Alberto Hernandez Mendoza designs and builds extremely efficient cars with only the bare mechanical essentials, combined with style elements from the 50's and 60's. The story of a passionate car designer and creator of automotive art.
An interview with Automotive Artist and Car Designer Alberto Hernandez Mendoza - by Marcel Haan
Designing and building extremely efficient cars with only the bare mechanical essentials combined with style elements from the fifties and sixties – in a nutshell that is what Alberto Hernandez Mendoza does. While his automotive art looks great on your wall its main purpose is to guide coachbuilders, acting as a kind of roadmap. His automotive art is made into real, customized cars.
Alberto Hernandez Moal Coachbuilding/Eric Zausner
His career didn’t start this way. Born and raised in Mexico in a family of engineers, Alberto naturally studied engineering himself. Then he started a company with a friend, designing and manufacturing labor-intensive parts for the hotrod industry. To promote his products, Alberto moved to the United States. When business did not work out as planned, Alberto got a job as a design engineer in California working on aviation and automotive projects. He was
Prototype of the Smart by Alberto Hernandez
lucky to become involved in concept car projects for companies like Chrysler and Mercedes and worked on the prototypes of vehicles like the Smart Car and M-class Mercedes.
Throughout this time Alberto also did illustration work for magazines. His signature car art are Cutaways to show all the technology and gadgets under the bonnet.
cutaway car illustration by Alberto Hernandez
After a special project to design a Bentley with a retractable top for the Sultan of Brunei, Alberto decided to start his own design company. He worked on several Audi projects where most of the work emphasized on engineering as opposed to design. One of the design requirements of these projects was to combine as many parts from other models as possible. However, after the tragedy of September 11th, European customers became reluctant to travel and the number of projects decreased. As a result Alberto was forced let go of his staff.
A friend was building specialty cars and asked Alberto to help with the designs. This marked his tenure at the So-Cal Speed shop
where he began to draw cars like the Land Speed Racing Car. At first he was only sketching the ideas of others but once they recognized his capabilities Alberto was asked to design his wildest dreams. They then combined elements from several sketches into a final design. Alberto also worked with other famous builders like Moal Coachbuilders
and Kanter Concepts.
Car design by Alberto Hernandez for the SoCAL Speedshop
With custom cars one must combine standard and existing car parts with handmade parts. Alberto’s experience with Audi and other cars became a great asset for building these custom cars. His car drawings are used by the mechanics as a sort of storyboard for creating a real car.
One of Alberto’s current projects is based on the Porsche 914 with a fiber body and recycled parts from a 911; the Anteros Coupe.
Car design by Alberto Hernandez named Anteros
Anteros Coupe designed by Alberto Hernandez
Alberto Hernandez - Anteros Coupe
Designing and building custom cars is a niche market where cars are compared with Aston Martin, Maserati, Porsche and so on. It is therefore important, Alberto insists, to differentiate and be unique.
When asked where he finds inspiration, Alberto mentions his love of steam punk, a style where Victorian elements are combined with visible technical components. The Italian Carnival with the extravagant costumes and Burning Man festival act as other sources of inspiration. And, of course, Alberto reads a lot of car magazines to keep up with the current trends and combines that with the study of old car designs and parts.
Brake light sketches by Alberto Hernandez
Car illustration for Moal Design by Alberto Hernandez
Today most of his automotive art is used in the production process. Once finalized the car owners often commission him to create a Cutaway of their car in order to show the beauty of the mechanics. Alberto also does regular commissioned automotive art.
Although he designed and realized so many stunning cars already, Alberto continues to dream up new concepts. One of the designs he would love to pursue next is based on a Ferrari 250LM. This design would be a work of art, more a moving sculpture than a car to bring you from A to B.
He also would love to do a redesign of the classic Porsche Spyder, capturing only the essentials – basic, but extremely efficient.
Albert Hernandez Moal Design Eric Zausner
In my humble opinion this design for Moal is one of his best ever and demonstrates that some car designs are automotive art.
There are many dreams left to realize in the future. CarArtSpot will keep you posted on his future artwork. You can find more of Alberto’s work at Coroflot
, where you can also contact him for commissioned car art.
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This blog was first published on 17th March 2014