Vintage Supercars Rotting away in a Forest
October 28, 2014 10:45 AM   Subscribe

“Nature is stronger than technology, and that I will show here,” said Michael, who has no doubt succeeded in displaying the power of nature that triumphs over even some of the most revered examples of man-made machinery.
posted by philip-random (31 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
That makes me hurt inside a little bit. Some beautiful cars there, just rotting away.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:59 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Good thing he demonstrated that metal in fact rusts. I was lying awake at night wondering about that.

What a waste.
posted by Palindromedary at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


That's a goddamned crime.
posted by stenseng at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I get it, but ditto on the pain. Perhaps in Germany, Europe as a whole, where people have been confining and containing nature for so long, that it's power over the world isn't quickly considered or thought upon. In the parts of the United States I live in, nature exists as a temporarily tamed beast, just waiting for that chance to leap upon whatever it can when one turns their back.

John Keegan made the same observation in his book on American battlefields:
It is impossible to recreate in the imagination what England must have looked like before the forest went four thousand years ago; it is impossible in America not to feel the power of the forest or the desert or the rivers lurking at the edge of what man has wrought in two hundred years, watching for a moment of inattention or a relaxation of effort, waiting to return.
But please, take the cars, restore and save what you can, and just come visit any number of back road junk yards or car lots where dreams of restoration failed to materialize or vehicles were simply left for dead when their engines no longer could be mustered to roar.
posted by Atreides at 11:14 AM on October 28, 2014


A (very expensive) monument to mortality. 50 50-year old cars parked on the owner's 50th birthday. I imagine that this art may truly engender the most emotions in its own creator, and they will only get stronger in time as he sees the slow decay in his installation and himself.

At first I wondered "Are there any unique specimens among the collection?", but then I thought "so what if there are?". There is and always will be only one Michael Fröhlich. Makes me wonder a little about how he will handle his own end-of-life, and burial, decisions.
posted by achrise at 11:24 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think its neat.
posted by klanawa at 11:38 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Christ, what a Neandertal.
posted by hat_eater at 11:45 AM on October 28, 2014


Jesus, that was painful. I know that the cars are mass-produced consumer goods, and that he can do with them what he pleases... but the Porsches... that Buick.
posted by dfm500 at 11:50 AM on October 28, 2014


What an asshole. By all means, destroy historical artifacts that exist in extremely limited supply out some kind of ego-driven impulse to be an artist.
posted by slkinsey at 11:52 AM on October 28, 2014


If the choice was between doing this and having a bunch of guys with toothbrushes and chamois cloths roam a climate-controlled warehouse that you also don't really let people visit, I might actually slightly prefer this.
posted by box at 12:00 PM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Looks like a few of the places I have worked over the years...
posted by alfanut at 12:01 PM on October 28, 2014


I like the idea, and pained by the slow death of beautiful cars, and think it would be great of some super rich person would do the same thing with military equipment. Maybe just jet fighters.
posted by mondo dentro at 12:03 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any schmuck with money can own and restore expensive classic cars. It takes a special kind of person to own and not restore them.

What kind of person, and whether it's art, I honestly couldn't say for sure.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:07 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


>Looks like a few of the places I have worked over the years...

Back edge of a pick-a-part junkyard I used to go to had old 50's and 60's heaps getting reclaimed by woods, but they were fords and chevys, not like these. That's easily a few hundred thousands dollars oxidizing, and even as-is some are still worth a good deal.

>If the choice was between doing this and having a bunch of guys with toothbrushes and chamois cloths roam a climate-controlled warehouse that you also don't really let people visit, I might actually slightly prefer this.

Yeah, but at least that way the items themselves live on, as art for future people to enjoy. To me it's not much different than if the guy had hung a bunch of rare and unique paintings in the forest to decay. I know it's his art, using his money, and it does have an impact on me at least, but... damn.
posted by anti social order at 12:16 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of seeing a rotted Bricklin SV-1 in a used car lot about ten years ago. I will give him this: He's evoked some powerful feelings here, ergo Art.
posted by whuppy at 12:42 PM on October 28, 2014


This is happening in Dubai, but with modern supercars, because defaulting on a loan in that country is a crime.
posted by hellojed at 12:53 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's cool to come across some piece of technology (and/or history) that's been abandoned or lost. And as per the photos, there's definitely an interesting patina to the old cars. Do all beautiful things decay beautifully? Perhaps nature is getting some help?

But, damn, not something I'd choose to do, and certainly not on that scale. An old pickup, maybe.

Off to Dubai for some used-car-shopping.
posted by Artful Codger at 1:08 PM on October 28, 2014


I love this. but then again I think all cars look better with a tree growing through them.
posted by thivaia at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the choice was between doing this and having a bunch of guys with toothbrushes and chamois cloths roam a climate-controlled warehouse that you also don't really let people visit, I might actually slightly prefer this.

Why? The toothbrush guys will eventually die, the cars they have so assiduously kept in good condition will eventually disperse for whatever fate awaits it down the road, possibly open to the wider public. This (clearly not poor) guy is simply a post modern apres moi le deluge, which is too selfish and nihilistic for my taste. Louis at least left some cool stuff behind.

Gotta stop hating on rich folk just because they're rich. They do have their upsides, and maintenance of rare things is one of them.

If you have any other reasons for your preference , I would really like to hear it.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm outraged at the fact that he let a perfectly good Bibendum turn blood red.
posted by chavenet at 3:34 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like old cars, and I also like patina and decay and stuff.

For most of these car models, there are plenty of other people going the toothbrush route already--it's kinda neat to see somebody doing it the other way. Don't get me wrong--preservation is great, but I can appreciate a mountain turning to dust, too.

(Please note, too, that 'might actually slightly prefer' is not what you'd call a ringing endorsement or anything.)
posted by box at 3:37 PM on October 28, 2014


If it's just one of the cars off the assembly line, then fine. But he notes some are of historic value due to their unique history of ownership or situation. To let those rot away? That kinda makes me mad.
posted by linux at 3:45 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is horrible, but not the only example. If there was only one original, unmolested Ford Model A left in the entire world some fool would pay anything to destroy it and turn it into a hot rod.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:50 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is brilliant, as noted above there are plenty of cars being restored. It's not the metal that makes the stories behind the cars, it's the stories themselves, and these have been preserved. This is far less perverse than dogged preservation and never being driven. If you own a vintage race/sports car, and it's too valuable to drive/crash, then you can't afford a vintage race/sports car.
posted by Keith Talent at 6:14 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's a goddamned crime.
I think its neat.
Jesus, that was painful.
I love this
This is horrible
This is brilliant,


good to see we're edging to consensus.
posted by philip-random at 6:40 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't even reach consensus in my own head.

The archivist in me knows that, as much as we'd like to do it, not everything can be preserved, and deaccessioning and mending and such are complicated and contentious questions. The collector knows that if everybody saves everything, values don't go up much (see e.g. '90s comics, or, more relevantly for me, audiophile vinyl reissues). Those dudes are straight-up conflicted. The guy who likes installation and environmental art and the guy that likes entropy and decay, though, are mostly in agreement.
posted by box at 6:50 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


This man does not like cars, he likes his "message".
posted by jet_silver at 8:07 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Reminds of some saying I don't fully recall. Something along the lines of "If you're poor, you're insane. If you're rich, you're eccentric."
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:09 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think it is interesting, although vain.
A bit pharaonic, a pretty generalised and not all that clever paen to mortality and decay and such.

But there is also a chance that as soon as Mr Frohlic dies the more important cars may be sold off and restored.

And there is no limit to how decrepit high end classics (especially with good history) can be before they are restored to pristine, better than new condition.

Look at some of the Bugattis and Hispanos and Dusenbergs that are more restoration than car, all very Ship of Theseus and all that, each nut and bolt and panel replaced, where practically the only original part left is some vague lingering sense of historical provenance.
posted by Plutocratte at 12:40 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like it. Not for any sort of deeper artistic merit, but because I find it visually aesthetically pleasing.
posted by Bugbread at 12:48 AM on October 29, 2014


good to see we're edging to consensus.

I disagree.

That consensus is good to see, I mean.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:23 PM on November 2, 2014


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