Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin - known as the RATPACK. And along with the KARMANN GHIA, a delightful little coupé, really put Ghia on the map.
Click here for more detailed information about the Karmann-Ghia Coupé and Convertible.

Ghia had many important clients such as KARMANN (Wilhelm Karmann right, Luigi Segre left) and HERE (Mr. and Mrs. Karmann and Ghia's Luigi Segre with the Karmann Ghia cabriolet), Renault, Chrysler, Fiat and even a company from Poland, called Polinez. They also made limited numbers of the FIAT 500 JOLLY BEACH CAR.

The first car Tjaarda designed was the INNOCENTI 950 SPYDER, which was then put into production from 1960 until 1965.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pininfarina at Wikipedia

Greatly surprised and honoured, I found my name in the most detailed international (English) PININFARINA PAGE at Wikipedia, all the more I never had anything to do with this worldwide internet encyclopedia. The original author of this report calls himself "Grugliasco" and added the address of my Fiat 124 Spider blog to the "References" part of this page on May 17. last year.

I really feel flattered and it feels like a compliment for my efforts in this specific automotive world.
The detailed and extensive Pininfarina page can be found HERE.

All the more confronting with the narrow-minded local Dutch Fiat 124 Sport Spider Register, ignoring my bilingual Fiat 124 Spider website and blog during more than 10 years, except at the moment of closure and funeral of my last month. Nevertheless I felt happy with other FANS AND ADMIRERS from every part of the world during all those years.

BTW: The username of the author is "Grugliasco", which is the name of a commune in the Province of Turin, where a part of the Pininfarina plants was situated, opened in 1958. Our Fiat 124 Spiders were built in the Mirafiori and Lingotto premises in Turin and in Rivalta di Torino.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tjaarda Design - part 2 - Coming to Italy

Illustrated above is a 1:10 scale model of a vehicle which Tjaarda designed during his last semester at the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

Preparing for a degree in architecture, there were enough credits to take an elective on the side. His professor, AARRE KOTIVALO LAHTI, was a Professor of Art from Finland and made it clear that this elective was not a fun course. In other words Tjaarda could not design a sports car as was his desire!
So, to get around these limits placed by his professor, Tjaarda came up with an idea for a family car which he called a - SPORT WAGON.

As it turned out, Lahti had been on a sabbatical  in Europe during the summer of 1967, had visited all the well known design oriented manufacturers like Philips, Olivetti, Mercedes as well as the now famous carrozzeria's in the Turin area as Bertone, Farina and - Ghia.

Tjaarda Design - part 1 - Foreword

The designer of our Fiat 124 Spider, Mr. Tom Tjaarda, sent me in Februari/March 2004 a portfolio with a summary of his experiences, his automotive designs and industrial design projects as well as wonderful series of corresponding photographs.

This volume is dedicated to the professional work and experiences of TOM TJAARDA from the time he arrived in Italy in the summer of 1958 up to 2003.
A brief description of the way in which he was able to come to Italy to work as an automotive stylist will be followed by the professional experiences which Tjaarda participated in while working with some of Torino's exclusive design houses and world automotive manufactures.

Tom Tjaarda's scientific archive

From correspondence that I carried on a few years ago with the German automobile historian Dr. Stefan Dierkes appeared, that Tom Tjaarda for the benefit of a scientific archiving of his immense amount of produced work, the publicity rights of all his sketches, drawings, designs and photo archives from his very productive automotive life was handed over to the mentioned German automobile historian in July 2004.

I , Anthony Westen, still have contact with Tom Tjaarda, who is living in Turin and still runs his Design Studio there. He was among many other things design consultant for the exclusive automobile builders Spyker in Zeewolde (Netherlands) and is invited regularly by automobile builders in Detroit, Germany, Korea, Japan and China. He is still worldwide a celebrated and favorite designer and design consultant.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Three Castles at the Mosel

I made a magnificent tour with my 124 Spider to the Eifel and Mosel area in Germany last October and took a lot of pictures.
Playing with some photographic software, I drew up a short story of just eight simple still pictures that is giving an impression of a moving animation or video movie. only consists of 8 simple motionless pictures!

A suggestion for an animation of your Spider or your holiday trip? See more HERE.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Like a Phoenix

Now that I was forced to close my site and involuntarily, I will re-continue my newsletters and bulletins about my precious 124 Spider again through this Spider related blog: .

Background: my site Spidersweb was hacked completely twice in the last week of december 2013 and in the following first week of january 2014 and hundreds of files were infected by malware intentionally, sent by outside sick morons so that I hardly had any control over my heavily infected site.
It was my one and only argument to remove all my files, photos, images, videos and music, and to close my site instantaneously after consultation with my hosting company, when the site was hacked for the second time last January 10. 2014.

For more 124 Spider-related information and news notes, I herewith welcome all my loyal international Fiat 124 Spider friends, visitors and interested persons to my (again well-attended) Fiat 124 Spider blog !

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good wishes follow-up

According to WIKIPEDIA a coincidence (often stated as a mere coincidence) is a collection of two or more events or conditions, closely related by time, space, form, or other associations which appear unlikely to bear a relationship as either cause to effect or effects of a shared cause, within the observer's or observers' understanding of what cause can produce what effects.

Read about my definition of this word HERE and the role my Fiat 124 Spider played in this story.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good wishes never too late . . . .

Although not an automotive issue whatsoever (if you allow me once a year), I would like to redirect you to a few pages of mine that I sent to my relatives and friends at the beginning of this new year.
And now through my 124 Spider blog to ALL OF YOU SPIDER FRIENDS ! Read and view more HERE. and closed

After more than 10 years designing, creating, writing, translating, illustrating and - last but not least - financing privately, I decided to close my personal websites and as from January 14, 2014.

I intend to revitalize my Fiat 124 Spider blog - La Bella Macchina - again this year.
Anthony (

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Passionate lover and his muse

Already during many years I am following a magnificent shaped diary with about 70 entries and wonderful clear ( technical ) pictures from the passionate Spider-lover Eduardo ( Eddie ) Relvas and his muse ( he calls her tenderly ' Betty ' ) from Portalegre, Portugal under the compelling title:

Today ( September 30. 2012 ) Eduardo writes in his diary:
'Reading back on my previous posts, it seems I've acquired the routine of apologising at the beginning of every post for not writing more often. So no more apologies.

No, the irregular post frequency does not mean the car has not been in use. Far from it.
In fact, it continues at its peak. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, and get the story up to date.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fascinating Automotive Designs

About ten years ago I stumbled over a thrilling picture of a quite UNUSUAL MOTORCYCLE .
Because of my unremitting curious nature, I wanted to know who designed and created this
WONDERFUL VEHICLE and found out on a Russian ( ! ) website, that it was created by the Italian engineer, automobile and motorcycle designer ( Francesco Zefferino ) FRANCO SBARRO , living and working in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

And . . . . on these completely unexpected Russian pages a fascinating new world opened in front of me. I lost all my consciousness of time and was dreaming in a fantasy world for many, many, many hours.
I found myself on the website of CARDESIGN.RU which was at that time only in the Russian language. Because of the widespread international interest in the site, a part of it was separated later in the English language with the address CARDESIGNCOMMUNITY.COM describe themselves as: a professional informative online service and online community aimed mainly at professionals in the automotive industry, design students and transportation design devotees.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Romancing the Road

Maybe it's built into us, or maybe it's the influence of literature and the movie screen, but few would try to deny the romantic appeal of A HAPPY COUPLE riding off together into the sunset. It's the honeymoon ideal, the inspiration for a thousand song lyrics, the fantasy of untold legions of Cupid-struck lovers. Even if the mode of transportation is a trusty Toyota instead of a red convertible or a black stallion, many lovebirds find the call of the open road irresistible.

For every couple that returns from a maiden road trip in dream-come-true mode, however, there's another that comes home thinking: "Never again!" The gap between fantasy and reality hits many road trip dreamers like four simultaneous blowouts at speed. "This is nothing like we imagined!" blindsided travelers wail as a simple decision like where to eat turns into a full-blown civil war.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leading Auto Innovation

Volkswagen presented last February its new platform called MODULAR TRANSVERSE MATRIX - the German acronym is MQB ( MODULAR QUER BAUKASTEN ) - for the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands. This platform will be shared by a larger number of models within the Volkswagen's group in relation to current platforms.

It's an important enhancement in automotive production representing a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles. VW expects to cut costs, production time and cars weight with the MQB platform. This platform represents a major step forward in VW's strategy to become the world's largest auto manufacturer by 2018.


The Volkswagen Group is based in Germany and is one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and the largest in Europe. The Group is made up of ten brands: Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, VW Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN. Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity on the market. The product spectrum extends from low-consumption small cars to luxury class vehicles. It also has a stake in Porsche AG, which is expected to fully integrate the VW Group in the short-term.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tom Tjaarda's creation: Ferrari 365 California Spyder

Shortly after the last FERRARI 500 SUPERFAST was made in 1967, the Ferrari 365 California Spyder was announced as the model's successor. It was the continuation of a series of limited production cars which included the 410 AND 400 SUPERAMERICA'S.
These cars were marketed to attract premium customers who demanded a MORE UNIQUE COACHWORK on their grand touring machines. To keep costs down, but exclusivity high, the 365 California was only offered to select VIP clients of Ferrari.

To much success, the California title had been already been associated with the earlier 250 GT SERIES . Around one hundred 250 California Spyders were built with some light alloy competizione examples actually racing Le Mans and Sebring. Drawing on this rich heritage, Ferrari decided that the NEW 365 SPYDER would be marketed as the next California model.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Top 10 signs of transmission trouble - part 2


Leaking transmission fluid is probably one of the easiest ways to identify that your transmission needs attention. Automatic transmission fluid is vital to your car's shifting capabilities, so a little fluid on your driveway can quickly turn into a major problem. Automatic transmission fluid is bright red, clear and a little sweet-smelling when everything is working correctly.

When you check your automatic transmission fluid, make sure it's not a dark color and that it doesn't have a burnt smell. If it is, you'll need to take it to a mechanic and have it replaced. Unlike your car's motor oil, the transmission doesn't really consume or burn up any fluid during use, so if you notice you're running low on fluid, then it's definitely leaking out somewhere.

If you have a manual transmission, checking the fluid levels may not be as easy as simply lifting the hood and reading a dipstick. Manual transmission fluid has to be checked right at the transmission case -- usually through the fill plug. Again, if you suspect your transmission is losing fluid, have a mechanic locate the leak and have it fixed.

If your fluid level is good, there's another easy way to know if there's something wrong with the transmission: go on to the next item to see how you can find out if your transmission is having problems -- without even having to pop the hood.

Top 10 signs of transmission trouble - part 1

Diagnosing car problems yourself may seem like an impossible task, but try to think of it in terms of your own body. For instance, if your stomach begins to hurt without warning, you'll probably start thinking of the last thing you ate in order to figure out why you're having the pain.

A similar type of thinking goes into diagnosing car trouble. The moment you start noticing something out of the ordinary, it's time to start considering the problem and finding a way to fix it.

Mechanical auto problems, as opposed to electrical auto problems, are usually coupled with distinct sounds and sensations that are key indicators that something isn't functioning the way it was designed to. Transmissions take a lot of use over the years, and after a while, they're bound to start having some problems. Transmission repairs can be expensive, so it's worthwhile to pay attention to anything that seems unusual.

If you think you may be having some car trouble or if you're just looking to learn more about potential transmission problems, check out these 10 signs of transmission trouble and stay one step ahead of your car.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Auto China 2012: Electrification and Connectivity

General Motors unveiled at Auto China Motor Show 2012 Chevrolet conceptual vision of the EN-V 2.0. This is another version of an innovative electric vehicle, which debuted at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The original EN-V or ELECTRIC NETWORKED-VEHICLE was presented in SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and became famous as one of the most interesting concepts in the history of GM. This two-seat electric vehicle that redefined the concept of the car due to the convergence of electrification and connectivity. The concept was designed to solve the problems of traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability in cities.

THE NEW MODEL EN-V 2.0 uses extra features desired by customers, such as air conditioning and practical storage space. The car also gained the possibility of movement in all weather and road conditions in the city.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

From Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nice to observe that my Spiderblog pages are also followed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and in
"The Grand Canyon State" Arizona through the American forum pages of FIATSPIDER.COM as well as in a few OTHER COUNTRIES ( number of page views in 1 day: August 31. 2012 ).

Thanks "Europa", "SunnySideUp" and "azruss" for your appreciated comment. Spread the word !

The California based FIATSPIDER.COM FORUM has been online since 1996 and has become - as described by themselves: "home to some of the most knowledgeable people on the planet when it comes to fixing-up this classic sports car".
Within the contents of their forum you can find answers on:
  • Fiat Spider tuning and performance
  • Fiat Spider trouble shooting
  • Fiat Spider wiring help
  • Fiat Spider parts
  • Fiat Spiders for sale
  • And just about anything else you can think of about Fiat Spider automobiles.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The myth of the Pirelli calendar

The Calendar is the icon of Pirelli's communication. A symbol that for over forty years not only celebrates female beauty, but also celebrates the complexity of an art that has been able to transform itself over time. With constantly changing styles and authors, this art always manages to express a new aspect of history.


The Pirelli Calendar's photographers have always immortalised a very sophisticated concept of beauty, mid-way between fashion and glamour. And every year the Cal offers a collection of images that interpret the concept of beauty in an original way, different to the previous year.

The locations are sometimes far-away and exotic, like the Bahamas, the Seychelles, Majorca and Tunisia. This year it was the Corse turn. At other times it is simply the lights of the photographer's studio that illuminate the scene.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inspiration for the Fiat 124 Spider - part 2

Tom Tjaarda continues in his letter:
" Thus the idea for the 124 spyder was born from this Corvette. My next assignment was to take this theme and prepare full size drawings to construct the WOODEN MODEL - PIC 2 - PIC 3 - PIC 4
( these are wooden models of the Ferrari 500, 365 and 330 just to give an impression how these models look like ).

To prepare these drawings was not an easy job for the simple reason that the Fiat chassis was much shorter than the Sting Ray, smaller also were the overhangings both front and rear. Thus to adapt the lines of the Rondine, which were rather long and flowing, to these shorter proportions was a real challenge.
It took me days just to plot the first profile of the car, it just did not seem to work, and it took no end of time to come up with something satisfactory. SIGNORE MARTINENGO ( left, Tjaarda - right ) could see that I was having trouble coming up with a solution and above all that it no longer looked like the Rondine. That is where he kind of saved my day, or month in this case.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Inspiration for the Fiat 124 Spider - part 1

In 2004 Tom Tjaarda - the designer of the Fiat 124 Spider - wrote me in a personal letter:

"The design of the Fiat 124 spyder has a somewhat interesting aspect in that the theme for this car is derived from a Chevrolet Corvette concept proposal from Pininfarina. It was wintertime in 1963 when I was handed a drawing of the CORVETTE STING RAY chassis and began making idea sketches including a 1:4 scale model of a concept car to be shown in the Paris Auto Salon that October. My design was the one selected and the full size running prototype completed for the show.

Every so often Battista Pininfarina ( the name had been officially changed now ) would come to the factory to check on things. He was somewhat retired but still followed every aspect of the business, also because he still had that "eye" for proportions, forms and everything else which made his name so important all over the world.

It so happened that one time he asked the modelers to slim down the sides of a wood buck however being such a slight change was left as is and so happens that it went undetected by the "maiestro". The prototype was then built and before the final painting Pininfarina painfully said that he had made a mistake that it needed to be slimmed down just a bit more - this time they did just that!! He had a fantastic eye and so did Martinengo and so being in this kind of company was learning very quickly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Italian temperatures - Italian refreshing ice

It was hot, muggy and steamy all over Europe, especially in Northern-Europe where temperatures raised to unusual tropical levels this memorable August 19/20, 2012 weekend.

How did I keep myself cool and enjoy a treat without suffering a chocolate meltdown? Well, I just indulged in a refreshing chocolate Italian ice.
Italian ices are well known all over the western hemisphere. They are smoother than granitas, softer than sorbets and just generally different. They are also incredibly refreshing.

Although I love Italian ices, I really didn’t know much about them and not at all about the difference between an Italian ice and an Italian water ice. Some sources use both terms interchangeably, others say there is a difference.
An Italian ice is flavored, then frozen and shaved for serving. An Italian water ice is plain ice that is flavored after it has been shaved into soft, snowy mounds, except when it is not and then it is the same as an Italian ice.

Regional differences among Italian immigrants and European cities probably account for the differences in technique and nomenclature. Italian immigrants to our country brought with them a long tradition of frozen desserts including granita (made by freezing water, fruit juices or other flavoring ingredients and sugar in a pan and periodically flaking and scraping the ice as it forms to break up the ice crystals) and sorbet (made by freezing similar ingredients in a ice cream freezer).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fiat 124 Spider in the US

Here is what I think is an excellent overview of the Fiat 124 Spider in the US from Hemmings Sport and Exotic Car ( the world's largest collector car marketplace ). It is from 2006 so figures quoted
( included is a list of various parts with prices attached ) need to be adjusted, but it is a very nice overview.

Over 18 years, Fiat--and then, later Pininfarina--sold somewhere around 120,000 124 Spiders in the United States, the lion's share of cars the manufacturer ever built. It's a testament to the Pininfarina-designed car that it still looks as fresh and sporty today as it did when it was introduced in 1966.

But for one reason or another, whenever Americans ready themselves to purchase a sports roadster, the Fiat 124 Spider falls to the bottom of the list. Some claim it's due to the bad reputation Fiat had in the 1970s for turning out pretty cars that ran every third Tuesday. Others blame demon rust, which seems to have a particularly ravenous appetite for Italian machines. Or maybe it's the fact that there were so darned many of them that they've fallen off the radar of many sports car fans here.

Whatever the reason, it's time to rethink our attitude toward the 124 Spider. These cars have been on the road long enough to dispel any urban myths about their longevity and original build quality, and there are plenty of parts suppliers, experts and club advisors around to sort through any common problems these cars have had over the years. According to Dwight Varnes, a past vice-president and co-founder of Fiat-Lancia Unlimited (FLU), and the co-founder of that group's Fiat Freak Out annual meet (July 14-16, 2006), the biggest problem with a Fiat 124 Spider was often not the manufacturer, but the dealer. "An awful lot of dealers took on the Fiat franchises as a second or third line," he says. "Lots of the dealers specialized in American cars, and they took on Fiat as a cheap import. The service departments just didn't want to understand them."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Recession ?

The ultra rare FERRARI 625 TRC SPIDER with its fine coachwork by Scaglietti is one of the most exceptional cars ever created. Ferrari made only two of these 625 TRC Spiders. The Ferrari 625 TRC Spider was one of the first Ferrari cars designated with the mystical name "Testa Rossa".
This ultra rare FERRARI 625 TRC SPIDER ( in my own home-made animation movie specially created for this blog ) was up for auction at the RM Auctions’ eagerly-awaited biennial event in Monaco, coinciding with the 8th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. Before the auction the estimate was still to be determined...but expected to dig deep in your offshore trust fund for this one, the nouveau riche from the Middle East, Russia and China were expected to face off with European and American collectors.

If you need more proof the recession is just a myth - created to control the masses - here are the results of the RM Auction held in Monaco in May last.
RM Auctions, the world's largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, continued its record-breaking sales run in Europe generating a spectacular €33,521,710 in sales* ($43,410,615 million USD**) with 87 percent of all lots sold at its biennial Monaco sale at the Grimaldi Forum.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hotel California: few facts - more fiction

The opening animation movie on my FIRST SPIDERSWEB PAGES was accompanied by the Eagles' classic song HOTEL CALIFORNIA .
For me it is by far the most appropriate music while driving my open 124 Spider. Therefore it is my favourite music on my new re-designed Spidersweb pages again...

The lyrics describe the title establishment as a luxury resort where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s.

Don Henley - singer, songwriter, drummer and the founding member of the Eagles - called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles" and later reiterated "it's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Istituto Europeo di Design - Torino

ISTITUTO EUROPEO DI DESIGN of Turin presents the CISITALIA 202 E, an thrilling style exercise based on the study of the glorious Cisitalia 202 of 1947, now re-designed by the students of the Master of Arts in Transportation Design - work experience.

The eleven students of the Master course were coordinated by Luca Borgogno, Pininfarina Lead Designer, and Luigi Giampaolo, Maserati Designer, with the support of Alessandro Belosio and Luca Dazzan.

Meanwhile rumours about a possible comeback became reality: the Italian brand Cisitalia introduced a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012.
Cisitalia ( 'Consorzio Industriale Sportive Italia') once started as a small Italian car builder under the guidance of Piero Dusio in Turin. Their first car was the D46 driven by no less than Tazio Nuvolari.

The new Cisitalia concept is based on their best known car: the 202. Designed by Pininfarina and created by the famous engineers Dante Giacosa and Giovanni Savonuzzi, it started its life in 1947 and only 220 units were ever realized.

More info about the preview sketches you'll find HERE as well as a video of the Cisitalia CONCEPT . Also two other Istituto Europeo di Design videos, one for Abarth: THE SKORPION and the second for FERRARI .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You don't need words to speak Italian

You don't have to study Italian or travel to Italy to communicate like a true paesano.
All you really need is this unique "phrase book" of Italian body language. It's the fastest, and funniest, way to learn Italian ever published.

Now, even if you don't know a single word of Italian, you can learn the most common greetings, dining small talk, bargaining tricks, hot vows of love, vicious threats and bloodcurdling curses.
This book shows you how. There's no faster or funnier way to learn how to communicate in Italy, Italian restaurants, with your grandparents or your friends.

Italian gestures are a language unto themselves.
In ITALIAN WITHOUT WORDS 86 expressions are presented, paired with the Italian phrases they conjure and their English translations, all demonstrated by a man and woman who have to be seen to be appreciated.
They're funny, but the intent is not to ridicule; rather, they are holding on to a part of their heritage. The facial expressions that accompany the phrases are entertaining to practice, and visits to Italy are enhanced by the ability to communicate "You're a disgrace!" (Disgraziato!), "I dare you!" (Ti sfido. Provaci!), and "Don't leave me, I love you!" (Non lasciarmi, ti voglio bene!) without saying a word.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A celebrated French cartoonist

CLAUDE SERRE (1938-1994) was a celebrated French cartoonist, draughtsman and illustrator. Famous for his bizarre sense of humor and beautiful detailed drawings.

After academic studies, he studied the craft of stained glass for eight years. He then started drawing cartoons and became an illustrator for many French journals, including Plexus, Planet, Hara-Kiri, Lui, Pariscope and La Vie Electrique. He also began illustrating books.

He incorporated his interest in the fantastic into many of his early lithographs, which were published, sometimes exclusively, in many countries including Japan and Germany. He also participated in both group and solo exhibitions.

In 1969 he met Jack Claude Nezat, and they became friends. Nezat wrote numerous articles devoted to his art and his work and organized two exhibitions in Germany in 1975 and 1976-1977 that met with great success.
This relationship also allowed Serre to work with the magazine Pardon. Serre, meanwhile, started drawing cartoons on such topics as medicine, sports, automobiles, and his first book of cartoons, Black Humor and Men in White, satirising medical professionals, was published in 1972 by Editions Grésivaudan. The book won the Black Humor prize.
He also continued to work as an illustrator and worked in particular on books by Francis Blanche and Frederic Dard, author of the San Antonio series. Claude Serre died at the age of 60 in a car accident.

Many books were published about his work, from which one is titled L'AUTOMOBILE.

His web site with a number of his albums and cartoons you find HERE.
His unique album L'AUTOMOBILE ( approx. 8 Meg ) you can download HERE as a zipped file.

Download the Automobile cartoons, unzip and laugh your heart out !

36 unique Fiat 124 Spider wallpapers

Already for many years I am looking out for nice wallpapers of the 124 Spider on my internet roamings, that I could use as desktops for my digital steam-engine. I only found two productions during all those years and - to be honest - they were awful.

So I created a serie of wallpapers myself in the screen resolutions 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 and 1280 x 1024.

You will find these Fiat 124 Spider wallpapers AT NO OTHER PLACE IN THE WORLD. In case you find them anyhow, they are definitely stolen, pinched and copied from my blog or web site !

Because the total size of all the files is about 60 Meg, I zipped these into 5 larger files that can be downloaded below.

1. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 800 x 600 - 3 items

2. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1280 x 1024 - 3 items

3. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1024 x 768 Set1 - 10 items

4. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1024 x 768 Set2 - 10 items

5. Fiat 124 Spider Wallpapers 1024 x 768 Set3 - 10 items

You find a compilation of 30 wallpapers in the screen resolution 1024 x 768 pixels, from which screen size I made a substantial larger number, HERE.

I wish you a lot of pleasure with my Fiat 124 Spider wallpapers !

Friday, August 3, 2012

Splitsky Oldtimer Auto Klub

Recently I received the following mail:

Hello and congratulations Anthony,
Only today, just few hours ago, I have found your website and by the way, your site is one of the best ones I have ever seen, designed and devoted to our timeless 'Pieces Of Art On Wheels', to the worldwide spread & famous, loved and used Pininfarina Spiders.

Myself, I am an Italian sportscar collector. My 'Spider-connection' and involvement with the 124 Spiders started 40 years ago. I had and enjoyed many of them. In the late 60' I lived in Bavaria, when I bought my 1st 124 Spider, a 1400 ccm AS model. I remember driving my Spiders even during the winter, when going skiing in the Alps!

From the late 70' I lived for 7 years in South Africa and there, I have found and also bought the only 2 Spiders available (in the whole country). Of course, I did restore them too, and drove them all over. I made few long trips in South Africa and several times I visited even the Cape of Good Hope with my black 1968 AS Spider.
In 1984 I moved to California and of course, soon I have found new Spiders and drove them all along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Oregon and all across the USA.

In an 1983 DS Spider I drove from Los Angeles, along the Route 66, all the way to Chicago and Detroit. I was close to the Niagara falls, have crossed America from North to South, to Georgia and Florida. And at all times I had at least a few Fiat 124 Spiders in my garage.

Then in 1996 I did move my vintage car collection back to Europe. There were 11 cars, those that I 'could not' leave behind and 'had' to ship from Los Angeles to Bremen. Later, one by one, I drove them down to the Mediterranean, back to the roots, to Croatia. Since then, I have sold a few of them, as the storage/ parking space has become a problem here.

Soon after I moved here, in 1997 I founded our Spider Club Croatia.
Croatia has a population of just about 4,6 mill. and the total amount of Spiders in Croatia is only 16, and two of them serve just as parts donors. Myself and few others from our Club here are very active, and we do take part on various Vintage Car Rally events along the beautiful Croatian coast. Now, the next Rally (1000 km Dalmacija Rally, a 4 days event). starts in Split and ends in the National Park Plitvice Lakes. The organizer of that big Rally Event is the SPLITSKI OLDTIMER AUTO CLUB, and only sports cars and roadsters can take part in it. Cars from the 50' up to 1977.

My Fiat 124 Spider navigator

I replaced the standard startup image of my TOMTOM ONE XL (Western Europe) by an image that I made myself and pleases me a lot more than the old impersonal one.
Click here to see how it looked BEFORE and how it looks NOW .

Also the standard shut-down image had to disappear and I replaced
the OLD one for the NEW image. Looks much more personal and attractive, isn't it?

You are allowed to use these 124 Spider images for your own TomTom as well. Just download them directly and save these to your hard disk, but don't change the present name and file extension (splashw.bmp en antitheftw.bmp).
P.S.: these new Spider-images are suitable for the socalled 'wide screen devices' like the TOMTOM ONE XL, GO 510/710/910 and higher.

A clear explanation how these personal images can be mounted on your own TOMTOM, you will find HERE for the start-up picture and for the shut-down picture HERE .

The GARMIN navigator has the same option of replacing the old image for a more personal one. Just follow the next steps: After you have loaded JPEG picture files onto the nuvi, follow these instructions to set the picture as the Splash Screen (start up screen).
1) From the Main screen touch Tools
2) Touch Picture ViewerSplash Screen
3) Select the image you want to set as the preferred image
4) Check the box next to Display at power on?
Once you check the box, the image is now set as the Splash Screen. To view it simply turn the unit OFF and back ON

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Inspired by Eric Clapton – The Ferrari SP12 EC

Just as music is created, so was the creative process behind the SP12 EC

Exclusively in the Ferrari Magazine the great English musician talks about his passion for Ferrari and his one-off model.
For a Ferrari enthusiast and great musician like Eric Clapton a one-off car just had to be produced. Designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina and the engineers from Maranello, the SP12 EC was created as homage to Clapton’s career and his long lasting experience as a Ferrari owner.
SP stands for special project and EC stands for Eric Clapton. Clapton paid $4.7million ( £3million ) for the one-off model which took two years to make, US reports said.

In the interview with Ferrari Magazine, Clapton, 67, admitted the start of the project was like “being in front of a gigantic blank canvas that had to be painted on”. He added that overseeing the manufacture of the car was “one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done”. It is based on the 458 Italia model but features styling from the rock legend’s favourite Ferrari model 512 BB, of which he has owned three over the years.

Specifications haven't been announced, but the model reportedly features a 4.5-liter V8 engine with 570 PS (419 kW / 562 hp) and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) of torque. It should enable the supercar to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 325 km/h (202 mph).

Meticulous attention in terms of style and technology was paid to the proportions and architecture of the SP12 EC – which is part of Ferrari’s One-Off Programme – making this exceptional car even more significant.

You find a few pictures of this almost 5 million dollar car PIC 1 , PIC 2 and PIC 3 .

Wake up call about texting

Sometimes a simple, non-professional movie has a lot more effect than any official governmental TV- or radio-warning.

A young lady, actually a teenager, is texting an SMS-message while she is driving: 'James, my mate fancies u.' Her giggling friends are meddling with the text and, during a few seconds the car is driving on the wrong side of the road.

Bammm . . . . frontally on an oncoming car. The girls are launched and catapulted through the car, necks are dangling on their shoulders, blood, glass, screaming, a lot of noise. Then an ambulance, a baby with a motionless sight, a couple in the oncoming car that does not react anymore. This simple four minute movie is an gigantic hit and just doing where dozens of governmental movies failed: being successful to young people. Up till now it has been downloaded more than ten million times.

The Gwent police department in South Wales decided to address the dangers of texting while driving with the help of filmmaker Peter Watkins-Hughes. The title is “COW – The Film That Will Stop Texting and Driving. It is named after the character Cassie Cowan, the name of the character in the short film/PSA that causes the lethal chain of events.

'It was only meant to be used within our department', says Kate, the flabbergasted spokeswoman of the Gwent police. 'Its popularity surprised us enormously and overwhelmed us'.
Fox and CNN broadcasted it meanwhile, just like networks in India, Canada and Australia. The Gwent police department received feedback from young people from all over the world, promising never texting anymore while driving.

Although the movie is very intense, it really puts things into perspective. Is texting when your driving worth risking the lives of your friends? Your family? Other drivers? People’s parents? Peoples kids? Was the text that important? Is it worth the risk of living as a vegetable for the rest of your life?
Texting, drinking, eating, fiddling through music, whatever the distraction, it really isn’t worth it. I’m not saying I’ve never done it, but I wouldn’t say that I do it anymore. Getting into an accident is scary enough when it isn’t even your fault. You don’t need to increase your chances of getting into one by doing something stupid.

The Chief Constable Mick Giannasi said that it was the department’s intent for the PSA to reach a larger audience than just Wales. They were successful. This film will save lives.

You find the shocking movie HERE

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A lady . . . . a lovely, sensual, responsive Italian lady

The California based magazine 'Car and Driver' published an extensive Road Test of the Fiat 124 Spider in August 1968 and specified her ( ! ) as:

A lady.
A lovely, sensual, responsive Italian lady.
There is no other way of thinking about Pininfarina's Fiat 124 Spider.
It's time you knew it.

Like women to dream about, the really good Italian cars always had a mysterious irrestibility and an eagerness to please. Somehow, they seem to exist solely for the pleasure of their drivers. Where there are moments of tight-jawed hardship with the British cars, all is sweet willingness with Italy's 124 Spider. We see the Fiat 124 Spider as a milestone -the beginning of the end of the hardship sports car.
It's the only machine in its class in which we'd enjoy taking a long trip.

The lovely, sensual, responsive pictures were made by photographer Adam Rindy and are published on the automotive section of the extensive web site of the French Telecom and Internet provider ORANGE.
The photo shoot has the French title:' Une Fiat 124 Spider fort bien accompagneé '
but I wonder who of the two sensual ladies is so well accompanied ....

The rhetorical question is:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Virtual Italian City Tours

During many hours I enjoyed breathtaking virtual city sightseeing tours in Rome, Genoa, Verona, Florence, Assisi, Parma, Milan, Pisa, Bolzano and Varese owing to the impressive photographic work of AROUNDER.COM

My farmost favourite Italian city is Rome, that you are able to visit HERE.

About their amazing work they mention:
AROUNDER is an online travel magazine, that features a unique world-class city in 360-degree fullscreen panoramas with each issue.
It gives travelers a vivid sense of what a city has to offer: historical cathedrals and works of art, museums featuring famous artists, local cafes and stores, breathtaking mountain-top views, quiet parks and gardens.
Each issue contains a series of panoramas in a selection of formats - QuickTime Full Screen, QuickTime Medium and Java - so that both dial-up and high-speed Internet users can participate. Navigation is easy with Google maps of the city and surrounding area.

The nucleus of the AROUNDER concept is the virtual tour - fullscreen 360-degree photographic panoramas, which enable the user to pan left, right, up and down - a far superior format than the standard photograph as it gives the viewer a real sense of actually 'being there'.

Users can click on hotspots within each panorama to move on to another pano, and thus take a virtual tour. Each panorama within the series highlights a historic point of interest within that city - such as cathedrals or old town squares, and places where a tourist would visit if physically in that city - museums, parks, local marketplaces and seaside promenades.

A real must-see !