Gunther Holtorf’s 23-year road trip

Here’s a great feature on BBC about a German former airline executive named Gunther Holtorf who took a never ending trip in his Mercedes G Wagen.

He’s gone half a million miles with no sponsorships, no social media, no blog, and no breakdowns. The video shows photos taken with Gunther’s two Leica film cameras, as well as shots by David Lemke.

Click here for the video.

C’etait un Redezvous

A good quote from John Dillinger in Pubic Enemies: “I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, whiskey, and you… what else you need to know?” I’ve got 2 of those 6 for you right here: The famous 9-minute movie C’etait un Redezvous is back online.

For those not familiar here’s the long story short: Mercedes blurred the lines between comfort saloon and sportscar back in 1974 with the 6.9, which is widely revered as the baddest Mercedes of all time. In 1976, French filmmaker Claude LeLouch strapped a camera to the front of his 6.9 and drove it full speed through the streets of Paris to make this film — the story of a gentleman who was apparently just in a hurry to meet his lady. Later he did the same drive in his V12 Ferrari and dubbed that soundtrack into the movie.

Click below to see the movie and waayyy more.

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BMW “Unscripted”

A while back I saw all these Chevy “ads” based on their old products and image. For a company that now makes the HHR, I wasn’t quite sure that reminding everyone how cool you used to be was really the best sales tactic, but it was interesting.

Later I came across this Mercedes ad which championed the reliability of their past and present cars. If you watch the long version, a couple of those stories were real tear jerkers.

Now we have BMW’s “Unscripted” campaign, the first installment of which features an older gentleman talking about his awesome 2800CS with over 400k miles on it. A real character, a great car, and a well done commercial.

Check it out here.

Cars

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Judging by the response to most automotive-themed posts here on Defgrip, it seems a lot of our readers are car enthusiasts.  Below are a few really good automotive sites which feature (usually) the sort of cars that I love, and that most of you seem to love too… Listed in order of the frequency with which I visit them. American Muscle, German performance, Exotics, slightly modified, over-modified, classy, seen around town, professionally photographed, for sale, commentary, videos, specs… it’s all there.

If you’re even remotely interested in cars, the first two will blow you away (if you’re not already familiar). Enjoy.

Bulgogi Brothers
Loudpop Voyager
Man on the Move
Cars I Have Seen
Jalopnik
Bring a Trailer
Wynn Ruji Photography
World’s Fastest Sedans

Above photo by M. Burroughs, from honorable mention Stanceworks.

Frankfurt Auto Show part 2

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Dave Mavro came through with a second batch of photos from the Frankfurt Auto Show. Click below to see them all.

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Audi and BMW Billboards

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I thought that these Audi commercials were pretty funny and accurate because they made fun of Lexus, a car which no self-respecting car enthusiast would buy. But then I drove by their Santa Monica billboard which says “Your Move, BMW” and thought it was a bit weird, not just because it’s corny but also because comparatively, BMW is still actually a pretty decent German brand, in a douchey, 2nd-to-Mercedes-and-Porsche sort of way.

So it’s extra funny to me that BMW dropped a billboard directly across the street soon after, featuring the M3 Coupe and the word “Checkmate”.

Check out the story and photo here.

Audi Super Bowl Commercial

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I’m sure you all saw the Audi commercial “The Chase” during the Super Bowl a few weeks ago. Not only was it fun to watch, cramming the iconic styles of each decade into thirty seconds, but it was also very cool to see Audi give a nod (underhanded as it may have been) to Mercedes and BMW, yet openly snub Lexus, long notorious for producing cars that look great on paper but lack any sort of soul. So funny how he gives the Lexus a disgusted look, and continues running.

The black 280SE was a perfect selection to represent Mercedes in the 70s, as was the E28 with BMWs iconic shark nose. After jumping that car through the billboard, they actually posted it on eBay the following week.

As a proponent of rear wheel drive I can’t exactly agree that the current decade actually belongs to Audi, but this commercial is definitely worth a few views.

Check out the full commercial here.

Check out the behind-the-scenes look at making the commercial here.

Mercedes-Benz Design History

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Keeping on the subject of the world’s first, and baddest, automaker… a few weeks ago Selectism posted this short and sweet summary of Mercedes-Benz design history from Wallpaper* by Jonathan Bell. The article is great but the photos are even better.

Excerpt:

“Mercedes’ key reputation rests on its saloon cars, traditionally deemed to hide over-engineered excellence beneath sober surfaces and straitlaced proportions.” An excellent philosophy applicable to almost everything in life, in my opion.

View it here.