21 years in the making: David Bowie-inspired concept car
The visionary guru responsible for futuristic creations in Gran Turismo has turned his attention to designing a concept car inspired by David Bowie. The creation will debut in Paris on January 31st
David Bowie wasn’t just a musical genius, cinematic icon and all-round leading public figure – he provided inspiration and muse to all creative types. None more so than former PSA Peugeot Citroën designer Takumi Yamamoto – the brainchild behind ‘A portrait of db’; the car designed as an expression of Bowie and his music.
Taking 21 years to realize, Yamamoto will debut a full-scale 3D model of the vehicle during Exposition Concept Car Paris, open to the public from January 31 – February 3.
More Concept Cars!
- Top 10 forgotten concept cars
- 13 long-lost Ford Mustang concept cars
- Fancy buying a rare classic? Step this way...
"The date on my first sketch reads April 1997" Yamamoto told Business Insider. Known for his exterior styling of the futuristic ‘GT by Citroën’ aongside various creations in the Gran Turismo videogame universe, the Japanese designer hung a poster of Bowie in his childhood room back in Tokyo.
Gazing at the poster, the ‘db’ letters took the shape of a car logo to young Takumi. "It was my “aha!” moment," he recalls some two decades later.
Working in Paris as an independent car designer when Bowie passed on January 10, 2016, what was originally a presentation piece envisaged as a collaborative project with the artist, quickly transformed into a tribute car.
To translate his pencil drawings and generate 3D volume, Yamamoto sought assistance from a former PSA colleague. Cyrille Ancely specializes in computer-aided styling and was happy to help, ‘intrigued’ by Takumi’s notion of translating someone’s character into a car.
After hours of experimentation behind closed doors, creative minds transformed Bowie’s work into an algorithm that ‘created a parametric pattern’ to applied upon the car. Basically, they extracted key words from Bowie’s most recognised work to guide the car’s form.
CGI artist Alexandre Larnac was then drafted in to bring the concept car to life, studying various pencil sketches and transcripts to render a 3D model showcasing the concept’s merits. It was enough to attract the organizers of the annual Exposition Concept Car.
Organizers committed to display ‘A portrait of db’, should the team craft a full-scale sculpture before the end of January. But there was a problem – Yamamoto and company required one hell of a 3D printer.
Luckily, the team knew of Marie 3D. Founded in 1963, the formatting company just happened to own the largest 3D printer in the world. Sensing the opportunity to promote new technologies, the firm agreed to manufacture the sculpture. ‘A portrait of db’ was born.
From what we can fathom, ‘A portrait of db’ is Ziggy Stardust in automotive form, a screaming vehicular heretic in appearance, radiating complex mantra beneath. That’s about as philosophical as you’ll ever hear us.
The future? Up until now, Yamamoto has focused purely on the evolution of the project, but plans for the next level may not be far away. Asked if he sees his sculpture developing further towards a production vehicle, he replied: "Why not, but I am not sure which brand will accept this concept!"
Classic Cars for Sale
A genuine SO42 Westfalia Split Screen Camper, the only conversion that could be ordered from the Wolfsburg factory. This model is highly sought after, particularly with it being the rarer walk through model with the turret pop top. It is super clean and thoroughly decked out. The body panels are remarkably straight and very nice and still posses all of the original doors, decklid, hatch, apron and
Spectacular condition Just released from over a decade of long-term ownership Previous Ferrari collector ownership Only 26,679 actual miles! Matching numbers 320hp Colombo V12 engine Documented by noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini Previously shown at the Concorso Italiano and the Ferrari Club of America Concours d’Elegance Sold new through Luigi Chinetti Motors (the fir
1967 Triumph Spitfire Mk3 - "Bertie" Fully restored by myself in 1989 and has been part of the family ever since. Kept in dry storage since its restoration and never taken out in the rain. The car had a fully reconditioned engine fitted last year and runs with no problems, starts first time, every time. The car is in need of some cosmetic interior/exterior work and would make a perfect, simple,
Jaguar E-type S1 FHC 4.2 1967 One of the greatest sports cars , Jaguars E-type made immediate headlines on its launch in 1961, The sleek and beautiful 150 mph car with a competition pedigree that could be bought for almost half the cost of an Aston Martin or Ferrari, The 4.2-Litre engine was introduced on the series one in October 1964, in addition to a more user friendly all synchromesh gear b