The check engine light is the single stupidest warning light in existence

Doug DeMuro of Jalopnik explains the problem with the check engine light. (Experienced drivers solve it with a strip of electrical tape.)

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Optical illusions: auto detailing reflections

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Auto detailing can be an art form in the right hands, as air2thethrown shows in this beautiful photo of a field reflected in a car's surface. The regulars at Detailing Bliss would say shooting at such a severe angle is a cheat, but it's a cool effect regardless.

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1955 Chevy Nomad emerges from 40-year hibernation

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "Justin Pinchot just sent us a video of his new pride and joy, a 1955 Chevy Nomad wagon. 'It has completely original paint, interior, and drive train,' Pinchot says, 'and is so clean, I thought for sure it was a restored car until I saw it in person.' The two-door station wagon, which has been kept safe and warm in storage since 1974, has 87,000 original miles on it, and Pinchot is only its second or third owner, 'depending on if you count the original owner’s son, who inherited the car.'”

Meet Maddie, one of the best unrestored, original paint & interior examples known of the rare & iconic 1955 Belair Nomad wagon. Out of nearly a million Chevy Belairs built in 1955, only about 8100 Nomads were ever produced; this example is in the most desirable regal turquoise with India ivory top. First year of Chevy's small block V8, the 265, it is mated to a 2-speed cast iron powerglide automatic transmission. All mechanical components are original to the car as it left the factory. All 55 Nomad bodies were produced at the Cleveland plant then assembled & finished at various plants around the country; this one in Oakland California. Born Aug. 15, 1955, it is one of the last 55 Nomads off the assembly line before production switched over to the 56 model in September of that year. In astonishingly clean condition, Maddie will turn 60 years old this coming year. She looks pretty damn good for an old girl.

Auction: Elvis's 1963 Rolls with phone

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Elvis's 1963 Rolls Royce, complete with this car phone, will be auctioned off next month with an expected hammer price of $200,000 - $300,000.

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Darth Vader's car

Darth Vader's car as imagined and built (life-size) by Hot Wheels.

Possibly the most genius don't-text-and-drive PSA ever

Volkswagen and ad agency Ogilvy Beijing created this powerful and sneaky PSA for moviegoers in China, to warn of the dangers of being distracted by your smartphone while driving. We don't know that the footage is genuine, but even it not--it's a powerful concept. More at Ads of the World.

How car crash test photography is done

When you're finished, here's more car crash test porn from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (via Laughing Squid)

Documentaries about Formula 1 racing

A collection of links gathered by filthy light thief. [MeFi]

Building Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Mobile

This post is brought to you by Ford.

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Above, our lovely mascot Jackhammer Jill in 3D-printed ABS glory! This 9" model of Jill will get hand-painted and rigged with advanced bubble-blowing technology before being mounted in a place of honor on the hood of our Happy Mutant Mobile! As we've posted, our sponsors at Ford agreed to support the customization, modification, and transformation of a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagine for a Boing Boing vehicle. (Original announcement here and check out all the posts here!)

Theresa Contreras and her talented team of makers at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California are tirelessly tricking out the vehicle with a cabinet of curiosities behind the rear door, 'zine/comix library behind the side door, projection screen for viewing psychotronic films, a mobile video blogging studio, and numerous amenities like a 3D printer and cold drip coffee maker. Oh, and just wait until you see the mindbending exterior artwork from our hyper-talented friends at We Buy Your Kids. Below, rough blueprints and in-progress shots of the woodwork and the interior.

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Murder machines: why cars will kill 30,000 Americans this year

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says, "We just published a piece about how streets came to be the exclusive domain of automobiles (spoiler alert: they didn't start out that way). Among other sources, we interviewed Peter Norton, author of Fighting Traffic, and Ben Fried, the New York editor of Streetsblog."

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Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Mobile now under construction!

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We are thrilled to announce that work on the Boing Boing Happy Mutant Mobile has begun! As we said, our sponsors at Ford agreed to support the customization, modification, and transformation of a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagine for a Boing Boing vehicle. (Original announcement here. Check out all the concept designs here!) Theresa Contreras and her talented team of makers at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California have already started building out the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon. Above, a glimpse of the open side door revealing the rough rack design for our zine, book, and comix library! And here's a shot of the unfinished framing for the cabinet of curiosities behind the rear door. So beautiful. Photo 4

We will post more images as the Happy Mutant Mobile magic continues to unfold. We're also thrilled that in the coming month, longtime BB reader Ryan Powers will join us in visiting L&G Enterprises to see Ryan's idea for a bubble-blowing Jackhammer Jill hood ornament come to life! Also on the customization list: exterior art, a roll-down projection screen, tricked-out coffee station, and of course a mobile blogging/video studio inside the vehicle! Plus more. Much more. Below, additional photos of the rear and the in-progress interior.

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Snow vehicle, 1924

This film demonstrates a concept snow vehicle made in 1924 by Armstead Snow Motors in Michigan. "The concept is applied to a Fordson tractor and a Chevrolet automobile." Here's the patent! (via Accidental Mysteries)

Scary tire commercial from Japan

Japanese tire dealer Autoway released this commercial to scare you into remembering the importance of good traction. I think that's the point anyway.

Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Mobile: Submit your ideas!

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Illustration: Kevin Dart

Boing Boing is building out a Happy Mutant Mobile! Can you please help? Our sponsors at Ford have agreed to customize, modify, and transform a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagine for a Boing Boing vehicle. Here are some of our ideas: Behind the vehicle's side door is a library of curated 'zines, books, and comix free for browsing. The rear doors open to reveal a cabinet of curiosities world of technology, science, and art. The cargo space is a mobile blogging/video studio for on-the-road interviews.

We have a slew of ideas that we'll show you over the coming weeks, and we bet you have even better ones! Please share them with us in the comments over at our BBS, on Twitter (#happymutantmobile), Facebook, or Google+. You can even email us or deliver via passenger pigeon. Doesn't matter if you describe it with a sentence, a paragraph, a drawing on a napkin, blueprints, a 3D model, or an interpretive dance. We're just excited to check out your most ingenious, creative, unusual ideas for how to remake the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into a Happy Mutant Mobile!

Over the next month, we'll pick some of our favorites, get them illustrated by our favorite artists, and post them to the site. We'll be selecting our first batch this coming Monday, December 2. If yours gets selected for posting, we'll send you a Boing Boing t-shirt! Whoever comes up with our absolute favorite idea will be invited to join us in person at the mod shop to see the actual work in process. It'll be an all-expense paid trip. Flights within United States only. Travel and expenses limited to $5,000 total. Posh. Where? Somewhere cool. We'll tell you later.

Below are the modification restrictions. We'll be taking out all of the passenger seats so there's plenty of room inside. Go wild. You're not paying for it. And you don't have to do the work yourself either.

Thanks for helping us make the Boing Boing Happy Mutant Mobile! See you on the road!

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