Last month, we scoffed at the Rinspeed Bamboo for its bizarre use of inflatable upholstery. After all, there’s only so much you can do to repair a cigarette burn in an inflatable seat cushion. But there’s another downside to inflatable upholstery that we somehow forgot to mention: it’s not safe.
Archive for March, 2011
Like artists who keep track of who owns their works and where they’re displayed, auto trimmers can now trace the whereabouts of vehicles that they’ve worked on and get in touch with current owners. Check My Ride, a new social networking site, provides the service free of charge. All you need is the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
As if you need another reason to register for the Ward’s Auto Interiors Conference, it’s being reported that a record 51 vehicles will be vying for a place in the event’s annual “Ward’s 10 Best Interiors” competition. Given market trends, it’s not surprising that many of those competing are small cars – like the Fiat 500, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze.
At the risk of sounding like a hipster snob, I’m obsessed with Apple products. I own an iPod, iPhone, Macbook Pro and am seriously considering the iPad 2. So, I suppose, it’s not all that strange that I’m obsessed with the new Brabus iBusiness 2.0 – an Apple-powered luxury office on wheels.
Want to sit inside something outrageous? Check out the Rolls-Royce Phantom – which I recently had the opportunity to test drive. According to the company rep who handed me the keys, the luxurious sedan features a cashmere-blend headliner and is trimmed in 15 to 18 hides of Bavarian bull (Rolls-Royce doesn’t use cow hide because female cattle are prone to getting stretch marks during pregnancy). But that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
Ever have a customer come to your shop with a project that he first tried to do himself, only to wind up butchering it instead? It’s usually pretty funny. More often than not, the materials are subpar, the craftsmanship is shoddy and the mistakes are amateur – all, of course, for good reason.
While there certainly is no shame in trying, I’ve always wondered what it is about auto upholstery that makes some people think that any dimwit can do it. The answer, of course, is DIY articles, books and videos that downplay the skills and artistry of the craft.
In 2004, Slate published an article titled “Drink Me: How Americans Came to Have Cup Holders in Their Cars.” Though the article is seven years old, it still makes a great read – especially if you geek out on the history of cars as much as I do. But even if you don’t, it’s chock full of interesting tidbits that you can use to impress customers. For instance, did you know that part of the reason why Americans began switching to automatic transmissions is because they needed a free hand to hold drinks while driving?
If you haven’t heard of CON2R, you’re probably not alone. But with its free online custom steering wheel design app, it’ll soon be a known name in the automobile accessories market.