We participate in the ZOUTE GRAND PRIX® 2018!

Next weekend, we will participate as a co-driver in the ZOUTE GT TOUR®, in a Renault Alpine A110, with  Anja Van Der Borght behind the wheel.  She is  a celebrated lifestyle journalist @naturalbornwriters.be and co-owner of WOWtrendmag.com.   Needless to say, we are looking forward to it!

The ZOUTE GT TOUR® is one the four main events of the 2018 edition of the ZOUTE GRAND PRIX®, taking place from Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 October. The ZOUTE GT TOUR® by EY is the traditional final “rolling” event of the ZOUTE GRAND PRIX® and starts on Sunday from 7 AM onwards on the Albertplein in Knokke. It consists of a tour of some 150 km through the magnificent polders and countryside around Knokke Zoute, and as is reserved for 200 exclusive and modern GT cars (younger than 20 years), where the crisp and beautiful Alpine truly belongs.

On this tour, to which we were kindly invited to participate by Anja Van Der Borght and thanks  to the dynamic PR department of Renault Belgium Luxembourg, four special stages and slalom tests are built in. There is a so-called TRACK 1 in Knokke, TRACK 2 on BRESKENS BEACH, TRACK 3 at BRESKENS PORT and TRACK 4 will be the FASTEST 1/4 MILE® at the Graaf d’Ursellaan in Heist.

Our car will be of more standard livery, and not in this configuration, here seen at Castellet… but it will be breathtaking nonetheless!

We will thus have ample occasion to put this French thoroughbred through its paces, and of course will report on our adventures and the ZOUTE GRAND PRIX® soon in these columns!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

Orotempo 2018: what to watch for… us car enthusiasts!

We visited on September 3rd the Horology and Jewelry fair Orotempo at the hall 3 of Brussels Expo, and it proved a very interesting venue, as this show has become the epicenter of everything and everybody that matters in the Belgian watch- and jewelry sector.

The Orotempo Media Manager Pascal Dewulf walked with us around the show, and commented that they further optimized the layout of the show and the many stands to, put everything more into the spotlight. Orotempo continues to put forward a vertical product mix, which means there is something for every budget. In this edition, the core activity of the jewelry business is put into focus: offer high quality products together with an impeccable service, as well online (webshop) as offline (at the jewelry store).

Indeed, we suggest you get acquainted with the online e-commerce platform Orotempo.be. It is also a welcome asset for the jewelry stores to expand their activity into an omnichannel strategy.

On the show, we ran into some very interesting stands and distributors, such as d-design Denemarken. We were very kindly received on the stand of this Dutch distributor (www.dsigndenemarken.nl) by Mme Annika, who guided us professionally through the range of jewelry brands this well established firm represents: Trollbeads, Rabinovitch, Spirit Icons. All three Danish jewelry firms which have iconic products which appeal to the young at heart. The aim of d-design Denemarken is to work professionally with jewelry stores/sellers and provide an excellent service. Considering the professional approach we enjoyed at our visit we firmly believe they succeed… When Christmas approaches, and you would like to surprise your (female) co-driver, we will present you some interesting items out of their iconic and timeless range…

Bracelets are also very much “en vogue” for the modern man and driver, and therefore a visit on the show to II-Gemini was a must. They offer natural stone bracelets, and we are now proudly wearing one in blue Sodalite. Sodalite is a rather rare mineral, light, relatively hard yet fragile, and is named after its sodium content. Sodalite was first described in 1811 for the occurrence in its type locality in the Ilimaussaq complex, Narsaq, West Greenland. Deposits of fine material are found in Bancroft, Ontario, and Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, in Canada. Further in Litchfield, Maine, and Magnet Cove, Arkansas, in the US. The Ice River complex, near Golden, British Columbia, also contains sodalite. Wearing the stone enhances your self-esteem and confidence… and would protect you from negative energy in today’s world. We gladly wear it now every day!

II Gemini (website www.gemini-bracelets.com) offers bracelets in different ranges and many natural stones. “Modern men are now looking for authenticity, and this is what we offer”, commented regio manager for Belgium and the Netherlands, Michael Lemmens. (See photo above).

As we said, the emphasis on the show is not only on watches, but also on jewelry. We encountered a reputable family firm with a three generation long tradition in the business, Scaldis, which makes (diamond) jewelry of its own design, and which also distributes fine Italian jewelry under the brand name Grace.

We were also attracted by the square design of the David Daper watches, so much that we decided to purchase one for ourselves. We ordered it through the Orotempo.be site, and we are keen to see it delivered soon to our home address.

 

One purely Belgian designed and manufactured brand is KRNS, distributed by Cetronic Benelux & Verbatco, and we liked KRNS very much one of their latest designs, of which we present you here one in gold plated finish.

This firm also distributes amongst others clocks and batteries, and before Christmas, we will certainly come back on this…

Another reputable jewelry firm is the Amsterdam based Buddhatobuddha, and they are about to launch a new range of men’s silver bracelets, of which more in our columns in the month before Christmas, but we were also impressed by the new “Refined” collection, of which we show you here a photo below.

A sporting encounter…

At the stand of Sunrise Watch World we met managing director Giacomo Scudieri, who presented to us a watch brand which will fascinate the sporting driver, named “Scuderia”.

We will tell you more about these watches in a next article, and there you will also read more about this kind man, Giacomo Scudieri, who was… national Italian Rally champion in ’83 and in ’81, on a 3 liter Porsche Group 4 or 3,3 liter Group B respectively. So stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

A feast for the senses: we visited BMW Artville in Knokke

BMW’s very first Art Car which also actually raced: the BMW 3.0 CSL created by Alexander Calder… 

Summer is the time to let the creative spirits flow, and enjoy nature and art. An ideal time to regenerate body and mind. Besides enjoying the outdoors, enriching experiences like a visit to exhibitions and art galleries are always firmly on the agenda of your servant. Therefore a visit to the BMW Artville in Knokke (see our previous report in these columns) was a must, and we let you enjoy it here…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Jan Fabre takes centre stage…

An “autoportrait”  sculpture of Jan Fabre himself adorns the BMW Artville beach…

As we announced already in our previous report, artist Jan Fabre showed a very intriguing “performance” film, displayed on five different screens simultaneously, titled “Schande übers ganze Erdenreich”. The performance of priestess Stella Höttler is very gripping indeed. For photos of this performance film we refer to our previous report in these columns. The two turtles she carries in both hands during her ecstatic performances are for Jan Fabre the “oracle stones” because their shields carry the weight and the memory of centuries. Especially the shield is an object of fascination that breathes life into dream images. The shield and its geometric patterns were already used in the Oracle of Delphi…

A landmark on the Knokke beach: BMW Artville 

In this performance, “Schande übers ganze Erdenreich”, the perforer implores the gods to teach mankind to treat the inheritance of the world more kindly.

Jan Fabre is fascinated by the relations man-animal and animal-man and by the analogy in their nomadic nature. As an artist, he wants to put into language the mystery of the cycle of death, decay, birth and renaissance. In this quest, he uses as his inner compass the synergy between his personal instinct, intelligence and intuition. He constantly searches the changing face of existence.

This is also seen in his series of fourteen new skulls, clad in ballpoint ink, which hold the skeletons of a bird or animal in their mouth. It evokes the “Blue Hour” of Jean-Henri Fabre, where at daybreak the blue night is chased away. Just as the night is eternally changed into day, life is also a constant stream of (re)birth and death.

‘BMW Artville – Jan Fabre curated by BOZAR’ announces two future projects of the artist in BOZAR. “Schande übers Ganze Erdenreich!” takes place in the framework of the Theodoor van Loon exhibition (December 2018-January 2019). The art works from the cycle “The Hour Blue” are the harbinger of Fabre’s solo exhibition “The years of the Hour Blue” (May-September 2021).

The BMW Art Car Collection

On BMW Artville, BMW Belux presents two cars from the BMW ART CAR Collection. We stood admiringly eye to eye with the BMW 3.0 CSL created by Alexander Calder (1975).

Alexander Calder’s design was executed by car painting specialist W. Maurer…

Using the creativity of an artist on a (racing) car was the brainchild of racing driver, art lover and auctioneer Hervé Poulain, who actually raced this car in Le Mans, together with the American Sam Posey and Jean Guichet. After 7 hours, the car had to give up due to a defective prop shaft. The car was never raced again and has been on diplay since then.

The unique collection of BMW Art Cars consists today of 19 cars, designed by the following artists: Alexander Calder (1975), Roy Lichtenstein (1976), Frank Stella (1977), Andy Warhol (1979), Ernst Fuchs (1982), Robert Rauschenberg (1986), Ken Done (1989), Michael Jagamara Nelson (1989), Matazo Kayama (1990), César Manrique (1990), A.R. Penck (1991), Esther Mahlangu (1991), Sandro Chia (1992), David Hockney (1995), Jenny Holzer (1999), Olafur Eliasson (2007), Jeff Koons (2010), John Baldessari (2016) en Cao Fei with her BMW M6 GT3.(2017). Artists for the BMW Art Car Project are chosen by a panel of international judges.

According to Thomas Girst, who has been in charge of the BMW Art Cars project since 2004, the purpose of the project has changed over time: “In the beginning the cars were raced. There wasn’t much of a public relations effort around them… Since then, some of the Art Cars have been used in advertisements to show that BMW is a player in the arts.”

Besides the stunning i8 roadster, BMW Belux Corporate Communications Officer Saschia De Rudder kindly showed us two forthcoming BMW models in preview, which formed also a highlight of this artful experience on the sunny Knokke beach and stylish BMW Artville premises… We just let you enjoy the photos here!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

 

120 years of Renault is celebrated this summer at Brussels Autoworld.

If you visit Brussels this summer, know that Europe’s capital has something in store for car lovers. Indeed, the Brussels Museum Autoworld has opened its doors every day of the week until September 2 to show you the magnificent history of Renault.

Pre-war glory: A 1937 4,1 litre 6 cylinder Vivasport… just dream away behind this sporting version of the Renault Vivastella sedan

We were present at the opening reception, and show you here some photos of the formidable and iconic cars which are on display, and we lift a brief veil on their history…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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A cutting-edge (art)experience in Knokke: BMW Artville

 

The city of Knokke-Heist, BOZAR and BMW strongly believe in the importance of beauty, the power of technology and the impact of art. Together they had the desire to create a place where all of this comes together. In an exceptional location and in a special setting, they invite thousands of people each year to be inspired by the work of a renowned artist, unique and much-discussed. It is the ambition to create an intriguing edition every year that warmly enchants and surprises the visitor and grows into a reference and fixed appointment in your summer agenda. In this unique and exclusive setting, visitors can also enjoy delicious tapas and a glass of wine or soft drink in addition to art.

This first edition BOZAR takes up its curatorship by putting none less than Jan Fabre at the heart of BMW ARTVILLE, the most versatile and surprising living artist in Belgium. BMW ARTVILLE immediately fulfills its central promise: ‘a cutting-edge experience’.

Just come and see it all, at BMW Artville, at the beach just in front of the casino of Knokke-Heist, from July 13 until August 26.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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The genius who designed the D Type Auto Union: Robert Eberan von Eberhorst

We treat you this time, dear reader, on a following story about famous men who changed motorsport and/or made such an important contribution to the development of the automobile, that the automotive world has never been the same again since then. Such a man was the Austrian nobleman Robert Eberan von Eberhorst. He made his mark as a formidable engineer not only before WW2, but also throughout the war and also in the fifties, and one of his post-war creations, the Aston Martin DB3 sports racing car, is still raced in historic sporting events, right until this day…

But there is so much more, just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Alfa Romeo wins historic Mille Miglia 2018

Here you see GIOLITO Roberto and GIUDICI David, Starting number 31, in their 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS… on the grounds of the Museo Storico, during the event.   

As we told your earlier, dear reader, Alfa was present in strength at the latest edition of this beautiful event. The course led even to the Museo Storico grounds, and the Alfa’s which participated were equally breathtaking. Indeed, the race caravan paid a celebratory visit to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese, where time trials were held on the internal circuit.

But besides meticulous cars, it also pays of to prepare yourself thoroughly for this regularity event. Know the course and the stages very well, and train yourself in driving to the (hundreds of a )second.

Here you see my drawing of the winners, receiving the chequered flag . For a better view, press ctrl + to or pinch enlarge it… 

This is what the winners did, TONCONOGY Juan and RUFFINI Barbara, in their 1933 ALFA ROMEO 6C 1500 GS “TESTA FISSA”, starting number 85. You see them here on my drawing here joyously receiving the finish flag, with the second official presenting already the coveted champagne bottle. Miss Barbara Ruffini is already holding her left hand on the door to jump out of the car and collect her winner’s prizes.

This was not the only success of the formidable Alfa’s.

In second place, just eight penalty points behind the victor, there was the stunning 6C 1500 Super Sport dating from 1928, with coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina. This was an official car from the FCA Heritage collection, which is normally on display at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo, driven by Giovanni Moceri with co-driver Daniele Bonetti, with starting number 30. See here the photo above.

In third place, the 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato of Vesco-Guerini, starting number 39.

It is very touching to see that 50 years after their 1928 victory, an Alfa is again on the winner’s podium in this iconic Mille Miglia.

I couldn’t resist making a drawing of the glorious moment when the winners drove on the podium, and present you also some more photos of the other winners and Alfa’s in the Mille Miglia 2018…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Lexus design event at the 2018 Milan Design Week: focusing on limitless co-existence

 

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The rays representing each individual form a magnificent “together”, underlining the philosophy of limitless “co”existence…

The Milan Design week, held until 22nd of April, holds also a remarkable event from Lexus, in the framework of their annual Lexus Design Award in Milan. The venue is at CAVALLERIZZE, the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e dellaTecnologia Leonardo da Vinci Via Olona, 6, 20123 Milano MI, Italy.

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The exhibits are “CO-” created by featured designers, actually the 12 finalist designs of the Lexus Design Award 2018 (4 prototypes and 8 panel displays). The visitor is taken on a unique experience trip through the building to evoke “Co”togetherness and community…

Just read further…

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We drove the Mazda MX-5 1.5 SKYACTIV-G SkyCruise: the purest joy of roadster driving.

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Never mind the season: this MX-5 teaches you what car driving is all about, and it is the ultimate four wheeled pleasure, whatever the weather, whatever the road. Many people have seen the light, and have bought an MX-5, and therefore it is the most sold open two seater sportscar in the world, actually more than a million of it have already hit the road. About seeing the light, did you know that Mazda is an ancient Iranian god of light?

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The fourth generation of the MX-5, called the ND series, was presented for the European market on the Paris Motor Show in September 2014. The RF (Retractable Fastback) version came late 2016.  A lot of detailed and clever engineering has gone into the car to improve it even more. We drove the roadster for this test over French wintery roads, and are totally smitten. It is surprisingly comfortable, yet has lost nothing of its agility and handling, together with a masterfully willing engine and delightful manual 6 speed gearbox. Pure joy remains built in. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We spoke with the men and woman behind the new BMW 2 series Gran and Active Tourer: the art of creating a bestseller…

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They prepared the new BMW Series 2 bestseller: Pascale Goudvis and Armin Hultzsch spoke with us in Brussels…

On the Brussels Show, we spoke with Armin Hultzsch, Head of Project BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer, Marcus Tauchen, Project Management Office BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer and Pascale Goudvis, Product Management BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer.

The car is very important to BMW in this Sports Activity Tourer (SAT) segment, and this was a good reason for this interview…so just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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