Tag Archives: CarFreax


130519-USA-El Mirage-SCTA

No one comes to El Mirage with something from the shelve to beat the timing machines. Everything you see here has a personal approach, is handcrafted and purpose built. It is a race against the clock, trying to improve that "personal best" rather than win the race.

Duck down to go faster. I love the details; steering, saddle, gears on this motorcycle. All adapted for high speeds.


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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?"


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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.


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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!


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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.

130518-USA-Gene Winfield Rods & Customs-02

"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.


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