Yay, finally got to drive my car!

YAY !,,,,
After nearly 4 months, I finally got to drive my prowler !

Got to the garage at about 4:30, did a final check and shortly after 5 pm I was able to finally drive away with my car .. So what’s the verdict ?

I had taken exactly 2 left turns, less than a 1/4 mile and I come to a roundabout, I see an arm extend outwards from the car, it was a woman passenger with a mobile phone taking a picture of my car … 1/4 mile from pickup .. Is that a record ?

I then drove 1 hour to London, along the way it got scary at times, at one point I had one big truck on my left with a guy on a table taking a picture while driving while at the same time another on the right also driving while taking a pic with his phone, I kept thinking one of them would loose focus and smash against us 

People would drive by and honk to give me thumbs up, but the best one of the day was when I got to london, as I drove on the slow roads I came to a stop light, I had my window down and I just hear this scream on my left, it was this 6-7 year old freaking out, yelling for daddy “daaaaaaaaaad, look at that car !!!” … It was quite cute, she was jumping up and down in excitement

Wherever I drove, people would scramble for their phones to capture a pic

Then it got even more weird, I parked on the street to pick up my girfriend and this modified VW stopped next to me, these two youg chaps just then bombarded me with questions, at the end one of them asks me bluntly if I smoke weed and if I want to go out and party with them and get high …. Tempting … Tempting … But I declined, my prowler is the only drug I need …

I pick up the GF and head out to a local bar to have a bite, I park the car within eyesight and sit for the evening, I counted close to 10 people going over and taking snapshots, you could see as they would enter the bar they would looks around .., no doubt looking for the movie star that had the car outside !

I got back home, as I am parking, this kid (10-11) comes running and asks if he can have a ride .. I told him maybe next time :), put the cover on and it’s now resting until the next trip … What an exciting day, people are freaking out over it .. Love it!

Now my own views:

– this car is a b$tch to drive, you have zero visibility, rough ride and little comfort 

– none of that matters, I had a grin from ear to ear

– I am experiencing a problem, the battery might be going bad on me, if I stop and turn it back on, it starts fine, if it sits for 10-20 minutes I have some trouble starting it, need to bring it back to the mechanic 

– the labo doors, absolutely awesome, but need to be careful, they can be tricky to close and you hit the door into the latch

Overall, I love it, have made a commitment never to sell, but it could never be a main car, this is a cruiser to take out on joy rides and make people smile :)


Plymouth Prowler

I remember back in 2001 when I was buying a Jeep Grand Cherokee V8, at the showroom of the dealership they had this car that looked like something created in the future by a designer from the past, it was stunning and I remember  thinking how much I wanted one.

I also remember being surprised by the price, at the time it was about 40k, and it was exactly the same I was paying for the Jeep … Humm, but I needed a Jeep, not a two seater, so it was not to be.

Not to say 40k was little money, back in 2001 was quite dear, but the car had a styling of a car 2-3x more expensive, over the years I’d see a picture of one here and there, and always tought “one day”, but then moved back to Europe and the tough subsided.

Now the car was only produced in 97, 99, 00, 01 and 02, it was never meant to be a long running production car, only about 11.578 were sold, and all of them were only available in North America, anybody outside it had to buy it there and have it imported to their own country.

A few months back, out of the blue I decided to check them out again, I found out that only 11 exist in the UK, and for one to come up for sale is a rarity, but luck has it, there was one for sale, in Red !, so I contacted the seller and told him I’d go by and check it out on Saturday… But was not to be, somebody bought it on Friday !

I was quite upset by it, but never the less I was decided I wanted one, I work hard and it was time to give myself a prize, so I started to look in Germany for one, and found a black one near Koln, called the seller, we haggled for a while and settled on a price.

I started the convertion of sterling to euros via Transferwise and waited for it to finish, as it was the time of the elections in the UK, the sterling was taking a pounding against the euro, so in order to keep my convertion at the rates I had specified, the whole transfer would take a few days, I was on cloud 9, so I decided to go and visit the London Motor Museum, where I heard they had a prowler on display.

And then it all went to hell …

When I arrived at the “museum” I was uber-excited, I had not seen a prowler in person in many years, but I rembered how great they looked, but then I was faced with this !

I was gutted, what had happened ?, this was not the car I remembered … It looked like crap !, I looked to see if it was a replica, but it was not, it was the real deal !

I immediately (while still at the museum) called Transferwise and cancelled the money transfer, then called the seller and cancelled the deal, no way I was going to buy this POS.

But I was confused, I rembered the prowler was a great looking car, how come my memory was so wrong, so I went home and called the seller of that red one that got away, asked him if the new owner had picked it up, No ?, good, can I see it ?

So I went to see his, to understand what had gone wrong, well when I got there I realised right away what was wrong, the one in the museum was simply shit, a poorly maintained, dirty and with horrible wheels and a nackered interior … The red one .. stunning !!!!

I was happy again, tought about calling and buying the German black one again, but decided I wanted a red one, so was time to go searching once more.

After a bit of digging, I found the perfect one, problem was it resided on the other side of the Atlantic, in Toronto, Canada !

Still, after doing the math, it was cheaper to get it here and have it shipped over, plus there are none for sale in the UK, and this one had some hard to find upgrades and a killer (to my taste) custom paintjob.

I asked my cousin who lives nearby to go check it, he gave me the thumbs up and the deal was made, after that I hired a local company in UK called ShipMyCar to deal with bringing it over, registration, MOT, mods, etc.

And now, finally after more than 2 months waiting, the car has arrived in the UK, I went to see it yesterday, I still can’t take it home or drive it, it needs modifications to make it UK road legal, plus MOT and registration, plus with me going to the Azores at the end of next week, it will be another month before I get it, but it’s here and I love it !


The intention is to later on bring it to the Azores, and hopefully over the years add a couple more of my dream cars to the collection (such as the 1960 corvette), but for now it’s my first dream car and could not be happier.

Now if I could only drive it :) … Patience is not something I have plenty of!


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Removing vents on center console (Prowler)

So I needed to remove the AC vents form the radio console, so I can have it painted
I noticed there are 6 tabs that hold it in place, and while slotting in it’s dead easy, to remove it it’s a pain, as the vents unit must slide out as one, so having all 6 tabs released from it’s hold at the same time is important, so not to cause damage and break a tab

For those who did this before, I can imagine the frustration, you get one tab off, go to work on the other and it slides back in

My quick solution .. these cheap hair clips from my daughters, by using the wider bit, and because they are so thin, they easily slide between the tab and the vent unit …

So I slided in 6 hair clips .. easy


And the vent unit just slide right out … one of those things that takes you 30 minutes to figure to and 30 seconds to do it 😉


Figure this might be helpful hint to somebody doing the same :)


Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 has arrived

I was arriving at work when I got the email that UPS had just delivered my new (old) lens .. at home ! :p

As you can imagine I was anxious all day to get back home so I could play with my new toy

And here is it, the Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 “50 years” edition, in great condition, this lens is from 1982, it was a special edition that Zeiss did for Contax to celebrate their 50 years as a company, only 2000 were ever made, it’s considered the pinnacle of 85mm lenses.


There is some serious glass on this thing !


I will now do some tests against my 85L II, the lens I put for sale in order to grab this one, but here is a quick handheld shot on the A7R, nothing fancy and just handheld, but I wanted to check the bokeh .. I am not disappointed :)


And last, her is a picture of it on the A7R .. Does not look out of place at all …


More pictures and further testing coming soon. :)

His & Hers e-Shisha

I have not been a cigarette smoker in 14 years, but I am an occasional cigar smoker, and latelly I started to gather a large cigar collection that I am ageing on my humidor, problem was, I also started to smoke them allot more often.


So to get back into the old habit of only having a cigar every so often, I decided to try these new e-cigars/e-cigarettes, but I hated them, so I decided to try e-shish instead, basically it does not try to be a cigar/cigarette, it’s a completely different experience, one I enjoyed

Its only water vapour, so no nasty tar and other junk in my lungs, and for now I am using  very low dosage of nicotine (8mg) and probably will make it even lower, I got the itaste SVD unit with the Nautilus thank, and since the GF was interested in trying it, I bought her a smaller unit with the Nautilus Mini thank :)

Here they are


Tallship Chronicles – Finally !!!

Back in 2003 I spent 9 months in the Azores, during that time the locat TV station (RTP) ran a show called ‘TallShip Chronicles‘ with a Canadian reporter called Andrew Younghusband spending 18 months aboard a TallShip called ‘Picton Castle’ going around the world on this big sailboat exploring these remote locations, cool stuff.

Back then I fell in love with the show, so much that I made a wish that maybe one day I would do one of the legs on that trip, maybe one day .. who knows.

Anyway, since then I tried in vain to get a copy of the show, but no such luck, it is not on iTunes or any other sites of the kind, and the series was once released in VHS but even that is no longer available even the site that sold it went offline, I also found countless people online looking for it with no luck, I even read somewhere that Andrew Younghusband himself did not had a copy of it.

Well … I have one now !! … after almost 4 years of searching I was able to find it, it’s on it’s way to my iPad and I have entertainment for the next week’s evenings :)



Foggy Morning

This was the view this morning from my balcony, everywhere you looked it was hard to see more than a few meters, fog everywhere.

We live right by the airport, no flights were landing due to it, but amazingly I could hear some taking off once in a while.


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Well … just went from 5D MKII to … 6D !

So for the past couple of years i’ve been using my 5D MKII .. I saw the MKIII come out and waited for the price to come down .. and waited

In the meantime, I got to learn what I could with my MKII and just yesterday I decided .. ok, it’s time to go for the MKIII, woke up this morning and was ready to buy one, told a friend (who actually owns a MKIII) and he told me “why don’t you get the 6D instead ?” .. my first reaction “I don’t want 1.6x cameras” .. I had no idea the 6D was a full frame

I was shocked when I actually looked at the 6D .. I was just days away from blowing £250+ on a Camranger so I could get wi-fi remote control, this thing has it built in !, I LOVE GPS tagging, I constantly tag my photos manually, I did the whole ‘carry a GPS unit and then sync the times later with the photos’ but it’s a PITA, no such thing on the MKIII

So whats the catch ? do I really NEED the MKIII ?

lets see:

Focus: The MKIII has more focus points … I’m the kind of guy that disables all but the centre point, don’t know why, but I only like to focus with the centre point and then reframe the scene … so more focus points .. not needed

CFII Card: meh !

Low Light performance: my main reason to move to the MKIII .. I HATE flash, thats why most all my lenses are very fast primes, the 6D is just as good as the MKIII in low light ? some cases marginally better ? …

GPS Tagging: gimme gimme gimme !!!!

1/8000 vs 1/4000: checked my photos .. never used anything even close to 1/4000 .. let alone above it

Wi-Fi: I signed for the Helicon Remote iOS beta program .. when I am in this beauty will make focus stacking with my iPad/Iphone easy as pie .. gimme !!

5D Pride ?: Yes .. that is my sore bit, I love being part of the 5D club, feel like the guy on a Lotus Esprit in a race with Ferraris … I can beat them, but I’m still in a lotus .. but heck, screw it, Ill have fun doing it !

So .. Im sitting here with a 6D next to me, let the fun begin :)

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Crowd-founding Watch ?

I just saw (and snagged the black one) this interesting watch by Egard, it has quite a different case and was designed in collaboration with Captain Kirk (William Shatner), it has a real cool looking oblong case and moon/sun phase.

What surprised me the most was that it was offered via a Crowd-foundign site first, they placed the first 50 watches at a ridiculous discount (about 69% Off) to get it going, it seems I grabbed number 13 of the limited edition (999), will be delivered in March .. should be interesting :)

LINK to pledge page

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My Magrette ‘Bronze’ … sort of

Ive had this watch now for a little over 6 months, I had been looking for a reasonably priced watch that was versatile, different and with a story .. I think I got it with this one!


So here goes the story of the watch, between September 2011 and March 2012, the New Zealand watch company “Magrette” sold a special edition watch made out of Bronze and limited to 1000 pieces, compared to the likes of the Panerai Bronzo ‘383′, with it’s price tag of over $40K USD, this one was way WAY cheaper (albeit not quite of the same calibre or mechanism) and of a small but reputable watchmaker, it also had some quirky elements like a window on the back that you would see this New Zealander wood panel with the serial, mine is number #93.


It seems this wood (ancient Kauri wood) is a protected species and forbidden to be cut down, you can only pick pieces that have fallen off the tree on it’s own.

Unfortunately after they started shipping the watches, somebody did a metal test on the bronze and found out that the metal was NOT bronze but brass instead !!

The story goes that the supplier of the alloy sent Magrette the wrong type, and it seems these two alloys are actually quite similar and hard to tell apart unless you do a metallurgical test on them, so immediately Magrette issued a recall of all sold watches and stopped production on any new ones, exactly how many of the proposed 1000 actually went out the door I don’t know.

This was part of the notice that Magrette put out:

The results of this test show that also our alloy is not the CuSn8 (Copper/Tin) compound referred to as “bronze”, but an alloy of CuZn (Copper/Zinc). This means our cases are made from high quality “brass”, the same material that, for example saxophones and trumpets are made of.

They also offered to swap the current brass case for a bronze one, but that never materialised and Magrette scrapped all plans for a bronze watch (for now anyway).

So a few didn’t returned theirs and for some enthusiasts like myself, the idea of owning a “mess-up” like this is awesome, first and foremost Brass is just as good of a material, it’s patina develops slightly more gold than red than bronze, it means the watch will have quite a distinct look, and how often can you wear a watch and tell of such a story ?

So in the aftermath I was able to snag one for myself from a frustrated owner for a real good price, added to it is a ‘Doneriz Vintage Green Canvas’ strap and a ‘Rolko’ brass (or is it bronze ?) big buckle .. the combo is just stunning.


Both the watch and the buckle are showing a real nice patina, giving it an aged but cared look, and of course no two watches will ever be identical because of this process.

Once in a while you can still find a few of them out there for a real good price, and they worthy to snag, with this story and time they bound to become only more valuable, but that should not be the reason to own one, having such a cool looking piece and a great story behind it’s the real reward.


For now this is my daily wearer, I have 3 other straps and 2 more buckles that I switch around to change it’s look once in a while, but the green canvas remains my favourite.

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