Monthly Archives: March 2010

SEEN ANYTHING GOOD?

"So what’s the best thing you’ve seen?” 9.30 a.m “Anything caught your eye?” 10.00 a.m “What’s your car of the show?” 10.15 a.m. It’s the first press day of the show and I haven’t even been here an hour yet! I’ve hardly looked at a car and every few minutes I bump into yet another old friend, who yet again asks me the same question. I’d like to scream, “how the hell do I know, I haven’t seen anything yet”

Geneva 1a 

This is the Geneva, Salon de l’Auto 2010 and it’s the same procedure as every year and I seem to spend more time meeting and eating than looking at cars.

First stop, the car everyone is talking about, the Porsche 918. I’m disappointed, there’s some nice bits on it, but I can’t help feeling it’s a missed opportunity. I also spot some very large rear lights with a new Cayenne attached! I find the Porsche shop at the back of the stand much more interesting.

Geneva 2a 

The new Jaguar XJ again, this time in White, those rear lights, that glazed ‘C’ post and high shoulder line, I’m still not convinced.

Same goes for the Alfa Romeo Guilietta, the Mini Countryman and the Aston Martin Cygnet and I just stare in open-mouthed disbelief when I see the Hispano Suiza, this is an embarrassment to the profession of car design.

Geneva 3a 

High points? The BMW 5 series, only detailing on the front end letting it down. Aston Martin Rapide, just stunning. The Dacia Duster (yes, you read correctly) a well-done, honest, cheap car and the Bentley Shooting brake from Touring, why didn’t anyone think of this before? 

The first press morning has gone quickly and I’m feeling a bit peckish, so the hunt begins to find the best stand for lunch. I start with an aperitif at Mercedes, not much food here? just suits and cars. Next stop Volvo to meet a friend and catch up on hot gossip in the Designers world, my dreams of Swedish cuisine are shattered when I’m asked, “So, anything worth seeing mate?” I leave, stomach grumbling. Finally I find lunch in the form of the traditional Paella at SEAT, washed down with a couple of glasses of white wine, I’m refreshed and ready to attack the show floor.

Geneva 4a 

In the afternoon I wander leisurely around upstairs checking out the latest offerings from the Italian Design Houses. Bertone, very white, very tall doors, even taller girl, very showcar. Ital design, Small car with SUV interior space blah, blah, Hybrid, blah, blah, premium, Yawn! Yawn! Yawn! Pininfarina, nice proportions, nice sections, nice Alfa. I check out exotic Zonda, Saab’s new owner Spyker and Lotus before arriving at Lamborghini. Brightly coloured cars contrast starkly against the monolithic stand and leather clad girls pose for the crowds delight. Upstairs for the best espresso on the block (sorry for the pun) Audi is just next-door and I suppose I should really check out the A1 on its debut. The car looks great, a little big around the rear maybe? but a quality product with a fine interior, hopefully the Mini has some true competition at last. Make mine an S1 in retro rally colours.

Geneva 5a 

After a hectic first press day it was time to chill out at Designers Night.Now, I’m not normally a big fan of these events because you usually end up with a bunch of nerds or creeping students trying to get a job, well I do anyway.

Held at the La Sip club in downtown Geneva, the evening was quite enjoyable with free buffet and drinks. I ganged up with a group of modelling friends who frightened any nerdy intruders and students away, usually by drunken abuse or saying that “you don’t want to talk to him, he designed the Hispano Suiza” Thank you Interior Motives Magazine for a great night.

Geneva 6a 

Finally left at around 1.30 a.m. to drive back to our Hotel, but the evening became even greater when someone shouted “F40”. There sitting in a Ferrari dealership was indeed an F40.

We slammed on the brakes, flicked the hazard lights on and reversed our Audi Q5 up onto the curb. We bundling out, cameras ready. Like kids we pressed our noses to the glass dreaming. We peeled ourselves away, cameras started clicking, Flashes were flashing, photos were taken from every possible angle.  What a vision it must have been for the passengers in the cars and taxi’s that passed. Wondering why a white Q5 was bumped up the curb in front of a Ferrari dealership at 2.00 a.m in the morning and why four men were staggering around taking photos?

We arrive late on the second day, tired but satisfied from the action from the night before. After a leisurely stroll around the show to catch any cars I missed the day before, I finally bump into the Car Freax team in front of the Bertone stand. After formal introductions and a little conversation the inevitable happens

“Sooo Steve, what’s the Car of the show for you?”

I Love the Geneva show, but it’s time to leave.

Geneva 7a

De lente is begonnen!!

Weg met die HF 3301, weg met die sombere blikken, weg met die winterjassen!


Na een winterslaap hebben we haar wakker geschud. Genoeg geslapen!
Toch altijd weer spannend, na een stilstand van bijna zes maanden: zal ze wel wakker willen worden? En ja hoor! Sleutel omdraaien (uiteraard na olie- en V-snaar-check), startmotor rond laten draaien, beetje gas geven en pruttel de pruttel. Ze is WAKKER!

Na een kort ritje heb ik de bus onder het huis gereden en daar direct een aantal klussen gedaan :-)

Eerst de lelijke zwarte ruitenwisserarmen en -bladen vervangen door NOS-spul:
RuitenwisserNOS

Daarna wat spul van het interieur op orde gebracht.

Eerst het tafelblad boven de gootsteen gemonteerd
Scharnierdetail01
Scharnierdetail02

Daarna het grote tafelblad voorzien van de (originele) klikvinger, zodat ie blijft hangen tijdens het rijden.
Eersteklus01

En toen zag het interieur er weer uit zoals het oorsponkelijk eruit hoort te zien:
Eersteklus02
Eersteklus03

En dan eindelijk een stuk sturen, de eerste rit van het jaar met de (binnenkort uitgebreide) familie!
Mijkeachterin

Bij thuiskomst "moest" Mijke ook nog even buschauffeur spelen :-)
Mijkeachterstuur

Het leven is weer helemaal goed. Dag winter!

Resterende klussen:
- reviseren reserve carburateur
- schoonmaken/vervangen voorverwarmingsbuis
- grote (jaarlijkse) beurt
- elimineren van speling op dak-scharnieren
- aanbrengen van originele "straps" om hefdak op z'n plek te houden
- laswerk linker dorpel
- uhm en nog veel meer :-)

GENEVA REVIEW

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The location feels like holiday. Surrounded by the decorum of the Alps, this is the place to touch base with the automotive circus at the beginning of the season. The Geneva auto salon is still my favorite show to visit. Compact and complete. A kaleidoscopic view on the industry. The Germans, Italians and French meet at neutral ground. This year I teamed up with a group of colleagues from Ingolstadt. After a long drive we hit the floor at 3 P.M. It is thursday and busy. Hell yes do I miss the press days ambiance where one can run into Eddie Jordan talking to Briatore, dolls included.


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We have four, five intensive hours ahead of us to work the floor. Of course we start at the Audi stand where the next big thing is small. The A1 looks great in the flesh. Good stance and proportions combined with well executed details. After a couple of cars the group of designers thins down. Too much to see and too many details to be photographed. Johannes and I are on a trip, diving from one interior into the next, fiddling around with knobs, discussing grains and finishings. Eyes focused onto details and at the same time trying to grasp the big picture.


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There is definitely a return to color. Cool and neutral tints still work, but there is more at the horizon. Even more then last year cars are colored in bronze and orange tones and pink-ish shades are on the rise. One of my highlights is turning around at the Citroen stand. The French have reworked their last years Revolte into a sleek sportster. It might be overloaded with funky details and coloring, but one can see the joy of surfacing. Many agree, this could be a small Bugatti. Very Veryonesque indeed.


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Another well executed prototype is being displayed at Pininfarina. The red Alfa Duetto Something returns to simplicity in shape, but in a very dynamic way. The front to back bonelines remind me of the famous Disco Volante. Personally I think this is the answer to the over the top emotionalized sketch to metal approach we have seen lately.


100304-Geneva-05
 

The fair is about to be shut down for today. My camera still has some space left for more impressions, but my head starts to tickle. After check in we head down town for some genuine fondue. I probably have missed one or more things, but I rely on the fact that my CFX buddies were here at prime time. Next time we will hit as a pack, once again. 


100304-Geneva-07
 

 

STYLO

My mind is back in the Mojave dessert. The endless tarmac road ahead vaporizes towards the horizon. The stomping baseline is my companion as I push the pedal into the carpet. Speeding is tempting in the middle of nowhere. Chocolate donuts will melt immediately so the chance a cop is hiding behind some scarce bushes is close to nil.

It is the beginning of March and my pick for the music video of the year has been made. This is pure stylo! A short story full of references to classic car chasing flicks. Live action combined with animation. The new Gorillaz album is on repeat these days. Go check this video and enjoy. In the meanwhile I graphic my way through another project that takes place in a similar landscape, but that is on another page.

M.

CHRISTLUM

100307-Christlum

We have come a long way. On saturday night the phone rings. I have been using the day so far to recharge my batteries from the exhausting Geneva trip. My man Uli B has a plan and before I know it I say yes and start packing the next bag. Boots, check, gloves, check, board, check, helmet, check. My body says yes, but my mind says wait a minute. Another day in winter paradise. Confused I am looking at the red LED's of my alarm clock. The bleeping sound is terrible as I try to figure out the time. Something with a six. A sunday should be a different cup of tea! 


We load our equipment into the bus before we hit the road. The autobahn is early and empty. Many have trusted the local weather report and decided to take it easy today. We are ready to rock and roll! Way before lunch we hit the spot, strapped onto our boards. Christlum will be our field of joy for the rest of the day.


The beginning is difficult and powderish., but I slowly find my rhythm. Deep snow is not the usual suspect and hard to ride I find out. A ten years old jacket filled with snow. After lunch I try to follow Uli's trail into the unknown another time. The natural halfpipe, filled with bushes, is my challenge for today. And yes, finally I manage to swirl across the deep snow in one fluent move.  Motivated with adrenaline I decide to go for the jump. The first attempt ends with a theatrical plumb into the deep snow.

Five minutes and a ski lift later we find ourselves at the same spot. This time Uli is laying in the snow, camera ready. Intuition. My air becomes a jump before I know it, landing and continuing my ride into the white heaven of Christlum. A perfect winter day.

Projectvoortgang

Ik heb besloten jullie op de hoogte te gaan houden van mijn voortgang met het project. Sinds mijn laatste posting heb ik weer het één en ander te melden:

 

- Via Marktplaats heb ik een setje 38 jaar oude Cibie Oscars weten te scoren, zwart huis, chromen rims en gele jodium pitten, dit alles compleet met originele dozen en gebruikershandleiding! De bijbehorende plastic beschermkappen nieuw gekocht; ze blijken ‘zuigend’ te passen (soms is een gebrek aan innovatie een zegen!). De verkoper is een oudere rallye-rijder  die zijn stuur aan de wilgen heeft gehangen. Hij is bezig zijn voorraad reserve-onderdelen op te ruimen: Een uur met de goede man aan de telefoon gehangen, mooie verhalen over zijn Mark I Escortje. Hij wilde ook zeker weten dat zijn mooie lampen niet op een gepolyesterde Honda CRX oid. terecht zouden gaan komen, mijn plannen zijn door de ballotage gekomen.

 

- Op de jaarlijkse onderdelendag van de Alfa club een setje verbreed stalen velgen gevonden. Deze gaan de tamelijk vlakke, elegante Cromodora’s vervangen; veel stoerder. Ze zitten netjes in de poedercoat en zijn direct bruikbaar.

 

- Op het werk de schetsen groot uitgeprint en aan de binnenzijde van de garagedeur getackt als dagelijkse reminder.

 

- De contour van het front van mijn auto opgemeten en een tekening gemaakt van de nieuwe bumper. Vandaag staat het opmeten/tekenen van de achterbumper (veel eenvoudiger) op de agenda. Volgende stap: het bevragen van een aantal metaalverwerkende bedrijven.

 

- Als laatste hebben Henk en ik het plan opgevat een navigatiecursus te gaan doen via de ‘Dutch Historic Rallye Club’ (www.dhrc.nl) met als doel samen (regelmatigheids)rallyes te gaan rijden. En dat is wel het mooiste deel van het project!

 

Project 2

GENEVA

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Strolling through the old streets of Geneva the day after the show. We have decided to enjoy our breakfast in centre ville before we head back to Ingolstadt. Spring is in the air. It is sunny, but the fresh breeze coming from the lake hides around the corner. Antique boutiques full of medical devices and optical instruments, big stores with big golden typography. Watches behind every window, banks. This is Geneva. The trip was way too short, but we had a lot of fun. The journey is the destination.