How Matchbox cars were made in 1965

Here is delightful factory footage from 1965 of Matchbox car manufacturing in the London Borough of Hackney. From Wikipedia:

The Matchbox name originated in 1953 as a brand name of the British die-casting company, Lesney Products, whose reputation would be moulded by John W. "Jack" Odell (1920–2007), Leslie Charles Smith (1918–2005), and Rodney Smith (hence the name Lesney, a portmanteau of Leslie and Rodney Smith's first names). Their first major sales success was the popular model of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation coach, which sold more than a million models. Shortly thereafter, Lesney co-owner Jack Odell created a toy that effectively paved the way for the company's future success. It was designed for his daughter: her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox, so Odell crafted a scaled-down version of the Lesney green and red road roller. This toy ultimately became the first of the 1-75 miniature range. A dump truck and a cement mixer completed the original three-model release that marked the starting point for the mass-market success of the Matchbox series. As a result of the inspiration for the toys' size, the idea was born to sell the models in replica matchboxes — thus yielding the name of the series. It also resulted in the description of the models' scales being "1:box" (as opposed to more mathematical scales such as 1:87, 1:64, or 1:43).

(via Laughing Squid)

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How to deal with a boot on your car

An upstanding citizen submitted this photo to Baltimore 311, the city's service request system.

(via DIGG) Read the rest

Driver attempts to parallel park in generously-sized space for 6 minutes

The music, as selected by uploader pokedude104, is from Spongebob Squarepants. This is a YouTube microgenre. Read the rest

Ejector seat button for your car, just $14

Here's a very clever eject button that fits into most automobile cigarette lighter sockets. Unfortunately, the product listing clearly states that it's "designed for show only." It is a functional cigarette lighter though so I guess they mean it won't actually trigger your ejector seat.

"Kei Project Red Eject Ejection Seat Push Button Car Power Plug Cigerette Lighter 12-volt Accessory Fits Most Vehicles" (Amazon via Dangerous Minds)

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Hammock for your car roof

The TrailNest is a collapsible hammock that attaches to your car roof bars. At $500+, it's sold as a piece of luxury camping kit but I'd be more likely to use it for a parking lot siesta between appointments. The company says a rain cover is coming soon. TrailNest (via Uncrate)

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Cars parked on the mean streets of mid-1970s New York City

Cars: New York City, 1974–1976 collects over 100 of Langdon Clay's creepy shots of cars parked overnight on the streets of New York at its lowest ebb. The scenes evoke Taxi Driver, The Warriors, even a little Snake Plisken. Read the rest

Bentley's SUV built for falconry

The Bentley Bentayga Falconry is a poshmobile built out for falconry, hunting wild quarry with the aid of a trained falcon. This vehicle is the sequel to the Bentayga Fly Fishing vehicle. The price is not listed but if you have to ask... From Bentley:

Inside the master flight station, you will find a stowage tray with individual compartments, which can hold your GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and hand-crafted leather bird hoods and gauntlets.

A beautiful Piano Black veneered drawer features a striking Saker falcon crest. This stores your own GPS tracking antennas, along with various tools and tethers for your birds.

Inside the refreshment case are three metal flasks with durable cups, for tea, coffee or other beverage of your choice. There is also warm blanket and refreshing face cloths for your comfort.

The cork fabric boot-floor and rear-sill protection cover is neatly integrated into the rear of your Bentayga. This reversible feature, together with the in-car perch, gives you a safe and comfortable space to prepare your bird for flight, with everything you need in easy reach.

There is also a removable perch and tether that fits on the central armrest inside the car, making transporting your falcon safe and comfortable.

(via Uncrate)

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No-one seriously hurt in crash that sliced car in half

The Press Democrat posted this video, shot by Tom Bond, of a crash on Highway 101 near Cloverdale, California: a car sheared clean in two lengthwise, the stunned driver still seated, unhurt, inches from the tear. The other driver was ejected but only suffered moderate injuries.

According to the CHP, Apol Lansang, 26, of Sonoma, was driving her Malibu south on Highway 101, near Geysers Road when she was struck by the northbound Sequoia being driven by Kevin Fenty, 27, of Huntington Beach, that drifted across the highway into Lansang’s lane.

The impact sliced Lansang’s car down the middle, sending the car’s entire passenger side onto the embankment. Fenty was ejected by the impact. Both drivers were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital — Lansang with minor injuries and Fenty with moderate injuries, according to the CHP.

“The scene was, it was pretty intense,” said Sgt. Jason Bahlman, who has been with the CHP for 16 years. “It was definitely one of the most severely damaged cars I’ve ever seen.”

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Classic local auto dealer ad from Baltimore (NSFW unless you are in Baltimore)

Hey, it's new to me! And after a decade living in the U.S. northeast, I feel like I've come to appreciate how it captures Baltimore's unique spirit. [via] Read the rest

How iPhones helped Elon Musk crush Detroit

Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that "companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app." When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton: Read the rest

Magnetic air vent cell phone car mount, 2 for $6

After trying lots of different phone mounts for cars, the type I've settled on attaches to an air vent and has a magnet on it. You have to stick a thin metal plate on the back of your phone, but it's unobtrusive. Your phone won't slide off. This mount is by far the most convenient kind. Amazon has a sale on air vent magnetic phone mounts. This 2-pack costs $6.39 with free one-day shipping. Read the rest

Spy shots of the Tesla Model 3

Jalopnik posted spy photos of a Tesla Model 3 that that is likely "damn near production-spec." It makes me miss my 1986 Honda Accord hatchback.

(photos: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde/Jalopnik) Read the rest

Steve McQueen's long missing 'Bullitt' Mustang found

One of the two Ford Mustang automobiles used in the filming of the Steve McQueen classic 'Bullitt' has been found. Long missing, the green pony car was found wasting away in a Baja, Mexico junkyard.

The car is now being restored.

Via the LA Times:

Paramount-based body shop owner Ralph Garcia Jr., who has made a career building replicas of the “Eleanor” Mustang featured in the Nicolas Cage movie “Gone in 60 Seconds,” said he was contacted by an associate in Mexico. He had found a clean ‘68 Mustang fastback that he thought would be a good candidate for “Eleanor”-ization.

Ralph Garcia Jr., Kevin Marti and Hugo Sanchez pose in front of the reputed "Bullitt" car.

The associate, Hugo Sanchez, delivered the car to a shop Garcia owns in Mexicali, Mexico. It was scheduled for restoration when Sanchez called Garcia and told him that he had run the vehicle identification numbers on the car and discovered it was no ordinary Mustang.

“I was going to turn it into another ‘Eleanor’ car, but my partner Googled the VIN,” Garcia said. “That’s how he found out it was the ‘Bullitt’ car. He said, ‘You can’t touch it!’ ”

The pair later enlisted the expert opinion of Ford evaluator Kevin Marti, who gave the car his official seal of approval.

Though initially skeptical — “I see car fraud on a daily basis” — Marti asked Garcia for detailed photos of the car, then traveled to Mexicali to inspect it in person.

“Then I was sure,” he said, after checking VIN stamps and specific aspects of the car that would likely be unknown to anyone attempting to pass off a regular Mustang as the “Bullitt” car.

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Gentleman hasn't gotten out of his car in seven years (or has he?)

Fanda is a guy who lives in his car, but doesn't just live in it. He never gets out of it. Aside from the interesting pragmatic aspects, it's a remarkably moving film about how some people respond to deep loss. Spoiler alert: Read the rest

Watch Australian bush mechanics get a wrecked car rolling

When I saw the state of the Hyundai these guys found in the bush, I thought the clip was going to be a joke. Then they fix it with their axes. Mad props to Aboriginal Australian mechanics and Korean engineers. Read the rest

Now you too can own a 1988 Lincoln Town Car with a stripper pole

The North Hills Auto Mall in Pittsburgh has in its inventory a burgundy 1988 Lincoln Town Car in excellent condition with only 72,000 miles on the block, a 5-liter V8 engine, automatic four-speed transmission, cruise control, power steering, air conditioning, and a stripper pole.

THIS IS A CUSTOM ''CONVERTIBLE'' LIMO WITH A ''STRIPPERS POLE'' IN IT. SOUTHAMTON COACH WORKS, NY, NY. BRAND NEW INSPECTION AND everything works, SILKY ~ SILKY PLAYA. RUNS EXCELLENT.

It's all yours for $14,999. [Thanks, Heather!] Read the rest

The six official levels of autonomous vehicles explained

Self-driving cars can mean a number of different things, so the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopted a zero-to-5 scale of the types of automation created by SAE International, with level zero being non-autonomous. Generally: Read the rest

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