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auto motor und sport editors on a world tour: The streets of ... San Francisco

press-inform /Harald Hamprecht
The streets of San Francisco
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S to Francisco and cars - that just belong together. This is not only due to the television series 'The Streets of San Francisco', which became known worldwide in the 70s, but also to countless films and even more car chases.

Dodge Charger R /T vs Ford Mustang

Because nowhere on earth can two cars follow each other more spectacularly than in the city, the hills of which seem to know no boundaries. The most spectacular example of this was at the end of the 1960s. Since then, the two car manufacturers Ford and Dodge have been fighting each other the turbulent story of Steve McQueen, who wrote car history as Lieutenant Frank Bullitt in the film of the same name by director Peter Yates. Even if many have never seen the movie Bullitt in full, there are countless car fans who have been burned into their brains by the roughly ten-minute hunting scene between a Dodge Charger R /T and a Ford Mustang. The name Bullitt is still running down the spine of real car and film fans today. The chase through the narrow urban canyons of San Francisco brought the most impressive scenes in an extremely exciting, 113-minute long action thriller. Frank P. Keller received an Oscar for Best Editing for Bullitt in 1969. The chase between Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang is still considered a cinematic milestone and could only be shot in San Francisco.

European touch with European cars

No city in the United States is as popular as the west coast metropolis of San Francisco. For most Americans, it's their dream city; The majority of US tourists would like to visit the hilly metropolis that made it world famous in the hippie times. The hippie wave has long since disappeared, but the liberal charisma sticks to Frisco to this day. No question about it, the city on San Francisco Bay is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. Not sprawled or unmanageable like many others; also well worth seeing with appealing architecture and a noticeably European touch - this also applies to the cars on the streets of San Francisco.

AMG sells as many models in California as in Germany

Die Zeiten where Ford Mustangs, Dodge Charger and Ford Galaxie 500 dominated the streets area long time ago. But even today old hippie boxes like VW Bulli, buggies and Chevrolet Camaros meet the world's most spectacular luxury cars in the streets. Along with Los Angeles, San Francisco is the largest automobile metropolis in California. In addition, the sun state has a significant share in the weal and woe of the German automotive industry. “Anyone who wants to be successful as a German car manufacturer in the USA cannot ignore California. This is where trends are made and trendy cars are driven, ”says Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, Professor of Automotive Economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Head of the Center Automotive Research (CAR). 'The US sales share for California has always been between 15 and 25 percent in the past few years', BMW spokeswoman Stephanie Schlageter confirms the important role played by the state. The Mercedes tuner AMG sells as many cars in California as in Germany: 'The Golden State is the booster for the development of AMG,' says company boss Volker Mornhinweg. Most cars are in Los Angeles and the Bay Arena in and around San Francisco. The cars here are particularly exclusive, particularly expensive and preferably come from Europe.

Trendy racers like Smart and Mini are in demand

Over ten percent of all new vehicle registrations in the USA are made in California. With 1.88 million car sales in 2007, the car market in California was about 60 percent of the volume of the German car market. California is of great importance to German car manufacturers. Over 20 percent of US sales by German automakers are made in California. In the Bay Area in particular, trendy runabouts like Mini and Smart Fortwo are doing particularly well. Even convertibles such as the open 3 Series or BMW 6 Series, a Mercedes SL or VW Eos are doing excellently in San Francisco despite the known changeable weather. Especially in the morning hours there is mostly a thick fog around the Golden Gate Bridge and the temperatures are often far from a Sunshine State. The summers are mostly colder than the winters in Los Angeles.

Four cars in 30 minutes

Magdil Khalil has turned his passion into a job. Porsche youngtimers are waiting for buyers at Dodi Auto Sales in Monterey, just under an hour south of San Francisco. Mercedes sedans, BMWs and Triumph convertibles maintain their European dominance between a few aged Mustangs and Camaros. He has already had youngtimer fans from all over the world visiting - Swedes, Dutch, Arabs, Austrians. Many look - some buy. He sells around ten cars a month. A Mercedes enthusiast from Salzburg packed his shopping trolley particularly full: “It bought four cars in 30 minutes,” recalls Khalil. A 230 SL, a 250 SL, a 450 SL and, as the icing on the cake, a Porsche 911 changed hands for $ 60,000. His business was hardly affected by the car crisis: “German classics in particular are pretty goodstable in value, ”says the dealer.

911s are always in great demand

911s, for example, are always in great demand - regardless of the year of manufacture. His gem in the small glazed sales room is currently a red Porsche 356, built in 1962, with a rear luggage rack and, at least at first glance, in excellent condition. The fully restored sports car will cost $ 45,000. Magdi Khalil is particularly proud of a Mercedes 220 SE from 1964. The star carrier used to be an extravagant luxury alternative to Cadillac and Co. Today, more than every second newly registered car in California and the vicinity of San Francisco is Japanese. On the other hand, all the Nippon youngtimers, the Nissan Bluebirds, Datsun Cherrys or Toyota Corollas, have almost completely disappeared from the streets.

San Francisco without a car: That works too

When it's in For once San Francisco is not supposed to be the car, there are two other extremely popular modes of transport. There are also the blue and yellow ships that bring the tourists dry-footed to the former prison island of Alcatraz. You should treat yourself to the tour; however, you have to register at least two days in advance. The rush is limitless. Another popular form of transportation in San Francisco is not quite as full: the cable cars. The corresponding museum takes you into the underworld of the hilly city in the USA and gives you an impressive insight into how the unique cable car trams work. They are moved through the city as if by magic using a complicated network of cables.

No matter which car you are driving in San Francisco. You shouldn't steer clear of the winding Lombard Street as the curviest street in the world. Due to its steep gradient towards the harbor and the cobblestones, it is beautiful, but can only be driven downhill at walking pace. On the roadside there is a colorful display of flowers that invites you to photo orgies - especially if the car fits.


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