Krauts in America

This weekend, Formula 1 visits the USA again after a forced break - and we remember our last trip through 'Murica in a good mood. Admittedly: Two years ago we were on the East Coast and at the NASCAR season finale - not in Austin. But that doesn't matter, since a Ferrari 812 Superfast and a Camaro LT1 also play a starring role.
  • Text
    Natalie Diedrichs
  • Photos
    Maximilián Balázs · ramp.pictures

I actually wanted to go to L.A. But auto journalists have done L.A. to death, in both pictures and words, to such an extent that you probably would have greeted a road trip along the West Coast with a groan and a sigh and perhaps a roll of the eye. So where to go on this little holiday slash production trip? It definitely had to be someplace in America. For one thing, because my editor-in-chief wanted to have a “Krauts in America” story. For another thing, because of IHOP. IHOP is an American pancake house restaurant chain that serves breakfast twenty-four hours a day. And what a breakfast, lemme tell ya! IHOP is a dream come true. If we had IHOP in Germany, I’d eat there three times a day. Pancakes with maple syrup in the morning, pancakes with caramel sauce at noon, pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips in the evening. Type 2 diabetes is on the house, just like the free glass of chlorinated ice water and the lemon-scented towelettes to wipe your hands.

So: East Coast instead of West. Florida. Miami. Ocean Drive. There haven’t been so many photo series from there – especially not at night, as my partner/photographer Max said. And that had its reasons, but we’ll get back to that later. Two cars accompanied us on our journey. Though the word “car” isn’t entirely appropriate – more like “absolutely awesome autos”! A Chevrolet Camaro LT1 and a Ferrari 812 Superfast. Apples and oranges, actually, but each in its own way showed me once again how profound is my love of cars – despite all the criticism and ongoing social debate. As long as you still can, I would recommend everyone to drive a car with a V-engine at some point, no matter if it’s a V8 like in the Camaro or a V12 like in the Ferrari. It’s not exactly Greta-compliant, but if you have a guilty conscience, you can always plant a few trees. It’s worth it.

A Chevrolet Camaro LT1 and a Ferrari 812 Superfast. Apples and oranges, actually, but each in its own way showed me once again how profound is my love of cars.

In retrospect, there couldn’t have been any more perfect cars for our trip. That’s because they fulfilled an important function: they opened doors to two worlds for us that would have remained closed without them. The dazzlingly colorful world of those who feel they’ve achieved something in Miami, and the surprisingly authentic world of that other group of Americans for whom a Camaro is about as spectacular as a VW Golf is for us. Though when someone drives through Germany in a brand-new Golf 8, people still stare. They want to give the new version of the evergreen a close look and talk about all the changes. It was the same with the Camaro facelift. The LT1, by the way, is the basic version of the legendary muscle car. For just thirty-four thousand dollars plus tax, the 455 hp naturally aspirated V8 with rear-wheel drive is yours. Unfortunately, Chevrolet doesn’t offer the LT1 for sale in Germany. That alone is good reason to think about emigrating. That and IHOP, of course.

Despite these privileges, it seems that in Miami you can only truly enjoy life once you’ve toiled away long enough and your work has finally been rewarded with success in the form of wealth. That’s the American dream. From rags to riches and so on. At least that’s the impression we got from Louis. We met him on a parking deck in the Design District as Max was photographing the 812 Superfast. Louis is originally from Costa Rica, came to the States without a penny to his name, founded a company that repairs and maintains elevators, and is now super rich. He drives around in a Ferrari 488. He pulled up next to the 812 Superfast, got out, took off his sunglasses, gave our car a quick inspection and passed his judgement: “It’s pretty chic, but a bit boring.”

Admittedly, next to his 488 the 812 really did seem a bit, well, conventional. Because you don’t get very far with a production version in Miami, even if it is a Ferrari. “You can buy one like that at any dealership,” Louis explained to me while his assistant was getting the drone ready. Some aerial shots for the self-made millionaire’s private Instagram account. Of course. Anyway, Louis had fitted his Ferrari with an even louder, flap-controlled exhaust and, shall we say, even more exclusive exterior. He hired German graffiti artist René Turrek to sand down the Ferrari’s standard paint and adorn it instead with the logos of his favorite fashion labels, Louis Vuitton and Supreme. By hand. What would probably be considered an act of treason in Modena is art in Miami. That’s also why he didn’t have any hassles with the trademark rights.

The logos make the 488 look a bit like a very fast handbag on four wheels, but at least it fits in here in Miami, where seemingly everyone drives a Ferrari. Or at least pretends to. During our shoots we kept meeting upon influencers who had hit the town at night with their photographers to take some pics for Instagram. A well-toned male model with five different outfits in his travel bag, an excited group of twerking Latinas – they all literally threw themselves in front of the 812 Superfast. We stood there and captured the best moments on film, otherwise no one would have believed us.

The logos make the 488 look a bit like a very fast handbag on four wheels, but at least it fits in here in Miami, where seemingly everyone drives a Ferrari.

Unfortunately, the long-awaited Ocean Drive production didn’t pan out. Not because there was too much going on along the South Beach party mile on Sunday at four in the morning, but because most of the hotels and clubs had already switched off their neon lights. So it was pretty dark. No pics of The Carlyle and no beauty shots with the famous Versace Mansion, where the eccentric fashion designer was shot twenty-three years ago. At least one hotel had left the lights on, so we were able to bring a token pic back home with us. Fortunately, the parking decks in Florida’s main city proved more reliable. They were open twenty-four hours a day and gleamed with their abundant lighting, as in the background the vibrant city glittered in the dark. But no Ocean Drive.

Standing in stark contrast to the bling-bling life in Miami was our visit to the NASCAR finals in Homestead. There is probably nothing more stereotypically American than this stock car series and everything that goes with it. Lots of people in Germany ask themselves who on Earth would vote for Donald Trump – the answer can be found at Homestead. Like that picture-book family of four all wearing the same T-shirt with “President Trump 2020, Keep America Great” on the front and “If this flag offends you, I’ll help you pack” on the back. Strong stuff.

After two corndogs, a cold Coke, a military parade, a joint prayer and a jet flyover including a parachute jump, the NASCAR heroes were brought onto the track atop massive Ford trucks, two in each bed, leaving enough space between them for the two-meter wide American flag. And after the national anthem, the four-hour conclusion to the season began. At this juncture, I’d really like to provide a graphic comparison that adequately describes the soundscape, but never in my life have I heard anything that does justice to this clamor in even the remotest sense. Even when I shouted directly into Max’s ear, he couldn’t understand a word I was saying.

Let’s just settle for “deafening”, in the truest sense of the word. For the record, Kyle Busch crossed the finish line first that night, but I only found out about it from the internet because after three hours of non-stop sonic pelting we’d had enough.

My ears were still numb and ringing the following day as we were planning the next leg of our journey over a stack of maple syrup-soaked pancakes. The Ferrari would stay in Miami and finally it was time for the Camaro, a car I’d reserved a place for in my imaginary garage for years. It packs an endless punch, its back seat and generous luggage space make it great for travelling, and thanks to the Chevy logo on the grille you instantly feel like you’re a part of this whole scene. Whether you want it or not. And because Chevrolet has been involved with NASCAR since the very beginning, the Camaro was the perfect make for our next shoot in Daytona Beach.

The coastal community north of Miami is a historically significant place for American and international motorsports. Every year at the 24 Hours endurance race, drivers from all over the world compete to the point of total exhaustion. The legendary 3.56-mile speedway with its three steep turns (usual are two) forms the center of this city of seventy thousand inhabitants. Its skyscraper-high grandstands tower far above the cinemas, shops and restaurants of the city. Everything seems to lie in the shadow of this gigantic racetrack. The second place to be is the beach. Anyone who has seen Disney’s animated film Cars 3 knows that the NASCAR series was founded at the oceanfront right here seventy-two years ago. That’s exactly where we placed the Camaro. At sunrise, of course. In contrast to our Ocean Drive flop, this worked out really well.

You’re even allowed to drive on certain sections of the beach – not more than ten miles an hour, but luckily photographers can play around with this sort of thing. There was surprisingly little happening on this picture-perfect morning, except for the estimated three hundred aquatic birds watching me curiously as I drove back and forth twenty times while Max pressed the shutter release. It’s amazing how something as loud as NASCAR could be created in what was originally such a quiet, soothing place. After explaining to the Beach Patrol that this Camaro was the latest model, with the front end slightly modified compared to its predecessor, and that the basic version is available for as little as thirty-four thousand dollars plus tax (“unbelievable!”), we went back to our usual morning routine. Though this time I chose the strawberry syrup.

ramp #49 Higgledy Piggledy

ramp #49 Higgledy Piggledy

Alle, die den Titel dieser Ausgabe seltsam finden, können jetzt durchatmen. Denn zuerst begeisterte sich der Chefredakteur für »Kraut & Rüben«, was vermutlich zu einer Drogen-Razzia im Verlag geführt hätte und damit zu einem fröhlichen Tohuwabohu.

Similar articles

Our Bestsellers

  • ramp #64 How About That!
    ramp #64 How About That!
    20,00 EUR
    Surprises open our eyes to new things, which now isn't really a big surprise. The unexpected simply stays in memory longer, sparks curiosity – and prompts action. Essential for adapting to a changing world. The future might just be warming up for progress. It's meant to move forward effectively.
  • rampstyle #31 Isn't That Something?
    rampstyle #31 Isn't That Something?
    20,00 EUR
    Focusing on the essentials, blocking out everything else... If you’re focused, you’ve already mastered one important key skill. In our multimodal world, focus is, unfortunately, a rather limited resource. In particularly focused moments, we forget all about time. But do we run the risk of developing tunnel vision? Does focus lose its power over time? Do we become habituated? Far from it. Unexpected surprises? Bring ‘em on!
  • ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    20,00 EUR
    Happy on the road? You bet. For any respectable car culture magazine, after all, being happy on the road is a mandatory prerequisite. Over time, and with a little bit of luck (which is, after all, a close relative of happiness), these feelings cheerfully blossom into an emotional foundation that ...
  • rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    20,00 EUR
    After “All Summer Long” here’s our follow-up issue with the title “Blue Skies”. Of course. Because readers who know a little something about the English singer and songwriter Chris Rea will have already noticed how we’ve come full circle here. The blue sky as a symbol of hopeful optimism about what’s to come.
  • ramp #62 Wild Things
    ramp #62 Wild Things
    20,00 EUR
    Just heading along, the journey itself a wonderfully blank page that presents itself to us with a cheerful unpredictability, as an inspired playing field for trial and error, for curiosity and spontaneity, unexpected surprises and flights of fancy. Wild and untamed. Just like life itself.
  • Director’s Cut: Luxury
    Director’s Cut: Luxury
    125,00 EUR
    Luxury is enticing and exciting, polarizing and provocative, not to mention that it is good for the economy. But the essence of luxury goes far beyond the material. Luxury appeals to our senses, our dreams and our desires. It immediately evokes images that are as precise as they are diverse. Luxury also triggers some pretty clear opinions – both favorable and unfavorable.
  • rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    20,00 EUR
    Barcelona in summer. With Alvaro Soler - and a Porsche 911 SC. An approach to the phenomenon and the person Yves Saint Laurent. We spoke with Udo Kier in Palm Springs, and Luc Donckerwolke in his garage. And then there's the cover - and the associated story of House of Spoils.
  • Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    99,00 EUR
    Sixty years of the Porsche 911 – sixty years that stand for very personal, highly emotional relationships of love involving this sports car. Stories marked by love, lust and passion. Captured in this high-quality illustrated book.
  • ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    20,00 EUR
    Blue skies, the scent of fresh grass, the warmth of the moment – but above all: sunshine. The light of the sun’s rays, scientists say, is the decisive factor at the beginning of the warm season that triggers the merry mix of happiness hormones which energetically drive us headlong into the summer.
  • rampstyle #27 By the Way
    rampstyle #27 By the Way
    20,00 EUR
    Did you know that between thirty and fifty percent of all scientific discoveries are the result of coincidence? Velcro, Viagra, X-rays – sometimes people find things without even looking for them, but they are rewarded with an unexpected alternative.
  • rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    20,00 EUR
    An exclusive fashion editorial with Tim Bendzko. Unseen pictures by photographer Anouk Masson Krantz. A conversation with star director Guy Ritchie and a somewhat different interview with musician Dan Auerbach. All this and much more awaits you in this issue of rampstyle.
  • Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. Alongside exclusive design sketches, an overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • The Lamborghini Book
    The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. An overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    20,00 EUR
    A magazine about coolness? Among other things. But one thing at a time. First of all, it’s off to the movies. There’s this businessman from Boston who helps relieve a bank of a substantial amount of money. The insurance companies are on to him, but they can’t prove a thing. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of...
  • ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    18,00 EUR
    “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” was the title of an episode of the television series Star Trek, and although it was the nineteenth episode overall, it was the first to flicker into German living rooms fifty years ago this May. The story revolved around timelines and time travel.
  • rampstyle #26 Good News
    rampstyle #26 Good News
    15,00 EUR
    Two thin ovals far up inside a circle, a curved arc below, sketched on sunny yellow. In a split second, our brain has combined the elements into a smiling face, instantly putting us in a good mood. Wonderful! A smiley like that just feels good.
  • Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    29,00 EUR
    Existential questions are answered here: How do I build the perfect sandcastle? How do I start a band? Is there a perfect record player? (Spoiler Alert: yes, there is). Men´s manual is a supergroup of sorts: ramp and teNeues throw together their concentrated expertise in lifestyle.
  • ramp #64 How About That!
    ramp #64 How About That!
    20,00 EUR
    Surprises open our eyes to new things, which now isn't really a big surprise. The unexpected simply stays in memory longer, sparks curiosity – and prompts action. Essential for adapting to a changing world. The future might just be warming up for progress. It's meant to move forward effectively.
  • rampstyle #31 Isn't That Something?
    rampstyle #31 Isn't That Something?
    20,00 EUR
    Focusing on the essentials, blocking out everything else... If you’re focused, you’ve already mastered one important key skill. In our multimodal world, focus is, unfortunately, a rather limited resource. In particularly focused moments, we forget all about time. But do we run the risk of developing tunnel vision? Does focus lose its power over time? Do we become habituated? Far from it. Unexpected surprises? Bring ‘em on!
  • ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    20,00 EUR
    Happy on the road? You bet. For any respectable car culture magazine, after all, being happy on the road is a mandatory prerequisite. Over time, and with a little bit of luck (which is, after all, a close relative of happiness), these feelings cheerfully blossom into an emotional foundation that ...
  • rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    20,00 EUR
    After “All Summer Long” here’s our follow-up issue with the title “Blue Skies”. Of course. Because readers who know a little something about the English singer and songwriter Chris Rea will have already noticed how we’ve come full circle here. The blue sky as a symbol of hopeful optimism about what’s to come.
  • ramp #62 Wild Things
    ramp #62 Wild Things
    20,00 EUR
    Just heading along, the journey itself a wonderfully blank page that presents itself to us with a cheerful unpredictability, as an inspired playing field for trial and error, for curiosity and spontaneity, unexpected surprises and flights of fancy. Wild and untamed. Just like life itself.
  • Director’s Cut: Luxury
    Director’s Cut: Luxury
    125,00 EUR
    Luxury is enticing and exciting, polarizing and provocative, not to mention that it is good for the economy. But the essence of luxury goes far beyond the material. Luxury appeals to our senses, our dreams and our desires. It immediately evokes images that are as precise as they are diverse. Luxury also triggers some pretty clear opinions – both favorable and unfavorable.
  • rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    20,00 EUR
    Barcelona in summer. With Alvaro Soler - and a Porsche 911 SC. An approach to the phenomenon and the person Yves Saint Laurent. We spoke with Udo Kier in Palm Springs, and Luc Donckerwolke in his garage. And then there's the cover - and the associated story of House of Spoils.
  • Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    99,00 EUR
    Sixty years of the Porsche 911 – sixty years that stand for very personal, highly emotional relationships of love involving this sports car. Stories marked by love, lust and passion. Captured in this high-quality illustrated book.
  • ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    20,00 EUR
    Blue skies, the scent of fresh grass, the warmth of the moment – but above all: sunshine. The light of the sun’s rays, scientists say, is the decisive factor at the beginning of the warm season that triggers the merry mix of happiness hormones which energetically drive us headlong into the summer.
  • rampstyle #27 By the Way
    rampstyle #27 By the Way
    20,00 EUR
    Did you know that between thirty and fifty percent of all scientific discoveries are the result of coincidence? Velcro, Viagra, X-rays – sometimes people find things without even looking for them, but they are rewarded with an unexpected alternative.
  • rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    20,00 EUR
    An exclusive fashion editorial with Tim Bendzko. Unseen pictures by photographer Anouk Masson Krantz. A conversation with star director Guy Ritchie and a somewhat different interview with musician Dan Auerbach. All this and much more awaits you in this issue of rampstyle.
  • Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. Alongside exclusive design sketches, an overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • The Lamborghini Book
    The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. An overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    20,00 EUR
    A magazine about coolness? Among other things. But one thing at a time. First of all, it’s off to the movies. There’s this businessman from Boston who helps relieve a bank of a substantial amount of money. The insurance companies are on to him, but they can’t prove a thing. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of...
  • ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    18,00 EUR
    “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” was the title of an episode of the television series Star Trek, and although it was the nineteenth episode overall, it was the first to flicker into German living rooms fifty years ago this May. The story revolved around timelines and time travel.
  • rampstyle #26 Good News
    rampstyle #26 Good News
    15,00 EUR
    Two thin ovals far up inside a circle, a curved arc below, sketched on sunny yellow. In a split second, our brain has combined the elements into a smiling face, instantly putting us in a good mood. Wonderful! A smiley like that just feels good.
  • Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    29,00 EUR
    Existential questions are answered here: How do I build the perfect sandcastle? How do I start a band? Is there a perfect record player? (Spoiler Alert: yes, there is). Men´s manual is a supergroup of sorts: ramp and teNeues throw together their concentrated expertise in lifestyle.