Friday, October 31, 2008

Removal of "Nissan" and "S" emblem

Pic 1: The emblems

I removed some emblems out of the ER34 back in December 2007 (read here). Now, I've decided to remove the remaining emblems out of the car except for the two GT badges on either side of the fender.

Out go the "Nissan" emblem from the boot lid and the "S" emblem from adorning the hood. Is the car too bare now?!? I wonder.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau in 5 days

Had a short holiday of some sort over the weekend and Deepavali holidays. I visited two Special Administrative Region(SAR) and one Special Economic Zone(SEZ) of China in 5 days. It was a whirlwind ‘tour’ of these cities. I've been to Hong Kong twice prior thus it doesn't really appeal to me much but Zhuhai and Macau will be something new to me.

Pic 1: Yeap, this is my room in Hong Kong

I landed in Macau initially but immediately took a bus from the airport to the ferry terminal and head to Hong Kong. Spend 2 nights in Hong Kong in a very small and budget room. To give you an idea, the bathroom only measures 5.5ft X 6.5ft.

Well, on the plus side, the location is superb, right in the heart of Causeway Bay and right below is the Causeway Bay MTR station (subway). It's actually a typical hongkie apartment that has a couple of rooms to be rented out. It might look pretty bad in pictures but believe me it's not the worst place I stayed in. I've been in a RM30 a night room ok. LOL :D

Pic 2: The crowded Hong Kong streets

Well, in Hong Kong there is nothing much to do except just shopping and eating. The cars here are awesome. There are just so many Porsche, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Bently, Maserati, etc... everywhere. I even spotted a Rolls Royce with the number plate HK1 but was not allowed to take any pictures of it. Damn!

What about Skylines?? one day alone I saw 3 units of the R35 GTR. :O

Pic 3: The Hong Kong night lights

Didn't get to visit any of the "tourist attractions" in Hong Kong but managed to catch the "Symphony of Lights". The "Symphony of Lights" is a spectacular multimedia display, already named the "World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" by Guinness World Records that creates an all-round vision of coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights performing a stunning, unforgettable spectacle synchronized to music and narration via the buildings located on both side of the Victoria Harbour. Stunning and awesome, something not to be missed is you're in Hong Kong.

Pic 4: Packed like sardin in the MTR

Pic 5: Lam Kwai Fong - the drinking area (not many locals tho)

Pic 6: Street area along Henessey Road

After 2 nights here, took a ferry to the Special Economic Zone of Zhuhai, China. There are basically nothing much to do or see in Zhuhai. The Gongbei Underground Mall is interesting as with the Lotus Road for shopping or just a casual walkabout. Oh btw, along Lotus Road, there are two rows of mini outdoor bars stalls. Very interesting indeed.

I did see a restaurant serving crocodile meat and water roach. Yucks.

Other than that, the main tourist attraction in the city is the Statue of Fishing Girl located along Lover's Road; this is said to be the symbol of Zhuhai. Zhuhai International Circuit? Nah did not get the chance to visit it. Perhaps next time. :)

Pic 7: Zhuhai at night

Pic 8: Anyone for croccodile tail?

Pic 9: The bar stalls along Lotus Road

Pic 10: Statue of Fishing Girl, Zhuhai

Anyway, from Zhuhai, one can just walk across the border into Macau. Well yes of course you'll need to pass through immigration. Macau is my favorite place of the three places I visited. It is filled with culture and heritage with a fair mix of shopping and casino in between. Marvelous indeed.

I didn't manage to visit all of the tourist spots but managed to cover some of the more 'famous' ones such as St. Dominic's Church, Ruins of St. Paul, Senado Square and the A-Ma Temple. Not to forget the many casinos around Macau and Taipa; The Venetion, Wynn, Grand Lisboa, etc...

Next time I'm here will not miss the Macau Tower. I think it would be fabulous at night with the lights from the many casinos around the island.

Food is interesting here with the blend of Portuguese and Chinese culinary mix. I adore the Portuguese egg tart. Amazing stuffs even though it's quite pricey at MOP$7.00 for a small tart.

When I was there, they were preparing the streets for the Macau GP that will be on from the 13th - 16th November 2008. Now that's asia's answer to Monaco for you. :P

Pic 11: R35 GTR parked in Wynn

Cars? Somehow I feel that Macau folks adore performance Hondas as I saw many Honda Civic Type R (FD2) and Honda Accord Euro R (CL7). Spotted a R35 GTR parked at Wynn Hotel and Casino as well.

Well that about sums up my 5 days trip in a brief summary. :)

Pic 12: Ruins of St. Paul

Pic 13: St. Dominic's Church

Pic 14: Grand Lisboa Casino taken from Wynn

Pic 15: A-Ma Temple

Pic 16: Inside the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel

Pic 17: Senado Square

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ER34 is out from the painters

Pic 1: The ER34 being washed before another layer of wax are applied

Yes I know. Finally the ER34 is done at the painters. After calculating, it has spent 28 days at the paint shop. Yes it is extensive work but you've got to see the car to believe the amount of tender loving care that has been put in. The entire exterior of the car is painted, the engine bay, the inner side of the boot, all rusts been removed and even quite a number of metal black parts in the engine bay are painted.

To top if off, after it was all done, the ER34 was groomed with Meguair's Professional Series and also Autoglym products. As a final touch before the car was released to me, it was further treated with Meguair's NXT Generation® Tech Wax™. The car now gets some great water beading action whenever it rains. :P

Pic 2: Final layer of wax with Meguair's NXT Generation® Tech Wax™

For the readers out there, if you need to paint your car or just do any touch up, email me and I'll pass you the contact. You'll not regret it. If they are good enough to prep and install TechArt bodykits to Porsches and the likes, the workmanship can be assured to be top notch.

I'm really satisfied with the work done. Too bad I can't take any nice shots of the car as I'll be overseas again tomorrow. So guess I'll have to find time to take photoshoot the car when I'm back sometime next week.

Here are some pictures I took today....... :)

Pic 3: Yea many people is working on the car :P

Pic 4: Like "Karate Kid", wax on, wax off.....

Pic 5: The ER34 looks new inside out eh?

Pic 6: Engine bay looks like it had just rolled off the production line

Monday, October 20, 2008

A week in South Korea

Pic 1: Typical Korean food - had a meal here

Sorry for the lack of updates on the ER34 for the past week. I was away on an assignment in Seoul (서울), South Korea for the past 8 days. I must say it was a very interesting trip for me; however it was extremely stressful as well. In the 8 days I had to shift 4 times to different places in Korea. Gosh!

My last trip to Korea was about 2 years ago, so it was a welcome visit for me to be here again. What's good is the timing, it's now autumn; on it's transition time to winter. It's cold in the mornings and night around 10 degrees and about 20 degrees in the afternoon. Just perfect for me. How I wish weather was like this whole year round in Malaysia. That would be simply ideal......

Pic 2: Some procession as part of the "Seoul Fest 2008" festival

Anyway, I was in Seoul for a couple of days and the rest are spend in other locations about 2 hours down south from the city. Didn't get to see much of the scenery or tourists spots out of Seoul but that’s ok, I'm here for work anyway. :)

The vehicles here are amazing. Almost all of them are fitted with GPS systems with integrated TV tuners. Yes, the GPS monitor can tune to local TV stations as well. Amazing stuffs. Taxi fares here aren't exactly cheap thus the subway would be a good idea. Be warned though, the subway is one huge labyrinth of railway lines. I was totally overwhelmed by it. :O

They have dual purpose for the subway which I found out when I rode on the last train. When all lights are shut down, it's also shelter for the homeless at night! *shocked*

Pic 3: Packed Seoul subway train

Some of the sights I managed to see over my short time in Seoul was the famous market of Namdaemun, the fashion district of Dongdaemun, the cultural streets of Insadong, the party area of Itaewon, the amazing stream restoration of Cheong Gye Cheon and the majestic palaces of Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung.

Pic 4: Streets of Insadong (인사동)

Pic 5: Cheong Gye Cheon (청계천) stream

Pic 6: Geoncheonggung pavillion and the Hyangwonjeong pond, Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

Pic 7: Geoncheonggung pavillion, Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

Pic 8: Geunjeongjeon, the throne hall of the king, Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

Pic 9: Daehanmun gate, Deoksugung (덕수궁)

Pic 10: Junghwajeon hall, Deoksugung (덕수궁)

Pic 11: Deokhongjeon hall, Deoksugung (덕수궁)

Trying to keep things on the automotive perspective I did witness some very interesting developments in the industry in a location that I can't disclose. First up are fuel cell technologies to be introduced to the Korean market in 2009. Then in 2010, more advanced fuel cell technologies with lithium ion batteries that are reputed to be much more advanced than the ones used by the Japanese will penetrate the US market.

These are already installed in some cars for testing and further developments; and will hit the market with a loud bang. Now that's going to be interesting when the Korean cars start biting into the huge pie of the Hybrid market in the United States.

Pic 12: Active Chassis Control System

Another development that I find extremely interesting is the world's first Active Chassis Control System (AGCS) of low-cost, high-response and low-energy consuming type.

The AGCS is an active device whose objective is to improve vehicle transient response by modifying the level of toe angle variation of the rear suspension. It controls the active suspension link mounting by rotating a lever according to vehicle velocity and steering angle. So what does it means? Well to put it in short.......

In high speed straight driving, there will be a small toe-in which equates to straight line performance enhancement.

During high speed cornering, there will be a larger toe-in which enhances lateral stability.

Interesting indeed eh???

Pic 13: The Hyundai Genesis Coupe (pre-production model)

Pic 14: This RWD coupe comes in 2.0 turbo I4 and 3.8 V6 engines

Pic 15: The Hyundai i20 (pre-production model)

Pic 16: The Kia Forte (pre-production model)

Pic 17: The Kia Soul (pre-production model)

In another location, I saw some pre-production vehicles of some of the latest and ground breaking models to come out of Korea. There's the Hyundai i20, Genesis and Genesis Coupe; AND also the Kia Soul and Forte. Marvelous new age cars that will propel the image of the brands into the world arena. Look out....the Korean invasion is coming at ya.

Oh, a day before I left there were protests on the streets of Seoul over the massive rice subsidy fraud where the ministers’ applied for agricultural subsidy claiming they have farmed lands but is all a scam and gobbled up the taxpayers monies. Looks like not just Malaysian ministers are a corrupt bunch of folks.

Pic 18: The Police in preparation for protest by Korean farmers

Pic 19: Korean girl

Pic 20: Korean girl

Pic 21: The best Korean BBQ I've ever had

Pic 22: Can't leave soju and beer out of a typical Korean business dinner :P

Pic 23: Begger on the streets. Check out the number of soju bottles

Pic 24: Begger on the street of Insadong

Pic 25: Night scene in Gangnam

Pic 26: Night scene in a typical entertainment street
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