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Friday
Apr182014

Road Read: Auto Brand

By Christopher A. Sawyer

Often I’ll see the description, “X is an established brand and business consultant in the automotive industry,” applied to a person whose name I’ve never heard. This statement is then followed by a long list of clients. Undoubtedly, we are supposed to be impressed by the companies that have dropped tons of money in order to bask in this person’s genius, and read every word without resorting to our own critical faculties. If we don’t, we might see that there is a man, not a wizard, hiding behind the curtain, pulling the levers that control the kingdom of Oz. In this these consultants are no different than many automotive marketing folks I’ve met through the years, none more infamous than the Lotus Marketing chief who told me — with a perfectly straight face — that Lotuses don’t need traditional advertising and marketing, they sell themselves. Judging from the look on his face at the time, he’s still offended by the comment that followed this inane statement: “If that’s true, why do they need you?”

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Friday
Apr182014

The Eagle Flies, Again

By Christopher A. Sawyer

You probably don’t care that this weekend there will be a Formula 5000 festival at Thruxton Easter Revival. The British race track will feature F5000 and Formula 2 drivers squaring off in the Derek Bell Trophy Races, as well as Super Touring and Classic Formula 3 races. But it is the single seaters powered by American 5.0-liter V8s that should draw the crowds, especially one in particular.

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Friday
Apr042014

Barn Find and Restoration Auction at Silverstone

Given the frenzied bidding that often takes place for barn finds and unmolested classics in need of restoration, Silverstone Auctions will hold its first Restoration Show sale at Britain’s NEC on April 12th. It is part of the Practical Classics Restoration Show taking place at the Birmingham, England venue April 12-13. Viewing of the lots takes place Saturday morning, with the sale later that same day. Bidding can be done in-person, online, via commission bid or by telephone.

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Friday
Mar212014

Bespoke F-Type Luggage

If you are the maker of a gold-label sports car, not having enough trunk space to carry off-the-rack luggage isn’t the problem you might think. In fact, it can be a positive. Just ask BMW, which turned to Louis Vuitton for a bespoke set of bags for its i8, or Jaguar, who tapped French luggage label Moynat to design a special “trunk” specifically for the F-Type convertible.

Since its founding in 1849, Moynat has specialized in producing made-to-measure luggage and travel accessories; especially custom trunks that match the paint finishes and contours of various vehicles. In 1902, the company patented the Limousine trunk, which had a curved bottom designed to fit the roof of an automobile.

Though still a concept, the Moynat F-Type trunk is hand-molded from eight layers of wood. This is covered in slate grey vegetal-dyed leather, and lined in Moynat’s signature mandarin orange fabric. Inside the trunk sits an electric scooter for use in urban areas. Those with a more serious demeanor, however, can order bespoke F-Type luggage from the Jaguar Collection. This set, designed specifically for the F-Type convertible’s tiny trunk, includes two suitcases, a laptop bag, garment bag and wash bag. It includes neither a trunk nor an electric scooter. — CAS

 

Friday
Mar212014

Carbon Fiber Luggage for BMW i8

An expensive carbon fiber plug-in sports car deserves equally pricey carbon fiber luggage. Starting April 1st, buyers of BMW’s carbon fiber and aluminum i8 will be able to order the tailor-made luggage set from select Louis Vuitton stores (Munich, Milan, London, Paris, Moscow, Dubai, New York, Los Angeles).

The collection includes two travel bags, a business case and a garment bag, each sized and shaped for the i8. Each bag features a laser-etched Louis Vuitton signature, and the company’s signature checkered Damier pattern across the carbon fiber textile. The handles are made from dyed natural leather, and the microfiber linings are black and electric blue, the brand colors of the i8.

The Weekender GM i8 features both hand and shoulder carry straps, and is designed to go in the i8’s trunk, while the Garment Bag i8 fits atop the rear parcel shelf. The hard-shell Business Case i8 fits in the rear seat, with the Weekender PM i8 designed to sit on its surface. At least we now know what the rear seat really are for… carrying high-priced specialty luggage. — CAS