Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

In one day there were two very good events in Brno and I couldn’t miss them!

In the morning I visited Mercedes “doors open”. Anyone could drive almost every car which Mercedes offers. I chose the Mercedes A25 Brabus and the new Mercedes C-klasse. I also was a copilot in Mercedes ML at aquarry near Brno, but this experience was boring…

Mercedes A25 Brabus

245 horses may seem to be enough, but I can tell you that it is not. The power is let say blunt. Ok, you have a fast car, but you don’t have anything special. And the price of this car is the last straw. 52 000€. Yes, you read properly.  52 000 euros for a small car with some wings, rails and big wheels. There is noise coming from the exhaust. Not from the engine (It is 4 cylinder engine with turbo).  I really don’t know which man will buy this car. For me it is very hard to find anything good in this car. Yes, the design is beautiful and maybe 7 speed transmission with two clutches also works well. And that is it. No more positives from my side. Sorry Mr. Brabus…

I figured it out. This car should be called Mercedes A25 Chihuahua, because this Brabus is also beautiful and fashionable like the dog, but the Chihuahua is not the right dog owned by the right men…

Mercedes A25 Brabus

Mercedes A25 Brabus

 

Mercedes C-klasse 220 CDI

Next car which I drove was the new Mercedes C-klasse with a four-cylinder diesel engine. Also a totally boring car. Airmatic was good, but Friends Citroen C5 hydroactive has similar properties for half the price. A good feature is the “traffic watcher in blind spot”. If any car is in the blind spot on the minors you will see red light. Yes, but Volvo had this feature ten years ago.

Hošek Motor also had the new Mercedes S-klasse there, but the sales man told me that this car is just for exposition not for driving. I was so looking forward to a drive with this car. I read and saw a lot of great reviews about this car, but I have to wait for another opportunity…

Evalution is: If you are petrolhead get away from the A25 Brabus and standard C-klasse Mercedes and go for AMG! Because if I can compare this action with previous AMG action, AMG was much much better.

In the afternoon I visited a nice expository Classic show Brno 2014

Mercedes 300 sl “gullwing”, Mercedes SLS

Mercedes 300 sl “gullwing”, Mercedes SLS

 

Two interesting stories which I got there:

1)            If you are talented and you can paint you can make 5 000€ per month. Good for Czech markets, isn’t it?

2)            If you are talented and you can take pictures you can have 750 000€ for one photo. Good for Czech markets, isn’t it?

And because pictures are more than a hundred words. Here you are:

The first thing which I found missing after buying of my used 330i E90 was no bluetooth connection. Therefore I was looking for a solution to have my mobile close to my eyes and hands without any wiring around.  I found several (often expensive) options:

1)      Buy special fixture from BMW
2)      Buy mount on the window or ventilation grille (cheapest, but I hate cables around)
3)      Buy BMW 3-series iPhone Dock Connector (2006+)

The last option inspired me for creating my own dock which you can see here:

34-DSC04607

First of all what you need:

Medium-density fibreboard (MDF), I used 8mm thickness
piece of Alcantara
Iphone dock (4/4S or 5/5S) + USB cable from ebay
Male-male jack cable (thin connectors) from ebay
USB 12V adapter from ebay
Glue
And some others DIY Hardware (files, drill, jigsaw…)

My total costs were around 10 USD (compare it with previous solution)

Ok, now how to do it:

1)      If you have a car without a smoke packet like me, just remove the central panel. (Instructions are on youtube) If you have the smoke pocket, you have to buy box like I have.
2)      Remove the box from the central panel. Only a couple of screws.
3)      Now the fun comes. Go to the workshop and make a hole in the MDF for the dock from ebay. I used a jigsaw and after that hand files. The hole can be a little bit bigger then the doc, because the alcantara has also some thickness.
4)      Take a jigsaw and cut your MDF approximately 155x63mm. This dimension is bigger than the box, but it is just to be sure. After that try to grind your wood using hand files like plug into the box. See photo.

Steps 3,4 will take quite a lot of time, so be patient. I changed the order of the steps 3,4, because I was waiting for the delivery of the dock from ebay. I didn’t know the exact dimension of the dock.

5)      Cut the Alcantara like me and glue thecorners inside the hole
6)      Insert the dock into the hole where you have the Alcantara. It helps it stick. Wait till the glue becomes solid.
7)      During this time you can prepare the  sheetmetal holder.
8)      Glue the rest of the alcantara to the wood. Be careful . The glue is dangerous for the “nice” side of the Alcantara.
9)      I fixed the Corners  with  a industry stapler. Wait one day for the glue to dry.
10)   Make a bigger hole in the box for the wiring (USB and audio cable)
11)   And finally, the installation.

I will tell you later if it´s possible to speak with someone during driving. Enjoy 🙂

Although I am home from Germany I still have enough experiences to share. Today it will be about one secret garage in Germany. This garage is interesting because inside is a nice collection which contains old (and expensive) cars. There are many of them. I don’t know if these cars have just one owner or if there are more, but I can tell you just one thing. If you owed three most expensive cars from this collection you wouldn’t work for your rest of life!

I walked around these cars every day and I hoped that I will meet the owner. I would have a lot of questions. But unfortunately I didn’t meet him. The reason why I didn’t meet him is because these cars sleep. They are waiting for a bigger price. I think that this collection is something like investing in gold. The price of old cars can be only higher and higher.

If you have money to invest and a place for parking, just buy an old car with the assumption of rising prices. For example Fiat Coupe 20VT, Renault Clio V6, Lancia Thema 8.32 (with a Ferrari engine) and after that you have to wait.  After 30 years you will not have to worry about any extra money for your pension or if the state takes care of you.  But I know how it will end in my case. I would eat dry rice at in a ruined building with a view of my milion dollar Renault Clio V6…

1-DSC02364(Lamborghini 400 gt, V12, 0-100 km/h 6.6 sec., only 247 in the world)

1-DSC00086(Alfa Romeo SZ, only 1026 in the world)

Výběr(Maserati 3500, only 2225 in the world)

1-DSC02433

Whole gallery (more than 60 cars) you can check here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/115328714979801524070/MysteriousGarage?authkey=Gv1sRgCKejifCpp8K83AE

On the last Friday of I was thinking what I will do over the weekend. Weather in Köln (Cologne) was quite bad, so there was nothing to do. But later at the evening I found out that Ypres rally is in Belgium this weekend. When I found out that Ypres is from Köln only 350 km the plan was clear.

1-DSC01268

I went on Saturday morning. Travel was pretty long because Belgium has speed limit only 120 km/h. Around 11:00 I was at my destination on the special stage (SS). Fortunately just in time. I bought A 10 € ticket for one stage and I quickly went to the start of SS.  There was already a Ford Fiesta of new group R5 which should be the replacement for S2000 category cars. Car with nice body-kit and nice engine noise. Driver of this car was young talented Thierry Neuville. One of the best rally drivers in the world. Kris Meek (also a very good driver and my favorite) stood behind Thierry also with R5 car. But in this case with Peugeot 208. Both cars went beyond classification, because this new category didn’t have homologation. Later during the evening I went to the French cemetery from WW1. A very emotional experience for me. You can see there thousands of gravestones and every gravestone has A name. This is something what always has remind us that war is the wrong option…

Other fragments:
I saw a couple of people who threw away waste in the nature! I thought that the western world is different. I thought that western people don’t destroy nature. This was a bad surprise for me. Someone also threw a cup onto the grass, someone else threw a plastic bottle into the forest. And most interesting was that they didn’t try to hide it! It looked like it was normal for them!

Historical cars are a huge show! Watching historical cars were more interesting for me than watching modern cars.  Historical cars are better in almost every way! Especially noise and ability to go sideways. I love historical cars!

;

Overall score is one for the rally and five for people without a conscience 🙂

I did it! I drove at Nürburgring, twice

First of all I have to tell you that everything what you read about this circle is 100% true. Beautiful, dangerous and with special aura. Man, who built this circuit was genius with huge 3D knowledge. Finally I already know why this circuit is so famous. Many bends, horizons and compressions. The best feeling which you have if you are in first time at Nürburgring is changes of attitude. Drive from downhill to uphill with strange compression. I can’t describe it you simply have to do it yourself.

???????????????????????????????The Car and the place!

“Warming up”

I was thinking for a long time if I try to drive at Nürburgring. First time when I saw Nurbugring it was a shock for me! I didn’t expect so much difficult track. You have 6 meters of asphalt and only two meters of escape zone in each side and then hard barriers. Forget modern new safety circuit. This is really old school.

I watched amateur racers for two hours and after this I finally made decision that I will try it. But exactly at this time I saw accident. Not good for your confidence…

11-DSC00368Live crash

“Gentleman, start your engines”

Finally I bought a 26 euros ticket for one lap. I was so nervous. But I like this type of nervous. It is mix of fear and expectation. Gate is open, no way back. Full throttle and go straight to the first corner. Adrenalin goes up and I am up of the hill of hill. Each meter of this track is something special. In one moment you go 170 km/h down from hill and the second time you go into more than 180 degree banked turn. Horizons replace compress, left corner replace bigger left corner. Tires squeeze and you are satisfied.

“Finish, champagne and girls”

My second and last BTG lap took around 10 min. I think that it is quite good result for Skoda Octavia Combi with winter tires and 77 kW diesel engine. My Average speed was 105 km/h, highest 170 km/h and average consumption 11,7l/100 km 🙂 I read that drive at Nürburgring can cause dependency. Surprisingly, it is right!

Notes around Nurburgring…

Most of spectators have barbecue in the spectators spaces. It looks like a cultural experience for them. Something like a theater. From the other side drivers, who drive at Nurburgring usually have very good facilities. The wife grills some meat, children play around facilities and the dads sit in front of car and waiting for next laps. All of them look very satisfied. It was very nice to see it. It is like family picnic with part of time for dad’s racing.

1-DSC00409Viel Spass!

BTW: I will be back! But now with summer tires 🙂

A lot of changes have happened. The biggest change is country of my work. I work in Cologne, Germany where I am living right now. Benefit of this work is my new private company car Skoda Octavia. This benefit has two sides. The positive side is the car is not mine. It means that maintenance is not my problem. Second side is that I never bought this type of car. Diesel, wagon and Octavia. But In Czech we say… “If you got horse like present, don’t look for him teeth.”

My colleague from Czech Republic who works also here has also Skoda Octavia TDI MY 2012 as a private company car, but with 1,6 CR engine. I can drive both of these cars so I can make a small comparison test between this car.

Power

Both cars has the same tab power and torque. My personal feeling is that 1,9 has faster reaction when you press throttle. 1,6 is more quiet. 1,6 has also one bad property against 1,9. You have to keep higher speed of engine. CR engine don’t like slow speed of engine. In this case the engine has unpleasant vibration.  PD engine can go about 1000 rpm and no problem. CR engine has to have higher rpm than 1200 rpm. Generally both cars are quick the same in line.

 Driving feeling

I think (I am not sure) that my car (PD) has hydraulic power steering and colleague’s car has electrical power steering. Because my steering is more commutative than 1,6 CR and I have better feeling and bigger confidence during driving.

Other notes

I have driven more than 10 000 km with my car. In total my car has 108 000 km. And surprisingly my car already has several problems. I can’t open rear right doors, if I have more than 120 kph, I can hear some aerodynamic unpleasant noise from left rear door and probably the biggest fault was jammed clutch on the German highway! I drove about 170-180 kph and after 300 km I found out that I can’t control my clutch! I could change gear, so I had to drive on fifth gear the whole way. In the city I had to shift without clutch. It was very stressful situations for me. But this was first and fortunately the last time when I can see this problem. I think it happened because I drove fast for long time and hydraulic system was overheated. I read similar problems of Skoda cars on web forums.

Lesson is: “If you have Skoda, don’t drive very fast for a long time. Just for sure.”

Octavia'sLook for ten differences! On the left is 1,9 and on the right side is 1,6

During my studies in Brno University of Technology I unfortunately didn’t have time for my old Skoda 100. But last Saturday I did! 🙂
Skoda was parked over two years without any move. First of all I had to charge battery, then fill up tyres and finally start of engine. I was afraid of this. A lot of things could be broken. One thing was. The Accelerator.  The Handle was rusted, but 30 minutes of working and again everything was O.K.
Then I turned the key and engine worked! Nice surprise. I was very excited and happy. Two years I didn’t hear the nice sound from exhaust. I love it.
The best moment was when I drive around my Village. I had so much lucky in my head 🙂
I drove slowly and enjoyed drive.  I am looking forward to next drive…