Feed on
Posts
Comments

1st 2014 Huracan LambFinally, after only a handful of weeks since Lamborghini of Washington D.C. trotted out their new version of their Italian Road Stallions, the beautifully & newly curvaceous body-styling signaling an progression away from the harsh angular Stealth fighter look of  the Aventador generation and back towards  the as sumptuously curvaceous Murcielago generation ,of the 2014 Hurican’ all dressed up in oh so appropriately jet black. We’d had some area Lamborghini dealership Huracans paraded before us here earlier in late Summer , but the lime green just did not work for me. The white was generic enough for one of the least generic super cars on the open market , but , in this case the customer’s choice had spoken and it was to be formal black and it was far more mature a choice than these iCandy colors. The engine is a V10 this time around, but it’s not Lamborghini if you’re not talking about styling and with the Huracan it’s a nice return of the curves that were abandoned after the indulgently curvacious Mercielago was replaced with the purposely faceted angular look of the carbon-fiber bodied stealth fighter which Lamborghini adopted in spades with the release of their Aventador. But now some of those Italian curves have begun to reappear much to our viewing pleasure. The ride itself is reportedly nothing short of aggressive , which is Lamborghini’s signature, with the V10 delivering just over 600 hp advanced in performance by the 7 gear dual-clutch system so that there can be no lag when you switch gears because all odd & even gears are spinning in tandem and 0-60 is under the 3 second time mark. What I noticed  was that they have placed the GPS screen dead center of the dashboard where it does not skew you viewing to one side so far less of a distraction when drawing the necessary  info on where you needed to go. The interior is evermore aircraft cockpit which is the direction it had been heading when it went all stealth fighter path anyway. All that said it has definitely succeeded in bringing back the elegance to its design  as we are ever-reminded that we are well into the 21st century and I for one am embracing the changes in evidence.

http://vimeo.com/112730622#t=2s

1st BMW i8_640

 

Well all of  this story’s beginning was centered around our initiator of  this gathering of passions for cars less ordinary , our Mr. Bob Morris, acknowledging that he had , indeed , placed an order for the BMW i8 hybrid. All I could come back with upon learning this was that it would be the only medicinal event to help me get over my post-Veyron blues having missed the Saudi Prince’s arrival with his pearlescent white Grand Sport a year ago August 4th. Now I had been handed advanced notice with which I harbored every intent to lay claim upon with video camera at the ready.  Then a few weeks came and went and I was left wondering when the arrival would finally be realized . I just did *not* want to miss out on this as there was a very definite provision imposed upon its debut at the Brogue in that he was only going to bring it round *once* and then goldbrick it for a predetermined 5 years as an investment in the future.

Turned out that the ship transporting this BMW hybrid was still at  sea. Finally I could contain myself no longer and asked the always very approachable Mr. Morris point blank if he had any date certain confirmation when he could take possession. He said by next weekend. Now there was no way that I was going to miss this one time arrival even with my car being out of commission for that weekend and I was graciously picked up by my good friend from these Brogue weekends , Josh Darrin  , whom  from our first meeting evolved into a fast friendship as I described in the article concerning my introducing Josh to Mr. Morris turning into our private visiting of Bob Morris’ twin Kaiser -Darrins Rogues Gallery Journal » Blog Archive » It was the Kaiser Darrins

2nd BMW i8_755

 

So we arrive on that first Saturday of October bristling with the anticipation of staring at the future right in the face. But , upon arrival , I saw no sign of the BMW i8 which I would have expected to identify its presence in the form of the photographer’s and videographer’s nightmare, namely a dense flock of on-lookers that just never seems to cease surrounding one of these rare beasts until nothing short of a teargas grenade would serve to disperse. So I desperately continued the ritual of the craning of the neck and the hawking of the eye. No BMW i8 to be spotted anywhere. At this point I was as creast-fallen as the kid who looked under the Christmas tree and realizing that there was just no pony as promised that morning. Head hung low enough to convey that message  I turned my head to cast a clearly disappointed eye over my left shoulder when ,what was this , but another privately owned BMW i8 making its silently sauntering path down the catwalk  dramatic entrance as if  conjured by some pitying spirit whom had witnessed my dismay & answered my call and , with enthusiasm instantly restored , I was heard to exclaim , “Yes, Virginia, there *is* a Santa Claus!”.

3rd BMW i8_75

 

I immediately ripped into my leather video rucksack the way a kid tears into one’s wished-for gift , with a full measure of that joyful abandon on any Christmas morning , and harvesting a fistful of video camera at the ready to capture this feast for my eyes. And there it finally was at last for all to see.  This was , for me anyway , a truer representation of what the 21st century was supposed to be all about since I was kid if there ever was one. The only thing that would’ve made it even more so ,  in that overactive Mind’s Eye Theater of mine ,would have been to see one all clad in the dark brooding charcoal gray of raw woven carbon fiber flaunting its signature hi-tech herringbone weave . Perhaps one day someone will agree with that designer look and commission one to be custom built. But for now I was more than satisfied that one had finally shown up at all.  As you hear on the embedded video I was only too happy to thank this new owner as he had indeed , made my day.

 

Then , on the Saturday of  October 26th , it appeared as if word had apparently made its rounds because there were to be discovered two more BMW i8’s. This was more than I could’ve ever expected so soon upon its first appearance some three weeks previous . I immediately had mistakenly assumed that one may well have been Bob Morris’, but he had said that he had ordered the silver version and these were both white, one with temporary license plate reading Maryland & the other declared itself as property of the people’s republic of Alexandria, Virginia.  It was an instant World’s Fair moment for me as they both stood there declaring themselves no longer a nebulous designer concept , but road running realities in their own right.

 

the 4th BMW i8_75

Then , one weekend later , on the same type of overcast morning that caused me to toss off and thus miss the pearlescent white Grand Sport Veyron on a particular August 4th morning  , our Bob Morris finally brought round his newly minted and delivered silver BMW i8 never to be seen again on public display until 2019 and he has just the custom constructed thoroughbred stable to keep it warm & snug in its designated state of suspended animation.

4th BMW i8 Bob Morris

 

Now I celebrate  America’s Silicon Valley-born and bred Tesla , but it just does not resonate with the sheer presence of  the wind-tunnel swept and the slip-streamed curvilinear elegance of the BMw i8’s . Every designed line informing you , no instructing you , that you are in the presence of the 21st century like no other supercar that I’ve video-captured over these past 4 1/2 years. I mean even  VW’s Bugatti Veyron took 16 cylinder 20th century technology and drove it into the 21st century to make the point that it can , but it’s still the old century internal controlled explosion engine blowing exhaust you couldn’t possibly breathe and live for very long after into the air at 257 MPH , faster than any other road-going sports car could before it . Now how thoroughly 20th century industrial revolutionary is that? This is the 21st century after all.

Very 1st BMW i8_755

 

And we are all witnessing this transition from gas-fueled to electrified conveyance happening right before our very eyes and I find it exciting , especially when happening on the heels of the first of several Formula-E races scheduled all around the world over the next  7 months, the first of which occurred in Beijing , China ( who can use all the emission-free car technology that they can possibly steal )  and this Formula-E race will conclude their run this June 27 in London itself.  Now these FIA approved race cars may graphically say Spark-Renault , but their electric power plants were developed by McLaren and the battery system created by Williams F1 so London is a very appropriate finishing ground for all of this very British 21st century technology to strut its stuff upon this world stage. Nothing will fire the imagination more about automotive technology like competitive racing that’s global box office.  All the while we have an entire generation raised on video game racing , with the over-evolved opposing thumbs to show for it , and they’ve seemed to have already substituted the oh so very 20th century *Days of Thunder* experience for the song of that most 21st century elegance of  the wind-swept whine of  Star Wars’ land-speaders. That’s their videogame-fed mag-lev future that they’re now expecting and , like or not ,  ours as well.

At this point I find that I am reminded of  the Victor Hugo quote ( author of “Les Miserables”, the original book & not the musical  ),”Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. Speaking of which, message to Elon Musk, pay attention. With due credit to the young South African CG artist/designer , Furia Tedeschi , this , too  , can one day be a Tesla.

C’mon, Elon , I double dare ya!

TeslaXeno by Furio Tedeschi_IV

Tesla Xeno II  by Furio Tedeschi _2.5

 

 

.

 

 

This past weekend’s perfect Autumn afternoon provided an equally  perfect reason to attend the annual 2014 Rockville Classic Car show at Rockville Maryland’s Civic Park on the property of what was Glenview Mansion. While on the hunt  looking for that one car that would show itself to be that day’s queen of the prom I viewed many an expertly restored classic sportscar and sedans that were aesthetically pleasing enough to take in , but what I was looking for was that special something car that would effortlessly arrest my attention. The first year that I attended was in 2o10 and that year, for me ,it was the beautiful 1936 Auburn done in what is now referred to as the deeper end of the spectrum cranberry red with a brighter red accent stripes.

What I did get was the same cranberry red Ferrari F12 Berlinetta that I had video-captured at the Brogue in early September which I will be posting later on my look at & appreciation of  the F15 Berlinetta.

But seeing as how I’d seen it already I was not yet satisfied that I had caught something that truly stood out on its own. Continued to wander far afield and then double-backed to the hill where there are entire chorus lines of Thunderbirds & Mustangs , Ford country so to speak when , all of a sudden , there on the rise allowed to truly stand on its own was this vision of a white knight of a Ford GT seemingly grazing upon its own territorial patch of hillside grass expressing a self-contained quiet grace all its own with a broad deep blue stripe right down the middle flanked by two thin deep red stripes running parallel to either side. I approached it with camera at the ready attempting to lock onto that 1st perfectly composed full frontal opening shot all the while wondering if this was, in fact , the real deal or a very well-appointed replica.

Only after the close-up shot of the powerplant nested in its rear mount cradle underneath its clamshell lid did I begin to suspect that it was a well-dressed replica as the engine manifold just had  GT 40 cast directly into it in raised lettering. It was all brand stinking new with none of the coloration of heat altered hues beginning to display themselves on the strategic gnarl of exhaust pipes of the Gurney-Westlake engine of the hand-built replica I’d recently captured at the Brogue. Turns out that the owner of the personally hand-built Ford GT in Gulf colors , knew the owner of this South African fabricated & assembled white knight , but he did not inform me that his friend and fellow Ford GT brethran had brought along his Superperformance-built GT40.

It was later in the day that I learned that this was indeed a replica custom-built by the Superperformance works based in South Africa , a replica so accurate as to be able to accept 90% of the original parts still made for the Ford GT 40. Being licensed by the Shelby organization to build these Superperformance replica’s , as well as Shelby Cobras and Daytonas ,attests to the precision and fidelity that this signature group brings into the bargain. Then the owner returned closing the rear clamshell revealing the true beauty of sweep of curvilinear lines that the Ford GT 40s have always had.

And, yes, one look at the beauty of this only true American supercar that beat Ferrari at Le Mans 4 years consecutively at LeMans  I am still left wondering “So Just Where’s Ralph Lauren’s Ford GT 40?”

Today will be that first real day of sunshine when Autumn gets to show off more than just a flash of skirt with the onset of her colors. Also looking forward to this gentleman who is my favorite rare species of car-collector, the type that is compelled to have taken their specific passion for cars less ordinary to a whole new level and personally *hand-build*  them. It’s that level of craftsmanship that really taps into my respect for anyone who has that creative  commitment to a vision that just makes it all happen and whom bring their handiwork to us for all of us to enjoy. We have about a dozen of these kind of creative artisans or custom car impresarios  , like our Mr. Zausner , whom commission out to the best talent they have sought out and bring this rarest breed of custom road stallions to us and , in my opinion, we are all the better for having them brought into our midst all the better to admire.

I am looking forward to video-capture more of his personal story of taking it upon himself to actually *build* his own Ford GT40 along with the others whom have taken whatever creativity & engineering prowess they possess and apply it in order to build their dreams with their own hands or to commission the best talent they can find to create to what become these personalized works of automotive art. Thus it has become my ambition to be able to personally video-document one such project being hand-built from beginning to end and I already have some leads to follow up on. So stay tuned…

Speaking of progressive transitions though , why I chose to open this particular commentary with awareness of this most-favored transition from Summer to Autumn is that this video is an edited blend of that first encounter and capture of this gentleman’s hand-built Ford GT40 when I discovered , on the Saturday of August 16, 2014 ,the Gurney-Westlake engine had some aesthetically interesting heat coloration expressed in the exhaust pipes coming directly off of that engine with my discovery that this rich golden coloration that is the direct result of regular use due to the alchemy of heat dispensation causing the spread of these rich colorations , as if evolving into of a kind of musical instrument brassiness , on down these pipes as if reflecting Autumn’s own effect almost as if in sympathy with the alchemy of this season’s transition. If you’ll notice with the 2nd camera sweep there is this warmth of soft golden tones to what was once clearly still in its early silvery metal stages. I just thought it aesthetically interesting  , this coincidental transition from Summer to Autumn being expressed in the colors of this Ford GT 40’s Gurney-Westlake metallurgy transitioning right along with it. For what it’s worth it’s just the way my left-handed,right-brained mind works in apprerciating the aesthetics of things that , in this case , just so happen to be automotive works of art after all ………

or so sayeth Citizen Ralph Lauren. And BTW:“So Just Where’s Ralph Lauren’s Ford GT 40?”

 

The video speaks for itself. It was just righteous pure joy to experience the roar of this most British of road beasties thanks to the kind invitation of my good friend , Josh , whom is *the* maestro at repairing & properly maintaining this caliber of exotic sportscar. Thankfully he is also a very skilled driver. I’m planning an in-depth profile of Josh recently merged with his new base-of-operation he has joined as lead mechanic of everything Eurosport as well as shop manager and, knowing his original shop , I know why . Just sit back an enjoy the ride through some Northern Virginia back roads.

Also, an honest correction is in order in that in the thrill of the moment I misquoted the price of this current Astom Martin DB9 as $280,000 when it is really priced at only a mere $208,000. Begging your pardon, but t’was an innocent enough overreaction to the road performance prowess that this particular British beast brings into the bargain. Righteous pure joy indeed.

This is but a foretaste of the wealth of video-captures on the 5 members of Eric Zausner’s personal collection of one-of-a-kind commissioned street rods built by famed MOAL Coachbuilders of California. I’ll never forget the 1st day that Mr.Zausner  , who had recently relocated to the Greater Wash.D.C. surrounds after making his base-of-operations

for some 20 years in San Fran , bringing with him his entire collection of personally commissioned 5 MOAL retro-rods, thundered into the Brogue gathering with his commissioned masterpiece of MOAL motor coach work , his Zausner Torpedo wholly custom-crafted from scratch around a Ferrari engine that Mr.Zausner had  procured directly from the famed Ferrari-works in Manello, Italy. I was fortunate enough to video-capture this one-of-a-kind prancing stallion both upon its debut arrival at the Brogue and then its dramatic entrance , one fine Spring noon after returning to the Brogue , at the annual Ferrari Club gathering at Clyde’s of Tyson’s Corner . It turned out to be one of those had-to-be-there video-harvesting moments capturing one of these great stories our Mr. Zausner is able to just effortlessly shake out of his sleeve that he imparted upon an apparently prominent member of the Ferrari Club meeting at Clyde’s inquiring about the pedigree of his Ferrari-red roadster as if to suggest ” And just what is this ‘roadster’ doing here? This is the Ferrari Club gathering after all ” ,and then actually asking, “Is this some sort of modified Prowler?” This rather under-informed opinion , enlightened to a degree upon subsequently inspecting the engine and at least noticing that it was , ” some sort of  12 cylinder, of course it is , Yes “, whom declined to openly acknowledge the (Oops! My bad ) Prancing Stallion family crest of Ferrari emblazoned upon the manifold , but his manner turned on a dime once enlightened to what he was in the presence of thus turning to newly found respect & appreciation which ultimately resulted ( “Modifed Prowler, I mean for Real?” ) in Mr. Zausner’s unruffled comeback being as positively priceless as it gets . Just go to the above video and see or yourself.

He has since , during the 2014 Brogue season of cars less ordinary , driven 4 of his collection of 5 to display at the Brogue , each occasion thoroughly video-captured as well as him making himself available and cordially open to  all questions. I mean he is the proud Papa of this pride of  MOAL Roguesters like the purpose-built Rogue Ferrari, the purpose being providing its Ferrari-crafted engine its new base of operations. However , the genuine treat arrived in the form of Mr. Zausner generously inviting a wee bit more than a baker’s dozen of Brogue attendees to come to his newly private home in order to see his entire collection in their full-metal thoroughbred stables with him only to happy to conduct a private lecture tour of his prized collection of one-of-a-kind MOAL Rogue stallions.

I’d researched the daylights out of the available material on the web concerning his collection and it was during this hunt for knowledge that I stumbled upon an interview he had with Jay Leno published on his Jay Leno’s Garage ( which has unfortunately been retired from their server ) and learned about this *other* collector’s passion of his , enough to self-publish this coffee table book about something I’d never heard of before. *Spin-Dizzies* which were these fully-functional 1/12th scale race cars running on the same fuel as advanced model airplanes that ultimately became the precursors of slot cars , only these were genuine , micro-crafted ,  internal combustion-engined road beasties that had been clocked at 200 mph and open to spectators during the Great Depression ,the 1939 World’s Fair , and up through the WWII years . It was the story behind this special collection that is the subject of this*teaser* video for the soon-to-be published profile of this gentleman’s cars less ordinary.

As I said upon first encountering his Ferrari-powered Torpedo that inspired me to research the web for all it was worth on all things MOAL and could not find *any* instance where all 5 of his MOAL rods ever appeared en force in one place for show and now we lucky few were being invited to see them all under the one roof that he had prepared for them with Mr. Zausner patiently yet always enthusiastically explaining , one by one, what in particular made each unique that wasn’t already apparent at 1st sight. The aesthetic appreciation that I hold dear for his collection that I was able to sincerely express to him was , at the heart of it all , that I understood that these one-of-a-kind custom street rods would never have existed had he not had the passion and the ready means to cause them to be hand-crafted to life. Now , to me , that’s *True Rogue* finding the fullness of expression of its passion as a patron of the automotive arts.

Mr.Andretti's Aventador_570

This was truly an a day on assignment well-spent. Who better expresses the All American Rogue spirit than one with the list of victories earned by this high speed performance artist many times decorated. It includes my chance capturing of Mr.Andretti expressing his quite unscripted reason for preferring his drive with a Lamborghini over his past Ferrari’s.

This is just the teaser for the full video of my close encounter with *the legend* whom , among the league of extraordinary gentlemen of professional racing champions still living , remains quite literally the most interesting man in the world only pass the XX beer for some Napa Valley raised & harvested Andretti wine for a change.

So here we are all bursting at the seams ready to offer that welcoming  embrace of  Spring and with it what will be the 2013 season at the Old Brogue’s Saturday morning soiree’s. It is in this spirit that I wanted to call attention to the observation that 2013 is apparently becoming the Year of the FordGT40. First of all the Ford Motor Company is citing 2013  as the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the full-throated American FordGT40 occurring some 8 years after Ford first chose the FordGT as its standard-barer to celebrate it’s own centennial.
Thus I was inspired to compose an article that was originally entitled “An Appreciation of the FordGT” first as an appreciation of it as an expression of beautiful design  , but also an appreciation for it’s  legacy gene pool passed down from the original FordGT40 as being the only American race car with the champion’s pedigree of 4 consecutive wins at LeMans no less , a racing car whose express purpose was to beat Ferrari at Le Mans and did and thus became the first genuine track-proven American supercar exotic , and then finally in appreciation of the 12 or so individual owners of these beautiful full-metal thoroughbreds who bring them around to the Brogue all the better for the rest of us to appreciate them. Might I add that I’ve always loved the idea of just once seeing as many of their number as possible  descend upon the Brogue’s own Le Grande Boulevard one Saturday morning and strut their stuff en masse’ all arrayed like the chorus-line of the Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes. Could this be the year ?
White GT_2.1
 Now allow me to add to that list of qualifiers  the more recent news of last week’s Amelia Concours D’Elegance awarding the *Best of Show* Concours d’Sport to a 1968 FordGT40 following upon the heels of the news of this past August’s record price $11 million , including RM Auction’s cut , at the Monterey RM Auction for a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage coupe and that , ladies & gentlemen , makes the case for casting some serious attention in the direction of this one true American supercar d’exotique , the Ford GT40.
Now enter Ralph Lauren  , the $5 billion dollar man of fashionably traditional Gatsbyan taste & style and then the duly recognized world class car collection that this globally recognized world class Gatsbyan taste & style has gathered unto itself and , in no small part , defined itself with which was then made all the more world renown  when , in 2005 , 17 choice members of this private collection were selected for exhibition by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for the express purpose of exhibiting them not just as a collection of cars , but as works of fine art. Brilliant!   The exhibition of these full-metal thoroughbreds , trotted out from the state-of-the-art stables of Ralph Lauren ,  was garnished with the wholly appropriate marketing title of *Speed,Style & Beauty: the Ralph Lauren Car Collection* which , in turn , also became the title of both the Boston MFA’s companion book to the exhibition as well as the Discovery Channel’s documentary first aired in October of 2007.
White GT_2.2
  Thus given this imprimatur of a world-class museum of art in 2005  Lauren’s collection of these most select works of “automotive sculpture” was then granted a second exhibition , from April 28 to August 28 , 2011 , at the Museum of Decorative Arts wing of the almighty Louvre for crying out loud , world-famous for being world-famous as *the* art museum of art museums , and  thus arguably having the last word in what is art  , thank you very much . So needless to say it was the discovery of that particular exhibition that arrested my attention and fired my imagination enough to cause me to choose to immerse myself in both the book & the Discovery Channel documentary ,*Speed ,Style, & Beauty* , as my new resource material.

Gray_I

So I dove head first into this material as this was clearly something that I needed to pay close attention to just on general aesthetic principles as this was clearly a collection to stand up and take notice of . I viewed the documentary numerous times always taking notes and then cross-referencing that source with the notes I’d harvested from the original book “Speed , Style , and Beauty” . Well in all of this flurry of  research I found that I couldn’t help but be drawn in to learn something about the man himself . His designer’s personality was so thoroughly infused throughout this material , down to direct quotes describing his alchemy of personal aesthetics , that I just could no longer ignore looking into just what in particular criteria inspired this professionally particular alchemy of aesthetic  had inspired him to choose the cars that he had bought and meticulously restored in order to make them worthy to be welcomed into his world of *All Things Lauren* .
Quotes laced within the documentary ranging from . “I’ve always admired timelessness and some of the cars that I started to collect have that message of timeless beauty …and in this collection I was inspired by their modernness and their antiqueness at the same time.”(1) to probably my favorite quote being “…most of ‘em were designed for racing and they were not designed to be shown at a gallery and they were not designed for the art,They were designed for function , to race fast and win races and accidentally they turned out to be the most beautiful cars in the world”.(2) I mean that’s a great stream of Laurenisms that I genuinely enjoyed .
Red GT_I
So here I was sincerely enjoying these selective bon-bons of his personal commentary while genuinely connecting with the expressing of his authenticated passion for his personal gathering of cars less ordinary , matter of fact all them are less ordinary than most with some of them the least ordinary of their kind . They are , without argument , all wonderful expressions of automotive art . But at some point in and amongst all of this immersion into this published material something of a displeasured gremlin of an idea emerged and all too soon began to actually evolve to the level of a disturbance  , something so off-putting as to reach the point of a distraction . This kernel of disturbance become distraction ultimately blossomed into this realization.
Yellow_I
Here was this hand-picked world-class collection of some of the very finest examples of personal exotic sports cars ever assembled bar none , now made world famous by the world’s most famous of world famous museums of art exhibiting them *as* works of art , and not a one of any race car , sports car , let’s just say any automobile , expressing Ralph Lauren’s world class aesthetic for “Speed , Style & Beauty”  was made in America . In fact the only honorable mention of anything of an American car of any kind in this otherwise most august assembly of now world class works of automotive art was a 1949 Ford “Woody” station wagon and a weather-worn and terrain ravaged 1951 American Willys Jeep. Excuse me , but a Ford Woody and a Jeep? Really?
Autumn RedGT_II
This discovery compelled me to begin to research the nature of defined pedigree of the Ralph Lauren brand based upon its own promotional canon of ad-speak. Thus , as I came to become familiar with his fashion themes with various mission statements designed to embrace his select styling within a designer’s context , further expanded out to his lifestyle design themes , I couldn’t help but come to notice this entire wing of Ralph Lauren product expressing Citizen Lauren’s self-proclaimed love of the American West and the rugged American spirit that formed it while he and comely models pose in his clothesline of *Great American* Western jeans & leathers as well as variations of marketable American Indian blanket patterns.
GT Interior_I
Upon metabolizing all of this complimentary material it further occurred to me that here was this world class self-made billionaire designer with no small portion of his self-made wealth arising from him both figuratively and  , in the case of his urban bohemian youth *denims & supply* line with oh so elegantly tattered & torn American flags as a featured part of his ( presumably wealthy ) bohemian youth clothes line , quite literally draping himself & his brand in Old Glory in open celebration of  his professed aesthetic for that rugged spirit of the American playing as no small part of his personified brand. One wonders out loud where all the outraged voices that . the 1990’s ,  so vociferously advocated with well-paid lobbying for the calling together of a Constitutional Congress , no less , for the passage of the Anti Flag Desecration Amendment when Citizen Ralph produced this line of rag tag American flag clothes for the privileged urban bohemian youth market.
Black GT
And now here’s this very publicly judged and declared world class collection of some of the most beautiful cars of any collection , so beautiful as to be rightly exhibited as works of fine art by not just the Boston MFA , and then introduce into that elite list of particulars the recognition of  the almighty Louvre in Paris , where Ralph had opened his first Ralph Lauren Polo themed boutique& restaurant in April of 2010 celebrating the theme of  le *Americanesque*, and with not one single race car or sports car of American heritage . You’d think all of a century of American car culture had never produced a single car worthy of his collection.
Black GT Engine
Surely there must be at least one truly American exotic that he missed, one that stands out from the rest as deserving a place among all of his Ferrari’s, Jaguars , Alpha Romeos, Mercedes , etc. I’m guessing that you have already arrived at where I’m going with this all things Ralph Lauren slip-stream of consciousness. When all of this immersion & metabolizing of research material reached its critical mass it finally begged the question that became the alternative title to this essay ,
“So Just Where’s Ralph Laurens’ FordGT40?”
Gulf Colors_I
So with this obvious void laid bare and duly identified in the Ralph Lauren stables of prized full metal and now carbon fiber thoroughbreds I was inspired to take it upon myself to try and make the case for why , using his own published pronouncements defining his laundry list of accupressure points of aesthetics ,  if there is ever to be just one race car become super car dripping with this thoroughly purposed and thoroughly functional “Speed , Style ,& Beauty* beauty expressing the aura of  that rugged American spirit resulting in the ultimate in street cred , as in beating Ferrari at Le Mans for 4 consecutive years , then the FordGT40 is the one that has earned a very rightful place in the Lauren collection .
Too be continued……
 Gray GT 40
(1) , (2) “Speed ,Style & Beauty”_the 2007 Discovery Channel documentary

2012 Great Falls Autumn

2012 BlackLambAutumn_
WhitAutumn Porsche_2.2Ahhh! At last , Autumn. It’s that time of year when Mother Nature brings a whole new level of that extra sumpt’n , sumpt’n to our gatherings of cars less ordinary as she struts her stuff with peacock colors ablaze in concert with all these road beasties and effortlessly proceeds to make them even less ordinary than otherwise , some more than others. ( Hint: Like this Lamborghini Gallardo proves , it’s the dark paint that performs all the more brilliantly in this season of colors run riot )

Autumn Rolls_2.1

 

FordGT Autumn

Now I’ve always come to celebrate the onset of this season just on general principles , but now what’s been added to the range of pleasant aesthetic resonance I take from what Autumn offers has everything to do with that it has now come to be two years since I’d first made the upgrade to HD Video and with that I am able to appreciate what happens during this season as if with new eyes. This is to say the appreciation of the level of colors & detail which this allows one to capture at a moment’s glance which , in turn , allows one to revisit these moments of what they thought they saw that captured them so in the first place.

Autumn XJ6It is in this spirit that I’m preparing to share a choice Brogues Rogue’s Gallery of those captured moments of the magic that unfolds in this most special season as prelude to the article I’m subsequently preparing that will be an overall harvesting of this year’s highlights of what made an appearance during this 2012 season of these gatherings. Fr’instance foremost in my frontal lobe was the fact , among others, that 2012 was definitely the year of the new McLaren MP4-12C which was gracious enough to grace our presence in early March with temporary plates nigh on 24 hours old which is about as fresh from the factory as it gets in these parts , but more on that and other notables to follow. For now it’s enough just to share with you an aesthetic appreciation of what Autumn shares with us in appreciation of all of your participation which makes this weekly event what it has become and continues to be , namely “A Gathering of Passions for Cars Less Ordinary* … … and that , in turn , makes Great Falls all the more unique. Stay tuned…751Orange Evans

For a reasonably comfortable , but still overcast , morning this past Saturday the weather finally proved to be reasonable enough for the first rather well-attended gathering in at least a month. This is to say the full length of the main parking boulevard completely filled along with some honorable mention spillover into the parking areas along the north & south approaches. I must say that it was a welcome feast for the eye after what felt like a long spell of lackluster weather for an April-full of Saturday mornings.

With this return of the flock showing itself full of pent-up desire to express the coming of Spring there was , as on any Saturday morn , this one sports car that readily caught attention because of its curious uniqueness. Obviously an early arrival , as the car’s steward already had snagged one of the prime parking slots , here was the unavoidably intriguing presence of this some kind of mid-to-late 50’s to early 60’s European sports car and Ferrari was the name most often mentioned .

Josh Scaglietti

As the video shows my attention was momentarily caught off-guard and away from a Ferrari Testarossa appropriately positioning itself into the very next slot to this curious species of classic road beastie and curious to more than just my eye . Thus the video seamlessly proceeded to return to attend to this welcome curiosity and none too soon as it effortlessly became well-surrounded by a flock of other on-lookers  also wishing approach to this new-comer. The tipping point came when the engine was revealed by open hood and there sat this clearly marked Corvette engine which begged the next question which was ‘What is a Corvette engine doing in some kind of a Ferrari?’

The answer coming from the knowing driver/presenter was ” Because it’s not a Ferrari.”
It’s a Corvette”.

ScagliettiVetteEngine_©Josh

After the fact I’ve come to learn that the usual suspect predecessor to the historic and well-pedigreed Shelby Cobra is this very rare 1959 Scaglietti Corvette, as in only 3 were ever built , that mystified our recent Saturday morning gathering.

The brief story was told of how this aspirant race car came to be had everything to do with 3 Texan race car enthusiasts , including Carrol Shelby along with Jim Hall & Gary Laughlin , deciding to have a sports car constructed to challenge the Euro-sports cars in the age of the dawn of the Corvette 50’s. After arranging to buy and supply 3 bare-bones Corvette chassis they went to where Ferrari’s are born and commissioned the services of one Sergio Scaglietti to craft the Italian body to enfold these 3 Corvette chassis in something that became more than a shade too close to the design of the Ferrari Tour de France race car. Word was that Enzo Ferrari , who was simultaneously employing Scaglietti’s craftsmen as well , was none too pleased with this adventurism on the part of some well-connected Texas-American sports car enthusiasts along with the possibility of this particular upstart Corvette prototype potentially going into production . Further , according to Mr.Chuck Wray who had brought this rarity for us to enjoy , Enzo Ferrai made this displeasure known to Senior Scaglietti in non uncertain terms and how that displeasure would apply to any future renewals of Senior Scaglietti’s association with Senior Ferrari brand.

Add to that the fact that , although GM’s Harley Earl and chief engineer Ed Cole liked & approved the idea , the top brass at GM did not and the Chevrolet division’s official policy change resulting in the eliminating of any racing car sponsorship did the rest. With that single decision we have the reason why there were only three of these 1959 Scaglietti Corvettes ever crafted together . Thus we were all treated to the rare chance to see one so up close & personal and to capture at will on film , tape , or video chip. And then it was gone, off to be delivered to its owner and never seen again.

ScagliettiVette_Interior_Josh

Having fired my curiosity further by just this brief background story I was drawn to do some internet research and soon discovered that the metallic blue Scaglietti Corvette was the only one of the three constructed with a 4-speed transmission. So , ‘Yes , Virginia, there is a Santa Claus’ . Thus many thanks to the generous Mr. Wray whom granted us the pleasure of seeing a true bona fide *one-of-kind* piece of American sports car history graced with a distinctive Italian accent. In this spirit I look forward to hearing more of what Chuck Wray’s rather extensive 2 story craftsmens’ studio of car restoration ,( shop just doesn’t do this facility justice that had produced not a few Pebble Beach Concourse de Elegance’ trophy winners which I had seen myself , but was not allowed to video-capture ) had produced in past as well as will produce in future based on what they were commissioned to execute upon this rare Corvette. I have since become a friend of Mr.Wray and wish to do a profile of him and what had passed through the doors of the privately Dew Motors. I *do* vividly recall, and was dying to video-capture, the only British racing green 1963 Aston Martin DB5 restored to perfection, the James Bond icon, Yeah , that model.

Obviously there’s more to this story involving the circumstances of the era and the personalities involved as well as the changing of various collectors’ stewardships and , as this entire web effort will be a continual weekly work-in-progress , I intend to, by & by , develop & add more to this story as time permits so stay tuned.

Older Posts »