Old and New: The Dowsetts Classic Cars Comet

The brand new Dowsetts Comet; British Retro-futurism at it’s finest! Photo ©Autoclassics

Retro done right…

One of the biggest issues I have with car design today is the fact that there is such an emphasis on efficiency and aerodynamics that most new cars are starting to look alike. I’m willing to bet that if you were to take all the popular sedans, de-badge them, and then line them up next to each other, it would be very difficult to tell them apart. In addition to the current design trends, you have the introduction of electric drivetrains, which further serve to drive the emphasis on efficiency. Coupled with the lowering popularity of manual transmissions, cars are starting to become more like appliances than actual objects of desire.

That being said, with the introduction of fully-electric drivetrains, the beginnings of a new trend are started to take hold. Manufacturers like Jaguar are making a bet: now that electric drivetrains are becoming more commonplace, why not revisit the classic designs of yesteryear? Jaguar introduced the E-Type ZERO, a special electric conversion of their famous Series 1 E-Type sports car in order to capture the burgeoning market of classic car design with modern electric technology. And now, a newcomer to this market has made itself known: the Comet.

I count at least 4 different timeless design cues taken for the Dowsetts Comet. Photo ©Carrie Wilson

The brainchild of TV personality and unabashed car enthusiast Ant Anstead, the Dowsetts Classic Cars Comet looks like something that could have easily been a world beating sports car in the 1960’s. With a design that evokes past sports cars from the golden age of car design, like the Aston Martin DB4, the Jaguar E-Types and D-Types, the Alfa Romero TZ2, and even the Maserati Pininfarina A6GCS/53, the Comet is already setting the car design world ablaze with its good looks and modern amenities.

Paired with the all-aluminum (or aluminium for our friends across the pond) 6.2L LS3 small-block V8 from Chevrolet, the Comet can reportedly accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in under four seconds, and look amazing while doing so. It seems a shame that it’s that fast; I’d rather just cruise on by and feel everyone’s gaze turn toward me! However, the rev-happy small block LS3 isn’t the only choice of drivetrain for this masterpiece of retro-futurism. Dowsetts also offers the choice of a fully electric drivetrain.

The Comet, posed next to the Handley-Page Victor V-Bomber. Photo ©Carrie Wilson

With this car, you can have all the looks of a classic golden age sports car, with the technology of today’s efficient electric drivetrains. Details are still pending on the final mechanical design of the car, however. According to Autoclassics.com, the debut car used a Tremec 5-speed transmission, a limited-slip differential, and a De-Dion-style rear end. This is likely to change with the introduction of the proposed electric drivetrain. Furthermore, the current mechanical setup is also likely to change as the car nears production. You could possibly have your choice of a 5-speed or 6 speed transmission later on, but this has not been confirmed.

The aesthetic mix of classic and modern is carried into the interior a mix of materials and surfaces. Paired with the classic-style wood-rimmed and airbag-less steering wheel, white face gauges, and supple quilted leather, is a mix of polished aluminum surfaces, buttons, and a touchscreen infotainment system. The end result is a fusion of truly retro-futuristic designs inside and out.

The Comet interior. Photo © Autoclassics.com

Is the Comet the latest example of a new trend of retro-futuristic car design? Hopefully the answer is yes; I’m starting to get tired of cars that look like soap bars!

More information on the Dowsetts Classic Cars Comet and Comet Barchetta can be found on Dowsetts Twitter and Instagram. The full website will be coming soon.

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It’s a cheese-grater…

The 2020 Silverado HD is a staight-up cheese grater….

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty
…a cheese grater

On the bright side, if you hit a deer with that grille you’ll have fresh venison sausage!

Photos: The 2018 San Francisco Auto Show Preview Party Added!

I’ve been so busy…

… and yet, I still found the time to get access to The 2018 San Francisco Auto Show VIP Preview Party!

In addition to that, I’ve been working on writing more articles for this blog. I should be putting something up very soon!

Check out the new gallery!


Finally got “some” photos up!

In between moving to a new place, starting a new part-time job, and working on several projects at once, I’ve finally managed to upload my photos from the last couple of events!

Of course, one of the biggest spectacles of the summer was the Rolex Monterey Motosports Reunion, but imagine two events of this caliber happening within a month of each other! That was the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI; a massive gathering featuring cars from the legendary marque from Stuttgart!

I spent two days shooting behind the fences at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca hoping to catch some great shots of all kinds of Porsche race cars whizzing past the lens. Little did I know I would end up with the biggest gallery of photos I’ve uploaded so far! I’m running out of space!

A little bit after the Reunion, I managed to attend the Mini Owner’s Association of America’s All British Car Show in Danville! Imagine what it must have felt like when a genuine Allard J2X arrives and steals the show!

Now that the season is winding down, I’m hoping to be able to try out something new I’ve been thinking of doing with this blog. No spoilers though; you’re going to have to wait and see what I have in store!

Stay Tuned!

-W


I’m a sucker for Gulf Liveries, in case you couldn’t tell.

I don’t exactly know what it is about Gulf Liveries that makes me like them so much. Maybe it’s the variations of the baby blue and orange scheme across the different race cars that’s had them? Maybe it’s because the there hasn’t really ever been an ugly version of the Gulf Livery? Whether its the famous stripes that adorned the Ford GT40 Mk1 in 1966, the stripes on the Gulf-Porsche 917, or the orange on baby-blue arrows on a Porsche 911 I recently saw, just seeing this paint scheme makes me giddy!

See the car in question at the The 14th Annual Orinda Car Show photo gallery!

-W


Monterey Car Week is over, and I didn’t know I could get hung over from Photography

Well, It’s official; You CAN actually get hungover from processing photos all day! Granted, these days it’s much easier with programs like Adobe Lightroom, but sometimes it can take forever. I’m still going through photos I took from the different events I attended during Monterey Car Week!

Here’s some of the galleries that you’ll be seeing soon:

  • The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2018: I already have most of photos up, but I still need to go through what was taken with my phone, like I did with the The Rolex Monterey Pre-Reunion.
  • The 2018 Concorso Italiano: I managed to score a ticket to the Concorso Italiano this year instead of sneaking in and crashing the reception like I did last year! I can’t wait to go through those photos!
  • Exotics on Cannery Row: I managed to check out the famous Exotics on Cannery Row this year. It was amazing to see some insanely rare and expensive cars just parading down cannery row and spitting flames out of their exhaust! I think I might have developed tinnitus though.
  • The Annual Morgan Club Dinner: Thanks to a friend I was able to attend the Morgan Club Dinner and hang out with some really cool car Morgan Enthusiasts, Photographers, and even one of the drivers that was racing that weekend at Laguna Seca (See the #33 Morgan Plus 4)!
  • The 2018 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance: This was one of the most exclusive events I’ve ever been a part of, and some of the machines that were on display were incredible! I’ve never been close to a multi-million dollar Ferrari before, but there were THREE Ferrari 250 Testarossas on the lawn! Not to mention the largest display of Tucker’s I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to get through those photos!

On top of that, I’m going to be selling prints of my favorite shots on my Visual Society profile! You can access my print galleries by going to the “Shop” link on the menu bar. These are large files though, so it might take a while to get everything up!

Stay tuned!

-W


Monterey Car Week has officially begun!

Monterey Car Week has officially begun (technically it was Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to go down to Laguna Seca until yesterday)!

Friday marked the start of The Rolex Monterey Pre-Reunion, a historic track weekend for the cars that will be racing during the Reunion. This weekend is a great chance to get up close to some of the classic race cars before they turn a wheel in anger next weekend. Even though the Pre-Reunion is a bit smaller than the main event, there is still an esoteric collection of cars present in the paddock. Shadow Cars is back in force, the Steve Millen 300ZX Twin Turbo was being prepared, and there was even a Mini Marcos! If you get a taste of what this weekend holds, check out my new gallery of photos from my hike around the paddock

Head down to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend; admission at the gate is only $30 this weekend!

-W


Monterey Car Week is just around the corner!

It’s that wonderful time of year again!

Monterey Car Week officially starts this week on Friday, as the Pre-Reunion at Laguna Seca starts up for the drivers who need some practice before the big weekend! There’s a HUGE amount of events coming up over the week too. The Mecum Auctions in Monterey, The Concorso Italiano, Exotics on Cannery Row, and Pebble Beach are all happening next week, and I have no idea how I’m going to go to them all! Of course, I’ll be going to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion; I haven’t missed one since I came to the Bay Area!

rmmr_poster_1
The year’s poster for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, featuring the famous race cars of the Nissan brand.

This year, we’ll all be celebrating the racing history of Nissan (or Datsun depending on how old the cars are!), and some of the cars from the various racing periods the Japanese car maker participated. The Nissan ZX-Turbo GTP car will be at the track again as one of the showcase cars, as well as the ex-Paul Newman Datsun 280ZX Turbo and the legendary Nissan 300ZX Turbo driven by Steve Millen. And of course, who can forget the Brock Racing Engineering Datsun 510? Pete Brock will also be present at the Reunion, so I’ll see if I can get a photo!

Stay tuned!

-W

Change is afoot!

 

I’ve decided I’m going to make some changes to this blog!

So far, I’m thinking about consolidating my separate store for prints with this blog, so that potential buyers won’t have to be redirected outside of the site. Before, I was using Visual Society  to sell some of my photos, but to be honest, I’ve only made a handful of sales since last year. Convincing people to buy a print is harder than pulling teeth sometimes!

The plan now is to have a dedicated store right here on the same site where visitors can buy and download digital copies of some of my work, for personal or commercial use. This would be a great way to advertise some of my services as a Freelance Photographer too! Imagine being able to make your own prints of one of my epic shots from Laguna Seca!

Here are some other things I’m considering:

  • More articles and stories: I’m always off on some random adventure, whether it’s driving a new road, visiting a new place, or attending another car show; I’d like to write about it more. I’m pretty sure I’ve got more than a few things to write about! I’d also like to write about cars that interest me, like strange and random one-offs and prototypes that never made it past the pre-production stage.
  • VIDEOS: I recently just upgraded my WordPress account, so now I can host videos! I’ve got plenty of videos I’ve never shared outside of my Instagram!
  • Adspace: I know, not everyone likes ads. Hell, I almost never turn off my Ad Blocker when visiting other sites. I’ve got to keep the lights on somehow though, and selling adspace on the site is a manageable way to do it. I promise there won’t be any weird stuff. Unless you’re into that. I’m not judging :).

Stay Tuned!

-W

SUPER-MASSIVE UPDATE

These last couple of months have been super busy since the last time I wrote about what I’ve been up to, so here’s a CliffsNotes® version of recent events!:

Events:

In other news:

  • Blackhawk is officially over: Last month the former show-runner for Blackhawk Cars and Coffee Tim McGrane left the Blackhawk Museum and joined the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula as their new CEO. Without him running things, and with the problems they were having since last year, the Blackhawk Museum decided it was the curtain call for the now-legendary gathering. It was such a shame too; where else could you see pre-war sports cars mixing it up with a stanced Subaru BRZ?
  • Canepa may be following Blackhawk: There are rumors abound that Canepa might be ending its bi-monthly Cars and Coffee event simply because it’s gotten too big for its venue. While that makes sense, I hope they decide to find another place to host it instead of outright closing the gathering down. However, now there are other options…
  • Monterey Cars and Coffee has become The Laguna Seca Cars and Coffee: with Blackhawk canceled and Canepa one foot in the grave, this new gathering is poised to become the biggest thing since Betty White! And with the newly-minted SCRAMP CEO Tim McGrane calling the shots, its poised to get even bigger. The last show I went to even broke 400 cars; and this was during a track day!
  • I have officially ascended: I am now the proud owner of a 2003 Mazda Miata Shinsen Version. And it has a stick! Now I can actually participate in shows! Still need to fix it up though…
  • New Job: I got a new job, so now I’ll be able to post more often instead of getting home at odd hours of the night and not having the energy. This is great, because I’ll need the energy for the next Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI!

Stay Tuned!

-W