For those of you who don't know, photochop is the term given to a car that's been modified using manipulation software such as Photoshop or something similar. It's an incredibly useful tool that allows people to put moustaches on photos of their grandma, or add carbon fiber widebodies to cars like the Mini Clubman you see here.
Now on our seventh Photochop Challenge, we provided a Clubman photo and invited you to let the imagination run riot. We suggested that with Mini's motorsport history, we'd like to see a WRC version, or something along the lines of the Mini Challenge racers. We actually got some entries along these lines, and they're definitely among our favorites.
We also thought the Clubman's long side panels might work as a retro delivery van, woodie or surf wagon. Sadly, nobody else had our vision. We didn't see any clever pickup conversions either, although the hearse theme seemed to work, and we love the Baja buggy.
Perhaps the greatest accolade for our seventh challenge was when it became part of the Photoshop class taught by Mike Mitsch at Quartz Hill High School in Lancaster, CA. Students were offered extra credits if they entered, and we threw in a T-shirt to the best entry judged by Mr Mitsch. Of the 22 students who entered, the shirt went to Sterling O'Toole for his carbon-clad Clubman seen here.
You can find more of the students work and every other entry online at eurotuner.com since we were unable to print them all here.
We narrowed down your entries to our favorite ten and asked our favorite ex-VW designer, Derek Jenkins to cast his expert eye over them and select a recipient for the Pro Spec 1.0 competition driving shoes that are kindly donated by DC Shoes to the best effort.
Although Derek joined Mazda, he still seems able to recognize good design (teehee) and nominated Drew Abejon to receive the FIA-approved shoes that retail for around $200.
As we always remind you, this isn't a competition. It's a challenge, and just for fun. The shoes are simply a reward for the most creative entry courtesy of Ken Block, co-founder of the premier skate shoe company, DC Shoes, a Subaru rally driver and, if you haven't already seen it, the driving force in the sickest driving videos you'll ever see. Links to his Subaru gymkhana driving video are on the blogs page at eurotuner.com
Drew's entry was plucked for glory thanks to his immaculate execution of the DTM touring car theme, complete with authentic Red Bull sponsorship and background. Derek liked the way Drew had channeled the body and raised the fender to create a convincing DTM profile, yet still retained the recognizable Mini face. It's rendered to perfect scale and clarity, making it our firm favorite. Drew also won Photochop Challenge 6 with the VW CC, so we may have to start handicapping him somehow.
In second place is Jared Buford's equally outstanding World Rally version. With its mud-splattered fenders and forest theme, it captures the spirit of Mini's rallying history. It also cleverly incorporates a Scirocco front end and Audi TT flanks, if you look closely.
Third place went to Grant Carlton's imaginative Baja buggy. While the Photoshop work isn't quite as flawless as the top two, his sense of adventure made it another favorite.
In fourth is Ryan Giorgio's rat rod-themed Mini, complete with a roof chop, air ride, rusted door and scoop, Moon discs, smoothed handles, side pipes and cracked front bumper.
Rounding out the top five, was Josh Baker's Clubman RS with its Compomotive wheels, D2 eight-piston brakes, Schnitzer front lip, M3 gills, TT fuel door, etc.
Congratulations to everybody who took place. There were some wonderfully imaginative entries and some great skills. We've also included a hand-drawn version (with more online) to recognize those with old skool sketching skills.
To see all the entries, including those we didn't have space for in print, please visit eurotuner.comTo everybody who entered and those who wish they did, we'd like to encourage you to pick up the October 2009 issue of eurotuner magazine where we'll have entry details for Photochop Challenge 8. We're not yet divulging the car we've chosen, but promise it'll be something very different from the cutesy Clubman.