Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old

Another year has flown by.  This weekend Aston1936 turned officially two years old. The mission has stayed the same since the beginning – share what I learn as I live with my (now 12 year old) DB9 so that other owners can benefit and perhaps take care of their dream cars with just a little less hassle and expense.

Stats

increasing-statsSince last year traffic on the site has nearly tripled.   Two major things happened to contribute to this.   I’ve been fortunate enough now to write for Aston Martin Quarterly Magazine (see the details here), and the “True Costs of a DB9” video I made went sorta viral on YouTube, getting over 100,000 views so far (was probably discovered as a cure for insomnia).   Amazingly 19,000 viewers have read posts 60,000 times.  Currently about 90 people a day view a total of about 250-300 posts.  Viewers are from 132(!) countries all around the world including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and even one viewer from Turks & Caicos.  Just Wow.One of the parts I’ve found most rewarding have been the Comments left by you like minded readers (250 last year).  I have to admit it, I am motivated by the positive things you’ve shared (ego) and this keeps me going on the new articles.  So, feel free to comment on the articles, share your thoughts and suggestions.

I’d like your help spreading the word about the blog.  Tell your other Aston friends about it at clubs, meets and Cars & Coffee.  Make comments on the popular forums like Pistonheads and 6SpeedOnline referencing Aston1936.com where appropriate.  Spread the news wherever you think you can.  Subscribe to this blog to get automatic notices of new articles, and subscribe to the Aston1936 YouTube channel.

Production

gopro-cameraThis year saw some evolution of production values again.  I reorganized the look of the site to make it easier to find what you might be looking for.  One of the biggest improvements was starting to use a separate microphone to record the audio while I worked.  Hopefully you are enjoying much clearer sound (although its still my crappy voice).  To mix the separate audio and video tracks I’ve stepped up from using the original GoPro Studio software to now using Sony Vegas.   Just a fancier editor where I can do a few more tricks a little faster.

Some of the changes are for ‘show’.  You probably noticed that each video now starts with a ‘opener’ of the startup sequence of the car including the glorious roar to life of the engine.  I’m working on being a better presenter, with a short bit of context at the beginning of each video, and a matching closer on what next might be interesting.   Some of the commentary videos now include moving camera shots and me being a little more fluid in the scenes.   I don’t think I will ever be asked to be a host on Top Gear or Fifth Gear.

Much of the improvements have come from suggestions from my friend Rob who stands in to do be a sound man, cameraman, video editing tutor and extra set of hands in some scenes.  Think of him as Paul, Edd China‘s assistant from the Wheeler Dealers show.  Thanks Rob!

100+ articles posted so far, and I have a pretty full slate already lined up for the remainder of 2017.    I am trying to keep up with one article per week, but a special project at work (yes, I have a day job) has been absorbing my evening time for the last 4 months, and writing for Aston Martin Quarterly has nipped away at some of the time too. Don’t worry, I will keep things going.

Where are we going next?

Aston Martin DB9 Front Brake

I have a full slate of ideas coming down the pipeline.  Repairing a sagging headliner, removing all the dash panels, dealing with a cracked windshield, and a complete series on overhauling the brakes and the best tires and fitment to name a few.

My hope of finding an Aston Martin dealer to sponsor parts for the project may be close to fruition (fingers crossed)!  I am hoping this will unleash me to do projects sooner than just waiting for stuff to break on my car :>)

Looking forward to the next year ahead….

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old

  1. gary raskie

    Hi Steve. I met you at Eurosunday yesterday. I have the black 05 DB9. Saw your note on planning the cracked windshield article. Just to comment, I had a crack in mine. The insurance company had me take it to a glass shop in Concord that had experience with Aston Martins. The technician at the glass shop showed me the invoice for the glass at $4000. they charged the insurance company another $2000 for the labor. (I signed the invoice for $6000 to Farmers.) Apparently they had to take it to Walnut Creek to remove the inside surrounds, install the glass, then back to Walnut Creek to replace the surrounds. They did a great job. I tell everyone to make sure their glass replacement item is included in their auto policy.

    Gary Raskie

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    1. Hi Gary. Was nice to meet you at Eurosunday. Sorry to hear you had to go through the cracked windshield event. I’ll cover the options I went through as well in the article, its the next one in the hopper.

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      1. gary raskie

        Cracked windshield was stressful until I found out the insurance company covered everything, including a rental car for 3 days.

        Here is another one for you. I lost a headlight HID ballast.
        Aston Martin part was big bucks. I bought one of these off ebay that has been working great for 6 months now. (I leave my headlights on all the time for safety.) Several 35W versions are from $45 to $65.
        http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Replacement-D1S-D1R-35w-Factory-fitted-Xenon-Hid-Ballast-for-BMW-/172806086113?hash=item283c0b9de1

        Keep in touch.

        Gary

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      2. Cool. How did you know it was a HID ballast and not a bulb? How much was the Aston part vs. this BMW bit? Was this the same part (no adapters) or did you have to fiddle it in? Thanks for sharing.

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      3. Gary Raskie

        Astonbits price is 140pounds, about $175 I think. Logic says only a couple of companies make these things and most of them look the same. I looked at all the pictures on ebay and picked out one that had the connections that looked right and was 35 watts. I also noticed that some were listed for focus and volvo. Very easy to change, plug and play. I did change the bulb first and now have a spare bulb at $100. I didn’t do the prudent analysis on this one. The bulb was a pain. The manual recommends taking it to the dealer for a HID bulb change.

        Gary

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