In light of my role as a pro deo car journalist, I, Job Smeets, offer you the following… I used to think that the Porsche 914 was the most beautiful object in the world. Not because it’s so pretty, but because angry voices claim that ex-Nazi Ferdinand Porsche stole its design from the German designer Hans Gugelot. Modernist Hans Gugelot was only 45 when he died in 1965. He dedicated his short life to designing industrial products. The Schneewittchensarg, Kodac Karousel and Braun logo are world-famous icons. Gugelot was also the creator of ‘System Design’ and designed car concepts for Bayerische Motoren Werke.
According to legend, Ferdinand Porsche came into possession of a ‘Gugelot Ton-Modell’ in 1964; a scale model of a small two-seater with an engine in the middle, a removable top and pop-up headlights.
Porsche strongly denied the allegations, but in 1966 the first 911 with Gugelot’s so-called ‘Targa’ roof came on the market. And when the first VW Porsche 914 rolled out of the factory in 1969, it bore a strong resemblance to Hans’ designs.
How terrible, you may think, but there are many more nasty car stories that will always be remembered. Like that story about my cousin Louis who made it his business to effectively disadvantage life for himself (and others), to say the least. Louis used to have a red Datsun Cherry that would never start. On an ice-cold December morning in 1982, I woke up to the annoying hiccups of the reluctant starter. From my bedroom window, I saw how my cousin sat in his frozen car, making obviously stressed-out starting motions with his right hand. The car moaned under this treatment.
Just as I wanted to go back to bed, the engine finally seemed to be spluttering into life. Louis had obviously become so angry that he decided to floor the gas for a long time. I heard the ice cold engine scream for help while clouds of fumes escaped from the thin exhaust pipe. HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!!!!! After flooring it for ten seconds something snapped and the engine fell ominously quiet with a few gasps and coughs...
I saw Louis’s face go white behind the car window while a black stream of oil dripped from the front side of the car onto the pure white snow.
The bottom of the raped Cherry was fatally ripped open and it died on the spot. Bled dry...
by Job Smeets,
Job is one-half of Studio Job.
For WOTH he writes about cars and
all the rest that's on his mind.