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Entries Tagged as 'Under the Hood'

Under the Hood: Peter Makar

June 25th, 2010 by Ian

Pictured: Detroit native, former skate rat and pro fabricator Peter Makar, making moves on his home grown cafe racer.

We stumbled into Auto Design NYC on a late Thursday evening a few weeks back. All the usual suspects typically line the street outside of this hi end auto shop in Chelsea; 911′s, DB9′s SL’s etc. Yet on this particular evening, something a little different caught our eyes. It wasn’t a shiny new supercar or even a perfectly restored classic. It was more like a a dirtbike that spoke to us in Italian. And the man behind this beautiful work in progress was happy to greet us at the door. Peter Makar is the passionate owner and talented artisan doing what he does best…fabricating cool shit from scratch during the wee hours of the night. Pete was good enough to invite us in to talk some shop and put away a few bottles of Hoegaarden. Sounds like a good time huh?

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Under the Hood: Bertrand Delacroix

May 5th, 2010 by Austin

Pictured: Art dealer, silk screen artisan and lover of fine Porsches Bertrand Delacroix inside his print shop in the Boerum Hill area of Brooklyn

We peeked into Bertrand’s massive Brooklyn loft with big, stupid grins plastered onto our faces. Why? Because the 16,000 square foot, mixed use building was filled with enough cool toys and hip furnishings to make any grown man blush. There is a hang glider suspended from the ceiling, vintage French mopeds displayed in the foyer, a beautiful wood-carved pool table and humidor and a bunch of over sized modern paintings hanging from the wall. Perhaps coolest of all, there is a 1:1 Porsche to Pug ratio – seriously, there are 3 of each strewn about this amazing bachelor pad. For the record, Bertrand does have a girlfriend and we’re guessing this glorious man palace didn’t hurt in cementing the relationship.

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Under the hood: David Lyon

April 16th, 2010 by Austin

Pictured: GM Executive Director of Interior Design David Lyon inside the 2011 Buick Regal

GM gave us an advance preview of their new Buick Regal before it hits dealerships this May. We weren’t able to drive this particular pre-production unit for fear of the wheels rolling off into Park Avenue traffic, but the sporty-looking sedan definitely has some curb appeal – taught surfaces, an athletic stance, upscale styling cues and a level of interior refinement that goes beyond hard plastic and faux chrome accents. Overall, the aura (no pun intended to Saturn may they R.I.P) is decidedly European, which makes sense considering the Regal started life in Germany as an Opel Insignia [GM’s German subsidiary]. The Insignia has been on sale in Europe for about a year, where it sold more than 140,000 units and nabbed European Car of the Year honors. GM tells us it is often cross-shopped with the Audi A4…not too shabby for a brand that was selling rolling barcaloungers not too long ago. The Regal is also sold in China where Buick has achieved unprecedented sales success and possesses an almost Rolls Royce-like status in terms of prestige.

GM is down to its core brands after laying Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Oldsmobile to rest and selling off Saab to the Dutch. So it seems Buick is more important than ever for the GM brand portfolio. But as any auto marketer will tell you, there is no greater challenge than bringing a once great brand like Buick back to life. If Cadillac stands for luxury and Chevy for mass market quality and affordability, that leaves Buick square in the near-luxury segment currently occupied by the likes of Acura, Lexus and Infiniti. Fresh product and contemporary design seen in Buick Lacrosse and Enclave certainly aren’t hurting their chances based on the younger wave of buyers flocking to Buick dealerships. We caught up with 20-year GM vet David Lyon to get his take on things. Dave currently oversees interior design across all of GM’s brands and was formerly Executive Director of GM Asia Pacific Design where, among other projects, he oversaw the design of the utterly gorgeous Buick Riviera concept. More pictures and a Q&A after the jump.

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Under the hood: Fred Kanter

April 7th, 2010 by Austin

Pictured: Vintage auto parts giant, eccentric car collector and Packard maniac Fred Kanter with his current daily driver, a two-tone 1979 Buick Electra Limited

We arrived at Fred Kanter’s massive Boonton, NJ warehouse early on a Sunday morning. I had seen the old building a million times before while speeding past on nearby I-287 and was always intrigued. You can’t really miss the place – it has a massive Packard sign affixed to the side as if the iconic, and now defunct, automobiles were being manufactured inside. But Fred, an engineer by trade, is in the business of preserving old cars not building them new. Along with his brother Dan, the Kanter bros started their first automotive business, Kanter Auto Parts, in 1960 when they were teenagers. That company is now the world’s largest supplier of new, used, and reproduction parts for vintage American cars.

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Under the hood: Michael Paul Smith

February 1st, 2010 by Stu

Pictured: Professional model maker and classic American car buff Michael Paul Smith posed in front of his miniaturized winter wonderland.

No easy feat, Michael Paul Smith is in the business of recreating the past. But what makes his utterly nostalgic artwork so unique is the fact that it is fashioned in 1/24th scale. Take a look at the photos he has taken of these hand crafted, custom-designed scenes from yesteryear and you will likely have trouble telling them apart from the real thing.  Don’t worry, we did too. He is that good.

Source: Michael Paul Smith Flikr page (photos used with permission)

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Under the hood: Daniel Miller

January 20th, 2010 by Nick

Pictured – Beat reporter, rocker and all around cool guy Daniel Miller and his 1972 Datsun 240Z

In a town known for fakes, phonies and fantastic tales projected at 2.39:1, a man whose job it is to find the truth has a tendency to fall out of focus behind the sheer number of those trying to pass off the fabricated as fact. But when that same man emerges, red-lining it, from the depths of obscurity, behind the wheel of an early 70′s exotic with stretched lines and sleek curves, that man gets noticed. Even if that exotic was paid for in Yen.

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Under the hood: Bob Millstein

December 28th, 2009 by Stu

Pictured – Restoration czar Bob Millstein pulling the tarp off his lovingly rejuvenated Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Bob Millstein - Jaguar XK120

My father and I have been clamoring for knowledge on vintage Jaguar XKs lately. The old man is hot to acquire one of the beautiful sports cars as a sunny Sunday driver and, if my mother asks, an investment that will only continue to appreciate over time. Unlike shopping new, finding the classic car of your dreams means more than a weekend or two of kicking tires at the local dealership. It requires chat room discussions galore, visits to every classic car show you can find and endless thumbing through Hemmings and Sport Car Market. Most importantly, it requires spending inordinate amounts of time with people like Bob Millstein.

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Under the hood: Robbie Pyle

December 24th, 2009 by Nick

Pictured – Robbie Pyle and his 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT

Robbie Pyle and his 1965 ALPHA ROMEO GIULIA SPRINT GT
An Alfa Romeo isn’t exactly the car people picture when referencing a self-proclaimed “skate-rat.” But believe it or not, a dirty skateboard fits just as nicely in the back of a vintage European classic as it does in any other cool car usually associated with younger “hip” kids in LA. However, looks can be deceiving. In a town where appearance is viewed as being essential to status, Robbie breaks the stereotype.

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Under the hood: Monty the Land Rover

December 14th, 2009 by Stu

Pictured – Monty, a ’94 Land Rover Safari Defender, passing through the valley of the East African Rift while on a 14,000 mile adventure from London to Cape Town.

montythelandrover

People tend to choose vacation destinations based on how blue the water is or how pampered they will get at the spa. And for those of us bound to e-mail inboxes and office cubicles, average length of stay is usually somewhere in the week to ten day neighborhood. Ric and his girlfriend Charlie took a slightly different approach to their escape from reality this year. The Shepherds Bush, London-based couple decided to skip the Pina Coladas and all-you-can-eat buffet lines and instead spend six months roaming the earth in their ‘94 Defender affectionately known as Monty. Ric, Charlie and Monty, who left London October 1st, will have clocked an astonishing 14,000 miles when they reach Cape Town in March. That’s about 2,000 miles more than most Americans drive in a single year. As you can imagine, WIFI access is pretty hard to come by but, somewhere between the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, Ric and Charlie were good enough to share their experiences with us.

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Under the hood: Brady Erickson

December 9th, 2009 by Nick

Pictured – Brady Erickson, lead singer of LA-based The Ross Sea Party, in his 1969 Porsche 912.

Brady Porsche 912

When people see older cars in LA, it’s usually on a Sunday. Some old guy taking his prized possession out for a quick run to get the dust bunnies off of it. Once the ride is over, he puts it back, shuts the garage and drives his Lexus for the rest of the week. Older cars are just harder to deal with. After all, the last thing you want to worry about on the 110 is a hot engine or squealing transmission. Well, someone once told that to Brady Erickson, the singer of Los Angeles based The Ross Sea Party, but I don’t think he listened, or cared. His daily driver is a 1969 Porsche 912 and he drives it all over town… EVERYDAY. It’s his only car.

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