Tuesday, July 27, 2010


1930 Custom Art Deco Henderson
The motorcycling world loves a ‘barn find’—an old, obscure machine wheeled out of the woodwork for the first time. And this is one of the biggest revelations of recent months. It’s a 1930 Henderson that was customized before WW2 by a fellow called O. Ray Courtney and fitted with ‘streamliner’ bodywork.  
The art deco influence is obvious; legendary automotive designer Harley Earl could have drawn those curves. It’s all the more unusual because the mechanicals are hidden: even at the height of the Art Deco movement, most motorcycles were a triumph of form over function, with exposed cooling fins, brake drums and suspension springs.
The bike is owned by collector Frank Westfall of Syracuse. It caused a stir in June 2010 when it appeared at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet, a motorcycle show held a couple of hours drive north of NYC. Grail Mortillaro (of the chopper blogKnucklebusterinc) had a camera to hand, so we have him to thank for these images.

Henderson was a Chicago brand and one of the American ‘Big Three’ (with Harley-Davidson and Indian) until the onset of the Great Depression. It went bust in 1931. But you can see the influence of the ‘streamliner’ style on another contemporary North American brand—Victory. If there’s a spiritual successor to this Henderson custom, it’s the Victory Vision Tour, a gargantuan cruiser with completely enclosed bodywork and not a leather tassle or saddlebag in sight.—Chris Hunter of motorcyle design website - Bike EXIF.
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1939 Rolls Royce Phantom III
In a world of plastic cars with hybrid heartbeats, the joy of driving is a dying art.  This 1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III “Vutotal” Cabriolet by Labourdette recalls an era when driving was always an artful experience.  Yet this is not your standard Rolls Royce Phantom III, this is the result of a complete rebuild by the Parisian designer Henri Labourdette.  Labourdette tore the Phantom III down to the bones, adorning its body with gold plating and brass fixtures on a shape that stretched sensually from bumper to bumper.  The “vutotal” term comes from that heavy slice of glass that rests above the instrument panel, a sharply-squared windshield that sits in a welcome contrast to the curves below.  As we said of the 1948 Buick Streamliner, curves like these inspire poetry… [fairfield concours d'elegance via ab]

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