30 December, 2009

Benedict Redgrove, Photographer

Benedict Redgrove takes gorgeous photographs.

Often of stunning concept cars.

Habitually in a gorgeous modernist architectural setting.


Vehicle wraps

After a day of things being unwrapped... a nice bus wrap to promote Copenhagen Zoo.

Reminds me of a wrap I designed to advertise Superchips in London. Unfortunately the photographer employed to get some promo shots clearly thought it would be much more arty looking without a cabbie making it look scruffy, and a nice angled shot rather than a profile would be best. D'oh!

Although to be fair they were up against it to get the pictures - the cabbie insisted on having the meter running for the whole shoot.

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21 December, 2009

fill me up with premium

I must get along to the Southbank Centre for the Ed Ruscha Retrospective before it ends in January. An ideal excuse to post some pics of modernist gas stations...

Auburn Blvd, Sacramento, Ca. Old Hwy 40

Alum Rock Avenue in San Jose, c. 1960. Lovely engineering, really typifies the space age "Googie" look of roadside architecture. Modern, clean optimistic and confident, I love it.

More European in scale, n'est pas? From the auto museum in Hilversum, Holland

This curved, triangular structure was originally built to be part of LAX, but it now protects drivers filling their tanks at the Jack Colker Union 96 station on Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills, wouldn't be out of place on the strip.

19 December, 2009


The Norwegian Public Roads Administration have to do a bit more than patching potholes and applying overbanding, here they're using a helicopter to eliminate a rock fall hazard for the road below. Later you can see just how effective the catch fencing is.

The helicopter then drops water on the rock face, at Oppdølstranda on Nordmøre, to loosen and remove any remaining smaller rocks that may fall later.

They may be smaller - it's hard to judge scale in such an amazing setting, but I reckon even a 'small' rock could waste your Volvo and seriously ruin your day.

14 December, 2009

I say!

BMW presented another intriguing concept bike at Milan this year, the Concept 6 returns to the idea of a straight six motorbike.

Benelli got there first with the 750 Sei in 1976, probably most well known was Honda's CBX1000 in '78 and Kawasaki introduced the KZ1300 in 1979 but the in-line four was cheaper, simpler, easy to tune and let's face it slimmer. The IL6 faded from the motorcycling world.

A longer engine was never such a problem in a car and for me the straight six typifies a certain kind of classic sports car. With perfect primary and secondary mechanical balance you won't find a smoother engine - it's no surprise that BMW, makers of some of the finest engines that ever turned make great straight sixes for their cars, motors that seem to run on honey and double cream.

I'm starting to think that when I no longer want to fold myself onto an Italian Superbike I'll still want something with some get up and go, just a little bit bit more refined, the equivalent to these great GT sports cars from the old days. I'm not talking about a VFR, I need something a wee bit more louche, with a devilish twinkle in it's eye. What with the demographics of motorcycle riders (certainly in Europe) getting ever older I reckon it could be a booming slice of the market, get to it manufacturers - and at all times ask yourselves "What would this man ride?"

11 December, 2009

Be prepared

Step-through, Clunk 90, the Cub, whatever name or variant you know it by one thing is certain the Honda moped is the foundation of whatever Honda do today. If you ride a Blade, then this is the bike that made it possible - over 60 million sold worldwide (versus a piffling 21.5m Beetles) bankrolled the company
Not so ubiquitous in the UK as they once were, my own memories of the Cub are a slightly embarrassing moped that whats'ername in the cul-de-sac used to go to the shops... of course the rosy-tinted glasses of nostalgia mean that I quite fancy a clean original one now.

And of course a custom sub-culture has grown up. I love this kind of thing... pure aesthetics - there was never any performance to begin with so modifiers concentrate on building a fly ride. So much creativity and style.

These pics are from the ExtendCub Club, found via DSC

Say chee...argghhh!

Motoring photographer Andy Willsheer from Waltham Cross, Herts, was covering the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals drag race in Pomona, California earlier this month.

"I made a split-second decision that it was unlikely to surmount the wall, but with the possibility of the body coming over took a calculated step back and kept shooting.

"Noting the left rear wheel filling one of the frames as the car went by, it seemed to bounce on the wall before falling back on to the track, landing upside down but, strangely, with the body now perched on top."

That's all very very well, but how the hell does he take photos without getting his fekkin' enormous balls in shot?

More details and description from Andy here, I've cobbled the thumbnails together into a simple animated gif.

"It wasn't until the action was replayed shortly thereafter on the big screen that it dawned on me that it would perhaps have been more prudent to take two steps back. But c'est la vie."

08 December, 2009

the cooler king

found at the always great Death Spray Custom blog.

07 December, 2009

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06 December, 2009

Charlott'es new ride

Charlotte's new ride

Charlotte's new ride

02 December, 2009

Lotus test track on Google Street View

How cool is this?

01 December, 2009

Don't forget the Woodruff Key

Although I spend my spare time riding around on a modern Superbike dressed like an Australian's nightmare I have an abiding fondness for Classic Bike magazine. I suppose it shouldn't be that much of a surprise, the first bike I bought was a 500cc Enfield, and it got right under my skin.

But it was a shock to pick up a copy, as I'm wont to do from time to time, and discover that my first Japanese sportsbike now features amongst it's pages as a long-term bike for one of the contributors... Sic transit gloria mundi.

Does this mean that I've crossed some motorcycling Rubicon? (to maintain the sub-Molesworth classical affectation). I may still fold myself onto rearsets and reach for the clip-ons but there is a presence behind one shoulder, an avuncular reaper ready to draw me into the fold... not so much black robes and a scythe as overalls and a Whitworth spanner.

Perhaps not. Although the singlemost delectable enjoyment that Classic Bike magazine can afford is to lie in a very hot bath, with a beer and a fantasy windfall, scouring the small ads to see where I'd spread my imaginary largesse there is one thing I like even more...

...and that is reading the workshop advice pages. Any danger I may have had of raiding the savings to splurge on some Brit-Iron evaporates as I read gorgeous, inscrutable, impenetrable words of advice on maintenance. Your correspondent will mention in a breezy off-hand manner that "...naturally you'll check the Ruskin flange for excessive play that could lead to glazing on the Frampton bearing face if left unchecked..." whilst I read on agog. Terrified. These are men from a different age, and they are always men, who without pause for reflection will employ the term "...you'll need to fabricate a special tool for this procedure...". Argggh!

I find it oddly reassuring, and it never does one any harm to get a cold hard reminder of how dumb you are. It also serves to remind me that whilst I may think whatever motorcycle related story I'm subjecting my girlfriend to in the pub is as clear as day, that perhaps it's not quite as straightforward as I believe.