Aaron Beck: Badass Defined

Plymouth Cuda

Plymouth Cuda – Aaron Beck

If you read yesterday’s hearse post, you’ll have seen the image of a rather mean, stretched and black Dodge Challenger. The rendering is by a talented individual called, Aaron Beck, a guy who obviously knows and understands what makes a car badass. His twisted and sinister vision is capable of possessing a collection of nuts and bolts with the kind of presence that gives Gargling Gas goose bumps.

Take the Plymouth Barracuda above, for example, a car I could see myself cruising along Nevada back roads in, body parts in the trunk, wads of cash on the passenger seat, the throb of V8 the perfect soundtrack as I headed towards the horizon.

Rocket Bunny Cuda (Nissan S13 front end) - Aaron Beck

Rocket Bunny Cuda (Nissan S13 front end) – Aaron Beck

If someone were to ask you to imagine what the love child of a 70s Cuda and an early 90s Nissan S13 would look like, you’d assume they’d left their medication in the cabinet that morning. Ask Aaron Beck and he’d answer, “It would like a Rocket Bunny drift car, of course.”

The lines all work, as does the front end, and as far as the usual LS V8 engine swap the drifters all go for today, leave the original Hemi in it and call it perfection.

Rat Cuda - Aaron Beck

Rat Cuda – Aaron Beck

The Rat look is a phenomenon that just keeps growing, its rusty insidious tendrils reaching out past the usual fare of American iron to German soil and the VWs and Bimmers. The Rat Cuda above is a rendering done for the up and coming Mad Max: Fury Road movie. This is another reason I feel Aaron is worthy of a post, the fact he is associated with one of my favourite road movies.

Mad Max Vehicle - Aaron Beck

Mad Max Vehicle – Aaron Beck

 

Aaron Beck's Kuda

Aaron Beck’s Kuda

From his renderings to reality, Aaron’s three dimensional ride is his Kuda pictured above. His eye for detail and talent make it extremely hard to tell what is 2D and what is real, but if you take a look at beckkustoms, you can witness the Kuda’s build and the labour of love that is the car’s interior.

So I doff my cap to you, Sir Aaron Beck, for your creations are sinister and the epitome of ‘badass’ – I’ll certainly be paying extra attention when I sit down and watch Mad Max: Fury Road.

 

 

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A Good Year: Do You Conform With These Rules?

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Like fine wines and their ‘good years’, a car’s desirability can also be signified by its year of manufacture. Just as a season of perfect weather conditions grace the land, producing palate-tantalising grape nectar, car designers manage to merge the combination of curves, lines and technological advancements to create an automotive ‘good’ year.

One of the finest years has to be 1957, a year Chevrolet nailed the Bel Air pictured above. Out of all the automotive TV programs I watch, “57” comes up the most. It’s not surprising, either; just look at the combination of curves and lines and the way it’s a fairly compact car but features those glorious fins.

This article features American cars because, although Euro and Japanese cars have their ‘good’ modes, they are defined more by their chassis number, spec and ‘facelift’ improvements.

1962 Ford Thunderbird

1962 Ford Thunderbird

Take the Ford Thunderbird above, for example, one of my favourite looking cars. Despite it being in my top 5 garage, I could only have one from 1961-63 because of those rear afterburner tail lights. American cars seemed to change their looks considerably over a short period of time, whereas the rest of the world hang on to their chassis number longer and work on technology and subtle design improvements.

1963 Corvette

1963 Corvette

Another extremely desirable car is the 1963 Corvette Stingray for the simple reason ’63 was the only year Chevrolet produced the rear split-screen.

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

In 1970, after Plymouth had a redesign on their Barracuda, shifting it away from resembling their Valiant design, they built a limited number Hemi ‘Cudas, a car now highly sought after because of its place and heritage in the 1970s muscle car story.

Last but not least… 1987… the Buick GNX. How could Gargling Gas not feature its all time favourite car? After Buick transformed their rather bland Regal into a turbocharged monster in 1984, calling it the Grand National, just three years on saw a farewell with their GNX, the X standing for ‘experimental’. This X meant 275-hp, a massively understated figure that left the GNX a must for the serious collector.

1987 Buick GNX

1987 Buick GNX

Of course, there are many more cars I could list, so forgive me for not listing them, but I’d be getting away from the point of my article:

So with my long-winded explanation that cars have their good years and all this talk of desirable models, do you conform to prescribed? Do you go along with these ‘good’ years, or do you like the ‘undesirables’, the ‘ugly ducklings’ you find alluring, looks that appeal to you simply because they tick all your personal boxes?