I really, really want to go back to college…

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Do you ever get the feeling that you made the wrong decision?

Way back in 2009 I got my Associate of Arts degree from my local Community College. I studied design and computer graphics, thinking I wanted to be an industrial designer or something along those lines. But, tuition for some of the better-known design colleges was out of my budget. I mean, we’re talking about $100k+ Bachelor’s Programs. For a family that had two sons planning on going to college, it was hard to justify. I decided to rethink what I wanted to do and take a look at some of the more affordable options in the DC Metro area.

That’s when I found the game design program at the University of Baltimore. I went in, made some really cool stuff, and then I graduated with honors and a really cool thesis project specializing in Augmented Reality Technology! A year after I graduated, I joined a startup in my field when most of my colleagues were still working at Starbucks! And I did it all debt-free! I was on top of the world!

Me and a team of some other really bright people came up with a concept for an Augmented Reality First Person Shooter years before this technology became mainstream! I was really proud of the work we did.

5 years later, I’m broke, I’m constantly working for scraps, and I’m pretty much homeless. I banked on that “revolutionary start-up” being the catalyst for my success in Silicon Valley, but that ended up not happening. Instead, the start-up failed right around the time I got my first apartment, and interviewing with companies doing similar things was next to impossible because my degree didn’t say “Stanford” on it. I was unemployed for two years messing around with a camera and teaching myself photography because it was the skill I had to fall back on, next to graphic design and website building.

Of course, taking photos is one thing, but getting anyone to buy anything is a completely different ball game. Likes and shares don’t pay my bills! And now here I am, writing in my own personal echo chamber pining for the time where I was sitting in my algebra class doodling cars in my notebook, saying “I’m going to be the next Syd Mead!”

The thing is, I never stopped drawing.

I don’t know if it’s a compulsion or maybe just the subconscious desire to return to a time where things were simple, but I still make designs in my notebooks. Maybe something inside of me is telling me that I still want to be the next Syd Mead, Ken Okuyama, Tom Matano, or Luigi Colani. I would love to be the next Chris Bangle or Daniel Simon! Hell, even at that start-up, for a brief moment, I was working on concept designs for a new product! My ideas even made it into an actual product that we shipped! How many people can say that?

These designs were projects I took on at the start-up, hoping to give our product engineer some ideas. Some of my designs even made it into shipped products! I miss doing this.

I could feel it in my bones. That desire to draw and design and create always drove me. I never felt I was alive unless I was creating something from nothing but a pencil and paper. I feel like I was meant to be a designer, and got distracted along the way.

So, now I have a decision to make. Do I try and make things work with what I have now, hoping for something to happen? Or, do I take out a hundred thousand dollar loan and see if I can make my dreams come true, without a safety net? I’m afraid of reaching another dead end, but I feel like I’m at a dead end now.

I never stopped designing!

No one ever gets ahead without taking a risk. And, I’ll need to take a really, really big risk if I’m going to change the way things are going.

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I can’t get enough of the DeTomaso P72

The DeTomaso P72 is just gorgeous!
The DeTomaso P72 might be my new favorite car! Photo © 2019 G.F Williams / DeTomaso

I really do think this is the best-looking car ever.

This past weekend, the Goodwood Festival of Speed started and ended while I was away from the desk. I did manage to cover some of the more notable events in my new series “Weekend Rear-view”, but there was one piece of news that I simply couldn’t get enough of; The reveal of the DeTomaso P72!

Oh God; that EXHAUST NOISE!

In my Weekend Rear-view, I mentioned that the car is based on the Apollo Intenza Emozione. Personally, I think the P72 is much, much better looking! But, it does use the same naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V12, so it looks as good as it sounds! Speaking of its looks; the car is inspired by the styling of some famous prototype race cars from the 60s. Cars like the Ferrari 330 P4 / 412P and Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale are definitely reflected in the lines of the car. In fact, this has actually caused some issues with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, who has called out DeTomaso for copying their design for the Pininfarina P4/5.

I think this is a bit of a moot point since it’s clear that both cars were inspired by the design of the Ferrari 330 P4 and other similar race cars. That being said, I think the P72 pulls it off a little better than the Pininfarina P4/5. I mean, just look at it!

It’s just gorgeous!

The car looks exactly like the kind of thing I would sketch in the margins of my notebooks during elementary school. Hell, I still sketch cars like this when I get a chance! It has all the classic lines and proportions, and the interior is simply beautiful. Polished and machined copper adorn the inside and outside of the car, and most notably, the top-mounted exhaust. Both the wing mirrors and wheels are finished with polished copper as well, giving the car a weird combination of retro 60’s styling and steampunk aesthetics. I might even go far as to say that the interior looks just as good, if not, better than the Pagani Huayra’s!

A quick pencil sketch I did in 2016.
A quick pencil sketch I did back in 2016 during a meeting at work. I prefer flowing lines over sharp edges!

Now, I know what I said about hypercars. But, this car just happens to be one of the very few that I’m actually excited about! Part of that is because this car looks nothing like your typical hypercar. Cars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie have their designs dictated purely by aerodynamics, and in a way, that takes away from the overall design. The cars aren’t beautiful; they’re purposeful. The P72 is the opposite of what a typical hypercar looks like, and that’s why I like it so much. The P72 is retro design absolutely done right.

DeTomaso couldn’t have picked a better way to return.

Gordon Murray’s T.50 Hypercar is the McLaren F1 2.0

A drawing of the GMD T.50 provided for the press release from Gordon Murray Design
The Gordon Murray Design T.50 is the McLaren F1 2.0! Featuring a 4-Liter V12, a lightweight carbon chassis, and a fan system providing downforce, the T.50 is set to redefine with makes a supercar again. Image © 2019 Gordon Murray Design.

Is this the return of the analog supercar?

Anyone who knows anything about cars knows about the McLaren F1. The brainchild of legendary engineer Gordan Murray, the McLaren F1 completely redefined what made a supercar. In fact, it could even be considered the first hypercar, thanks to its revolutionary engineering and exclusivity. Now, Gordon Murray is at it again; he’s developing the McLaren F1 2.0.

The Gordon Murray Design T.50 marks the 50th car design Murray has done, and this one is a doozy! A carbon-monocoque chassis, three-abreast seating, and a fully manual transmission are featured in the design. Included is a Cosworth V12 engine producing 650 horsepower, and is capable of reaching 12,000 RPM without a flywheel!

An improvement upon the original?

This isn’t even the craziest thing about this car. Apparently, the T.50 is a fan car; downforce is achieved by utilizing a vacuum that creates a low-pressure area under the car, effectively “sucking it” to the ground. There is a slew of famous race cars that utilized this technology, including the Murray-designed Brabham BT46B, and the infamous Chaparral 2J.

Once again, Murray aims to produce the finest supercar ever built. Reportedly, the T.50 would weigh in at under 1000 kilograms and would be slightly smaller than a Porsche 911. Additionally, the car would feature the same principles that guided the design of the F1. Gordon Murray had this to say when describing the T.50:

“I designed the F1 as a sort of super GT car – absolutely road-focused with no plan to go racing, which is why the car set new standards for packaging and luggage space. The T.50 design has the same focus and betters the F1 in every area – ingress and egress; luggage capacity; serviceability; maintenance and suspension set-up. Also, driver-selectable engine maps ensure a driving mode to suit every situation.”

Gordon Murray, GMD T.50 Press Release

Well folks, there it is! The GMD T.50 really is the McLaren F1 2.0! Now if only I could afford it.