Category Archives: CLASSIC CARS

VIBES

130519-USA-El Mirage-06

The world's fastest Indian. I have to think about Burt Munro a couple of times this day. A stranger on a journey, a man on a mission. We have come here to El Mirage to visit the SCTA start of the season. Racers, Lakers, Petrol Heads, Car Nuts. It's a heavy local gathering and at the same time this place is so welcoming to first timers. "Is this your first time at the Lake,where are you from?"

-Matt.

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HEAVEN ON EARTH

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Movement at the horizon. This is just the beginning. Where to look. I can't wait to jump out of the car. With low speed we roll on the sun dried lake bed.  A deep vrooooooooooaaaaaarr in the far distance.Trails of dust cut through the vibrating air where the ground reflects the sky. El Mirage truly is heaven on earth.

 -Matt.


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HISTORIC SOIL

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We leave the gravel road and the horizon widens. Hot dry air slips through the opened windows as the sound of the tires disappears. No tickling stones. We enter historic soil.  I have been here before, many times in many years. Be it in childhood magazines, car books or eighties television series. Where beige tones blur into blue hues the air burns. I wait for that black Pontiac to roll into our scenery. Finally, El Mirage!

-Matt.

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OVER THE FENCE

130518-USA-Gene Winfield Rods & Customs-01

No one home, a walk around the compound, a look over the fence. This is as close as we can get. Mind the dog. "Do you see those welding lines across the pillars? Top chop". Stacked polyester moulds sandblasted by the desserts winds of the Mojave. Future surrounded by history. That could have been  one of the police cars from the Robocop movie.

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Shaved. Car bodies reduced to their essentials, as flush as possible. Who needs door handles anyway? A white and crisp canvas over here, a rusty bucket over there. A landscape of projects. Where to start or…where to stop.

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"Pasadena find, old lady owned". What we are looking at is the gold mine of Gene Winfield's Rod & Custom Shop. A place where American car history is being recycled, remodeled and refined. Lower, wider, longer. Turning old sleds into the sleek sketches they once where on Detroit's drawing boards. Circle closed. And what about Gene? I did not have the guts to walk up to the door. It turned out he was not at home anyway, but that is on another page.

to be continued.

-Matt.


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PASS MASTERS

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Gnnnf…..I….do….need…..more…..horse….gnnnf….power……more……torque…..damn! Curve is coming, curve is coming. Tuck in head, trying to get a glimpse of what might come from above, anticipating what will come next. Down shift, push metal, hoping for those revs, where is the turbo? One more shift, click clack, whirring cogs, screaming engine, full lock, ….old_imageslmost there….made it. Another hairpin and still many more to come. This hurts, this soaks energy, this is fun! Welcome to Pass Masters.

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Driving a car on the autobahn at high speeds is exciting, this weekend though we play a different ball game. It is all about curves, altitude and a magnificent scenery. ….., our playground a twisty strip of tarmac, draped over the Alps.

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Our destination? Who cares, these days are made for driving. We will cross borders, visit four countries within two days, but most of all scratch some limits, be it grip or our own driving capabilities. Timing, rhythm, tempo. Mastering the passes is like a dance. Get into the groove and you experience a high where everything seems so easy. Get thrown out of it and things can become nasty very quickly.

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This years edition I have joined the Pass Masters crew with a co driver at my side. The right decision. Before I get too excited I hear a voice. "Kodak moment!" My co driver seems to have guardian angel qualities. At yet another of many summits we find ourselves snapping some fresh air and enjoying the scenery. We wait for the colorful train of cars to pass by to shoot some pictures. When the road seems clear we jump in the car, slam the doors and hit the metal for another set of custom cut curves.

-Matt.

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BAVARIAN GAMES (2)

Protect me from what I want!

Does this not sum up the grand total of carfreakishness?

We love 'em – and just can't help it. Even without sound, the mere sight of them makes us defenseless; cars, cars, cars… we just have to be near them!

Despite the Olympic spectacle being right around the corner, we opt for kidneys instead of rings this time (sorry Matt and Steve) because BMW's unique and ever-expanding Art Car family just never ceases to impress.

So here's a little encore for you carfreax and art lovers. Jenny Holzer would've given her blessing, given the cultural context, I'm sure. Big thanks again for the hot reporting and perfect pix by Naud!

- Geert S.

Art cars 07 Done

Art cars 08 Jagamara Nelson

Art cars 11 AR Penck

Art cars 13 Chia

Art cars 14 Hockney

Art cars 15 Holzer

Art cars 17 Koons

BAVARIAN GAMES (1)

London – 2012

With a big roar the turboprop leaps forward into action. Sunny blue skies have already been replaced with drastic rainstorms, it’s still hot and very humid. I’m in an almost empty plane with nothing more than a small weekend back-pack, but none the less I’m on my way.

On my way… to London, on my way to London on the opening night of the Olympic games. My ETA is 19:05, which theoretically is just in time to catch the opening ceremony.

Theoretically…

Althoug I like ‘the games’, my plans for this weekend are somewhat different. Carfreak as I am, or better even as ‘we’ are, my brother (Geert P.) and me both noticed a small article on the Top Gear Facebook page, telling about an extraordinary exhibit in London.

“BMW has flown in their amazing Art Cars and placed them over six floors of a public car park in the hipster-haven of Shoreditch, East London.”

Say what?

Art cars 01 Calder
Yep, indeed, all the Art Cars in one place. Hell, f*** them Olympics we know where we need to be this weekend!

Art cars 02 Stella
So after watching the obligatory opening ceremony from a London park, and after a good night’s rest we’re on our way. Geert’s blue mean machine is the tool for the mission today. Seems only fair I get to ride it at least once before it’s doomed to get sold, or is it? Anyway, roof down, sun up and we’re off to London. After a bit of agony we arrive at Shoreditch. Loudly painted walls all around and the quiet atmosphere are a bit contrasting. Then again, the £ 1,- parking fee we have to pay to park the car in the middle of London seems out of place as well.

Art cars 03 Lichtenstein
In mere seconds (the exhibition is free of charge, what on earth is happening to us today) we arrive at the top floor. After punching in the e-mail address in an iPad we get a free bag of goodies which include a magazine on the Art Cars, a magazine on art, and a free Andy Warhol poster.

Art cars 04 Warhol
Okay let's sum this up; we get goodies and get to watch an historic Art Car collection and all we needed to do is chuck up one pound for parking!

No need for me telling you guys it was awesome. Just browse the pictures! 

- Naud.

Art cars 05 Fuchs

Art cars 06 Rauschenberg
(squares by Geert S. – tbc)