Tag Archives: petrolhead

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

nsu-tts-iedei

(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.

alpine-a310-iedei

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.

24h-Daytona-69Maglioli-Pinto

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.

iedei-2017-alpine-a110

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.
  • iedei-lincoln-contintental-2017

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!

bmw-1M-NYC-iedei-street-parked

 

 

 

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video of the day. Alex Roy goes to El Salvador

Drive‘s Alex Roy goes to El Salvador to learn about the car culture there….very entertaining!

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Autodromo!

I’ve always loved nice watches, but often find myself admiring the style of watches that are far too expensive for my benign budget.  More affordable watches are generally cheaply made and/or far too commoner for me to ever give a second glance to.

My perfect watch would be racing inspired, mechanically sound, built to detail, and not cost a fortune.   Enter Officine Autodromo and their newly launched line of fantastic watches described in the company as “Instruments For Motoring”, inspired by vintage dashboard clusters from iron fed by fuel.

These special timepieces were conceived, designed, planned, and implemented by founder Bradley Price; a good friend of mine and a SEVERE automotive enthusiast.  I knew before I ever even saw the watches that I had to have one, and that they would be beautiful to look at and functionally sound.  I was right.

I see attention to detail which is beyond what I see in watches far more expensive than these; from the packaging to the casing to the band to the detailed chassis identification card which is stamped and found inside the carefully thought out leather box; Autodromo has made a series of relatively affordable watches which can be worn in any setting; from sitting in a hospital conference room to barreling down a freeway in the pouring rain.  I know because I bought my own Wednesday—-a superb example of a black case Veloce—-here’s a dirty grainy pic of me wearing it in the TT:

The launch line-up:

These watches retail for $425, which is a great deal for the amount of detail and design found within them.  Definitely a solid gift idea for the upcoming holidays, OR just a guilty pleasure for the petrolhead screaming inside our own heads.

More details and ordering info at AUTODROMO

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ipad app: Jaguar 75 Years.

the iPad has so many fantastic car-related applications—-another one I downloaded yesterday is for Jaguar—–celebrating 75 years of the big cat. Lots of amazing photos and history in this beautifully presented application.  Available now from the iPad App store.

Here are just a couple screenshots taken with my IEDEI Pad:

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obsessions.

Yesterday I sat at an Italian Pastry Shop with my friends who run Automobilac and Motoring Con Brio and we discussed our favourite cars, automotive musings, and anything related to our favourite hobby.  I distinctly remembering mentioning to them how obsessed I have become with the Alpine A110…and I felt later that the only people who could truly understand would be people into automobiles and motoring.  I have been gathering an unhealthy obsession with the Alpine-Renault A110.  Readers of this blog will know that I have always carried an obsession with it—however these days it is interfering with my time.  The last time this happened, was in 2000 with the then-new Audi TT.  I ended up buying that car 3 years later after 3 years of incessant obsession and lust.  I have owned it ever since, for the last 8 years.  I have been obsessed with the Alpine A110 for at least the last 4 or 5 years.  But it has been steadily been increasing.

Are there any stories of Automotive obsession that you have?  What became of it?  Are you currently obsessed with a car of your absolute dreams?  There are days I close my eyes and imagine myself on an evening mountain road with dim lights in my Alpine, pummeling through empty rough roads in an anonymous country.  These scenes flood my brain.

However, for the time being, I am simply confined to these daydreams and imaginary movements; while I remind myself to work hard on my career to develop the financial character to go out and buy the A110 of my choice—–assuming they are not (A) all destroyed by then (B) they don’t all get purchased by the Japanese, and (C) their price does not move past the ‘buyable’ level….whatever that means.

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Billykirk card case.

I’ve always liked nice wallets.  I’ve also always liked tidy, non-George Costanza wallets.  I rarely carry much cash—and if i do, it will be less than $40.  I don’t like loading up on people’s business cards, etc.  This is why we have electronic assistance in storing numbers, names, etc.

Last year, i went around the corner from our old flat to Hollander & Lexer when i was having a bad day, and decide to buy myself a new wallet.  For years now, i’ve noticed that my life takes small changs after i change (A) my wallet and (B) my phone.  I am not a superstitious person, however i do acknowledge that finances and communication are 2 reasonably important elements in our daily lives.

I bought a small card case made by Billykirk that day.  It was about $90 with tax.  Kinda steep for a simple leather case, but beautifully made, with vintage stitching and authentic, non-overfinished faded leather.  A beautiful card case, which never bulges out of my rear pocket. Easily carries 5-10 card-related things on me, with room for 2-$20 bills if i need be.

They have nice bags and belts as well if you are in need of gentleman leather goods.

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Artist of the day: Xander Walker

Xander Walker (http://strassenversion.blogspot.com) is someone I have known for a while through The Auto Union community.  A few weeks ago, a bunch of us met up for a dinner in Manhattan, and Xander introduced us to his fantastic artwork.  I was blown away by the uniqueness and individualistic style of these paintings; and I can firmly say that they are WELL worth the humble $15 to $30 asking price he has put up for the pieces.  Each one is hand signed, and perfect for framing.  Speaking of which, I need to find time to get to a framing shop to buy a suitable frame for the 2 paintings I own by him.  Each painting is hand finished and limited edition.   Each piece is 24 x 17″ and packaged well!

In addition to the Alpine A110 pictured above (which obviously i DO have!!), here are some others available from Xander’s Etsy store:

ENTER “IEDEI” to get 20% off at the checkout! —Thanks Xander

http://www.etsy.com/shop/strassenversion

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best watch for under $100?

My favourite watchmaker is definitely Tag Heuer.  I love my Monza very much so.  However i’ve been wearing my Monza every single day for the past 3 years, and today I decided to pick up a ‘cheap’ watch for under $100, that I can use sometimes to give the Heuer a break…..i’m really picky when it comes to watches—so finding a ‘back up’ ain’t so easy.

So for a mere $50, I picked up a carbon fiber tinged Carrera Athletic Three Hand.

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I’m very impressed by the amount of quality they have packed into a lower priced watch.  I think suggested retail for these watches is around $100….but if you have a look around the net, you can find em floating anywhere between $50 and $75.  I haven’t seen alot of them in person, however I gotta say that on first impression, to an outsider, this definitely looks worth MUCH more than $50.  Great stuff.

Here’s the watch I bought, followed by a link to the Carrera Time website, which has a full catalog online.

http://www.carreratime.com/en/index.htm

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