Sunday, November 18, 2007

United Auto Thanksgiving Cruise

More from the Marshmallow:
This was my first actual VW show, so somehow I managed to fit my "Herbie: Fully Loaded" ejector seat (the rig which launches Justin Long into the windshield during the first test drive, in a shot used in all of the trailers etc.) in the rear of my car behind the roll bar, and the NASCAR wheel under the hood, making for a neat little display in front of the car:

People were stopping all day , taking pictures and asking me to slide the thing back and forth to show the source of Justin Long's pain. Lots of fun. Jason's Herbie was in attendance as well:

Both Jason and I won honors in the "most unique" category. Of course, my ribbon was 2nd place, and his was 3rd, so there was a bit of bragging:

There were a few other wierdly engineered vehicles at the show, including a 1957 oval window with a Mazda rotary engine grafted in the back:

The other one (which won 1st place for "Best Modified car") was this fire breathing monster, a 2.25 liter VW engine. The fuel path was a bit convoluted - a monster Edelbrock Muscle Car carburator equipped with NOS into a Garrett turbocharger:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Angeles Crest Cruise - Wrap Up

The cameras were put away and we spent the rest of the (now cool) afternoon cruising down the mountain:

A quick fill up a Jay's Shell again and we all went our separate ways.

But, not after our Federico Fellini in-residence (my father, driving the truck full of precious goods in case of VW break downs) paused to compare some pictures:

Stop #20 - Rocky Road in HGTMC

At the end of the road (literally - the Angeles Crest is closed here to everybody except bicycles and snakes because of rock slide damage) you find a turn off for Highway 39 (aka Beach Boulevard), which as well as being my current address in Huntington Beach was also used in Monte Carlo for all that yodeling:

It is also closed for everybody except bicycles and snakes, so the closest we could get to the filming location was this gate by the side of the road:

Stop #19 - Upside Down Tunnel from HGTMC

Plenty of matte work here to paint the coast of Monte Carlo on a hillside in La Canada Flintridge:

You can see that Disney blacked out the center section of the tunnel + added a little ramp on the left side for the bit where Herbie drives off the side of the tunnel:

Stop #18 - Dragging the Brake Drum on 3 Wheels from TLB

Thankfully, it was much cooler up at the summit where this bit was filmed:

Stop #17 - Newcomb's Ranch for Lunch

At this point it was about 100 degrees, time to stop the silly photoshoots and get some lunch + a gallon or two of ice water. Newcomb's Ranch is a great little cafe/biker bar on the Crest near the top of the mountain.

After lunch (and we talked Jason into ditching his racing suit, since he looked like he was about to succumb to heat stroke), a couple of guys riding Harleys came over and asked "What's with the V-Dubs?".

Turns out one of them worked with Wax Balchowsky preparing the souped-up camera car "Old Yeller" and other motorhead bits from "The Love Bug". I don't think he was quite prepared for the level of Herbie nerdiness he was to encounter in our questioning, and asked Jerry (a machinist) if he had ever kept any metal chips in response to our question if he had kept anything from filming. After that, the questions became a little less detailed!

The fomer crew member then gave us the location of "Old Yeller" and the fate of the two Thorndyke (Buick Apollo) cars and wished us well on our way to the top of the mountain.

Stop #15 - Wheelie in HGTMC

Most of the stops up the mountain were skipped for photos because the temperatures were creeping into the nineties, but we decided to stop at the location where the shortened wheelie car did its stuff in Monte Carlo:

Scott/Michelle and family parted company with us at this point:

Stop #13 - HGTMC Rocky Road Turn Off

Pine trees grow pretty tall in 30 years:

The actual turn off heads down to a campground, not the winding rocky road in the film (which is up at the top of the mountain, our last stop):