Photo of the Day: 2009 Ferrari California

For many years one of the hallmarks of Car magazine was its superb and creative photography. This photo is presented as something of a tribute to their humorous style. 

2009 Ferrari California parking sign

From a technical point of view the Ferrari California is of interest to Ferrari fans for these reasons: it is the first Ferrari with a direct petrol injection engine. Also the Modena firm had not done a folding metal roof and, as far as I know, the first Ferrari to have multi-link rear suspension. You might have thought they were doing this a long time before 2008. Finally, Ferrari had not attempted a front-engined V8 before this car.

Bodge Engineering and the International Market for Dogs

Between 1999 and 2002 GM sold the Oldsmobile Alero as the Chevrolet Alero in Europe. Not many found customers: 18 are advertised for sale in Europe compared to 119 Aston Martin DB9s  and 261 Lamborghini Gallardos. From €450 you can share in the American dream.

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The Alero replaced the Oldsmobile Achieva which was a cousin of the last Buick Skylark and the 1990-1998 Cutlass Supreme. We featured the Cutlass a while back. Around this time GM had turned to brandscape to try to distinguish its middle market brands. The Alero and the Intrigue had the job of Continue reading “Bodge Engineering and the International Market for Dogs”

Can Cars Make a Good Subject For Art?

If you glance through a copy of a classic car magazine you will not have to look too hard to find pictures of racing scenes: Augustine “Bodger” Gilhooley behind the wheel of a Gilbern Invader, winning the 1972 Norfolk Broads Hill Climb, for example. Is that art? Can cars make for good art?

"Road" the art of Steen Larsen (2012). The book cover is a detail of a 2011 painting 100x200 cm. Oil on canvas.
“Road” the art of Steen Larsen (2012). The book cover is a detail of a 2011 painting 100×200 cm. Oil on canvas.

A book of the art of Steen Larsen prompted me to consider this question again. “Road” is a collection of Larsen’s paintings from the period 2004 to 2011. The front cover is an eye-catching green metallic Ford Consul L (pretty much identical to Myles Gorfe’s troublesome 2.0. Granada L). Up to this point, only two pieces of good automotive art had crossed my path: Julian Opie’s cars and an image of a Porsche 911 parked in a grimy lane by a German artist whose name eludes me.

Apart from these three, I discounted paintings involving cars. The rather literal images satirised in the intro typically are very detailed oil paintings where the important elements Continue reading “Can Cars Make a Good Subject For Art?”