Even if cars soon start running entirely on electricity or hydrogen, they'll still need 100 gallons or more of oil to make their plastic parts...
"...criticism, for lack of a better word, is good. Criticism is right. Criticism works. Criticism clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit…
Start your engines. Megan Culbert, age 8, was in her first year of racing.... her best time so far was an 11.30 in the 1/8 mile. Vroom.
What do the following cars have in common? The Chrysler Neon. The Daihatsu Charade. The Dodge Viper SRT-10. The Ferrari SuperAmerica. The Fiat Croma. The Hummer H2. The Hyundai Terracan. The Hyundai Trajet. The Rover 75. The CityRover. The Smart Cabrio. The Tata Safari. Give up? Each one of the cars listed above sold exactly one new (as in, not previously registered) unit last year in the UK, according to the Daily Telegraph. This makes them the most exclusive cars of 2008.
DadHacker (previously on Mefi) ponders how the world of Pixar's Cars came about: "They turned on us, and were very thorough." Jake Parker asks a more biomechanical question and sketches the nightmarish result: "Where does the flesh end and the machine begin?"
"We were classmates in high school... And we spoke the plan to go to Yakushima Island. However, the talk swells greatly...We decided to make a camper for a round-the-japan trip. We thought that various equipment was necessary to long trip. However, the bed space has disappeared when various equipment is packed. Then, the idea adjusted to two stories appeared." More on the truck and the trip. (via Dinosaurs and Robots)
Britney Spears loves Japan for its tiny cars. Tiny cars are huge in Japan. But Americans are not very big on very small cars. Nonetheless, automakers may bring tiny microcars to the U.S.. The trick will be making money on smaller cars. Small cars are nothing new, but soon they may be cool.
Fuel Economy: The MPG illusion. Quick, which of the following reduces gas consumption more? a) trading in a 33 mpg car for a fuel-sipping 50-mpg car b) trading in a 14 mpg SUV for a 16-mpg SUV hybrid. Answer: They are both roughly the same. This not surprising once you apply a little math. "Miles per gallon is a ratio. Gas consumed is an inverse of that ratio. A ratio and its inverse do not have a linear relationship. They have a curvilinear one."
Ford's new Business Plan proposal has been released. Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he'll work for $1 per year if the company has to take any government loan money. [more inside]
ROMANO-Archives has a YouTube channel with over 270 color film clips, called Unknown WWII In Color. "World War ll has usually been seen in black and white, but our recent research has unearthed an abundance of superb color film that shows what it really looked like to those who were there. The Author presents mainly WW2 recently declassified and other previously unavailable material, exclusively filmed in color." They also have over 900 videos of Automobile History USA l lots of pages of images with history, like Jammin' with Betty Boop. [In English and Italian] [more inside]
Yugo (now Zastava), the icon of Soviet-era automaking, rolled out its last car on November 11th, 2008, a victim of the global financial crisis. The Kragujevac plant, having endured political crises and NATO bombs, has finally been sold to Fiat. Previously.
Oct. 1 marks the 100th birthday of Ford's Model T. With its optional windshield, gas lamps, and innovative left-side steering wheel, it ushered in an age of automotive marvels. The Model T left a legacy of mass production, user mashups, and affordable cars for everyone. It may have been one of the worst things to ever happen to the planet. [more inside]
We put together Bringatrailer.com because finding great vintage cars online has become too much of a hassle. There is no need to keep sifting through hundreds of hopeless projects or overpriced dealer inventories to find that one car you’ve been looking for. We pick the winners and save you the trouble… the best bargains, the best dream cars, and the best rarities.
Official: GM reveals the production Chevy Volt 2011.
Marcelo da Luz has been attracting a lot of attention with his snazzy solar car. He's hoping to set a new world record by driving the car from Buffalo, NY, to Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic on demographic inversion.
Ford Model T owners "transformed the cars into tractors, pickup trucks, paddy wagons, mobile lumber mills and power plants for milling grain." [more inside]
Welcome To The Future Where we drive around in things like this and get 230 miles to the gallon, all for under 30k.
Last week, Genepax Co demonstrated a car that it says runs on water. Video of the demonstration is here. [more inside]
US Traffic & Road Sign Test. Five part, 30 questions each, multiple choice test on US road, highway and traffic signs. Results include inline scoring and explanation of each sign. [more inside]
Inflatable Electric Cars When it arrives (hopefully in 2010) it will apparently be able to 2500 miles per charge.
Feeling nostalgic for cheap gas and and a "poke-through air cleaner that jumps when the engine cries"? The Mustang Mach I was the way to swing in '69! But 9 years later, the Cougar XR-7 was the 1978 choice of Cheryl Tiegs for her midnight driving. Speaking of women, what if your wife has to drive alone? It's a shocking concept, sure, but when a woman's at the wheel, you need Polyglas tires. Yep, crazy things used to happen. Heck, Pontiac even sold this thing for a few years. All that and more at Jalopnik's classic ad watch.
Do You Want To Know RIGHT NOW How You Can Drive Around Using WATER as FUEL and Laugh At Rising Gas Costs, While Reducing Emissions and Preventing Global Warming?
The Unofficial Guide to the DMV ― This web site was created to provide easy-to-access information and resources for all your Department of Motor Vehicles needs for all 50 states. Details about driver’s licenses, driving records and ID cards, as well as vehicle registrations, title transfers, bills of sale and smog checks are available here. [more inside]
Too much traffic? Can't find parking? Choking on smog? Worried about climate change? Gas prices too high, but you still have to drive? Send your city planner a link to the Online Encyclopedia of Transportation Demand Management strategies. [more inside]
Want a highway-speed in-production electric car right now and can't afford a Tesla Roadster? The now defunct Corbin Sparrow has been re-born as the NmG ("No More Gas") from Myers Motors. It uses 12 lead-acid batteries (1-4yr life), 70+mph, 30 mile range, about $50k. It's not for everybody but - in the US - it's currently the only other pure EV option available (that's not a conversion or low-speed). However if you can wait a couple years more EV's are in development.
Remember the FAIL boat (also prev)? Now Mazda's in the midst of trying to efficiently dispose of approximately $100 million worth of factory-new automobiles.
Car of the Future, NOVA's latest episode, is fully online and includes a slew of extras including CC-licensed content, a brief historical overview of "innovative" automobiles, Amory Lovins flogging his Hypercar concept, the Car Talk guys making nuisances of themselves, and much more. (It's no Design for Dreaming, but really, what could be?)
If only the Japanese could build a car like Jaguar. If only the English could build a car like Honda.
From 1987 until 1992 Britain's Austin-Rover Group exported the Rover 800 to America and called it the Sterling. Jointly developed with Honda, the Sterling was a bit of a flop in contrast to Honda's Acura Legend. Of course, every car has its fans. One more thing, if you need a part for your Sterling, you better call this guy.
Speed, Style and Beauty: The Ralph Lauren Car Collection photo gallery. More photos here (although some are duplicates). Details of the automobiles at Motor Trend. The cars were the subject of a Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibition in 2005, and an excellent Discovery Channel documentary last October. If you missed the broadcast, you can buy the book. (There's no DVD that I can find, but watch for a repeat broadcast. Or maybe you can catch it some other way.)
When F1 was sex and drugs and rocky roads. Starring, of course, James Hunt. And Jody Scheckter's iconic 6-wheeled Tyrrell P34. And your crash of crashes, Niki Lauda at Nurburgring 1976. Despite falling into a coma and suffering extensive facial burns, Lauda was back in 6 weeks at Monza.
The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
One Last Journey. "Cars these days, they're like washing machines." (Not Clarkson...)
DDR-Modell Autos.info meticulously catalogs radio controlled and flywheel powered cars made by East German (DDR) toy makers such as Presu, Elmes, MSW, Anker, Piko, Gevo, Plasticart and Sommermeyer.
"Hello, and welcome to Mainly For Men (part 1, part 2). And, as the title implies, this is a programme, fellas, just for you." Yes, everything the BBC thought the red-blooded male back in the late 1960s would be interested in (ie women, cars and shark fishing). The result was so hideous it was never broadcast until a TV Hell themed night many years later. Possibly NSFW... some brief nudity ('artistic', naturally) and mild swearing. And rampant mind-blowing sexism.
The number of handicap tags has been increasing in recent years and so has abuse, for example nearly one-third of temporary placards found on cars parked in downtown Boston were being used by people who were not disabled. Handicap Fraud is a website for anonymously reporting seemingly able-bodied people who park in handicap spots. Free post-it-notes "You've been reported" available. [more inside]
In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way. The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
He's the spiritual grandparent of both Cal Worthington (very recently) and Crazy Eddie (previously). He's Earl "MadMan" Muntz, more than a successful car salesman, he was a carmaker, a television pioneer (who coined the abreviation "TeeVee"), car stereo pioneer (for the pre-8-track 4-track tape ), a Verb in Electronic Engineering Lingo, hero of Free Enterprise Land and ad icon in Napolean hat and red longjohns. [more inside]
DUI for NOT Driving while Drunk A New Jersey appellate court yesterday upheld the principle that convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can be imposed on individuals who were not driving. This is not one of those kooky old laws on the books.
Old Magazine Articles Neat little database of .pdf copies of vintage magazine articles like Gilbert Seldes' 1922 review of Krazy Kat in Vanity Fair, a 1910 look at "Horse Versus Automobile," early nose jobs, an interview with James Joyce and more. [via ResearchBuzz]
The US Clean Air Act makes it illegal to sell highly environmentally-friendly cars in 42 states. Apparently.
Press embargo be damned, pictures of the 2009 Jaguar XF are popping up on the Internet. Perhaps the final design has strayed too far from the original concept. Hopefully there are better designers in India.
Latest news out of the auto industry: Buick ties Lexus as top auto brand in vehicle dependability. Cadillac is #2. Mercury is #3. If you haven't seen the new Buicks, you should take a look at what they've been doing lately (see: Enclave, Lucerne). Also, the new (sort of) Taurus gets rave reviews. The Ford Edge, also new for 2007, has captured 16% of the crossover market, and owners seem to love it. Finally, for the greenies, GM is ready to test the electric Chevy Volt--says it is on schedule for production in 2010. Is it time to consider buying American again? And not just for the sake of it?