CP Company worked with the Royal College of Art to recreate and update Massimo Osti's "Goggle Jacket" -- a jacket designed for Italy's Mille Miglia open-road endurance race that ran between WWI and WWII. They modernized the materials, rethought some of the fit issues -- a clever flourish reduces bunching while sitting; another moves the watch-window so you can check the time without moving your hands from the steering wheel -- but still managed to produce something that looks simultaneously futuristic and retro. It's a gorgeous piece of clothing, though £879 is too rich for my blood.
Cy Kuckenbaker's Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Color edits together footage of four minutes' worth of traffic shot from San Diego's Washington Street bridge, grouping the cars that passed by color. It's got a gorgeous surreality to it, as though the drivers had grouped by color for some sort of parade. Also, I learned that if you want to stand out in San Diego, you should drive a yellow car.
You can't buy a battery for the new Renault Zoe. Instead, you have to rent it. And if you stop making payments, the battery's DRM will prevent you from recharging it. It's part of a larger product strategy through which the Zoe collects huge amounts of data on your driving and ships it all back to the manufacturer.
Just what the world needed: a car you're not allowed to own, and which you can't use anymore if you lose your job and can't pay the monthly battery rental fee. And if Renault's battery provider goes out of business, your Renault is bricked.
Nolan Conway's photos of Walmart nomads document the lives of people who use Walmart's overnight-parking-friendly lots as places to camp on their way from A to B, or for the long haul. The communities that form there run the gamut from happy-go-lucky retirees to the slightly desperate and more than slightly desperate, and the portraits give a sense of camaraderie and community.
The Smati Turtle 1 is an "African concept car" created by Dutch artist/researcher team Melle Smets and Joost van Onna, who worked with the artisinal car-makers of Suame Magazine, Ghana, to create a killer junker for the African market. Suame Magazine is a neighborhood full of people who take apart scrap cars and rebuild them for local markets, removing the difficult-to-maintain electronics, expanding the cargo areas. The Turtle 1 took three months to create, and had its test-drive inaugurated by the Ashanti king.
This Zippomobile was created by Joe Griffin of Custom Upholstery in Memphis. He was commissioned by Zippo to reproduce the original 1947 Zippomobile, which toured all 48 states to promote the lighter in the post-war era. There were no plans from the original Zippomobile, built from a Chrysler New Yorkers Saratoga, so Griffin had to wing it, working with a second Saratoga and photos of the original.
An epic, two-year thread on the Home Model Engine Machinist boards documents Keith5700's astounding journey to scratch-build a working, 1/4 scale V8 engine. It's an insane read, as Mr 5700 discovers a lot of difficult things the hard way, while a community of teeny-thing machining enthusiasts cheer him on and offer advice, leading to triumph after triumph. The photos alone are worth clicking through all 35 screens (I've put some of the best after the jump).
The sounds a modern car makes are deliberate, designed, and a deception: the clicking of the turn signal isn't a mechanical tick-tock; it's an MP3 of a mechanical tick-tock, played back through hidden speakers. The engine's rumble is tuned with active noise-cancelling that mutes the tones that jangle the ears.
A pair of crooks in Oklahoma made more than $400,000 with a whisper-thin gas-pump credit-card skimmer that they installed in Wal-Mart gas stations, using rental cars while they were doing the installation. Kevin Konstantinov and Elvin Alisuretove allegedly harvested their skimmers every two months or so, creating bogus credit cards with the data and then withdrawing cash at ATMs or sharing it with crooks in Russia and the former USSR. Brian Krebs details the technology, as well as a series of next-gen gas-pump skimmers that use tiny, unobtrusive Bluetooth bugs to harvest credit-card data.
Flavio Garcia, a security researcher from the University of Birmingham has been ordered not to deliver an important paper at the Usenix Security conference by an English court. Garcia, along with colleagues from a Dutch university, had authored a paper showing the security failings of the keyless entry systems used by a variety of luxury cars. Volkswagon asked an English court for an injunction censoring his work -- which demonstrated their incompetence and the risk they'd exposed their customers to -- and Mr Justice Birss agreed.
Today's jam is "Beep Beep," by the Playmates, which charted in 1958 with the tragic tale of a Nash Rambler and a Cadillac locked in competition. I dare you to listen to this without bouncing in your seat -- and without humming it afterwards.
A woman who valet-parked her car at Rochester airport returned to find a notice informing her that the valet had searched her car, on orders from the TSA. The TSA does not search cars in the other garages, and they do not provide notice to valet parkers that their cars are subject to search. The TSA says it searches the parked cars because they are stored close enough to the terminal that a bomb could do serious damage.
John McCaffery, TSA, said, “No, those vehicles that are in the garage, short term long term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport. But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability.”
News10NBC went to the valet parking and one of the attendants showed us the notice they put in the cars.
We asked, “You're required, they tell you, you have to search the car?” Valet Parking Attendant Frank Dettorre said, “I have to do it.”
My prediction: the TSA will erect a sign at the valet drop-off saying, "By valet parking, you agree that we can search your car." And that will be the end of it. Because in the 21st century, posting a notice of your unreasonable conduct is the same as getting consent for it.
Coop snapped this shot of the gorgeous "Iron Orchid," a masterfully decorated 1935 Ford 5 Window Coupe, built by Dave Shuten of Galpin Auto Sports. I don't give a darn about cars, but this one? Hubba hubba. (here's another view).
CCTV footage from Long Beach, CA shows crooks robbing cars after opening them with some kind of keyless entry fob that appears to defeat the cars' built-in cryptographic security. The fobs evidently don't work on all models, and may require operation from the passenger side. It's not clear what method the fobs use to attack the locks. Any guesses?
Adding to the mystery, police say the device works on some cars but not others. Other surveillance videos show thieves trying to open a Ford SUV and a Cadillac, with no luck. But an Acura SUV and sedan pop right open. And they always seem to strike on the passenger side. Investigators don't know why.
"We've reached out to the car manufacturers, the manufacturers of the vehicle alarm systems: Nobody seems to know what this technology is," Hendricks told us. "When you look at the video and you see how easy it is, it's pretty unnerving."
Two photos from the OccupyGeziPics Tumblr show the "people's bulldozer" in action -- apparently a mechanical digger commandeered off a building site by protesters in Besiktas (one of my Twitter followers reports a rumor that it was a youth gang, and not portesters, though of course, youth gangs may be protesting too), and used to attack police barricades.
Here's a mystery Internet image depicting a vehicle that has been decorated in such a fashion as to inspire equal amounts of fear, awe and admiration. I am delighted.
Update: Oh, my dear sweet Zoroaster, it's for sale. From the comments, Jana Marie Miller writes,
It is the 1986 Ford WOW Van. Sign in other photo says:
The WOW Bus 25 Thousand Pieces $640 Worth of Glue 2000 added pounds - two years and 600 hours to do! 1986 Ford School Bus
GOOP Glue - Buy it at Home Depot Pieces came from garage sales - the Public-dumpsters - garbage cans
Why? cause i am a wacko - Thats why in Guinness book - insured for $3.5 million dollars
For sale - $130 million
Barry Swegle of Port Angeles, Washington lost his temper with his neighbors last Friday and used his logging bulldozer to destroy four homes, as well as vehicles and utility poles. He was reportedly angry over the siting of a neighbor's fence-line, which impeded his ability to maneuver his earth-moving and construction vehicles. The International Harvester TD-25 rampage only lasted a few minutes. No one was hurt.
Jesse Major, a 19-year-old student who said his grandmother lives in one of the damaged homes, said Swegle is known in the neighborhood because he sometimes digs seemingly random holes with a bulldozer late at night.
Brian Coleman, a former Conservative mayor and concillor has admitted to assaulting a constituent who was video-recording him while he parked illegally to use an ATM. Coleman had been unpopular for passing strict parking rules, and the woman whom he assaulted was a local parking campaigner.
Coleman, of Essex Road in Finchley, was ordered to pay £1,385, including a £270 fine, prosecution costs of £850 and £250 to the victim as compensation.
Ms Michael, 50, a mother-of-two, who suffered injuries including scratches to her wrist and soreness to her shoulder and chest, called on Coleman to resign.
She said: "[I was] looking at my phone and all of a sudden he's upon me, it was pure shock.
"I think he's bullied and intimidated people for a long long time and I think he has now got what has been long overdue."
Three ads for tailfinned Lincoln Continentals are a reminder that one of the best ways to make something amazingly beautiful is to make a million mediocre and terrible things and wait half a century (or more) until the good ones have risen to the top. The suicide door was incredibly dumb, but it sure looked nice, at least when designers lucked into (or were canny enough to create) a pleasing form for them.
From the Neiman-Marcus gift catalog, a trailer that converts into an elaborate, beautiful bar, and comes with a year's supply of Bulleit bourbon and rye. There are two for sale at $150K each, with 10 percent going to an HIV/AIDS charity.
A chorus of cheers rings out the minute you pull up. Tailgating will never be the same now that your Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Woody-Tailgate Trailer is on the scene. Designed by interior designer Brad Ford, it's impressive on the outside, but what's on the inside truly astounds: sleek leather furnishings and details from Moore & Giles, rich wood finishings (handcrafted from reclaimed Bulleit Bourbon casks), elegant glassware, and a top-notch entertainment system, including a flat-screen TV, Blu-ray Disc™ player, and a state-of-the-art sound system, plus a one-year supply of Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye*. You park, open the hatch, and slide out the bar—cocktails anyone?
Bulleit is delicious bourbon, but I recently bought a bottle of Elmer T Lee Single Barrel and holy cats, is that stuff astounding.
Jalopnik's Jason Torchinsky discovered an 1833 letter to Mechanic's Magazine in which one "Junius Redivivius" spends two highly entertaining pages debunking the elaborate claims made by Dr. Church's Burmingham Steam Carriage Company about its forthcoming wares.
If that drawing be a correct representation of the vehicle constructed by Dr.Church, it is in itself conclusive evidence of his utter unfitness for the purpose of promoting steam locomotion... the thing looks like a car of Juggernaut, intended to be moved only under the influence of a strong internal excitement, rather than a vehicle intended for the purposes of everyday utility. It looks like a mountain, and a mountain scarcely to be moved. If there is one form of carriage more liable to overset than another, it is that of three wheels in a triangle...
...In the drawing all the wheels are of one size, and "Impartial" states them to be eight feet in diameter. Thus, the heads of the outside passengers, who are so comfortably and leisurely seated on stick chairs or benches on the roof, must be some four-and-twenty feet from the roadway... I fear the pedestrians would outstrip them in speed... and ask, as they pass 'what the temperature may be at that height?'
As Torchinsky notes, Redivivius was right, "Church's lumbering steam-beast did not, in fact, run as planned, and later reports suggest it only made one trial run, in 1835, for three miles before becoming damaged while making a turn."
Wired Design has a great short video documentary on my friend Bruce Tomb, who has built an amazing art-car called Maria Del Camino that's part tank, part 59 El Camino, part flying car. I camp with Bruce and his wife Mary and our friends at Burning Man, along with Maria, at the Liminal Labs camp every summer. Maria is such a wonderful addition to our Burn!
The outcome might not be what you’d expect. With the help of some friends, Tomb created “Maria del Camino.” She’s an excavator topped with a 1959 El Camino, mounted on a hydraulic array that lifts it high off the ground. Her body is adorned with thousands of drilled-out holes, and her hood sports a portrait of the robot woman from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which shines when the light hits it. In simple terms, it’s nothing but sheer magnificence.
Maria is currently being worked on at the DIY space Nimby in Oakland California. We stopped by to ask Tomb how — and why — he built his “flying” car, and he took us for a beer run, stopping traffic along the way.
As for future modifications, Tomb has a big one in mind. “Been working on removing the manual controls,” he says. “I’ve heard driverless cars are all the rage!”
Here's a slow, gentle, fascinating demonstration video for the Wedgetail slide-on camper, "built for rough Australian terrain." It's a pretty amazing feat of engineering, with lots of thoughtful features. But what really gets me is in the money shot where the whole thing opens up like some kind of origami trick. Big things hidden in little things! Hell yeah!