Ever Since I Was a Young Boy, I’ve Been Drawing Sports Cars

ever since ofcby Bart Lenaerts & Lies De Mol

“Sixteen renowned sports cars. All as beautiful as they are useless. All adored by everybody, even if not a single soul really needs one. They don’t answer any practical necessity, except the desire to be faster, more beautiful and more powerful than their competitors. It’s almost primitive.”

 

 

Those 16 cars are the Alfa Romeo 4C, Jaguar F-Type, BMW i8, Aston Martin Vanquish, Mercedes SLS AMG, SRT Viper, Lamborghini Huracán, McLaren P1, Porsche 911 and 918, Chevrolet Corvette, Bentley Continental GT, Maserati Granturismo, Audi R8, Bugatti Veyron, Nissan GT-R, and Ferrari LaFerrari. Modern cars, in other words. This is important because it is one of the few commonalities among these somewhat category-defying cars that “the men and women who were actually involved in the design process from the very first until the last day” are still around and can be talked to.

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Where the author’s previous book, Masters of Modern Car Design (which, incidentally, Jürgen Lewandowski numbers among the 12 most important books. Ever.), told the stories of nine design chiefs who have responsibility for their respective marques’ overall brand design, this new book singles out specific cars and the people behind them so as to better illustrate the design process, criteria, and methods. While what Lenaerts refers to as “choosing is losing” (i.e. features) applies to sports cars in just the same way as it does to any other type of car, the buyer of a sports car normally favors a certain sets of specs over others—handling or speed over usable rear seats or heated/chilled cupholders—and accepts that this initial choice entails compromises elsewhere. Also, unlike your daily grocery getter, a sports car allows both the designer and the owner a great measure of personal expression.

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Practitioners in the field have declared the book an inspiration even to them inasmuch as it offers insights into the minds and hearts of people whose work they know and follow without having had an opportunity to actually meet and talk candidly.

As all books by this young firm, this one is brimming with intent. For instance, the reason each car is introduced with a full-page photo of a car hidden under a silky, contour-hugging cover is to prompt the reader to take the time to “read” the car’s dominant lines and guess its identity. Then turn the page to see if you’re right.

 

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From the author’s text to the photos to the many quotes and interviews, everything is presented in a way to engage the reader’s mind and stimulate interest. This is not another cookie cutter book, nor does it pander to any sort of generic, safe middle ground or shy away from polarizing pronouncements: Audi RS6 = not a sports car. RS6 owners are frothing at the mouth. Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

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This take it or leave it-approach doesn’t weaken the book’s utility but serves to help get into the heads of the people who design the very cars that will later engender reams of Letters to the Editor drawing lines in the sand, praising one car and condemning another.

Ever since sketchWhat this book offers is an understanding of what the people at the drawing boards and computer screens and blocks of clay saw in their minds—and translated into the real world of safety regulations and emissions controls and, yes, price.

ever since sketchbookIf all the sketches in this book make you want to twirl your own pen, also get the accompanying Ever Since I Was a Young Boy I’ve Been Drawing Cars In My Sketchbook, a 200-page note/sketchbook with mostly blank pages that have one b/w drawing by some 80 designers on any one spread (ISBN 978-3768838733, only €15, mini bios at the back).

 

 

 

Copyright 2015, Sabu Advani (speedreaders.info).

Ever Since I Was a Young Boy, I’ve Been Drawing Sports Cars
by Bart Lenaerts & Lies De Mol
WAFT, 2014
252 pages, 159 color & 116 b/w photos, 128 color & 39 b/w illustrations, hardcover
List Price: €59.90
ISBN 13: 9789081482097

 

other edition:

Delius Klasing, 2014
ISBN 13: 978-3768838726
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