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Entries from June 30th, 2011

Garage Queens: Porsche 911 GT3 RS – West 14th Street, NYC

June 30th, 2011 by Aaron

This 2010 911 GT3 RS (RennSport) might be restrained by acres of concrete and metal railings, but it still manages to look blindingly fast while standing still inside of this West 14th street parking garage. The Carerra-based racer is essentially a street legal race car. Seriously, it’s a homologation version of the GT3 RSR racing car used for competition events like Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Hopefully the owner escapes from the concrete jungle once and a while to let this baby stretch out her lightweight flywheel (yes, I’m talking dirty with automotive jargon).

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Bloomington Gold Corvette Show – St. Charles, IL

June 27th, 2011 by Stu

Don’t let the pretty pictures fool you. This ain’t one of those ordinary shows with classic cars frolicking around the fair grounds. Bloomington Gold judges will inspect your 20+ year old Corvette like an overzealous TSA agent trying to make quota at the end of the month. A team of disgustingly knowledgeable judges, each dedicated to a different aspect of the car (interior, engine bay, exterior finish, etc), painstakingly explore vehicle originality through details as specific as engine hose markings and the correct amount of glue overflow that’s supposed to appear inside of a door jab. Seriously, the check list of inspection points took the team a good 35-40 minutes to run through. The goal is to have the least number of points deducted from your overall score as to merit you a Certified Gold rating (within 95-100% of typical factory originality), Silver (between 90-94% are Silver Certified) and Bronze Certified (between 85-89%).  And that was only day 1. Day 2 focused on establishing what Bloomington calls Survivor status. Survivors are unrestored, 20+ years old, can pass a road test of over 20 miles, and remain over 50% un restored, un-finished, or unaltered. Our ’65 Fuel Injected C2 [roadster pictured below] took honors in both categories. A proud day to be certain.

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1954 Corvette Corvair: St. Charles, IL

June 27th, 2011 by Stu

Ever seen a Corvette fastback before? Well, you have now. Spotted in the staging area at this year’s Bloomington Gold Corvette show, the 1954 sea foam green concept car’s slick roofline stands out among regular-bodied Corvettes like Heidi Klum at a weight watchers meeting.  The tired owner, who had just arrived after trailering this baby in from Indiana, tells us it’s one of three known to exist on the planet. Pretty cool. Even cooler, GM used this actual car in their traveling Motorama auto show that ran from ’49-’61.

If Mustang can do it, why not Corvette?

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Reflections of America: Vol. 15 – The Redwoods of Lake Tahoe

June 23rd, 2011 by Stu

It was spring. The receding mounds of snow were part of the seasonal melt. This ʻ36 Plymouth, amazingly the only car in the parking lot, looked especially gorgeous basking in the majestic red woods of Lake Tahoe. The whole scene looking exactly like it could have back in 1936. “The setting really had not changed much in 74 years”, says our resident photorealist Bob Petillo. “A few photos, cropped and combined, made it possible to create this challenging painting. I exaggerated the lights and darks, bringing out the contrast in the reflections and amplifying the sunlight. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the results.” So were we Bob…so were we.

Bob has dropped many a jaw over the last few months with his Reflections of America photorealism series. His painstaking attention to detail and utterly realistic brush strokes defy belief every single time. Next up on the docket, a new series that pays tribute to hood ornaments.

Stay tuned.

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Mercury Cyclone – North Hayworth Ave, Los Angeles

June 14th, 2011 by Aaron

It’s a damn shame that Mercury went from manufacturing bad ass street machines like this to badge engineered Ford clones like this and this.

RIP Mercury. Utterly clean Cyclones like this, and the enthusiasts who maintain them, will keep the Mercury memory alive well into the future.

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Ford SVT Raptor – White Sands & Las Cruces, New Mexico

June 9th, 2011 by Austin

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Volvo 262C Bertone Coupe – NW 9th & Glisan, Portland [OR]

June 7th, 2011 by Emir

Volvo stands for a lot of things. Legendary safety. Sturdy build quality. Quirky Scandinavian design. Soccer moms. But couture styling? Surely you jest. Nope, we’re serious. Say hello to the 262C Bertone Coupe built and sold between ’78 – ’81. Volvo’s first ever luxury coupe, think of 262C as a boxy Swede dressed to impress in a very expensive Italian suit. How expensive? About $2,000 more than a Cadillac Eldorado of the time. Largely based on the two-door, six-cylinder 262GL, the low cut roofline was penned by legendary Italian design house Bertone. The story gets more interesting still. Despite Bertone’s involvement, design inspiration actually stemmed from Lincoln’s disco groovy Mark IV. As the story goes, Volvo was smitten by the handsome American coupe after Henry Ford II traveled to Sweden to inspect their factory in the mid 70s. Despite the low volume (under 7k were built worldwide) and high price tag, the Italian-designed, American-influenced Swede was an important car if for nothing else than creating a foothold for the brand inside of luxury segments. That’s why current Volvo models, like the C70, are able to command $40k from well-to-do shoppers across America. Speaking of the C70, its sensuous body was penned by a little Italian design house you may have heard of…Pininfarina.

 

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Summer in the City Car Spotting Grab Bag -Meatpacking District, NYC

June 3rd, 2011 by Stu

Summer has officially hit the Big Apple and auto buffs from all 5 boroughs are strutting their stuff in a big way. One trip to the trendy Meatpacking district on a beautiful afternoon is proof. Spots included everything from a brand spanking new matte white Porsche GT3 RS and vintage Airstream trailer to a charming old BMW 2002 and classic Porsche Targa. Stay tuned for more exciting spots as the Summer rolls on.

Enjoy the snaps and have a great weekend!

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Reflections of America: Vol. 14 – To Protect And Serve

June 2nd, 2011 by Stu

Acrylic on canvas – 36” x 27”

There are no shortage of mental images associated with the sports car, cop car rendezvous depicted above. Is this cop giving the lead-footed muscle car driver a ticket? Are we at a road block? Is someone getting directions? Getting cuffed? Was there an accident? A baby being born perhaps? As anyone caught in the bumper-to-bumper wake of a nasty rubbernecking delay knows, imagination and natural curiosity can give way to a flood of possibilities.

“The ambiguities of this painting tell a few stories, but it all boils down to the title, To protect and Serve“, says photorealist Bob Petillo about the latest piece in his Reflections of America series. To those of you just joining us, the lustrous photo you see above is actually a painting. Yes, that right, a painting.  It’s okay, our jaw dropped too.

Nice work Bob.

 

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