Ahhh, spring is here. So we head to the Continent for some of the best racing of the year. Its name has changed over the years, but the format has largely remained the same: fields of 40+ cars of varying classes (and relative speeds) going as fast as possible for irresponsible amounts of time on extremely long, dangerous tracks. Spa Francorchamps, the Nürburgring, Circuit de la Sarthe, Monza, all european locales known for high average speeds and hosting these prestigious 24 hour (or sometimes 1000km) events. After the jump is a collection of some of my favorite images from the late 50′s through the 1970′s, as well as a short video of the 1971 ADAC Nürburgring 1000km to give you a sense of the scope and speed of the old event. Continue reading →
More goodness from the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives on Flickr. These fantastically-yellowed photos, probably taken at the Skunkworks facility in Palmdale, CA in the 80′s, almost look like illustrations.
As busy as we are recording & preparing for the Tycho shows coming up, Dakar is celebrating it’s birthday this week and I didn’t want to miss out. Here is some great imagery captured in the 34 years since the rally raid’s inception.
Inspired by a recent episode of Roman Mars’ wonderful podcast 99% Invisible, I sought out a few images of WWI-era “dazzle” ship camouflage. Rather than blending a target with its surrounding colors and textures, dazzle (aka “razzle dazzle” or “dazzle painting”) deliberately caused ships to clash with the sea and sky, creating eye-aching shimmer effects and making it difficult to discern the craft’s direction, speed, and distance. The hope—and it was a hope, as dazzle inventor Norman Wilkinson’s theories were never properly proven—was that the bedazzle’d ships would so confuse enemy submarines that their torpedoes would never meet their mark. The nautical old guard, as one would expect, rejected Wilkinson’s sweetly cracked vision; the artists of the era’s burgeoning Cubist movement, however, were utterly delighted.
“Car art” is always a contentious subject for me, there’s alot of cartoonish colored pencil stuff out there that Road & Track likes to pass off as “fine art”. If there’s one thing i’ve tried to showcase in my livery posts, it’s that the geometric body of the car itself makes for a great canvas.
Earlier last week, fellow car porn addict (although he gets paid for his addiction) Jim Lau sent me the innocuous “you’ve seen this, right?” message. Above are some examples of Ricardo Santos’ work, and I think they’re absolutely fantastic. You’ll notice some farmilar ‘faces’ from alot of the car posts I’ve done here on the blog, needless to say I’ve solved the problem of hanging up pictures of cars on my wall without looking pubescent.
These prints all come in a variety of sizes & formats, the stretched canvas is barking at me and the moths futzing outside my window will soon find a nice warm home in my wallet. You can find all of Ricardo’s works seen above over on his Society 6 page.
Here we are, probably my favorite livery from the heyday of Formula 1: John Player Special. As Lotus’s title sponsor for much of the 70′s and 80′s, these beautiful black and gold machines spent alot of time in the winners circle. Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti, and Ayrton Senna, to name a few, all drove JPS sponsored Lotus machines.
JPS was also active in touring cars and motorcycle racing, the black & gold scheme so iconic that many manufacturer’s road-going variants usually had a complimentary paint option – albiet without the lucrative cigarette advertisements.
The colors have proved so nostalgic that Lotus has donned them once again (without any association to the extinct cigarette brand) in their Formula 1 and Le Mans prototype cars, and I must say that it’s a hero’s return for most.
What I’m really looking forward to is checking out the Historic GP at this year’s inaugural F1 race in Austin, a little birdie told me that Mario’s old Lotus 79 will be buzzing around the new track.
The effect that Dekotora has on the senses is profound. Imagine for a moment that you’re walking home late at night through a less trafficked, industrial area. Out of nowhere a garage door springs to life and the seismic presence of a 12 cylinder diesel barks to life. The next thing you know, a 10 ton monstrosity, cobbled together with jukeboxes, arcade machines and laser guided disco lights, is quickly bearing down on you. Such was my introduction to the relatively nonexistent presence of decorative commercial trucks operating in the greater New York City area.
A rare sight in most corners of the world, Dekotora is the Japanese discipline of decorating industrial and commercial vehicles with anything that reflects, glows, or flashes. It’s inspiration is drawn heavily from Gundam & arcade culture, something that much of the neon-marinated citzens of Tokyo can relate to.
Surprisingly, these are not “art cars” – they are fully functional and go about their daily tasks just as you see them here. Alot of these vehicles can be seen during business hours, backing up to loading docks, stopping for weigh stations or filling up at diesel pumps. Granted, some of the trucks above may be for shows only but from what I’ve read a lot of drivers do it to liven up their job and set their truck apart from the rest.
I really love the amount of detail that goes into these, I hope someday I’m able to get a closer look, I feel like I could spend a whole day looking at all the little bits and pieces. Yellow Magic Orchestra never reached the audience they deserved in the US so hey guys, here’s our chance to make up for past mistakes, you know that broken Bally machine in your aunt’s rec room? Or that Wurlitzer collecting dust in your garage? Throw a copy of Solid State Survivor in there and glue that shit to your truck man.