Car launches into the air and embeds itself into building's second floor, everyone ok!

On Sunday night, Orange County Fire Authority tweeted images from Santa Ana, California of a car that hit a center divider and flew into the air before embedding itself in the second floor of a building. Amazingly, both people in the car only suffered "minor injuries."

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Baby you can drive Ringo's car: Starr's Mini Cooper up for auction

Bonhams is auctioning off a 1966 Mini Cooper 'S' once owned by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. It's expected to fetch US$120,000 - 160,000. From Bonhams:

The Mini was the standout motoring icon of the 1960s, so it was only to be expected that that era's defining popular music act – The Beatles – would all own examples of Alec Issigonis' motoring masterpiece. But while it is relatively easy to carry your guitar around in a Mini, a set of drums is another matter entirely, and it is said that Ringo stipulated that his must be able to accommodate a drum kit, making it different from those purchased for the other members of the 'Fab Four'. The solution to the lack-of-space/accessibility problem was a hatchback conversion, which coachbuilder Harold Radford was offering as an option on its up-market Mini de Ville GT, introduced in October 1965.

(via Uncrate)

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Here is Apple's self-driving car prototype

Here are new images of Apple's self-driving car technology (Project Titan) mounted on a Lexus RX350. That gear on the top is a rack of six LIDAR sensors that use lasers to collect spatial data about the vehicle's surroundings.

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Russian van comes with Tetris built into the dashboard

Some models of Russian GAZelle Next commercial vans and trucks have Tetris integrated into the instrument cluster as an Easter egg. Here's the Google translation of the YouTube poster's instructions of how to bring up the game:

1) Turning the ignition on 2) Start a car 3) Three times the right turn signal 4) Two times distant 5) Five times on the clutch 6) raise the speed to 2000 and at that moment we light the arrow to the left

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Watch this extremely skillful truck driver back into tight spot

I bet he's a master at parallel parking his daily driver too.

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

John Carpenter's new music video (and vinyl release) for the "Christine" movie theme

Along with directing such classic films as Escape from New York, Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing, John Carpenter also composed the soundtracks. For those who want a survey of Carpenter's synth stylings, I recommend the new compilation from Sacred Bones Records, titled "John Carpenter Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998." The celebrate the release, Carpenter created this music video for the theme from Christine (1983), in which a woman summons an Uber and the demonic driverless 1958 Plymouth Fury shows up. Just kidding about the Uber part.

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Lousy tank driver swerves into car on public road

The Russian army clearly needs to teach its tank drivers not to text and drive.

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Watch the original DeLorean pitch to auto dealers

Go back to the future with this amazing DeLorean sales pitch from 1981 used to convince car dealers to sell this fine automobile. (Thanks, UPSO!)

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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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