January 23, 2007

Into Gear has been parked

This blog has been parked. What does that mean? You are welcome to read the entries already posted, but no new entries are being posted to this site at this time.

I've moved over to Autoblog, the authoritative source for automotive news on the internet. Into Gear was created in part as a demonstration blog. If you aren't familiar with Autoblog, you're not serious about cars. But don't worry, it's never too late. If you're interested in reading my writing specifically, I'm flattered...you can check out my most recent submissions at www.autoblog.com/bloggers/noah-joseph.

Thanks for visiting!

September 11, 2006

Schumacher's choice: Omega Speedster

This week’s featured watch pays homage to today’s grand prix winner, the all-conquering seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. Schumi this week announced his retirement at the end of the season, bringing the most successful racing career in history to an end. His dramatic announcement came upon his victory on Ferrari’s home turf at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Unlike his team-mate Filipe Massa, who wears a flashy Richard Mille, Schumacher sports a classic: the Omega Speedster.

The Speedmaster Michael Schumacher "The Legend" Collection features a Swiss automatic movement with chronograph and tachymeter, a stainless steel bracelet and case, and can be had with either a white, black or red face.

The Speedster is a timeless classic which, incidentally, has also been worn by US astronauts since the start of the space program, and is the only watch ever worn on the moon.

Congratulations go out to Michael on his record 90th win and on the most extraordinary career in motorsport history. This weekend's win narrows defending champion Fernando Alonso's lead down to two points as Michael drives towards his 8th (and final) world championship. Michael will surely be missed as Formula One heads into what can only be described as (the lingering of his far less accompished brother Ralf notwithstanding) the post-Schumacher era.

For more information, visit Omega.com

September 09, 2006

Ferrari Store opens in Venice

Ferrari’s marketing reach has extended further yet with the opening their store in Venice, just off the Piazza San Marco. The twelfth Ferrari Store worldwide (the ninth in Italy) had its ribbon cut this past week amid tremendous fanfare, featuring Scuderia superstars Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa and Venetian mayor Massimo Cacciari.

The 170-square-meter store will offer over 1500 items divided into five sections: Fans, Luxury, Vintage, Children and Editorial, as well as an F2002 Formula 1 racecar on display, which was ferried up the Grand Canal in June. The store was designed to fit in with the unique architecture of the city, and features “experimental techniques and materials” to prevent damage from flood tides – a constant problem in the city gridded with canals.

To celebrate the store’s opening, Ferrari displayed two classic road cars in the Piazza: a 1957 250 GT Tour de France and a 1953 500 Mondial Sport.

Ferrari announced that the new Venice location will be joined by a further forty locations to be opened over the next five years in Europe, the Americas and the Far East.

No word on whether deliveries might be made through the canals in the 1989 Riva 32’ Ferrari speedboat (or for that matter what kind of blinds the storefront will employ.)

Source: Italiaspeed.com

September 08, 2006

Ferrari sat-nav by Becker

The latest in the long line of Ferrari-licensed gadgetry – which has included laptop computers, phones, cameras, alarm clocks and much, much more – is the Becker Travel Assist 7929 GPS. This sat-nav unit features a Ferrari-red paintjob, as well as voice guidance, a jumbo 4-inch touchscreen display, an SD card slot (with a 2GB card included) and music-playing capabilities. Retail price in the European market is €613.60.

Like the Porsche Design GPS we covered earlier, the Ferrari Becker unit imbues some sportscar excitement in an attempt to differentiate itself in a crowded sat-nav market. If it appeals to you, it’s done its job. (Also good for finding gas stations, which you’ll need frequently if you’re driving an actual Ferrari.)

Source: Gizmodo and Autoblog
Stay tuned for entries on more Ferrari-licensed products.

Mini fridge by Smeg

September 07, 2006

Koenigsegg laptop

200-mph top end. Mid-engine layout. Curvaceous styling. Branded laptop? The list of supercar criteria seems to be growing in a peculiar direction. Lamborghini has one, Ferrari has two, and now Swedish sportscar manufacturer Koenigsegg has theirs. Unfortunately, unlike the pulse-quickening car that bears the name, the Koenigsegg laptop is nothing special.

Rather than license the name to a major computer company as both Ferrari and Lamborghini have done, Koenigsegg have opted instead to have theirs made for them by a no-name manufacturer and label them exclusively as their own. The spec sheet is nothing special, either. And the styling comes down to an oversized emblem on the lid, which is itself less than inspiring. Still, I suppose, if you’re going to buy the car, might as well have the computer to match.

This trend leaves one to wonder which carmaker will debut their own branded laptop next. A Dell Viper, perhaps? Sony Vaio Porsche? Panasonic sponsors the Toyota F1 team…maybe it’s just a matter of time. Stay tuned.

Source: Sybarites via Autoblog.
For more information, visit the Koenigsegg online store.

September 04, 2006

Porsche Design smoking accessories

If you’re a cigar aficionado looking for better-handing smoking kit than Dunhill’s Maybach smoker’s set, Porsche Design might have the answer for you with this sleek pocket cigar case. The handmade cases are made from carbon fiber, bonded with “engineering adhesives” to its wooden core, protecting your Cubans better than an ordinary leather case. Available in Robusto, Churchill and Corona sizes, the case for two Churchills sells for $425.

If pipe tobacco is more your thing, the Porsche Design 909 pipe puts a modern twist on a traditional piece, with contemporary lines and updated materials. Made from briar wood with an acrylic mouthpiece and stainless steel accents, the pipe features a bowl reminiscent of a gearshift stalk and retails for $300.

Porsche Design offers a full line of smoking accessories, including pipes, pipe tools, lighters and carbon fiber humidors. Visit PorscheDesign.com for more information.
Source: Uncrate

August 31, 2006

Pirelli sneakers

Adding tire-tread rubber to consumer products has quickly become a sporty new direction for many exclusive purveyors of bespoke clothing and accessories. Examples include the Chopard Mille Miglia timepieces, whose wrist-strap mimics vintage Dunlop racing tires; high-end mobile phone brand Vertu’s exclusive Racetrack Legends series, on which tire rubber replaces leather trim; and Pirelli’s line of high-end clothing, accessories and watches.

As we’ve previously reported, Pirelli has earned a reputation in Europe for more than just making tires, with the Italian company’s name attached to films, exclusive supermodel calendars and a full fashion line. Pirelli’s sneakers make for high-octane, stylish alternatives to run-of-the-mill Pumas or Nikes. As with the partnership between Adidas and Goodyear, Pirelli shoes feature tire-tread rubber soles. But while the Adidas retain the classic athletic style common to their entire line, Pirelli’s employ high-performance textiles and exotic kangaroo leather for a look and feel more along the lines of Prada Sport, but with a motoring edge. A narrow footprint makes these great driving shoes, as well, allowing for easy heel-and-toe pedal work.

For the full line, visit PZeroWeb.com

Toyota to release cellphone

It may not be in the same league as Vertu's Racetrack Legends series, but Toyota is reportedly preparing to launch its own cell-phone. The handset is being developed for the Japanese market together with KDDI, the telecom company of which Toyota controls 11%. The phone will be built by Toshiba and feature Bluetooth integration with car systems including satellite navigation and emergency assistance.

Source: Reuters via Autoblog