Category Archives: automotive

the rise and fall of IEDEI and the death of modern motoring culture.

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(above: NSU TTS rendering source: Virtual R)

I started IEDEI back in 2008 and launched it with the idea of it being an authentic, genuine, and soulful place to indulge in our hobby or motoring as well as everything else gentlemanly and wonderful.  IEDEI continued for many years and i met some wonderful people through the blog.  This blog was cited by much larger websites and media organizations and I continuously received emails from media companies asking me for content or about photos posted or just in general about the site.  I never sold out.  I never put shitty google ads on my pages.  I never tried to sell you anything.  I never wanted to bias anyone about anything all i wanted was a page to share my opinions, share my favourite photos, videos, ideas, designs, and possible future trends as well as lost historical beauties.  IEDEI was a PURE idea and remained pure from start to finish.  Towards the end, the blog had left motoring culture behind as i realised automobiles and motoring were wonderful for me but not something I wanted to write about anymore.

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Motoring culture on the web is completely DEAD AND DECOMPOSED.  When IEDEI was started there were no youtube vlogs, no silly and overdramatic Petrolicious videos, no 50 bazillion versions of Top Gear from every country that nobody watches.  There were some car forums where people shared common ground with other owners of the same cars they had.  There were a few videos around of any car you could think of; but not too many.  There were some mainstream blogs like Autoblog, Jalopnik, Bring-A-Trailer (which was already a propaganda site and has since become a crappy auction site just profiting off opportunistic selling of cars combined with market manipulation).  Back in 2008 motoring culture still had some imagination.  Something to live for…and it wasn’t part of the capitalism landscape it is now.  My friend Bradley, who ran Automobiliac launched at terrific watch company named Autodromo and when he launched it there weren’t scores of watch companies making race-inspired watches.  In fact I remember SCOURING the web looking for race inspired watches that were affordable and they were few and far between.  I used to sit with Bradley sipping on coffees and drinks and daydream about selling gloves and scarves and I remember even contacting a bag manufacturing company trying to find out how much it would cost to make an IEDEI branded racing bag.  It never happened….but it could have.  I used to wake up in the morning, check my friend Drew’s Motoring Con Brio site, check Bradley’s Automobiliac site, the fantastic Blenheim Gang site, check a few random automotive blogs for the latest news, and then go on with my day and move on to music, and science, and news, and art, and everything else i adore.  We went to car shows and meets and not every photo had to be hashtagged and trending.  We were not really involved with social media besides daily blogging.

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Fast forward to 2017.  Things are not pure. If you go to youtube you will find seas and seas of absolutely SHITE vlogs made by piles of NON-car people in order to make plenty of $$$ off subscribers.  I sometimes wonder if their subscription numbers are even real.  These vlogs are so monumentally terrible that i literally cannot make it through 1 minute without cringing endlessly and wanting to smash my laptop under the wheels of an oncoming garbage truck.  Superficial, shallow, gutless, clueless, vile, self-absorbed, useless hosts like Shmee150, Salomondrin, Seen Through Glass, Supercars of London, Joe Achilles, and the list goes on and on and on.  I’m not going to offers links for these clowns as i’d rather you not even watch.  I sometimes click on their videos just to laugh at the state of motoring culture.  How it died a vicious death and was given to the hands of idiots for control.  I recently read somewhere that these are the true influencers of motoring culture these days.  That’s the equivalent of saying that a Gonorrhea infection is the largest influencer on modern sex life.  To me, these idiots have no idea what motoring culture is about.  They don’t know motoring history, they don’t understand the context behind their conversations, and they are simply materialists who feel it’s trendy and profitable to be associated with automobiles.  They will fade away as fast as they arrived.  I will be glad to participate in their demise.  Occasionally i still click on a Harry Metcalfe or Chris Harris video and still find a video worth watching; but they are needles in a haystack of awfulness.  Where are the sites that actually teach you something? Or inspire you? Or have any sense of emotion or enthusiasm?  It doesn’t exist anymore.  Recently Clarkson et al. launched their absurd “Drivetribe” site which was supposed to a social network for motoring enthusiasts.  I joined and was repulsed by the mountains of regurgitated generic nonsense i found at every turn.  Has originality run out?  i believe so.

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Surely these shitclowns are not the only reason motoring culture died.  The manufacturers forgot how to build proper cars.  People became addicted to instagram and facebook and the manufacturers became addicted to making sure they understood that people’s priorities for driving were to be able to take selfies in cars and read the replies to their instagrammed selfies while they drive.  Hence piles of electronic nonsense were added into the car making it a glorified mobile phone; with people criticizing cars which didn’t come equipped with infotainment satisfaction.  Nevermind the driving experience just stuff a bunch of leather with some big screens and an ‘advanced’ torque converted 19 speed automative gearbox and be happy you can afford your $419 a month lease on your 2017 BMW 328 X Drive M-Sport Competition Pack Sport Pack pile of utter shit!   Audi are building, genuinely, some of the most uninspired and hideous crap imaginable.  Mercedes have cut sausages (literally) in different lengths and raise them, lower them, rebadge them, and shuffle them out of the factory.  Who is inspired these days?  Alfa Romeo have come back to the US with cars that look like a new Kia and are desperately trying to convince everyone that somehow they still matter. Y’know 10 years ago i would have eaten a bowl of my own boogers to drive a ‘new’ Alfa Romeo in the US; but now it seems I just don’t care.   Porsche 911 blah blah Cayman blah blah 4 bangers? Blah blah no thanks blah blah.  So how much is a proper Porsche?  Yeah that’ll be a cool $140k.  Utter nonsense.  Mini sells a range of a bazillion models with some of them that are 3500+ pounds in curb weight (what!?).  Saab is now dead.  Jaguar has no identity, and supercars are super super lame.

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I still want a Lancia Fulvia.  I still scream out in love for an Alpine A110 and Alpine A310. I still feel super dirty when i look at photos of an Alfa Romeo GTA-m.  I just recently bought a book about the unmistakably wonderful Lancia Hyena.  I feel that the best motoring culture is gone and in our history.   No I am not interested in your shitty Tesla Model 3X P44d superelectric 0-60 in 3.blahblah seconds with your 20 inch screen and 3000 pound battery.  I don’t want to drive a battery.  I am 41 years old and assuming i haven’t damaged my body too significantly i probably have a few years left.  For that time, i will drive whatever i want and won’t be force fed by the media or vlogs or any other shitty petrolicious video what i should be lusting for.   Elon Musk is a crusty salesman who makes a fool out of everyone with hyping his underwhelming company up every step of the way.  I would rather install bulldozers into my elbows than to drive a Tesla.  You will never see me in a Tesla.

This brings me to the horror show that is “vintage motoring culture”.  When i launched IEDEI there were very few sites celebrating the old school design and stories and photos with others.  I remember finding Petrolicious once, who used to steal my content in the early days and i wrote them an email telling them to fuck off and stop stealing my content.  Fast forward to 2017 and Petrolicious release the most cliched, full of nonsense ‘vintage’ car videos i’ve ever seen.  An abomination of what this culture became.  Did I play a part in this?  POSSIBLY.  I will, however pretend i didn’t because i can.   I can’t watch 20 seconds of a Petrolicious video without wanting to puke at the 3rd rate hollywood cinematography and generic piano music added for “atmosphere”.  Pukealicious more like it.

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(above: photo of BMW 2002 Turbos being built. Source: M Registry)

At this point you may thinking “oh this IEDEI tosser is a real bitter guy”….well bitter i am not.  Opinionated I AM deal with it!  I’m not going to fluff up my thoughts to please others.  My readers were always smart people with independent thoughts. That being said I still love motoring and i love my cars and i have some real great friends who will agree with much of what i think but are too nice to be so blunt about it.

Things i like about motoring culture in 2017:

  • Alpine is back! they should give me a new A110 for all the Alpine hype i generated.
  • Lancia is dead.  Fiat should be ashamed of themselves
  • Chris Harris is still cool.  For fuck’s sake he drives a BMW 1M.
  • My BMW 1M is the greatest car i’ve ever owned or driven.  Many smiles every mile
  • Underappreciated cars will always exist and i will find them.
  • Modern american muscle cars are much cooler than most european cars now.
  • There are still good people into motoring; but you won’t find them with hashtags.
  • Hatchbacks MAY be making a comeback to the US market (finally!)
  • Volvo is back making wonderful looking cars again.  “the new boxy” as i call it.
  • I wouldn’t mind buying a new Lincoln.  They are stunning.
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Will IEDEI ever come back?  yeah maybe when everybody else is gone….

Thank you to all the kind, honest, and interesting people out there.  I do miss interacting with many of you.  I hope you are happy and full of life.  Life is more interesting than any object or ‘scene’.

I still live in NYC and this is my 1M being used as it was intended to be used; as a motor car driven by a madman!

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IEDEI’s new daily driver.

yes a few months ago i picked up a bright Valencia Orange BMW 1M.  740 cars brought to the US market. Mine is #374.

I will be doing a full review and photo-post about the car at a later time.

All i can say for right now is:  It is the most fun car I have ever driven….the best car i have ever driven—and i’m still shocked that i own it and drive the pants off of it every single day.  Worthy of all the hype and more!  Live the dream, my rock and roll people!

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onboard: Alpine A220.

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1969 Alpine A220.  1500 lbs.  310hp.  @ Circuit La Sarthe.

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one word: WICKED.

 

 

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i8.

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There are very few automobiles which capture my attention, new or old, these days.  My interest in automobiles has faded aside from a few select cars which i’m always chasing.  i am, however, BLOWN AWAY by this car.  the fact that it is a production car that looks like a concept.  The fact that is totally a current car embedded with current technologies capturing the spirit of ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ without copying anything else before it.  The fact that it’s the first hybrid sports car that is somewhat attainable  (still expensive though…at $135k USA price).  But most of all I love this car because it pushes and opens an envelope into the current times.  No retro here.  No celebration of the past.  The BMW i8 is a celebration of the future.

If i had the money…i’d order this and drive it every day!!

Forget 0-60 times (4.4 seconds here), forget curb weight (3200+ pounds here), forget cost for a second, forget the badge, forget the insane aero design features— this car is a pioneer and a real innovation in this realm.  It’s rare in these generic modern times of automotive engineering that we see a true beginning, but i have a feeling the i8 is the first of many coming in this realm.

(I don’t count cars like the Porsche 918, because of price and uber-exclusivity)

Live photos from Frankfurt (courtesy of greenCarReports)

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promo photos from BMW in Black:

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Videos:

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can you guess the new IEDEI-mobile?

A couple of months ago, i placed an order for a new car to replace the A3 quattro (will be keeping the TT).  I put 47k miles on the A3 in just over 2 years, and really needed something ‘more fun’ to entertain me during my 120 mile/day commute between Brooklyn and my job located out of the city. For the record, the A3 is 10000% reliable and never gave me a single issue.  A wonderful car (which is still for sale through this week, btw) which was actually the ideal commuter car.  I’m pretty sure my new car will not be as ideal as a commuter—–but will definitely be a whole lot more fun and exciting!

According to my estimations, the car SHOULD arrive in the next 10 days as it is currently on a boat.  The choice will surprise most people, but it didn’t surprise me much.  I have wanted this car since i first drove one…

Can you guess what it is?  (for those who already know from me telling you, please don’t answer as it’s unfair!)

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TTS.

There were prettier, faster, more glamourous, more hyped, and more revered small coupes from that era (mid 60s)—but i would argue none of them were as COOL as the NSU TTS.  rear-engined.  rear-wheel drive.  and definitely the most aggressive looking of them all.  Eat your heart out, italians!

file under: off the beaten path, away from mainstream admiration (thankfully).

Repros NSU TTS

 

src:  littleWarrior

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if i owned a Renault 5 Turbo…

or an Alpine—–I would definitely want this entourage of hyperactive french mechanics following me around, waiting for something to happen!

(this is sort of like a ‘foto of the day’ as IEDEI used to do…..but is just not arsed to do anymore! ha)

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Eating twisties.

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This is just some unbelievable driving.  Reflexes as smooth as velvet and balls of steel.

The driver is Marcel Steiner and he is driving an Osella FA 30 Zytek V8 3.0 (whatever that is!)

 

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M4.

This new BMW M4 Concept is the business.  A beautiful colour named ‘Aurum Dust’ (what a name!) and some of the most aggressive styling i’ve seen out of a german car in recent memory. Thank you BMW—–for keeping the insanity.   I am loving some of the details here…

(photos courtesy of BMWblog)

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a couple of videos:

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Watch Le Mans 2013! (updated)

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Need a place to watch Le Mans 2013?? Every year I put up the links I am using to watch Le Mans.  The greatest race in the world is back……on one side of my mind, I have an Audi Sport flag waving and on the other side I have a blue Alpine flag waving for LMP2.  Either way….this is the motor racing event of the year and definitely worth watching.

Here are some links to watch, listen, and follow (these will be updated throughout the next 24 hours).  Please feel free to make any suggestions to other good sources.

EUROSPORT <——- superb link, British Eurosport in with English commentary

EUROSPORT #2 (also British Eurosport, thank you Ricardo for the link!)

ACO Le Mans

24-LeMans.com 

Listen to fantastically detailed commenting at Radio Le Mans

LIVE TIMING via WEC! the best way to follow what’s going on with the positions, as well as interviews and videos

Audi Sport, onboard the R18s with Radio Le Mans commentary

My suggestion? find a video feed you like—and turn on Radio Le Mans and mute the video.

Go Alpine! Go Audi!

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A210.

Le Mans weekend is here!  Links will be up tomorrow about where to watch the race.

After watching 21 hours last year and suffering a near-nervous-breakdown—i have decided I will only follow what happens with the Alpine A450 and the Audi R18s this year.  The Audis will most likely win as they usually do…but the A450 is starting 8th in the grid for LMP2.  Here’s hoping for a strong showing!

Here’s a beautiful photo of the Alpine A210 during its time at the Le Mans Classic this year.

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src of photo:  octane

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A450 Le Mans test day.

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I eagerly await this year’s Le Mans (June 22-23)—-and while I will be, as usual, pulling for the stunning Audi R18s to win (as expected they will), my eyes will actually be peeled out for the Alpine A450 which heralds the return of one of the greatest marques in racing back to Le Mans!  Sure this is a car that was developed primarily by Nissan originally, however its tuning and program is now joined to the hip with Dieppe and the Renaultsport/Alpine tuners.  It is such a great feeling to see the Alpine marque on the track again, and with reasonable success I am sure that in the near future we will start to see a non-Nissan Alpine race car being developed and run in future endurance events!  

Here are some photos shown by Team Signature about the current A450 race car doing Le Mans testing this weekend in France.

As usual, IEDEI will be setting up live feeds of Le Mans on this site as we do every year to help everyone to watch it!

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Renault Icons: Alpine A110 videos.

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Renault TV posted these official videos in celebration of their history and the resurrection of the Alpine marque.  Car videos are mostly uninspiring, materialistic nonsense–but these Alpine A110 videos are out of this world….maybe because the car is out of this world?

Best part….it’s in English!  So my rudimentary and primitive French translation doesn’t have to be challenged like it normally does with Alpine videos.

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1995 TT concept in B&W.

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The MK1 TT is quite simply the most beautiful German car design in…what…the last 50 years….since the original Porsche 911, in my humblest opinion.  The 80s and early 90s were pretty dark and depressing times for German car design which entered a comfort zone of drab, unimaginative, uncreative designs (except Porsche, who were always putting together interesting cars)..and the TT put an end to those dark ages.  Timeless, ageless, and pure…..and with rumours of the next-generation MK3 TT being heavily influenced by the original, the MK1 TT’s legend will continue to grow.

Here’s the original 1995 MK1 TT Concept….the automotive design equivalent of punk rock in 1995!  I have turned the original manufacturer photos in B&W to fully appreciate the geometry and design pornography!

It is astounding to me that the MK1 TT Coupe that sits in my garage (for the last 10+ years) is virtually identical to this concept, barring a few select details.

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TR6 and dog.

Came across this fantastic photo taken by Mark Thomas of a Triumph TR6 and a big dog….

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Velvet-covered Porsche Panamera.

It’s no secret that i LOVE the Porsche Panamera.  I think it is simply the most epic looking sedan on the market today.  I know that many of you hate it…but I want one.  Pretty badly.

Now, having gotten that out of the way…this velvet-covered Panamera spotted in London is definitely one of the most bizarre finishes I have ever seen on a moving vehicle.   So………….is it possible to get one finished in Alcantara?

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src: jamielester

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TT Ultra quattro Concept.

2450 pounds. (a reduction of 660 pounds!)

306hp

wow.  I never thought i’d see an Audi TT with such a low weight.  I think the MK2 TT was a major design flop as I think the MK1 is one of THE great designs in automotive history…but this weight reduction is almost enough to make me forgive the MK2’s unforgivable design flaws.  Audi, you’ve impressed me yet again.

Read more details at Fourtitude

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quiet motion.

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I am loving the idea of this…movement in silence.  There is something very epic about the sounds of silence….if one can appreciate sounds extensively, one increases their appreciation of silence.

This installation was done by BMW in relation to their “i” sub-brand.

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video explaining the installation:

src: intersection (fr)

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petrol station lounge.

Well this is quite lovely, as created by Sophie Valla Architects:

“the construction of the north-south subway presented amsterdam north with the opportunity to turn the center of district into a park. sinking the nieuwe leeuwarderweg highway by seven meters allowed to merge three existing green spaces to create a central recreational zone for the residents of the area. located in a site where two gas stations from the eighties were going to be demolished, buildings mirror each other on both sides of the entrance – uniquely suited for public gathering.”

i’d like to sit there, in winter, and have a coffee.

De Tanker, Sophie Valla architects

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De Tanker, Sophie Valla architects

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De Tanker, Sophie Valla architects

src: designBoom

 

 

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A310 V6 Pack GT.

cars are boring.  but not this one.  i want it : Alpine A310 V6 Pack GT.

 

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BMW = the new AMC.

BMW is a pretty uninspiring marque these days; and now they just keep producing terribly designed, AWD monstrosities which have nothing to do with their company’s roots whatsoever.  This is the outcome of a company on the way down….a company grasping for every final breath as Audi trample them in nearly every segment.   So you may ask “well, Syed—-why is it OK for Audi to make AWD crossovers and not BMW??”….well, maybe because Audi is firmly rooted in AWD technology?  Perhaps because Audi built their entire brand on quattro as their main attraction?!  Yes it does make sense for Audi to build lots of AWD cars.  You may not want to believe it…but it is in line with the corporate ethos.

What in the world is this!?  The new X4 concept.  Badly designed….for an opportunistic segment….and the resurrection of a failed (but let’s be honest…unique and inspired) 1970s 4×4 crossover.  Compared to the long-lost AMC SX4.  So has BMW simply knocked the “S” out of SX4 and replaced “AMC” with “BMW”? you decide!

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Audi S3 Sedan: undecided.

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The jury is out.  I really still don’t know what i think of this new 2015 Audi S3 Sedan which debut’d last week in NYC.  Let me just tell you that I actually have a deposit down to be one of the first US buyers for an S3 Sedan (a deposit i put down last year when the S3 Sportback was first introduced) —-however i am fairly disappointed in the S3 Sedan itself.  The design is nowhere near as interesting as the Concept or as I was hoping.  It is a beautifully spec’d package with 300hp, 0-60 in 4.7s, quattro, and some beautifully trimmed interior and exterior bits—but somehow i feel like Audi has entered a ‘comfort zone’…in which designing a car has become too easy for them.

Don’t get me wrong.  It is a good looking car.  I’m certain it’s a fantastic car, as most Audis are.  I just wish it was a Sportback….OR that it was a bit more unique.  OR I wish that it didn’t look like ‘Audi-by-the-numbers’.

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Promo Video:

NYC debut photos from: MT

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