Original Films

Going where no RV has gone before

Behind the Wheel: Sportsmobile 4WD

When Charles Borskey started Sportsmobile in 1961, he had no idea the brand would rise to the popular status it holds today as the ultimate vehicle for adventure camping -- or for simply making drivers look badass. Specializing in converting full-size vans into custom recreational vehicles, Sportsmobile turns your base people hauler into a rugged, rock-luvin' beast. We recently visited Sportsmobile West's Fresno, CA location to see the factory and take a van on the road; the conditions -- snow and ice -- created the perfect playground for these hulking yet nimble beasts.

A Skyline in the city

Behind the Wheel: 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition

With one of the highest thrill-to-dollar ratios of any production car on the planet, the only way to make the Nissan GT-R more monstrous (hello, 0-60 in less than three seconds) is a limited Track Edition. Luckily, we didn't have to call in any favors or cash in our Bitcoins to get our hands on the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition ($117,000), which serves dual duties as a sports car and a missile.

America Gets a World-Class Supercar

Behind the Wheel: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

The Chevrolet Corvette is an American icon as popular as baseball and apple pie. But it hasn't all been pretty. Through its iterations the 'Vette has brought to mind everything from '70s chest hair to midlife crises to silk Tommy Bahama shirts, stale cigars and trailer park access. There's been beauty and power, too -- especially in the C4 through C6 generations -- but America's car has always failed to achieve world-class stardom, perhaps pulled down by those sour associations. Everything changes in the seventh-generation C7 'Vette. Yes: the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ($51,000+) could go down as one of the best American cars ever built.

(Half) The World on Your Wrist

Time on Our Hands: Montblanc Timewalker Hemispheres

On the more affordable end of the scale, Montblanc is best known for its Timewalker collection, a set of modern sports watches that features chronographs, time-only pieces and GMTs. This year saw the introduction of the Timewalker Hemispheres ($4,900), a world time watch that was instantly one of our surprise favorites in Geneva. We recently got our hands on one for a spin around the world.

Driving, on the rocks

Quick Spin: Zamboni 522 Electric Ice Resurfacer

When Frank J. Zamboni opened one of the largest ice skating rinks in the country just outside Los Angeles in 1940, he realized he needed to streamline the ice resurfacing process. Using surplus war parts from Jeeps and tractors, he perfected his design on a number of iterations -- and in 1949 the Model A Zamboni Ice Resurfacer was born. Fast forward more than 60 years and the company, which has become ubiquitous with hockey games and halftime shows, now offers more than 10 machines ranging in capacity, price and ability. We had the chance to take the all-electric Zamboni 552 ($160,000) model for a spin, and the drive was, as expected, extraordinary.

Nomadic Denim

Levi’s Station to Station

The month of September saw Levi's Station to Station train project rolling from Brooklyn, NY to Oakland, CA in a journey meant to promote art, music, food and fashion. But this wasn't your ordinary sleeper car/food car locomotive. The guest list was packed with artists and musicians, and videos, performances, on-hand crafts, sculptures, art installations and even a recording studio were on hand or close by, making the journey more of a collective convoy of talent and creativity than a simple cross-country jaunt.

Stalwart of the Skies

At Flight: Behind the Scenes with Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8

747. The Jumbo Jet. Whether you're a million miler or just look for the cheapest thing on Kayak, the 747 is a plane that requires no introduction. You know it has an upstairs. You know that's what Air Force One is. You know it's been around forever and it still imparts second glances through the glass even when you're beelining it for baggage claim. It's a stalwart of the skies. Since its birth in the '60s as a revolutionary way to tackle long distance flights with large passenger loads, the 747 has undergone several evolutions. Today the 4th generation 747, the 747-8 Intercontinental, is, in our opinion, the finest one yet, though its success has been somewhat marred by its misunderstood approach. In the previous decades while manufacturers focused on making their products bigger, newer and faster, Boeing took a different tact with the 747: efficiency and evolution. We got aboard one on an inaugural Lufthansa flight.

Fueled by Champagne

Behind the Wheel: 2014 Bentley Flying Spur

The application to work at Bentley must go something like this: here's some wood, some metal and a cow...go make a car. Bentley arguably sets the industry standard for this wild world of luxury vehicles, and it's mind blowing how much work goes into their hand-crafted, hand-assembled chariots. As the Flying Spur is essentially a stretched Continental GT, it had carried that namesake since its inception -- but the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur ($200,000) drops the prefix and gets a boost in power and a fully refreshed exterior that separates it from its two-door brethren.

Pavement pansies need not apply

Rock Steady: 2013 Land Rover LR4 Overland Journal Edition

The guys at Overland Journal know how to adventure, and adventure well. Their magazines can be found both on coffee tables and in some of the most rugged vehicles around. Case in point, on our shoot last week of Sportsmobile we found a few editions in the back seat -- for inspiration no doubt. So it comes as no surprise that they'd be the perfect match to outfit a 2013 Land Rover LR4 ($50,000) for adventure and comfort.

Cool Shot

Video Breakdown: Braun CoolTec Razor

Thermo-Electric Cooling Technology -- that's not a term you expect to read on an electric razor's spec sheet. Thankfully, there's no need to butcher that science-speak in front of a sales associate; just ask for CoolTec. Fulfilling the next step in shaving innovations from Braun, it's the world's first razor that actively cools the skin via an integrated electro-ceramic cooling element in the head. To find out all grooming innovations the CoolTec has to offer, check out the video above.

A Feeling of Displacement

Track Day: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

Recently, we made our way out to Bilster Berg, a new $45 million dollar track and driving resort tucked into the eastern foothills of Germany. A former British ammunition depot, the 2.6-mile track has quickly launched to must-drive status due to a challenging mix of speed and extreme elevation changes. It was a worthy canvas for painting tracks with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, a 2.0-liter beast.

When perfect is not enough

Behind the Wheel: 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus

In 2008 Audi introduced the R8, a mid-engine V8 somewhat inspired by their highly successful R8 Le Mans Prototype race car, and blew the world away, winning both the World Performance Car and World Design Car of year awards. It's undergone only minor changes -- until this year. The 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus ($171,000) gets one of the best upgrades yet, a smooth-as-glass and lightning fast seven speed dual clutch S Tronic transmission. We drove it.

A Gear Patrol Film

On Location: Oakley Pro Bali, Indonesia

When we catch a glimpse of the surfing community, we always slap our heads collectively and wonder why we didn't pursue a life of beaches, sun, and drinks with little umbrellas. We had one such moment this summer. Fortunately, there was plenty of time to reflect on our life decisions while enjoying the beaches, sun and drinks with little umbrellas in Bali, Indonesia, where we covered the Oakley Pro Bali, the fifth stop of the year on the pro surfing tour.

Jurassic Park(ing)

Behind The Wheel: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

After twelve generations of model updates, the Ford SVT Raptor is arguably the most tenacious version of the Blue oval's numerous F-150 iterations. Truly testing this machine called for something more than a few days piddling around Los Angeles, so when when we were invited to go attend the one-day Raptor Assault School at Miller Motorsports Park in the wide open Utah countryside we moved quicker than a rattle snake on the floor of a country line dance. What we drove was an out-of-the box, insanely capable machine able to run, jump and crawl over just about anything in its path.

The Poster Child For Invincibility

Behind The Wheel: 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz's longest-running production model, the Gelandewagen (G-Wagen), is a testament to versatility and timeless style. For $135,000 one can not only look ultra tough in this military-inspired ride but drive like it as well. Plus, the humble 382 horsepower, 5.5 liter V8 from the "regular" G-Wagen goes bi-turbo in the AMG and jumps to 536 wild horses. We got behind the wheel deep in the Catskill mountains to give AMG's beast a good thrashing and see how much it would bite back.

Not exactly roughing it

Airstream Land Yacht

The vintage polished aluminum of Airstream Trailers is as recognizable as the curvaceous body of a 'Vette. Nowadays, they transport everyone from happy families to celebrities; Felix Baumgartner even holed up in one before his stratospheric leap. Previously unchanged in its 82-year history, the newly released Airstream Land Yacht ($140,000) brings a new level of sophistication in materials and design to this classic roving hotel room.

A Mighty Tradition

Silent in Name Only: The Old Town Music Hall and Its Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

Tucked away in the quiet industrial surf town of El Segundo, California, stands a cozy theater that has been around since 1921. Within that theater sits a rare gem, something that most of us no longer associate with movies at all. It's an organ -- a massive one, a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer, to be exact. And sitting before it, for much of the video above, is Bill Field, the owner and player of this special instrument and place.

A weekend track-attack in orange

Behind The Wheel: 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition

BMW has a history of using racetrack names for their paint colors: Marrakesh Brown, Laguna Seca Blue and Dakar Yellow. But the 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition ($80,000, as tested) is the first time they’ve used one on a car itself and the first time the iconic track has lent its name to...

Conquering the beast

GP Short: Ford Racing F-150 SVT Raptor Assault

We spent a full day at the Ford Racing F-150 SVT Raptor Assault School at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah, learning the finer points of hill climbing, mixed terrain blasts and bona-fide offroading, all the while tossing the F-150 Raptor so hard that its dusty rooster tails could be seen from space. Read on to watch the GP Short and to find out more about our upcoming feature.

To see one is to lust

Behind the Wheel: 1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.5

Ali Sadrieh is a man who lives in the present. From his cutting edge podiatry practice in Los Angeles, to his love of all things tech, he believes there has never been a better time to be alive. It is this very love of all things digital that inspired him to own an "analog car": the iconic and rare 1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.5. Through a chance crossing of paths, we were able to meet Ali and take his gorgeous Jag for a ride. Read on to see the video.

Tested, tuned, torqued and topped off

Introducing: Octane

If you're as obsessed as we are with everything automotive, this Gear Patrol announcement is aimed squarely at you. Today marks the launch of OCTANE, a channel of GP committed to bringing you the best in motoring -- from cars and motorcycles to boats, planes and just about everything in between. You'll get more of what you already love about our coverage every Monday (and more), along with in-depth looks at motoring icons, races from all over the globe, roundups of the best vehicles offered today, buying guides and how-to's, plus keen insights and opinions -- all this on top of gear that makes driving/riding/boating/flying the fulfillment of your wheeled, winged and wet childhood dreams.

100 Years and Counting

Still Running: Visiting John Deere Horicon Works

Iconic. When was the last time you didn't hear the buzzword spouted in a commercial for something from the worlds of automotive, fashion or interior design? The terminology of agricultural equipment and lawn care is an entirely different story. Well, mostly. A certain Deere & Company, founded in 1837 and known colloquially as John Deere, is a rare exception. We paid a visit to their Horicon, Wisconsin factory to find out why.

Don't Mind If I Ducati

Taming the Beast: 2013 Ducati Monster 796

In the world of thrilling machines, Ducati registers somewhere between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo -- this on two wheels, of course. Offering bikes ranging in price from $10,000-$30,000 and covering a range of "yeah, that makes sense" to "humans aren't supposed to travel that fast", the brand has a legacy and heritage dating back to 1926 that it maintains with pride today. This is especially obvious in the 2013 Ducati Monster 796 ($10,000).

Some cars take it to 11. This takes it to 13.

Bull & Bravado: Driving the Lamborghini Aventador

Six hundred ninety-one horsepower. All-wheel-drive. A gearbox so mechanically high strung you instinctively quiver before each pull of the shift lever. And of course, the obscene sheet metal geometry. Enormous in every direction and specification, it makes us pause and wonder if this is what pornographic design is. Welcome to the Lamborghini Aventador.

One hell of a legacy

Behind the Wheel: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The SLS AMG by Mercedes-Benz is truly the 300SL Gullwing reincarnate. Only the resurrected version is so much faster, you'll wonder what happened to your eyebrows. How do we know? We got behind the wheel and watched it make people's necks sore.

True British Muscle

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Carbon Black Edition

Aston Martin recently decided that being one of the most prestigious and sexiest car makers on the planet wasn't enough. They needed to be audacious. Their execution of this? Surgically transplanting the 6.0-liter 510 hp V12 from the DBS into their smallest and lightest offering, the Vantage. The Carbon Black edition adds carbon-fiber side strakes, lightweight carbon fiber and Kevlar seats, piano black accents and gloss black painted wheels, which convey the same kind of ballsy aggression as the drivetrain underneath that extruded aluminum body. Read on for a video and photo essay of this Brit stunner.

The watch company that came in from the cold

Saxon Snow: To the Heart of German Watchmaking with A. Lange & Söhne

Gear Patrol's Jason Heaton travels to Saxony, home of A. Lange & Söhne, to explore the region, experience the watchmaker and learn its storied history. Read on for our short film, photo essay and his story -- filled with snowy drives, German culture, precision watchmaking and an incredible company that came out of the cold.

425 lb-ft. Diesel. 'Nuf said.

Behind The Wheel: BMW X5 xDrive35d

The BMW X5 xDrive35d is a mouthful, an earful and a pocketful all at once. Its visually eclectic nomenclature is BMW speak for all-wheel drive and a diesel powertrain. Yes, we said diesel. Get used to it, because the clean-burning fuel is here to stay — providing both efficiency (relative, of course, for something this...

A Vantage to a Kill

Bond Week: Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Though Skyfall has Bond piloting the classic DB5 (of “Goldfinger” notoriety) rather than this new 510 hp rear-wheel-drive beauty, we felt it only proper to salute our favorite (rebooted) hero with some auditory and sensory overload. The full Behind The Wheel is on the way in the next few months, but this little teaser is...

Semi-hot hatched at birth

Quick Spin: Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Hyundai is making some serious waves in the automotive industry. With a new design language pervading the lineup and cars that compete in just about every segment (Hyundai pickup truck, anyone?), Hyundai is seeing monumental growth. Last year, the Korean automaker came out with the radically styled Veloster; now they’ve...

Its worst emission? Burnt rubber

Behind The Wheel: 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

The second coming of the very popular and virtually unpronounceable Volkswagen Touareg (“Too-a-regg”) now comes in Hybrid form, which actually makes more sense than hybridizing a compact car that already gets better gas mileage than its larger automotive counterparts. And though its 20/24 city/highway mileage numbers don’t truly impress (the Touareg TDI gets better fuel...

Discovering local frontiers

Drafting It | Abe Burmeister of Outlier

How far are you willing to go to get something you want? Abe Burmeister’s search for the perfect pair of pants led him to start a new breed of clothing company, despite having no experience in the fashion world. In our final Drafting It interview, we sat down with the Outlier co-founder to talk about...

The longer, faster cat's meow

Behind The Wheel: Jaguar XJL Supercharged

Jaguar cars, long known for their sexy lines and classic proportions, were growing extremely long in the tooth with their XJ platform, a design that was pulled, smoothed out and tweaked since the Series 1 cars in 1968. In cat years, that’s food for worms. Well, in 2009, Jaguar took the much needed leap into...

Discovering Local Frontiers

Drafting It | Seth Rosen of CustomMade

Drafting It Series: Seth Rosen of CustomMade | Todd Carmichael of La Colombe | George Vlagos of Oak Street Bootmakers | Abe Burmeister of Outlier A hearty thanks to our friends at Amstel Light for helping make this series possible. Savor complexity. Savor Amstel Light.

Discovering Local Frontiers

Drafting It | Todd Carmichael of La Colombe

As the co-founder of the Philly-based coffee roaster, La Colombe, and the company’s main sourcer, Todd Carmichael spends much of his time traveling the world in search of the highest quality, ethically traded coffee available, and soon you’ll be to able to follow his adventures through his upcoming Travel Channel Show, Coffee Hunters. But running...

Anything but mini

Behind the Wheel: Mini John Cooper Works Coupe

Mini Cooper, Maxi Clones. The sprawling lineup from BMW now includes a car with a hat, the Mini John Cooper Works Coupe, the answer to a question nobody really asked. Though it’s not really a coupe, since it technically qualifies as a hatchback, the appearance is certainly so. Okay, so it’s not the best looking...

Discovering Local Frontiers

Drafting It | George Vlagos of Oak Street Bootmakers

Uncovering inspired products and far-flung adventures are why we get up in the morning. It’s a terrible job — but hey, somebody’s got to do it, right? All of these things start somewhere, though, and often boil down to one decision from a certain type of individual. The type of person who feels the best...

The road less traveled, the snow well-conquered

Sidecars & Snow: A Mountain Ride with Ural Motorcycles

Given the chance to ride motorcycles in the winter, a sane rider might politely decline, but what's life without a few two three-wheeled thrills? On a recent invitation by Ural Motorcycles we did just that, responding "yes, please" (pronto) while simultaneously reaching for our bags, and multiple changes of underwear. Next stop, cold and soggy Seattle.

Be my Valentino

Behind the Wheel | Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder

After more than 40 years as a test driver for Lamborghini, Valentino Balboni retired. In place of a gold watch the Italian supercar maker crafted a limited edition model (only 250) in his honor: the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni — yes, it’s a mouth full. That very car birthed two beautiful descendants. Our...

Cars and caffeine, an ideal pairing

West Coast Blitz: 1,100 Horsepower, 800 Miles and Blue Bottle Coffee

Recently we found ourselves presented with a couple of problems. First. We were handed the keys to a deep blue pearl 2012 Nissan GT-R and 2012 diamond black edition Cadillac CTS-V at roughly the same time. Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound like so much of a problem but bear with us. In reality neither cars...

Dessert, Discussion, Direction

The Smart Lives of Smart Men Part 2: Tomorrow

Question: How can technology change our lives in the future? In this follow up to the Smart Lives of Smart Men Part 1, our guests Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean, Evan Orensten of Cool Hunting, Anthony Sperduti of Partners & Spade, Ben Pieratt of Svpply, and Richard Blakeley of Thrillist concluded the evening in...

Dinner, Discussion, Direction

The Smart Lives of Smart Men | Part 1: Today

Question: How is technology changing the lives of men and the world we live in? Rather than look to the usual pundits for the same canned responses, we decided to hunt down answers by inviting a group of friends and colleagues to the Royalton Hotel penthouse for an off the cuff conversation over dinner and...

Location: 12°15'00

GP Excursion | 7 Days in Paradise: Diving Bonaire

If there’s one piece of advice I can give first-time visitors to Bonaire, it’s to skip the iguana stew. Maybe it was all the diving I’d done, but feeling adventurous, I ordered the local specialty at Rosie’s Inn in the small town of Rincon. Rosie’s is a café along the dusty, windy road in the...