News of the weird

Compiled and edited by Kirk Mathieson

The Macallan Horizon

As we all learned in economics class, the more exclusive a thing is the greater its perceived value; highly esteemed and one-of-a-kind commodities are always the most sought after. Only a few companies throughout history have been able to master the necessary combination of heritage, craftsmanship and brand prestige that transforms an ordinary product into a household name. Rolex, Ferrari and Gucci are just a few examples. These products may be out of reach for many of us, but then again it’s that very elusiveness that makes them all the more fascinating and desirable. What happens when two luxury brands join forces?

One possibility is the Macallan Horizon, a rare, limited edition single malt whisky developed by Macallan distilleries in collaboration with Bentley Motors. What makes this item unique is both the choice of components and the overall design, both of which aim to evoke excellence and forward movement. As a tribute to both companies’ commitment to creativity and innovation, the bottle sits inside a unique horizontal sculpture crafted with the same materials found inside a Bentley automobile. 

“Our prototype for the Macallan Horizon is truly pioneering in both is design and use of materials. It’s a fusion of the sharply defined yet curvaceous Bentley design DNA, the Macallan’s innovation and recycled materials from both iconic British brands,” comments Bentley’s Head of Design Collaborations Chris Cooke. “The form of the design has allowed us to almost treat light as another material in itself, and the interplay between light and the wood, aluminum and copper materials is extraordinary. In being both an object of beauty in itself and demonstrating such innovation, it’s a representation of what’s coming next from our partnership.”

The Macallan Horizon retails for $50,000 per bottle. But with the price of a Bentley Continental GT Convertible starting at $230,000, the whisky sounds like a bargain. No word yet on whether buying both items will get you a discount. 

The Nissan ‘Sneaker’ Car

Speaking of collaborations, Nissan has paired up with sportswear company New Balance to create a car that looks like a giant sneaker, complete with a rooftop shoe tongue and collar and intricate bodywrap that simulates suede and laces. 

The car is called the Kicks 327, named after the 327 Trainer running shoe. It picked up media attention upon its debut in 2023, being dubbed one of the most unusual cars of the year by several auto publications. 

“327 is a model born from the design inspiration of New Balance’s road, trail and race running shoes in the 70s,” said New Balance Japan marketing director Ken Suzuki. 

A shoe inspired SUV is sure to put some spring into your morning commute. This unusual tie-in may be merely a novelty to some, but with an all-electric engine it’s also a good choice for the future. 

1980s Rock Meets 1930s Style

Volumes have been written about album covers and the inspiration behind them, with some of the more iconic ones becoming culturally as well as artistically significant across generations – Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon come quickly to mind. But how many cars do you see fronting your favourite bands?

Enter ZZ Top and their 1983 Eliminator album. If you guessed that was a 1933 Ford Coupe looming over you, you’d be right. The car was custom built for lead singer Billy Gibbons, at a reported cost of $50,000. 

The inspiration behind the car was a 1974 movie called The California Kid, starring a young Martin Sheen and a 1934 Coupe from which the movie gets its name. Gibbons was so captivated by the car that he contacted its designer, Pete Chapouris, to build a similar vintage car for his collection, and the Eliminator was born. 

The car starred in the Gimme All Your Lovin’ music video and quickly became a legend on MTV, cementing electric guitar solos to hot rod action and introducing classic cars to a new generation. The car has found a permanent home at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, but Gibbons still takes it out for a spin whenever he’s in the area. 

According to Street Muscle magazine, “With its debut came a whole new era of custom cars, radical enough to set them apart from the mainstream but traditional enough to unite hot rod and street rod enthusiasts alike. Few other hot rods have had such a lasting impact on the industry!”

The Oldest Working Car

How many collectors would pay five million dollars for a classic car? Even for those with the determination and the means, the item would have to be pretty special. Like the Bugatti Type 57 and Ferrari 275GTB that each sold for $5,395,000 last year at a Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California. 

But what about the world’s oldest still-running automobile?

Meet the De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout, known more familiarly as simply La Marquise. Built in 1884 by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux after being commissioned by wealthy French Count Comte de Dion, the steam powered car featured front wheel steering and seating for four passengers, both of which were major strides forward in auto design at the time. The engine ran on rudimentary fuel such as coal, wood or even paper that was fed automatically to hoppers located in a compact bunker near the steering shaft. It took around 45 minutes for the water tank to reach sufficient pressure to get the car moving, but once started it could reach a top speed of 60km/hr and run for 30 minutes or more. 

La Marquise has another distinction as well: The first car to ‘win’ an automobile race. De Dion entered it in an 1887 exhibition race, where the car ran the 20 miles from Paris to Versailles and back in 1 hour and 14 minutes with an average speed of 16 mph. Although it turned out to be the only car in the race, it was an opportunity for Bouton and his partners to showcase its capabilities, as well as the possibilities of steam powered personal transportation. 

La Marquise was sold to its most recent owner in 2011 for $4.62 million. 

Sources: (Whisky)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (Sneaker car) (Sneaker car)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (Album cover) (Album cover) (Album cover)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (Auctions) (La Marquise) (La Marquise) (La Marquise) (1887 race)

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 More posts in Spring 2024 category
Recommended for you
Atlantic Road (and Water) Report

Bits and pieces of news and views collected from around the Atlantic region so you...

vehicle wraps