Photography: Air Drive - Renaud Marion

Written by Kurt Schleier | Thursday, 14 November 2013 16:29

PorscheAirWe stumbled upon a selection of rather intriguing photos of French photographer Renaud Marion. 'Air Drive' is the appropriate name for the set of photos that includes a range of classic cars floating in the air. Clearly, it took a long time to photoshop the cars to absolute perfection; all cars have lost their wheels and had their wheel arches filled up. The original designers of the cars would probably have liked their cars to look like this, sleek and to the point. Disposing of wheels, those practical but, ultimately, aesthetically (not to mention aerodynamically) cumbersome and obstructive elements that automotive design has to accomodate for. On some cars the novel shapes, smooth as they are, create an inimitable sense of litheness. What has been created are, in a sense, the automotive equivalents of Aladdin's flying carpet. Simply put, the photographer has added a sense of fantasy to a practical good. Though, it is hardly a novel fantasy, flying cars have fascinated designers and artists alike for many years.

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Goodwood Revival 2013 - Some Reminiscing

Written by Kurt Schleier | Saturday, 19 October 2013 17:40

rsz img 0763Perhaps stating the obvious, this year’s Goodwood Revival was a rather extraordinary event. It generally is. The Revival never disappoints in terms of cars of course, it can’t really disappoint seeing the selection of cars that turn up on Goodwood’s tarmac every year. Although, the line up of cars might have been a tad less eccentric than at last year’s edition; who could forget that grid full of 1930s Silver Arrow Grand Prix cars? There was no Auto Union or Mercedes-Benz to be seen this year. Instead, crowds were offered several Ford GT40s which, is a great organisational feat of course, but frankly, they don’t really float my own personal boat. Though, for me, the drivers more than made up for it with some splendid racing.

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The Goodwood Revival 2013 - Darkness in the paddock

Written by Kurt Schleier | Thursday, 10 October 2013 18:54

9760683583 5ac91b4d29 cStaying on at events until the sun goes down is generally a good idea as a photographer. On the Friday evening at this year's Goodwood Revival it allowed me to take photos of the cars in the paddock with stunning ambient light and no spectators whatsoever to ruin the shots (ruin is perhaps a tad strong as the people at the Revival make the Revival with their generally gorgeous attire). Add some typical English weather during racing and voila, the raindrops that had formed on the cars added texture to the cars' surfaces in a way I had not experienced before. Combined with the simple, yet effective, lighting in the paddock 'sheds' I was able to do what you see in this post. If only I had brought my tripod!

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Magic Body Control vs Citroën DS

Written by Kurt Schleier | Sunday, 29 September 2013 15:13

If you've been onto a contemporary car blog this week chances are you might have bumped into Mercedes-Benz' ad propagating its new Magic Body Control system through the medium of a chicken (made by ad agency Jung von Matt). A chicken? Yes, several chicken in fact. It illustrates Mercedes-Benz' intelligent suspension system which makes sure that the body stays level whatever surface might be thrown at the car. Or as Mercedes-Benz put it: "MAGIC BODY CONTROL combines the advantages of the active suspension system Active Body Control (ABC) with the globally innovative ROAD SURFACE SCAN function – a stereo camera that scans the road ahead and registers the road surface and its condition." Indeed, very much so, fortunately they made an ad illustrating the concept in a way that even the most out of touch with car technology can understand (see above). It actually made me think of another car, a car famed for its ability to cross even rough terrain smoothly. If we go back into time a little, well quite a bit actually, and stop in the 1950s, the French produced a certain car called the Citroën DS (that sculpture car we exalted not long ago in another post). You know, that car with the hydropneumatic suspension system, arguably enabling the smoothest ride of the time. Remember the videos (if you speak German then look here)?

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Sound of Honda 1989 - A lap with Senna

Written by Kurt Schleier | Sunday, 11 August 2013 14:35

ayrton-senna-honda-suzuka-installationHave you always wondered what a McLaren-Honda MP4/5 Formula One car would sound and look like doing a lap around the Japanese Suzuka Grand Prix circuit whilst not actually, physically, driving around the track? No, nor have we. But Honda has, which is why they kitted out the Suzuka track with a million speakers (of undoubtedly superb Japanese quality) and a gazillion LEDs (of an equally superb quality) to revive a very special lap indeed; that of Ayrton Senna's 1989 record lap of the Suzuka track. Making use of the 3.5 litre V10 engine telemetry of that lap, a team of creative talent created a contemporary visualisation of it. And, with the help of the original V10 engine, they also created an elaborate sonification of the telemetry data. The result is a rather spectacular art installation, not to mention a technical marvel of some magnitude, running along the Suzuka track that stimulates the senses (bar an important one of course; sensory stimulation for the nose). Honda has made a couple of videos to accompany the project; the lap itself and a making of. The making of is particularly interesting, showing Honda engineers of the day talking about Senna's driving and it gives airtime to those who created this spectacle. Honda's claim of 'technology that once supported Ayrton Senna, now for your perfect driving experience' might be a bit overenthusiastic, but the videos make for a good few minutes viewing nonetheless.

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