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DESIGN STORY // IGNITION 911


 

What’s it like designing cars for a living? It’s both romantic yet frustrating.


 
 
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Our design team has a collective experience of working for Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, Honda, Mazda, etc, etc. You get the story… The fact is, we’re a bunch of car geeks, artists-at-heart, with a love for great design. When management gives us the go-ahead to develop an unmistakable form for the next iconic car, but leaves out budget for the details, it strikes a dagger into our hearts. 

 
 
 
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We LOVE to sweat the details and if we had it our way, the shift knob to the door handle would be handled like a fine watch: beautifully designed, tediously crafted, and made to let the driver feel special. Ignition 911 was really a coping mechanism for a bunch of designers wanting to.. well… design. This was our chance to put the corporate drudgery aside and create a product that sings a love letter to some of the best eras of fine automobiles.

 

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So why the 911? Well some insight into designer culture: every car designer owns or will own a 911 in their lifetime. It’s almost a universal constant. Drive to a design studio… say Nissan for instance, and you will see a line of them sitting pretty. It’s a special car. Unique, beautiful, & standing the test of time.

Ultimately, the 911 is a testament to the power of great design. The task to make a key worthy of such a fine piece of art seemed monumental at first. We needed to breathe the pure design philosophy of the 911, study its shapes, and create a key that not only works to turn the ignition but tells the story of such an impactful car.

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For instance, the shape was inspired by the 911 dash, which from 1970 to 1998, has remained strikingly similar in theme. The six holes are both an ode to Porsche racing history [917 ignition to reduce weight] and the flat 6 engine as well. The single piece, monocoque construction symbolizes the purity in the 911 design philosophy.

Sure, it would have been easy to order a bunch of key blanks and make a fancy handle but why cut corners? Going the extra length to create an uninterrupted form from the key head to the handle was our way of connecting with a vehicle that has the same uninterrupted language with that iconic, swept roofline.

And last but not least, the material. 

 

 
 
 
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Brass is amazing. Heavy in hand, beautiful to look at, & easy to cut… But it’s not pure. The original Porsche keys are stainless steel. A material that’s hard to cut, not the prettiest, and not very weighty. Although we started our prototyping process in brass, we decided to keep it pure despite the difficulties and worked to create our final design in 303 grade stainless steel.

Ultimately pure.

 

 

WE hope to continue designing cars in its entirety, and ultimately help bring the sparkle back to a slower era, when cars were a bit more romantic.

 

 
 
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