• Ben Ellis

This #spacebus came about after feet already walked on the surface of the moon. Although smaller in size, complexity, and speed it has just the same effect on its occupants.



The Apollo spacecraft gave astronauts (and humans at home via photographs) a then unseen vantage point of the world. It gave them a new perspective to highlight the shared interconnectedness of one another by giving a high level view of our own existence. It gave an Overview Effect.



This engineering marvel set out to conquer new ground, to reach with bold ambition, and explore the outer reaches of knowledge. It did so as a crowning achievement, a goal set out that required ambition and courage to tackle, but, at its core, it was merely an idea.


It was just an idea to step into the unknown and bring along an observant mind to explore the new space.



This bus called SpaceBus sets out with similar intentions. It doesn’t seek to push the boundaries of engineering or human achievement. It just finds comfort in continually going out into the unknown to come back with new stories.


Stories of adventure, expansive lands, and journeys for the sake of the trip itself.



In the end it accomplishes the same feat as those Apollo missions that preceded it a few year earlier. It is a vehicle that continually offers a change of perspective to its occupants.



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  • Ben Ellis


Cars and Coffee is the physical representation of all the car photos you see on instagram. It is a chance for the "automotive enthusiast" to see something new, meet someone new, and enjoy a familiar cup of coffee.


Then everyone arrives and just soaks up the weekend morning with something they didn't expect. In the case of Newport Beach last weekend, it was a collection of Koenigseggs.



And not just any Koenigseggs, but the Jesko. This is the car Christian von Koenigsegg saved to hold the namesake of his father Jesko. For good reason too. I believe this is the car that shows the helm of the Koenigsegg ship turning more towards artistic expression. Treating the car less as a pure technical marvel and more of an artform.



Up until I saw the Jesko in person I would have put Koenigseggs in general on a lower rung of the super/mega/hyper - car totem pole. For me they always seemed like they were just engineering for the sake of engineering. Don't get me wrong, that is certainly something to celebrate. I mean what other company makes a car then their new owner lets them borrow it to set the worlds fastest production car speed?


(oh yeah, then drives it to cars and coffee events on the weekend



And the Agera is a stunning car.



But it is much more of a stunning car in its technical show of force.



In a very similar way that the team over at McLaren executes cars like the P1.



In technical terms, neither one of these vehicles really makes me ache for more. I respect the work that went into them and what they can accomplish like a surgical knife on track, but I don't leave their presence feeling overwhelmingly excited.


If someone asked me, "Ok then, what would you put on the top of the list then?"


That's where I would have answered you with some pretty flavor of a Pagani. Like for example the one parked next to the World's Fastest Car.



That is a car that just pains my heart to look at. Every little corner, crease, and detail stirs up some emotion within me. Where the former examples are like marveling at the Empire State Building, this Pagani is like learning something new about yourself by sitting down and staring into a Picasso painting for hours.


(I know from experience having done that at the Newport Beach Pagani dealer)



But the Jesko is something new from Koenigsegg.



There's a new appreciation for the artistic details in this machine. It's not quite on par with the artistic expression that Pagani captures, but it's something new to appreciate in the story of Koenigsegg. It captures a little artistic direction of the future. That blend of technology and cleanliness that inspired a generation watching Star Trek.



Then when it lights up and turns on the controls come to life and want to take you somewhere, at warp speed.



This reminds me of Aston Martin, pre Ian Callum. The time when they were the blokes out in the shed next to the airfield making high horsepower machines.



So for me, I love the new Jesko, but more importantly I can't wait to see what comes next.



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  • Ben Ellis

This article that I wrote was first featured on Speedhunters (



Early on a Saturday morning in October an eclectic group of Land Rovers began to arrive at the Paramount Ranch from various garages in and around the greater LA area. There was a tangible excitement about the event, and it was well deserved.


It now especially holds a unique place in everyone’s heart as just a few days later the Paramount Ranch was burned to the ground in the Woolsey wildfire.



Land Rovers, or ‘Rovers’, as they’re called by their owners deserve a different type of show to really be appreciated. That was the thought behind the inaugural TransTerras event, billed as a “Land Rover Love In.” Take the old ones, the Land Rovers with love and character, and gather them together in a location accessible and fitting for them to proudly display their heritage. This was the exact opposite of the traditional Range Rover show taking place on the streets of Hollywood just a short drive away.



However, even at this first event there was already a striking similarity to another car show, one that started as an LA institution and is now branching out around the world: Luftgekühlt. Similarly to the air-cooled fest, there was more time taken to arrange the vehicles in a narrative story than your typical parking lot gathering. It also allowed for a slow walk through time to see the entirety of Defender history before that story is rewritten with the new upcoming model from Land Rover.


When people first walked onto the set of Westworld and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, they were treated by the old guns. The Series. These vehicles were the original Land Rover. The ones meant to be your best tool on the farm and your transportation back into town. They originally laughed at the question of balance between form and function. To them there was only function.



Case in point: the Zambezi cooler. This is just a leaky water bag used to evaporatively cool the air hitting the motor in hotter climates. It needs constant refilling, but it works.




There are very few differences between a Series I, II, and III. For those uninitiated I’ll give you a few pointers: The first two both have headlights recessed in the middle between the fender arches, but the Series I seems a little more like a tractor than all the rest; the window sills are all over the place instead of forming a straight line. The II and IIA clean up a little bit with straighter and more consistent body lines. Finally comes the III, where the headlights are pushed to outside the fenders. There’s many more differences but from 15-feet away that helps to get you in the ballpark.





Further in were the Defenders. The transition from tractor to more of a multi-purpose vehicle, this is where we begin to see much more variation and alterations from owners and build shops. If you stood in the center and spun in a circle you could see small two door Defender 90s, ex-military vehicles, and full-blown off-the-grid machines.





We also started to see a little bit more of an LA influence from a recreation of a James Bond picture car, with the appropriate LS swap. There was also a crowd favorite from the Portugal based shop Cool N Vintage. These rigs are the real deal, broken down and rebuilt into something who’s quality could easily be compared to the likes of Singer Vehicle Design.






Further out back were the gatherings of Range Rover Classics and Discovery IIs. These, the last of the solid axle Land Rovers.




Overall it was a day of storytelling, fittingly in a place that was used to film stories of adventure across the wild west. Maybe it was the last event this iconic film set felt it needed to tell before being rebuilt into something new; a poetic similarity to the very same Land Rover Defender.



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