"What started out as an exercise in model building and photography, ended up as a dream-like reconstruction of the town I grew up in." [more inside]
SAAB lives. Today GM reached a deal to sell (previously doomed) Swedish car manufacturer SAAB, not to Koenigsegg, maker of exclusive sports cars, but to Spyker, maker of exclusive sports cars. The fans are rejoicing.
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.
Edmunds released data this month on the results of the Cash for Clunkers stimulus. Freakonomics blog commented. Now the Detroit News has offered a state-by-state analysis of how funds were used. Which state was most likely to trade an American car for another American car? You guessed it...
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.
The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
Interesting article at Slate, In Defense of Jaywalking, where the author describes how the media and others often slant coverage of pedestrian vs auto accidents--examples include San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe , and New York Post columns. Police, who are typically car-bound, are often biased in favor of other drivers. Not unexpectedly the Federal Highway Administration has curious language regarding walkers--"Still, almost no one can avoid occasional pedestrian status". Even the term jaywalking is commonly misused. Solutions? More money towards safer walking (including a reversal of funding policies that favor cars), better places to walk, pedestrian-friendly engineering, lower urban speed limits, harsher penalties for drivers that violate pedestrian's rights, and critical reading of the often selective and sensationalized media coverage of traffic crashes.
Peter Goldmark, developer of early color tv technology, is lesser known for a cooler invention, the Highway Hifi – the first recorded-music player for an automobile. The under-dash system played records provided by Columbia Records which played at 16 ⅔ rpm even when the vehicle was in motion. It was first released with Chrysler models in 1956 but lackluster promotion of the option by both Columbia and Chrysler led to the option being discontinued before the 60s. [more inside]
Saturn is no more. "Other industries could learn from the Saturn Corporation. Certainly GM is taking what they have learned from their Saturn investment and incorporating it into their existing plants and facilities where practical. It will not be an overnight experience. Like Saturn, it will take time, investment and a strong commitment to regain the role of world leader in the automobile industry."
"Papa" John Schnatter loved his old Camaro so much he couldn't bear to watch it drive away after he sold it, but he used the proceeds of the sale to start a restaurant business (which ended up going pretty well). To celebrate the 25th anniversary of starting his restaurant, he traveled the US to thank his employees and search for his lost car. Surprisingly, he found it, bought it back and to celebrate he's giving everyone with a Camaro a free pizza tomorrow. (Aug. 26th)
What’s so special about the super cars that make people spend cosmic sums on a single car to buy it? Here are the Most Expensive Supercars: Exotic Showcase. Looking for cheap wheels? Here they are — the ten least-expensive 2009 cars on sale in America. But sticker price insn't everything; here are the 10 most and least expensive cars to insure.
Mother Nature vs. Cars A local newspaper's dream come true. Cars in the aftermath of weather events.
A car graveyard in Kaufdorf, near Bern is home to 500 abandoned and decaying cars mostly from the 1930's to 1960's. It has not been touched for over 30 years and has some rare flora and founa. The opportunity to take stunning photographs is unparalleled, but it is causing environmental issues which results in an auction this September. It was a struggle between history, nature and European law. History and nature lose. [more inside]
Tonight ends the 15th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, where tens of thousands of classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods, and more cruise Woodward Avenue in Southeast Michigan. [more inside]
The Ford Treasury of Station Wagon Living blogged. (Vol 2). Downloadable at the Internet Archive. Scans of drawings here. [more inside]
The latest craze among yobs in Amsterdam seems to be Smart tossing. Jeremy Clarkson would undoubtedly approve, were he not busy urging Britain to invade France.
The acquisition of Porsche by Volkswagen, just weeks after a Porsche attempt to take over VW via a series of complex stock options backfired, appears to be the latest salvo in the longstanding feud between cousins Ferdinand Piech and Wolfgang Porsche. [more inside]
On October 1, 1908, the first Ford Model T rolled out of the factory on Piquette Avenue in Detroit. Many people today wonder why Henry Ford started his nomenclature with the letter "T." Short answer: He didn't. [more inside]
Last night at the London o2 arena, Gary Numan joined Trent and the gang on stage for an unexpected double bill rendition of Metal and Cars. The crowd went wild....
Buy American - Not as easy as it may seem. The "Cash for Clunkers" program is intended to not only help the environment, but also to stimulate domestic car sales. But what is a "domestic" car?
The US House of Representatives today passed a Cash-for-Clunkers bill, giving people up to $4,500 to trade in their old cars for newer, more efficient cars. Inspired by European and Chinese successes, the bill is naturally not without its detractors.
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?