Friday, December 20, 2013

Demers World Class Car Collection in Quebec

Right Under My Nose

1937 Bugatti
Jaguar XK120
Count the day lost if you do not learn something new every day! Today is a good day... because, by chance, a show on local TV featured an interview with one of the 3 Demers brothers who hail from Thetford mines, a small town in southern Quebec (Canada.) With a population less than 30 thousand, you wouldn't expect it to be the home of one of the finest private car collections on the planet, BUT IT IS!

It is such a fine collection that the Sultan of Brunei is expected to make a visit in January to take a look a what they've got. This is the same Sultan who possesses another of the finest private car collections on the planet.

Brothers Roger, Michel and Serge Demers are third generation car collectors; their father and grandfather bought cars and stored them to the point that the collection has reached 500. You can't go see these cars, it's by invitation only. And you can't take pictures either. Occasionally a few are brought out for exhibition and photos go public. 3 are included here as car-brain candy. Enjoy.

The good news here is that the Demers family is actively searching for a partner to build a museum and open the collection to the public.  It includes Michael Jackson's Vector, Elton John's Jaguar, a Bugatti that belonged to Jean-Paul Riopel  and.. AND the first Lamborghini ever made. They family does not want to sell (that might be a disappointment for the Sultan of Brunei.)

For years the family negotiated with the city of Thetford Mines and nothing was ever settled. Consequently, they are entertaining locating the collection elsewhere. We'll follow this fascinating little bit of news and if they build a museum, we'll let you know where it is, so you can plan a visit. I'm hoping Quebec City (already a world heritage site) is the place it finds a permanent home.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beetle Styling by Volkswagen

JE DESIGN  and the VW Beetle - Shameless Plug

When the "New Beetle" made its comeback in 1998, it was at the top of a nostalgia chain and an absolute hit for the generation that had driven air-cooled "bugs" across all geographies and through all seasons. It was easy on gas, super-reliable and could be painted with flowers to look really cool. What?

The "New Beetle" found a willing consumer heavily skewed towards women - intentional or not. Can't say it was meant to be cute because the very first iteration (circa 1949 - 2 were sold that year) in North America was considered downright ugly and sounded like a large lawnmower.  Besides, American cars were big and powerful and the VW bug was small and had as much horsepower as a giant lawnmower.   However it went from scorn to cultural icon in the 1970s, and it does retain special status as the best-selling car of all time. The 2011 "Beetle" was totally made over inside and out. See an interview with VW designers Marco Pavone & Jan Haacke here.

This version of the Beetle has a 2 litre turbo under the hood (oh yeah - the engine used to be in the rear.)  Find a do-it-yourself plug and play chip tuning upgrade that will pump the horsepower up from 200 to 250 on the same page as what LLTeK offers from the mind of designer Jochen Eckelt -  see pictures and pricing of simple body kit styling for the 2012 Beetle here.