Gary Judah Returns to Goodwood to Celebrate Mercedes-Benz.

Last year Gary Judah created a pretty spectacular sculpture of flying Porsche’s for the Goodwood Festival of Speed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 911. This year he is back paying tribute to Mercedes and the 80th anniversary of the birth of the “Silver Arrows”. The new sculpture features the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 which won it’s first outing at the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife, with Manfred von Brauchitsch in the pilots seat. The silver arrow is paired with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One F1 W04 which raced in 15 Grands Prix in 2013 by Lewis Hamilton. The sculpture arcs over the building structure at Goodwood suspending the race cars on contrails of whit metal.


Similar to last years work for the festival, yet different and unique in it’s own way, the sculpture is visually outstanding as it pays homage to the speed of racing and forms the arc over the finish line on the track. Just like the 911 work from last year, I hope this becomes a permanent fixture at Goodwood, or finds itself on display at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart.


I Want My Flying Car.

Something the future promised me I would have by the time I was an adult was a flying car. Back in the day we were all told that by 2010 people would have flying cars, and if you believed the Jetson’s cartoon, it would fold up into a briefcase that you could cary with you. I really want a flying car. Unfortunately I probably won’t get one for a while. It’s probably a good thing, since people seem more and more distracted behind the wheel of their cars today. I can’t imagine what would happen if people were texting and flying.

I can’t have a flying car, but I can dream, and thanks to the work of Renaud Marion I can have a flying car based on a timeless classic like a 196o Chevy El Camino, or a late 1950’s Jaguar. I love how this series of images resurrects timeless classic automobiles, and renders them in a way that the future promised.

mercedes Jaguar elcamino camero cadillac 70sMercedes

The Art of the Car, Kansas City.

I took a couple days off from posting. Sometimes you just need a break from the routine, and as the weekend rolled in that’s where I found myself. Today I ventured out into the abnormally 100 degree heat to take in “The Art of the Car” at the Kansas City art Institute. As myself and ten thousand others melted under the late June sun, I was fortunate enough to see some of the finest rolling stock that ever lived.

There was a time, when cars didn’t look the same. When you could tell one brand from another by the look of the grill, the fender line, the hood ornament. There was a period of automotive glory that seemed to die around 1980 as cars became more and more generic. I go to this car show every year and today ore than any other, I was fixated on automobiles that were pushing 100, or at least 60. As I looked at the wonderful styling, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, I wondered “where did this go with the modern car?” Yes today’s automobiles are safer, more efficient, loaded with creature comforts, require less effort to drive… and for the most part they are boring.

I look at what I saw today, and say they don’t have to be.






















Not Everything Needs an App.

This is a great example of “Not everything needs a Smartphone app”. Mercedes has introduced “SL Bodywork – Your personalized Workout.” An iPhone and Android app that helps you work out while promoting the new body styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SL.

Hmmmmm. Really?

The application looks nice, and so does the car. The model in the the videos is attractive, but I just don’t get the point of this application. I keep looking at it and thinking to myself was this really a good use of marketing funds?

According to the copy on YouTube, you do get access to more content, the more you work out, and there are the typical hooks to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The problem is, what does this application bring to the table, that other fitness applications don’t? What is the real compelling reason to use this application?

Aside from hardcore Mercedes fans, I don’t see much of real use for this app. It is simply a novelty marketing vehicle (pun intended) for Mercedes. This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Not everything needs to be a smartphone app. Not everything needs a Facebook, or Twitter presence. There is a certain “Grasping at straws” mentality that surrounds this kind of thing. I just keep thinking that this cost a lot of money to produce, and the ROI from the app is going to be minimal. Brands like Mercedes, or really any large brand, need to really think about this kind of thing before they produce it. Perhaps the money and effort would be better spent elsewhere.

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“The Scenic Route”. A Love Story for the Mercedes Benz Gullwing SLS AMG.

Usually when we think of car ads, especially ones produces for cars that price out in the $100,000 plus dollar range, we think big budgets and tons of effects. I think that is why I really like this spot for Mercedes Benz produced by creative agency PENCIL.

The Scenic Route, is a love story featuring the ultimate Mercedes supercar, the Gullwing SLS AMG.

After Jenny and Jack Dyson had an opportunity to take the car for a drive, they completely fell in love with it, and rather than produce a typical car ad, they decided give the AMG a personality, with an ability to bring the world to its hood and heart. The best part is they do it without ever starting the car.

The commercial is directed by Nick Jones, with cinematography is being handled by veteran automotive shooter Tim Green. The spot takes place with Emma Rios animated illustrations being moved behind the car, which create a narrative storyline and backdrop for the piece. This is such a fresh approach for a car commercial. Rather than a hard sell with the professional driver on a closed course, this spot takes a much more relaxed tone letting the beautiful design of the car work for itself. There is no need to put the car through a series of rubber burning, asphalt squealing, octane fueled hoops. Instead  PENCIL lets the beauty of the car in an imagined space do all the work.

Now, if you think this was a low budget, small crew project, wait until the end and count up the number of crew members needed to pull this off. I think you’ll be surprised.

Design Friday. The 1969 Mercedes-Benz C111 Concept.

Lately the Design Friday posts have focused on a specific designer, and not necessarily a specific piece of design work. Today I am going to change it up a bit and talk about something that is an amazing piece of design work, and lives in the world of priceless and rare.

I have always been a car guy. Not a gear head but a car guy, as in I am all about the design and styling of the automobile and less about getting my hands dirty building a hot rod. That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate horse power, and the engineering that goes into the vehicle. It simply means that I am initially drawn to the styling and the appreciation of power comes when you drive it.

In 1969 Mercedes introduced the beautiful C111 gullwing. At the time it was going to have a list price of $8700.00 if it made it into production. (which makes me wish I had my USB powered time machine finished.) The C111 was a series of experimental automobiles produced by Mercedes-Benz in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The company was experimenting with new engine technologies, including Wankel rotary engines, turbo diesels, and turbocharged gasoline engines, The basic C111 platform was used as a testbed, but ultimately a number of these car were made available for sale .

The car featured gullwing doors, angular body styling and luxurious interior trim and appointments. At the time the C111 was a Mercedes super car that rivaled any of the Italian high-end sports cars on the market.

The first version of the C111 was finished in 1969. It featured a fiberglass body, that allowed the designers to create long flowing lines that helped to set the look of the car apart from the competition. The C111 was powered by a mid-engine three-rotor direct fuel injected Wankel engine, that produced a370 horse power, which for 1969 was pretty impressive. With a top speed of 180 mph, the C111 was a direct competitor with the  likes of Ferrari, and Lamborghini. The coupe’s lightweight skin, opened up new possibilities in the aerodynamic design of sports cars.

The C 111 never did appear in showrooms. Instead the coupe was an extension of the development of the Sport Light models from the late 1950s, it was to serve as an experimental car. A study in design, aesthetics, materials and technology. Despite interest from Geneva show-goers in the late 60’s, the C111 II never made it to production largely because of the engine. “The Wankel engine was not yet mature enough to be handed over to customers in line with company standards,” said the car’s developer Dr. Hans Liebold in 2000.

As I look at the images and video of the car, I can immediately see how it influenced so many others that followed it, and not just those made by Mercedes. I am drawn to the sweeping lines, the low wide stance, and that amazing orange and black paint job.