Last Stop for Gas: Palm Springs

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It’s exactly 111 miles from Paramount Studios in Los Angeles to the racquet club in downtown Palm Springs. For gas-thirsty cars of the 1960s, this classic Albert Frey-designed Enco gas station, with it’s cantilever roof built in 1965, was a welcome sight for movie stars arriving to the city for a secret getaway from Hollywood.

Highway 111 was as busy as ever when we made this photo, while the building lives on as the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

A must stop when visiting Palm Springs for lovers of interesting architecture.

#palmsprings #vintage #gasstation #cars #servicestation #midcentury #modernismweek2020

Peter Brock + the 1963 Lola GT Mk6 Prototype

Another incredible car on display at the 2020 Dr George Car Show was this 1963 Lola GT Mk6 prototype, the first of three designed by Lola’s Eric Broadley.

Eric was then hired by Ford in 1963 to design the Ford GT40. Ford bought this very Lola GT from Broadley to test components of the new GT40.

Joining the Lola GT on Saturday in Indian Wells, California was legendary American race car designer Peter Brock, who was on hand autographing copies of his book, The Road to Modena: Origins and history of the Shelby – DeTomaso P70.

This Lola GT Mk6 prototype has been owned since 1965 by Allen Grant, one of Carroll Shelby’s first employees and a driver on the Shelby American team that won the 1965 World GT Championship driving the Cobra Daytona Coupes.

What a treat it was to see the Lola, meet Mr. Brock, listen to his stories, and snag a copy of his book!

The 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition

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What a treat to see and photograph this spectacular 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition supercar at the Dr George Car Show in Indian Wells, California. The special livery of this car celebrates the final pair in a remarkable string of four consecutive Le Mans overall victories for Ford. 

This 2019 Ford GT is painted in the same famous baby-blue-and-orange scheme of the Gulf Oil-sponsored Ford GT40 (Chassis No. 1075) that won the 1968 and 1969 LeMans overall victory.

In 1968, the Ford GT was driven to victory by Mexican Pedro Rodriguez and Belgian Lucien Bianchi.  Belgian Jacky Ickx and Briton Jackie Oliver repeated the win in 1969.

Chassis No. 1075 is the only post-war car to win the LeMans race twice in a row.  Those victories helped cement Ford’s place in international motorsports.

Flashback to the legends of Kustom Kulture

Had a flashback to the golden age of California custom cars at the Dr. George Car Show today.

This is the incredibly awesome #Atomitron, which started life as a 1949 Studebaker pickup until John Saltsman dug deep into the ’50s and ’60s hot rod kustom kulture with the help/inspiration of some of the great SoCal legends of hot rodders.

A few talents behind the Automitron include headlights by George Barris, tail lights by Gene Winfield, paint formula by Larry Watson, interior by Crazy Kiwi Kustoms. List list goes on…

1915 Hispano Suiza Hot Rod

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The formula for a 140+ mph hot rod is simple… find a high-torque 18.5 liter Hispano Suiza airplane engine from 1915, attach a 1919 Delage bus gearbox before mounting it into a lightweight 1915 Hispano Suiza chassis that’s fitted with an Albion garbage truck rear-end, then stopped by mechanical chain drum brakes.

Another favorite from Jay’s collection that I was fortunate to photograph recently.

 

Architect Juan Miró – the talent behind the COTA Observation Tower

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Architect Juan Miró is the talent behind the design of the Observation Tower at the Circuit of the Americas motorsports, recreation and entertainment complex in Austin.

Miró Rivera Architects’ website describes the 251 foot tall Observation Tower structure as a “continuously-welded double-helix stair wrapped in a filigree-like diagrid.”

Each stair run serves as a helical diaphragm that transfers loads to a layered perimeter of vertical and diagonal HSS tubes. The 8” diameter tubes serve as an “outrigger column for lateral load resistance via a series of struts and rods that tie back to the primary structure.”

Accessed via two helical stairs and a high-speed elevator, the viewing deck sits at 230 feet above ground, offering a sweeping panorama of the entire track, as well as downtown Austin. A portion of the floor is structural laminated glass, allowing visitors to look straight down.

These are a few of the many photographs I’ve taken of the tower over the years.