Driving in LA

Post by Mark

My favorite two places to drive in are Lebanon and LA. Two very different places, but both have super laid back law enforcement, well in Lebanon’s case, no law enforcement. It’s so chill driving here, the highways are huge and there are so many great roads. But most importantly, as long as you’re not driving like an asshole, the cops don’t bother you. In Kuwait, on the other hand, I’m constantly looking in my rearview mirror hoping there isn’t a cop around me that will stop me for no reason. And I’m serious about the no reason part.

A few weeks back I was in a multistory parking lot and was having a conversation with a friend who ordered a Lotus similar to mine. I was joking around telling him good luck with the cops since they’re gonna stop him all the time once he gets the car. Two minutes later I pull out of the parking lot and just as I do, a cop car asks me to pull over. I’m not exaggerating I had literally just driven out of the parking lot. So I pull over and I’m sitting there in my car, the cop walks up to my window and I’m like “Hi”. The cop is like “Go”. I’m sitting there like wtf, why did you pull me over then?!?

So yeah, I’m loving driving in LA and I really wish I had my car here.

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Premium Car Wash Home Service

Post by Mark

If you want your car washed at home then there are a lot of companies that offer the service, and there is even an app that can connect you to most of them. But not all car washes are equal which is why I found this latest service from ProTech Monte-Carlo interesting.

ProTech consider themselves a car spa, they offer premium detailing services as well as tinting, paint protection and a variety of treatments for your car. Just flipping through their Instagram account you’ll notice they’ve worked on some of the hottest cars in Kuwait from classics to supercars, and I’ve personally used them twice, first time to detail my Datsun 240z, and the second time for paint protection on my first Exige.

Over the weekend I got a message from them letting me know they’re now offering membership packages for their premium car wash service to your home. For KD40 a month they’ll come by once a week at a prearranged time to wash your car. If you want them to come by more than once a week they have packages for that as well which you can see below:

There are a couple of things I like about this, the first being that they actually know how to wash cars the right way. I know washing a car sounds simple and it is, but there are special techniques to washing the car properly and how to avoid getting swirls in your paint. For example, they’re the only place I’ve seen use clay bars when washing the car. If you’re got an expensive car then the extra care is definitely worth it. The second thing I like about this service is the membership aspect, I like the idea of signing up to a washing service and have them come over say every Sunday at 8AM to wash my car. The only thing is you need to commit to 12 months and I don’t like thinking that far ahead.

If you’re interested in signing up to the service, you can contact them by phone or whatsapp on +965-96912001. Here is a link to their [Website]

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Watch the Kuwait Motor Town Inauguration Live Online

Post by Mark

The inauguration of Kuwait Motor Town is currently being broadcasted live on KTV 1 as I am typing out this post. If you want to watch it you can stream it online [Here]

Update: The opening ceremony has finished.

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One Lap Around the Kuwait Motor Town Race Track

Post by Mark

One of my readers was able to get access to the Kuwait Motor Town race track and shot a video of a lap around it. The track will sadly not be ready to use this season since it still needs a final layer of tarmac. You can actually notice the high curbs in the video, that’s because of the 4cm top layer that’s missing. The inauguration of the track is still scheduled for March 28. [YouTube]

If you can get me access to the track let me know!

Thanks Mohammed!

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Kuwait Motor Town Opening March 28th

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Motor Town racing circuit will be inaugurated in 10 days on March 28th which means we might be lucky enough to get a couple of open track days before the summer hits. Open track days are when the track is opened to the public to come and race on and they’re usually held in the cooler months of the year.

The KMT website right now has three live cams on the track. Not really live live, more like the camera takes a few photos throughout the day. It’s also archived so you can click rewind and watch the track being constructed overtime which is cool. The website is kmt-kw.com

Finally, the official instagram account of the track will most likely be @kmtkw but there isn’t anything there at the moment to see.

With JACC, the new museums that just opened and now the race track, Kuwait really managed to up its entertainment game practically overnight. The next big project due to be completed is the new airport and that should be done in two years time. Exciting times!

If anyone can get me access to the track so I can pass by and take some pictures and videos, get in touch with me!

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Al Shaheed Park Now Has a Tesla Charging Station

Post by Mark

A Redditor spotted a Tesla charging station in the Al Shaheed Parking lot. We don’t have a Tesla dealer in Kuwait so I was curious to how this station came to be. Turns out it was donated to the park by a Tesla owner as a way to support the growing local EV (electric vehicles) community. The charging station is located in the basement of Al Shaheed Park 1 and the spot is reserved only for electric vehicles. Owners of any electric vehicle can park their cars in that spot and use the station to charge their cars for free. And yes, you can use the Tesla charging station to charge other electric vehicles like the Chevy Bolt or BMW i3 if you have the correct adapter.

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Do It Yourself

Post by Mark

On Friday (which was probably the hottest day of the year so far), my FJ’s air conditioning stopped working. Luckily the weather wasn’t that hot but it was still an annoyance. What was going to be more annoying though was getting it fixed. I hate taking the car to the dealership since it’s such a time-consuming process. You need to drop the car off, leave it for a few days, cab it back and forth to the garage and I just didn’t want to go through all that hassle. So I decided to try and fix the problem myself.

I kinda had an idea what the problem was. When I turned the air conditioning on no air would come out so I figured it had to do with the AC blower motor. So I googled it and found people who had similar issues like mine and the solution turned out to be one of two things:

1) Blower motor resistor failure
2) Blower motor module failure

The first one controls the speed of the fan, the second is what actually gives out the air. I watched a few videos and both seemed fairly easy to replace so I got my tools and headed to the Toyota parts dealer in Shuwaikh. First, I decided to check the resistor since it was the cheaper part of the two to replace (around KD4). I took it apart and it looked like it was still in good condition. Realizing it must be the blower motor, I walked into the parts dealer to buy a new motor. Fifteen minutes later I was out in the parking lot installing the part which was located under the glove box and connected with just three screws. Super easy swap and once I was done, I turned on the AC and it was working again. I got it all sorted by myself and even though it was an easy swap, I felt like I had accomplished so much. The new motor cost me KD59, I didn’t have to pay anyone for labor and more importantly I didn’t have to drop off my car at the dealership for a few days.

If you like Lego or putting together IKEA cabinets then you should try fixing things yourself. Everything is online nowadays including repair manuals and step by step video guides. If you also own an FJ Cruiser, here is a link to the dealerships [FJ Cruiser Repair Manual]

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Kuwait Motor Town Logo

Post by Mark

Kuwait Motor Town Logo

Kuwait Motor Town is set to open next month and the logo for it has now been revealed. From the reactions I’ve been seeing, most people don’t like it mostly because it looks like the Kellogg’s Special K logo. Although I don’t really like the logo, I think its fine.

Special K logo

It’s not a great logo by any means, but compared to other F1 circuit logos below, I think things could have been a lot worse. I mean other than the Baku City Circuit logo and probably the Red Bull Ring, most of the logos are pretty terrible. If Mexico with all their super talented designers ended up with the horrible Autodromo logo pictured below, we’re pretty lucky to end up with our Kellogg’s Special K one.

various F1 circuit logos

If you’d like to see the full branding presentation of Kuwait Motor Town, click [Here] They’ve removed the work from their portfolio but you can still access it [Here]

Thanks lovelykuwait

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Introducing… My Lotus Exige 380 Cup

Post by Mark

Last month while visiting the Lotus dealer with a friend of mine, I was given the opportunity to upgrade my car. A friend had ordered a Lotus Exige 380 Cup, but once it arrived at the local dealer he decided he wanted the more powerful 430 Cup instead. So, the dealer gave me first dibs on the car along with a too good to be true buyback offer on my Lotus. So after a lot of deliberation in my head (which mostly sounded like yada yada yada, you only live once, yada yada yada, mid-life crisis, yada yada), I decided to pull the trigger and get the car.

So what are the biggest changes over the Exige I already had? (skip this paragraph if you’re not into cars)

To start with, the 380 Cup is over 100KG lighter than my previous already super light Exige. The Cup weighs in at just 1,057KG! It also produces 375 hp compared to the 345 my previous car made and does 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds. The aerodynamics of the Cup car is also much more aggressive producing over 250KG of downforce compared to my previous Exige. You can really feel the car being pushed down to the ground once you hit high speeds. The wheels are also lighter forged aluminum, and the tires are larger and come with the track and competition Michelin Cup 2 tires. The AP Racing brakes have been upgraded and the gearbox is now a manual instead of paddle-shift and looks incredible with all the metal gearing exposed. The suspension is two-way adjustable so I can make it softer for the road or harder for the track. Finally, the car is covered in carbon fiber, everywhere, from the roof to the interior, even the rear engine window was replaced with a carbon fiber hood to save weight. So yeah, loads of changes compared to my previous Exige and that’s not even including overall usability improvements. I should also add that the 380 Cup is limited to just 60 cars worldwide (and the only one in the region), so its super rare.

I’ve had the car for around 10 days now and I’ve put just a bit over 1,000KM on the car already so I’ve gotten a good feel for it. The Cup is a lot faster than my previous Exige, and because it’s more track-focused, it rides really rough, is pretty noisy and is now even more unpractical than what was already a very unpractical car to begin with.

But I love it.

Its raw, it’s not bullshitting you pretending to be something it isn’t, it’s as honest a car as you can get. And it’s not just me, EVO magazine gave it a 5 out of 5 and Road & Track called it “too much fun to be street legal”. It is too much fun.

I was planning to take the car to Bahrain for their open track day on February 15th, but turns out I need to have at least 3,000KM on the car before tracking it and I don’t think I can get that done in two weeks. So not sure when I’ll have the car on the track but hopefully pretty soon.

If you’re looking for a good place to take car photos by the way, I’d highly recommend the rooftop parking of the complex in front of Mayar in Shuwaikh. I took all the photos here with my iPhone on the roof and loved the spot because of the neutral colors and clean lines. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

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The Ferrari 488 GTB

Post by Mark

I haven’t reviewed a car for some time now mostly because there really hasn’t been a car I’ve been interested in, but also because I love my Lotus so much I’d rather be in it than any other car. But, since my Lotus isn’t with me at the moment (more on that soon), I decided to take advantage of the situation by test driving the Ferrari 488 GTB.

Driving off in a car for the first time that costs as much as a home is a pretty nerve-wracking experience. The fact the car is also super low, and the roads around the dealership in pretty bad shape didn’t help the situation either. But the Ferrari 488 I was driving had the option to raise the suspension to give it a bit more ground clearance, so I managed to make my way out onto the main road without too much drama. It was pretty early in the morning so the first thing I did was head to Arabica in the city for some coffee. I took the long way by going through a bit of traffic on the 4th all the way to the 30th, and then from the 30th exiting onto the Gulf Road. I spent most of my day taking the longest way everywhere I went. Instead of grabbing my usual acai bowl for example from Liquid near Arabica in the city, for example, I decided to drive all the way to Bida’a and pick one up from Be Cafe. After spending the day zigzagging across Kuwait, I headed out to the desert to get some shots before the sunset.

After driving the Ferrari 488 GTB for a day I’ve come to the conclusion that the car has just two speeds, fast, and I’m going to get deported fast. I’m being serious here. The Ferrari 488 hits 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds. That’s just 0.8 seconds faster than my Lotus but damn what a difference that 0.8 makes. But that’s not even the impressive part, if you keep your foot down on the gas for just one more tiny second, you’re suddenly in the getting your license revoked territory. The car is insanely powerful, so much so that there just isn’t enough road for it. Usually, when I take out a sports car to review, I tend to drive it like I stole it. The 488 is probably the first car that I drove decently just because stepping on it would get me in a lot of trouble. Ferrari 488 owners are really going to love our racetrack once it opens up, its the only way to really enjoy and take advantage of all the power the car has to offer.

Other than the speed, a few other things impressed me quite a bit. The brakes on the car impressed me more than the speed of the car, the pedal feel is just so on point and the car stops in an instant. The interior of the car is also a wonderful place to be in. The interior is covered in leather with beautiful stitchwork and lots of carbon fiber trimming. I never felt uncomfortable, and even on my long trip with my friend into the desert, we spoke about how great the car would be on super long trips. Even though the 488 is a sports car first, you’re not sacrificing with comfort or amenities. The sound system was impressively good and the car I drove even came with front and rear parking cameras. It’s a luxury car that just happens to also be crazy ass fast.

So are there any downsides? Well yeah, the car costs as much as a house. The 488 GTB starts at KD78,000 which means I’m not really going to end up owning one anytime soon. But on the bright side, the Ferrari 488 GTB does come with a 5-year warranty (that can be extended up to 15) and 7-years free maintenance. So really the only costs you’ll have to factor in down the line are tires and brake pads. Not bad.

If you’d like to find out more about Ferraris in Kuwait then you should follow the dealer on instagram @ferrarialzayanikuwait. You can also go ahead and build your own 488 by visiting the Ferrari online car configurator [Here]

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