- 1973 Porsche RSR Prototype R7 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

GREATEST CAR SHOW #MANUAL AT DESIGN MIAMI BASEL 2017

‘A manual today is a non-autonomous car you actually have to drive’ By Kenny Schachter #CLASSIC-CARS #PORSCHE #LANCIA #LEMANS #ZAHAHADID #ALFAROMEO

3y ago

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1980 Renault Series 1 R5 Turbo © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1980 Renault Series 1 R5 Turbo © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

‘A manual today is a non-autonomous car you actually have to drive’

- KENNY SCHACHTER

In an age when hostility to cars is reaching a fever pitch and we are fast approaching the obsolescence of manual vehicles altogether— I mean the ones you have to drive yourself vs. stick shifts, which are already basically extinct—what better time to stage a car show at the Miami Basel Design Fair in Switzerland.

1973 Porsche RSR Prototype R7 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1973 Porsche RSR Prototype R7 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

#MANUAL exhibition at Design Miami Basel of cars from the 1950s to 1990s is a retrospective on automobiles prior to automatization and celebration of cars as a universal icon of design as well as a symbol of freedom. These cars can certainly be regarded as art pieces in the days when every single component was produced bespoke for that certain model.

1952 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1952 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

‘We value speed more highly than we value human life’ - GEORGE ORWELL, 1946

Like Donald Judd before her, art, design and architecture for Zaha Hadid transcended studio practice, profession or mind set, amounting to a cause. Zaha had a democratic, non-hierarchical approach to design that didn’t differentiate between art forms: her towers could be filled with her art, furnishings, housewares, clothing and even vehicles (she designed car and boat prototypes). Judd didn’t just preach his reductive, analytical, simplified approach to art and design, but built and lived it. In her inimitable fusion of organic forms created with mathematical precision, Zaha followed suit.

When you drive a vehicle, you don’t see it and when you park it, you leave it. I reside with my cars in my home office as I don’t differentiate between the artistry of a well-made spoon, table, painting, sculpture or car. Spanning a 1952 Aurelia B20GT to a 1991 Lancia Delta Integrale HF Evolutione, a broad array of 13 handmade and quirky autos will be on view providing a sense of time before regulations and corporate conservatism led to homogenization in design.

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

‘Looking good in Italy is even more important than looking where you’re going.’

- JEREMY CLARKSON

The cars constitute my personal collection built over the course of 15 years living in Europe, and they are defined by the maxim espoused by Ferdinand Porsche that form follows function finding beauty in the streamlined versus superfluous. That is not to say these cars lack decorative flourishes, rather the opposite—just created in a more integrated manner.

Adhering to such design discipline, when cars were built with creative freedom and lack of bottom line constraint, the aesthetically seductive and alluring characteristics of the vehicles are still manifest. Small in production numbers and stature, making due with limited scale and means, these vehicles offer an unparalleled glimpse into the decades from the 1950s through 1990s before concerns shifted from individuality and uniqueness in automobile manufacturing to generic sameness.

1991 Lancia Delta Integrale HF EVO 1 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1991 Lancia Delta Integrale HF EVO 1 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1980 Renault Series 1 R5 Turbo © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1980 Renault Series 1 R5 Turbo © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1991 Lancia Delta Integrale HF EVO 1 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1991 Lancia Delta Integrale HF EVO 1 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1973 Porsche RSR Prototype R7 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

1973 Porsche RSR Prototype R7 © PHOTO BY LEON CHEW

Exhibiting a car collection in this day and age might very well be considered garish and materialist, but you can’t discount the roles cars have played in the culture of literature, music, architecture and film before universal antipathy and hostility set in. This one-time symbol of freedom and mobility is now seen by many as nothing more than another form of bear trap and ice melt-er, but they also rise above the mundane to equal in art form.

by Kenny Schachter

#MANUAL - the collectors book of the ultimate car collection by Mai Ikuzawa

#MANUAL - the collectors book of the ultimate car collection by Mai Ikuzawa

#MANUAL - the collectors book of the ultimate car collection by Mai Ikuzawa

To coincide with the greatest show at Design Miami Basel 2017, Mai Ikuzawa was commissioned to design and art direct the limited edition book '#MANUAL'. Try to find a copy if you can!

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Comments (1)

  • This was by far one of my favorite reads on #DriveTribe and it's very well written and wonderfully said. Just excellent.

      2 years ago
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