Showing posts with label Art of the Car. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art of the Car. Show all posts

Friday, September 14, 2012

Buggies in the Night - KC First Fridays

I've blogged many times on the joys of First Fridays in the Kansas City Crossroads art district.  September was a particularly good month.  Every gallery I walked into had strong exhibits, the weather was nice and there was plenty of good people watching.  To top it all off, I was treated to an impromptu car show!

Imagine this:  you've just watched a graffiti wall going up on a gallery front and it is 10:30 at night.  As you begin the trek to the parked car (a boring but efficient Prius), you hear the characteristic roar of a hyped up VW engine and see a dune buggy popping a wheelie at an intersection.

Welcome, my friends, to Dwayne's fantasy world!

This was a club run for KC Buggies taking advantage of the nice weather for a cruise.  They stopped at the Kansas City Star parking lot to regroup and help fix mechanical issues with one of the modified VW bugs.  Of course I had to take photos and had a nice chat with the current leader of the pack.  She had one of the buggies that's all roll cage and engine.

The buggy below is a wheelie specialist.  Minus passengers, the front end can be lifted with one hand.

The light show is a nice addition.  If you are going to cruise the city in an open machine, you might as well do it in style!

The original bugs look really choice stripped to their bare essentials and then pimped to within an inch of their lives.

For car and street shooter geek me, this was a great end to an awesome evening of wandering around.  I started in the West Bottoms hunting cool junk and ended with colorful buggies.  It's all good!

In case you are wondering, all photos were taken with a Canon 60d with a Canon EF 50mm f1.4 lens at ISO 1600.  There is no Instagram trickery.  The Star parking lot is surrounded by a brick wall with intentional gaps.  I framed some of the vehicles through the gaps to get the Polaroid look without resorting to digital effects.

Bonus shots:  here is the aforementioned graffiti mural in progress.  I can't wait to see the result.

Not only is this a legal mural, but at least one of the artists was actually wearing a respirator.

About the pesky thing known as Copyright:  I, Dwayne F., own these bits of digital intellectual and creative properties.  These photos may not be used, altered or posted without attribution.  The photos may not be used for commercial purposes of any manner without my express written permission.  Yeah, copyright is so last century.  I suppose you could buy your own equipment and wander the streets for hours looking for interesting things to shoot.  Just sayin".

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Year Anniversary: Picture Heavy!

Today marks the first anniversary of Vintage Technology Obsessions.  Before I go any further, I want to thank all of you who regularly visit this blog.  I'd like to think that I would keep going without page views, but the truth is I like to see the number go up and the comments and conversations are greatly appreciated.

In the spirit of this blog and the Typosphere, this is a hybrid post.  I think I will use a few different typewriters.  Do you recognize the machines from their typefaces?

Yeah, typewriters are real; typographical errors and all.  The machines:  Underwood Deluxe Quiet Tab, Royal Signet, Olympia SM-7, Remington Mark II (a plastic Torpedo) and a 1932 Royal known as Keylime.  I lust after a machine with German blackletter or an Olivetti Graphika.

I've been surprised at some of the posts that have picked up the most hits; mostly from Google searches.  I'm glad that I diversified content from the beginning.  I blog because I love learning about many obscure subjects that have nothing to do with my professional life.  I also love photography and this is a fun avenue for me to share images.

Here are some of my favorite images from the last year:

This little guy was a graduation gift for a friend of the family.

Svetlana Optima is our mysterious Cold War throwback.  She was manufactured in East Germany in the early '50s and has some pretty serious trust issues.  This comes from her new ribbon day.
And now for some statistics.  Thanks to readers such as yourself, this blog passed the 16,000 pageview mark on August 11.  The top ten posts by pageview, paraphrased and in descending order, are:

ITAM Special Report: The Eight Millionth Remington
Remembering Ralph McQuarrie
Zeiss Ikon/ICA Folding Camera
Juvenile Cold War Space Fiction
Happy Typewriter Day from Keylime
The Birthday Blog Post from Space
Royal Typewriter Rescue(feature Old Red, a Royal with the Vogue typeface rescued from choppers)
A Tale of Two Cameras (the modern Sony NEX3 coupled with Olympus PEN F lenses)
Mousiest Royal Futura (a not all that fun to type on Royal with an awesome cursive typeface)
B-36 Restricted Report (Features an SM-9 keeping track of the dreaded Svetlana Optima)

And here is the subject of the top post, Remington number 8,000,000.

Just full of awesome and kind of OK to type on.  This machine receives plenty of Google search hits.

If only I could keep the bench this tidy.
Being an Art Deco icon, this machine starred in its own movie "Last Stand at the Remington".
This is an outtake from the hit movie "Last Stand at the Remington".

Yeah, totally growing up would be pretty boring.
This is the first typecast with our Senatorial Olympia SM-9.  Racoons had recently dug a hole through our roof.
This man of mystery was a hit at the 2011 Kansas City Maker Faire.

The dreaded Dollar Store "Spacebot" testing out that old saw about the pen being mightier than the sword.  However, Bill has some muscle in the form of a junk part R2-C4 unit.

I'm still bitter about losing a whole summer worth of B-grade movie reruns to the Watergate hearings.

You don't want to know.

Here's our family mascot, Trollie!  Isn't that the most creative name you've ever heard?

Gotta love southern Florida.  There was a guy shooting a monster handgun towards a 40 foot fiberglass panther on the other side of the parking lot.  Ah, the memories Trollie and I have together.

Two extremely shiny typewriters.  They don't get used nearly enough what with my weird typeface fetish.  The gold Royal goes by the name of Margo.

Thank goodness we have a good copy editor in the house!  What fate awaits this tough Royal?

Like a candle in the Windy City.  Poor Marilyn is about to lose her head.

Keylime and Old Red, the Vogue typeface Royals.  The one on the right is named Keylime.  That was redundant, but I am too lazy to reconfigure the link.

Such a happy couple.  Too bad they are about to be mauled by zombies!

"Do you hear moaning?  I swear I hear moaning."

Imaging the Transit of Venus with a pair of binoculars.

Shopping for the perfect violin for Hannah.  It was a great experience.  The bow cost more than my first car.  Sure, the car was a beater, but you get the idea.

In the violin finish lair.  This strings shop is a great maker space.

My portable typecasting machine for our summer vacation.  We came back to a very long stretch of hot and a drought that came out of nowhere.

Something shiny from the Art of the Car Concours.

This is a nice rat rod from the Kansas City Good Guys show.  The Duesenberg at the Concours was worth more than a Belgian dressage horse.  The rat rod?  Not so much, but it is awesome!

3-D printing pretty much rocks.  This is from the 2012 Kansas City Maker Faire.

Souped up kiddie cars in the Power Wheels racing series.
This is Super Awesome Sylvia and her dad, the Tech Ninja doing some live science at the 2011 Kansas City Maker Faire.

This is precisely why we need maker culture.  We are so proud of Curiosity's team!  I still have a rendering of the skycrane lowering Curiosity set as my wallpaper.  We haven't forgotten Opportunity, either.

The team, as seen on my LCD during the live streaming of the landing.  Dang, where is that sexy Mohawk Guy?

Ahhhh!!!! Not only is he adorable, the Christmas Squirrel will bring your family socks and undies.  Part 1 on "The Origins of the Christmas Squirrel" is found here.  Yes, there is a Part 2 and the story involves Nikola Tesla, Erwin Schrodinger and a certain Mr. Edison.  It was cold outside and I was on vacation.

Claire's most awesome repurposed Christmas present to me.
This is one of Claire's friends.  She is a convert to the ways of the typewriter.  We gave her an Olympia SM-9 with the Senatorial (robot) typeface.  She is a total typeface junkie and can tell you about the history and design of many typefaces.  That may be atypical for the average eleven-year-old.

Claire (aka: gingercat) and the Six Fingered Man's twin brother at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Thanks again to all of you that follow or have happened upon this crazy, mixed up blog of mine!  It's gotten a little serious in the last couple of months.  Me thinks it is time to break out some Hong Kong knock-off robots and a jumbo Machinder.  Yes, that would do nicely!

Copyright:  The Copyright is a noble beast that I, the owner of the blog known as Vintage Technology Obsessions, claims for my own.  With the exception of the images of the amazing Curiosity, all images and text are mine and are copyright 2011 and 2012.  Regular readers would not need to be reminded that, in addition to legal recourse, if someone were to pilfer my images for use without attribution or for commercial use of any form they would likely be awakened in the middle of the night by the buzz and hiss of a flying, steam powered Oliver Number 99 hovering over their bed.  Thieves, you have been suitably warned.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Day at the Art of the Car Concours

I spent the second day of a great Kansas City festival weekend at the Art of the Car Concours.  As in prior years, the 2012 edition helps fund scholarship programs at KCAI.  Now in its sixth year, the man behind Art of the Car, Marshall Miller, has built this Midwestern show into a premiere event.  It is by invitation only and features the best cars and motorcycles from the region and the national concours circuit.

I probably made shooting more difficult on myself than I should have.  The old mid-range zoom lens in my kit does not bring out the best in my Canon 60D.  I shot the entire show with my favorite prime macro lens, a Sigma DG 50mm f2.8, and moved myself to compose images.  I used manual exposure compensation liberally.  However, the saturation and contrast is wonderful with this lens even without a polarizing filter.

Can you believe this is a car horn?  This is the first thing I spotted walking into the 2012 Art of the Car Conocurs at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI).
If you found this post through a Google search, you didn't come to read my commentary on camera gear.  Let's move on to the cars.  The collection that follows is a small sampling of the show.  Whole car photos are relatively easy to find, so I try to select the kinds of details that make these vehicles so great.  I am an armchair car guy without the space or time for a hobby car.  You might have noticed that this blog is dedicated to technology.  Art of the Car features the very best in automotive art, design and technology.

The horn snakes up the right front fender of the incomparable Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

This is the chauffeur's instrument panel.  I love these surface mount gauges from the early days of motoring.

Now you know what a four million dollar car looks like.  This is one of a handful 1937 Talbot Lago T-150 SS Teardrop Coupes ever built.  This car won the Pebble Beach Concours.  Its presence in Kansas City is a testament to the growing prestige of the KCAI Art of the Car.  This earned first in the People's Choice awards category.

This dashboard is beyond fabulous.  I love the engraved detail on the panel.

This is another car that looks great from any angle.  My photos cannot do it justice.

There were so many amazing cars to see that I didn't have a chance to shoot many engine details.  Not surprisingly, this power plant is a joy to behold.

Race cars were well represented.  This is a 1959 MG EX 186.

This luscious beast of a car is a 1938 Puegeot 402 Dar'lMat.  Again, beautiful from every angle.  The paint is absolutely stunning and looked just as good in hard mid-day sun as in the early morning when this photo was taken.

This reminds me of the famed Buick fender portholes, but with much more style.

The combined instrument cluster gauges make for a remarkably clean and simple dashboard.

This gives you a feel for the campus.  Each Art of the Car has a sub-theme.  Pedal cars, seen in the background, were a featured group.

If you haven't figured it out already, I have a serious hood ornament fixation.  This belongs to one of seven Duesenbergs  at the show.

I was rushed taking this photo and did not note the car model.  I like the set piece details some owners throw into the mix.
I want this color scheme on a typewriter!  Wow.  I spent a lot of time with this 1929 Hudson Dual Cowl Sport.  The crowd seemed to enjoy it as well. 

This car was selected as the second place winner by a group of youth judges recruited at the gate.  Even though this is a recruiting effort, I still have a pretty strong feeling the car guys and girls are born that way.  A kid I know was in that group and the family love of Studebaker Avantis may have had something to do with it garnering the first place youth award.

I've always regretted that Hudson is one of many brands that didn't make it to the modern era.  This beauty is a 1913 6-54 Speedster.

Motorcycles had a section of their own.  After six hours of continuous wandering and shooting, I gave them short shrift on the way out.  This 1973 Ducati was my favorite among a group of outstanding machines.  It also won a show award sponsored by a local Harley Davidson dealer.  Life is full of little ironies.

No Instagram filters here.  This Studebaker Commander was sitting at just the right angle to have some lens flare and back lighting fun.  Every car photo looks pretty much the same unless a few are over exposed for effect.  Yep, that's me towards the bottom.  The desert hat and a constantly refilled water bottle were necessities as the temperature approached 100 degrees in the afternoon.

My daughters shipped off to Girl Scout camp the same day and could not attend the show.  They both loveth is Bentley.  I again intentionally over exposed this shot.

Every Duesenberg is amazing by default.  This is a particularly beautiful example.  That is a 1960 Cadillac in the background.  I still have a major soft spot for the finned beasts of the '50s and the 1959 Cadillac in particular.

Duesenberg = Stunning
Speaking of fins, here is a small example from a 1960 Dodge Matador.  I've seen this car in other local shows and it never ceases to amaze me.

This is the tail end of a 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix.  This car earned my vote for the People's Choice award.  I had a great talk with the owners who showed off the convenience features.  Every part of this car is clean enough to eat off of.  Unfortunately, that means it spends its life on jacks in a garage and only runs long enough to move in and out of trailers.

This dash is one of the reasons why I voted for this car.  The space age detailing extends throughout the interior.  That bulge in front of the speedometer is a clock!  At one point my parents owned a 1961 Chrysler Windsor with push button controls and an astro dome instrument cluster.
This 1955 Mercury Monclair earned fifth place in the People's Choice awards.  I had a great talk with the owners.  They pulled out their restoration photo album and we flipped through it.  Can you believe this was once a pepto red, rusted hulk sitting in a field in the Colorado front range?  In doing a total rebuild, the owners decided to use a different factory color.  They keep a dealer paint chip collection handy for loving discussions with judges that question this being a stock color.

These are the kind of details I love in classic cars.  The object on the right is the sensor for an automated headlight dimming system.  I know the electronics from having owned a 1959 Cadillac way back when.  To make this work, there is a vacuum tube based amplifier and secondary control circuit.  The object on the left is a traffic light viewing prism.  This car has a low windshield frame.  With the top up the viewer is almost a necessity.

I love these old Indy race cars.  Unfortunately, I didn't log the year.
This cool detail is on a Ferrari pedal car!  The Mustang in front is also child powered.
I saved one of my favorites for last.  This 1930 Stutz Lancefield Coupe always had a crowd of people clustered around it and won second in the People's Choice awards.
Early in the day the car was closed.  Later, everything was open and I stopped by for another round of photos.  Every detail in this car was thought out and engineered just so.  The engine is a work of art on its own.

The day I win the lottery and join the 1% is the day I start shopping for one of these.

And I will leave you with a last hood ornament from the Stutz.  I wonder what objects from this era will still resonate 80 years from now with this level of style and grace?
Thanks to the organizers for bringing such a great show to Kansas City.  For more information, the main website is located here.  The award winning vehicles are featured here.

I will update this post with links to other photo collections.

UPDATE:  The mother load of photos has arrived!  A friend of ours worked as a volunteer from 6:00 AM as the cars arrived through most of the day.  He shot most, if not all, of the entries and indexed them on his photo website at:

 Another Blogger user posted his summary here