Tag: Jim Koscs

These amazingly realistic pictures of car models come from a 14-year-old’s unique perspective – Jim Koscs @Hemmings

These amazingly realistic pictures of car models come from a 14-year-old’s unique perspective – Jim Koscs @Hemmings


Like many 14 year-olds, Anthony Schmidt loves cars. Unlike most early teens, and probably adults for that matter, Anthony’s infatuation covers classic models spanning seven times as many years as he has been alive. Seemingly born with a picture-window view into automobile history, Anthony captures his visions in photographs that have mesmerized hundreds of thousands of admirers who follow him on social media.

There is a twist in the story—or two, actually. Newcomers to Anthony’s social media may first be surprised to learn that the cars in the photos are scale models. They may also be surprised to learn that this gifted young photographer was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was seven years old.

Anthony lives in Woodinville, Washington, a suburb about 20 miles northeast of Seattle. He began taking photos of his model cars when he was six, his mother, Ramona Schmidt tells Hemmings. While just a boy having fun with an iPhone and his cars, he inadvertently taught himself the trick of forced-perspective photography.

Depending on camera positioning, a forced-perspective photograph can create the optical illusion of the subject being the same scale as its background, or of the subject being much larger or smaller. With his photos, mostly taken at outdoor locations, Anthony matches the scale of the backdrop to that of his model cars.

“He was amazed at how he could make them look full-sized,” Ramona says. “He’s a natural when it comes to his sense of scale and perspective.”

Intrigued and pleased by what he saw, Anthony kept at it. His skills progressed and, when he was nine, his mother shared some of his photos on social media. The strong reaction prompted her to start Instagram page, which she says quickly grew to 3,000 followers. It recently showed 46,000. Anthony’s TikTok has nearly 600,000 followers, and his Facebook page nearly 200,000. A private Facebook group created for his supporters two years ago, Friends of Anthony Schmidt Photography, has 140,000 members.

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How A Scottish Designer Inspired by American Classics Creates Modern Designs for the Global Market – Jim Koscs @Hemmings


What do the 1959 Jaguar Mk. II, 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, and 1965 Buick Riviera have in common with the 1994 Aston Martin DB7, 2001 Aston Martin Vanquish, 2014 Jaguar F-Type, and the ProDrive BRX Hunter that took second at the 2022 Dakar Rally?

The first three classics helped inspire a young Scot to seek a career in automobile design. The other four are among the products of his still-going career that included leading Jaguar design for 20 years and getting Aston Martin design back on track for the new century. Designs that he says inspired him, and those that he later created, share the common thread of making an emotional impact that resonates across generations.

The BRX Hunter comes from Callum’s design firm in Warwick, England, named, simply, Callum. A supercar yet to be announced will also join the firm’s portfolio. Meanwhile, Callum’s firm has also turned to projects as disparate as future “mobility hubs” for cities and, what Callum calls a “first love,” furniture design. The latter includes his own modern take on the classic Eames Chair.

Callum spoke with Hemmings to discuss the art of infusing modern automobile design with the kind of emotion that can make cars compelling and memorable—regardless of the powertrain. We started with his own connection to the American classics he loves.

Though Callum does not own a Riviera or C2 ’Vette, he does have a ’32 Ford hot rod and is restoring a 1971 Chevy C-10 pickup. For a while, he owned a ’56 Chevy that he says was an internet impulse purchase. The pickup has a Chevy small block, but, down the road a few years, Callum envisions an EV conversion for the truck and a pair of classic Mini Coopers.

The Exotic Buick

Many Hemmings readers (and authors) grew up seeing the first-gen Riviera and the C2 Corvette as daily drivers in their towns, but Callum, born in Scotland in 1954, mainly saw those cars only in photos. He tells Hemmings that rarely seeing these cars in person – and almost always at special events rather than on the road – gave him a unique perspective that helped shape his ideas on design.

Photo by Thomas A. DeMauro.

“I didn’t grow up with these cars,” he says. “My context of them was something very exotic. I grew fonder of them as I got older and understood the depths of their design. They’re just beautiful pieces of design. That size of the Riviera, common in the U.S. back then, was so exotic to me when I was younger. Because it was so large and long, designers could express themselves more easily.”

That’s not to say Callum treats those classics as sacred artifacts. Given the chance, he says he would “retro-mod” them. (We Yanks call it restomodding.) Callum believes that thoughtfully chosen design, mechanical, and interior upgrades don’t hurt a classic but rather can renew it for more years of even greater enjoyment

Photo courtesy of GM.

“I appreciate original designs, but there’s always room for improvement with a better powertrain, suspension, wheels, brakes, and instrumentation,” he says. “My rationale is, if the original designers of those cars had what we have at our disposal now, they’d probably do some of the same things. If I had the Riviera, I’d lower it and put on bigger wheels.

”That particular idea has a solid precedent. William L. Mitchell, the eminent head of GM design who instigated the Riviera, was said to feel that the chopped-roof 1963 Silver Arrow I concept was the best expression of the design. Callum cites Mitchell as one of his design heroes, along with Giorgetto Giugiaro and Sergio Pininfarina.

“I’m sure Bill Mitchell would have liked to see 19-inch wheels on the Riviera,” he says.

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Was Chevy’s rear-engine XP-819 really a contender for the Corvette badge, or was it something else entirely – Jim Koscs @Hemmings


One word might best sum up the arrival of the 2020 Corvette, the first mid-engine model in the Chevy sports car’s nearly 70-year history: finally! Mid-engine Corvettes had been teased as engineering cars, prototypes and concepts for more than 50 of those years. If your car magazine collection stretches back to the late 1960s, you likely have issues promising “the next Corvette” as a mid-engine car. Since then, there have been six generations of front-engine Corvettes and, as social scientists could point out, two generations of humans.
The half-century lineage of mid-engine Corvette teasers was on display at this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March. Nine of those cars were gathered in the same place for the first time ever, including Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle I (CERV I), CERV IIGS-II, CERV III, XP-819, XP-895, XP-987 rotary Corvette, the Aerovette and the Corvette Indy.
Among the group, and even among rotary-engine ‘Vettes, the Chevrolet Engineering XP-819 had long seemed to be an outlier due to its rear-mounted, not mid-mounted, V-8. The XP-819’s recently completed restoration by Corvette Repair in Valley Stream, New York, has confirmed, however, that this car was a critical link in the Corvette’s evolutionary chain. Even if testing proved the rear-engine location to be unworkable, the XP-819’s legacy could be found in other engineering, design and safety ideas applied in Corvettes stretching into the 1990s.
This important, intriguing engineering car would have disappeared for good but for the efforts of several passionate Corvette enthusiasts since the 1970s. The restoration itself could better be described as a heroic rescue-and-rebuild, such was the XP-819’s severe state of disrepair and deterioration. “Of all the cars we’ve ever done, this was the most difficult and the most challenging,” says Kevin Mackay, owner of Corvette Repair. The shop is renowned for restoring historic Corvette racecars and ultra-rare production models.

DeLorean confirms plans to produce “new” DMC-12s – Jim Koscs @Hagerty


Now that SEMA’s lawsuit has prompted the feds to finally issue regulations stemming from the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, it’s back to the future for DeLorean… again. James Espey, vice president of DeLorean Motor Company, confirmed to Hagerty that plans are underway to prepare for limited production of a new, much-upgraded version of the classic stainless steel, gullwing coupe.

If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, it’s because the new DeLoreans were originally planned for 2016, a year after the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act was signed into law. Obviously, that did not happen according to the expected timeframe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was charged with implementing the Act, but any work toward implementing the regulations stalled after the 2016 presidential election. DeLorean’s plans, and those of other low-volume makers, screeched to a halt. One problem, Espey explains, was that NHTSA hasn’t had a permanent administrator since the previous presidential election, and the acting administrator would not sign off on the regulations. In addition, old cars became a low priority for an agency dealing with the rise of autonomous driving tech and the Takata airbag recall.

Espey credits the SEMA lawsuit with prodding NHTSA to release the Low Volume Manufacturer regulations. He suggests that the 120-page document had probably been close to release for some time.

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Ford’s Mustang II: Tragedy or Triumph? – Autotrader & No, the Ford Mustang II is not a re-skinned Pinto – Hagerty


Now at the risk of being controversial I actually liked the Mustang II and worked on them back in the day. I felt it was a bit of a return to the original concept of the uncomplicated parts bin type car from the 60’s.  Now the fact that the clean air movement strangled the performance was a definite downside.

The article from Aaron Gold at Autotrader argues that the Mustangs problems were well before the arrival of the much maligned Mustang II.

Hagerty via  Jim Koscs  have an opinion on the Mustang II in the article,  “No, the Ford Mustang II is not a re-skinned Pinto”