Watch this real life clown car empty out after an accident

The Honda Civic is roomier than one would expect.

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The story of John Lennon's psychedelic Rolls-Royce

In 1967, John Lennon tooled around London in a Rolls-Royce Phantom V personalized with a psychedelic paint job. After years traveling around to various US museums, the car recently returned to London for a new Rolls Royce exhibit at Bonhams. Rolling Stone's Jordan Runtagh tells the story of the trippy whip:

Exactly how Lennon decided on the lurid Romany floral/zodiac hybrid is subject to some debate. Anthony recalls Ringo Starr planting the seed of the idea during a drive in early 1967. "We were passing the fairground one day and they were admiring the fairground decorations and gypsy caravans. Ringo said why not have the Rolls painted the same way. John thought it was a great idea." However, others say the idea was suggested by Marijke Koger of the Dutch design collective the Fool – who would also paint Lennon's piano that summer – after Lennon commissioned a refurbished 1874 gypsy caravan as a present for his young son, Julian. Either way, the chance to indulge his eccentric taste, while simultaneously delivering a massive "V-sign" to the staid British high society, proved too tempting to resist.

Doubtful that Rolls-Royce themselves would ever submit to such a drastic makeover of one of their prized vehicles, Lennon paid a visit to private coach makers J.P. Fallon Ltd. in Chertsey on April 8th, 1967, to discuss the design. After spraying the body of the car yellow, local artist Steve Weaver was tasked with painting the red, orange, green and blue art nouveau swirls, floral side panels and Lennon's astrological symbol, Libra, on the roof.

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FBI surveillance van from the 1980s on eBay

Ginter Senfeldas of Cary, North Carolina, says he purchased this 1989 Dodge Ram 350 "FBI surveillance van" from a government auction site. It's apparently outfitted with vintage A/V tech, external microphones, pinholes for cameras, and other interesting modifications. Apparently when he purchased it, there were handcuffs, binoculars, "and even leftover video from an old FBI stakeout" inside.

From the auction listing, details of the "interesting" features:

3 Extra Batteries + onboard charger/adapter Toilet in the back 2 LCD Screens Video recorders/Players with all the gadgets Tape Recorder/Player INTERCOM Rear AC/Heat Unit Propane Tanks Radars Amplifiers A lot of 110V Sockets * You can turn off/on the engine from the back * Every door has extra locks!

"Vintage FBI surveillance van listed for sale on eBay" (CBS News)

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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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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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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

Goldfish-driven vehicles reach new heights

Goldfish-driven vehicles continue to make great strides since our previous coverage. Now they are higher up and on a sturdier wheelbase, allowing free movement around any gallery where this iteration resides.

Quentin Destieu and Sylvain Huguet say:

Machine 2 Fish is an artistic installation using a robotic experimental system that translates the movements of a living goldfish into the physical locomotion of a robot. It is a question of allowing a goldfish to move in a terrestrial universe thanks to this prosthesis. The aim is to create a pseudo-intelligent system linking the fish and the machine to a stand-alone device that refers to cyborgs and science fiction. This project was born in 2010 as part of a residency with the support of M2F Créations / Lab GAMERZ, the 2016 version embeds a new system of sensors and computer programming able to respond as closely as possible to the requirements of fish.

When will the BattleBots-style series FishBots start? We're waiting with bated* breath.

Machine 2 Fish (Vimso / Gamerz)

* Yes, the pun is intentional. Read the rest

You can buy Sammy Davis Jr.'s Rolls Royce that Frank Sinatra gifted him

Next week, Bonhams is auctioning Sammy Davis Jr.'s 1977 Rolls Royce Camargue. The sticker price was $148,000, approximately $600,000 in today's dollars. It's expected to sell for US$38,000-$46,000. From Bonhams:

Not too surprisingly, these cars appealed to the Stars of their day, and according to folklore, this was one of a brace of Camargues bought new by passionate car guys and Rat Pack celebs, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra, the latter receiving car JRF 30905. Both were ordered through Bill Harrah's Modern Classic Motors dealership in Reno, Nevada in January 1977, it is said that they were gifts to each other...

It is understood that Davis kept the car for several years, after which it migrated to the East Coast, where it has been suggested it was owned by a Mafia boss in the New York area and it is said that this accounts for its revision to a full Mason's black livery with blacked out windows that it still wears.

(via Uncrate)

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Disco trucks of Japan

This is dekotora (デコトラ), the Japanese maker culture that started in the 1970s of tricking out large trucks with garish lights, Gundam-inspired chrome mods, and eyeball-spanking paint jobs.

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Car horns used to communicate "filthy language"

In 1945, police initiated a campaign to stop people from beeping their car horns in Morse Code to "signal out 'vile and filthy language,'" according to the Ottawa Journal on January 18.

Amazing that back then enough people recognized the encoded vulgarities to convince the police to take action, and the media to cover it. (Weird Universe)

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Police bumper that deploys a net to snag escapee's tires during car chase

The Grappler is a device that unfurls from a police car's front bumper during a car chase to snag the perp's tires and lock up their wheels. Of course, the fleeing suspect's car may be outfitted with its own James Bond-esque auto tech like a smoke screen or caltrop release mechanism.

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Adam Savage's portable movie theater

This summer, BB pal Adam Savage of MythBusters and Tested modified a pick-up truck into a mobile movie theater!

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China tests straddling bus that travels above traffic

China's Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), a trippy transport that straddles the traffic below it, had its first test run yesterday in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province. It was a very short trip, just 300 meters. According to Shanghaiist, an engineer on the project says that eventually the TEB "will be able to carry up to 1,200 passengers and travel at 60 kilometers per hour." It's expected to take one year to build out a practical version.

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Incredible camouflage truck for sale

Available for $1800 OBO in Lynchburg, Virginia:

1984 Chevy shorted in great shape with a perfect camouflaged paintjob. 4 wheel drive like new interior, very clean windows. low miles.

(Craigslist)

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Russian Embassy illustrates terrorist bomb truck tweet with bomb truck from "Command and Conquer"

"Extremists near Aleppo," tweeted the Russian Embassy in London, "received several truckloads of chemical ammo."

And just to make sure the news was sufficiently clear, they attached an image of three trucks loaded with weapons: that is, from the cartoon video game world of Command & Conquer.

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Buy an original "Smokey and the Bandit" Trans Am!

This killer 1977 "Smokey and the Bandit" Pontiac Trans Am, customized by Universal Studios to promote the classic Burt Reynolds/Jackie Gleason film at car shows and other public events, will be sold at auction on January 30! Original Smokey and the Bandit trailer below. From the auction listing at Barrett-Jackson:

Burt Reynolds and McLaughlin Museum present the 1977 Universal Studios Promo Bandit Trans Am from the movie "Smokey and the Bandit." It has been frame-off restored and matching-numbers PHS-documented. Own a piece of history related to one of the most recognized movies of all time. We all loved watching Smokey chase the Bandit in that black Trans Am. Includes Universal Studios certificate listing the VIN of this car, a plaque from General Motors showing the car was used to promote the movie and Universal Studios maps showing scene locations. Title states Universal Studios Promo. Promoted and autographed by Burt Reynolds.

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Watch this truck attempt to cross a crazy narrow and precarious bridge

How do you hope it ends? Be honest...

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