“From the beginning, the Le Sabre was conceived as Harley Earl’s personal automobile, and Earl held a (generally accurate) belief that if he liked something, the American public would also like it.” Sleek, airplane inspired, and innovative, the 1951 GM Le Sabre is often held to be the most influential concept car of the 20th Century. [more inside]
Chromeography is a tumblr devoted to images of chrome: the lettering, logos, and ornaments adorning old automobiles (and bicycles and cameras and appliances).
Colin Berry's Spinout is a a touching, tragic story about his older brother, Kevin. Kevin competed in--and very nearly won--the All-American Soap Box Derby, but lost to Bobby Lange, the son of ski-boot magnate and engineer Robert Lange Sr.. [more inside]
The Worst Of Perth showcases the worst in public art, architecture, design, fashion, car culture, graffiti and suburban landscape in and around Perth in Western Australia, with the occasional public victory over bad art. Substantially NSFW.
Hood ornaments: streamlined chrome from a bygone era in automotive design. From stylized trains to jet planes these tiny icons chronicle America's transition from the jazz age to the space race. Lots more here.
The Bugatti Veyron, according to Jeremy Clarkson on last night's Top Gear, may well be the Concorde of cars. So Clarkson is a man prone to hyperbole, but this time the facts might just back him up. A throw-away remark from VW boss Ferdinand Piëch became the informal design brief. A 1000 horsepower car capable of the north side of 400kph/250mph. It looks futuristic, but has the stats to match. 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. In an acceleration race with a McLaren F1 (the previous fastest supercar), the Veyron can give the F1 a head-start to 120mph, but will still beat it to 200mph. At 250mph, the 100 litre fuel tank will empty in 12 minutes, and you can brake to stand-still in just ten seconds (albeit covering the length of four football pitches in the process). The car will set you back most of UK £1,000,000 but that's barely an indicator: the few that exist are being sold at loss because they "just wanted to see if they could". With an industry facing shifting priorities, there may never be another super-car quite like this.
MIT Media Labs' concept car project - redefining automotive design and thought, overseen by William J. Mitchell and Frank Gehry [PDF]...via Don Norman's Concept Cars essay...
"Van Gogh never sold a painting in his life and died a pauper" is Toby Richards-Carpenter defending a car designer that may be destroying BMW. Chris Bangle is the designer that believes it's all about the art, but his many enemies are petitioning him to stop the damage to BMW's reputation and bank balance. Whatever, his unusal/innovative work seems worth discussing.
If Steve Jobs designed automobiles, then this is what they'd be like: Unique. Innovative. Unprecedented.