The Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany is nothing short of mind blowing. The ultra-clean, super-minimal building houses over 80 exhibits chronicling the auto-maker’s rise to prominence. The whole thing leans pretty futuristic, would have liked to have seen a few classic cues here and there, but I’m certainly not complaining. Has anyone been yet? Looks like a must-see if you’re anywhere near Stuttgart.
Pelican Parts has a fairly sizable collection of Porsche Racing posters and have kindly posted high-res scans on their site. There are several eras represented, each with their own distinct style. Really shows off how classic the Porsche logo is, it seems to work pretty much anywhere you put it. Note the various 917’s in there.
I remember seeing some similar posters up on Grain Edit a while back with a link to VP Racing where you could buy some. I always meant to pick one up, but I just checked back and pretty much all the ones I wanted are gone. Someone really needs to reprint these.
There’s an article over at the Porsche site about Eric Strenger, who designed a lot of the Porsche racing posters during these periods. Looking through his work it’s amazing how much range he had as an artist. I would never have guessed some of these were by the same person.
Clutch’d has a gallery of beautiful Porsche 917 photos up. The legendary racer celebrated it’s 40th anniversary last year. Such an amazing design, and always love the vintage racing graphics.
Stylepark has some beautiful photos (shot by Thomas Wagner) from the Mercedes collection at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. The show goes until Sep. 14 and features some incredible examples of the German auto maker’s inspiring creations.
I love the wall treatments, and the license plate in that second shot is incredible. Now compare that to this, and you start to understand why so many great designers come from Germany. It’s like those stupid faucet commercials (which I hate simply because of how the piano starts playing when she pulls a faucet out of her purse all dramatically and slams it down on the guy’s desk like it’s the most profound thing he’s ever seen when somebody starts throwing plumbing components around his office. What the hell does it even mean. Did you see how confused her husband looked? I felt the same way. She damaged the finish of that desk and I bet it wasn’t cheap considering how pretentious successful architects are.), I could seriously design a car around that license plate. I bet if you told the Mercedes designers they had to design the car for the US style plates they would just quit and throw a wrench or some molding clay or something. Also, if I moved to the states from Germany and had to do this, I would just drive the car of a cliff because the whole thing is ruined. I have a feeling the “California” font only looks like that because the state couldn’t afford to license Papyrus.
Also check out these posts for some more vintage Mercedes action
Stylepark via Simon Smith
I’ve been on a car kick lately. Not only are they excellent examples of functional design, there’s something about the quality of 60s-70s concept car photography that always gets me. This latest entry is the 1978 Mercedes-Benz Study CW311. Designed solely as a concept by Eberhard Schulz Isdera for Mercedes Benz, it was later put into production as the Isdera Imperator 108i. You may recall the post on the Mercedes Benz C111, a concept which Shulz also developed.
I feel like this was the era right before everything started looking like alien technology or some sort of bird. It seems like in high end conceptual situations like with supercars, the designers are always trying to envision some object from the near future. I guess I prefer the near future imagined in the 1970’s over that of today.
I love the lines, really aggressive but the overall vibe is softened by the sort of roundness of the thing. I’m definitely getting an Italdesign/DeLorean vibe off the windows. Also, picture kicking it with a Lufthansa airliner? Classy. And I’m loving the roof mounted rear-view; something very utilitarian about that. On a side-note, I feel like if a car could be a typeface, the CW311 would be Trade-Gothic Bold Extended.
And to top it off, a very VHS-ish video featuring the CW311 (with poor choice of substitute wheels):
Special thanks to AJJB for turning me on to Shulz’s work back in the C111 post. AJJB also pointed out that Shulz is now “selling cheesy oil paintings out of a small town in Germany”. Interesting and sort of sad too…
Images via Carstyling.ru
Designed by Centro Stile Fiat, the 1972 Fiat X1/23 City Car concept was an all electric concept far ahead of it’s time. I can’t even explain how hard I would roll this thing all over San Francisco if I could get my hands on one and the battery lasted longer than 5 minutes (assuming they weren’t very efficient given that we still haven’t gotten the whole thing right 40 years later). I see a lot of those Smart Cars all around the city and get jealous when I see them park perpendicular. Does anyone have an ultra-compact like this? Did it live up to the hype?
Found these beautiful B&W images of the 1969 Mercedes C111 that I posted last month. These might just be big enough to make some prints out of (click for high res)
More images here
I love bikes. I almost love how a beautiful bicycle looks more than riding one, but not quite. In San Francisco we have a pretty solid bike culture so you get to see some nice ones around the city now and then. But of course it’s nothing compared to Amsterdam where bikes run the city and they know how to build them right. Sure, there are a ton of junkers but the overall style and pragmatic design of most is something I really appreciate. Every time I go there I resolve to find a nice bike in the Dutch style when I get home but I can never seem to find anything.
That’s why I got really excited when I first saw Vanilla Bicycle’s site. These handcrafted bikes from Portland, OR (of course) are beautiful examples of classic design and everything I’d want out of a bike. Vanilla’s attention to detail and reverence for classic styling is breathtaking. So yeah, I’m really excited at this point.
Then I checked out the ordering page. THE WAIT FOR ONE IS FIVE YEARS. 5. Of course. And of course, any time you have to wait that long for something you can go ahead and multiply the number of years times 2000 and you’ll probably get close to the price (but actually, probably nowhere near it). Also, if they don’t list the price on the site, you can’t afford it. So that’s settled, I’ll never own, see, or be within a mile of a Vanilla Bicycle, but fortunately they’ve provided us with some beautiful photos of the bikes shot with a Canon 5D so we can dream a little. If they sold posters of these I’d buy all of them. The site is a bit confusing but just click around and you’ll start finding some galleries of various custom jobs they’ve done: Vanilla Bicycles Site
There’s also a short documentary on them here.
P.S. Is anyone else getting all nostalgic lately for the original 5D? It might be the first classic DSLR. I need to get one. In 25 years indie kids will probably be hanging out backstage at shows talking about their Canon 5D MK1 and how it “just has that feel that you can’t get with holographic, man…” Then you can start picking up Hasselblads cheap on eBay and the cycle begins anew.