Monthly Archives: November 2012

A110 of the day.

For many of the new readers, you should know I am *obsessed* with the Alpine A110 (and Alpine as a marque in general). that is all.  My general interest in automotive topics continues to wither and fade, but Alpines and Audis seem to be completely immune to this destructive force.

src:  renault classic

 

 

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resurrecting the gentleman’s ballad: “Drop Anchor”.

I’ve never really been a ballad-loving person, however I have always had a soft spot for the sweet sounds of sophistication and true feeling.  Martin Rossiter used to be the singer in the mid-90s band GENE; one of my favourite bands from the much remembered world of Britpop.  Martin just released his 1st debut solo album today entitled “The Defenestration of St. Martin”…..full of piano, the thoughts of a gentleman, and laid out with the elegance and grace expected of Mr. Rossiter.  It is a beautiful album, a soulful album…..do go listen.

buy the album on iTunes and HERE

the first single, “Drop Anchor”:

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Strobe.

This is a fantastic track by Almeeva entitled “Strobe”, from their 2nd EP named EP2.  Swirly helicopter effects laden guitars and driving minimalist beats……perfect music for a mobile spy.  Sharp video as well.

more info HERE

 

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Sandy vs. Taxi.

I spotted this last week while walking around Brooklyn.  A gentleman who walked by told me they had just removed a tree off this taxi as a consequence of Hurricane Sandy a couple of weeks ago.  Brutal.

 

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black friday = day to put on winter wheels.

For some people ‘Black Friday’ represents a ridiculous day of USA consumerism with people falling over themselves to save $5 on a rubbish sweater for someone they despise anyways….for me, black friday means it is the day to get my matte black winter wheels on my daily workhorse;  my 2012 Audi A3 quattro.

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A310.

Normally i despise when people put terrible music into track videos—-but in this case, Ducrot Pascal has put the terrific boss tune “To Lose My Life” by White Lies which is a perfect match for the wonderfulness which is the Alpine A310.  Nicely sorted, mate!

and here’s a bonus: White Lies performing “To Lose My Life” LIVE on Fearless TV.  I saw them live in NYC a couple of years ago at CMJ and they were superb live.

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joining the stable: Leica M5.

As you may have noticed, i’ve become quite enamored with photography these days.  Here is my latest purchase, a like-new, mint condition Leica M5.  To me, this is THE coolest Leica M camera ever made (along with the M Monochrome….dream on!)….i’d been wanting one for a while—-and now I have a shiny, perfect example of one purchased as NM/new old stock!  Still working on the first roll of B&W film.

It’s a strange feeling taking photos and not previewing them digitally on the screen instantly; BUT it makes for a really great partner to the wonderful M8.1 I have been using these days.  Digital and film; the best of both worlds! I am very happy with this combination.

I also have a Chiyoda Kogoku Super Rokkor 50mm F1.8 LTM lens on order, which will be then going onto the camera.  For now, I have the CV 35mm F1.4 mounted…..temporarily.

Let creativity flow!

Leica M8.1 & M5:

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view006.

been a pretty shitty and a pretty busy week!  Yet still, I am a spy of the world

Leica M8.1 + 40mm Summicron

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B8 RS4 spotted in the USA.

This is THE sexiest and most exciting Wagon  (Avant in Audi language) on sale right now….and having been forbidden for as long as it existed, could this be the first time that Audi is thinking of importing an RS Avant to US shores?  Look at those fenders.  Wicked.  Fruitfully spotted by our friends at Quattroworld at a recent GTG.

There is now a FB page devoted to getting people to join; to convince Audi of America there is a market for this car.  I, for one, am severely interested!  I am currently on the order list for a 2014 Audi S3, however if I was told this would be arriving I would have to re-evaluate things!  The Facebook petition worked for the TT-RS, did not work for the RS3, but let’s hope it works for this.

Dear AoA:  Take the steps we all want you to take.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when the 8P RS3 did not come to the US market, and it would be a shame if the B8 RS4 Avant doesn’t come here either.  These are the cars we want and will pay money for!  

Join the FB page HERE

HA! “you just got beat by a wagon” sticker at the top of the back window!

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carl fudge.

Very, very cool.  Heavily influenced by Vorticism.

“The works presented by Carl Fudge follow the success of his exhibition The Black Country, presented by Galerie Richard in New York in 2011. Fudge is recognized as one of the first painters to incorporate digital processes into his technique. Fudge’s work refers to an area in the West Midlands of England. This region became intensely compromised during the industrial revolution, as coalmines, iron foundries and steel mills had left their black mark on the landscape. Fudge found inspiration in a series of woodcuts picturing this region by artist Edward Wadsworth, a member of the avant-garde Vorticism movement. Wadsworth’s woodcuts of slagheaps and furnaces provide a point of departure for Fudge in this new group of paintings and woodcut prints. Fudge’s ability to retain the influence of Wadsworth’s traditional woodcuts, even while deconstructing them through a digital process, is truly fascinating.  Because this series uses mostly a red palette, the viewer may decipher images of a crumbling city plagued by turmoil. In this way, this exhibition has a pulse that strikes a chord with the economic crisis we find ourselves in today.”

Galerie Richard

 

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M5 brochure.

No, not that M5—-the 1971-1975 Leica M5.  Some of my favourite excerpts from an original M5 brochure.  In my opinion, the most beautiful camera ever made by Leica!

src: keh

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view005.

me and my trusty M8 .1 + Summicron 40mm

 

(below with new 39mm Leitz Orange filter, which i’m sort of in love with at the moment.  Bought it for B&W photos, but am starting to use it for orange tint)

 

 

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BeoSmart phone concept.

Well here’s an idea by designer Hugo Andre Costa Fernandes Vieira which incorporates a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, Leica 12 mp CMOS digital camera, Gold headphone jack (?), and a 3.5 inch OLED display mated to an Android OS to create what is known as the ‘BeoSmart‘ concept mobile phone.

Well it’s not a real phone, yet…and while i’m not generally a big mobile phone enthusiast, i do use my iPhone quite a bit and it is arguably the most important and useful device I use on a daily basis.  I have been daydreaming of a really kickass camera mated to iOS for a while (although the iPhone camera is no slouch really)—-however a Leica mobile phone camera?  My wallet is ready for action.

I doubt this will ever get made…as Leica doesn’t strike me as a company that interested in stepping down to mobile phones.  That being said, i can see them putting their name on a mobile phone camera lens like they do with some of the entry-level Panasonic point-and-shoot cameras.

src:  yankoDesign

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Renault, Caterham, and details of ‘new’ Alpine coming soon.

(above  and below renderings by Volatile Vertex)

A press conference has been scheduled for November 5th (Monday) to be co-hosted by Renault and Caterham to discuss the details of the upcoming Alpine project.  Very exciting news indeed.

Here are some of the ideas being thrown around:  Weight of a little over 1 tonne (!!), target launch 3-5 years from now, 200-250hp, less than 4.3 meters long, and that it will “look like the A110 Berlinette”.   5,000 to 10,000 units per year.  Target price of 35k-40k Euros. Very exciting.

There are some questions over what the functions of the original Dieppe Alpine factory would be, if the entire task of the new Alpine’s construction and engineering are left to Caterham.  More details as they evolve, obviously.

 

(above photo via Renault Sport’s FB page)

UPDATE:  Renault and Caterham have revealed that they will both get a version of the upcoming Alpine.  Theoretically the car will likely be a roadster for Caterham and a coupe for Alpine (sounds right!).  Prices will be low (under 40k Euros), and most interestingly—-Caterham now will take a 50% stake in Alpine as a marque!  I find this last sentence very interesting.

src:  lePoint, expatica

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Lancia is finally dead.

After years of punishing, brutal and inhumane torture against the legacy of Lancia; easily one of the finest marques of automobiles ever to exist.  Sergio Marchionne has finally unleashed the final blow and has announced that he is killing off the Lancia marque.  Finally, the marque will not be insulted by minivans and over-the-top rebadged 300C sedans.  I am quite frankly relieved after seeing the marque decay over the past decade especially.  There was hope with the 2003 Fulvia Concept, but after that project was killed off—-it all went to regurgitated scum.

Read about it at Truth About Cars.

(photo by D-negative)

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Leica ABCDE (1970) and Leica S1 (1996) prototypes.

Well here are 2 very strange prototype cameras.

The Leica ABCDE looks like a GREAT SLR design from 1970 (albeit with possibly the worst name ever for a camera…lol).  Why didn’t they use it? I haven’t the slightest clue.  Not much is known about this concept, however it was seen on a Leica Factory Tour in 2009 by DPReview.com (the link to their tour, unfortunately, does not work—however the pictures are found in search).

 

The Leica S1 (below) from 1996 has to be one of the least useable camera designs ever!  I cannot even imagine focusing while holding a gigantic ring—-or maybe it’s genius!?  Who knows….all we know is that it seems to have cool digital buttons on the top.  The colour is right as well.  It may make for a nice steering wheel though.

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1969 Pininfarina Sigma Grand Monoposto F1.

Well that’s a bit of a mouthful.  So what happens when Pininfarina decides to design an F1 car for Ferrari in 1969?  This happens!

and in its most recent state:

 

foto src: carStyling

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Deconstructed.

Todd McLellan does  some really cool deconstructions and shows the extraordinary detail of things we consider ‘ordinary’.   He has some videos on his site as well…so make sure you check them out.

 

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