lunchbox 52

Thoughts on the Pagani Utopia, car-themed AI art, Nyck de Vries' F1 finish, and a captivating short film about a Porsche 997 Turbo owner.

lunchbox 52

When I was a kid, “Pagani Zonda F” was truthfully my default answer when anyone asked me what car I liked.

It not only separated those from who knew Pagani and who didn’t, but it was nevertheless fun to see their reaction. I suspect I’d still get “What’s a Pagani?” using the same answer today, but the difference is I’d now be lying.

I’ve heard versions of “Racing drivers aren’t athletes!” 1,000 times, and it’s clearly not true. Racing ain’t physically easy. Take Formula 1 debutant Nyck de Vries. Drafted in for his debut at Monza with less than 24 hours notice—into a new team—the former junior champion de Vries trains regularly but was completely bagged at the end of the race.

Turn up your headphones and listen to his call for some extra assistance on this short, funny clip. The “Baby Yoda” reach gets me every time. 🥺🥺🥺

F1 2022: Nyck de Vries gets helped out of car by Williams mechanics after points scoring debut • BiG Jèfè

With at least two ex-Petrolicious members among their ranks, anything the Porsche-funded Type 7 does definitely has a distinct but familiar feel. Is it a bad thing? I’m ex-Petrolicious myself, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all—but it takes a ton of work to get right. Add time of day, focal lengths, the edit, traffic, wardrobe, weather…

I think this film is a perfect example of how compelling car stories need much more than a couple of drone shots and mid-corner drifts. Less than 2:30 in total, you’ll barely get through a snack before wanting to watch it all over again. Now, count the cuts…

Turbo Kyoko Is Never Not Driving: A Type 7 Film • Type 7

“A Porsche 911 but better” is the prompt I used to generate these images at midjourney. AI-generated art is truly fascinating, and this week I’ll share more of my creations…er…iterations of car-themed AI imagery. If you have suggestions on what I should generate next, scroll down farther than you think you have to and leave a comment ;)

In my opinion, as a fan of comic book movies, quoting a comic book movie is instant grounds to end a newsletter subscription—and I’m doing it anyway.

“You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” was spoken by Harvey Dent, a District Attorney, to Bruce Wayne, the son of a noted billionaire. Why philosophize further, when the meaning is just that?

Above are two photos; one with Horacio Pagani early in his career at Lamborghini and the other taken just days ago on the occasion of his latest creation, the Pagani Utopia. Same pose.

First shows a small team in ~1987 huddled next to Lamborghini’s first foray into composites (led by Pagani), the in-progress (but before it was crash tested and destroyed) Countach Evoluzione.

The next is Pagani and the Utopia. Six original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, loaned by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, were part of the vehicle’s backdrop to the event. Working from piano compositions written by Pagani in his youth, the Milan Conservatory created a symphony as an accompaniment to the Utopia’s launch.

Some pomp for a car.

I won’t insult your intelligence by quoting the same facts, figures, and quick-fire opinions on looks we’ve been reading for the last day or so. I’ll leave you with two thoughts:

  1. Considering Pagani’s career progression and obvious talents in several areas, I think it’s ironic and a bit sad conversation online is focused around the car’s looks. That’s often all it is, isn’t it? With shutlines to make Maybach engineers jealous and exquisite detailing throughout, consider how artful a choice it was to hide all of the composite work—leaving nowhere for awkward lines to hide. It’s rare among cars of its calibre as a cohesive whole.
  2. The more perfect a car is, the less real it becomes. The Utopia, now steeped in pageantry and internet opinion, isn’t art. Sure, it’s a daily drivable and imminently trackable supercar…exclusively for people who likely won’t. Can’t—their actual jet racks up the miles. It’s a product stuck between two worlds, an alien in both.

Hark, let the Utopia be felt in your heart as a glorious hymn in praise of internal combustion! …as the congregation, unable to experience and understand for themselves, slowly exits the church.

Being inspired by and learning from paintings or scale model inventions from the 1500s is one thing, but grow the f**k up. It matters not if your motives are pure and talents extraordinary: if your art is from another time, it better be for now.

Utopia? Not today.