19 December, 2007

Magic Highway USA

There's something about the fifties America vision of the future that I find absolutely gorgeous. As well as the beautiful art direction - straight off a period pyrex martini shaker it's the boundless optimism that is infectious.

This excerpt from a 1958 Disneyland TV Show episode entitled Magic Highway USA is typical - spectacular colour layouts show their predictions for transportation across America and the world.

It's easy to laugh at some of the predictions, although to be fair I think the 'hit rate' is pretty good - but I'm just won over by a society that was embracing the future and technology with such visionary optimism.

I expect some interweb revisionist will tell me that it was bankrolled by big oil and Walt personally fired half the animators for having periods and the other half for being jewish. Oh well whatever happened to fantasy eh?

13 December, 2007

shiny cars

Oh the terrible burden of sudden wealth. It's a problem that seems unlikely to trouble me anytime soon, which is a shame as I don't think I'd have any issues knowing what to spend it all on.

Not everyone is so lucky though, it would appear that there is too much 'new money' floating about these days in the hands of filthy nouveau types. They lack the generations of training that allow one to handle immense wealth with dignity and style.

Luckily for these arrivistes there are people willing to help out by organising events like the Luxury Show in Bucharest. Perhaps the location in sunny fun-filled Romania is a wee clue, one assumes that there's a soupçon of new Russian mineral wealth attending these shindigs. It's all good though 'cause your typical Dirkistanian oligarch who a mere 6 months ago was scraping a living as a cabbage farmer and occasional part time thug has pretty much the same taste and sophistication as yer average premiership footballer.

Little surprise then that the place is filled with choice stuff like this...

I'm not sure what message a '68 Bug covered in 18k gold sends out... answers on a postcard.

11 December, 2007

Tonight I shall be polishing my helmet

A thing of beauty is a joy forever, as that old bugger Keats once said. And whilst we're dragging old clichés out of the errr woodwork, what price can you put on your health? Quite a large one it turns out. And this helmet truly is a thing of beauty as well as protection for my head, which unfortunately isn't so much.

Those readers who know about these things that matter will recognise Phil Read's racing colours, see him in action here.

Wiki says:
Phillip William Read (born January 1, 1939 in Luton, England) is an English former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer nicknamed "The Prince of Speed." Although he would often be overshadowed by his contemporary, Mike Hailwood, he would become the first man to win world championships in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes.

05 December, 2007

Pope my ride

Pope Benedict XVI seen here showing off his latest ride requested for use during fine weather it was developed by Mercedes-Benz on the basis of the G 500. Like its predecessors it is painted in the fabuloiusly named Vaticanmystic white finish. The interior is likewise white, and is accessed via steps lined in red at the rear.

Arguably the first leader of German extraction to look comfortable in the back of a large open top Merc in about 60 years the Pope holds his audiences in a standing position, so that he is easily visible to all his flock.

The lack of bulletproof glass marks a welcome return for the concept of faith to the pontiff's ride, although to be fair they used to use a FIAT which must have relied on a certain amount.

The Holy Father is continuing a long tradition with the new Popemobile from Mercedes-Benz. Pope Pius XI was the first to receive a Mercedes-Benz as an official car in 1930 - a Nürburg 460 Pullman limousine.

03 December, 2007


The M Badge. For those who know what it represents it's a sign of motorsports bred excellence in a BMW. For those who don't? Well a colleague of mine thinks all M-badged cars are company vehicles for the firm which supplies our Spray Mount.

The minority of people in the world that care to know what constitutes an M car are alert to all the tiny differences that mark out the special version - the flared wheelarch, the deep-dish alloy, the particular bore of the exhaust which is a dead giveaway to the cognoscenti. And that large number of people who don't care aren't in the least impressed anyways.

So why on earth are people still buying little M badges and putting them on the back of cooking Beemers? And even putting them onto Beemers that would never get an M version in a billion years like the X3 I saw in the IKEA carpark today (the "I really really wanted an X5 but things in my life haven't quite worked out as well as I'd hoped" bimmer).

To summarise: a fake M badge on a BMW. 95% of folk don't know or care what it signifies, for the other 5% it proves that the owner is a colossal twat.

01 December, 2007


Evel Knievel 1938 -2007.