Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Auto RAI

Special reporter (and reader of this blog) Willem sent to me the text below with his impressions about the AutoRAI. He visited the fair in Amsterdam with his colleague Edwin last week. The guys made pictures of the cars with their cell phones.

Last Friday I went to the AutoRAI with my colleague Edwin. The AutoRAI is the Dutch car fair which happens every 2 years in Amsterdam. Actually it’s no use to go there, but it’s a good excuse to have a beer and a caipirinha afterwards. We had to get used to the new concept of the fair.
Because of the recession there were no expensive stands per manufacturer, but they put the cars together per theme, separated by sea containers (which probably can be rented very cheap because there is no transportation anymore due to the recession).

We, family men, started with ‘Family & Travel’. Edwin is interested in the new Opel Insignia Sports Tourer (even after he is towed away 4 times in his current 2006 Opel Vectra Stationwagon). The Insignia is the car of the year 2009 and indeed it’s a nice car.

The rest of this part of the fair is quite common : beautiful and unpractical Alfa’s, overpriced Audi’s, BMW’s and Mercedeses and boring VW’s, Skoda’s and Toyota’s and much more. Also this year I concluded that compact 7 seaters don’t exist, unless you have 2 very small and flexible children. Time to move to the next section: Green Innovations.

Lately, Green is very hot, but boring. Only interesting for people who care about the environment (and really want to do something about it) and for cheap bastards like me who like to pay tax as little as possible. My feature car was also there, the Kia C’eed Sporty Wagon ISG.

Of course there was also the new Toyota Prius, which is much better than the previous one, but still not a beauty and the smart 3.5-seater Toyota IQ.

Time to move to the cabrio’s. Yeah, they are also sold in our cold and rainy country. I prefer the beautiful Alfa Romeo Spider instead of the trendy Mini Cabrio, but of course there was much more like Porsche, Jag and Lambo.

When you don’t need a fast and comfy Cabrio, you can go for the Dutch Burton. A very interesting offer (see photo below). It’s based on a Citroën 2CV, the ugly duck (see post on this blog: The ugly duck [lelijke eend] under the label “cars”). When you buy an old ‘ugly duck’ and strip it, you can build your Burton for EUR 4000,- (P.S. the cheapest ‘car’ in the Netherlands starts around EUR 8000,-). When you don’t have time you can buy a ready one for 11.000,- to 21.000,-, depending on your wishes. I have no idea who buys such a thing. Maybe retired men who prefer to spend their time in a cold garage instead of spending sometime with their wives.

After the Cabrio’s we arrived in the section ‘City & Compact’. No spectacular things to see here. A lot of common stuff. Very small cars like the new Ford Ka. Very nice for a small car, especially when you compare it with the old one, but that is my own opinion.
Another new category is the medium size box liked cares, like the Kia Soul, the Citroën C3 Picasso and the Toyota Urban Cruiser. I don’t know if I like it. Maybe you have to get used to it.

In the ‘Adventure’ section there were a lot of off-roads and SUV’s. Not my cup of tea! Some years ago it was very cool to bring the kids to school in a Land Rover Discovery or a Volvo XC90 (at least in certain parts of the country), but now I think it’s not done.

The last section was the reason to go to the AutoRai: ‘Luxury & Sportcars’. Here you see cars you don’t see (regularly) in ‘the wild’. Edwin’s favorite, the Nissan GT –R:

Ferrari !


Bentley !

Mercedes (McLaren)!

My favorite: Aston Martin !
The most expensive (2,5 million Euro) and most powerful (1001 hp) car, the Bugatti Veyron and some more Lamborghini’s.

And much, much more !!!!
After all there was a life show with a lot of sound, light and … ‘moving’ cars. Just driving around, but also a lot of drifting cars like Porsche, Aston, Lambo, etc. I love the smell of burning rubber.
The legs were tired, so time to go.

Time for dinner, some beers and … Caipirinha’s !!!
Thanks a lot Willem for your text contribution above and also to playboy/motorider Edwin for all the work with photos !


Ana Cecília Vidaurre said...

Dear Willem,
nosssssssssa, quanta máquina linda!!!
E a Ferrari é show!
adorei ver os carrões.

Edwin said...

OK, nice story.. but
If you know Willem for over 14 years now, lived together with him for over 3 months in a 2 room apartment, got drunk together numerous times, discussed meaning of life, strange tastes of music, are present at important days in his live such as his bachelor party, wedding etc, joined a local Oost-Zaanse tradition as “bootjestocht”, introduced him to specific “achterhoekse” cultural events as the black cross…. it is a big disappointment that you’re still introduced as a “colleague”.

Anita said...

Hua-hua-hua-hua-huaaaa !!
Are you offended ?
I think you should have met him in the kindergarten to be considered "friend".

Anonymous said...

Ooooops !

Edwin said...

Anyway... forgot to comment on Willem's choice, a Kia. After a long and comprehensive discussion we still couldn't agree whether a C'eed is a good choice (I don't think so..) Finally, as we live in Holland, a “poldermodel” (try to explain this to the rest of the world) solution was the way out. Hubby’s statement was that it is not an ugly car and I agreed upon that. However.. as a comparison, if you can choose between a not ugly totty or a hot totty.. why choose the first one. On the other hand, Willem has always been an expert in ignoring beautiful cars….

Willem said...

Edwin, FRIEND, I think you're right that Kia was not a good choice. When you want to drive cheap in a practical, not ugly car, the Kia is absolute the best option. But what happened with the passion about cars? I had three times a beautiful Alfa Romeo. Still they are the most beautiful designed cars, interior and exterior, with perfect driving conditions. The only thing is that they are not so practical and they are not cheap. Now I’m a family man and don’t drive as fast as I used to (most of the times it’s too crowded on the Dutch roads), I thought it’s better to spend my money with other things. The Kia costs me 30% of the costs of my previous car, A Ford Mondeo Wagon (maybe I will write an article about that car later on this blog). But the passion is gone and I think I will regret that.
At last a respond on Edwin’s comment about the choice between a ugly woman and a hot totty. The hot totty is probably also 3, 4, or more times more expensive and gives you much more sorrows (and pleasure)! :-)

Anita said...

Hot totty ? ! Ahn ?!