That’s sure one mean machine, or that’s how it sounds anyway

Monday, 2 February, 2015

You learn something new every day… apparently latter car engines are so quiet that manufacturers have taken to finding ways of enhancing their sound, in some cases making what are effectively recordings of roaring engines, because drivers expect motor vehicles to be noisy…

Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble – the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades. It’s a sham. The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it’s driving car enthusiasts insane.

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Is there such a thing as an unusual flying car? Apparently there is…

Friday, 5 December, 2014

It’s flying cars you want? Well as it happens there is some choice when it comes to such vehicles… even if this particular selection is deemed to be unusual.

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The time my car had to be repaired… an illustrated story

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

Stories of car repairs that proved to be far more expensive than originally envisioned are two a penny… maybe then it’s the illustrations that make Josh Michtom’s tale of replacing the battery of the hybrid electric car he and his partner own, one you want to read.

One place could sell me the battery for $1,900 but wanted $850 for the work, so I pressed the guy. I said, “That’s more than double what someone else quote me for labor. How can that be?” I expected him just to come down a little, but instead, he offered a long discursion on the fine art of Prius battery replacement, the careful steps involved, the inherent danger in the operation. As far as I know, he is Connecticut’s only artisanal Prius mechanic.

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Auto Aerobics, they’re cars, but not cars as we know them

Friday, 25 July, 2014

Image by Chris LaBrooy

They’re actually 3D graphics, but these images – created by British designer and artist Chris LaBrooy – easily look as if they could be experimental vehicles of some sort.

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Across Africa and Asia in a Kombi van

Friday, 2 May, 2014

Photo by the Cambridge Afro-Asian Expedition 1961

I never did much travelling in a Kombi van myself, and won’t be either now, but these photos, taken by nine students, under the moniker of the Cambridge Afro-Asian Expedition, who drove through the Soviet Union, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and then to Africa in 1961, paint a pretty good picture of what the experience would have been like.

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Look, car on cracking ice, no Photoshop used

Thursday, 24 April, 2014

Photo by Nickolay Rykov and Dmitriy Chistoprudov

And here is a photo, by Nickolay Rykov and Dmitriy Chistoprudov, of a car sitting atop what appears to be fracturing ice. What you see is what you get, no Photoshop involved here.

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Kicking around in a vintage car in your hometown

Friday, 11 April, 2014

Last October I linked to a photo collection of a model town built by US archivist Michael Paul Smith, that was inspired by the Pittsburgh neighbourhood where he grew in the 1950s. Now revisit the gallery and take a look at the model vehicles of the period. Incredible right?

I’m fortunate enough to actually see period vehicles, similar to these, on the streets of my “hometown” on the NSW Central Coast, from time to time.

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Un-introducing the backpackers favourite means of travel

Monday, 24 March, 2014

Kombi un-introduction advert

The Volkswagen Bus, or Kombi van, has for a long time been the budget traveller, or backpacker’s, go-to means of transport. Not for much longer though, according to this un-introduction advert, informing us that production of the vehicle ceased at the end of 2013.

It’ll probably be decades before Kombis finally disappear from the roadways though… they’re pretty sturdy after all.

(Thanks Christine)

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On cars, killing, and the law

Thursday, 20 March, 2014

The car as a murder weapon? While the article refers mainly to road laws in the US, it is still an interesting read:

If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter. Over the past hundred years, as automobiles have been woven into the fabric of our daily lives, our legal system has undermined public safety, and we’ve been collectively trained to think of these deaths as unavoidable “accidents” or acts of God.

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The Well of Death, it’s enough to literally drive you up the wall

Friday, 11 October, 2013

Northern Indian city Allahabad is home to the Well of Death, a circular arena like structure where the drivers of motorcycles and cars ride their vehicles on its (vertical) walls.

Motorbikes are one thing in the confined space, but then cars are added to the mix. But keep watching. Then the drivers, of both types of vehicle, go hands free. But wait, those aren’t the only tricks up their sleeves…

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