About 12cylinders


The automobile is the principle artifact of the 20th century; it is both a triumph of artistry and individual freedom, and a travesty of consumption and senseless indulgence. What we at 12cylinders are creating is a catalogue of 20th century history seen through the lens of the motor industry. By tracing the history of the automobile, we draw parallels with artistic movements, track the impetus of globalisation, and follow the course of political power and international conflict.

So let us walk forward with this perspective: We live today in the hangover of the 20th century, and the contraption that once changed the world has been slow to evolve into a cleaner, less obtrusive tool for daily life. Future generations may look back on pictures of today's landscape and gawk at the uninspiring dirge of overfilled car parks with the same sense of confusion we exhibit over pictures from the soot-laden industrial revolution. But the color and majesty that once existed, where automobiles were the spiritual focus of the people—that is something worth capturing. In the same way enthusiasts preserve steam heritage, or track the history of American roots music that gave birth to rock n' roll, we can wonder at the rapid trajectory of the motorcar.


• Many thanks go to the car owners. Thank you for educating us, and sharing with us glimpses of the passionate enjoyment we'd expect of ourselves if we had the chance to own automobiles such as these. Note that 12cylinders records to owner of record at the time each car was photographed, and that these records will likely become inaccurate.

UltimateCarPage.com, has used the internet medium to its fullest by creating a database beyond compare. Their photographs are reliably good, their articles are written in-house, and their ability to organize such a sheer volume of information is remarkable.

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12cylinders.com is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by any automobile manufacturer, automobile-related business, or automobile club.

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