7 March 2014
Now you know this blog by now; we go out of our way to find er, out of the way automotive treasures in whatever form they may be in. Well, today's find was by way of a print I was given a few years ago (and which takes pride of place in my office foyer); and quite frankly, I've been hooked ever since.
The artist in question is Yves Krief, who creates vivid photo montages of fantastical urban landscapes. Using real photographs of global metropolises, Krief hybridises these cityscapes to paint an ominous future following the effects of globalism. In his featured series One Hundred Titles, each piece tells a different story about the changing cultures of the city, open to interpretations with a myriad of details.
Born in 1959 in France, Krief first made a name for himself at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris and has received critical acclaim from international exhibitions and art fairs.
In the words of Monsieur Krief:
Through the language of the unconscious, its symbolism and pictorial representations, the density of meanings and color choices that I operate, I tell universal stories with multiple readings, that is why all my pictures have the same name: "a Cent Titres” because In French the word "sans" means (Without) and the word "cent" means (one hundred) in phonétic“cent titres” means without title and also hundred titles.Now, while Krief's art is chock full of disparate and sometimes recurring imagery with new detail that seems to catch the eye on every viewing, it also features some cool cars in prominent and peripheral positions. AMC Javelins, Pontiacs, Edsels, Cobras, Studebakers, Chevys, and several cool bikes feature in some of his art, but as you can see from the examples of his work I show here, Krief's pictures are about so much more than that, and are a feast for the eye and well worth perusing in more depth.
Each of my compositions mission to cross the barrier of delayed memory in order to converse directly with the unconscious of his observer.
Above all the charm must operate either a positive or negative feeling it does not matter.
Initially the graphic balance, harmony of color and aesthetics of the composition draws the eye or disturbed. When close enough, is the diversity of elements or "symbols" that challenge the viewer.
This density function is to misplace it.
Each scene has its own reason for being all melted in a package that appears to be clearly structured and coherent. At this stage the mind is overwhelmed by a mass of information that it is impossible to synthesize, aided by the natural desire we have to give meaning to what we escape, entangled in the maze of signifier, only emotional intelligence can find his way. It follows a form of letting go that allows the unconscious to drag his own reading and observer finally select, albeit unconsciously, only the different symbols that speak to him and make its own resonance history.The picture becomes mirror.
Some more examples below, and more here.
5 March 2014
Words: Amazosan (from raw data here)
From a classic Abarth to a classic Abarth in the making; and also a modern Fiat 500 that I actually like.
Unveiled 50 years to the day after the original 695 was launched, the spotlight was firmly on the new 695 Abarth 695 Biposto ('two-seater') at the 2014 Geneva Show, defined by Abarth as 'the fastest Abarth road car ever built. The 1.4 T-Jet engine packs a 187bhp turbocharged punch, demolishes the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 143mph. The car boasts redesigned bumpers, side skirts, wheel arches and the prominent front spoiler has tasteful carbon inserts made by Zender The satin grey paint might not add to the potent performance, but it sure adds to the menace, while the special aluminium bonnet has two mini humps, inspired by the Abarth 124 Sport Spider. The mirrors are also made of carbon.
The interior embodies the spirit of a racing car and appears to be more hardcore than other manufacturers track-inspired models; to shave weight, the rear seats are long gone, taking with them the air conditioning and radio. The xenon headlights and their control systems and also the fog lights have joined the weight-shedding exodus, along with the electric windows, glass and door winder mechanisms; perspex side windows and air vent slides are pure race car. the interiors als features an MXL digital data logger and special bucket seats with Sabelt 4-point harnesses.
On that racer vibe, that gear shift looks for all the world like its been robbed from a BTCC car, but it's still a H-pattern gear shift, operated by a beautifully machined aluminium selector and capable of clutchless shifts. The five-speed transmission and limited-slip differential are purpose made by race gearbox specialist Bacci Romano; Abarth states that you will indeed need a degree of expertise to get the most out of it - no doubt.
The stinger missile also features a front-mounted intercooler, an Akrapovic exhaust system, Extreme Shox adjustable shock absorbers, meaty Brembo calipers and vented, cross-drilled discs hiding behind 18-inch OZ rims and a titanium anti-roll bar at the rear made by Poggipolini. The 695 Abarth Biposto offers as standard ABS, ESP and TTC and of course the LSD. Three different customisation kits will be offered; the 124 Speciale Kit, the Carbon Kit and the Pista Kit, with each one of them providing a different exterior look and other features.
And some extras: an Abarth 695 Asetto Corse Evolution;
And the original Abarth 695:
3 March 2014
28 February 2014
Words: Amasozan (from raw info here)
Photos: Sabine Welte
An "Old School Freestyle Cafe-Racer" was the theme Michael Stamm originally had in mind in the construction of his Honda CB 750 Four, which the motorbike technician from Ahlen, (a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) had bought in original condition. The bike was intended to be a low-buck 'in-between' project are at the beginning; after all, customer bikes had to take precedent at his Motorradshop Ahlen business roll before he could even deal with their own project. But perseverance paid off, and the attention to detail shown is testament to his skill.
But we have to ask: whitewall tyres on a CB750? "Because I came across a pair of Coker Classic whitewall tyres and I thought they would look great on the bike." With new stainless steel rims spoked to fit the original Honda hubs and beefed up front forks, it was on to find the appropriate counterpart for the handlebar mount The specially developed triple clamp, designed in a 3D modelling programme and milled from EN AW7075 aluminium, was then blasted and anodised. So much for the low-buck approach. The rear suspension utilises Suzuki GS1100 parts to keep up with the upgraded front.
The fuel tank is a work of art on it's own. "I modified the petrol tank, to add to the café racer look", explains Stamm. A bit of an understatement, its an amalgamation of two Honda CB350 Four tanks, extended eleven inches, sectioned 1&1/2 inches and narrowed 1&1/2 inches. The last third of the fuel tank is a dummy; as it houses a Stamm-designed engine oil tank, again 3D designed and made from stainless.
The original 750 four cylinder lump has been completely revised, with 0.75 mm oversize pistons, a modified cylinder head, with bigger valves, porting and polishing, new conrods, main bearings and gears. All this together with a K & N air Filter push power past 80bhp. An owner made 4-into-2 exhaust system is ceramic coated. The ignition has been changed too, with Boyer Bransden electronic ignition, while a brand new custom-made wiring harness was made to accommodate the electrical upgrades and incorporate a trick Motogadget M-Unit electronic control box. Its a digital relay system used for switching of all necessary electrical components that doubles as fuse panel and is operated by push-button controls on the handlebars. That CB350 also provided its rev-counter, housed in a lovely brass housing. Stamm-made? You betcha.
With more power from the engine, Stamm upgraded the brakes to suit; the front was converted from single to double discs, with revised original brake calipers from a '78 CB750, with a cable operated 16mm radial master cylinder from a Yamaha R1 living under the fuel tank. ABM steel braided brake lines are used, while the brake reservoirs are owner-made of carbon fibre.
The all-metal self-made seat compliments the fuel tank, with a owner made rear cover housing the tiny rear light from a 1938 Tornax bike. The frame surprisingly has only minimal changes to the rear,to help tighten up the look from the bulkier look of the original and to account for the lack of pillion eat, and is gold painted.
While no doubt the original premise of a cheap build has well and truly been blown out of the water, we'll think you'll agree that Michael Stamm's attention to detail has created a café racer with a unique twist; you won't mistake this CB750 Four with any other.