Category: 2D, 3D
Medium: Painted car
Dimensions: 429 x 132 x 165 cm
About the project
Porsche 911 from 1985 bought in 2020, dismantled and painted in 2021, assembled and finished in 2022
Text for Type 7 magazine by Alfie Munkenbeck
“The idea of painting my 911 came shortly before I purchased it. I was inspired by various historical art cars and I wanted to contribute my own work to this tradition.”
From subway cars to sports cars, Jan Kaláb’s extensive painting career bridged a new medium when he decided to cross his mastery of colour with his long held fascination for the Porsche 911. Working with organic forms was something he’d picked up a knack for, but applying those practises to the body of a 1985 Carrera 3.2 was going to be considerably more time consuming, particularly if it was going to be done right.
“We took the car apart so I could paint the engine bay and trunk, but in doing that we found many small parts that needed replacing along the way. The biggest change I made to the outside was the ducktail on the back. I like this ‘contrapunkt’ to the decreasing silhouette line. I also changed the steering wheel and widened the rear wheels, just to improve the stance. The colour motif was going to be simple, a gradient from front to back with a slight skew. Yellow from the front, right through to blue in the back. You’ll find every colour of 911 that I like here. I played with many other variants, but this came out best against the black bumpers and black interior.
It was six months from the moment it arrived to the moment it was finally ready for paint. The challenge then was to paint the gradient so smooth that you couldn’t see the difference between the separate panels. We had to disassemble the car for base paint, then reassemble it to make corrections and then it was carefully disassembled again for varnish. Putting it back together after that took ten more months.”
“To own an aircooled 911 was always a dream. The car is beautiful, iconic headlights, elegant silhouette and that horizontal light bar with the Porsche letters in it.”
Now finally in one piece, Jan Kaláb’s art car can be seen on public exhibition, provided you’re in the right time and place to spot it roaring through the streets of Prague and the surrounding countryside. Of course it isn’t a static piece yet, not so long as it has fuel in the tank and a willing participant at the wheel.
“Originally I thought I was going to sell it after finishing it, but then I found out what a wonderful car it is to drive. Until that point I’d only admired Porsches for their exterior beauty. To me, these cars were like sculpture on wheels. It’s the only sports car I’ve ever owned, so I feel like I drive it like a kart sometimes. It brings me pure joy, a great reward for how long it took to build.
When the idea first came to me, I was inspired by other art cars by various artists. I wanted to make my own mark on the genre and pay tribute to the shape of a 911 in my own style. I have to admit, I’d like to do more now. Maybe a modern 911, or a Singer would be the dream. Maybe a commission will come up or maybe I’ll have to sell this one to build the next, I don’t know. Until then I’ll just enjoy driving it.”
foto, Maximilian Balasz
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foto, Roman Bezděk
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