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.
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]
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]
Healthy competition can advance technology, and motorsports is a good example of this. The Isle of Man TT has been a motorcycle proving ground since 1907, with a bike earning its mettle by doing ton-up on the 38 mile course. Enter Michael Czysz and his MotoCzysz E1pc. After disastrous failure at the Isle of Man TT the previous year, his company redesigned their electric sport bike from the ground up. The results could have wider implications for electric vehicles as a whole. Previously. [more inside]
This video about the history of petroleum industry propaganda used old archived footage found on the WayBackMachine. It shows some ridiculous propaganda videos from the past and leads us to the campaigns that the oily, slick PR-types and marketers are using today. It's hard to believe that companies like Ford Motor Company and ExxonMobil still get away with funding these industry front groups.
Although bicycles could be worse for the environment then cars, (pdf) a new motor that could replace the front wheel of a bike could accelerate that trend.