Archive for the Notoriously Outrageous Category

Wendell’s Unique World of Papercraft

Posted in Editorials, Notoriously Outrageous with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

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I thought I’d switch gears and take a break from the ordinary and focus on the extraordinary. Let’s travel into the world of Wendell Koch. I remember the first time I traveled down his memory lane I had to stop and do a double-take – it looked so real it was surreal! It’s evident that his impetus is a labor of love. Welcome to Wendell’s World. It is a dream with an edge on reality. Who would ever have thought that pieces of paper could come to life in such a remarkable way – he refers to this unique hobby as “Papercraft!” No, the Mercury Grand Marquis above isn’t paper it’s one of Wendell’s favorite cars…this is his tribute. NotoriousLuxury salutes him  for an outstanding contribution to the world of Auto Art – 

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Compare the real Lincoln at the bottom to Wendell’s work above

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Papercraft “Vacation” Family Truckster Ford wagon 

His totally unique craft caught my eye a couple of years ago. These are so fantastic I had to share them with my audience. This is a change from anything you’ve ever seen. Wendell Koch is a good guy who has been dealt a bad hand in the card game of life. He has been a musician and a musical instrument instructor.

A debilitating disease he contracted as a child had been dormant for years now forced him into an early retirement. It attacked his respiratory system and left him with mobility issues because of muscle atrophy. But that didn’t rain on his parade! To interact with Wendell…one would never know the cross he bears because of his enthusiasm and spirit which is due in no small part to his positive mental attitude. I admire his indomitable stamina. He LOVES cars…so does his loving wife!

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Wendell is a lot like me with his love for cars. He too fell in love with cars at an early age. Throughout his early years he was surrounded by cars. (like I was) He said all of his toys were cars. Wendell’s parents supported his hobby avidly. He comes from a “car-loving” family. His dad and two brothers collected real antique cars. Wendell himself collected real cars from the 1930s thru the 1970s with great enthusiasm. Due to his illness he was forced to liquidate his beloved collection which forced him into a deep depression.

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This is one of my favorites! Check out the 1956 Nomad wagon, and 1955 Pontiac Safari wagon in the rear left hand side. The right hand foreground is a 1956 Ford wagon and behind it is a 1956 Plymouth wagon. These are really neat the way they resemble the real life vehicles they represent. Wendell’s work involves vehicles that never made it to plastic or die-cast models, which I think is great. It gives collectors the cars we really want to see replicated in miniature. Wendell has the staunch approval of his wife who supports his talent 100%. He says she is also his biggest critic!

Cars of Yesteryear: The complexity of creating older cars 

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According to Wendell, it’s the older cars which presents the biggest challenge to re-create. The curves of the hoods, fat fenders, and tail fins do not work well replicated on paper brought into 3-D. The pre 1961 vehicles are the hardest he says.

Per Wendell: “I did design and make some 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s cars. They required a lot more time and work. An example of this is my Father’s 1935 Ford wrecker (above) that he had used in his auto repair business. This truck had many separate parts to cut out and keep adding to the truck. There was never a photo taken of my Dad’s wrecker, I had to do it by memory and with the aid of a Ford truck book to help with accuracy. His 1940 repair shop is shown in the background.” Wendell is talented wouldn’t you agree?

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1935 Chevy Hay truck

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1932 Ford Coupe and 1957 Plymouth from the “California Kid”

This illness didn’t stop Wendell! He fine-tuned this art which has become his therapy to take his mind off of his infirmities. It’s interesting how it all began. His father made his first paper vehicle for him in the late 1950s. He took a piece of paper, hand etched the vehicle design – cut it out and taped it together. This tweaked Wendell’s curiosity as it would any kid. His dad’s love for cars rubbed off on him. Wendell experimented through the years on and off.  It was the mid-1990s when Wendell’s talent flourished. He designed and made two paper cars. One was a 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis fashioned after his own real car and the other was a 1977 Buick Electra fashioned after a friend’s car.

It took Wendell a few months to create the templates. He sketched every part of each car ensuring all details were accurate. The computer has since taken Wendell’s art to new heights in his Papercraft art. After experimentation, this man created the brilliant works displayed throughout this article. I tell you, I was incensed the moment I saw them on eBay where you may also purchase these unique works. I have purchased many, and from personal experience…I am amazed! They look just like the real cars. When you cut them out and tape them together they actually come to life. Display them with your 1/24 & 1/25 scale models and they really stand out! They add a realm of realism to your collection.

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1957 Plymouth from the “California Kid” and “Christine” right

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1955 Imperial limousine

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“Other vehicles that are similar to this in complexity were the 1956 Rolls Royce from the movie starring Dudley Moore “Arthur,”  and “The California Kid” with the 1934 Ford coupe along with the 1957 Plymouth police car. So are the blood-thirsty 1958 Plymouth Fury from Stephen King’s “Christine,” “The Addams Family’s” Packard, “Batman’s” Batmobile, and Col. Klink’s Mercedes from the TV sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes.” They all were fun to make but each one took quite a few months to complete. The Batmobile took the longest to make (4 months) and it required the most parts added on to it. The Gotham City police station is a printout and you will see the difference in quality as compared to background settings described later on in this article”

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Batmobile & Gotham City Police Car

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What a combination this is! On the left is Col. Klink’s Mercedes-Benz from Hogan’s Heroes” next to it is “The Addams Family” Packard and “Itts” Messerschmitt! (Of course you remember Itt!) This is absolutely amazing how Wendell brought pieces of paper to life in such a magical way. You really have to look closely to see that they are paper!

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A real custom Ford coupe

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“Back to the future”

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The Ford Anglia from Harry Potter

Wendell adds: “I have since stopped making any foreign vehicles and cars that require a complex build. The demand for one piece paper cut-out 1970’s American vehicles is all I can handle. All years of other American cars now are on permanent hold for the time being. The requests for 1970s American cars which come in every week, is astounding. These are easier for me to create using my established templates and I can get one finished in about a month.”

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Wendell LOVES the real Mercury Grand Marquis

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Background details: From town to auto dealerships

Per Wendell: “I started using a town background found on the internet to showcase the cars. The type of background was nice but got boring because I was using it for all my pics. I had to come up with something else. I then switched to dealerships with actual period correct advertisements. I created the car dealerships to help promote the look of the cars that are displayed for sale. The dealership backgrounds are for sale as well. They are the same size as my vehicles and will also compliment 1/24 & 1/25 scale model kits and promos.

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1975 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser with town background

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1975 Pontiac Grandville convertible with top up

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1975-1978 Ford Country Squire station wagon 

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1976 Oldsmobile Delta 88 4-door hardtop sedan

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I am using real cars to contrast Wendell’s talent

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Papercraft 1975-1978 Mercury Colony Park wagon 

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1975 Pontiac Grandville convertible with top up

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Now this is really, really, interesting here. Look at the detail Wendell has added to these! They are the Papercraft 1972 Dodge Polara Highway Patrol cars! The cars at the back look like they are real don’t they? I had to look when I uploaded the photo to make sure they are paper! You GO Wendell!

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Papercraft 1975 Chevrolet Caprice 4-door sedan

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Now here are the auto dealership backgrounds. This is a Chrysler showroom with the Papercraft Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue. If it weren’t for the cut-out at the bottom, it would be hard to tell if these are photos of a real Chrysler!

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Well if it isn’t “Uncle Buck” outside a Lincoln Mercury dealer!

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Papercraft 1977 Mercury Cougar Villager wagon

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Papercraft 1977 Lincoln Mark V Bill Blass Edition

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Papercraft 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car sedan

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Wendell’s World includes a 1979 Continental limousine

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Ah, the real 1976 T-Bird…the Papercraft versions would be better than this! These cars were dubbed Ford’s luxury lemons for a reason. Maybe Wendell will give us a 1976 Thunderbird? (The paper version will most likely outlast the original)

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Here’s a GM showroom with the 1976 Olds 98 Regency 4-door

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1976 Oldsmobile 98 Regency coupe – don’t they look real?

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Wendell’s rendition of the Imperial is spot-on!

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Now for the trucks…this is the Papercraft 1971-1972 Fargo (Dodge) Tradesman Maxivan…are these real or what?

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Papercraft 1991 Chevrolet Suburban with 2-tone colors

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 Papercraft 1974 International Harvester Travelall Woody Wagon

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Wendell’s dealership backgrounds are very authentic

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Papercraft 1980 GMC Indy Hauler short bed

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Burt Reynolds from the movie “White Lightning”

“The T.V. and movie vehicle background scenery pictures were found on the internet. They are not print outs, I use my computer screen which makes a really clear picture. Sometimes a picture does not print out well and looks much better on the screen. I tried to recreate The California Kid downhill chase from the movie along with actual scenes from the movies. Rambo First Blood and the Burt Reynolds movie White Lightning. My computer screen also supplied the Hawaiian background to the original Hawaii Five-O T.V. show 1968 Mercury Parklane Brougham and the house background from the movie Christmas Vacation.”

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Steve McGarrett & his 1968 Mercury Parklane from the TV Series Hawaii 5-O. Look at the detail Wendell captured in the Mercury!

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The original 1970 Mercury Marquis Brougham

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Rambo First Blood

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“The California Kid” downhill chase…

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“Christmas Vacation” RV with Cousin Eddie!

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Wendell even captured the rust on Uncle Buck’s Mercury!

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Who couldn’t love the whimsical movie “Cars!”

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Check out Smoky & The Bandit

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Buford T. Justice Pontiac Lemans with Smokey & The Bandit 

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As you may clearly see, these paper vehicles take many man hours to complete. They all reflect Wendell Koch’s labor of love. It’s the astonishing detail that grabbed my attention. Look at how each contains intricate detail – and all made from paper!

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The Dukes of Hazzard! “EEEEEHA!”

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Wendell even captured Cooter’s Towing service

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Now it wouldn’t be complete without “The Rockford Files!”

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And lest we forget “The Junkman!”

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1976 Cadillac Sedan deVille

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1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five limousine

Talent is contributed to the world of art in many forms. It’s this diverse creativity that offers everyone something to tickle their fancy. Wendell Koch has a unique gift. Who would ever have thought a piece of paper could be brought to life in such a way? His unique talent requires a vivid imagination. Wendell puts a lot of himself into his works of art.

He says that it takes his mind off his health issues. I admire how this man thinks. He’s not sitting around feeling sorry for himself…no, it’s just the opposite. His passion for the automobile is evident. Wendell’s very own anime is a delightful change from the ordinary. NotoriousLuxury is dedicated to take the automotive enthusiast beyond the ordinary straight to the extraordinary. You gotta hand it to Wendell – this is unique! NotoriousLuxury salutes Wendell Koch and his exclusive Papercar Art.

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Here’s a Mercury Grand Marquis for you Wendell! It isn’t “paper” but it is a little something just for you! After all…you’ve given so much of yourself to the world of art – so enjoy! God Bless you Wendell Koch, the entire world loves ya!

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017

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Thank you Wendell Koch for your gift!

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1979 Lincoln Continental Collector’s Series

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The Mercury was nicknamed “The poor man’s Lincoln”

 

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Custom Continental MK II: Mark of Excellence

Posted in Classic American Marques, Grande Marque, Lincoln, Notoriously Outrageous, The Bold and the Beautiful Lincolns, The Continental Life with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

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The Continental Life continues –

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Growing up there were cars I dubbed as favorites…when they would appear, they made me smile. Those were such happy times, so long ago…how I wondered where they’d gone. But they’re back again…just like a long-lost friend – all the cars I loved so well. It’s yesterday once more with John Torrie’s custom 1957 Continental MK II. The formidable Continental MK II is my all-time favorite classic car.

The Continental MK II is a timeless beauty that was built for only two models years exclusively by the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company. No, the MK II is NOT a Lincoln – it’s a “Continental” – I thought I would throw this in to dispel ambiguity. Here’s a dream with a little bit of fantasy. This custom 1957 Continental MK II is a contemporary rendition of a time-honored classic. Now this is what I call NotoriousLuxury…

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The classic 1956-1957 Continental MK II

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The “Mark of Excellence” is handcrafted by John Torrie Jr. and John Torrie Sr. They built the classic custom in a single car garage…no, this isn’t a typo. This one-of-a-kind beauty was featured in “Rod & Custom” Magazine as the spotlight vehicle. It began its life as a stock 1957 Continental MK II. The car retains its basic silhouette and flowing lines…capturing a rare serendipitous eloquence.

After being sliced, diced, chopped, and lowered, the MK II takes on a totally unique appearance. The custom Continental MK II is absolutely stunning from any angle. The amazing aspect of this beautiful car is the fact that it is as modern as it is classic. Look deep into its timeless styling and you can see the original design. From the aggressive front end cosmetic ensemble to the dramatic signature Continental rear deck lid, the Torries synthesized the best of both worlds seamlessly…in a rudely-elegant manner –

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The custom Continental MK II is finished in flawless “Corvette Atomic Orange” base coats. It’s the clear coats that adds depth to all of the contours and sweeping lines which forces the eyes to roam the entire car in a single appraisal.  The startling contrast between the shocking orange finish and the classic wide whitewall tires is highlighted by the outrageous 100-spoke chrome aluminum wheels. The custom Continental MK II is a successful confluence of old world charm and contemporary panache –

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The car’s avant-garde transformation is augmented by a lower profile. The roof is chopped 2” which makes the body appear even larger than it is. A modest height correction to the stock platform gives it dynamic road-hugging appeal. The car is lowered using Fatman Fabrications 2 ½” dropped spindles with Firestone dampers to replace the coil springs to the front suspension.

This swap allows disc brakes to replace the drum type. The rear suspension is altered using de-arched leaves.  The rear drum brakes are retained.  Monroe gas shock absorbers assist ride height at all four wheels allowing it to be adjusted for driving or lowered to “strike a pose” when she just sits and wants to look pretty!

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There is no unnecessary bling to discount its luxurious beauty. The restrained use of ornamentation is tasteful and sophisticated. Most of the stock MK II accents are shaved away…including the door handles. The front end styling boasts Frenched-in headlamps, custom grille, and lower bumper roll pan finished to match the body color. The upper portion of the bumper retains a stock appearance sans bumper guards. The blacked-out grille work is highlighted by a single chrome horizontal bar.

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The startling transformation to the rear of the custom Continental MK II is built upon the “ghost” of the stock version. The Torries kept the basic overall design in mind filling in the taillamps and transferring them to the former exhaust ports in the rear bumper…sweet huh? The iconic ersatz Continental spare tire design remains intact less ornamentation.

The rear bumper was redesigned with a body color roll pan to offset the chromed upper portion tastefully. The custom Continental MK II has all of the elegance of the original presented in sheer understatement that oozes class. Too bad the minimalist approach wasn’t used back in the 1950s when garish styling and strange protuberances ruled. The 1956-1957 Continental MK II is one of the few exceptions to the rule with its classic Euro-inspired simplicity.

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The custom Continental MK II’s old world charm influences its resto-mod interior. Sumptuous white leather covers the sofa-like seating. The classic simplicity of the sew style ends the center seams with single button tufting. It’s just as tastefully crafted as the original version. A unique center console design continues up into the rear seats, in a contrasting orange to compliment the exterior. The understated elegance is what captures the attention…everything flows in sync with the rest of the cabin – the car is very luxurious…

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Opulent luxury exudes from the original

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The Torries captured tasteful contemporary elegance

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Under its massive 70” long hood lurks a re-built stock version of Lincoln’s V8 engine. It’s a potent 6.0 litre 368 CID 16-valve naturally aspirated OHV V8 equipped with a 4-bbl carburetor. The Torries sound-tuned the engine to a sexy baritone by using a custom exhaust system with Cherry Bombs. The mighty 6.0 litre “Y-block” V8 for the original 1956 version produces 285 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 545 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm.  Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11 seconds with a top speed in the 120 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18 seconds.

The 1957 version is a tad bit more powerful with the same 6.0 litre V8 which now produces 300 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 563 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration for this version is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.3 seconds with a top speed in the 119 mph range, completing the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 17.5 seconds. Both engines are mated to Lincoln’s 3-speed automatic Turbo-Drive Cruise-O-Matic transmission.

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The opulent Continental MK II was a trend-setter with its classic elegance…the $10,000 price tag gave it pre-eminence few automobiles could achieve. The 1956-1957 original was designed to be one of the finest handcrafted automobiles in the world. Quality, fit, and finish were paramount. The exclusive Continental Division crafted the car with a rigid 7-point quality control regimen.

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The Continental was to Ford as Lexus is to Toyota. The stunning land yacht was one of the heaviest automobiles built for the day at 4,825 pounds. It was so comprehensively equipped, the only option available at the time was air conditioning which added another 365 pounds. The Continental MK II has the luxury length of 218.5”, rides upon a long 126” wheelbase and is a massive 77.5” wide.

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The classic 1956-1957 Continental MK II was built completely by hand exclusively by the now defunct Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company. Again…it’s not a Lincoln, it’s a Continental. This supreme achievement in motoring was built for only two years. The Continental Division existed only two years as well.

The elite Continental MK II was the image car for the Ford Motor Company. They actually lost money on each car produced because of the MK II’s extensive handcrafting. The classic simplicity and understated elegance was far ahead of its time when the other luxury cars from this genre were sporting gaudy designs with tons of chrome and towering tailfins.

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Custom cars are the ultimate expression of individuality. Anything from mild to wild takes the onlooker on a visual journey escaping the mass-production status quo. This type of automotive abstract art was popular for vintage vehicles from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s…when cars were real! The designers had something to work with. The most eminent custom car designers include Gene Winfield, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, George Barris, Thom Taylor, and Boyd Coddington.

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I don’t have any information regarding this radical contemporary custom. This is a 1979 Lincoln Continental MK V. Look closely at the front end ensemble, the custom grille and modified bumper. “Bumperettes” were popular in custom cars from the 1940s & 1950s. Every customizer has a style, it all starts as an idea…look at the results. If anyone knows anything about this stunning custom Continental MK V PLEASE let me know. I am dedicated to bring you anything that is notoriously outrageous. This is the NotoriousLuxury mission…

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This custom 1979 Continental MK V is rudely elegant

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…slammed right into the ground with authority

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…Notoriously outrageous

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…a slammed, down-right nasty Series Sixty-Two ragtop

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Here’s the 4th of July in a custom F-100 pickup

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This custom “Big-M” leaves ya weak in the knees…

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Here’s a mild custom 1955 Crown Victoria

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1979 Coupe deVille custom “LeCabriolet” ragtop

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An ultra-rare Continental MK II convertible

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Contemporary automobiles are designed to cleave the air efficiently. Altering today’s cars could create potentially dangerous situations. These wedge-shaped designs are specifically created to battle turbulence and cross winds. The front end styling includes features to enhance stability and reduce uplift. The rear of the car utilizes diffuser assemblies designed to create downforce. Removal of these essential design features could render today’s cars airborne at certain high speeds with the right combination of wind shear and loss of downforce.

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt at: http://www.schmitt.com

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I grew up admiring custom cars especially when Detroit, Michigan was “The Motor City!” The one of a kind automotive masterpieces are abstract art in motion. The custom 1957 Continental MK II handcrafted by the Torries, John Jr. and John Sr. is a “Mark of Excellence.” Frenched-in headlamps, chopped roofline, custom roll pans and valances replacing chrome bumper assemblies gives the car its own unique persona. The overall silhouette is lower augmenting the rogue character of the rudely-elegant design.

The 1956 and 1957 Continental MK II were handcrafted to be among the world’s finest luxury automobiles. These eminent Flagships are built by the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company which was only in existence for the 1956 and 1957 model years. The Continental MK II is a classic example of American automotive history. It’s yesterday once more, thanks to the Torries! From its aggressive front end ensemble to the ersatz spare tire design…the custom Continental MK II is an exemplary contemporary rendition of a time-honored classic. NotoriousLuxury salutes the Torries, John Jr, and John Sr. for their “Mark of Excellence.”

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NotoriousLuxury

Welcome to Greg’s World…

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Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury…

Symbol: Ferrari 458 Speciale A Spider

Posted in Exotic Exotics, Ferrari, Notoriously Outrageous, Supersports, Symbol with tags , , , , , , , on November 27, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The quintessential supercar…

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The latest chapter in the continuing saga of Prancing Horse passion is the exciting new Ferrari 458 Speciale A spider. The “A” is for Aperta that roughly translates to ‘open’ which is what this car is all about. The pinnacle of V8 powered open supersports cars is available to 499 lucky owners. The ferocious 458 series has attracted world-wide acclaim. It is the most powerful road-going V8 ever to sprint out of Maranello. Its youthful silhouette calls for a sunny day and a nice leafy run. The 458 Speciale A – as with all Ferraris – moves with tremendous verve and élan. It’s a new breed, ferocious and wild…

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This Prancing Horse is for the driver that seeks extreme performance. The Ferrari 458 Speciale A was introduced October 2, 2014 at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, France. What better setting than Monte Carlo on the French Riviera. Let’s take a scenic journey in this most spirited Prancing horse…I prefer the stunning views from the mountains of Nice and Menton with a panoramic view at 1,640 ft. above the coastline. You can catch a glimpse of Monaco. Just imagine this…you and your Ferrari 458 Speciale A and the Côte d’Azur. We can drive from St. Tropez to the Belle Époque aura of Cannes – the perfect setting to drop the top. Its retractable hardtop is made from aluminium and it only requires 14 seconds to deploy in either operation.

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Its sculpted contemporary architecture is designed to manage the wind. A series of innovative bodywork solutions has made the 458 Speciale A the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. It has a drag coefficient of a mere 1.37 with high downforce (cl: 0.485) and very low drag of (CD: 0.355). Ferrari Centro Stile and the eminent coachbuilder Pininfarina of Italy designed the 458 Speciale A with moveable aerodynamics that balance downforce and cut drag.

The increase in its overall downforce begins with the turning vanes on either side of the front bumper plus aerodynamic fins. The front air dam and the hump at the front of the underbody reduces pressure.

This extreme open spider delivers an intense driving experience even at low speeds. A Ferrari is dedicated to the emotions. A patented Ferrari system uses two vertical flaps with a horizontal flap below them. At low speeds they remain closed, at speeds of 105+ mph the flaps open reducing air flowing into the radiators reducing drag. A small forward wing directs airflow under the car, re-balancing downforce to favor the rear end at higher speeds. A large rear spoiler creates extra downforce. Active rear flaps raise and lower electronically as needed to maintain optimum aerodynamic poise. This is the same principle as the F1 with DRS (Drag Reduction System).

Even the chassis aids the aerodynamic network. It is made from 10 aluminium alloys to combine strength without adding bulk. All of these unique innovations yield aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics to make it the well established leader in the world of supercar superlatives.

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The Prancing Horse retrieves its prodigious power from the Tipo F136 alloy mid-rear mounted naturally aspirated 32-valve 4.5 litre V8 engine. It uses a dry sump system as medium of lubrication, allowing the engine to be installed deeper into the chassis, further increasing stability while lowering the car’s center of gravity. It cranks out 597 hp @ 9,000 rpm with 540 Nm of peak torque @ 6,000 rpm. It redlines @ 9,000 rpm. The engine is mated to the 7-speed dual-clutch automated F1-inspired gearbox with a manual shift provision. The Ferrari 458 Speciale A is absolutely performance oriented. This unit was refined to meet to increased engine torque demands. It delivers immediate response during gear shifts. Both upshifting and downshifting is more prompt than ever.

Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.4 seconds, 0-120 mph in 8.9 seconds, and 0-200 mph in 43.7 seconds…with a top speed of 206 mph. This Prancing Horse kicks up a little dust while doing the ¼ mile @ 134 mph in 11 seconds. The formidable 458 series has won major events such as the 24 Hours de LeMans endurance race, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 12 hours of Sebring. It has garnered two consecutive awards for “Best Performance Engine of the Year.”

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The engine is built at the factory’s in-house facility. They use the same machinery and processes as the F1 team to build complex components – with the extreme structural and dimensional characteristics required – for a naturally aspirated engine capable of cranking 9,000 rpm. Various engine components are redesigned to reduce internal friction. For example, there are new materials for connecting rod bushings and bearings.

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The crankshaft was redesigned to enhance lubrication to the main bearings. The carbon-fibre intake plenum and aluminium exhaust components are designed to reduce weight. With the use of “Diamond-Like Carbon” (DLC) for pistons increases fatigue and wear resistance. Friction is an engine’s worst enemy, with its reduction the engine’s life is extended. High-performance engines such as these are automotive masterworks.

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This potent V8 engine is specifically designed to accommodate the prolific punch from its increased torque output. Its engineering is a network of complex components and infrastructure required to optimize combustion, volumetric and mechanical efficiency across the entire rev-range. The combustion chamber was refined to enhance intake and exhaust phases. The intake features new geometry while the manifolds have shorter inlet ducts. The cylinder heads use a higher valve lift. The new cam profile increases valve lift and reduces average pressure during the pumping cycle.

The 458 Speciale A employs the latest generation electronics. Its Slide Slip Angle Control system (SSC) for added sporting flare, is a sophisticated software that computes lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering wheel angle, and speed. The SSC computes an instantaneous analysis of vehicle dynamics resulting in smooth, controllable over-steer refining torque management and differential torque distribution between the drive wheels. This ensures maximum vehicle response times. F1-Trac traction control and third generation E-Diff 3 provides maximum stability at all speeds.

The sophisticated Magneto rheological fluid suspension control with frequency analysis and twin solenoids is constantly tuning and calibrating the ride, also aiding its stability. It provides faster response and more body control. The Frequency-Shaped (FRS SCM-E) dampers, upgraded CPU and software modifies the magnetic field every millisecond. Cornering is excellent with faster, sharper, more challenging changes in direction. This unique combination of technical features results in fast response time to inputs from the road, and steering, optimizing the extraordinary Prancing Horse experience.

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The braking system for the 458 Speciale A evolved from LaFerrari. The new Extreme Design calipers, HT2 discs made from a higher content silicon, and new front pads cut braking distance 8 percent shorter than the 458 Italia. They are also more durable to facilitate its stellar performance.

The 458 Speciale A rides on specially designed Michelin tires that provide 6 percent more grip than the 458 Italia. The new Pilot Sport Cup2 tires feature a compound which boosts performance. These high-performance tires are mounted as size 245/35 ZR20 J9.0″ fitted to the front axle and size 305/30 ZR20 J11.0” fitted to the rear axle.

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Keeping the Prancing Horse’s minimalist approach to supercar cabins, the 458 Speciale A is status quo. Nothing outrageous to interfere with the man/machine interface. The extensive use of carbon-fibre evokes the 21st century look. The newly designed ergonomic seats are trimmed in luxurious Alcantara in an eye-catching 3-D technical fabric with contrasting stitching. The racing inspired atmosphere and its simplicity is highlighted by the steering mounted manettino and the controls clustered around the driver within immediate sight. This concept is further enhanced by the bridge extending over the central tunnel that houses the F1 gearbox controls. All aspects of the cabin network to optimize functionality. The cabin reflects the sophistication typical of all Ferraris.

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Prancing Horse Tifosi continues with the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. This exclusive supercar is available to 499 lucky enthusiasts. It inherits all superlatives from the ferocious 458 series of Ferrari’s most potent road-going V8 engine powered models. The 458 series has attracted world-wide acclaim with its sophisticated network of technology augmented by the Tipo F136 alloy, mid-rear mounted V8. This F1-inspired powerplant won two consecutive years for “Best Performance Engine of the Year.” The Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta is another automotive masterwork that clearly proves the fact…the Prancing Horse rules –

Introducing the ferocious 458 series

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Ferrari 458 Italia

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Photos courtesy Ferrari Press Club

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1962 Ferrari 250 GT Aerodinamica

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Symbol is a continuing series dedicated to the friends of Rolls Royce motorcars, Riva Yachts, and Ferrari supercars. These legends all reflect the good life…

RR and Riva

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Cheers to the Prancing Horse long may it rule

2014 Bentley Flying Spur by Mansory

Posted in Bentley, Notoriously Outrageous with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

…”Big Ben” with an adrenalin rush

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Kourosh Mansory has done it again! Look at the Mansory magic that transformed one of the world’s most elegant four-door saloons into an automotive work of art. The transformation of the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur is spectacular; it is very pleasing to the eye. Its chrome brown and carbon look is 21st century inspired. The Mansory magic takes the already potent twin-turbocharged W12 engine’s 625 hp and turns it into a fire-breathing Spur at 900 hp packing a prolific punch with an astounding 1,100 Nm of peak torque…it is electronically limited to protect the powertrain –

Carbon-fibre is the material chosen for the bodywork. It is ultra-light weight yet extremely strong. Mansory is a leader in the industry with their patented autoclave process. Carbon-fibre is so strong, supercar manufacturers shape the entire monocoque from it. High-strength-to-weight carbon-fibre is used when rigidity is required. The aerospace industry was among the first to use this process. Increasing energy costs inspired the auto industry to adopt these space-aged principles and techniques.

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Mansory takes the process to superlative for the coachwork of the Bentley Flying Spur. Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP), Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CRP), and Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRTP), all play a key role for the Flying Spur’s transformation. It is the medium chosen because of its tensile strength and durability. The strength is twofold; the matrix and its reinforcement.

The matrix is usually a polymer resin such as epoxy to bind the reinforcements together. The reinforcement allows strength & rigidity needed for automobile structure. The Flying Spur is lighter giving it an excellent power-to-weight ratio. Cranking 900 horses, aerodynamic design, and light-weight construction makes the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur indeed worthy of its winged “Spurs”…thanks to Kourosh Mansory…

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Kourosh Mansory had fun tweaking the standard alloy 6-litre 48-valve four-cam twin-turbocharged W12 engine. The basic powerplant produces 625 hp @ 6,000 rpm with 800 Nm of peak torque.

Mansory increased the horsepower to 900 by optimizing the turbocharger and engine characteristics; and an exhaust system capable of accommodating the upgrades in power. Torque is increased to 1,100 Nm. It is unusually spirited and is at Autobahn road speed from a standing start in a mere 12.2 seconds. This is a prime example of the dedication, experience, and engineering prowess from the Bavarian town of Brand, in Germany.

A slightly tame version of this extreme brute is the W13 engine which produces 745 hp with 950 Nm of peak torque. With either version, a totally unique driving experience is just the tap of the accelerator pedal away…

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“Big Ben” received aggressive front end re-working. The carbon-fibre in this car’s bodywork is a knock-out! Its distinctive upper and lower grille work is cast in an elegant chrome mesh. Bi-xenon projector headlamps with LED halo are set into gracefully beveled front wings. Its custom-crafted bonnet is integrated into the architecture with a contrast. The front apron has separately integrated LED’s. This Bentley Flying Spur is the epitome of Kourosh Mansory distinction.

The Mansory Flying Spur is shockingly elegant with a poised dignity that is 100% Bentley. The Mansory Flying Spur is finished in a beautiful tri-tone. Chrome, brown and carbon-work is displayed proudly. The bodyshell and its carbon-fibre construction is highlighted with redesigned sideskirts to give the impression of a much longer vehicle. The Flying Spur’s ride height can be lowered via sophisticated electronic air suspension.

The giant 22” wheels reduce the vehicle’s unsprung weight by 40%. They are crafted by a more complex than normal forging process. This gives the aluminium alloy reinforcement that guarantee safety, durability, as well as elegance. The Mansory Flying Spur rolls with 295/30 Vredestein tires for impressive traction and road-holding abilities.

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The stunning rear end styling is augmented by a carbon-fibre diffuser. The rear skirt has been redesigned incorporating unique stainless-steel chromed exhaust ports. They not only make a performance statement…they are tuned to a “throaty” growl alerting one to the fact this is no ordinary Bentley. The holographic taillamps add to the dramatic ensemble. Kourosh Mansory retained the Bentley distinction and then crafted an automotive masterwork.

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Kourosh Mansory didn’t stint on its cabin. This elegant version has harmonious tones which represent the traditional class of Bentley. The finest natural grain Nappa leather with Alcantara creates an atmosphere of individuality. Carbon-fibre accents augment the sporting nature of the vehicle’s transformation. Illuminated stainless-steel door sill plates introduce this as a limited edition of sheer distinction. Polished aluminium foot pedals, floor mats, and footrests with leather piping are among the Mansory Flying Spur’s signature features.

Options include multi-media and communication systems. Wi-Fi headsets, 9.5” touch screen rear-seat monitors, and a computer system with on-board hard drive, are among the electronics. Lighted folding rear-seat work stations, a power curtain system for privacy, and an integrated refrigerator are just a few of the myriad amenities available to create a bespoke experience.

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Mansory – the ultimate German Tuner – has carved an indelible niche in the art of modifying ultra-luxury and supercars. Kourosh Mansory has been fine-tuning automobiles since 1989. His favorites include Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, and Ferrari. He doesn’t stop there, he works his eloquence on other fine automobiles as well. His dedication, skill, and attention to detail are evident in this limited edition Bentley. Harmonically designed aerodynamic programs, ultra-light aluminium rims, and powerful engine performance enhancements are all hallmarks of this eminent coachbuilder and tuner.

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Here’s another one of Mansory’s masterpieces. It is the Bentley Flying Spur Speed. A Bentley is a motorcar of distinction. Mansory never interferes with the integrity of a car’s identity…he just builds upon it to create a unique expression. I like his avant-garde style. It’s understated yet dramatic.

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Modifying British ultra-luxury brands is a passion for Kourosh Mansory. The unique understated luxury of the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur proves the fact. Its elegant refinement augments the Bentley’s exclusivity and supremacy…escalating it to the absolute pinnacle of luxury motoring. Kourosh never stops with just a teak at the cosmetics…he knows that beauty is only skin-deep – but performance is the goal. He transforms the already potent Bentley Flying Spur saloon into a fire-breathing luxury saloon. This is why Kourosh Mansory is among the world’s most revered tuners. NotoriousLuxury salutes Kourosh Mansory…long may he tune!

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The Mansory Flying Spur Speed

Mansory Vitesse Rose: Mary Kay on a Power Trip?

Posted in Notorious, Notoriously Outrageous with tags , , , on September 20, 2013 by 99MilesPerHour

“She parks on your front lawn….kicks in your front door and forces you to buy hundreds of dollars of stuff you don’t want”……PLEASE don’t “make her day!”….This is really the Mansory Vitesse Rose, a three car run….(Mary Kay on a power trip!)

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Mary Kay on a power trip………………

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Mary Kay gives you one of these when you hog-tie and drag in kicking & screaming your 25,000th customer

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Can you tell this is a Bentley?

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…………………..NotoriouslyBOLD (Mary Kay on a power trip!)

…………….I had to brush my teeth after all of this sugar