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RE: Michiel van den Brink

Friday 17th November 2006

Michiel van den Brink

Albert Mensinga talks to the Dutch designer who hacks at Ferraris.


Vandenbrink GTO
Vandenbrink GTO

In the world of car design, some of the good old times are coming back. I'm not talking about retro-design but about individuals setting up their own business eager to make a distinctive mark in the automotive landscape.

Known guns like Henrik Fisker, ex-Pininfarina's Ken Okuyama, ex-Spyker's Maarten de Bruijn and Marek Djordjevic of Rolls-Royce fame preceded 28-year-old Dutch talent Michiel van den Brink in starting up their own businesses.

In the golden days carrozzerias like Zagato, Touring, Bertone and Frua (and of course other European and American names, but those Italian names sound so damn good) bodied Ferraris, Maseratis, Lancias and Fiats to look even more gorgeous than the originals. Those times are coming back with unique designs made to fit existing chassis. Recent examples like the Glickenhaus Pininfarina P4/5 and the Ferrari 575 GT Zero by Zagato show that there's a market for bespoke cars just like that.

A few weeks ago I met Michiel van den Brink, who recently started the Vandenbrink Design company together with Robert Koumans. Together they form a solid basis for high-end automotive and industrial design.

Their initial focus is on the realisation of Vandenbrink GTO which was conceived as the 'Ferrari 599 GTO Mugello' concept study. Actual coachbuilding will be performed in cooperation with well-known Ferrari specialist and coachbuilder Hietbrink in the Netherlands. Vandenbrink Design also offers design talent and services to established and emerging car manufacturers and industrial product manufacturers.

I asked Michiel van den Brink to tell us about his philosophies and visions.

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"There are a lot of talented guys out there drawing extreme shapes, dramatic lines and unrealistic proportions, with immense big wheels and cockpits that could barely make a person fit. But at the end of the day there's reality, saying 'how on earth can we produce a thing like it?' Always a huge disappointment for the designer when his 'brilliant' ideas are torn to pieces or watered down.

'To prevent this from happening and don't waste to much time I start off with the possible techniques and human use in mind. The real challenge is to make realistic designs very beautiful with the use of today's techniques and regulations. Those were and always will be stipulating the shape and construction of automotive designs. You may dream in your sleep.

"For me it's a constant search for balance: the rules and restrictions make it almost impossible to use ornaments and it's also an immense challenge to create a sleek and slim nose. It has become the big brands' common practice to create cars that are everybody's friend. They certainly hurt no-one. But do they really appeal or float our boats? That's why I like very much TVR's consistent form-follows-function approach. The purity and clarity of their cars make distinct statements and point out the drivers' individuality. I think, but that's a bit of a bold statement to make, nowadays only small car brands like TVR, Lotus and Marcos can or will make cool and really uncompromised cars.

"The kind of designs I like are Pininfarinas, Astons, TVRs and such -- designs that don't hesitate to quote the past and why wouldn't they? It think it would be an insult for the grandmasters of the past not to. Recent projects like the P4/5 are the type of projects we like and can make happen. There's a vast group of sports car enthusiasts and collectors who'll want a car like that. Our 'Ferrari 599 GTO Mugello' concept study gained big international interest.

"Obviously there's a market. With our selected partners Hietbrink Coachbuilding and NAIT Media Ventures we can make such dreamcars become reality. The Vandenbrink GTO is an evolution of the Mugello-concept. I'm very happy we have such a fabulous kick-off and actually produce our GTO now.

"What we also have in mind is to do limited editions on existing platforms.

Just like the old days when you had the Maserati 3500 GT for example, with Touring or Vignale or Frua bodies. But the dream to come true would be total involvement in a new productionmodel.

"About TVR, since PH is a TVR-enthusiast place to be, I think it would be a good thing to produce a series of specials. TVR could offer a diversity / range of models and increase sales that way. It's just a thought that'll meet our skills.

"I can only hope one day they could discuss possibilities and share their views."

Author
Discussion

appletonn

Original Poster:

694 posts

182 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
My God, how gorgeous is that??!!

I love the original car but that is an even sexier combination of that new limited edition Alfa plus shades of the classic GTO with a little bit of Angelina Jolie thrown in for good measure....!! thumbup

swoll

6,772 posts

180 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
That is a thing of beauty......

900T-R

19,983 posts

179 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Well done, Dink! bow

Whiters

357 posts

161 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
That makes me weak at the knees. spin

Twincam16

27,646 posts

180 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Great article there Dinkel.

Michiel van den Brink said:
"For me it's a constant search for balance: the rules and restrictions make it almost impossible to use ornaments and it's also an immense challenge to create a sleek and slim nose. It has become the big brands' common practice to create cars that are everybody's friend. They certainly hurt no-one. But do they really appeal or float our boats? That's why I like very much TVR's consistent form-follows-function approach. The purity and clarity of their cars make distinct statements and point out the drivers' individuality. I think, but that's a bit of a bold statement to make, nowadays only small car brands like TVR, Lotus and Marcos can or will make cool and really uncompromised cars.


Well said that man. It's about time we had some supercar and styling houses ruled by individuals with distinct vision, rather than please-everyone committees hell-bent on offensive inoffensiveness.

I like this guy.

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annodomini2

5,463 posts

173 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
WOW!!!

A 250GTO crossed with a Muira Gorgeous! bow

behappier

267 posts

159 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Any chance to get the piccies in hi-res, that deserves to be my desktop!

mini_ralf

6,257 posts

139 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Stunning car, stunning ideas, great articel and oh how I want one of those 599's lick

Edited by mini_ralf on Friday 17th November 13:50

thefarmer

296 posts

189 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Albert - I have no idea were you get the time for all your writing !!

Top Job thumbup

Andrew

dinkel

24,345 posts

180 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
thefarmer said:
Albert - I have no idea were you get the time for all your writing !!

Top Job thumbup

Andrew


Cheers mate, I avoid watching the telly

thefarmer

296 posts

189 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
dinkel said:
thefarmer said:
Albert - I have no idea were you get the time for all your writing !!

Top Job thumbup

Andrew


Cheers mate, I avoid watching the telly


I thought so ...

Michiel Mobiel

78 posts

133 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Very nice article, Dink!

Many thanks!

Best regards, Michiel van den Brink.

JWBCoulson

36 posts

167 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
This on a 599 running gear, if they can do it with an enzo to the p4/5, they can do this. get a couple pistonhead chaps to pool some money and lets get one.

Michiel Mobiel

78 posts

133 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
JWBCoulson said:
This on a 599 running gear, if they can do it with an enzo to the p4/5, they can do this. get a couple pistonhead chaps to pool some money and lets get one.

Haha! Thanx!
Shall I give you my bank account number?

trenchtown

147 posts

141 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Michiel Mobiel said:
Very nice article, Dink!

Many thanks!

Best regards, Michiel van den Brink.


Al het succes in de toekomst toegewenst!

That car just radiates passion. Its like a young Sophia Loren on wheels! bounce

Davel

8,539 posts

180 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Stunning

It makes you wonder why even 'conventional everyday cars' these days have to be so bland and boring.

All it needs is a bit of flair.

So many prototypes look really exciting and then, if they ever get to production, they filter down to the something extremely uninspiring.

JWBCoulson

36 posts

167 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
also look at the website - the man is a genius. i think i might order a bespoke body on the upcoming typhon.

Michiel Mobiel

78 posts

133 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
trenchtown said:
Al het succes in de toekomst toegewenst!

That car just radiates passion. Its like a young Sophia Loren on wheels! bounce


Dank je!

Sophia resemblance is no coincidence....

Edited by Michiel Mobiel on Friday 17th November 16:05

GTRene

10,954 posts

146 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
Michiel Mobiel said:
behappier said:
Any chance to get the piccies in hi-res, that deserves to be my desktop!

There are some wallpapers on our website: www.vandenbrinkdesign.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=45

Enjoy!

Hey Michiel, good job for making dreams come true, proud your a Dutchy and good to see you often on the PH website too...your the man

And Dinkel good your such a stimulator and write all this articles and do a job next to it?? when do you sleephehe
well done mate.
GTRene

Shakman

159 posts

204 months

Friday 17th November 2006
quotequote all
If was Smolensky, I'd buy that design straight-off and badge it a TVR ... would sell in the bucketloads.

An absolutely stunning motor !