Ken Block continues to be one of the most popular personalities in racing. After building an empire with DC Shoes and later Hoonigan, Block built an audience of millions with his viral Gymkhana videos. Now the rally driver is looking to leverage his popularity to expand into a new market and give an artist a massive signal boost.
Ken Block and Ash Thorp launch NFT
Ken Block has teamed up with digital artist Ash Thorp to create a set of NFTs which will be up for auction by the time you read this article. In case you’re unfamiliar, an NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” An NFT is a unique digital asset (typically artwork) or data that is tracked using blockchain technology. Yeah, it is just as confusing to us, too, but we suppose the easiest way to understand it is to think of an NFT as a digital trading card.
The NFT is based on a project Block never got to build
Ken Block announced on Twitter that a selection of NFTs created by Ash Thorp will go up for auction starting today. The artwork created by Thorp is inspired by a “Fox” body Ford Mustang Gymkhana car that Ken Block wanted to build a few years ago that he dubbed the “Hoonicorn.” The project never came to fruition, but Block was so impressed with Thorp’s concept that he partnered with the artist to turn those renderings into NFTs.
Thorp created five variants of the NFT, including an “8-bit” inspired take on the Hoonicorn and a 90s “Miami” livery. One version of the Hoonicorn NFT is rendered as if it were made from solid gold. That particular NFT will be a “1 of 1” edition and come with some extra swag for the person who wins it.
Nissan also got involved in the NFT game
If you’re reading this thinking that Ken Block is the first to push NFTs in the automotive industry, you’d be wrong. A few weeks ago, Nissan Canada dipped their toes into the NFT scene when it partnered with artist and futurist Alex McLeod. McLeod created a 3D rendering of a Nissan GT-R NISMO in a surreal environment surrounded by reflective orbs. A unique concept, to say the least. The NFT was then auctioned off
The real hook of the NFT auction is that the winner would receive a real-life Nissan GT-R NISMO to go along with the digital asset. The reserve price was set at $280,000 CAD, which is a little over $221,000 USD. That means the reserve price of the NFT was roughly the cost of a GT-R NISMO. However, since NFTs can appreciate in value, there is the theoretical possibility that the winner of that auction could actually make money off their purchase in the future. Imagine getting a free Nissan GT-R NISMO, making a profit off it years later, but still keeping the car? If nothing else, that’s a remarkable prospect.
Block still wants to build the Hoonifox for real
It is true that during Block’s partnership with Ford, the driver never got around to building the outrageous Hoonifox Gymkhana car. Even though his sponsorship with Ford ended, Block still wants to build the Hoonifox someday. We can hardly blame him. Perhaps, the proceeds from this NFT auction might fund the eventual completion of the Hoonifox project?