Video: Porsche 911 onboard - East African Safari Classic

Written by Kurt Schleier | Sunday, 29 December 2013 18:02

Winter is a good time to drive a rally, especially when the rally is held in November and called the 'East African Safari Classic'. At the end of November this year hordes of classic cars and owners/drivers flocked to Mombasa, Kenya to start the 9 day rally going through Kenya and Tanzania. Interestingly the rally saw the participation of a couple of rally legends from an earlier era; Stig Blomqvist and Björn Waldegård. Blomqvist failed to win, coming second in a Porsche 911, while Waldegård crashed out of the competition on day 3. Another high-profile competitor was seen in the shape of Pink Floyd drummer and car collector Nick Mason. Mason took part in a Nissan 240Z, but failed to make much of an impression and finished at the end of the pack after a couple of action-filled days. Surprising was perhaps the large number of Porsche 911s taking part. One such 911 was driven by Bernard Munster and co-driven by Johan Gitsels. Fortunately the car was kitted out with an onboard camera, of which you can see the result in the video above. A 36 minute video of a 911 tearing right through a beautiful piece of african Savanna, what's not to like?

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Photography: Air Drive - Renaud Marion

Written by Kurt Schleier | Thursday, 14 November 2013 16:29

PorscheAirWe stumbled upon a selection of rather intriguing photos of French photographer Renaud Marion. 'Air Drive' is the appropriate name for the set of photos that includes a range of classic cars floating in the air. Clearly, it took a long time to photoshop the cars to absolute perfection; all cars have lost their wheels and had their wheel arches filled up. The original designers of the cars would probably have liked their cars to look like this, sleek and to the point. Disposing of wheels, those practical but, ultimately, aesthetically (not to mention aerodynamically) cumbersome and obstructive elements that automotive design has to accomodate for. On some cars the novel shapes, smooth as they are, create an inimitable sense of litheness. What has been created are, in a sense, the automotive equivalents of Aladdin's flying carpet. Simply put, the photographer has added a sense of fantasy to a practical good. Though, it is hardly a novel fantasy, flying cars have fascinated designers and artists alike for many years.

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Goodwood Revival 2013 - Some Reminiscing

Written by Kurt Schleier | Saturday, 19 October 2013 17:40

rsz img 0763Perhaps stating the obvious, this year’s Goodwood Revival was a rather extraordinary event. It generally is. The Revival never disappoints in terms of cars of course, it can’t really disappoint seeing the selection of cars that turn up on Goodwood’s tarmac every year. Although, the line up of cars might have been a tad less eccentric than at last year’s edition; who could forget that grid full of 1930s Silver Arrow Grand Prix cars? There was no Auto Union or Mercedes-Benz to be seen this year. Instead, crowds were offered several Ford GT40s which, is a great organisational feat of course, but frankly, they don’t really float my own personal boat. Though, for me, the drivers more than made up for it with some splendid racing.

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The Goodwood Revival 2013 - Darkness in the paddock

Written by Kurt Schleier | Thursday, 10 October 2013 18:54

9760683583 5ac91b4d29 cStaying on at events until the sun goes down is generally a good idea as a photographer. On the Friday evening at this year's Goodwood Revival it allowed me to take photos of the cars in the paddock with stunning ambient light and no spectators whatsoever to ruin the shots (ruin is perhaps a tad strong as the people at the Revival make the Revival with their generally gorgeous attire). Add some typical English weather during racing and voila, the raindrops that had formed on the cars added texture to the cars' surfaces in a way I had not experienced before. Combined with the simple, yet effective, lighting in the paddock 'sheds' I was able to do what you see in this post. If only I had brought my tripod!

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Magic Body Control vs Citroën DS

Written by Kurt Schleier | Sunday, 29 September 2013 15:13

If you've been onto a contemporary car blog this week chances are you might have bumped into Mercedes-Benz' ad propagating its new Magic Body Control system through the medium of a chicken (made by ad agency Jung von Matt). A chicken? Yes, several chicken in fact. It illustrates Mercedes-Benz' intelligent suspension system which makes sure that the body stays level whatever surface might be thrown at the car. Or as Mercedes-Benz put it: "MAGIC BODY CONTROL combines the advantages of the active suspension system Active Body Control (ABC) with the globally innovative ROAD SURFACE SCAN function – a stereo camera that scans the road ahead and registers the road surface and its condition." Indeed, very much so, fortunately they made an ad illustrating the concept in a way that even the most out of touch with car technology can understand (see above). It actually made me think of another car, a car famed for its ability to cross even rough terrain smoothly. If we go back into time a little, well quite a bit actually, and stop in the 1950s, the French produced a certain car called the Citroën DS (that sculpture car we exalted not long ago in another post). You know, that car with the hydropneumatic suspension system, arguably enabling the smoothest ride of the time. Remember the videos (if you speak German then look here)?

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