Tag Archive: alvimann

Is that a Porsche?

I love cars.

While I am not a gear head, I can look at the insides of a car with basic understanding. Spending a day under the hood is simply not my idea of fun.

However, I do like a great car.

Ferdinand A. Porsche was a man after my own heart. He designed great cars starting at the tender of age of 23. During the mid-1950s, his father – Ferry Porsche – decided he wanted a new style of the classic company car. F.A. Porsche began working in the technical design department as an apprentice after studying at Ulm School of Design during this time.

Image of F.A. Porsche from Global Motors.net.

While many styles had been rejected, in late 1959 F.A. presented his design and it was accepted. He changed the 356 while keeping the sloping lines in back. The headlights retained that ‘face’ look.

The world responded by falling in love.

Some models were meant for us regular folk, others for the rich and then there are the race cars. Hearing the name Porsche still incites a thrill because this company exudes style and class, something it has done once WWII was over and it could build cars again.

F.A. once stated “Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics , without any reliance gimmicks that have to be explained.”

Image by Alvimann

For those of us who know nothing of design, that means that back slope of the car allows the wind the pass over it quickly – and therefore move faster.  We can see that it will happen without someone telling us.

According to a poster on Treehugger.com, F.A. Porsche worked to make models for the regular guy that worked well. He helped to create the “20 year” model with the idea that a car could last for 20 years. Treehugger.com also had a picture of a current Porsche model that is electric. Global Motors.net credits F.A. with designing the type 803 racing car and the Porsche 904.

F.A. stayed with the company until 1972 when he created Porsche Design which created luggage, sunglasses, pens and all sorts of products related to Porsche.  He later came back as chairman of the board in the 1990s.

The car that he designed has been modernized over the years but it has never left behind the essential style of the original. And when you see one of the street, there is always a bit of a gasp of astonishment in the beautiful vision before you.

Today, the New York Times reported the death of F.A. Porsche at the age of 76 although a cause was not listed. With it goes another designer who wanted to make the world a more beautifully functioning place.

Image by Clarita



No Punch Bug Back!

Last week, WordPress decided to freshly press a post with a picture of a Volkswagen. It was a good-looking teeny-tiny picture and I wanted to see it bigger. Too bad my computer would not let me. The other thing that came to my head was “Dang it! Now I cannot do the post I was planning on doing about VW Bugs.”

But you know me. Why let someone else’s good fortune stop me from doing what I really want. I mean, in no way is this a “hey, look at me. I am doing the same thing as them and they were freshly pressed last week” kind of post. I am actually telling a story of sorts and they have more pictures than I do. Go back to compare and contrast. Explain in the comment area. (Just kidding, I really do not want essay answers.)

Now, do you remember that game of punching your companion in the arm whenever you see a Volkswagen Beetle? You yell “No Punch Bug Back” so they cannot hit you in the arm. Don’t say it and your arm is open season.

2006 Volkswagen Beetle; Image from Carmax

Who can forget, especially if you have a 14-year-old in the crowd who knows how to punch the part of your arm that has the least amount of fat.

Owww, that hurts.

In our town there are two beetles of the newer variety. One is dark blue and the other is a cream color. In an effort to stop fighting in the car one day, I saw one coming and yelled out “Punch Bug, No Punch Bug Back” as I tapped the closest kid on the leg.

This was great! Kids went ‘what?’ and hands went flying. Kids started keeping an eye out for the rounded car and hitting each other.

Sometimes, we yell out the color so there is no confusion. The seven-year-old ran with this game. He was on the watch at all times. Chances are he will see one before the rest of us.  The ten-year-old, however, got tired of being on the receiving end of her older brother’s punches.

They really do hurt.

Picture by Alvimann

She took herself out of the game then had to yell that she wasn’t in the game anymore every time they tried to hit her. I got her back in by playing with me when it was only us in the car. Later I had to set the rule that the punches had to be gentle and not bone-jarring.

Call me the no-fun mom, if you will. But once I did that, the game became fun again.

Without the threat of punches hard enough to make your bones wish you still weighed more than you should for that extra protective layer of fat, the game became a pleasurable distraction from what was another boring trip to run endless errands.

 And it is one of those games you can play in the car while traveling. Which would you rather have – kids fighting because they are bored and miserable OR kids hitting each other because they spotted a VW Bug. Alex, I will take VW Bug for $500, please.

The funny thing is I see these bugs all over the place these days. I see them with convertible tops and without. I see red and silver and black. Sometimes, I even see old ones that remind my husband how his first car was a bug. I think about how in the winter they took forever to warm up. Brrrr.

2002 Beetle, Image from Carmax

Now that they are popular again, it is easier to play this game. And the ten-year-old says she wants her first car to be a VW. I told her to start saving her money now. The thing is, I think by the time she is ready to drive, she will have that money because she likes saving up for stuff. And you have to admit, it is a cool-looking car.

Punch Bug Red! No Punch Bug Back!