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Automotive Steampunk

Design Inspiration

Cars are usually an collection of cheap plastics and components made to suit as large crowd and as many purposes as possible by using the least common denominator approach. Some are making an effort though; Aston Martin pushes the design andtechnology inthe classic contemporary path while Spyker has created a car full of Steampunk elements.

Spyker C8 Laviolette

The Spyker C8 Laviolette, photo by Spyker.

The light and stiff monocoque chassis and bodywork on the Spyker C8 are made of aluminum.A dynamic and interesting interioris created with rose-ground aluminum and quilted leather, the exterior by contrasting bare metal and painted surfaces. No driver aid systems are present, is driver will have to master the car on his own.

Zonda Interior

Pagani Zonda F interior, photo by Pagani.

Although very modern (some might say futuristic)on theoutside, the inside of the Pagazi Zonda is true masterpiece of craftmanship and funky details. The carbon fiber, aluminum and leather brings back the old world in a very contemporary way. Some motor journalists (quite a lot of them infact) describe the Zonda and particularly the interior as overdesigned, I say it’s just right.

Confederate B120 Wraith

The Confederate B120 Wraith, photo by Confederate.

Motorcycles, and particularly customs, have always had some of the previously mentioned design elements; they are made by artisans and avoid the use of modern helper systems to provide a design that is as close to the designers vision as possible and to give a pure driving experience. Where most bike builders and designers have failed is the actual styling. Confederate Motorcycles changed all that when they presented the Wraith. A combination of cutting edge materials, manufacturingand styling based on traditional techniques and engineering makes it a retro-futuristic gem. All the classic elementsof an engaging custom is there;a pure mechanicalheart in the form of a big v-twin,fat wheels and a stripped design.

Golden Submarine

The Golden Submarine presented at SEMA 2008 by Webb's Automotive Art, photo by Autoblog.

The Golden Submarine is a fine example of steampunk from the custom and hot rod scene. They are usually slightly younger in their inspiration and provide a retropresent view based in the 50′s to 70′s. This car is based on the famous 1917 race car with the same name but has more contemporary proportions while still using classic hot rod technology.

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster

The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell roadster, photo by Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz started the F-Cell roadster as a project for 150 of their trainees and junior employees to kick-start their interest in alternative drive trains (fuel cells specifically) during a one year project. The proportions and styling has a strong ground in the original Benz Patent Car (along with top speed, 25km/h) but carries it into the 21st century.

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