Hungarian inventions that have shaped the modern world: Laszlo Biro's ballpoint pen, the telephone exchange and holography, and the Magyar microcar, "how Hungary circumvented Stalin and also had a bit of fun." This is just one of a number of weirdly awesome microcars of Hungary from the 1940s and '50s.
The Car, Thunder Charger, Plymouth Barracuda SSXR, Supervan, Batmobile, AMX-400 all rolled out of Barris Kustoms, home of car customiser and fabricator George Barris who passed away today at age 89. [more inside]
I can see you've got discerning taste; perhaps a 1949 or a 1960 Jaguar? How about something in a sporty ragtop, like this 1960 Triumph TR-3, this 1965 Austin-Healey, or something in a 1976 Alfa Romeo? Something for the family? Or maybe something smaller? Or do you need something modern, like this 1981 DeLorean? [more inside]
Driven to Kill. The "hit-to-kill" phenomenon in China where a driver who has accidentally struck a pedestrian will stop to run over them again, or multiple times, to ensure they are dead. Trigger warning for text descriptions of gruesome vehicular murder. Lots of links to photos and videos in the article that you should click at your own discretion.
Security researchers Charlie Miller (@0xcharlie) and Christopher Valasek (@nudehaberdasher) have found an exploit for Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system allowing for remote control of many vehicle functions including climate control, audio, braking, and under certain conditions, steering. They plan to release details during a talk at next month's DEFCON 23 hacking conference. Chrysler has already issued a patch for the vulnerability, but it requires a manual update.
Ever wanted to buy a flying car? You only have a couple more years to wait, says a company that has built prototypes that can both drive and fly. (CBC link)
Master Technician Service Conference Films - Chrysler's Training for Mechanics. These materials were sent to each MoPar (Chrysler Products) dealer's repair department every month from 1948 through at least the late 1970's. They covered a different topic each month, and they were written to educate the simplest of minds. Now they are an invaluable resource for people wanting to maintain their classic Chrysler car. [more inside]
Ecto-1 and the Working Cadillac - While a lucrative business for Caddy in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, these professional vehicles weren’t all that common. In 1959, just 2102 chassis were made, the lion’s share going to the Miller-Meteor company in Ohio. Divided again between ambulance, limousine, dual-purpose and the odd flower car or two, not many more than several hundred Futura Duplexes were made in total. - A history of the Ecto-1, chariot of the
“Nature is stronger than technology, and that I will show here,” said Michael, who has no doubt succeeded in displaying the power of nature that triumphs over even some of the most revered examples of man-made machinery.
Hey, remember when Oprah gave everyone in her audience a new car (previously)? It was ten years ago tomorrow.
"If you need a sign to tell people to slow down, you designed your street wrong." Going from "Forgiving Highways" to "Self-Explaining Roads": A longitudinal look at the Dutch and American responses to motor vehicle traffic safety. [more inside]
The closure of the Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarapara, West Bengal, is the end of an era in Indian history. The Ambassador is the perfect example of all that was wrong with Indian policy towards industrialization, manufacturing and business. Protectionism and the license raj created a seller's market where people waited years to buy a car. Until liberalization in the 1990s, the Amby hadn't known any real competition, and there was no pressure to either modernize or improve quality. None of this mattered, at least we had a car. And there wasn't any other quite like it in the world. RIP, motor gadi.
Dave's Classic Limousines is dedicated to documenting Limousines prior to the Super-Stretch era and features pictures and descriptions of Custom Coachworks cars and one offs (home built and commercial) plus a page devoted to presidential limos. [more inside]
In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
What do the words "safety," ''chaotic" and "problem" have in common? They're all on General Motors' list of banned words for employees who were documenting potential safety issues. The revelation of the 68-word list is one of the odder twists in GM's ongoing recall of 2.6 million older-model small cars for defective ignition switches. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver weighs in.
There's an ongoing culture war in America between fitness enthusiasts and automobiles — a quiet, persistent, and almost entirely one-sided battle that creates new casualties every day. The legal skirmish surrounding the death of Ashley Poissant reveals this stark divide. The Clinton County District Attorney and Poissant's friends insist that when an 85-year-old man with an unsafe level of alcohol in his blood and a steering wheel in his hand collides with and kills a 27-year-old woman, it is a crime, a form of homicide. Trombly's attorney says it's a horrible accident, one that the women contributed to by running at dusk on the wrong side of the road. He believes an accident, even a fatal one, doesn't warrant sending an octogenarian to a New York state penitentiary.
It turns out that fish may need bicycles after all. Or, more accurately, fish need more bicyclists, and fewer motorists. "Water pollution attributable to automobiles includes oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, [copper], etc." (via rootsimple.com) See also
"With the exception of a tank, this is the most capable production vehicle on the planet." [more inside]
"I felt the only way to make any progress with the project was to make a clay model to show Katayama-san, gain his support, and ask him, as the President of Nissan USA, to push for the model's development."
The Datsun 240-Z In The Styling Studio
Concept To Reality 1965 to 1968
The Datsun 240-Z In The Styling Studio
Concept To Reality 1965 to 1968
"Toby Hockley was on the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk when he says he was struck by a car and flung into a hedge. The driver didn't stop. Hockley emerged from the hedge, sore but intact. It sounds like a run-of-the-mill depressing incident from the UK's roads. But the shocking part came later. A young woman tweeted: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists."" [more inside]
In 1929, three young women (Edith, Dorothy, and Evelyn), ages 23 and 25, went on a three-month-long, 12,353-mile road trip. Learn more about their experience, and follow an effort to recreate the journey, at Three Months by Car. [more inside]
Cargo bikes, long a mainstay in the Netherlands and emerging as an automotive alternative in the U.S. (via bike-friendly Portland), come in many flavors: Longtails, longjohns, cycle trucks, porteurs, trikes and the traditional Dutch bakfiet. Will a cargo bike transform your life?
The Global Middle Class Is Bigger Than We Thought A new way of measuring prosperity has enormous implications for geopolitics and economics.[...] the number of passenger cars in circulation serves as the most reliable gauge we have about the size of a country's middle class.
Buying a car with babysitting money Kathryn, at age 12, decided that she wanted a Pontiac Fiero for her 16th birthday. After convincing her parents, she bought it and has been restoring it from the ground up, including upholstery, motor rebuilding, welding, and more.
Part weird bestiary, part alien zodiac, the crystalline characters of René Lalique appear far too ethereal to ride on the noses of mere motorcars. [slideshow] [NYT]. A selection of original Rene Lalique car mascots, hood ornaments and radiator caps will be auctioned this weekend at the Amelia Concours d'Elegance in Florida, but can simply be viewed as photos for those of us on a budget.
During the cold war Wartburg and Skoda exported cars from the Eastern Bloc to the United States. An action that was . . . controversial. One dealership received both love and hate mail.
Bob Ferry used Google Books to find old magazines that described mechanics, showed pictures and gave descriptions of a 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout so he could build it 100 years later. Lots of pics and "how to" info at the article.
War is Boring's Steve Weintz has a two-part article up on mobile nuclear reactors, called Atoms In Motion: Portable Reactors (part two here). The links referenced cover planes, trains, and automobiles (though calling the last one an "automobile" might be stretching the definition a little.)
Michigan State University builds a prototype that would replace the internal combustion engine in automobiles. The wave disk engine runs on shockwaves, and would emit 90% less carbon dioxide, run at 3.5 times greater fuel efficiency, and weigh about 1,000 pounds less than a combustion engine system in a typical automobile.
Braindriver is a car that allows you to steer, accelerate and decelerate with nothing more than the faint electrical signals generated by the brain.
I’m Jonathan Klinger and I’m spending one full year driving a 1930 Model A everywhere I go. (Starting October 13, 2010) Why? Because not everything a person owns should contain a computer. 365 days of A
The ambulance that was used to carry the body of John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at auction last night for $120,000. Or was it? [more inside]
Some 10 minutes after driving Chris Williams's Packard-engined Behemoth my hands were still shaking, my voice was croaking and the cool autumn wind was chilling my sweaty overalls. My face was cherry red from the infernal heat of the engine and my eyebrows singed from its 24 flaming exhaust stubs. In my entire career I have never driven anything as visceral, as physical or as sheer bloody terrifying as Mavis, the 42-litre Packard-engined Bentley.
After nixing the idea a year ago, Chevy is again toying with the idea of bringing back the El Camino in 2015. The car will be modeled after the Holden Ute, a popular vehicle in Australia.
What do you do when your 40 year old, 1 of
377 351 343 ~350, vintage Japanese sports car's original body is too far gone to repair? If you are Shin Yoshikawa, the man who wrote the book on the 2000GT, you hand fabricate a new body (and some trim) completely from scratch in aluminum. [more inside]
The last Hummer has rolled off the line in Shreveport, Louisiana. Although the H3 shared the same chassis as the Chevy Colorado, and the H2 was basically a Chevy Tahoe with a different body, the antipathy toward the gas Goliaths was immense.
China is the new Detroit. New car sales in the United States plunged more than 20 percent in 2009 to a 27-year low 10 million vehicles, less than the 12.23 million sold in China during January-November, making the Asian giant the world's largest car market for the first time. That marked a turning point in the global auto industry, which had been led by the Big Three Detroit companies since Ford Motor Co. began mass production in 1913, introducing the world's first conveyor belt system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently had their 50th anniversary, and to taut the progress of car safety design, they've set a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air versus a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, and shared the crash test videos on YouTube. [more inside]
Accidents on Long Island, a photogallery.
"The avionics system in the F-22 Raptor, the current U.S. Air Force frontline jet fighter, consists of about 1.7 million lines of software code. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter...about 5.7 million lines of code...Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner...about 6.5 million lines of software code. These are impressive amounts of software, yet if you bought a premium-class automobile recently, it probably contains close to 100 million lines of software code."
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