Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2013 Lincoln MKZ/C: Luxury Hybrid Pillarless Coupe

2013 MKZ/C—Coupe based on the MKZ sedan concept. I shortened the trunk and rear overhang a few inches, and I pushed the front wheels forward a few inches, for more classic proportions. Pillarless coupe styling would be a first for entry-level luxury hybrids.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2013 Fusion Futura Coupe, Lincoln MKZ

2013 Ford Fusion Futura coupe—An even sleeker next-generation Fusion, this 2-door coupe revives the Futura nameplate. Available in all the same trim and powertrain versions as the sedan, the Futura boasts an interior with four bucket seats and a full length console. Also available in an identical looking 3-door hatchback version.

2013 Lincoln MKZ Glassroof sedan—My attempt to "productionize" the MKZ concept. I changed the greenhouse to a 4-window instead of the concept's 6-windows. I lengthened the trunk and rendered the glass a bit flatter so the section over the front seats can slide back over the rear window, a la Porsche's Targa model these days. I resculpted the trunk and rear fenders to square them up a bit. Still an oddly proportioned car, but I think that might be a good thing. I've always thought that if a design is universally loved at first sight, it's too comfortable, too familiar. The cabin-centric shape of this new Lincoln just might be the next big thing in fully contemporary vehicles.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Looking Good with Wood! Some Old, Some New-ish

Kia Piccanto Outdoorsman edition—I've created many, many cars with wood siding. Growing up, we had a Country Squire at one point, and I've just always loved the look of them. In the "early days" the wood was real of course, structural even. Then it became a decorative touch, and was eventually replaced with Dinoc appliques, a "contact paper" of sorts. All of my creations would use something I'm not sure even exists yet, "Microveneers." This treatment would be super thin veneers of real wood, sandwiched in between the paint layers and the clearcoat top finishes. This wood would be able to follow any body contouring and curves as it would be paper thin. Some of these Woodies in this post were done 5-6 years ago, some are from the past year, and some have been updated today to include the paneling. Enjoy!

Lincoln MKW—Created before the current MKT was introduced. This would be a sleek and luxurious Lincoln station wagon.

2008 Chevrolet Malibu Concours wagon—This generation of Malibu has just been replaced, but sadly, there will still be no wagon option, woody or not.

Mercedes GLK—This photochop was created before the current GLK was introduced. I thought it might look more like its bigger brother, the ML, but I was wrong. Mercedes chose to make it boxier, more like the GL SUV. And you can't get Microveneer doors on any of 'em!

Lincoln Cosmopolitan Estate Wagon—This avant garde luxury station wagon would sit at the top of the Lincoln range, with various types of wood available, burled walnut adorning this example. This chop dates back to 2006.

Audi A6 Allroad Black Forest Edition—Because Audi will never do it, I did, lol.

1940 Lincoln Continental Wagon—Hearkening back to the prewar Lincoln Continental, this "sport wagon" would have used the convertible's two front doors and added a wood-trimmed wagon compartment. This chop has run in the Letters section of Collectible Automobile.

Buick Apollo MPV—Estate wagons are a part of Buick's past, and I hoped to show that they could be a part of Buick's future as well.

Buick Special Estate Wagon—This little wagon was chopped several years ago, before anyone knew Buick would even introduce new, and smaller, European-inspired vehicles. I take complete credit for them doing so, lol.

Buick Enclave Estate Wagon—When the Enclave was first introduced, I found it a bit lumpy looking. At first I just cleaned it up the way I'd like to have seen it, sleeker even though it's a large crossover. Then I decided to give it an old-world touch by adding the wooden paneling. Crude now that I look at it, but this was done about six years ago.

Pontiac G8 Safari—This would have been Pontiac's top-of-the-line rear-wheel-drive sportswagon, bringing back Poncho's classic "Safari" moniker. No Pontiacs today at all, regardless of the wood.

Ford Interceptor Country Squire—Again, a very old chop, pretty darn crude, but my heart was in the right place... I used the same chrome Country Squire nameplate that was used on the very first 1951 model, also a 2 door—the only 2 door Country Squire ever built.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer woody—The woody version of the Grand Wagoneer I created for Automobile magazine last year.

Jeep Wrangler woody—My most recent Jeep chop, adding a classic woody look to the Wrangler 4-door. This could be produced tomorrow, for real, if Chrysler wanted to! They have so many special editions of the Wrangler, I think they should build this one, too!

2013 Beetle 4-door with Woody Option—Not only is the New New Beetle not available with 4-doors, it's not available with woody. It's a shame, lol!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Re-imagining the Past

Early-ish Chops of Early-ish Cars

2006 Chrysler 300 Sport Wagon—This was my creation of a "true" Chrysler 300 station wagon. I modified a Dodge Magnum body, adding more glass to the greenhouse and suicide doors. I gave it a classic 1955 Chrysler front end and slightly later MoPar "flashlight" taillights. I think all of these disparate parts really hung together well! I hope Virgil Exner, Sr, would approve!

1964 Thunderbird Squire—Taking one of my favorite Thunderbirds, the "Squarebird" of 1964-66, and making it into a classic 1960s Country Squire, was one of my more fun chops in the "early days." I first had to make it into a four-door, predating the actual 4-door T-bird by three years, and posted a sedan version online first. Then I went further adding the wagon bodystyle and then the "wood" paneling. I would love to see someone build this today for the car show circuit! The rear trunk on these 'Birds was low enough that the rear bumper/taillight assembly could be kept and a hatch added above it. Cutting the hatch into the roof, a la the Dodge Magnum, would be fine for ease of loading.

1980 Thunderbird—Moving forward a decade and a half, this is my idea of what a 1980-82 Thunderbird could have looked like, the so-called "Fairmont 'Bird." Instead of completely throwing out the mega-successful "Torino 'Bird's" styling, and Ford sold more than half a million of the '77-'79 T-birds, this smaller, lighter 'Bird would have taken that styling and proportioned it to fit the Fox platform. I really like the way this car came out.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Sport Coupe—I created a personal luxury coupe out of a regular Cadillac Series 62 coupe for this chop. I shortened the trunk, lowering the fins and moving them forward at the same time. I actually lengthened the hood a bit, perhaps for a revived V-12? I also opened up the rear wheelwells, giving the car more of a forward thrust. And of course, as with so many vintage cars before restoration, I had to duct tape some of the chrome trim on it. I also added the rust... I know exactly what that looks like from experience, lol.

1962 Plymouth Fury—Reimagining the great Virgil Exner isn't a task to be taken lightly. I like to think that in this chop I just removed the awkward production values forced upon him. Besides the new roofline, and a bit of trim removal, the most important thing I did in this chop was to restore the curved sideglass I know was on the prototypes, but changed at the last minute for cost reasons. By moving the bottom of the glass out flush to the bodysides like Mr. Exner originally wanted, the styling makes so much more sense. His early "fuselage" styling is revealed to be the genius it really was. My sloping roofline makes his emphasis on the individual fender shapes and long hood, classic-era touches, really stand out, too.

B O N U S   C H O P :

2008 Toyota Cressida—Not a vintage car, but one that stood out in my Photobucket account while I found the above chops, this is my take on an updated Toyota Cressida. The Cressida was a rear wheel drive "luxury" Toyota back in the 1980s. I began with the current front wheel drive Avalon, but gave it more classic rwd proportions and smoothed it out, removing much of Toyota's current lumpy-and-bumpy styling ethos. I say this a lot, lol, but I really like the way this large Toyota came out. I wish it was available at a dealer, today!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Future Coupes? Take Woody's Poll!

Parade of Early Chops Continues

Chrysler 300 Nassau, a V10 powered domestic luxury coupe. Woody Thompson, owner/writer of Woody's Car Site, has offered a poll this week: Which 4-door would you like to see as a coupe? When I read through his list, I realized I had created most of them already, lol. One I haven't rendered yet is a new Fusion coupe. I've started one, and I can tell you this, it's not what you're expecting! And I have yet to do a Subaru Impreza coupe. But the rest, I have rendered and will post here.

Please take a moment and click over to Woody's site and take his poll!

Infiniti M45 Hybrid coupe. Svelte, green, and powerful. What more could you ask for? Well, maybe a Jag . . .

Jaguar XJC, 2012 style. The newest large Jaguar luxury sedan is so coupe-like, it practically rendered itself. I smoothed out the trunk cutlines, simplified the taillights, added a unifying piece of chrome to the trunklid and a full glass roof, and that was about it!

But perhaps a more sublte, and smaller and economical coupe is for you. Perhaps a VW . . .

Volkswagen Jetta coupe. Again, the new Jetta sedan is almost coupe-like as is, so half of my work was cut out for me.I shortened the trunk a bit, lost the two rear dooors, and did the full "artandcolour" treatment on the rest of the car. I'll take two, please!

Except there is a Kia dealer next to the VW dealer near me, and I'm so in love with their styling. If they'd only do an Optima coupe . . .

Kia Optima Coupe—Ask and you shall receive! The newest Optima, designed by former Audi designer, Peter Schreyer is a tour de force. It makes an elegant, and natural two-door.

However, if you're craving a tall car, an AWD crossover, 2-doors are extinct these days. Call Cadillac and tell them you'd like the SRX Grosse Point produced . . .

Cadillac SRX Grosse Point—Some people just don't need "easy access" to the rear seat. They'd prefer the larger front door openings that 2 door cars afford them. This cream and gold metallic SRX would be perfect for them. 

Not on Woody's list, probably because Mercury is kaput, but still high on my "what if" list, a modern-day Mercury coupe . . .

Mercury Capri—Well, it could still be a Ford Taurus Capri coupe, lol. I really would like to see large 2-doors make a comeback. If they are pillarless like my version, well, that would be icing on the cake. Large luxury coupes, while undeniabley "sporty" do not have to be raw performance cars. The days of large luxury coupes, elegant and sophisticated, do not have to be over. 

And speaking of a Ford coupe . . .

Taurus SHO Coupe—I've also created this sleeker Taurus coupe, a modern-day Fairlane 500 XL. The roof is mostly glass and the C pillars quite thin and elegantly arched, much like the classic Ford coupes of the 1960s.

Or if you'd prefer a more elegant and formal Taurus coupe, how about a new Thunderbird . . .

Thunderbird—Instead of reprising the classic 2-seater Thunderbird, as Ford did in the early 2000s, I have brought back the also-classic 1960s personal luxury coupe Tbird. This iteration would be created from the Taurus's Volvo-derived platform with an extended wheelbase for more period proportions, moving the front wheels forward and cutting the front overhang. The C pillar is widened in this pillarless coupe, and the Thunderbird logo proudly centered on it. The interior would be suitably luxurious, with the rear seat designed with the same wraparound "cove seating" as the '64-'71 Tbird coupes.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Barracuda, Mustang, Wildcat—and Some Cars, Too

The Parade of Early Chops Continues

This first generation Plymouth Barracuda S has had it's C pillar swept back and rear window made slightly smaller in this vintage "reimagination." I also added some chrome trim to the rear fender bumper bulge to tie it in with the actual bumper, and changed a few other details here and there.

Utilizing the same "winding road" background as the Barracuda S above, I've illlustrated one way an image can be manipulated in Photoshop. This small Mercury Monterey would have been a compact hybrid sedan aimed at the Chinese Domestic Market.

Chevrolet's affordable alternative to BMW's X6 Sports Activity Vehicle, the Berlinetta would have used the Equinox's platform with a 4-place bucket seat interior and powered rear fastback hatch.

Out-of-this-world, Ford Futura  4-place mid-engined hybrid sports coupe would have been introduced at the hottest nightclub of the season.

One of my many Mustang notchback chops. I really wish Ford offered the Mustang in its original three bodystyles, notchback, fastback, and convertible.

I believe there is a market for 3-door crossovers, one that is not being filled at the moment. Two large side doors would make entering and exiting so much easier for many people. I see so a lot of these vehicles being driven with just one or two people aboard. I don't think the slightly more awkward entry to the backseats would be that much of a drawback. 

Rife with areas I would change if I chopped this today, this Wildcat would be Buick's entry into the luxury 2-seat market, an updated Reatta in a way, but with performance all wheel drive. Reprising the classic Wildcat moniker is a no-brainer—meow!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Altima Coupe, Town Car, CLS Cote d'Azur & ES350C

Continuing the Parade of Early Chops

Revised Nissan Altima Hybrid Coupe would be lower, wider, pillarless, and lower in weight than the current version. Standard AWD and a V6 hybrid drivetrain, this elegant and rapid coupe would be priced evenly with the flagship Maxima.

Photoshopped several years ago, this Town Car Classic would have been the ultimate facelift of the Panther bodied Lincoln sedan. A return to "suicide" rear doors and a formal rear backlight are clues to this extended wheelbase luxury car's role at the top of the Lincoln lineup.

Color-shifting paint is just one aspect of the Mercedes Benz CLS Cote d'Azur. a true flagship 2-door coupe. Wraparound glass and an exclusive V8 hybrid AWD drivetrain would ensure exclusivity and elegance, even in the most rarified of Europe's playgrounds for their 1%.

Lexus's FWD mid sized range would be extended with this 2-door ES 350C. The sedan's flowing roofline works just as well with fewer doors and larger wheels and uprated suspension would guarantee that the twists and turns on the way to the jewelry store in town would be as fun as possible.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

'Cuz I Love This Chop—Bentley Blue Train Coupe

Reposting this Bentley Blue Train coupe I chopped several years ago. This is one of my all-time favorite creations of mine. I love the proportions, the roofline, the wrapped rear window, the coloring, the wheels, lol. This chop, more than any other early cars of mine, showed me I could redesign an entire car in Photoshop, not just adjust the grille, or wheels, or trim. For the history behind the Blue Train appellation, click here.  Hopefully I'll be back to chopping new creations soon!

Also a repost, this is a "poster" I created years ago, to showcase the cars I had created up to that point. I could see this printed as placemats at a 24-hour truckstop, lol.