Getting into Ford, Holden or Toyota’s local design studios is only slightly harder than opening one of those rigid plastic blister packets without severing an artery but, thanks to Paul Beranger’s new book, you can get a fascinating glimpse into Australian car design without scaling a single wall.
Eight decades of local design is covered in 336 pages with in-depth images, stories and biographies and you don’t need dynamite and a chainsaw to open it either.
Crayon to CAD by Paul Beranger $120
The 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback was immortalised by the Hollywood feature film Bullitt, but now you can have your own tiny version in the correct colour thanks to the venerable and quite indestructible Lego brick. It’s suitable for people aged seven to 14 but we won’t judge if you’re a little older than that. The kit is comprised of 184 pieces, one of which you are definitely going to step on.
Get behind our Ricciardo and prepare for the 2018 Formula 1 calendar with this limited edition footie. We’re struggling to see the connection between the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and AFL, but this genuine Sherrin Kangaroo Brand article rolls two huge Australian sporting assets into one. Pop it in the pool room or kick it at your best mate. Go Ricciardo!
For about $25 you can pick up a perfectly serviceable flatpack coffee table and build it yourself. Alternatively, you could sit down with Discommon, hand over a minimum of $25,000 and let them spend 50 hours designing your dream ‘car coffee table’. The company will machine the design from a single 1.2-metre billet of aluminium, leaving the impression of your car as if it has grown from the surface like Han Solo frozen in carbonite. If you can justify spending a thousand times more than the standard article, hurry. They’re only making 10.
Function over form summarises the unorthodox look of this modern watch originally designed for the vision-impaired. Two small ball bearings housed in magnetic tracks tell the time by feel rather than sight. Its inventor started prototyping after a blind student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology asked him what the time was. A subsequent Kickstarter campaign aimed to raise US$40K to fund the project, and was eventually backed for almost US$600K. Today, the Bradley is available in a variety of styles. The 40mm body is a single titanium piece, with a battery-powered quartz movement housed inside. Its namesake is soldier Brad Snyder, who lost his eyesight in an IED explosion in Afghanistan before going on to become a Paralympic gold medallist for swimming.
In celebration of Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday, TAG Heuer has issued a special version of the Autavia chronograph featuring an ‘MH’ bezel design with both minutes and hours, reversed silver sunray dial with black sub-dials, and a commemorative engraved case-back. Last year, TAG let the public decide which of its 16 first-gen Autavias would be brought back in a modern homage, and it was the classic Autavia 2446 famously worn by Formula 1 driver Jochen Rindt that got up. A state-of-the-art movement was swapped in and the case enlarged from 39mm to 42mm to create the Heuer Heritage Autavia Calibre Heuer-02, which is the basis for this limited run. Just 1932 pieces will be made, further acknowledging Mr. Heuer’s birth year.
Anglo-Swiss watchmaker Christopher Ward launched six motorsport-inspired timepieces under the C7 Rapide banner towards the end of last year, based around its innovative 42mm case that’s constructed from four stainless steel and aluminium parts using a manufacturing process that is among the market’s most technically challenging. The Chronograph Automatic model adds sharply cut-away lugs inspired by the weight-saving methods of modern racing cars. Central to the starring model is the celebrated and dependable ETA Valjoux 7750 movement, which was one of the first to be designed by computer, back in 1974, and has since become the most widely used mechanical chronograph movement there is.