Author Topic: the bigger picture  (Read 13886 times)

richard

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the bigger picture
« on: February 27, 2015, 04:09:16 pm »
i  wonder if our photo guru Malcolm could improve this great picture at all ? I also wonder if any newer enthusiasts do not know of this little collection that got the whole world thinking small  :)    ( i cant work out which is the better picture to work with  :-\ )
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 06:53:20 pm by richard »
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Bob Purton

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 05:51:29 pm »
And I wonder what forum readers think about the question, was our hobby better or worse BC [Before Christies]??? Or should I say BBW?

Big Al

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 06:01:40 pm »
I am to small minded to comment, Richard! It is a great picture. Yes, I think Chrusties was a watershed moment. I do not think it stopped an inevitable development, but it speeded the process. For me thinking about active use and participation it was distinctly better before. But I would not go so far as to blame BW, nor the sale. It happens to be a big event that times with when I feel the emphasis changed.
For me the best years were the late '80's and early '90's, a long old time ago. Things were building, the cars were cheap and I could count some 25 cars on the road within 20 miles of Faringdon. Now we might find 3 or 4. Its a different hobby. 
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richard

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 06:16:00 pm »
Perhaps we could all blame Edwin and Jean  ;D  ;D ;D  ;D
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

Bob Purton

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 07:09:25 pm »
The question wasnt about apportioning blame, just was it better or worse.  I feel much the same as Al.

super-se7en (Malc Dudley)

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 07:17:09 pm »
I remember going to that auction and coming away (after buying a £25 program) with my mouth open, saying my hobby would never be the same.

milnes

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 08:41:52 pm »
I may be to young, or most probably not into Microcars when this Photo was taken. I'm taking from the comments that the photo was from a Christies auction.
So why was this the watershed moment for Microcars and what was the date?

I need to stop buying!

Jim Janecek

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 08:45:45 pm »
You will need a better quality original scan than taking what was printed in the catalog.
The first image is much better than the second (second is out of focus in places)
That being said, I scanned the image and then tweaked it a bit, but there is only so much that can be done with an image that was originally offset printed.

First image should be a better quality, second is an extreme close up of what the source material looks like with the halftone dots everywhere.

I know BW has a large print of this but it was made from the original photo, I'm not aware of any digital versions of this image available to the public anywhere and I don't think BW even has a digital version.

super-se7en (Malc Dudley)

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 10:40:01 pm »
I can not remember the exact date but 20 years ago and the trident went for £25k plus commission and the mark B bond for £7k+ when we were buying cars for hundreds and not thousands.   

Bob Purton

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 11:02:51 pm »
6th March 1997.

Jim Janecek

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 11:35:05 pm »
So why was this the watershed moment for Microcars

it was the first time that they had been properly introduced to "society" outside of the normal enthusiasts.
Never having seen anything like them prior and not having a clue to their actual "value", wealthy collectors fell over themselves to acquire them at record high prices.

Many people look at this singular event as the time the hobby began to transition from enthusiasts to collectors.
That being said, prices temporarily spiked after this auction, but soon dropped to more reasonable levels. 
As more collectors world wide began to learn of the auction, the results and the cars, they continued to seek out more of the vehicles and the hobby opened up to a wider audience with deeper pockets. 
Depending on your POV, there are both pros and cons to this.


Bob Purton

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 08:09:28 am »
Very well summed up Jim.

Big Al

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2015, 12:09:13 pm »
Agreed. My contention is that this would have happened anyway. The auction just served as the focus and bought the effect forward a few years.

Certainly, I agree that I left thinking that this was the end of the thing as a hobby too, as it was clear the collectors were to come in and clear out the good stuff. Up to a point that was OK, while there was a supply of iffy cars for the hobbyists to work up and replace those lost to limited activity. It put money into the market, so previously unobtainable spares would be made. Those wise enough could create a sustainable stack of spares from source, and cars, to use for a lifetime. Many have done so. The issue was that the supply of cars would run out and the prices rise out of the range where folk would use their restored cars. The collectors would end up owning the lions share of the cars, and no new blood would/could enter, unless very motivated or moneyed. Dead man's shoes, otherwise. I think that situation was reached some years ago.

Is that is what happened? So replacement machines were introduced broadening what is a 'microcar'. That did not really resolve the situation though, it changed that base activity, away from the true microcars, into something different. With the collectors feeding off it, and many a person buying up cars to sell a few years later at a mark up as well. More cars unused but 'available'.

Thus my activities as a pro trader, post auction, were going to be undermined by higher overheads and that hobbyist based business was dead. I could have become more professional, but I had a good run and did not want that sort of  lifestyle. The economy crash looming, totally predictable other than actual timing,  suggested the ideal time to get out.
 
The advantage of the rise in values is that I can now trade in my microcars against cars previously way beyond my budget and transfer to a hobby I would previously be unable to afford. For me it is low level motorsport and a local Classic Car Club that promotes many active events for general Classic Cars local, Nationally and in Europe. A vacuum left over the year with the de-munition of Microcar attendance over the last 7 years, and a failure to advance to better venues commensurate with the uplifted value of the cars in question. I am not the only person to have decided this is so and reacted positively to the options available. It is a moot point if the Microcar scene is suffering a significant loss of knowledge right now, as the time served and skilled move to other things offering greater retain in those owners eyes. Will spares availability retard, or fall to expensive independent specialists? Certainly there is great willingness to not keep cars original. That is a further turn off for some people. The attitude, bluntly, is been there, done that. Perversely some of those entering microcars now can say the exact same thing about low level motorsport as they do the opposite to me.

So the upshot is its a rather different activity and hobby, if that is what collection a 30 or 100 unused cars is. Its more diverse, liberal and moneyed. It is up to those people to now step up and offer something new to interest those now leaving to persuade them to stay, as in my opinion there is going to become a time where information, skills and hands on knowledge is going to be at a premium. Theory and knowing all the specs is one thing but making the car do those things is another. I only need to site Trienkels to support this notion. When I used my Trojan it would cruise at 50 mph, it would accelerate towards 60 mph and it was reliable. I do not see that reflected in today's cars. I was lucky to be taught by Mick Leeson and Basil. They knew how to make these things work. Kill about 5 people and I think that knowledge is dead in the UK!

Can you blame Bruce for that. No. Indeed he had a simple answer. Find a few gurus and encourage them and his collection improved over its bought in condition. Those people are a new centre of excellence, but they are not in the UK. From the outside it would seem Microcars is a more active scene in the USA, despite the issue of the vast distances, than the UK, which used to be pretty much Micro central with Germany. But the Americans do things their way.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 12:13:39 pm »
Richard, I can only repeat what Jim said, you need to start with a better quality image and a higher resolution scan to be able to improve the picture. It is possible to remove some of the noise and moiré pattern with software, but despite what they manage in films, you need a good image to begin with.

http://youtu.be/Vxq9yj2pVWk

I don't think the Christie's auction did much for the hobby other than perhaps increase the number of people with more than one car whilst at the same time reducing the number of people who could access them. Personally I think it devalued the ethos of the vehicles and reduced them from obscure, attractive and generally economical curiosities to rare and collectable toys. The only positive is that because of this I doubt that the overall number of microcars remaining on the planet has reduced significantly since the 90s. Just be nice if people would take them out of their boxes a bit more often.
Malcolm
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richard

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Re: the bigger picture
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2015, 02:55:31 pm »
thanks again both , the scene was certainly gaining media attention from maybe the mid to late 80's onwards ?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 03:03:24 pm by richard »
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977