Vintage Al-Babtain Photos

Posted by Mark

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Al-Babtain are currently the car dealers for Infiniti, Nissan and Renault among others and I managed to get my hands on some old photos of the dealership. There are three photos, one if their first showroom in Kuwait, the other photo is of their first spare parts shop and the final one is of the interior of their showroom in 1980.

If you have any old photos of Kuwait [Let me know]

Thanks Abdulrahman


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Patrol on Two Wheels in Fahaheel

Posted by Mark

I know it’s wrong but damn I wish I had the skill to do that with my car. [YouTube]


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FIA Middle East Rally Championship – Kuwait

Posted by Mark

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I just found out about this and will be adding it to the list of things to do this weekend. Following the opening round held in Qatar, the FIA Middle East Rally Championship continues this weekend in the Kuwaiti desert. 33 competitors will be fighting for victory in the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship. If you’re interested in checking them out they’ll be starting off today from the SIRBB Circuit. Entry is free but there are limited seats.

Leg 1, Super Special Stage:
Date: Thursday, 20 March 2014
Time: 6PM
Location: SIRBB Circuit [Map]

For the rest of the schedule click [Here]


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The Porsche Cayman S

Posted by Mark

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I’ve had my eye on the new Porsche Cayman S ever since it got released last year. Along with the Jaguar F-Type Coupe it’s one of the two cars I’ve recently been considering for myself. I’ve actually been building my own Cayman on the Porsche website for the past few months, choosing all the different extra options I wanted, deciding on the exterior color and wheels, a very fun process. They even have the KD265,000 918 Spyder available to customize online. I finally decided I’d take the car for a test drive, that way I could have content for my blog as well as decide if the Cayman S is the car for me.

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There are two versions of the Cayman, the regular Cayman and the Cayman S. The biggest difference between the two is the regular Cayman has 275HP while the S has 325HP. I picked up the car on Thursday once I got back from Dubai but was really too tired that day to do much driving. Instead I went to sleep early and woke up Friday morning and headed out to the middle of nowhere. Around 5 or 6 years ago while looking for the “Tank Graveyard” I remembered driving on a two lane paved road in the middle of the desert. I figured it would be a great place to take photos and the drive was far enough to allow me to get a chance to properly drive the car. So I headed out from Salmiya north towards the desert and around 50 minutes later ended up at the road I had been on years ago only now it no longer was a two lane road but a six lane highway. I was disappointed since I had driven all the way with a shot visualized in my head and now I wouldn’t be able to do it. I decided to keep on driving in hopes of finding a new location which I did. After another 15 minutes on that road I found an exit which wasn’t marked on the cars navigation nor on Google Maps and I decided to take it and drive and drive. The weather was great, the sky was beautiful and I finally found a spot that I liked and took all the photos I needed.

The car was a lot of fun to drive and I ended up covering more than 200KM that morning. It made me feel a bit guilty since when I had picked up the car from the dealer it only had around 200KM mileage and here in just one morning I doubled it for them. The engine is mid mounted meaning it’s located behind the drivers seat and in front of the rear wheels. It’s basically the best place to put an engine in the car if you want terrific handling. Because the weight is right behind you its as if the weight is where your body is and so you kinda become one with the car if that makes sense. I think that’s the best way of describing it. The car is pretty compact, there are no rear seats just the driver and passenger seat so driving the car feels like driving a go kart which is why it’s so fun. It’s not intimidating at all and right from the get-go you’ll feel very confident in the drivers seat making it a fairly easy car to drive. The car felt a bit stiff and the steering a bit heavy during normal city driving but once I was out in the open and I was able to step on it, the car felt right at home.

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Whenever I used to customize my Cayman S on the Porsche website I’d make sure I would add all the cool sounding sports features like active suspension management (PASM) and torque vectoring (PTV) or say the sports exhaust system. What I realized after driving the test drive model which didn’t have any of those features is that I don’t really need them. The stock exhaust for example sounds pretty quiet when driving around normally but as soon as you give it a kick down it starts screaming. It sounds beautiful the way it is so I don’t think I want to pay an extra KD590 for the sport exhaust system. The car I drove had a horrible red interior, I mean I don’t mind red leather seats if say the rest of the interior is all black to calm it down but the model I drove had red leather everything, seats, doors dashboard, steering just red leather everywhere. Which brings me to another expensive add-on you don’t need, a full blown leather interior, just stick to the leather seats. One feature I would highly recommend is an upgraded sound system. The model I drove had the stock sound system but for most of my music it just sounded too boomy. Luckily Porsche offer two different sound system upgrades, for an extra KD160 you get a slightly better BOSE sound system or do what I would do and splurge and get the Burmester high end system for an extra KD910. Expensive yes but it’s not like you can get a better sound system down the line if you’re not happy with what it originally came with.

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I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like about the car. Other than the ugly interior color and the sound system, both of which are easily fixed when building your own car, I think the only other issue I had with the car was storage space. I couldn’t find a place where I could put my phone and have easy access to it. There’s space in the door but then you can’t charge it or you can charge it in the arm rest compartment but then if you get a call or you need your phone you have to open the compartment awkwardly and take out the phone. The car also doesn’t have enough space for a single piece of luggage, the front trunk is too small to fit a full sized bag and so is the rear trunk. The only kind of bag you could fit into the car is a carry on and that’s it.

I’m personally still undecided if I’d get the car or not, I’d have to test drive the F-Type Coupe once it launches in May to decide. But, in this price range the Cayman S and F-Type are still my two favorite choices. The regular Cayman starts at KD16,200 while the S version starts at KD18,300. With all the options I want the car ends up costing like KD24,000. If you want to try building your own Cayman (or any other Porsche for that matter) click [Here]


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Another oops

Posted by Mark

oops

This happened earlier today at The Avenues, no idea how.


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GulfRun 9 – Official Video

Posted by Mark

Gulf Run 9 took place late January and they just released a video of the event. Over 60 cars from Kuwait took part in GR9 at the Bahrain International Circuit. [YouTube]


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Uber Riyadh

Posted by Mark

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After launching in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, Uber launched in Riyadh earlier today. Uber is a kind of taxi service where you can book a taxi from your phone. I tried it for the first time a few days ago when I was in Paris and I loved it.

The way Uber works is it will show you your location on a map as well as all the drivers in the area as soon as you launch the app. You can then get a price estimate to your destination and if you’re happy with it you can request for a pickup and they’ll send you a driver. Before the driver arrives you can track them to see how far they are, check out their profile as well as well as msg them your ETA in case you’re gonna be a bit late. Finally when they pick you up and drop you off the payment goes through automatically since you connect your paypal or credit card to your Uber account and you also get emailed a full breakdown of the journey including the distance traveled and time (check below).

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Now that they launched in Riyadh I really hope they follow up with a launch in Kuwait. Anybody who’s ever taken a cab in Kuwait knows what a headache it can be from finding a cab to negotiating a price and then having to put up with old dirty cars and terrible driving.


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Girls on the Gulf Road

Posted by Mark

I take the Gulf Road all the time and when you’re on it as much as I am you get to witness a lot of weird things (guy sitting on a Porsche for example). The other night while heading home from the gym I saw a Camaro on the Gulf Road with a girl sitting outside the car dancing as the car was speeding down the road. You just need to be a girl driving on the Gulf Road to attract the attention of the guys who cruise up and down the road endlessly for a living so you can imagine the attention she was getting.

But something unexpected happen, we stopped at traffic and the Mustang pictured above pulled up to the Camaro and I was thinking this guy is obviously going to hit on her like crazy, but instead the guy ended up telling the girl off. I guess he must have embarrassed her because she stopped dancing and actually ended up going back inside and sitting down. I managed to capture the photo above as she was going back in and as the guy in the Mustang was about to drive off. Goes to show not every guy in a Mustang on the Gulf Road is a jerk.


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Car reverses over another car

Posted by Mark

I don’t know the full story here but it looks like an old man in a Drivers Ed car reversed over another car at the driving test facility. Awkward. [YouTube]


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Rally Fighters going to be built in Kuwait?

Posted by Mark

Local Motors, the American company behind the Rally Fighter car uploaded a new video yesterday in which he mentions briefly that they are opening an exclusive dealership in Kuwait as well as a factory where they will put these cars together. If that does happen I think it would be pretty cool since a local factory in Kuwait could then easily supply the other Gulf countries with Rally Fighters. [YouTube]


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