Real Machines

I watched a two videos recently in my relentless pursuit of calming irrational thoughts and head-noise. One called Urban Outlaw, about a guy from Sheffield who has created several businesses from industrial wastelands in Los Angeles. One of which is customising early 911 Porsches. If you know about such things, you’ll know early 911s (64-74) are both expensive and hard to find. Yet here this guy in making a living cutting them up and making his own interpretations. The second is called Machine. It’s only about 3 minutes, but shot somewhere in Australia about a guy who lives in the country, building motorbikes by building parts.

Why inform you of this – well it stuck me, that while the techno-world is obsessive about new toys, like how to print a house on a 3D printer, there are plenty of people – artist/mechanics – who are using very old machines to do new things – really interesting things.

For example, the Porsche guy runs a location business for Hollywood. He bought all the industrial wastelands and left them alone, renting them to film and TV. Just about every TV show you can name has filmed there. He pumps that money into his Porsche obsession which spins off into a clothing line. Then someone made a film about it and stuck it online.

It made me think that for those kids who are now playing Minecraft, making machines – whether there’s some connection to be had  between a generation for whom mechanical machines were no less marvellous of amazing at the time – or now. I spoke to friend tonight about doing some engine work on my Type 3. Having read dozens of websites and forums recently, trying to work out what I wanted to do, what was needed etc., after 5 minutes on the phone, it was clear I’d learned plenty online – none of it compared to his knowledge and the fact he knows what I like in cars.

I’m pretty sure there is a lot to be said for putting kids in front of machines – especially if they can take what they are imagining in MInecraft into some form of physical/art/engineering domain. I’m pretty sure there are a ton of old-engineers out there wondering what all the fuss is about. As much as I love new technology – Its a stick-up – it doesn’t stick for long.

38 years after rolling off the line, my Type 3 is about to have some engine-work. Print a house in 20 minutes if you like … I’m sticking with old-school. Ask yourself this – if you were in some dire situation, where you had to go to war or cross some vast jungle – what are you going to take  – an iPhone4s or a Nokia N95. I know what I’d choose. Stick-em up.