NEW FILM SERIES: From Hand-Stitched Racing Shoes To Hand-Beaten Aluminum Bodywork, This Is ‘Soul Made’
Launching this April along with Homologation Specials and Master Mechanics, another new film series for Petrolicious Members will be shifting the cameras away from the vehicles. In “Soul Made,” our focus will be on the dedicated individuals and their workshops around the world that have continued to put technique and artistry at the forefront of their work rather than measuring their worth in quantity of output per hour. From Borrani wire wheels spoked by hand in Italy to the very same shoemaker who once stitched up racing boots for the likes of Vic Elford and Niki Lauda, these are the stories of true craftsmen in our automotive world.
Mass production has a lot of ammo on its side, but we aren’t interested in cutting costs and boosting efficiency in every aspect of our lives, which is why matching Ferrari-embossed luggage exist as an alternative to airport roller bags designed to just barely fit into the overheard bins. Economies of scale make it cheaper to buy your motor oil by the six-quart jug than the individual gas station size bottles, and thankfully production lines in large factories make it such that we don’t need to have our wiper blade replacements made by hand at exorbitant cost, but if we let practicality and throughput dictate our adventures with cars then they wouldn’t end up being very fun ones, would they?
In Soul Made, we aren’t venturing too far from the automotive scene, and while we’ll be featuring those who work directly with cars—like the upholsterers at Coachtrimmers or the restorers at LoPane who recreate bodywork with computer programs and mallets alike—we are also exploring the more tangential pieces of driving tastefully, from sunglasses to period-correct slot car tracks. And in among the bigger names like Nardi and Borrani, we will also be visiting a passionate man who collects and cares for vintage car radios, a photographer that uses classic wet-plating techniques to capture his subjects, and more.
In this film series, we will be exploring the mixture of old and new school processes that have been developed, perfected, and passed down through the hands of the people featured in Soul Made. There is no fake patina to be found in here, no contrived histories or outsourcing of the real work. We’ll be visiting a diverse group of individuals, and while some of their areas of expertise are neighboring plots, others occupy some very niche spaces indeed. All share a willful drive to perfect their craft though, and they are all linked by the same desire for quality, for an end result that contains the specific story of its creation rather than a cold serial number stamped by a robot.