Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ship Of The Desert Is Your Doc On Call

Camels are known as the "ships of the desert." They can glide across desert sands with ease, and provide one of the most important modes of transportation for people in desert areas. Dromedary camels, the breed with only one hump, seen in the plans bellow, can travel at speeds of up to 8 to 10 miles per hour for up to 18 hours! Bactrian camels, the ones with two humps are slower, traveling at speeds of around 5 miles per hour. But they can maintain this speed for longer periods of time over great distances (about 30 miles a day), and can carry extremely heavy loads (equivalent to 8 large suitcases!) in the process. Camels have long, strong legs. Powerful muscles in the upper part of the legs allow the animals to carry heavy loads for long distances.

It’s the modern times and in urban areas we are just a phone call away from the nearest emergency medical service. However in the remote regions of the desert scape Flying Doctors are not always available. How do you get the necessary First Aid? No worries, design student Frederic Schwab has it all figured out with his emergency dromedary concept that sees the trusty old camel of the chieftain coming to aid with a doc in tow!

This camel-trotting concept involves a “baja” and a “seji”. The baja is a lightweight contraption that can seat the respected doctor, and the seji is a framework structure that is essentially meant for the sick person but can also double up as an equipment carrier. Using a plug-in system, the necessary transformation from a box carrier to a stretcher happens in a jiffy.

A little bit of use of technology is essential however, you will need to call the doc on his phone to summon him; the camel-baja outfit along with the inbuilt GPS system then track you and hurry on to administer the First Aid.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Industrial Design in Motion

Voltra by Dan Anderson - Sidney, Australia

VOLTRA is an electric motorcycle which uses product semantics to help create the sense of visual excitement and exhilaration so important in the appeal of motorcycles.
The Voltra is the result of research into motorcycling history, society and culture as well as technology, materials and manufacturing and product semantics.

Deltoid Design DD 20-19, by Athanasios Kartas

Athanasios Kartas has designed a very cool looking car that looks like its straight out of a matrix film with the green light effect. Called the Deltoid Design DD 20-19, the features of the car are not really disclosed, but as far as the design goes, it gets thumbs up from me. Small and compact, it is a two-seater that looks high-tech and suave. The steering wheel is on the left side and the wheels look fiery with the metal pattern that has been designed on it. Quite a new and innovative design it indeed is.

Hurricane, by Jin Seok Song, South Korea

The Fibonacci sequence, which appears in plants, higher organisms and natural phenomena, has such perfect structure and
formativeness as to be called a ratio of God. The innovative design was achieved using this optimum mathematical resolutin.
The Hurricane's wheel made from a single rim combines previous complicated suspension systems into one,
which has a new formative beauty that could not be found in the previous wheel.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

John Mayall, A Bluesman.

John Mayall

Artist Biography Source: Under GNU FDL license

John Mayall, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical career spans over fifty years, but the most notable episode in it occurred during the late '60s. He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and, as a gifted talent-scout, has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Jon Mark, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington.

to listen to the full song, click on ADD , or just sign up IT'S FREE
special thanks to

Mayall's father was Murray Mayall, a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, he was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.

Mayall served three years of national service in Korea and, during a period of leave, he bought his first electric guitar. Back in Manchester, he enrolled at Manchester College of Art (now part of Manchester Metropolitan University) and started playing with semi-professional bands. After graduation, he obtained a job as an art designer but continued to play with local musicians. In 1963, he opted for a full time musical career and moved to London. His previous craft will be put to good use in the designing of covers for many of his coming albums.
Since the end of the 60's Mayall has been living in the U.S. A brush fire destroyed his house in Laurel Canyon in 1979, damaging seriously his musical collections and archives.
John Mayall married twice and has six grand-children. Mrs Maggie Mayall is an American blues performer and has, since the early 1980s, taken an active part in the management of her husband's career.

In 2005 Mayall was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Honours List.
Source: Under GNU FDL license

The early years

In 1956, with college fellow Peter Ward, Mayall had formed the Powerhouse Four, which consisted of both men plus other local musicians, with whom they played at local dances. In 1962, Mayall became a member of the Blues Syndicate. The band was formed by trumpeter John Rowlands and alto saxophonist Jack Massarik, who had seen the Alexis Korner band at a Manchester club and wanted to try a similar blend of Jazz and Blues. It also included rhythm guitarist Ray Cummins and drummer Hughie Flint, whom Mayall already knew. It was Alexis Korner who persuaded Mayall to opt for a full time musical career and move to London. There, Korner introduced him to many other musicians and helped them to find gigs. In late 1963, with his band which was now called the Bluesbreakers, Mayall started playing at the Marquee Club. The lineup was Mayall, Ward, John McVie on bass and guitarist Bernie Watson, formerly of Cyril Davies and the R&B All-Stars. The next spring Mayall, obtained his first recording date with producer Ian Samwell. The band, with Martin Hart at the drums, recorded two tracks : "Crawling Up a Hill" and "Mr. James." Shortly after, Hughie Flint replaced Hart, and Roger Dean took the guitar from Bernie Watson. This lineup backed John Lee Hooker on his British tour in 1964.

Mayall was offered a recording contract by Decca and, on 7 December 1964, a live performance of the band was recorded at the Klook's Kleek. A single, "Crocodile Walk", was recorded later in studio and released along with the album, but both failed to achieve any success and the contract was terminated.

In April 1965, former Yardbirds guitarist Eric Clapton replaced Roger Dean and John Mayall's career entered a decisive phase [1]
Late 1960s through 1970s
With their new guitar player, The Bluesbreakers started to attract considerable attention.[2]

In April 1966, the Bluesbreakers returned to (Decca) Studios to record a second LP with producer Mike Vernon. The sessions, with horn arrangements for some tracks (John Almond on baritone sax, Alan Skidmore on tenor sax and Dennis Healey on trumpet), lasted just three days. Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton was released in the UK on 22 July 1966. This album has now gained the status of a classic, but it was also Mayall's commercial breakthrough, rising to #6 on the chart. In the meantime, Clapton announced the formation of Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.

Mayall had to replace him and persuaded Peter Green to come back. During the following year, along with Peter Green on guitar and various other sidemen, some 40 tracks were recorded. The album A Hard Road was released in February 1967. Today its expanded versions include most of this material and the album itself also stands as a classic. But Peter Green gave notice and soon started his own project Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac which was to include the three former Bluesbreakers.

to listen to the full song, click on ADD , or just sign up IT'S FREE
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Mayall's first choice to replace Green was 16-year-old David O'List, guitarist from The Attack. However O'List declined and went to form The Nice with organist Keith Emerson. Mayall found two other guitarists for the Bluesbreakers, Terry Edmonds and 19-year-old Mick Taylor.

In a single day of May 1967, Mayall alone had put together in a studio an album, which was released in November with the apt title The Blues Alone. Only former Artwoods drummer Keef Hartley appears on half of the tracks, which showcase Mayall's ability as multi-instrumentalist.

A six-piece lineup (consisting of Mick Taylor on lead guitar, John McVie on bass, Hughie Flint or Keef Hartley on drums, Rip Kant and Chris Mercer on saxophones), recorded the album Crusade on 11 and 12 July 1967. These Bluesbreakers spent most of the year touring abroad and Mayall taped the shows on a portable recorder. At the end of the tour, he had over sixty hours of tapes, which he edited into an album in two volumes: Diary of a Band, Vols. 1 & 2, released in February 1968. Meanwhile, a few lineup changes had occurred : McVie had departed and was replaced by Paul Williams, who quitted to join Alan Price and was replaced by Keith Tillman ; Dick Heckstall-Smith had taken the sax.

Following a U.S. tour more lineup changes occurred as Mayall replaced Tillman by 15-year-old Andy Fraser, who left within six weeks to join Free, and Tony Reeves, previously a member of the New Jazz Orchestra, replaced him. Hartley was also required to leave and he was replaced by New Jazz Orchestra drummer Jon Hiseman, who had also played with the Graham Bond Organization. Henry Lowther, who played violin and cornet, joined in February 1968. Two months after, the Bluesbreakers recorded Bare Wires, co-produced by Mayall and Mike Vernon, which came up to #6. Hiseman, Reeves and Heckstall-Smith then moved on to form Colosseum and the new lineup retained Mick Taylor and added drummer Colin Allen, formerly of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, Dantalian's Chariot and Georgie Fame, and a young bassist Stephen Thompson. In August 1968, the new quartet recorded Blues from Laurel Canyon.

After nearly two years with Mayall, Taylor left and joined officially the Rolling Stones on 13 June 1969. Chas Crane filled in briefly. Allen then left for Stone the Crows, leaving as the only holdover bassist Thompson (who would also eventually join Stone the Crows). Mayall recruited acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Jon Mark and flautist/saxophonist John Almond. Mark was best known as Marianne Faithfull's accompanist for three years and for having been a member of the band Sweet Thursday (which included Nicky Hopkins, and Alun Davies, of Cat Stevens's fame). Almond had played with Zoot Money and Alan Price. The new band was markedly different from previous Mayall projects. A performance at the Fillmore East provided the tracks for the live album The Turning Point. A studio album, Empty Rooms, was recorded with the same personnel and Mayall continued the experiment of formations without drummers on two more albums. On USA Union a violin replaced the wind instruments and on Memories the band was stripped down to a trio.

In November 1970 Mayall launched a recording project involving most of the notable musicians with whom he had played during the last few years. The double album, Back to the Roots, features Clapton, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel and Jerry McGee on guitar, Thompson and Larry Taylor on bass, Keef Hartley and Paul Lagos on drums. Back to the Roots did not promote new names and USA Union and Memories were recorded with American musicians: Mayall had exhausted his catalytic role on the British blues-rock scene. The list of musicians who have benefited from association with him remains impressive[3]

At the start of the seventies Mayall had relocated in the USA where he spent most of the next 15 years, recording with local musicians for various labels. In August 1971, Mayall produced a jazz oriented session for bluesman Albert King[4]

During the next decade Mayall continued shifting musicians and switching labels and released a score of albums. Tom Wilson, Don Nix and Allen Toussaint occasionally served as producers. At this stage of his career most of Mayall's music was rather different from electric blues played by rock musicians, incorporating jazz, funk or pop elements and adding even female vocals. A notable exception is The Last Of the British Blues (1978), a live album excused apparently by its title for the momentaneous return to this type of music [5]
The return of The Bluesbreakers

In 1982 Mayall was reunited with Mick Taylor, John McVie and Colin Allen, three musicians of his sixties lineups, for a brief tour from which a live album would emerge a decade later. In 1984 Mayall restored the name Bluesbreakers for a lineup comprising the two lead guitars of Walter Trout and Coco Montoya, bassist Bobby Haynes and drummer Joe Yuele. The mythic name did perhaps something to enhance the interest in a band which by all standards was already remarkable. A successful world tour and live recordings achieved the rest.

In the early 1990s most of the excitement was already spent and Buddy Whittington became the sole lead guitarist in a formation which included then organist Tom Canning.

Mayall's 70th birthday was the occasion for a get together concert with some previous sidemen, including Clapton, Taylor and a few other well known names.

On the occasion of the 40th year of his career Mayall received carte blanche to invite fellow musicians for the recording of a celebratory album. Along for the Ride appeared in 2001, credited to John Mayall and Friends with twenty names listed on the cover, including some Bluesbreakers, old and new, and also Gary Moore, Jonny Lang, Steve Cropper, Steve Miller, Otis Rush, Billy Gibbons, Chris Rea, Jeff Healey, Shannon Curfman and a few others.

In 2005, Mayall was awarded an OBE in the Honours List. "It's the only major award I've ever received. I've never had a hit record or a Grammy or been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." commented Mayall.[6]

In November 2008 Mayall announced on his website he was disbanding the Bluesbreakers to cut back on his heavy workload and give himself freedom to work with other musicians. However three months later a world tour with a new band was announced: Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums. Tom Canning, on organ, joined the band for the tour which started in March 2009. An album was released in September.

special thanks to

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

T-Bone Walker, A Bluesman

Ontem a noite no "Pasquineiras", novíssimo blog do Mestre Joca, trocamos rápidas idéias a respeito dos primeiros tempos do blues. Como sempre, quando converso a respeito do blues, sempre vem a minha mente o T-Bone Walker, e aqui estão dois dos seus clássicos:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Could be a new release for 2014.It happens however, to be a design from1968...must see it, to believe it.

Bizzarrini Manta: Designed by Giuguaro in 1968, through his new company, Ital Design, the Bizzarrini Manta was the company's first project. The Manta was a concept car based on the tubular chassis of the Bizzarrini 538. The car featured a mid mounted Chevrolet V8 engine, producing 400bhp.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Logical Song - Supertramp - Roger Hogdson

It was posted on this space about one year ago... can't help, I'm a huge Supertramp fan, so always it's worth to see it once again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Relembrando "O Pasquim"

Para os que como eu, em 1969, estavam na adolescência, ou no máximo nos primeiros vinte anos de vida, ter nas mãos um exemplar de "O Pasquim ", era sinônimo da mais pura rebeldia. Rebeldia própria da idade, mas principalmente contra o regime estabelecido. Eram os duros anos da ditadura militar.
Para quem não chegou a conhecer, ou para os que conheceram e quizerem relembrar, vale a pena ler o texto do Gregório Macedo.

Texto extraído do "Portal do Luis Nassif"

Gregório Macedo
O Pasquim: quarenta lances
* Postado por Gregório Macedo em 24 junho 2009 às 20:30
* Exibir blog de Gregório Macedo

1. 1968: morre Sérgio Porto, o Stanislaw Ponte Preta. Com ele, 'A Carapuça'. Dezembro 1968: AI-5. Junho 1969: O PASQUIM. Por que O Pasquim? Jaguar: 'Já que vão esculhambar o jornal, vamos esculhambá-lo desde logo' (algo assim). Tarso de Castro, Jaguar, Ziraldo, Millôr Fernandes, Carlos Leonam, Prósperi, Claudius, Fortuna, Sérgio Cabral, Sérgio Augusto, Ivan Lessa, Paulo Francis, Fausto Wolff. Uns desde o começo, outros logo após. Millôr alerta: 'Se durar muito é porque algo deu errado' (por aí).

2. Número 1. Entrevistado: Ibrahim Sued. Chegou a hora fatal. Cadê a entrevista? Jaguar transcreve direto, na lata, no 'formato original'. Resultado: impacto duca! Descontração plena. Firmou jurisprudência.

3. Jaguar desenhava a tira 'Chopnics', com sacadas de Ivan Lessa. Um ratinho arguto chamado Sigmund Freud analisava a situação da atriz Odete Lara, presa de uma fossa sem fim. O ratinho toma corpo e é promovido a SIG, mascote do O Pasquim e, meses depois, a queridão da Banda de Ipanema.

4. Leila Diniz chega arrebentando convenções em entrevista antológica. Deslumbrante e revolucionária. Toda semana, uma baita entrevista. Nunca mais uma como a de Leila, qual Gilda. O Pasquim estraçalha. Tiragem: 200.000 exemplares.

5. Ziraldo, Jaguar, Millôr, Henfil, Guidacci, Redi, Laerte, Miguel Paiva, Angeli, Luscar, Coentro, Duayer, Nilson, Nani, Edgar Vasques, Lailson, Santiago, Mariano, Solda, Cláudio Paiva, Hubert, Alcy, Biratan, Mariza, Paulo e Chico Caruso, Wolinsky, Bosc, Crumb,Quino, Steinberg. O desenho de humor passou a reinar solto na floresta de metáforas Brasil.

6. No auge da censura, o estoque de charges e cartuns era gigantesco, visto que cada desenho 'xisado' tinha de ser substituído no ato.

7. Edélsio Tavares (Ivan Lessa), 'vinte anos de jornalismo', era o irascível respondedor das cartas dos leitores. Quanto mais Tavares batia, mais os leitores se refestelavam.

8. Na seção de cartas (página 2), no canto inferior direito pontificava o box dos picles, onde brilharam Neil de Castro e outros. (Dei uns pitacos por lá).

9. Paulo Francis deslindou Watergate. Teatro, literatura, política internacional, Francis navegava a braçadas.

10. Henfil, o filho de dona Maria, lançou O Pasquim às feras, digo, aos fradins Cumprido e Baixim, acompanhados por Graúna, Bode Orellana e, mais tarde, Ubaldo, o Paranóico.

11. Ivan Lessa, bamba do texto, lançou o 'Gip Gip Nheco Nheco', picles ferinos (óbvio!) ilustrados por Jaguar (e Caulos e Redi?). Já Hélio e Jacy eram duas minúsculas aranhas que pululavam pelo O Pasquim a debater questões metafísicas (tipo 'você é que é a marcha dos que não foram?'; 'não, eu sou o amargo regresso'). Acho que Hélio e Jacy eram crias da dupla terrível, mas posso estar enganado.

12. A Música Popular Brasileira recebeu o afeto de Sérgio Cabral e, depois, de Tárik de Sousa e Roberto Moura.

13. Luiz Carlos Maciel editava a seção Underground, onde, por um breve tempo, abrigaram-se alguns dos poetas de 'Flores do Mal', lendária revista de que participou o piauiense Torquato Neto, editor de cultura do jornal Última Hora. A contracultura de McLuhan dominava o Underground.

14. Nas 'dicas', pintava de tudo. Duas ou mais páginas. Ziraldo, loquaz ao extremo, lançou as 'dicas fatiadas'. Exemplo: viagem com a família (I), viagem...(II), viagem...(III). E lá seguia o querido Zira a relatar peripécias da gurizada pelo interior de Minas (acho que numa Brasília). E a gente lia tudo na maior avidez. O maior barato. Só a turma do Pererê e a Supermãe para acompanhar Ziraldo, o Menino Maluquinho. Mas não era só relato de viagem que comparecia nas dicas. Era tudo: livro, disco, filme, recado, lembrete, o escambau (epa!).

15. Na 'gripe' da turma d'O Pasquim (foram em cana por fazer Dom Pedro I gritar, às margens do riacho Ipiranga, 'EU QUERO MOCOTÓ'), consta que tiveram de substituir oficiais e soldados, em face de cooptação. A turma se inspirava, quem sabe, numa certa canção que pregava 'eu quero ter um milhão de amigos' (perdão, leitores! - ei, eu falei 'perdão...' só pra fazer galhofa; na verdade, sempre fui fã do Roberto - veja lance 18, abaixo).

16. Caetano, Chico Buarque, Gil, Glauber colaboraram com O Pasquim, na onda de 'gripe' e fora dela.

17. Henfil jogou um tamanduá no picadeiro e o fez sugar o cérebro de um monte de celebridades. O Cabôco Mamadô não perdoou Simonal e, meu Deus!, Elis Regina.

18. A turma d'O Pasquim entrevistou Roberto Carlos e tratou o Rei com deferência e bom humor. Tarso de Castro era o mais animado. Roberto se soltou. A certa altura (todos já altos), Tarso perguntou: 'E as fãs mais fanáticas, *meu?'; ao que Roberto: '*mi, sim!' (O Pasquim alçou o asterisco ao estrelato).

19. Ivan Lessa, garoto da fuzarca, foi pro Reino Unido, trabalhar na BBC. Lástima. Reduziu drasticamente a produção pasquiniana; mesmo assim nos brindava com ácidas crônicas. (Consta que dona Elsie mandava regularmente pro filho doce de goiaba e fitas cassete com feras da MPB, inclusive boleros de Carlos Alberto...).

20. 'A última sessão de cinema' (ou 'Matou a família e foi ao cinema', ou 'Doutor fantástico') ganhou texto notável de Sérgio Augusto. O cinema sempre mereceu o esmero d'O Pasquim.

21. Paulo Francis foi ser correspondente da Folha nos Estados Unidos, de onde nos mandava o 'Diário da Corte'. (Eu ia juntando e fazia um calhamaço de diários; lia tudo nas férias e feriadões).

22. Tempos depois, Francis começou a baixar a ripa nos nordestinos. Racismo e preconceito. Restou provado: nadie es perfecto.

23. Duas ruas do Rio que abrigaram a redação d'O Pasquim: rua da Carioca e rua Clarice Índio do Brasil (parece que houve um questionamento: o nome não seria Clarice, mas Clarisse).

24. Dona Nelma Quadros era a timoneira. Administradora, confidente e conselheira. Segurou o tranco por longos anos, até que jogou a toalha. Nada risível, só chorável - notadamente sua morte, anos depois, por tétano.

25. Newton Carlos comparecia toda semana com análises sobre veias abertas da América Latina, estivesse onde estivesse a América Latina. Mostrava onde a coruja dormia e era explorada. Arthur José Poerner era outro fera.

26. A caricatura, desde o início, chegou aos píncaros da glória com Cássio Loredano, Elifas Andreato, Luis Trimano, Grillo e os irmãos Caruso. Pairando sobre todos, o grande Nássara.

27. Fortuna ocupava espaços de fino humor, como o de 'Madame e seu bicho muito louco'.

28. O Pasquim: na escrita, a CODECRI, editora. Publicou um bocado de coisas preciosas. Segundo Henfil, CODECRI significava Comitê de Defesa do Crioléu. O Pasquim: no som, o Som do Pasquim. Sabe quem foi lançado nacionalmente, em grande estilo? João Bosco!

29. Natanael Jebão (Fausto Wolff), colunista social truculento (porém cordial), desafinava o coro das elites com um deboche para lá de sofisticado. (Fausto, escritor de primeira, foi por um bom período editor d'O Pasquim).

30. Redi, cartunista de traço personalíssimo, começou n'O Pasquim e foi brilhar no The New York Times.

31. Henfil, indignado com a derrota das Diretas e puto diante da animação da galera com as eleições indiretas (mesmo sendo o mineiro Tancredo o favorito), tascou o seguinte título a um desabafo de página inteira: 'o povo é safado!'.

32. Nos números especiais de aniversário, éramos brindados com um Pasquim mais robusto, acompanhado de brindes especiais, como conto de Dalton Trevisan, o vampiro de Curitiba. Maravilha.

33. Algumas edições foram apreendidas. A de número 300 foi uma delas. Motivo: qualquer um, a depender do arbítrio do(s) censor(es).

34. Jaguar trouxe a lume Gastão, o Vomitador. (Aí, o vômito decorria de indignação; nada a ver com o famoso 'intelectual não vai à praia, intelectual bebe', cunhado por Roniquito - embora alguns atribuam a Hugo Bidê -, amigão de copo da turma d'O Pasquim).

35. Bancas de jornal foram explodidas, em face de venderem publicações da imprensa alternativa (O Pasquim, Opinião, Movimento, Ex-16, Versus...). Vendas abaladas.

36. Um dia, a censura foi extinta, e a imprensa alternativa perdeu força.

37. O Pasquim em crise, Ziraldo propõe mudar de tamanho tablóide para tamanho jornalão. Proposta aceita, para desagrado de uma gama de leitores, em especial os que colecionavam o jornal e planejavam encaderná-lo (meu caso). Meses depois, voltou o tablóide.

38. Reinaldo Figueiredo (Casseta e Planeta), exímio cartunista, há um bom tempo como editor d'O Pasquim, chega à conclusão de que não é Super Homem, tira o time e vai acontecer no Planeta Diário. Jaguar, último dos moicanos, tenta segurar.

39. O velho hebdomadário cambaleia por semanas.

40. 1991. Morre o O Pasquim. Morreu o O Pasquim?! Morreu pra vocês, ingratos, continua vivo em nossos corações!!

Fontes: lembranças pessoais, e só.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Legendary 1968 Corvette L88 - Le Mans Car

Chassis No.

Sold at Monterrey: $583,000

Corvette’s road to Le Mans wound a circuitous trail around the strictures of the 1957 AMA racing ban, passing through back doors and the offices of intermediaries and straws. Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette’s spiritual father and protector of its concept, was a four-time Le Mans participant and twice class winner. Zora’s Corvettes kept coming back, quietly testing the Sarthe contest. Two generations of Corvette racers have followed the trail that he blazed.

The first, and for many the best-known, foray involved Briggs Cunningham’s 1960 three-car assault, followed in 1962 by Tony Settember and Jack Turner and in 1967 by Dick Guldstrand’s Dana Chevrolet entry co-driven by Bob Bondurant. By this time Chevrolet’s racing activities were less than a deep dark secret, but still had to abide by the form, if not the substance, of the General’s adherence to the AMA ban.

The 1968 Corvette offered here is the survivor of one such not-so-secret effort. The central figure is Henri Greder. Greder nearly won the 1963 Tour de France in a factory entered 427 Ford Galaxie. This earned him a Ford of France ride in a 4.7 liter GT40 at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967. The performance of FoMoCo’s 7-liter Mark IVs demonstrated the possibilities of powerful but lazy, 7-liter V8s at Le Mans and in preparation for the 1968 24 Heures du Mans, GM’s European promotions director (an up and coming Bob Lutz) and Greder approached Swiss racing patron Georges Filipinetti with the idea of entering a two-car Corvette team at Le Mans.

Filipinetti accepted and two of the fabled L88 Corvette coupes shortly arrived from Detroit, fully race prepared for the 24 Hours under Zora Arkus-Duntov’s supervision: one, this car, for Greder and skier Jean-Claude Killy and the other for Sylvain Garant and Jean-Michel Giorgi. In addition to the abundant horsepower of the L88, widely believe to be in the neighborhood of 550 brake horsepower, Zora slipped a coil spring front suspension into the package while retaining Corvette’s standard transverse leaf spring independent rear suspension.

At the last minute GM vetoed Killy and Umberto Maglioli stepped into the breach. Le Mans 1968 was to be Maglioli’s last race, ending a two-decade career that included a long relationship with Ferrari in both Grands Prix and sports cars, an exceptional Mille Miglia record with Lancia, Ferrari and Porsche and a win in the Carrera Panamericana. Zora, knowing the demands of 24 hours at speed at Le Mans, fitted very tall 2.56 rear end gears to take full advantage of the legendary 427 cubic inch L88 engine’s power. The combination was clocked down the Mulsanne straight at 191 mph and turned in a sub-4 minute lap in testing. The Corvettes were fast, but suffered from what the French called the “ennuis de freins”, its brakes not measuring up to the inertia of 1½ tons accelerated to nearly 200 mph by the puissance of the Big Block L88. Greder recalls having to brake for the Mulsanne turn at the 500 meter mark

In the 1968 race Greder and Maglioli dominated the Porsche competition and led the GT category until the 6th hour when a carburetion problem melted a piston. Garant wiped out the other Corvette in the Dunlop curves in the 14th hour.

Returning in 1969, now with Reine Wisell as co-driver and Ronnie Petersen as backup, Greder’s L88 Corvette’s M22 “Rock Crusher” gearbox endured 16 hours of aggressive downshifting, to use engine braking to relieve the brakes’ “ennui”, before it gave up, again while leading the GT category.

Following Le Mans Greder placed 6th overall at Magny Cours then in September reprised the Tour de France, a 5,000km marathon over nine days including 11 events at 9 different tracks. The Corvette was prepared in Greder’s shops in d’Issy-les-Moulineaux using boxes of the latest high performance parts sent to France out of Chevrolet Engineering’s back door.

Despite encountering a constant engine misfire which replacing the carburetor, plugs, wires and even the gas tank didn’t cure, Greder and his co-driver Vigneron captured seven of the eleven events (Nürburgring, Rouen, Le Mans, Cap Fréhel, Charade, Albi and le Tourmalet). At Clermont they finally swapped the distributor for one from a Camaro and the L88’s power returned. Starting the race at Clermont Ferrand (then known as Charade) from the back of the field, Greder (“I was very tired, and so happy to have the power back,” he recalled) passed every car on the straight after the start, went straight across the next two corners, spun and backed into a utility pole. Restarting, again at the back of the field, the rejuvenated Corvette (its driver’s enthusiasm unconstrained by the tachometer, which didn’t work after the distributor swap) charged through the field, catching Gerard Larrousse’s leading Porsche 911R at the start-finish line at the end of the first lap. “Larrousse said he thought I was out for good and was so startled when he saw me in his mirrors he almost went off,” Greder remembered. But it was too late to catch Larrousse in the overall standings. Greder and the Corvette finished second and won the GT category earning the description “La phénoménale Chevrolet Corvette” in Maurice Louche’s history of the Tour de France Automobile.

Greder went on to prepare and race a Big Block Corvette at Le Mans six more times, on this car adding oil coolers for the transmission and differential, culminating in two class wins in 1973-1974, both co-driven by Marie-Claude Beaumont.

The 1968-69 Greder car was sold to Jean-Claude Aubriet and entered by Aubriet’s “Ecurie Leopard” a further four times at Le Mans from 1970-73, finishing as high as 18th overall and 2nd in class, as well as contesting an active schedule of other races including the Tour de France in 1970 and 1971.

Six years at Le Mans, much less consecutive as in this case, is a record unequalled by any single chassis in Le Mans history. Furthermore, the record of the Greder/Aubriet Corvette overwhelms the performance of more notorious Corvettes at Le Mans and opened the door for the enthusiastic reception which later teams from the States like Greenwood, Callaway, Viper and GM have received from the A.C.O. and French race fans.

The Greder Corvette was sold in 1989 to Bob Rubin, then to Marc de Peescara. It was acquired by its present owner in 2000 and was gone through thoroughly and professionally in the owner’s own shop to prepare it for historic racing. Its first appearance was at the Monterey Historics in 2001. It received an invitation to the 2004 Le Mans Classic and was completely stripped in preparation for the competition but the team’s schedule eventually precluded attending. It subsequently has been carefully re-assembled and has been displayed several times at important events without further historic competition.

Today it is powered by the engine it had when acquired in 2000, a 70’s vintage 454 in the guise of the classic L88. It retains the coil spring front suspension developed by Zora. It is prepared for historic racing with a lightened flywheel, carbon fiber clutch, M22 “Rock Crusher” close ratio gearbox and J56 heavy duty brakes. In addition to FIA Historic Vehicle Identity and a new Historic Technical Passport, its documentation includes copies of the original A.C.O. entry forms from its six appearances at Le Mans. It also has a California Certificate of Title and non-current California registration, presenting some intriguing possibilities.

It was recently given a thorough mechanical freshening and it runs, stops and drives well. Its awesome performance and the irreplaceable nature of its history and originality dictate that a complete professional recheck and update for safety and reliability would be a prudent precaution before unleashing its neck-stretching power on the track.

The Greder Corvette 410300 holds a unique place in Le Mans history, not only as one of the most successful, and well-traveled, Corvette race cars in the world but also as the survivor of one of Chevrolet’s “back door” racing programs managed and implemented by Zora Arkus-Duntov. Corvette’s potential has been realized in recent years as Chevrolet’s Corvettes have achieved nearly complete domination of the GT1 class at Le Mans and the other important international endurance races, culminating in this year’s Corvette 1-2 finish in GT1 at La Sarthe, Corvette’s final appearance before turning its attention to the GT2 class. The path to that success began with efforts like this factory-supported and developed 1968 Scuderia Filipinetti Corvette. It is an indispensable part of Corvette’s international racing history.

The dust of thousands of racing miles and some of Europe’s most famous circuits is captured in its nooks and crannies. Its record of six consecutive competitive appearances at the 24 Heures du Mans, one of racing’s top three events, surely will never be equaled, let alone surpassed. It is a champion, in spirit if not in name, whose history and thunderous V-8 will alleviate even the most advanced symptoms of ennui.

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