Friday, November 24, 2017
CLAUDE SERRE (1938-1994) was a celebrated French cartoonist, draughtsman and illustrator. Famous for his bizarre sense of humor and beautiful detailed drawings.
After academic studies, he studied the craft of stained glass for eight years. He then started drawing cartoons and became an illustrator for many French journals, including Plexus, Planet, Hara-Kiri, Lui, Pariscope and La Vie Electrique. He also began illustrating books.
He incorporated his interest in the fantastic into many of his early lithographs, which were published, sometimes exclusively, in many countries including Japan and Germany. He also participated in both group and solo exhibitions.
Claude Serre died at the age of 60 in a car accident.
Many books were published about his work, from which one is titled L'AUTOMOBILE.
His web site with a number of his albums and cartoons you find HERE.
His unique cartoon album L'AUTOMOBILE you can admire HERE .
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Aurelio Lampredi ( 1917 - 1989 ) was very tall for an Italian.
He dressed with the expensive casualness of an English country gentleman.
When he talks to you, he draws with a wet felt-tip as if his mind could not work without the fluent movement of his fingers.
He is, by his own admission, one of the three men most responsible for the car you drove in the last decades (the others being Ferdinand Porsche and Colin Chapman).
His early years at Ferrari
When he went to work for Ferrari in 1946 all unblown racing engines gave about 50 bhp per litre. And in races of 500 kilometers most of them exploded. Yet within a couple of years he increased Ferrari's output to 100 bhp per litre. And they finished every race. First.
What working on aero engines taught him
He was applying the principles he'd learned earlier in his life when designing aero engines (trying to push as much oxygen in as possible and building them so they finish every journey).
He concentrated on improving the airflow into the engine rather than streamlining the body shells as everyone was doing.
"When an athlete's short of breath, he's short of strength", he says. Thus he made the ducts inside the manifold and cylinder head more aerodynamic, so they breathed better.
What goes in must come out
He also redesigned the exhaust system. The faster the exhaust gasses can get out, the faster fresh oxygen can get in.
His idea was the double exhaust system, connected in pairs, and turned like a trumpet to match the inlet. A system still used on all racing cars, Ferraris, Fiats and Lancias today.
The production line
In 1955 he got the opportunity to see if his principles worked on the production line when he moved to Fiat. They worked beyond all their hopes, increasing the output of their engines by no less than 18 bhp. And because they were turning over more efficiently, they lasted longer: an average of 150,000 kms.
Among the many engines he designed from scratch the Fiat 130, the Mirafiori Abarth two litre (World Rally Champion three times) and the 127 Diesel. An early innovation of his was the 124 engine with double overhead camshafts and a timing belt instead of chains.
He subsequently increased this unique engine to 1600, 1800 and 2000 cc's, then used it as the model for the revolutionary 128 engine with a single overhead camshaft and a toothed timing belt.
To this day, many years later, no one has designed a better engine. Enlarged it also powered the Strada and the Lancia Delta.
This kindly giant of a man who originally wanted to be a conductor and still loving the symphonies of the great romantics pondered on the future of the internal combustion engine. Meanwhile he has designed a remarkably quiet, small diesel engine for the Strada. He has blown a series of Fiat 131 to give 130 bhp while respecting all pollution regulations and improving consumption and torque by 35%.
Aurelio Lampredi was the man largely responsible for the engine of most cars in the seventies, eighties and nineties of the former century.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
So, as in many situations.... the lady (then Martijn's girlfriend) determined the final choice for a convertible and combined with his pronounced preference for a Lampredi engine, he decided for a Fiat 124 Spider.
After some research, a specific Spider was bought of which he had the idea that with some "tender loving care" it would be quite the car he was looking for.
And .... also could be their perfect wedding car a few months later !
Anyhow, after his purchase, he found out that the car had made far too many kilometers without any servicing, so in his opinion a direct revision of the engine would be most required.
In that time an acquaintance brought to his attention Phil Ward's book "Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams".
In this "Twin-cam bible" is described in all details how to tune and upgrade a twin-cam engine.
So as you may guess, the revision of the engine of his Spider did not get a simple standard overhaul.
According to his character, doing half-hearted things is far from his nature. And taking the long road improving an engine (and car) to perfection there seems to be no end at all, together with all the information and advises during this almost endless journey: it took him 16 years and 4000 hours !
And yes, meanwhile Martijn & Mariëlle married in another car than their Spider....
Pictures mostly explain more than a thousand words.
So enjoy all visual details of the modifications of Martijn's unique 124 Spider down here and
ON YOUTUBE .
Technical support, advice & survey: Spider specialist Bas Gielen
Zoals zo vaak in zulke situaties.... bepaalde de vrouw (toen Martijn's vriendin) de uiteindelijke keuze voor een cabrio en in combinatie met Martijn's uitgesproken technische voorkeur voor een Lampredi krachtbron, besloot hij dat het dan een Fiat 124 Spider moest worden.
Na wat speurwerk werd een specifieke Spider gekocht waarvan hij het idee had, dat met wat "liefdevolle zorg" het helemaal de cabrio kon worden die hij zocht.
En .... toen ook zijn perfecte trouwauto kon zijn voor over 'n paar maanden !
Hoe dan ook, na zijn aankoop bleek dat de auto heel veel meer kilometers zonder enige service of onderhoud had gemaakt, dus zou een directe revisie van de motor volgens hem zeker dringend noodzakelijk zijn.
In die tijd maakte een kennis hem ook attent op Phil Ward's boek "Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams".
In deze "Twin-cam bijbel" wordt gedetailleerd beschreven, hoe een twin-cam motor opgevoerd en afgesteld moest worden.
Dus zoals je wel kunt raden, kreeg hierdoor de revisie van de Spider-motor niet een gewone "standaard" opknapbeurt.
Overeenkomstig zijn karakter, passen halfzachte oplossingen helemaal niet in zijn aard. En via de weg de motor (en de auto) tot enige perfectie te verbeteren ligt een lange open weg zonder eind, als je alle tussentijdse informatie en goede adviezen ook meetelt: het kostte hem 16 jaar en 4000 uur !
En ja, Martijn en Mariëlle trouwden in een andere auto dan in hun Spider....
Afbeeldingen en foto's vertellen vaak meer dan 1000 woorden.
Dus geniet hierbij van alle visuele details van de modifikaties en aanpassingen van Martijn's unieke 124 Spider hieronder en OP YOUTUBE .
Technische ondersteuning, advies & expertise: Spider specialist Bas Gielen
MODIFICATIONS AND OUTLINE SPECIFICATIONS 1800 LAMPREDI
01 Balanced: crank, flywheel, rods and pistons - 25% lightened flywheel
02 Beta 1600 pistons boost compression up to 10.1 - 2000 Type water pump
03 130tc Fully ported head (specifications Guy Croft)
04 Equalized combustion chambers volume
05 Dimpled inlet to increase air flow, multiple angle valve seats
06 Custom valve guides (B1 copper/zinc/aluminum). These Lubricate under high °C
07 130tc-type head gasket and yield-type head bolts
08 Cam timing 26/66/66/26 lift 9.514. Adjustable cam pulley’s
09 Modified auxiliary shaft
10 Electric full race fuel pump (regulator required)
11 Fuel pressure regulator
12 Creating oil pressure before first run
13 16-Row oil cooler
14 Thermostatically controlled
15 Completely overhauled Weber IDF 40 carburetors
16 CNC machined venturi using copper-calibrated tubes for the fuel intake
17 Installing the venturis
18 Left side upgrade - right side original setup
19 This setup provides torque at high rpm
20 By remaining the original 40 throttle valve there is no loss of bottom power
21 This would happen with a bigger setup (44 mm Weber’s)
22 Port matched intake manifold to prevent airflow obstructions
23 Custom made air horns. Full radius - completely CNC machined, creating more air intake
24 These trumpets are speeding up the airflow enhancing the response of the engine
25 K&N sport filter
26 Electronic ignition with high voltage coil (65000) improving the ignition of modern fuel
27 High performance ignition control module
28 Best standard manifold is the BS1 1600 because of tube-dimensions
29 Ceramic coated to prevent heath build-up (standard manifold only used with standard cams)
30 Most effective standard exhaust system is the 1800
31 Tubes are 50 mm like an Abarth-system
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
"Thank you Aurelio Lampredi for designing such a magnificent masterpiece", Martijn Voigt often said and thought many years ago about the "heart" of his very first car: the Lancia Beta H.P. Executive.
The thrill of this early and exciting automotive experience never left his mind and made the decision for another car in later years, easy: it definitely should have a Lampredi twin-cam engine, Martijn knew for sure.
Martijn's wife Mariëlle - then his girlfriend - suggested with a romantic smile, that it possibly could be a convertible this time and the new car was born, the name: Fiat 124 Spider !
After 16 years and more than 4000 hours of complete restorating and rebuilding: enjoy here Martijn's and Mariëlle's magnificent NEW DAZZLING CREATION .
"Bedankt Aurelio Lampredi voor dit prachtig stuk meesterwerk", zei en dacht Martijn Voigt vele jaren geleden vaak over het "hart" van zijn allereerste automobiel: de Lancia Beta H.P. Executive.
De opwinding van die vroege, allesoverheersende auto-ervaring is nooit meer uit zijn hoofd weg geweest en maakte de beslissing voor een andere auto in latere jaren gemakkelijk: het moest hoe dan ook wéér met een Lampredi twin-cam motor zijn, wist Martijn heel zeker.
Martijn's vrouw Mariëlle - toen zijn vriendin - stelde met een romantische glimlach voor, dat het deze keer dan ook een cabrio zou kunnen zijn en de nieuwe auto was geboren, de naam: Fiat 124 Spider !
Na 16 jaar en meer dan 4000 uren van volledige restauratie en opnieuw opbouwen: geniet hier van Martijn's en Mariëlle's NIEUWE OOGVERBLINDENDE CREATIE .
Friday, June 9, 2017
Last week on June 1, died at the age of 82, the legendary car designer Tom Tjaarda. Legendary? Tjaarda? Not the only car designer from Dutch born origin: there are more famous Dutch car designers nowadays.
In full his name was Steven Thompson Tjaarda van Starkenburg and although he was born in automobile-city Detroit, he was the son of the Dutch Jan Tjaarda van Starkenburg, who once emigrated to the US as John Tjaarda also became well-known as a car designer. About his design studies, known as the "Sterkenberg Series", it is said that these influenced Ferdinand Porsche's Hitler car design and the Volkswagen beetle design. Father John earned finally word-wide fame for the at that time very futuristic looking Lincoln Zephyr (1936).
Tom was a student in architecture at the Michigan University, scouted by the Ghia Design Studios where he was trained on the job in Italy as from 1958. After two years he moved to competitor Pininfarina. In his career he switched several times between these two design houses, via Fiat and Ford finally ending in his own design studio. His remarkable consistent career brought him the unofficial title "last of the gentlemen-designers", not only because he was extremely modest and friendly, a characteristic that all his students would confirm. All his designs were sophisticated and noble, because of their extreme understatement. He designed two Ferrari's of the non-noisy type, the 365 California (1966) and the super-sophisticated 330 GT 2+2 (1964).
And he got worldwide fame by his two amazing elegant sports cars: the almost forgotten Innocenti 950 Spider (1960) and the Fiat 124 Spider (1966) - the latter being such a historic, successful design, that last year a retroversion was launched. Many styling cues recall the original 124 Spider like the muscular front and rear fender, the sharp horizontal rear lamps to the power domes on the hood. Characteristic design details deliberately derived from the original design from Tom Tjaarda.
I MET TOM TJAARDA AT SEVERAL OCCASIONS PERSONALLY IN ITALY AND IN THE NETHERLANDS, ESPECIALLY ( BUT NOT ONLY) TALKING ABOUT HIS FIAT 124 SPIDER DESIGN, WHICH UNIQUE GENESIS HE WROTE EXCLUSIVELY AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE FOR ME.
AND INDEED, THROUGH THE DIRECT CONTACTS I HAD WITH TOM, I CAN SAY THAT HE WAS ONE OF THE MOST MODEST, AMIABLE, SOPHISTICATED AND TALENTED PERSONS I EVER MET.
HE AND HIS WORK WILL BE GREATLY MISSED.
Monday, March 7, 2016
As you might have noticed, I am not spending much time these days to my beloved, time-consuming Fiat 124 Spider blog "La Bella Macchina" since the beginning of this year.
And that has a significant reason.
To be honest, I am too busy in a startup of a new personal adventure: a new enterprise in my old line of business again as a designer and creating craftsman.
So, this is not a goodbye or farewell message, but just an announcement of a temporary time-out.
I do regret daily that I am not able to split up myself and combine the time consuming activities owing to my new business ambitions and my undiminished, lifelong passion for the Fiat 124 Spider.
Although I am 72 years of age, I have all the energy and enthusiasm in the world to make a success of my new thrilling enterprise, because I am eager to go at least FOR ANOTHER 15 YEARS.
Why? Because I strongly intend to reach the age of 87. ( I like that number ;-)) ).
I will be back soon. Ciao !
Monday, January 4, 2016
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Although screensavers are obsolete nowadays, I had a lot of fun making a screensaver of a bunch of new Fiat 124 Spider images. To share this fun with you, I made different zip-files to be able to download and install this screensaver. Make your choice out of either one of these 2 methods:
1. a so-called .scr file ( screensaver file ) that should be unzipped and copied directly in your Windows\Sysnative or Windows\System32 directory dependent on your Windows system and can be downloaded HERE,
2. or a small and easy installation proggie, when unzipped can be installed directly on your system and should be downloaded HERE.
And last but not least, you are able to MUTE SOUND in the screensaver SETTINGS and vice versa.
Enjoy ! ( like I did )
Thursday, November 26, 2015
PROJECT FOR FIAT 124 SPIDER WITH CONTROVERSIAL ACTOR PUT IN THE "DRAWER."
In light of Charlie Sheen’s announcement about being HIV positive, Fiat has decided to shelve plans of rolling out a Fiat 124 Spider ad featuring the CONTROVERSIAL ACTOR
Fiat hired Charlie Sheen to promote the Abarth 500’s US launch several years ago through a commercial called “ HOUSE ARREST ” and recently he was asked to star in a 124 Spider ad. However, it’s highly unlikely the clip will be aired as The Detroit Bureau reports Fiat is not too happy with CHARLIE SHEEN'S ANNOUNCEMENT about being HIV positive. This makes sense since airing the ad would not have a positive impact on Fiat’s image and consequently on 124 Spider’s sales.
Interestingly, an incomplete video of the ad was played on November 3 to reporters gathered at a sneak preview event for the Fiat 124 Spider organized at FCA’S HEADQUARTERS in Michigan. The ad hasn’t aired at the LA Auto Show as marketing chief Olivier Francois has decided to put it in a “drawer of creative material”, according to spokeswoman Diane Martin. She did not exclude the possibility of launching the ad at some point in the future, but obviously this is unlikely to happen soon.
Based on the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Fiat 124 Spider is scheduled to go on sale in United States and Europe in 2016.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
QUANTITY OF 124 SPIDERS WILL BE EXCLUSIVELY NUMBERED !
A FEW HIGHLIGHTING VIDEOS FROM THE LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW:
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Source: autoblog.com / Author: Brandon Turkus / Image credit: Fiat
Dear automakers, please continue making these kind of mistakes. Thanks to what we're guessing is some lax security, the all-new, Mazda MX-5 Miata-based Fiat 124 was spotted taking part in a photo shoot near Santa Barbara, CA.
The images show what we'd consider a fairly simple rebadging job. The 124 gets new front and rear clips that not only harken back to the original 124 (not to mention other Fiat roadsters, like the Barchetta), but also serves to distance this droptop from the rest of the company's US range.
The similarities between the 124 and the car it's based on are even more obvious in the cabin. This is an MX-5 interior with Fiat's big, red badge on the tiller. That means the same quality materials and knob-dial infotainment system that have been so well received in the Miata.
It's under the hood, though, where the Fiat really differs from its Japanese cousin. According to our spy, the vehicle shown here features some kind of two-pedal setup – probably the six-speed Euro twin-clutch used in the 500L and Dodge Dart. Don't worry, though, a six-speed stick will also be on offer. Regardless of transmission, we can expect a 180-horsepower version of the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder offered in the 500 Abarth. And if that's not enough good news, a dedicated Abarth model will likely arrive after launch, which our spies claim will use the 1.75-liter turbo and DCT from the Alfa Romeo 4C.
While this represents a good look at the new 124, we'll probably be waiting until the LA Auto Show in November for the official look. Stay tuned.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Source: autoblog.com / Author: Chris Bruce / Image Credit: Chris Doane Automotive
With fall officially here, the days are rapidly running out for much of the country to put the top down and enjoy a convertible. Fiat apparently wants to take advantage of the good weather while it lasts, given these fresh spy shots of the 124 Spider testing with the roof down.
In terms of styling, these photos show the droptop with an extremely similar look to the ones from July. The roadster still appears to have rounded headlights and a wide grille up front, which the kidney-shaped cladding does nothing to hide. The hood bulge continues to be there, too, and so is the spiderweb-pattern camouflage. However, these new shots let us check out the roll hoops that are visible with the top out of the way, and we even get to see the manual roof in operation. Also, note there are now dual exhausts at the rear, rather than the quad tips from before.
Underneath all this camo and cladding, we know that the 124 Spider shares underpinnings with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. The engine remains a mystery, but competing rumors suggest the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the current 500 Abarth or the 1.7-liter turbo four from the Alfa Romeo 4C. Thankfully, an answer might not be too far away because the roadster is mooted to debut this year, possibly at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. With the latest Miata receiving high praise from critics, the motoring world soon gets to find out whether Fiat can find any room for improvement.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
A few definitions of waiting:
1. to stay in place in expectation of.
2. to not do something until something else happens.
3. to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon.
4. for me it depends on what I'm waiting for : in this case the sooner, the better !
Let's talk again about the new and highly anticipated Fiat Spider:
as the numerous spy photos in recent days, increased sightings of road tests sign that the premiere of the " FIAT 124 " or " FIAT 124 SPIDER " - provided that ONE OF THESE officially registered TRADEMARKS will be the final name of the new two-seater sports car - is fast approaching.
As confirmed in a recent interview by Roberto Giolito, Head of Fiat Design, "the car will look very masculine and to see it one will have to wait just a few months; Geneva Motor Show in 2016 or perhaps even earlier."
Yeah, but what engine will end under the hood of the new Fiat Spider? And what power will get its Abarth variant?
Some American newspapers have even suggested the presence in the range of 124 Spider a turbo version with 1750 Alfa Romeo 4C. Moreover, at first the car was to be born with the snake logo on the hood; that was before the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, SERGIO MARCHIONNE, would owe on the total "Italian and exclusivity mechanical" Alfa.
Exactly for this reason I believe that the engine of the 4C will remain there in its place ( and in the boot of the Giulietta QV ). Because the 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.4 T-Jet FCA, with capacities ranging between 120 and 190 hp, it seems more than appropriate to meet the needs of a very diverse clientele.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website SPIDERSWEB.NL.
THE SPIRIT OF A GENERATION
WHO WAS THERE? WHAT DID THEY PLAY? ( click for more details ).
Saturday was the day of the well-known names such as THE GRATEFUL DEAD, JANIS JOPLIN and THE WHO. The first played their worst concert ever. It was raining and the members of the band got electrical shocks continuously because of the enormous water trouble with all the electrical instruments on stage.
JANIS JOPLIN had one of the highlights of her career that resulted in a definitive confirmation as a rock-icon. For The Who it meant the salvation of the band. Their recently released rock opera Tommy was after all a major financial disaster and only after the triumph at Woodstock their double album was sold like a hot dog.
JOE COCKER ( HERE or HERE ) THE BAND, CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG, TEN YEARS AFTER and others played on Sunday. As the smashing conclusion there was the breathtaking show of JIMI HENDRIX. He started his repertoire at nine o'clock in the morning on Monday and made an unforgettable GRAND FINALE in which Hendrix played and teared apart the American National Anthem by playing through it the sound of exploding bombs, jet planes and machine gunfire as his flaming protest against the Vietnam war.
The massive exodus started after his last chords. It was only after days that the traffic in Bethel was back to normal again.
For the organizers the festival stood for a financial disaster of at least two and a half million dollars. This sum was forked out without blinking the eyes by the Roberts family, that earned back a multiplication of this amount for film rights and many released collection albums in the years after.
Woodstock also became a magical aura owing to the movie made by MICHAEL WADLEIGH.
He rounded up a crew of about 100 from the New York Film scene, including the ( at that time ) unknown movie director MARTIN SCORSESE. Wadleigh couldn't pay them until much later, but he could get them inside the event of the summer. The crew signed on a double-or-nothing basis. If the film made it, they'd get twice regular pay. If the film bombed, they'd lose.
Wadleigh's plot ran like this: Woodstock would be a modern-day CANTERBURY TALE, a pilgrimage back to the land. He wanted the film to be as much about the HIPPIES who trekked to Woodstock as about the MUSIC ON STAGE. He wanted the stories of the young people, their feelings about the Vietnam War, about the times. The stories of the townspeople and the chaos. These would make the film, not just the music.
The movie meant - together with the triple album - free publicity for the artists for many years. When seeing the movie pictures now one realises that the Summer of Love mainly was a spiritual event, because for the human body this Woodstock weekend was just in one word: exhausting.
Despite the rain and the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs there was no violence at the festival whatsoever. The Woodstock festival was the subculture HIGHLIGHT OF THE SIXTIES and of the hippie era.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website SPIDERSWEB.NL.
THE SPIRIT OF A GENERATION
THREE DAYS OF LOVE & PEACE ( click for more details ).
After the deal with farmer MAX YASGUR, the organisation got down immediately but the Bethel residents had read about the worries in WALLKILL: drugs, traffic, sewage and water. Public fury mounted once more. They did not like at all the perspective having ten thousands of HIPPIES in their backyard. A variety of attempts to stop the festival, failed.
The opposition plotted a last-minute strategy to stop the show: a human barricade across Route 17B on the day before the concert. As soon as this news was on national radio the consequences were disastrous: from Tuesday on THE ROADS TO BETHEL were crowded with people on their way to the concert.
The TRAFFIC JAM just grew spectacular in the course of the week. Spectators just left their cars everywhere and camped in gardens and on the festival grounds. Woodstock's momentum was accelerating like a runaway train. At that time, it had progressed so far, any kind of order to stop it would have just resulted in chaos.
On Thursday the organisation found out, that it was absolutely impossible to move the two dozen ticket booths into position because there were already more than 100.000 people walking around, too many cars and abandoned (vacant) tents blocking the way.
"My most vivid memory was that there was this chain-link, CYCLONE FENCE that went all the way around," said Bert Feldman, who was working security on the hill near the Hog Farm base. "I had the uncanny feeling that there were 500 million people there. Suddenly, the fence was no more. TRAMPLED into the mud. It disappeared like magic."
Organizer and promoter Michael Lang said he never exactly decided Woodstock would become a free show. But he did decide to make the announcement. "It was kind of like stating the obvious," he said.
And because of the complete inaccessibility to the grounds in a normal way, all the artists had to be flown in BY HELICOPTER.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website SPIDERSWEB.NL.
In time I will republish most of my files, photos, images, videos and music of my worldwide well-attended former website on this blog again.
THE SPIRIT OF A GENERATION
In the very early years of our FIAT 124 SPIDER a unique music spectacle took place that was unparalleled in history: WOODSTOCK.
Although LIVE 8 was the largest television event held at different locations in the world that mankind ever observed before, at the largest visited location HYDE PARK in London there were no more than 200.000 visitors gathered and cannot be compared at all with the Woodstock crowd where almost 500.000 people shared three days and nights with each other, even in heavy storm and rain !
THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC & ART FAIR in 1969 drew almost half a million people to a pasture in SULLIVAN COUNTY. For four days, the site became a counter cultural mini-nation in which minds were open, drugs were all but legal and love was "free".
The music began Friday afternoon at 5:07 pm August 15 and continued until mid-morning Monday August 18. The festival closed the NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY and created one of the NATION'S WORST TRAFFIC JAMS. It also inspired a slew of local and state laws to ensure that nothing like it would ever happen again.
Gathered that weekend in 1969 were liars and lovers, prophets and profiteers. They made love,
they made money and they made a little history. ARNOLD SKOLNICK, the artist who designed Woodstock's dove-and-guitar symbol, described it this way: "Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And everybody just came."
WHO WERE BEHIND IT
The counterculture's biggest bash - it ultimately cost more than $2.4 million - was sponsored by
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Last year in June, when I made my round trip through North and Mid-Italy with my always loyal, PERFECTLY RUNNING 124 SPIDER, I stayed two days in the small city of FORMIGINE in the district EMILIA ROMAGNA in Northern Italy.
After a wonderful dinner in a superb small restaurant in a nearby hamlet, I consulted - back in my hotel - the local maps and navigation, planning a tour for the next day.
Although I did not plan or intend to visit any (!) tourist town, city, event, monument or touristic sight in MY ITALIAN ROUNDTRIP other than my favorite rural AGRITURISMO accommodations such as olive grove farms and vineyard estates, I found out to my completely unexpected surprise that Maranello was merely 5,7 KM. and Modena 12,5 KM. away from my hotel in Formigine.
Although visiting these places of Ferrari- pilgrimage never crossed my mind, I changed my original planned tour and visited the FERRARI FACTORY , where I blocked the MAIN ENTRANCE for a while, THE STORE and THE MUSEUM in Maranello as well as the museum in MODENA (OLD) and ( NEW ), where at that moment was an extraordinary exhibition of "100 years of Maserati" in a dazzling FUTURISTIC BUILT MUSEUM , the MUSEO ENZO FERRARI MODENA.
Talking about pilgrimage: In Maranello I met a nice couple from California who exclusively came to Italy to visit THESE TWO FERRARI EXHIBITIONS only. (Sorry for the short ad right at the start)
I experienced not only the story of Enzo Ferrari told by a spectacular 360 degrees video, which with a total of 19 projectors captivated me completely ( see HERE for a short summary of this amazing show ) and placed the car models on display in their historical context alongside the men and drivers who created and drove them, but I admired also the most famous Maserati models on display in its CENTENARY MASERATI history.
A unique exhibition that was opened just THREE DAYS BEFORE on June 19. 2014.
And to be honest, looking back I was really glad I changed my route for a few days.
It was just one of my not-planned but great surprises during my SPIDER ROUND TRIP in Italy.
Monday, August 3, 2015
From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
More recently, another American has shaken up the Italian status quo. Mr.JASON CASTRIOTA hails from the New York City area and took an internship at Pininfarina while still a student at Art Center College of Design. When his internship ended, he dropped out of school and stayed in Torino as an employee where he worked on the FERRARI 599 GTB FIORANO as well as other clients’ projects.
His work was so appreciated that he was named Head Designer for Special Projects. It is there that he executed what may be his best-known work: The FERRARI P4/5 BY PININFARINA. It was based on the FERRARI ENZO ( and HERE ) but completely redesigned to pay homage to the FERRARI P3/4 ( and HERE ) endurance racers of the 1960s. Additionally, Castriota designed a one-off FERRARI 612, AS A SOPHISTICATED LADY ( or HERE ) called the Kappa based on the Scaglietti and bodied entirely out of aluminum.
To see more of Castriota's creations, click HERE and HERE.
Now let’s be clear: Ferrari is a purely Italian phenomenon.
But it’s Ferrari North America’s sixtieth anniversary and like LUIGI CHINETTI SR. and JUNIOR contributing to Ferrari’s success during the early days, we’re recognizing a couple of American contributions to the storied marque in the field of design that might be surprising to some.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
North America has long been Ferrari’s most important market and even from the beginning they had one eye keenly fixed on American tastes. But it hasn’t strictly been a one-way road. Even the first North American distributor, Mr. Luigi Chinetti sometimes requested special cars be built that he knew would sell briskly in the US.
One aspect that has always remained firmly in Italian hands is the styling though, right? Yes and no. Ferraris have always been designed in-house or by Italian coach builders like Pininfarina, Scagletti, et al. But famous American designers have made significant contributions to Ferrari’s design language by their employment within the design firms. And this isn’t a new phenomenon either; it began with TOM TJAARDA in the early 1960s.
Tjaarda seemed destined to be a designer from birth. His father, John, was a car designer, and in an industrial design class as an architecture student at the University of Michigan the younger Tjaarda impressed the teacher so much that his teacher shared Tom's model with his friend, then-head of design at CARROZZERIA GHIA , LUIGI SEGRE. Tjaarda received an offer of employment as a result of the one model and moved to Torino, Italy. In his first couple of years at Ghia, he designed several concepts and production cars for firms such as Innocenti and Renault. Following some work for the city of Torino’s ‘ ITALIA 1961 DESIGN EXHIBITION ’ Pininfarina snatched him up.
And while he worked on a variety of projects for a few different clients, among his most memorable are the 1964 FERRARI 330 GT 2+2 PININFARINA SERIES 1 and the ’66 FERRARI 365 GT CALIFORNIA ( see also pictures below ). The CALIFORNIA replaced the 500 Superfast and was built on the same chassis but equipped with a cabriolet top for an open-motoring experience. It debuted at the 1966 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW but sadly ONLY FOURTEEN 365 Californias were ever produced.
From a recent article on CNN - Style:
PININFARINA'S 10 GREATEST DESIGNS FROM ITS 85-YEAR HISTORY
The Italian studio Pininfarina designed the twentieth century's greatest Ferraris and through their work with the Prancing Horse -- plus the likes of Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, BMW and Maserati -- helped define the emotive Italian style of the mid-century sportscar.
On the company's 85th birthday, CEO PAOLO PININFARINA, the fourth patriarch of the family to head up the company since its founding by BATTISTA "PININ" FARINA in 1930, looks through the almost 1000 automobiles sculpted by Pininfarina to bring us its 10 most striking creations.
" The 10 icons I selected... are not necessarily the best, the ' top 10, ' says chairman Pininfarina, " they are to me probably the most emotionally involving."
Friday, July 10, 2015
" I TRANSLATE CLASSICS IN A CONTEMPORARY DESIGN LANGUAGE "
The Hungarian DAVID OBENDORFER ( 40 ) attended the University of Art and Design in Budapest and now works as a ship-designer in Bergamo, Italy. In his spare time he interprets and remodels the design of car classics in a new way.
His studies are causing a furore. The ship-designer David Obendorfer is creating in his spare time automobile neo-classics that do homage to their four-wheeled ancestors - so far, unfortunately, only virtually.
Actually, David Obendorfer has no idea about cars. Or almost none. Except for a six-month apprenticeship at Alfa Romeo, which finalised the Hungarian-born after graduating from the University of Art and Design in Budapest, he had been in no contact with the car industry.
In his professional life Obendorfer - as employee of OFFICINA ITALIANA DESIGN in Bergamo - is designing extremely luxurious yachts for the "financially happy few" in the world.
But while others after daily closing time in the car-free Città Alta Bergamo are enjoying a glass of Chianti, Obendorfer is devoted behind closed doors to his passion, creating neo-classic automobiles.
That is to say : He is wrapping up legendary Chrome Jewels as the BMW 2000CS ( + VIDEO ) , the RENAULT 4 ( + VIDEO ), the FIAT 127 ( + VIDEO ) or the FIAT 500 ( + VIDEO ) in a modern shell, without breaking with the tradition of the former style icons. And should not exist a model, as in the case of the Fiat 500 Spider, it will be redesigned by Obendorfer in a retro style look.