“From the beginning, the Le Sabre was conceived as Harley Earl’s personal automobile, and Earl held a (generally accurate) belief that if he liked something, the American public would also like it.” Sleek, airplane inspired, and innovative, the 1951 GM Le Sabre is often held to be the most influential concept car of the 20th Century. [more inside]
It wasn’t easy to buy a car in the Soviet Union. Usually, the first thing to do was to sign up on a decade-long waiting list to register your interest in owning a vehicle. Secondly, you needed to save what was then a huge sum of money; a new Zaphorozhets cost the equivalent of about 30 times the average monthly salary. A few people found a different way, however – assembling cars with their own hands. [more inside]
Lost your car? This might help. Just "do the damned experiment".
Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old. Tom was one half of Click and Clack (The Tappet Brothers) on NPR's popular Car Talk. [more inside]
Hey, remember when Oprah gave everyone in her audience a new car (previously)? It was ten years ago tomorrow.
Sure, Seinfeld has expensive cars to shepherd the successful comedians around in. But Kristen Bartlett and Jason Gore get it done in a 2003 Toyota Echo.
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.
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]
Camille Lepage, a 26 year old photojournalist who dedicated her burgeoning career to reporting what the media seemed to ignore, was killed Tuesday while on assignment documenting the conflict in Central African Republic. As well as some amazing photography from her most recent work in CAR, Lepage worked in South Sudan on stories about young men drawn into the war, birth in a refugee camp, and less formal photography on instagram.
Volvo Blå: A Swede named PonyHans wants you to Buy His Volvo. [SLYT]
To Kill a Child, by Stig Dagerman (Wikipedia). Translated by Steven Hartman. For a meager fee of seventy-five kronor Dagerman was commissioned by the National Society for Road Safety to write a cautionary tale as part of a campaign designed to get Swedish motorists to slow down on highways when speeding was becoming an increasingly difficult social issue with serious consequences for public safety. What could have been an ephemeral and gimmicky work of public service fiction became perhaps the greatest short short story in the history of Swedish letters, for in this tale Dagerman took the simple redressing of a particular social problem as the starting point rather than as an end in itself and out of these mundane materials created a poignant tale of choice, chance, and human loss that rises to the highest levels of art, literary balance, and philosophical concision.
"With the exception of a tank, this is the most capable production vehicle on the planet." [more inside]
"Replace the paint of your car and accessories with reflective material" is the first of several suggestions from TriMore, a brilliant parody of the "Be Seen, Be Safe" campaign from TriMet, provider of public transit for Portland, OR. [more inside]
Lewis Lehe created an interactive graphic that shows what happens when one driver brakes in traffic
"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
An animated comic that tries to capture what it was like to fall asleep in the car at night as a child. (via)
Das Auto - the British Obsession with Germany and it's industrial Power continues (recent MeFi Discussion here) - while Top Gear tries to show with a Tribute that British Car Manufacturing is still alive and kicking.
South Carolina wants to switch to digital license plates that will display messages related to the driver's eligibility to operate a vehicle. In 2010, California considered using similar technology to display advertising.
Ken Imhoff wanted a Lamborghini Countach, but didn't have the money to buy one. So, over the next 17 years, he built one in his basement.
"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]
Hello. DJ Flula (who's commentary on English idioms was discussed previously on MeFi) has discarded the conventional wisdom that the best place to make your recordings is the bathroom, choosing instead to record in cars. [more inside]
Consumer Reports says the Tesla Model S is a truly remarkable car.
The Monopoly game has used the same 8 "base tokens" (car, thimble, boot, scotty dog, battleship, top hat, iron, wheelbarrow) since the 1950s (with a few extras added to "Deluxe Editions"), and since it's been 15 minutes since Parker Brothers' last promotion, they're doing internet voting at their Facebook page to "SAVE YOUR TOKEN". In "American Idol" style, the one with the fewest votes will be replaced by the top-vote-getter among 5 "New Tokens" (robot with mustache, big-ass diamond ring, cat, helicopter, awkwardly-balanced guitar). So far, Scottie Dog has a third of the votes (take THAT, cat people), while Whellbarrow and Absurdly-Oldfashioned-Iron are bringing up the rear. VOTE DAILY to support your favorite "chocking hazard for under 3 yrs. old"
"You probably don't think of your car as a developer platform, but Mike Rosack did."
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?
Hey! Do you like auto racing? Perhaps you’ve wished to see a race featuring a Ford 150 pickup body mounted backwards on a Crown Vic chassis. Or maybe a two-stroke/three-cylinder powerhouse 1967 Saab, complete with Antarctic emergency airdrop sled mounted to the roof. Or even a totally ludicrous self-powered pop-out camper. [more inside]
Nissan's Batmobilelike DeltaWing in collaboration with Dan Gurney's All American Racers and others is car initially made to be the new IndyCar but ultimately made to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly American Le Mans using half the amount of tyres and fuel as any car. It managed to run for 6 of the 24 hours before being taken out in the race.
Vintage Car Crash Pictures from the Leslie Jones Collection at the Boston Public Library.
Chromeography is a tumblr devoted to images of chrome: the lettering, logos, and ornaments adorning old automobiles (and bicycles and cameras and appliances).
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.
"Harley Earl (video explaining a fraction of his role in shaping the modern American automobile [and his postwar vision of the future, full of ideas decades before their time, the Harley Earl Buick LeSabre]), the legendary automotive stylist, designed the F-88 under the belief that it would have outsold the Corvette and forever changed automotive history. Unfortunately Chevrolet, which produced more GM products than any of its other divisions, convinced the GM board of directors to cut the Oldsmobile project. The F-88 never went into production due to that sabotage combined with lukewarm Corvette sales. The 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 was strictly ever a dream car." (*Via, 1, 2) [more inside]
Here's a really cool presentation on how Google's self-driving car works: Part 1, History. Part 2, Implementation. Part 3, Use Case [more inside]
In this little-known but fast-growing corner of the auto market, dealers command premium prices for road-worn vehicles and finance the sales at interest rates that can top 30%.
Arnold Odermatt is a Swiss policeman who worked in Niwalden between 1948 and 1990 and who took curiously fascinating photographs of police work and car crashes. His prints are now sold in art galleries. [more inside]
Atomic Batteries to power, turbines to speed as Casey Putsch builds a replica burton-batmobile... with a jet turbine... that's street legal... and is now on ebay.