Archive for December, 2008


Elements of the Business Case for the Fighter

The backstory for the Fighter begins on a balmy South Louisiana journey down Old Highway 61 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Following a glorious law school graduation celebration, my best friend and I were cruising, top down, in my 74 Jensen Healy, at 80 plus around Sorento at midnight, when suddenly and thunderously, a contingent of Sons of Silence riders on skinny, long, stripped, stroked, shovel heads blew by in perfect formation on the bleeding edge.

The character of this bottom-up American mechanical expressionism spawned a genre of post modern caricatures, culminating in popular TV personalities and factory choppers.

The challenge for us, which has been simmering for quite some period of years, was rooted in creating an honest architectural echo of what the pure essence of these machine forms mean.

We begin with the geometric right triangle; a simple display of implicit strength. This form, to meet the true to concept test, had to be function driven. Thusly a 30 degree neck was lowered to visually live at 45 degrees relative to the prominent backbone. Leanness is implied through the acute narrowness of the design. Minimal, skeletal uncompromised craftsmanship is transparent; this illuminates the significant role the Fighter is destined to play in the life of its “purist” owner. Extreme light weight with big displacement massive torque speak truth to real power. The avant guard element lives in the negative spatial aesthetic relationships which organically create the gestalt of the machine. Therein is expressed the dark unspoken reality of what the tearaway rebel within us all knows to be ever present. The Caravaggio image of David grasping the artist’s severed head perfectly conveys the attitude and symbolism of the expression.

We are gratified with early critical support for the design.




The authenticity of pure, simple, minimal, skeletal, true to concept, avant guard foundational boundaries for American craft, art and design are derived from straight-forward accurate inference from rugged individualism which defines the American way. Juxtaposed against manifest destiny and the triumphant American system, the unique relevance of the Confederate brand, and our Confederate craft, art and design guild is properly illuminated.

The American system under which we labor is a hybrid system. Smith’s theory of moral sentiments and Rand’s Fountainhead imagined a pure capitalist economy where the client is king. Authentic, read honest, private mercantilism, built for long term strength, not scale, competing on a purely non-interventionist playing field would result in a linear, deliberate uncompromised qualitative pulled production of only that which informs and enriches the lives of the client. This core ideal of our American initiative thrives at a perfect holistic economic set-point; the linear thinking individual client will organically make his or her analysis of personal enrichment relative to competing opportunities, which intuitively consider all costs, including those of an environmental and social nature. Our initiative mandates a steady-state economy focused on sustainable qualitative growth.

The American system quite rightly imagined that the American way would result in a much more protracted build up of accumulated capital. A push system, fueled by interventionist governmental policies at the macro-level supported by non-linear agnosticism relative to contextual product pitch would result in growth and wealth accumulation at hare-like speed through vast economies of scale. The idea worked brilliantly. America became the most powerful empire in our known world in record time.

Confederate is a tortoise. We believe our ideals are right. Strategic, slow, methodical, intense, deeply-considered, passionate, honest, disciplined machine design, engineering validation and craftsmanship will beat a Cadillac Cimaron approach. However, I am negotiating the acquisition of a Black Cadillac V Series CTS as I write, as well as a yellow Camero SS for my youngest son. GM should not be held entirely at fault. The hare goes so fast he has to stop and rest. GM is not a small batch craft house and design think tank like Confederate. It has to make moves based upon the playing field it is on at the time. A cool quote from Gandhi is relevant: when asked what he thought of capitalism he responded, “I think someone should try it”. Nothing going on today is unusual for a hybrid economic system such as ours. (which is far and away the best in the world; where else could an upstart tearaway of rebels such as ourselves be so welcome and so nurtured.) I say give GM the bridge loan without conditions. The company that boldly designed and manufactured the 1960 Corvair, a bell-weather of avant guard American design purity, demands our reverence. Further, Detroit is the new New Orleans. She must be saved. Lastly, as Woody Allen once interestingly declared, “we need the eggs”.