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.

 

Chuggin’ along the BNSF Railroad

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At the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Desert, California, volunteers maintain more than 3,300 feet of miniature railroad tracks occupying three quarters of an acre on the Zoo’s grounds. The main line features this G-scale BNSF locomotive traveling on 940 ft of track over realistic-­-looking waterways and past well-­-known landmarks, including miniaturized reproductions of historic Old Indio, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore.

Mark your calendar to celebrate National Train Day, May 09, 2020.