all photos taken by Syed IEDEI.
This is YAKUTSK in Siberia. Is it really that cold, you ask?
“No other place on the planet experiences the temperature extreme found here: in winter, the temperatures regularly fall to minus 40° (the coldest temperature recorded was -64°C) and in summer often reaches temperatures above 30°C”
Yakutsk has a population of 270,000 people (!).
Photographs by Steve Iuncker
Read the rest of the story and pics at: TIME
Buzzfeed has a very cool list of the “33 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places In The World”. Here are some of my favourites from that list. Check out their article for the locations and the rest of the list.
Today I had some time to kill while waiting for an annual NYS car inspection for the TT, so i walked over to a bookstore and saw a book of B&W photographs by Tseng Kwong Chi and was struck by their coolness. These photos were taken in the 1980s and published in a series known as East Meets West.
To me, he comes across like a futuristic asian tourist-slash-government official investigator! brilliant.
Firstly, i detest taking the NYC subway. Having said that, I will concede that it is the most efficient way to get around NYC, as well as the cheapest. But it is dirty, too congested, unpredictable, chaotic, and most of all a deposition of individuals into mass movement. I am not compatible with mass movements or mini-migrations of sorts. I will assume that either you think I am (A) looking down upon commuters or (B) am an elitist. The first is definitely not true, and the second is up for debate.
I did, however, enjoy these photographs by Daniel Zvereff taken in the subway.
I am struck by the beauty of this video. A beautiful country with a deep, rich, and beautiful culture which has been stranded in a state of perpetual, drowning, overwhelming conflict and war for many, many years. Will it ever end? For the sake of the young and of the hopeful—I would like to imagine there a solution that doesn’t involve more bombs, tanks, landmines, and guns.
I am a city person—I want the lights, the sounds, the smells, the chaos, the industry, the cars, the madness, the neverending spirit of a big city that never relaxes. Sure it can sometimes be extremely frustrating to live in a city like New York City—but i wouldn’t have it any other way. I drive through insane traffic every day…and it’s never easy…but I still enjoy it. A young gentleman should be firing his engines through the streets of a bustling city. All of these things become extra-cool at night!
Here’s a pretty lovely video by NASA from a few years ago showing how major cities look at night, from far out in the sky and from space. Pretty cool stuff.
here’s another great video:
I am quite fond of leather and suede—the feel, the chemically treated smell, the wearing patterns, and the differences in quality and texture. The other day I found myself searching for explanations of how leather is made, and I found a couple of interesting videos—-3 videos which could not be contrasted any better, but all three of them beautifully filmed in their own way. Most excellent.
I was thoroughly intrigued when I was told about Gerard Gombert by my friend Misi from the superb Stipistop. At first i was enthralled and so excited to learn that a hardcore automobile enthusiast and hermit had aggregated a massive collection of glorious race cars, sports cars, and supercars. My excitement soon turned into anger when I read this written on Forocoches by “Felishuko” (who assumingly took some of the following photos):
“The sad part is that none of this is available and that after his death, his will says, “the whole lot will be crushed.”"
Excuse me while I put my *face in palm*. Let me just show you a bit of what exactly lies in his garden junkyard. The photos are of graphic degredation and deterioration, especially when understanding what the ultimate fate is going to be of these cars. Mr. Gombert is said to be an old-school race car driver himself; so then we can assume that he is the real deal.
I will also extend a word to Mr. Gombert (who will likely never read this!) saying that If you are worried about someone monetizing these cars into something and using them to achieve wealth, I can promise you that there are enthusiasts in the world who will NOT do this….they don’t exist at RM auctions, Christie’s auctions, or any other high-brow, artificialized trader market—they do exist in the hearts and minds of true enthusiasts who don’t love cars for money; they love cars for their history, engineering, design, and the feeling they provide. In fact, some of them at least deserve places in a museum as you’ll see in the photos below.
These cars are serving life in prison, with no parole, and ready for the death sentence:
Alpine A110s (oh the horror…..)
Lotus 30 (oh man…):
At least 2 Lamborghini Miuras (not pictured)
but by far….the most painful thing kept in this junkyard is the 1968 Le Mans class-winning Alpine A210. IT MUST BE RESCUED!
thanks to Misi for tipping me about this!
I know I post a lot of Group B stuff…..but honestly it NEVER gets old…..i think as time goes by, that era of Group B rally will be looked back upon even more fondly than it already is—–as an era of classic rally cars which were overpowered and supercool. This video, in addition to Group B cars, also shows other rally cars which post-dated Group B rally.
This video by Tadej P is filmed beautifully in San Marino. Yes there is some music in there, however it isn’t too intrusive and serves more as background. It’s nice to see some Group B cars in action—-in a video which doesn’t look like it was ripped using a 25 year-old VHS cassette!
also check out Tadej’s super photography on Racemedia
Drive‘s Alex Roy goes to El Salvador to learn about the car culture there….very entertaining!
Finally after hearing hype for the past several years about the legendary Audi R8, I finally was able to get an unhinged, 30 minute drive of the R8 V10 Spyder during my fantastic trip to Petit Le Mans this past weekend.
So let me be very straightforward like a bow and arrow when I say that all the hype you’ve heard about the R8 is very much true. This was quite simply one of the greatest cars i’ve ever driven, and i’m not just saying this because it’s an Audi—–i’m saying this because this has to be the greatest combination of driveability, exclusivity, desirability, and character in a car i’ve felt in a long time.
I’m not a convertible type of person, and originally I had asked to take a Coupe out for a spin, however when I was welcomed to the area to pick up my car—it was a black V10 Spyder they had signed me up for, and hey I wasn’t complaining. So on a day where it was 70 degrees and perfect harmony—-i was given the wheel of the R8.
Upon taking a seat in the R8, what struck me instantly is just how fantastically Audi the car was—-the mirror settings, seat settings, climate controls, steering wheel, gauge cluster—-it all felt familiar, and It felt like a direct descendant of my MK1 TT quattro and my 8P A3 quattro. Audi make the best interiors in the business, and the R8′s was no different—–extremely well made, easy to settle into, and easy on the eyes. I felt right at home.
The first 5 minutes of driving were taken with ease while I tried to understand WHY the R8 V10 felt so stable, comfortable, and easy to drive. Could it really be this laid back? Then as my shoes drove down on the accelerator pedal, I began to hear what was lurking behind me in the mid-engined glory of that 5.2L V10. The most beautiful, symphonic V10 symphony…..slowly rising as the accelerator depressed. It didn’t take me long to realise that I was driving a hugely powerful car with massive amounts of grip and control, and I couldn’t help myself to pounding on the accelerator a bit more. The sound I heard bellowing out from behind me has to be one of THE great sounds i’ve heard on any drive—–the most beautiful velvet growl and organic roar. The throttle response was instant, the grip was severe and complete with confidence never lacking.
One of the great feelings was planting my shoes into the accelerator at full throttle (to the floor) and hearing the V10 at maximum power, the power felt endless, the sound was blistering, and that’s when I understood why someone would buy a Spyder over a Coupe, because the sound that one gets from driving the Spyder is just f*cking sweetness. On that day, in that car, I’d choose the Spyder. And you will certainly NEVER hear me ever pick a Spyder over a Coupe in any normal state. The brakes? They were phenomenal. Instant stop with big bite. The steering was very direct, more than any other Audi i’ve driven—–besides my control-arm modified TT. The car just felt extraordinarily balanced.
The V10 Spyder I drove had a sequential manual gearbox, which is essentially a single clutch manual transmission with sequential shifting (R-Tronic). I thought the gearbox was going to let me down—-but it didn’t. Each gear is shifted like a manual, and jolts the driver (even more so than a regular manual) and shifts instantly. It feels like a race car—-and to me the R-Tronic is very impressive. More so than I expected—–but that being said, i’m a HUGE fan of these electronic manual transmissions. They are better than manuals and to me, just as enjoyable.
Negatives? I honestly can’t think of any. I have been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think of some, but the only things I can think of is that I wish the wheels were darker, and that the windshield wasn’t surrounded in silver. Aside from those small cosmetic issues (which can easily be changed), there is nothing lacking in this car….
So all in all, the R8 is an absolute sensation. So easy to drive, an amateur can drive it—–but so vivid and entertaining that an enthusiast can envelope themselves within it. I was speaking with a regional Audi representative about the R8 named Paige (sp?) who told me that in a huge Northeast snowstorm last year—–she drove out into the storm, in an R8 Coupe, on an evening where nobody was on the road—she got to a restaurant to pick up some food and registered looks of shock on the faces of everyone at the restaurant. It’s not just a sports car, it’s a car for every place and every setting. Do I want? Yes I want. Can I have? No, not yet. Give it a couple of years! I need time to gather up $150k+! Is it one of the best sports cars in the world? Easily—–is it better than a 911 Carrera or Carrera S? Easily….is it better than a 911 Turbo? I haven’t driven a 911 Turbo so i can’t say…but I can imagine it would be a good comparison. That being said, all I know is that it’s easily the best car i’ve ever driven.
(photo from WSJ of proposed location of track)
(thanks to Stampchez [qw] for the tip!)
Being a NYC resident, i’m hugely excited by this article. We have heard this all before, as a couple of years ago there was some buzz about F1 coming to Liberty State Park in New Jersey—-but this time, there seems to be some positivity regarding the possibilities.
DO IT BERNIE, you sad old geeza!
an F1 car!
Well yes, this was the debut of IEDEI at a major auto show—I must thank JoshD from Quattroworld for setting me up with my media pass. Much appreciated indeed! at IEDEI you will not get photos of ‘every car’—-instead you will just get the ones i thought were interesting!
Some observations about the cars I saw at the Auto Show today:
A) I looked at and sat in A LOT of cars today and came up with a conclusion—–I like very few of them. I tried to only really take photos of the ones I either found interesting or appealing in some way.
B) The interior quality of most cars is quite frankly woeful. When I sat inside of a Boss 302 Mustang, I was quite frankly amazed at how badly made the interiors really are of these cars. I KNOW that this is not the point of them—and yes I know that none of this matters when one is aiming for lap times and stop light drag racing. However, IEDEI looks at the whole picture for inspiration—-and if a car has such a huge glaring gap in its merit, I simply cannot be bothered to care. After the show, i got into my Audi TT, and felt relieved to be in such a nice place! Not to say there were not nice interiors at the show, there were (Mercedes, Audi, GT-R, etc…) but most were lacking.
C) Surprises of the day? I sat in a Nissan GT-R for the first time in my life—–and you know what? I absolutely LOVED it. The interior felt like a true sports car, with amazingly high quality construction, fantastic seats, and the most amazing tactile paddle shifters I have ever felt on a car—–with raw brushed metal stalks. The car felt great to sit in—and to be honest I am compelled to take one for a test drive…soon hopefully!
D) the Kia Optima felt like an Audi—honestly the quality of their interior blew me away, and I think that Peter Schreyer (ex-Audi designer) has really upped Kia’s game when it comes to quality of product. I don’t care for Hyundai much—–but when i took a seat in the Kia Optima, it felt like an interior that was twice the price of the car. Nice one, Kia.
E) the Scion FR-S—-stunning.
F) VW Beetle: dissappointing. Terribly cheap and tacky interior. Not worth the hype.
Fiat steering wheels:
Bentley random goods!
BMW 1-series M: just looked like a ‘modded’ 135i in person; a bit dissappointing to be honest. The interior, like the 135i, felt cheap and nasty. I really do like the 1-series as a car, however I think it never quite lives up to how much I want to like it. I’m sure it will still kick ass on a track though…
BMW M3 DTM: all types of wonderful.
Audi TT-RS - naturally better looking than the 1-series M, with a much MUCH nicer interior. Spoke with Johan De Nysschen (head of Audi Of America) about options and pricing. I was told the car will be about $60k in the US when it is launched this Autumn. 340hp version coming to the US, not the 360hp “plus” version as rumoured. This is the US-spec car.
the orgasm inducing Audi R8 GT: i couldn’t really get myself to leave sitting in this. So f*cking cool it pained me to leave it—-
the stunning Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Gulf livery? Not sure I understand Mercedes & Gulf colours on the same car—–however I wasn’t arguing, as it looked splendid, although a little bit puzzling for sure!
Mercedes A-Class Concept: beautiful design, flows very well. striking concept features like the ‘inverted mesh grille’ are very cool. Slated for the US market in 2013—-if it looks anything like this, it will be so cool to see these on the street!
Nissan GT-R: dare i say i have been developing a great appreciation for the GT-R as a technological masterpiece; today my opinion of it greatly increased after I fell in love with the interior—–it felt like i belonged there. Yes I know it’s been around for a while, but I’ve only come to understand it. Respect.
Red Bull F1 Car it still annoys me that somehow Infiniti have blagged their way onto this car (probably by begging parent company Renault, who supply the Red Bull engines)—–however man these F1 cars are something else to see in person. So much detail.
Scion FR-S: This car is UNBELIEVABLY gorgeous—-so beautiful that I found myself shocked that Toyota has designed it. It takes many cues from the Audi quattro Sport concept, as well as one of the E-tron concepts—–but holy shit if Toyota/Scion can build this and price it at $25k as a small, RWD car which is under 3000 pounds—-this car is going to be massive! (note: this car was a mock up, with no working interior—-so i’m not holding my breath about this being the production design)
Saab Phoenix Concept - This was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show a few months back——I thought it looked like utter shit in those photos i saw of it then, BUT i will say the car looks MUCH better in person—-much lower and sleeker. In fact, while I was taking these photos, another person and I were having a conversation about how this car looks like crap in the camera, but much better in person—-very strange! Even still, it is NOT a pretty design, but I will say it is interesting. Yes, the rear lights look like a 90s Firebird, as my friend from Automobiliac.com mentioned…and next to the car in this photo is the designer Jason Castriota.
Volkswagen Golf R/”R20″- really liked the interior touches for this special edition AWD continuation of the Golf R series. Looked nice and aggressive in its classic R shade of blue as well!
Porsche GT3-R Hybrid - self explanatory cool, even as a hybrid!
I found myself accidentally in front of a Shelby GTS unveiling—–but the car bored me (looks like every other bloody Shelby tuned Mustang!), and the annoying automotive journalists irritated me even more. I have to say that auto journalists kinda suck—–pushy, a little impatient, and they take way too many photos of anything with wheels….as if they will never see it again if they don’t…
The Canadian who did the European delivery on his new BMW 1M (1-Series M) has documented his delivery of the car in Germany quite extensively. Click the link to check out the full writing and story behind his pick-up (currently still in progress)
Very cool car, and a very cool way to pick up a new car!