In the world of filmography, there have been many truly fantastic car scenes in some equally as amazing movies, whether it’s the Mustang vs Charger scene in Bullitt or even the numerous Bond Film car scenes they all wind up being fantastic, however, in the world of Short Films, not just do you hardly hear about them but due to a limited budget or an array of other things, they never seem to stand out like the rest do, however, there’s one which stands out from the rest and that goes by the name of ‘C’était Un Rendez-Vous’.
Otherwise known by the name of Rendezvous, it is a short film which was filmed way back in 1976 by Claude Lelouch and it features Claude himself driving what sounds like a Ferrari 275 GT/B blasting through the french city of Paris at about 5:30am on a Sunday morning in August while every Parisian is on their annual vacation, it’s a 9 minute film which certainly isn’t long but unlike other short films which can be quite hard to follow or difficult to get into, ‘Rendezvous’ is just simple & very easy to get into, there’s no music to distract you nor any voiceover work to follow neither – just pure V12 Ferrari symphony!!
So what is the plot?, well, Rendezvous doesn’t really have a plot at face value however, it only clicks at the end what the plot actually is – see, Rendezvous is actually a nine-minute long street race which starts from Port Dauphine and finishes 10.597 meters later at the finishing point the Sacré-Cœur Basilica which is out of shot by the end of the film where he meets his girlfriend coming up a flight of stairs, it includes sights such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, the Opéra Garnier, the Place de la Concorde as well as many others.
The best bit of Rendezvous is definitely the realism of it all, remember, it was 1976, GoPro’s weren’t around back then and cameras weren’t as small as they are now and CGI was way out of reach for short filmmakers and this was exactly the case of Rendezvous, it was all for real and only included one camera which was mounted onto the front of the car, add in the fact Claude only had two people who knew what he was doing, one of which, a guy with a walkie talkie to guide him through a tight archway onto a busy street and the second his girlfriend at the time, there was no shut roads or police blockades to guide him, this was all real and not staged one bit whatsoever.
Claude had to dodge real traffic and real conditions, these included dodging buses, multiple cars, pavement hopping as well as running numerous red lights and of course a mass amount of Parisians & tourists on vacation, this made it not just exhilarating to watch but also scary to create, see Claude done this film all in one shoot so he had no idea what he was going to get himself into, this made it even more exciting to watch as one wrong move and he was done for.
What’s really fascinating about it all though is how much Paris has changed since way back then, now of course city’s change over many many years – look at London for example but in Rendezvous, Paris is on the whole like a ghost town, there’s hardly any traffic, hardly any shut roads and due to the light traffic, there’s none of the infamous Paris traffic jams, add in the new roads which have come along over the years it’s weird to see an older Paris compared to the one we have now.
Rendezvous actually has a lot of things that bigger, more expensive films have, take Bullitt for example, the car chase scene between Steve McQueen & the baddies in the Charger, there is no music & no speech involved and it’s went down as one of the best scenes in a movie ever and this is exactly the same in Rendezvous, add in the tense watching & the fantastic driving in it and it has to be the best short film I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.
The actual filming was done by Claude in a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 instead of an actual Ferrari and that was for a very good reason, the Mercedes had the pace of the Ferrari but ultimately due to its self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension which came in handy with Paris’ different road surfaces, this made the footage a whole lot smoother and easier to watch than the Ferrari could ever do, however, this brings me onto the only real issue with Rendezvous and that is the sound.
Now at the time of filming, Claude Lelouch was quite the filmmaker and had quite a bit of money and was able to buy himself both an actual 275GTB and the SEL, so when he was filming Rendezvous, it was easily possible to take the Ferrari, however, due to the different road surfaces, he took the SEL instead but instead of using the Mercedes’ glorious V8 soundtrack, he decided to dub the 275 GTB’s V12 engine note over the footage taken from the Mercedes which makes it the only issue for the film as in some places it doesn’t quite match up which is a shame as otherwise, it’s a fantastic film.
It’s such a fantastic film in fact that many a people and many a company have tried to recreate it in one way or another, these include Nissan’s 350Z promotional DVD called ‘The Run’, ‘The Fast And The Famous’ which included Jay Leno in an SLS AMG as well as many others, hell, even Turn 10 & Playground Games, the creators of the Forza Horizon series has a side mission which involves taking an Alpine A110 around a route based in Edinburgh to pay homage to the film.
If you haven’t seen it, I’d urge you to look it up as it’s truly fantastic and well worth a watch, with the way traffic laws, are getting these days, it’d be impossible to do something like that these days in a major city which makes it such a pleasure to watch, add in the phenomenal driving and amazing views of Paris and it’s truly something to behold, here is a link to the video on Youtube if you fancy watching it.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson
So for those of you who have stuck around from the beginning, you’ll know that I currently own a MY ’00’ Volvo C70 Coupé 2.0 Turbo Manual which is my first car and of which I’m currently restoring/upgrading, well over these last few days I’ve been doing just that as I can finally reveal that she now has chrome rings around her dials in the instrument cluster!
So how did these come about & why did I go for them for the C70?, well as you guys may know after the Aston Martin blog a few weeks ago, I’m a massive fan of Aston Martin’s and GT cars in general and if given the possibility, I’d happily own multiple GT cars throughout my life if given the chance, now one thing I’ve noticed with multiple modernish GT cars whether they’re Mercedes CL’s or Jag XK’s or even Maserati 3200GT’s, they all seem to have chrome around the dials in the instrument cluster to make them feel classy & upmarket, however, because Volvo aren’t as upmarket as those other brands, when the C70 was launched way back in 1996, chrome around dials were never added as standard nor as an option, weird really for a car which has massive GT car credentials.
This is where DidoTuning come into play, DidoTuning is a polish company which manufacture & create chrome rings for an array of different cars and they sell their products both on their website & on their eBay page so when I came across them after finding an extensively modified C70 over on Facebook & seeing fellow group members & friends apply these to their own cars, I just had to buy them for ProjectC70, overall they cost about £30 including shipping which to be honest wasn’t too bad.
After a hefty 2 week wait of mainly customs related issues they finally arrived, and I finally got to have a look at what I got for my £30, so essentially they are 3 chrome aluminium rings which are cut to shape of the cluster so in theory, they should clip in tightly & then have the ability to fold over so they don’t fall out, however, as with all aftermarket stuff, fitment just wasn’t quite right, especially on the two outer rings but I’ll get to that later – first of all, I had to remove the dash pad off my car and remove the actual cluster first!
Now for those who have been here from the beginning, it’s not been the first time that I’ve actually removed the dash pad from my car, the last time I did it was a good few years back when I replaced the interior centre console trim & dash trim which really wasn’t easy, however as I’d had no choice but to remove the dash pad before, I knew what I was doing.
After looking a bit online, there was no turning back, it just had to be done, the job entailed removing all the plastic trim like the air vents & speaker vents, a plethora of T25 screws, a few 10mm bolts & the removal of the glovebox itself as well as disconnecting the passenger airbag, as the battery was already removed I was safe enough to undo it.
To make things easier, I used a 18V drill with an extended T25 Screwbit, a 10mm Spanner to remove the 3 bolts under the dash & a small flathead screwdriver to both undo the electrical connections & remove the trim, with all those tools combined, it made getting the dash pad an absolute breeze to remove and even easier to remove the cluster itself, now sure I could’ve bought a trim removal tool or a bone tool from IPD but with the time it’d take to turn up, I wouldn’t be writing this article as of right now as it’d possibly take a few weeks to turn up from America.
I started by removing all the trim with the flathead screwdriver, it’s real easy to do, just pop the screwdriver under the trim & pull and hey presto it’s out, I did this all around the dash removing the front dash vents, the higher speaker grilles & two plastic inserts which fit into the side of the dash, that was step 1 done, now onto step 2.
Step 2 involved removing the T25 screws which hide behind the plastic trim, as mentioned above, this was made a breeze with the drill & screw bit, one zap on the drill and the screws were slowly but surely coming out one by one which brings me onto the step 3 – The glovebox removal.
Step 3 was the removal of the glovebox innings, this again was really easy on my car, a few T25 screws on the outside & then a few more T25 screws once it was removed and once again, the glovebox came out and now I was in sight of the fabled passenger airbag, as I was working, it was vital that the battery was either disconnected from the car or a cable was removed, due to the C70’s battery being removed to stop drainage this wasn’t an issue whatsoever.
Disconnecting the airbag was really easy with the battery removed, it was just a matter of disconnecting the connector & removing the 3 10mm bolts nearby and that was all it took for the removal of the dash pad, however, I wasn’t finished there.
With the dash pad removed I had to remove the cluster itself, this included removing yet another two T25 screws prior to removing the pad itself, once they were undone, I just had to unclip the 4 connectors both on top and behind & the two metal clips on the top of the cluster and with a slight yank it was freed from it’s slumber.
With both the cluster & pad inside, it was time for the disassembly of the cluster itself, however before that, I wanted to check the bulbs while I was at it as they can easily blow so with it out it only made sense to check all the bulbs and I’m glad to report back no blown bulbs whatsoever, with that out the way it was to business.
Stripping down the cluster took a bit of figuring out as it’s held in with tiny little screws as well as a multitude of black clips holding it altogether, I was also worried of not breaking it as I’d never removed or worked on a cluster prior to this point before in my life, after gingerly removing the screws and slowly but surely separating the clips, it slowly came apart into two separate pieces, now the main part I was interested in was the front bit as it held the slots for the chrome rings, however as I’m about to reveal, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
So what was the problem exactly? Well, with my car like many, it has 3 sets of dials, it has a dial for the fuel level & coolant level which sits on the left of the cluster, it has the speedo in the middle & lastly the rev counter on the right side with the middle dial being bigger than the two outer ones, now while the rings were size specific with the middle one being bigger than the other two, it made it easy to figure out where it went, however, the two outer rings weren’t wanting to play ball whatsoever and kept popping out of place & with a lack of knowledge & overall patience it wound up that after a while we started to notice deep scratch marks which would block my vision when fitted back into place.
This meant that I had to order a second used cluster off Ebay to work with with the intention of just swapping the screen part while already using the existing dials & original to the car cluster electrics, this meant that I could keep the original mileage which was the most important bit in the whole change up, after ringing up both Volvo Parks Ayr and Volvo specialists M.J. Motors over in a village not far from me called Auchinleck, they said that if I kept the electrics the same it will keep the original mileage so I ordered the second cluster with everything crossed that it’d work.
With my trust in both the specialist & dealer, when the new cluster came in earlier today, we instantly got to work stripping it down, fitting the new chrome rings and then refitting, I decided to let my stepdad fit the dials as he is stronger than myself and also has more patience than me as well, it wasn’t easy as the two outer rings kept popping out which was the issue I had a few days prior, however, he persevered and finally got them to fit, after putting the cluster back together, it was time to put the car back together.
The cluster was just a matter of screws & clips so nothing really difficult, I had to be careful however as with the ill fitting outer rings, it was very easy for it to go belly up and I wasn’t wanting that to happen as we’d be back to square one, however this time everything went back together smoothly and it was ready for refitting time.
Refitting was the reversal of removal, so first of all the cluster went back in, then it got connected up, after that, the dash pad got put back in place, the airbag got reconnected, the 3x 10mm bolts were next to go in and then once they were in, the glovebox was lined up and refitted, once that was back in the rest of the T25 screws got put back in and then last but not least, the trim & vents went back in and hey presto – ProjectC70 was now fitted with chrome rings around the dials & what a difference!!!
Now, I’ll be honest, cheap aftermarket parts don’t really interest me as a whole as they tend to look tacky or be made from really crappy material and it can really show and can ruin an otherwise nice car, however, to give DidoTuning their due, these rings look absolutely amazing and because they are actually aluminium instead of chromed plastic, they really suit the car a lot, in fact I’d say that they look factory which isn’t something you can say about a lot of the stuff you see for sale online.
So would I recommend them? well it all depends really, they look fantastic and really suit the car, however, with some of the parts ill fitting & really tight spaces to work with, it isn’t the easiest job to do, however, if you take it easy, it will be do-able and the results will be fantastic.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson
So, picture this, you’re a young petrolhead and you are looking for your first ever set of wheels, now because it’s a first car, it needs to be cheap to buy, cheap to insure, cheap to tax and overall cheap to run but yet has to be decently fun to drive as well as being reliable & not much to fix, with all this in mind and with a vast array of cars out there, here’s some top ten steps to take when buying your first ever car!
1.) Set Yourself a Fixed Budget.
Now when you are looking for a first car, the main thing you have to work out is your current budget, there’s no point looking at Ferrari’s if you only have £1,000 to play with, also there is no point in looking at a £6,000 car if you only have a £5,000 budget, stick to a budget which can easily get you a car & cover costs of insurance & tax prices, that way you have a better idea of what’s exactly out there for buying.
2.) Shop Around For Insurance.
Now, while Budget is top dog when it comes to buying a first car, there is no point in buying a car if it cost way too much to insure, try & find something which is cheap to buy & also cheap to insure & don’t be afraid to shop around different quotes to find the best for you, the more you shop around and the more companies you get in contact with, you’ll more than likely find a company who’ll put you onto a ‘Young Drivers Scheme’ which lowers the insurance quite significantly compared to your typical quotes.
3.) Buy Something That Young Driver’s Won’t Normally Drive.
This may sound weird at first glance but bear with me on this, If you go for something that no other young driver has, the lower the insurance will more than likely cost, now remember to do this within reason, If for example, you are looking at a Ford Focus MK1, look instead at the likes of a Mazda 3 or Alfa Romeo 147, because no young driver is hardly seen insuring these kinds of cars compared to their rivals, the insurance companies don’t give out really stupid quotes as they’re hardly ever crashed by inexperienced drivers, also, if you disregard insurance for a second, buying something that nobody else has means that you can potentially get yourself a car which drives as good as if not better than the typical choices & is also a rare sight on the roads.
4.) Make Sure It Has a Good Community.
There is no point in buying a car if it has no following or love for it as that’ll make it impossible to get any help with it regarding parts or even fixing it, also there is no point in buying a car if the following is huge but unhelpful to your specific car in question, try if you can to find a car which has a very good owners community which will literally go to the ends of the world to help you out, not just will this help you with parts & fixing the car in question but you’ll also meet some very good friends through it as well and will make you stick around for many years to come.
5.) Don’t Be Afraid to Try Out a Classic or Retro car.
With new cars becoming ever so complicating & some small classics becoming really cheap & easy to pick up, it makes sense to buy a classic or retro car, It’s so easy to join one of the many arrays of classic car clubs around the place and fit in with the rest of the members, the best part about these kinds of car people is that most of them are of a mature age so will easily be able to help you without hurling abuse or making fun of what you drive, plus with so many different shapes, sizes, & styling it certainly makes for some fun motoring as you’ll know that you’ll be driving something that isn’t common on the roads anymore, add in the easy mechanical access & more raw driving experience a classic car gives you, it certainly makes for a wonderful ownership experience.
6.) Go on Your own Insurance Policy.
Now while a lot of people may tell you to go on to the likes of your parents insurance or even another family members insurance for a few years to lower costs, this isn’t actually the best way to go in the long run, see, insurance companies don’t give out ‘No Claim Discounts’ to named drivers on insurance policies, only those who are actually main drivers, so what does this mean exactly? Well while for the first few years the insurance will be low, as soon as you sign up in your own name, it will be more expensive, by going on your own policy from the get-go, you can build up a significant no claims discount before moving onto your next car or even changing company, even if you have to add people onto your policy then do so – just make sure it’s in your name!
7.) You Can’t Be Picky.
Remember what I said about trying out cars that no one else has? Well if you choose to do that which is very much advised by myself, you can’t be picky when choosing a car, sometimes the underrated cars are some of the best cars you could ever own regardless of badge or stereotypes, when I bought my C70, I was never considering a Volvo as I always thought they were old mans cars which drove terribly, however, while some of that may be true, it isn’t actually as bad as everyone makes out and this is the case for most cars which are never considered.
8.) Do Your Research.
whether it’s a brand new car you are looking at or a secondhand car you have your eyes on, whether it’s a typical everyday VW Golf or an expensive entry-level Audi/BMW/Mercedes, always always do your research, this will make it so much easier to filter out the good cars from the bad, too many people make the mistake of just buying what they like or what they want without even reading about its common faults or ownership issues which means that unfortunately, they are stuck in a position where they are severely left unhappy & ultimately cold with their purchase all due to lack of research.
9.) Get in Contact With People in The Know.
So, you’ve whittled it down to maybe two or three cars, they’re all within budget, have similar performance & running costs and all have good badges or a good reputation from both owners & forums/groups, how do you go about whittling it down to the right car?, well you could always go round the dealerships and find out more about the cars you’re looking at but 9 times out of ten they’ll be biased as it’s one of their products and this is something which ultimately won’t help, however there is nothing to stop you from getting contact with specialists in the know of the cars you’re currently looking at, these guys will be able to give fair honest answers without being biased and will make it so much easier for you to come to a decision & ultimately coming away with more knowledge than the internet or forums could ever give.
10.) Go Out & Actually Experience Potential Cars.
So, you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of cars, they both have fantastic reviews, both within budget & both are good buys from those in the know, how do you make the decision to actually go ahead and buy one?, well you either drive them or get a passenger ride in them of course!, This separates the good from the bad and is the ultimate turning point in potential car ownership as you will actually be able to see first hand what the cars in question are like & what they’re like to actually drive & sit in, this way you can actually get to see what kit comes with them and what everything feels like and get an overall feel for the cars in question, while reviewers & journalists can tell you how fast a car can get around a track, no one can tell you what it’s like to drive & live with on a day to day business.
I hope this list helps and guides you into first car ownership easier than going alone without anyone helping, now, even though this list does help out & makes things easier, there really is no right or wrong way to buying any car let alone your first car, this is only meant as a guide and not as the be-all & end-all of all of the multiple first car lists out there on the internet, I know that when I bought my C70 way back in 2015, I had different wants & needs to friends of mine who just wanted a cheap set of wheels to get them on the road, not everyone is the same and everyone has different needs especially when it comes down to cars.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson
In the world of rallying these days it’s a fierce game, in a sport where you have top tier drivers in top tier cars piloting them through the toughest & most mentally challenging stages it’s no wonder that after the stages are done the drivers go & relax, now if you have ever had the chance to get up close to a drivers living quarters you’ll quickly realise they’re massive and outlandishly lavish with everything & more anybody would ever seriously need, however, what if you’re not a rally driver but still fancy lavish living quarters? well, I’ve found just the thing!
With thanks to Racetrailer one of you lucky people out there can now go & buy Petter Solbergs actual 2017 VW Racing Trailer Living Quarters, as like all living quarters this one is absolutely huge and is more like a small office building than actual living quarters, for a start, it has Hydraulic folding stairs, Full A\C, Smart TV’s, Double refrigerators, a fold away awning, various storage cupboards, a welcome desk, a plethora of beds ranging from single beds, double beds & multiple bunks as well as much much more!
Now to carry all this weight & mass, it needs to sit on a good chassis which can cope with its bulk and this one sure does, it’s a 3 axle trailer which in itself spreads the weight evenly and makes it easier to move & it even has a stepdeck frame which is perfect for heavy loads like this.
However, while the chassis is good for the weight, you’ll still need a powerful truck to haul it around, whether thats a Scania R Series or even a Volvo FH16 or any other of the trucks out there, it’s not a light trailer at all, to be quite frank though, if you can afford the trailer than you are more than likely able to afford a brand new truck to haul it with which brings me onto it’s major set back & that’s the price.
See, this has to be the most expensive VW branded product bar a Bugatti, see this trailer is up for sale for €450,000 + VAT (£396,261.54) which isn’t exactly cheap, in fact, that’s the same price as a well specced nearly new Ferrari 812 SF which begs the question, which is the better buy?, the unbelievably quick yet comfortable 2 seat V12 Ferrari GT Car or the lavishly equipped home from home for ultimate rally fans.
There is no doubt the Motorhome is equipped really well and is the ultimate rally fans trophy piece and with everything in it & more it’s certainly worth a buy and will no doubt be bought by someone who has the money to buy it, however with limited usability the Ferrari seems to be a slightly better buy.
One thing I can say however, which ever one is bought, you’ll both get a fantastic reaction from it and will both be phenomenal to own and both are so ultimately cool that they will never go unnoticed wherever they’re parked.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson
With the release of the new MK5 Toyota Supra back in January, it caused a storm in the motoring world for being if anything a flop to the Supra name badge which stopped production way back in 2002, for a start the new ‘A90’ as it’s codenamed isn’t exactly a Toyota as it’s built within conjunction with BMW and shares a majority of parts & even the chassis with the new upcoming BMW Z4 MK3, on top of that, for the performance available it’s just way too expensive with a price tag of over £50,000 making it a direct rival to a Porsche Cayman which is really the bench mark for 2 seat sports cars these days which makes the new Supra really a bad deal when you think of it, however, before you get out the pitchforks, I have a hunch that Toyota & BMW are up to more than they are currently letting on and this works in favour of BMW and this comes in the shape of a potential new ‘M’ car.
Confused? Let me explain, with the new Supra being directly based on the new Z4 and also sharing parts with each other, it only makes sense for BMW to make a new 2 seater ‘M’ car out of the new Z4 thus making what I believe to be the new Z4M Coupé, now this may just be me speculating however, if you look up the stats of the original Z4M Coupé, they are very close to the new Supra’s stats which certainly can’t be coincidence, now of course, the old Z4M used the same 3.2 I6 from the truly wonderful E46 M3, unfortunately, the ‘S54’ is well & truly dead but with the new range of 6 pot engines used these days used in a plethora of fast BMW’s, it’ll only make sense to slot one of those wonderful engines into a competent chassis then hand it over to the geniuses at the ‘M’ division to make something truly special.
There is also method in my madness, due to the new Supra & Z4 having very similar running gear & same chassis, that means that it won’t be too difficult to make a coupé body shell for the upcoming Z4 and fit it over the already existing chassis which makes it very much possible to put into production.
Size wise, the new Supra & Z4 isn’t that much different than the original Z4M which makes me think that they’ll bring it back for us ‘M’ car fans who unfortunately don’t have the garage space for the likes of a M2 Competition or M3, when the original Z4M Coupé came out, it was the entry level so to speak of the ‘M’ car range in regards to both size & also price which brings me onto the next point.
With the already existing BMW M140i starting from £35,000 & the M2 Competition starting at £48,000, there is a very good chance that if they did bring the Z4M back, it’d possibly go for a starting price of £45,000 putting it slap bang between the two and making it £5000 cheaper than the current 718 Boxster S which of course puts it into close rivalry with the Porsche which to be honest has always been the same with both cars since the very beginning.
So, what does this have to do with the new Supra then?, well, if BMW were to ever bring back the Z4M which as of yet hasn’t been confirmed, I could possibly see Toyota making a ‘GRMN’ Version of the upcoming Supra – GRMN of course being Toyota’s current sportier model lineup of their current cars, not just would this make Supra fans rejoice but also give BMW owners something else to salivate over which makes it a win win situation for both companies.
With both the upcoming Z4 & A90 Supra both being a shared platform, even if the manufacturers don’t bring out more hardcore versions, it’s safe to say they’ll both go down well with owners & journalists alike regardless of brand legacy or history and they’ll drive very well indeed, BMW are known for making drivers cars and even a simple flick through Toyota’s history books shows phenomenal drivers cars being produced which makes these two a forced to be reckoned with within their class.
So what do you think?, is there a possible chance that Toyota & BMW are hiding a potential new Z4M Coupé/Supra GRMN or am I, like a few others getting way ahead of myself and hoping for something that will unfortunately never happen & getting myself way too excited at the prospect of a new Z4M?, Whatever the case may be, I hope it’s a good one!
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson