Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Reinventing Wheels!

As 2011 comes to an end, I’m already gearing up for a big year in 2012. I’d like to thank everyone who has shown their support for my blog, I will continue to provide you with more of my projects, write ups and miscellaneous content from around the globe.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
BMW commissioned illustrator Gavin Patterson to utilise his skills for creating a Christmas card while in the passenger seat of a new BMW M5.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ice Cube Celebrates The Eames

Ice Cube the rapper and actor recently filmed a video for Pacific Standard Time which is a collaboration of more than sixty institutions that have come together to tell the story of the L.A art scene. In the video he helps to celebrate the lives of Charles and Ray Eames who throughout their life made many valuable contributions to the design world.

The hip hop artist also makes mention to the fact that “it’s not about the pieces; it’s how the pieces work together”. The Eames’s are a prime example of what a great team should be and I’m a firm believer that having good people around you is the key ingredient to success and happiness.

Ice Cube and I have something in common, we both share the Eames philosophy of repurposing. In an interview with the New York Times, he said: “So being that they put together a house in two days and used discarded materials — something about their style caught on. As I got older, I could equate it to sampling. That’s what we were doing, taking discarded records from the ’60s and ’70s and revamping them”. 

Perhaps Ice Cube's music wasn’t really motivated by guns, money and running from the Police. Maybe it all goes back to his days at the Institute of Technology in Phoenix where he studied architectural drafting. 

Ice Cube replicates an old advertisement, complete with a pipe and a 1953 DAT Chair.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Life after luggage

Carry on, carry off and then carry home, this is a typical day in the life of a suitcase.
What happens when its services are no longer required? Is there life after retrenchment?
Going against conventional wisdom, I decided to repurpose the old timer and give it a new lease of life. The simple addition of legs, salvaged from an old cabinet, and a couple of coats of 'Dulux Whisper White' paint has managed to totally transform this 1950’s hauler.
Judging by the overall condition, the case was lovingly cared for by its previous owner. Despite showing signs of wear, it still radiates charm and will continue to be a cherished item for many years to come.

Toyota's Dream Car Art Contest 2012

If you want to know the truth, just ask a child. Anyone who has ever been around them knows how brutally honest they can be, even at the expense of embarrassing their parents. When you listen to their stories, it's easy to sort fact from fiction, despite the latter is usually more entertaining. A kid’s vivid imagination can prove to be a valuable source of inspiration when creating cars. Inside every grown man and woman is their inner child, which leads me to believe the most successful designs stem from childhood fantasies that are then weaved into real life creations. 

Toyota is hosting an international art contest where anyone under the age of 15 can submit their design for a new car. Five winners from three different age groups in Australia will win a $200 Dick Smith Gift Card. The top fifteen Aussie winners will then be entered into the "World Contest" with the chance to win a trip to Japan in August 2012 for the awards ceremony.

More information is available at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

'The Hangover' 1965 Mercedes 220SE for sale.

When I think of movie memorabilia, the convertible Mercedes Benz from ‘The Hangover’ isn’t the first one that comes to mind.  Most will remember the 1965 220SE from two scenes, the first is when they are driving along and hear a thumping noise, only to discover a naked man in the trunk who attacks them and flees. The second is when Mike Tyson’s tiger wakes up from a drug induced sleep with an appetite for German leather. The opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a part of the ‘Wolf Pack’ is on offer through Daniel Schmitt & Co (minus the roofies, tiger and adventures).  

This car is one of five cars they used for the movie including three original convertibles and two coupes that were modified to resemble convertibles. The idea was to destroy the chopped coupes since they’d never be roadworthy again and to retain the convertibles for normal scenes. Due to some confusion on the set, a real convertible was unintentionally destroyed alongside a modified coupe. This is one of the two remaining convertibles which was originally listed for $95,000(USD), but is now reduced to $79,000 (USD).

Iconic scenes from the movie involving the Mercedes 220SE for sale.
Mercedes 220SE Cabriolet for sale through Daniel Schmitt & Co classic cars.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Pirelli calendar for 2012

Pirelli has a lot more to offer than just tyres, they also provide their loyal customers with some motivation to get them through the day - think of it as a break from being nuts about bolts. Pinups have been used in automotive workshops for over forty years, both as a way to remember key dates and as an excuse to admire half naked women. The first Pirelli calendar was created in the early 1960's and throughout the years they have produced some artistic releases, despite the fact tyres have never appeared in any of the issues.

Mario Sorrenti shot the 2012 Calendar; carrying on the tradition of Pirelli’s personal organiser which has gained cult status thanks to the beautiful, nude women who adorn its pages. The featured models on the calendar include Kate Moss, Lara Stone, Isabeli Fontana, Guinevere Van Seenus, Malgosia, Edita Vilkeviciute, Natasha Poly, Rinko Kikuchi, Milla Jovovich, Margareth Madè, Joan Smalls and Saskia de Brauw; but unlike previous year's, Sorrenti's version differs as he strays away from the usual straightforward themes. Instead, he has chosen a more subtle approach which is complimented by simple shots that evoke natural beauty. The images are so elegant that I was almost convinced I'd just perused through a French Vogue calendar. There is plenty of nudity so I’d advise not clicking onto it at work. Otherwise enjoy!

Photographer Mario Sorrenti posing with models featured in the 2012 Pirelli calendar.

The making of the Pirelli 2012 calendar.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reinventing a Vespa PART II

Rather than discarding the other half of my scooter, I converted the leg shield into a comfortable lounge chair. If you are curious about what happened to the back, look in the blog archive for my post titled “Reinventing a Vespa”.

AFTER: Lounge chair.
AFTER: Lounge chair.
AFTER: Lounge chair.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Reinventing a Vespa

When people hear the Italian word Vespa, it’s instantly associated with the brand.
The word actually means ‘wasp’ and was used by Enrico Piaggio for his scooters when they first appeared in 1942, mainly because of their appearance and the buzzing noise that was produced by the humble two stroke engines. Tougher emission laws and the push to “go green” have made it increasingly difficult for owners to maintain their retro rides on the roads of today. Instead of sending rusty Vespa’s to the trash pile, I have found a more creative solution: turn the Italian icons into functional pieces of designer furniture!

The donor for my project was a 1968 Vespa sprint that was beyond restoration, making it the perfect candidate. I feel that this was a more honourable fate than the scrap metal yard.
BEFORE: Ready to go to the Vespa cemetery, until I rescued it.
I have tried to retain the traditional characteristics by converting the back half into a functional work station, complete with adjustable lap top stand. My aim was to deliver the feeling of riding a Vespa without the helmet hair. Anyone want to take it for a spin?
AFTER: Study desk / Laptop stand.

AFTER: Study desk / Laptop stand.

AFTER: Study desk / Laptop stand.