As you may have heard, June 27, 2012, was not the day that Doc Brown set the time machine in his DeLorean to go to in the future in Back to the Future, despite what the Internet wanted us to believe on Wednesday. As an unabashed fan of the Back to the Future trilogy, at first I was mad at myself for missing such a momentous date; I kind of had an excuse in that I hadn’t watched the movies in a while. But then I started to think about how neatly the four main time periods in the trilogy worked out and realized it was just a hoax.
The same friend who first introduced me into the thrills of high-school hoonage—in a late 1970s Chevy Monza—recently bought this 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin, and I was lucky enough to get some time behind the wheel. For those who haven’t read the head Savant’s own piece on the car, from 2009, the Golf Harlequin actually came that way right from the factory.
It would be easy to be jealous of Ken Lingenfelter if you didn’t know the back-story. After all, here’s a guy who had the wherewithal to get into collecting about a decade ago and has since built up a stunning selection of more than 150 of the coolest cars in the world. Of course, not satisfied with just collecting them, he also purchased one of the globe’s top tuning operations, itself boasting more than 30 very successful years in the business and a very familiar name—Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, originally founded by Ken’s cousin, the veteran NHRA champion and engineer John Lingenfelter.
Perhaps since my last article you’ve read a few magazines about your favorite marque and now you’ve got your mind set on one….or maybe you are wavering between a couple marques and/or types of classic cars.
The bad news is you are hooked! And you know you are ready to take the leap; you want to jump in with both feet and join the rest of the poor souls who have been bitten by the classic sports car bug. Congratulations!
Now, the obstacles to purchasing a classic sports car begin to materialize; how to figure out what to buy, maybe you know what you want but are not sure of the best path to acquiring it. Perhaps you feel eBay is the best way to buy, or Hemmings, or you know of one behind a barn in your hometown. How do you avoid buying a true nightmare of a car, how do you know the right things to look for and what to avoid, who can you trust, how do you avoid paying too much?
Iceland is a mysterious place with endless discoveries for literally anybody. To add to the mystique of this island perched precariously on the edge of the world (no, not really, it’s between North America and Europe actually), flying to Iceland is distinctly different from flying to any other country. The clouds over the island seem to cover it like a blanket, making the descent of the aircraft particularly precarious. Upon breaching the cloud cover, the landscape that appears is at once barren and ancient – a stark change from the manicured lawns and large industrial buildings that mark England’s landscape from which I came. The airport, however, must be one of the most modern ones I have ever seen. Elegantly Scandinavian, thoroughly modern and utterly clean. Their advertisements also reflect their way of thinking – simple and effective.
Selling cars at an auction is foreign to me. Where I live in Singapore, we rely almost solely on buying cars privately or from used car dealerships. Among the auctions there is always the impression that ‘something must be wrong with the car’, perhaps a very strong Asian mindset that if one’s car is re-possessed or confiscated, the car itself also contains some qualities of its owner.