Blackbird Automotive Journal Vol 1-4

Blackbird is a presentation of a design, a pure art form, a passion and it explores the intricate relationship between man and machine, as opposed to it simply being an object of desire or a status symbol. It is a title that looks into the mechanics, precision and engineering of past and present that gives life to the automobile as a cultural icon.

For the inaugural issue, we present an extensive story on the classic Porsche 911, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The commemorative feature showcases rare classic models of the air-cooled 911 era, as well as interviews with some of the major figures in the global 911 scene. Blackbird also talks to veteran Formula One racing journalist Richard Kelley, who unveils a series of never before seen historic shots at the racetrack in the 70s; arguably the golden era of F1.

In Blackbird Vol. 2, we pay a visit to two under-spoken heavyweights of the motoring world: the eccentric Toyota 2000GT restoration specialist, artist, designer, engineer, and author Shin Yoshikawa in California; and McLaren P1 designer Frank Stephenson, a man considered by many to be one of the most accomplished automobile designers of our era. These two masters of their respective trades share with us their thoughts on the art of the automobile, and their differing approaches to their craft.

Alongside these features, we test drive two iconic motors from polarizing spectrums for this issue – the Pagani Huayra hypercar designed and built by Horacio Pagani, and a futuristic electric vehicle from Renault simply known as the Twizy, both representing leading innovations in their unique sector of the automotive industry.

In our third edition, we reveal the origins of the iconic Beetle; a simple affordable vehicle through wartime conversion to modern cult status. Pivoting from the battlefield to the racetrack, we present impressionistic images of modern Formula One by new racing photo-ace, Jamey Price. We travel to Savannah, Georgia to visit restoration maestro Andy Greene, whose 40-year experiences with returning Ferrari’s to their former glory provide the background for a story of a life combining art and commerce, especially well-lived. We then spring forward to note the arrivals of two very different, and very technically provocative conveyances; BMW’s cutting edge Green statement, the i3 and one of the most desirable and established modern classics, the Porsche 911 Turbo S.

In the fourth volume of BlackBird Automotive Journal, we continue the journey of a humble Ferrari 500 Mondial as the cover story; from its revival by master restoration specialist Andy Greene to its reunion with the famed Mille Miglia, almost 60 years since it first accepted the first of its five subsequent challenges; once more feeling the freedom of racing over a thousand miles of its homeland. With a special focus on artists and craftsmen, we visit the studio of French artist Yan Denes, whose stunning pencil and pastel drawings of key automobiles and auto-racing scenes have earned him an impressive following amongst enthusiasts and aficionados alike, and speak to renowned designer Jochen Paesen – Project Leader at BMW’s interior design department, who shares with us how his twin passion of art and photography influences his work at one of the world’s most recognised marques.

Perhaps the true master of his craft, BlackBird Automotive Journal is proud to publish an article by the late legendary racing photographer Louis Klemantaski, derived from his handwritten memoirs and in-car photographs as he co-drove alongside Ferrari racing legend Peter Collins as they blitzed through the 1957 Mille Miglia; a rare chance to experience the historic race in a different era from the driver’s seat. This story serves as an introduction to a new editorial component of BlackBird Automotive Journal: racing. Additionally, from this issue forward, the Klemantaski Collection will offer a regular column in BlackBird Automotive Journal, enabling our readers to discover lesser-known racing stories through their historical archives. Rounding off the issue, we travel back to the modern age and share our experiences with two of the latest competitors in the field; Ferrari’s 458 Speciale, and McLaren’s 650S.

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