Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1971 Cadillac Eldorado Design Tweak

This was a fun chop to create! I've been thinking of older Cadillacs a lot lately, and have been finding original publicity photos online and saving them to my hard drive. This was a black-and-white press photo of the new-for-1971 Eldorado convertible, a car that is most definitely a modern classic. In addition to the design changes, detailed below, I added in a subtle 4-color hand-tinted look to the rendering.

For this design "tweak," the biggest change I made was restoring the hidden headlights of the 1967-68 Eldorados. Besides being a very period touch, hidden headlights really clean up a front end. I broadened the grille to full-width, removed the stand-up hood ornament and added the Cadillac wreathe-and-crest to the hood, a '67-'70 styling cue. Then I cleaned up the bodysides, removing the mid-level chrome spear and the front nameplate and engine logo. I moved the front cornering lights down into the rocker panel to blend better with the chromed rocker panels between the wheelwells. I left the nifty decorative rear fender "vent" as it's such a great nod to not only the original Eldorado of '53 but most Cadillac models of the '50s. Then I added back in a teeny tiny letterspaced E-L-D-O-R-A-D-O nameplate on the lower front fender and a wreathe-and-crest logo on the rear fender. Last addition? A Connecticut license plate.

Overall, I tried to "clean up" a classic GM design. Ballsy perhaps, but the late, great Bill Mitchell isn't around to yell at me, lol. But that would be COOL!

T E C H N I C A L   T H O U G H T — At first I completely "shaved" the sides of the car, airbrushing in a perfect white paint job where I had removed the chrome bodyside spear etc. But the sides looked too "flat" without reflections. I looked back at the original image and added back in the very subtle horizontal reflections all along the lower sides of the car. Now I think they look like I didn't quite remove the chrome spear correctly, lol. I went back and forth several times, with them, without them, with them, without them, finally deciding to leave them in the final rendering.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Buick Encue—Their Active New Middle Child

Meet Buick's midsize crossover, my new Encue, slotting nicely between their small Encore and their large Enclave. Woody, my friend that writes Woody's Car Site blog, suggested this chop and I thank him for the idea! The base photo was the brand new for-Europe-only Chevrolet Trailblazer. I modified the Encore's front clip to fit the wider and longer Trailblazer body and added a few casey/artandcolour touches including Buick's famed "Tricolor" badge, the letterspaced B-u-i-c-k nameplate above the grille and the chrome "teeth" in the now-functional scoops below the headlights. Other detail changes include a taller rearmost side window, the glass paneled roof, and a few added chrome embelishments here and there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Needs Work! '80s Imperial Crown Coupe

1982 Imperial Crown Coupe—restoration needed! One of my tongue-in-cheek chops, this was a perfectly acceptable 1982 Imperial coupe when I started with it. I gave it a more "private" greenhouse with a stainless steel "crown" roof section, much wider C pillars, a 1960s Imperial nameplate on the trunk, and larger wheels on blackwall tires. Then I gave it rusty patches bubbling up in several places, chalky paint and a For Sale sign, placing the car in a typical stretch of car dealerships in Anytown, USA. I think this design could have worked, Chrysler certainly wasn't against retro styling, the Imperial often flaunted Classic-era touches. (I did this chop a while ago, but couldn't find it posted. Maybe I just didn't label it properly, but if that's the case, please enjoy it a second time!)
: )

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Gen Audi TT Tweak

Could the third generation Audi TT draw inspiration from the bold first gen rather than the meek second gen? As much as I loved the original TT, the uninspired second series left me cold—unusual for an Audi, one of my favorite brands! For this chop, I started with the original '90s TT and enlarged the side windows. This made the roofline flatter and less bulbous and also opened up the interior. I dropped the door handles a few inches to better line up with the head- and taillights, and I darkened the rocker panels except for the lower doors. I like the "form follows function" look of the rounded lower doors "breaking" the dark rocker trim. I also added a three-dimensional embossed Audi nameplate to the doors. Following the existing cutlines on the trunk/hatch, I divided the taillights into separate clear and red sections and gave them a high-tech grid appearance for updated LEDs. To match, I did a similar treatment with the wraparound front headlights. I enlarged the wheels and blackened portions of the rim for a much bolder look and actually raised the ride height a little bit. This TT would be a Quattro model, and I like the idea of a slightly higher-riding vehicle, perhaps for rallying. The glass roof section rounds out the changes I made to this iconic little German sportscar.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fusion Energi 5-door Hatchback: Plug-In Sleekness

My newest stab at playing with Ford's hot new Fusion is this sleek 5-door hatchback. Besides the sleeker greenhouse, and new black glass roof, I darkened the rocker panels. I also detailed the taillight graphics with a matte black panel tying them together with a chrome license plate plinth for a bit of sparkle. With today's cars virtually monochromatic from wheels to roof, I miss the darker/brighter/two-toned detailing that older cars featured. I think they added great visual interest when done well. New, lighter wheels a  bit of sporting appeal to this electric plug-in Fusion Energi.