Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blasts from the Past

Although I haven't had a lot of time to create new chops, I have a back-catalog of more than 600 cars I've created since 2005. Here are just a few of them.

Porsche's smaller-than-Panamera 4-door would be powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder front-mounted engine. Weight would be kept under 2700 lbs through the use of carbon fiber and aluminum.

Chrysler's now-classic Engel Imperial, 1964-'66, reimagined as a 2-door limousine Crown Coupe. Besides the roofline and rear window, I modified the rear bumper and bodysides to enhance the coachbuilt appearance. I placed the car in front of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home. Classics deserve Classics!

"The Sky Belongs to You." My '66 Thunderbird Sky Coupe photoedited an advertisement of that year's Town Landau which ran in the National Geographic. I added fixed glass panels in the roof, on either side of the real roof console featured in that year's Town coupes. I also greatly enlarged the rear side windows to add a more light to the interior.

"Unique in the All the World" was a Thunderbird tagline for years. In this instance, I modifed a press photo of the brand-new for '67 Thunderbird four door Landau. The model was wearing what appears to be a Pucci dress, so I went with that mid-Sixties style, adding translucent Pucci fabric to the layout from one of my mother's scarves. I made the Tbird into an early 5-door Grand Touring vehicle, not quite a wagon, not quite a sedan. I surmised that perhaps Pucci reversible seat cushions could accompany this special edition. Working to make images appear "vintage" and somewhat worn, is an effect I especially like to create in Photoshop. By "practicing" on my car chops like this, I've been able to use these techniques in some of the books I've designed.

Although the Hyundai Genesis coupe is just about to be introduced in facelifted form, with a much more attractive and aggressive front end design, I created this "4-door sports car" version a few years ago. 4DSC was the advertising "gimmick" for Nissan's Maxima, and I appropriated it for this Hyundai which would compete with the Maxima. With this sloping roofline, this sedan would not be the most spacious, but today's 4-door coupes are all about style and not practicality. I kept the unique beltline "dip" and "hid" the rear door handle to preserve a bit more "coupiness."

This little Buick Special "Estate Wagon" was chopped so long ago, I can't remember the base photo. I'm guessing it might have been one of the Opels that Buick was about to introduce in the States, but it might have been an Audi A3. Or a Saturn, lol. I remember adding Buick's classic "sweepspear" downward sloping character line and then emphasizing it with a 1969-type Buick Sportswagon woodgrain treatment above it. The "wood" is bordered on the top with a brushed aluminum molding but is left borderless on the bottom, instead relying on the character line for its stopping point.

A quick chop when the new Taurus was introduced, to add a bit of visual "drama" to the SHO version, with a two-tone paint job. I  recontoured the rear bumper, adding the "cut-in" at the top near the taillights to visually diminish the size of the plastic bumper covering. I also added that wraparound chrome molding to emphasize the new bumper contour and to add some width to the very tall rear aspect of the Taurus.

Besides making a 4-door out of the Genesis coupe, I also chopped this 2-door Luxury Coupe from the Genesis 4-door. I've always wondered why the Genesis 4-door was so much larger and more luxurious than the coupe. They almost seem like they're not related at all, except for the fact they're both rear-wheel drive cars. For this Luxury Coupe, I targeted the Mercedes CLK in appearance and marketing.


  1. A very cool display of automotive art. The Genesis 4DSC reminds me of an AMC product, but seeing the 2013 version with a dungaree interior would be really cool.

  2. You didn't even have to tell me, Woody, lol! Can you imagine a Genesis with a Levi's option? I've only chopped a couple of interiors, but maybe a denim luxury sports car would be a cool thing to do.

  3. That sounds like a cool idea. I prefer interior trims that can be removed from the cabin to be washed. Why does every car have to have the same materials (leather or cloth)?

  4. One of my (many) pet peeves is the lack of variety in current interiors. Many of us are old enough to remember when luxury and even medium-priced cars had a vast selection of fabrics and colors. In the mid-sixties, Cadillac offered 12 colors of leather, and a choice of two or three different fabrics each in four or five colors. I guess since no one has any imagination anymore there's no impetus for car makers to spend a lot of time on this. I know that some of the fabric choices disappeared when new rules about flammability were put in place at some point. And to Woody's point about removable interior trim, we need look no farther than the 1956 Packard Caribbeans that had seat cushions revsible from leather to cloth!

    Of all these shops, the Imperial is my favorite -- I've always loved those 64-66 Imperials, particularly the two-door hardtops. And the chop makes it even more fabulous -- sort of like what was once called an Opera Coupe!

    Paul, NYC

  5. Just read Autoextremist's Rant on the new 911 - "It’s not just a better 911, it’s the best Porsche ever built." Wow! his post gave me chills.

    I don't know why I'm excited about the new 911, my 1968 912 was more car than I could ever handle, witness the poor baby ending up in the wrecking yard....sigh.

    But it was love at first sight (again)!

  6. That really was a great write up on the Porsche at Autoextremist, wasn't it? My first ride in a Porsche was in high school, in the entry level mid-engined 914. It was bright orange, and belonged to a father of a friend of mine, a local TV weatherman. Then my next ride was in college. One of the seniors on my hall during my freshman year had a brand new 911S. It was the Seventies so it was brown, but it was still a beautiful car. And he was a lucky college senior!

  7. WOW! You got to ride a Porsche for the first time in highschool? I'm so jealous. Hahaha! I like how you used the black and white effect to make the photo edited picture look vintage.

    Erwin Calverley