The first car I owned was a Citroen DS special (1973). Driving it through the 1980s raised question. Who designed it? If you look at the cars of the 1950s, where did this one come from?
As a student in History of Art at Leiden University (1984-1990) - and with the ‘intellectual’ support of mentor Dr. T.A.P. van Leeuwen - I took a deep dive into the design history of the car and soon found the links between cars and buildings. It resulted in my, still ongoing, research into the interaction of cars, architecture, urbanism and 20th century society. France of the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th proved to be the most interesting time-period within the frame of my research. That’s where modern, mechanized human - the automobilist (and to a certain extent bicyclist) - emerged: a historical ‘character’ I relate to and that embodies two of my passions: cars and architecture.
Since my DS perished – as they often do – around 1991, I have owned, amongst others, Citroens (DS, GS, 2CV, BX) but subsequently switched to Lancia (Zagato, Flaminia coupe, Flavia) and Alfa Romeo (Giulia, 33 & 164).