"In 2012, automobile collisions killed more than 34,000 Americans, but unlike our response to foreign wars, the AIDS crisis, or terrorist attacks—all of which inflict fewer fatalities than cars—there’s no widespread public protest or giant memorial to the dead. We fret about drugs and gun safety, but don’t teach children to treat cars as the loaded weapons they are."
"The way I interpret this video is a guy parked a car on a beach and a bunch of people are stealing it bit by bit." A $2 million "design exercise" from 1989, the Pontiac Stinger in no way answers the question, "Dad, how come there aren't any Pontiac dealerships any more?" It does, however, pose the question, "Why didn't my new car come with a garden hose?"
In the history of roads, pedestrians have long been the dominant user class. In the early 20th century, the use of automobiles was increasing, and with it, the conflicts between cars and people on foot. This conflict came to a head in 1923 in Cincinnati, when people were outraged about the number of children killed by autos, and a there was a petition that "would have required all vehicles in the city to be fitted with speed governors limiting them to 25 miles per hour." In response, the young automotive companies organized and started a move to give dominance to cars in the streets. The petition failed, and pedestrians had lost. This was a key moment, marked with the invention of jaywalking. [more inside]
Birds of the West Indies. Artist Taryn Simon (previously, previously, previously) has a work of photographs of James Bond's gadgets, guns, cars, and women. The work is currently showing at this year's Carnegie International, and has an accompanying book. Info at the main link, and a more thorough gallery here.
An explanation of the most confusing car buttons and symbols is illuminating (what does the "Funk" button do?) but even better is this comment thread featuring an incredibly funny interpretation of some particular obscure symbols. If bad design has you down, look at some of the most amazing in-car graphics for contrast. Jalopnik has been compiling these lists for awhile, with the help of their readers. Some other favorites: the cheapest cars ever sold, the worst highway exits, worst taxi experiences, misleading car names, coolest non-US space projects, oldest military vehicles in service, best car print ads, coolest car keys, and, more practically - things you shouldn't ignore on your car if they go wrong and the 10 cars most recommended by readers.
San Diego Study #3: Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Car Color
Long on speed but short on style, Luke Skywalker's X-34 Land Speeder has been handsomely improved by subsequent generations — more in the Air Drive gallery by photographer Renaud Marion.
"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
"The eyes of anthropomorphized cars are the headlights, not the windshield. When we look at a car, we see the front end as a sort of face. They're almost always bilaterally symmetrical, like a face, they have roughly the same number of general features, so it's easy to ascribe eyes, mouth, and even sometimes a nose to the various components. Like I said, we're really good at doing this. Consider the simple emoticon — :-) — and you'll see what I mean. We see faces in everything." [more inside]
Eiji Toyoda, architect of the “lean manufacturing” method helped turned the automaker Toyota, into a global powerhouse and changed the face of modern manufacturing. 'In almost six decades with the company he helped transform a tiny spinoff of a textile loom maker into the world’s biggest automaker. Early on, he helped put Toyota at the forefront of a wave of automobile production in Japan, pushing it to bolster its lineup, first by adding compact vehicles and sports cars in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s he initiated the development of luxury models to compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, culminating with the Lexus brand in 1989.' [more inside]
Given the number of automotive related questions on Ask MeFi, this animated infographic should be useful for most of us. And even if you are a gear head you'll probably think it's cool. (It takes a few seconds to load - give it time.)
Using "under-the-radar" auctions, the Petersen Museum in L.A. is selling much of its classic car collection to finance an exterior renovation.
It has been mentioned before around these parts, but COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE is now into Season Two, and it's just wonderful. Concept: Each episode, Seinfeld picks up a friend in one of his many, many cars, they go get coffee, and along the way they talk. And that's it. My favorite episode: Alec Baldwin.
Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why. Several months ago, I watched a fun-filled video on Cracked.com that introduced the idea (at least to me) that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete what I call “The Pixar Theory,” a working narrative that ties all of the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline with a main theme.
For years, there have been rumors among car people about a bunch of unbelievably low-mileage 50's and 60's cars in a barn or warehouse in the upper Midwest. It's true, and they'll be auctioned off this fall. Not Safe for people with a propensity to drool over old metal. [more inside]
"All my life, I have searched for a car that feels a certain way ... powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball ... now at last I have found it." -- 22 years later, "The Homer" is now a reality. [more inside]
Science experiment of the week: an AI car simulator with these supercar sounds playing in the background.
Motor Trend has put a considerable amount of effort and money into their YouTube presence (autoplay) over the last year or so, and have pulled up a decent batting average for quality videos. However, one of their series stands head and shoulders above the rest: Roadkill (also autoplay). Starring Hot Rod Magazine's Editor in Chief David Freiburger and Staff Editor Mike Finnegan, Roadkill is a roughly 20 minute web series, typically posted the first Friday of every month, and is essentially two hot rod/muscle car guys taking on self-imposed amusingly bad ideas - such as throwing a dart at a map and trying to buy a car and drive home on only $1,500 - or occasionally chronicling the goings on at major Hot Rod Mag events like Hot Rod Drag Week. [more inside]
Police are stumped as to how thieves are breaking into cars holding small unknown devices, even when they are caught on video doing it.
This Roller is a chariot for the glittering Eloi, and if we’re not exactly Morlocks yet, that does seem to be the way things are going. [more inside]
Moggie? Moggie? No, Moggie! The Morgan Motor Company, not to be confused with MG (Morris Garages), is a lesser-known British sports car manufacturer building Morgan cars in scenic Malvern Link, Worcestershire, since 1910. Perhaps most famous for selling cars with wooden frames to this very day, Morgan continues building their most traditional cars alongside their swoopiest new offerings. The founder, H. F. S. Morgan, started out building three-wheelers in what is known as the tadpole configuration, and their production continued until 1952, when Morgan moved entirely to four-wheelers. Until 2011. [more inside]
While Tesla Motors expects its first profitable quarter (despite some bad press), the electric car competitor it unsuccessfully sued for stealing its technology, Fisker Automotive, teeters on the brink of insolvency. How did Fisker, a company valued at over $1 billion dollars at the beginning of 2013, end up in this sitation? A Timeline of Fisker's Rise and Fall
Drivelapse: dashboard-camera footage of stretches of roadway, sped up via timelapse, often with annotations. For example, you can zoom through Zion Canyon or zig-zag down the Swiss Alps. Travel 250 miles from Beverly Hills to Las Vegas in 28 minutes. Or, Norwalk OH to Williamsburg VA: 550 miles in 17.5 minutes, approximately 1885 mph. Take a tour of Minneapolis surface roads or winding New England state highways. Or, tilt at windmills along the coast of the Strait of Gibraltar. ⚠MOTORIST WARNING: ANNOYING SOUNDTRACKS NEXT 10 MILES — PREPARE TO MUTE SOUND. ⚠ [more inside]
So a Ford Mustang Mach 1 shacked up with a Ford GT40 and, under the watchful eyes of engineer Terry Lipscomb and designer Mike Miernik, a child was born. Its name is Mach 40, and it is beautiful and healthy.
Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [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]
The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum, located near Atlanta, will close forever today. The collection will be auctioned off in February. Only the virtual tour will remain as a way to see all of these cars together, but now is your chance to collect any one of these unique pieces of automotive history. Who among us hasn't desired a car you could drive into your office? [more inside]
Cartoon Brew's animation historian Amid Amidi posted an almost-definitive collection of Automobile-themed cartoons from the 1950s and 1960s. [more inside]
Can autonomous vehicles navigate the law? This year has been full of big news about the progress of self-driving cars. They are currently street legal in three states and Google says that on a given day, they have a dozen autonomous cars on the road. This August, they passed 300,000 driver-hours. In Spain this summer, Volvo drove a convoy of three cars through 200 kilometers of desert highway with just one driver and a police escort. Cadillac's newest models park themselves. The writing, one might think, is on the wall. But objects in the media may be farther off than they appear.
Driving in Russia. (SLYT) (warning: contains footage of many many car accidents.)
"You probably don't think of your car as a developer platform, but Mike Rosack did."
Sure the television broadcasts catch every angle of NASCAR wrecks. However, I think views from the grandstands offer a unique view of the thrill and danger of these events.
Posters of famous movie cars (and trucks; and planes; ... a few space ships; .... the odd train.) done in the style of vintage race advertising posters.
The Futurist Magazine along with The World Future Society predicts the future with a list of the top trends and forecasts for 2013 and beyond.
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
The inventor of NiMH batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and thin film photovoltaics, Stan Ovshinsky was an inventor with a purpose. He made it his mission to change the way we use energy one invention at a time, but all with the ultimate goal of removing the need for carbon based fuels for transportation. A fixture in Michigan for decades, he was the quintessential innovator. Almost single-handedly he changed the course of discussion about the future of cars. Previously.
Today’s “luxury” car is just like today’s “luxury” watch. The value of the thing is the price, the presence, the heavy flame-surfaced tank-like offensiveness of an X6 imposing your prosperity on your neighbor’s fragile psyche like a heavy gold chain worn around one’s neck a thousand years ago.
Depth of Speed is a web series of videos that try to capture the essence of what it means to love cars. while there are so many corners of the internet dedicated to one brand, type, or model of car, Josh Clason sought out a diversity of machinery. from british sports cars to bikes, both human and gasoline powered. even a 1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. with cinematography at times stunning, visceral, emotional, and raw, these short films go right into the heart of what motivates people to turn wrenches and burn endless hours in pursuit of a true passion. [more inside]
This is a single-link YouTube post in which the Freebadge Serenaders, a "discount jazz" duo from Sacramento, play the Cars' classic "Just What I Needed" on washboard, cowbell, banjo, and kazoo, live on local NBC affiliate KCRA. That is all it is.
Long before the David Cronenberg film (NSFW: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), before even the publication of the novel, Harley Cokeliss directed Crash! (1, 2) - a short film adapted from the story in J.G. Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition, starring Ballard himself and Gabrielle Drake (sister of Nick Drake). (previously) [more inside]
Steve Wozniak explains his rules of the road. My best habits include use of blinkers and not blocking others. I keep a good distance behind the car in front of me. I never tailgate. Also, I buy and study the large DMV handbooks from the first page to the last. I would never lie in traffic court. Once I was asked if I could have been going 75 mph and I told the truth, that I didn't know because I hadn't looked at my speedometer. I lost on that one. Steve Wozniak (Mefi's own-ish) fills in for San Jose Mercury News columnist Mr. Roadshow.
motor life blog is Charlie Beesly's fun collection of (mostly) found photos celebrating cars and their owners. Don't miss the winsome training wheels post and the early Kodacolor collection. We've seen some of Charlie's other themed found photos here previously.
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.