Behind the scenes in Bonneville. Land speed record racing, as practiced every year during Bonneville Speed Week, is at once the simplest and most unique form of motor racing around. Here's a look into the Rice/Vigeant team's Suzuki Hayabusa-powered lakester--from construction to competition, near-tragedy to rebirth.
Need a new ride? Can I interest you in a 27 horsepower two-cylinder, two-stroke engine, and cotton reinforced plastic body? For the celebs in the house try the new stretch Yugo! Cars from the east.
The Road Rage Quiz Take this test to gauge your ability to create rage in yourself & others. How do you deal with ragers? Here's two sites which advocate carrying & displaying Signs. This site likes the "Sorry" sign, while this site offers cards of a different nature.
Around the world on 8 litres of fuel? I'd be more excited about this if the automotive industry hadn't been teasing us with cool, feature laden concept cars for years, and then actually producing boring combustion engine sedans.
Spray-on Mud - So you own a big 4x4, and you feel a bit stupid that you only use it to take the children to school. You want people to think you're a bit country - that you need 6 tonnes of car to get you from A to B because you like to take it off-road every so often. You need Spray-on Mud apparently.
The History of the Batmobile "Batman first appeared in May of 1939 in Detective Comics #27, and although the first true Batmobile did not appear for another two years, it has become one of the Dark Knight's best known weapons." (via)
Okay, so why do they drive funny overseas? Blame it on swords , of course, but also on Pope Boniface (can this really be true?), and, of course, on the French. At least we all can agree on boats.
After an American car company recreates its legendary 1960's Ferrari-beating race car, the first $150,000 2005 production car sells at a charity event for $400,000 over sticker price, (to a Microsoft-enriched individual, of course) and many months later, dealers are still asking up to $200,000 over sticker, or at least $150,000 over sticker. The "experts" at Edmunds say the car is selling for about $100,000 over sticker (seeing their "True Market Value" requires a few clicks from this page), and the widespread belief is that these admittedly amazing cars are virtually impossible to find and all selling for at least $100,000 over sticker. But using publicly available data, including completed eBay auctions and public documents, this non-commercial site shows the truth to be very different than the hype.
The most prominent feature is the cow skill mounted on the hood. When art cars go out to pasture.
Bullitt location images in San Francisco then and now. Some haven't changed at all . Others are radically different.
What is on your bumper? Are bumper stickers a relic of the past? Are they more/less prevalent by region/country?
In an effort to undermine California's vehicle global warming law, the auto industry has been running an ad claiming today's vehicles are virtually emission free. The Union of Concerned Scientists says "poppycock on that!" and is seeking a FTC false-advertising investigation. Fortunately, no matter who's bullshooting, you can help wipe away the problem.
Flying Cars and Roadable Aircraft • "Because flying cars and roadable aircraft seem to be more of a dream than a reality, many people believe that these things do not exist. The truth is that almost from the moment the Wright Brothers learned to fly, there has been a history of attempts to build such vehicles. Some of them have had a fair degree of success." The paracycle is dorky, but the winged MafiaMobile ain't half bad.
Sketch-A-Move Draw a straight line on top of the car, lift the pen and the car shoots off in a straight line. Draw a circle on the car and the car starts wildly spinning around. Draw a complicated squiggle and the car spirals in and out. Quicktime Video Link#1 and Link#2
A hard drive in your car? Why would someone want to do that? The real question is, why wouldn't they. From geek to chic, platters of glass are paving the way towards a better car. One that can record every engine start, every missed oil change, every timing error and sensor alarm. One that could hold every book you've read, one that could save every song in your collection. Of course, DIY'ers started this whole damn thing, so everyone else can pay attention to the companies.
Meet The Lucky Ones. (more...)
Hybrid cars. Car owners in the north Virginia area are apparently stocking up on hybrid cars - so much so that they are clogging up the carpool lanes they're allowed to use under state law. I can't believe they're doing it just to get a better lane, considering the purchase price on the vehicles.
A Senior Moment The sign of a good specialist writer is the ability to amuse those who aren't specialists, or even enthusiasts, of their particular field. Dan Neil of LA Times is probably the most entertaining automotive writing around. Here, regarding the Montego, he asks the Mercury people, "What were you thinking?" (Registration might be necessary). He's also funny when doing positive reviews, as when drooling over the Acura. No particular car lust required.
Verdier, a very geeky proposal for the redesign of the VW Westfalia. I think my brain just exploded. It has solar panels, an integrated pop-top tent with a huge awning and an attached screened enclosure, a fold-out kitchen with tables and chairs and more. [Flash-based, English translation link available at the bottom.]
Collections: Bakelite telephones, beercans, modified rubix cubes, radios and tubes, insulators (1) (2), minature cars, pens, novelty lamps, nativities (warning: serious eyesore!), bobble heads and handcuffs.
Oprah I've never cared for her. Except today she gave away 276 new cars to her studio audience, members of which were selected based on need. I now like Oprah. A lot.
These images caused a great debate among my antipodean circle in London whether they are real or have been photoshopped. As far as we can gather it does exist. But it is surreal - and only in the UK surely would something like this be real.
What has a wet nose, a tail, and an internal combustion engine? Is it possible that we haven't posted the "Dogs in Cars" site before? If you haven't seen it, this collection of hundreds of viewer-submitted photos featuring tail-waggers on wheels should make you smile (unless you hate dogs, in which case you should hightail it over here). Love dogs, hate cars? Sniff around at Dogster.com.
The Extreme Gravity Racing Series: featuring cars from Porsche, Volvo, and mazda among others. Yeah, it's basically soap box derby racing for adults. [via red ferret]
Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles. An homage to Cuba's astonishing wealth of antique cars, revealing the time-worn splendor of classic American automobiles spanning eight decades.
The Great American 'Garage Mahal' - cars, houses and garages of the American super-sized new affluent class grow ever larger : "three separate two-car garages attached to his $750,000 brick abode: one for his son Brandon, one for his wife, Janice, and one for him. His garages' many amenities include carpeting, cable TV, speakers wired to the home stereo system and a bathroom. "I've always liked garages and I don't think you can have enough of them," " Mr. Bernard said."
Show Me Your Motor! "Some guy once said he had an awesome car he imported from Japan. No one believed him so we said "take a picture of a carton of milk, bread, and a sign that says "Initial D World" or "IDW" in your passenger seat". He responded saying "Ok, when I get milk tomorrow". We never heard from him again but it has evolved into doing it on the hood instead." Tradition! Tradition! Car traditions! [Via AlexChat]
Why $2 Gas Is Amazing Gasoline is now selling at more than $2 a gallon, which, after inflation, is higher than it's been since 1981. But that's not the amazing part. Actually, there are three amazing parts.
Confessions of a Car Salesman Edmunds.com sent one of their writers to work at two car dealerships for a month or so at each to find out just how the stereotypically sleazoids learn to be so slick and annoying yet ultimately successful--at least most of you have bought a new car at least once, right? (Lengthy, not necessarily breathless prose can be shortcircuited if you skip to the lessons learned page.)
License plates of the world. Because you never know when your familiarity with Mongolian tags may come in handy. (via the ultimate insult)
"...Red 5 standing by..." Kate Horn documents her love and creation of the X-Wing Toyota Tercel. Note the license plate people, she's out on the road, armed with blasters and quiet possibly, the Force.
Hack your car. AutoXRAY scans internal vehicle computers and gives detailed diagnostics and real-time graphing output.
Cities claim taking photos of speeding cars is done for safety, while others have shown it's just for $$$. They say cameras never lie, but when there is money on the line, who knows? Declan McCullagh rounds up a slew of articles about inaccurate speed cameras on roadways around the world.
California bans using computers or watching TV while driving I made this post on Dec. 26 about the Laptop Steering Wheel Mount and just wanted to post a follow up. I wish more states would enact the same type of law.
The Greatest Car Ever Built O mighty Slant-6 engine, most magnificent creation of the coal-steel industrial heart of America at the zenith of her manufacturing genius! (NY Times, req required).
"The car has...a headrest with a valley down the center for women who wear their hair in ponytails." At Volvo, an all-female project team is designing a concept car for women -- which makes for some interesting features (like a car without a hood) as well as some curious tales from a (temporarily) female-dominated workplace. More inside...
FUH2! Flipping the bird at Hummers. Collaborative web photography just doesn't get much better than that. (With the possible exception of the Mirror Project, which, by the way, just hit 20,000. Congratulations!)
Are you now, or have you ever been, a Slug? Slugging -- a kind of spontaneous car-pooling -- is an interesting (but not new!) commuting trend in Metro DC and Northern Virginia.
Pssst! Wanna Buy A Reliable, Second-Hand Car? You could do worse than start with Honest John, a plain-speaking, fiercely independent Cockney motor car wonk who'll see you right, no problem. If you're obsessive about reliability, i.e. don't have the time or inclination to look after your wheels and just want the damn thing to get you from A to B and back again, check out the often surprising Reliability Index for the most and least trustworthy automobiles. [Eurocentric warning! Btw, what are the most reliable independent car guides - preferably free and online - in the U.S, Canada, etc?]
Golden Spirit. Née "The Homer?" Finnish cheerleading squad not included. Hat tip to the NY Times automotive section.
The Texas Transportation Institute released their latest figures on which cities are the most congested, and how many hours per year the average person spends in traffic. Or you can read The Big Picture. I find it amazing that New York City isn't in the top 25 cities. The reason being is that New York City has an excellent public transportation network. Even some Politians are realizing that public transportation is a better bang for the buck.
Welcome to the International archive of pants cars. Why would anyone do this to a jag?
Do Cars force us to give up the outdoors? In jail, prisoners are stuck indoors and aren't allowed to go outside except for an hour at most. But are the car-driving residents of the average American suburb consigned to the same fate? "You go from the box garage in the house to the box car, driving down the street, not touching anything or being part of your environment" says Jessica Denevan. [More Inside]
Ja Man! Jamaica becomes car exporter. First it was sugar, rum and reggae- 'At Last, the first hand built Jamaica automobile. Cruise the Islands with the “Island Cruiser”' - Damn, you know I've been waiting for this!
The Tricolor, a 50,000-ton cargo vessel carrying 3000 automobiles worth more than $40 million, is being raised. Cost to raise the Tricolor: $40 million. It sunk, then was hit three times, once by the Nicola, then by the Vicky (an oil tanker which spilled some, and killed marine life), then by a salvage tug. Good summary of the collisions in Dutch and English, with photos (similarly in French). Official press briefings offer good outline of all stages since the beginning. The automobile manufacturers tried to prevent pictures being taken of the destroyed automobiles, but there they are and even more and better. The official Tricolor salvage site offers a PDF file on how the salvage is being done: in part, with a huge cutting wire.
Breastfeeding while driving seemed like a good idea to Catherine Donkers, but now she is (thankfully) on trial for it. Since she's a member of a weird cult that believes the Bible should be the law of land, this should be entertaining. Presumably, they can just keep appealing for a few years until the crazies run the country.
The Tango is an electric concept car developed by father and son team Rick and Bryan Woodbury, which gets 80 miles per charge and does 0 to 60 in four seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph. Says Rick, who used to race Porsches and has been initiated as a Zen priest, "As far as getting rid of war and nuclear weapons, solving the world's hunger problem, that would be great, but I have no idea how. This car, we know how. We've done it. And if 50 million Americans started driving Tangos, the world would be better."