La famille Ashcraft est composée d'artistes saabistes .Jack , le père a créé Ashcraft's Saab V4 Parts and Restoration en 1985 que Mark , son fils ainé , continue de faire vivre avec beaucoup de talent et de passion . Basée dans l'ouest des Etats-Unis , cette entreprise familiale est vraiment hors-paire ! Aujourd'hui specialisée dans les modèles V4 sous l'impulsion de Mark , l'entreprise fait vraiment du beau boulot .La restauration inclue moteur et carrosserie .Et pour cause : Jack dessine depuis des années des voitures sorties tout droit de son imagination , tandis que Mark sous la houlette de Bjorn Envall a eu la chance de designer l'interieur de la Saab 9000 après ses études !! Rien que ça !
Jack aujourd'hui met en ligne petit à petit ses dessins par le biais de son blog : Ashcraft's sketchbook Un blog riche d'idées , de créativité à voir absolument .Vous pourrez y admirer en détails la Saab 8000 , la Saab-Sleeper ou la Sonett4 Targa .C'est juste fabuleux et magnifique !!
Voici en anglais , le parcours de Mark , digne successeur de Jack qui en plus de restaurer des Saab , publie des ouvrages complets dans la série "How to ?" qu'on pourrait traduire par Comment faire ? .
My name is Mark Ashcraft and I am Jack Ashcraft's oldest son. I am the new owner of Ashcraft's Saab V4 Parts and Restoration since January 1, 2009, which is the business my father started over 25 years ago that caters to the Saab enthusiast. In recent years the business has become more specialized and I now focus exclusively on the V4 cars, selling parts and doing mechanical restorations at my shop here in Medford, Oregon in the USA.
My background with Saabs started when I was a teenager. My father owned a car dealership in San Luis Obispo, California that sold Saab, Fiat and Citroen cars. I was employed part time to look after various chores such as washing the new and used cars, preparing used cars for resale, and helping in the parts department. I also enjoyed participating in auto cross events, and rallies with my '66 Saab Sport which was converted to V4 power. I had a good bit of success with the car mostly on rallies which the car was more suited for.
When my father sold the dealership in the mid-1970's I decided to join the military and spent three years in Germany in the US Army. The Army at that time had a very good program called the GI Bill which would pay benefits for college tuition and they had a European option. I had always wanted to travel to Europe and it was an opportunity that I could not pass up. During my time in Europe I traveled to as many countries as I could and really enjoyed the variety of cultures and the cars from the different countries.
When I returned to the USA I took advantage of the college tuition provided by the military and attended the Art Center College of Design with the dream of becoming a car designer. I graduated from Art Center in the fall of 1980 and was hired by Saab Design in Trollhattan Sweden where I worked under Bjorn Envall who was the design director at that time. It took me about six months to learn and understand the Saab philosophy of design ( Saab Way) and begin to apply that to the vehicles and products I designed for Saab. During my time at Saab I did a lot of design work on the interior of the Saab 9000, updates for the Saab 900 models, and the design of he first Saab 900 convertible. I was also responsible for naming the Saab 9000 which was a designation I began using on many of my design sketches while working on the X-29 project, which became the 9000. I really enjoyed my time at Saab and in Sweden in the early 1980's however I was young and eager to grow as a designer and in 1982 I left Saab to pursue a promising job at Honda's USA design center in Torrance California.
I spent the next 23 years designing cars and doing advanced research and analysis for Honda R&D North America. While at Honda I helped design cars for the Civic and Accord range as well as Acura models. I progressed form Designer, to Senior Designer, Senior Research Analyst, and finally Senior Futurist at the company. My last 12 years were spent working in an advanced think tank group called the AIM Department where we did future product and corporate strategy development for Honda. After a major management change at the company and severe cost cutting measures the AIM department was closed down and I was offered a new position doing product and market analysis at Honda R&D in Detroit Michigan. That particular job and location did not suit me and I left the company in 2005.
In May of 2005 I began teaching art and design classes at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California. I also developed a new class and curriculum called "Design Research and Analysis" for Product, Transportation and Environmental design students. The course was based around the research and analysis techniques I developed at Honda. At the same time I began teaching art, design and research classes to Product design students at OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles California. I enjoyed teaching at the college level until the later part of 2008 when the economy started to collapse, and the colleges began cut backs to save money including cutting several of my classes.
At about the same time my father and I began serious discussions about having me taking over his Saab parts business as he was getting older and wanted to pursue some other interests. Over the course of a few months we came to an agreement and I purchased the Saab parts business from him, moved to Oregon and began running the company in January of 2009. I had never owned my own business before and I have to say my learning curve was quite steep. The economy had also taken a turn for the worse and it proved difficult to survive the first year. Fortunately the business has been better this year and I have expanded my scope of operations beyond just parts sales to include mechanical restoration and rebuilding services. My selection of replacement parts has also grown to include frame/sheet metal parts along with several custom-made parts for the V4 cars.
Through the business I also offer a series of "How-To" books that are geared to the Saab V4 owner and enthusiast. There are currently 15 books in the series including: Saab Electrics For Everyone, Maintenance and Overhaul of the V4 Engine, Cooling It, Weber 34 Series Carburetor and Installation Guide, The Total Performance V4, Air Condition Your Saab V4, Rebuilding Sonett Doors, Starter and Alternator Overhaul, Transmission Survival Guide, Saab Sonett III Tilt Hood Conversion, Saab Sonett III Four Headlight Conversion, Saab 95,96 and Sonett Frame Sheet Metal Fabrication Guides, and our newest book "Jack Ashcraft's Fiberglass Guide" which includes doing fiberglass repairs and how to make custom fiberglass parts. Jack and I are currently working on another book called, "The Saab V4 Restoration Guide" which will cover all of the Saab V4 models. It should be published by the end of the year.
Merci à Alain pour l'info initiale .