December 12, 2013

1 Lyft, 3 Celebrities, & 5 GoPros on a tour of Hollywood

Conan, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart

permalink | December 12, 2013 at 07:37 PM | Comments (2)

November 29, 2013

LA Auto Show

I don't know what everybody else did yesterday, but I went to the LA Auto Show.

Bob Vila? (3704)
That's Bob Vila, isn't it?

Aqua Corvette (3827)
That's a Corvette
, but that's not a standard color.

Cadillac (3853)
Also not a standard color.

Cadillac Elmiraj (3675)
When I first saw this I thought it was pronounced like "Elmira Jay"
which I thought was pretty damned weird. Then I realized they were going for "El Mirage." But is that final "j" pronounced like French "zh" or English "dj"?

Charging Station (3739)

This is what the LA Convention Center provides for a charging station.

Charging Station provided by Ford (3772)
While this is what Ford provided.

Which would you prefer? The one where you have to bend over and put your hand into some poorly lighted hole to plug in your device and then wait by sitting on the floor? Or the one out in the bright light where it all looks clean with a bench right there to sit on while it charges? Ford has this one figured out. BTW, the free Wi-fi was provided by Porsche...or at least they got naming rights, which is how I imagine it goes at the convention center.

Customized Classic (3834)
Here's the real problem with customizing classic cars
: the only place you can put your flatscreen TV is in the trunk.

Honda CNG (3782)
The Honda CNG
. Comes in gray, but they probably call it silver.

Honda Electric (3790)
Under the hood of the Honda all-electric.

Honda FCEV (3785)
A Honda concept car.

Hyundai Fuel Cell (3635)
Hyundai offers a Tucson with a fuel cell
and this was a demo model of the fuel cell engine.

Jeremy Scott Smart Car (3659)
Thank goodness, somebody is finally bringing back fins.
This is the Jeremy Scott edition of a Smart Car.

Jeremy Scott Smart Car with who (3706)
Bob Vila again
, right?

Don't Overlook The iPad (3811)
iPad in the trunk to entertain whoever you've got stuffed in there.

Lotus (3725)

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo (3649)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe (3655)
Mercedes-Benz E-Coupe.

Nurbering (3723)
If you're going to put it on a sign, spell it right.
It's "Nürburgring."

Pink Lamborghini (3728)
Pink Lamborghini.

Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet (3793)
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, then.

Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet (3797)
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, now.

Smart Car (3861)
Note the "Pedestrian Helpers" on the front bumper.

Sound System In Pickup (3819)
Sound system in the back of a pickup.
I'd be afraid that spare tire would ruin the acoustics.

Volvo (3701)
Is this a promotion for Volvo or IKEA?
Since neither are truly Swedish, does it matter?

Volvo (3702)
Would you sit on what looks like a bunch of broken lattice suspended over an electric light?
No, and apparently no one else would do it either.

Complete set of photos from the LA Auto Show here.

A word of advice for future attendees. Do not buy any tickets or parking reservations online. I looked at the choices and didn't buy either. Once I got into downtown LA I saw that the real prices for both admission and parking were lower than what was quoted online...and this was before the online purchases started stacking on those extra service fees.

permalink | November 29, 2013 at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2013

Geek Gushes Over Tesla Model S

An ArsTechnica reviewer drives a Tesla S from Houston almost to Austin and back and loves it even though it required four recharge stops.

permalink | October 27, 2013 at 11:04 PM | Comments (3)

October 8, 2013

This Is Different

What is Västtrafik?

permalink | October 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 4, 2013

Well/Wall Of Death

According to Wikipedia, this was invented in the United States.

permalink | October 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 1, 2013

Motorcyclists Attack SUV Driver In NYC

A pretty shocking video shot with a GoPro, and you'll see GoPros on several other motorcyclists. Watch for the police car.

News story:

Dad Driving With Family in NYC Beaten by Bikers: Police

Police say a large group of motorcycle riders attacked and beat a 33-year-old father who was driving in Manhattan with his wife and 2-year-old daughter on Sunday.

The dispute began when the family called 911 to report the bikers driving erratically on the West Side Highway, police said. The bikers were in town for an event called Hollywood Stuntz, where motorcyclists drive around Manhattan doing tricks, according to officials.

The dad then hit one of the motorcycles, and the others surrounded him and started hitting his Range Rover and slashing his tires, police said. The family then sped off, apparently striking some bikers, who chased them, police said.

At one point, a biker got off his motorcycle and opened the driver's side door of the SUV, before the dad sped off again.

Part of the ride and fight were captured on video.

The family exited the parkway near 178th Street and the group surrounded the vehicle.

One rider began smashing the driver's side window of the SUV with his helmet, while another tried punching a window with his fist.

The dad was pulled out of the car and beaten, Kelly said. He suffered black eyes and other injuries.

Police have arrested 15 people and seized 55 motorcycles in connection with the stunt event. No one has been arrested for the fight with the SUV driver.

permalink | October 1, 2013 at 09:50 PM | Comments (5)

July 17, 2013

Petersen's Automotive Museum Selling Cars

So far they've sold only 12 vehicles, bringing in $8.5 million. They plan to use the money for a face-lift and to refocus the museum on motorcycles and French art deco vehicles. Ultimately, about one-third of the collection will be sold off, including one of the Herbie Love Bugs.

permalink | July 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2013

"Lost Control"

On Tuesday night in Sherman Oaks Van Nuys a driver lost control of his 25-foot RV and hit 30 parked cars and several other fixed objects in the general area of his mayhem. The photo of the RV post-mayhem depicts a scene familiar to most Burners. Typically, I see one or two of these on the way home from Burning Man. Here's a photo of what it probably looked like before the accident.

This article says the driver's name is Lawrence Wright, and he is suspected of DUI. No one was injured in the accident and even Wright's 3 pitbulls and chihuahua escaped harm. Electricity in the area was knocked out for about 7 hours. An apartment building that he hit was checked for structural integrity.

This article says it happened at Sepulveda Boulevard and Clark Street in Van Nuys. Wright is facing misdemeanor charges!

permalink | July 4, 2013 at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2013

Treasure House Of Antique, No-Mileage Cars To Be Auctioned

Something like 448 cars from the last 50 years will be sold at auction in Pierce, Nebraska, in September.

Here's the story of Lambrecht Chevrolet and its owners Ray and Mildred Lambrecht, but it doesn't explain how they came to let new, undriven cars just sit and gather dust for 50 years.

Here's the website for the auction. The inventory to be auctioned includes a Chevy Vega with 17 miles, a 1964 Corvair with 14 miles, a 1960 Corvair with 1 mile, a 1965 Bel Air station wagon with 5 miles. But most of the vehicles are used with normal mileages.

permalink | June 30, 2013 at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2013

Natural Gas Vehicle Workshop, July 10, 2013, In Palm Desert

CNG workshop July 10
AQMD Fleet Rules
MSRC ["Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee"] Funding
CPV Sentinel Mitigation Update

Wednesday July 10, 2013; 9 AM to 11:30 AM

Green Zone Building
75181 Mediterranean Avenue; Palm Desert CA 92211


Target audience:

  • Fleet operators, public and private
  • Water and sewer districts
  • Local electric utilities
  • Auto dealers
  • Electric and gaseous vehicle manufacturers

Demo vehicles on display: Ford F-250 and Transit Connect

permalink | June 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2013

"Metropolis II" by Chris Burden

This is at LACMA.

And this is video of the same piece in slow motion, with very low resolution.

permalink | June 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2013

Best Used Car Ad Ever

It begins:


Fabricated from rare minerals excavated from the core of Mount Olympus, artfully designed by Zeus and skillfully handcrafted in the Land of the Rising Sun by the deft hands of the infamous 7 Samurai. This Japanese rice-rocket is unquestionably the most heroic form of transport since the Apollo 11 lunar module.

Searching for a delightful automobile to ferry you to Angus and Robertson to buy Fifty Shades of Grey, or perhaps cart little Timmy to clarinet lessons? Do me a favour, smash your laptop on the ground, give yourself an uppercut and take a good, long look in the mirror. Frankly, I'm offended.

If, on the other hand, you're hunting for the most diabolical slab of precious metal to be synthesised during the Big Bang, please continue…

To date, the most monumental day of your existence was your wedding, or the birth of your children. That's about to change! In fact, you'd trade your spouse and all of your offspring just to test-drive this barbarian.

...and continues in that vein.

permalink | May 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

May 5, 2013

Salsa Blast!

Some photos:

Desert Hot Springs Salsa Blast! (1814)

Desert Hot Springs Salsa Blast! (1815)

Desert Hot Springs Salsa Blast! (1828)

Desert Hot Springs Salsa Blast! (1830)

Desert Hot Springs Salsa Blast! (1820)

Desert Hot Springs Salsa Blast! Car Show (4665)
I suspect this is Michael Bracken's Volvo
, unless there are two of these running around Coachella Valley.

More photos here.

permalink | May 5, 2013 at 05:00 PM | Comments (2)

April 20, 2013

Car Mounting Options For A GoPro Camera

The actual mounting options are limitless. Stick the camera wherever you want and point it in any direction that pleases you. Why anyone would think there 12 options is beyond me, but here's a video that attempts to do that. I'll save you some time:

  1. Side - good for showing off your paint job and whacking into something when you drive too close.
  2. Side, but farther back - see #1.
  3. Hood - sounds good, but they show it pointing backwards at the windshield. Okay if you're shooting some sort of movie with a plot, I guess.
  4. Trunk - also sounds good, but they face the camera forward. Really, if what you want is videos of your car, you can do that without a GoPro or suction cup mount.
  5. Roof - they show it facing forward - now we're getting somewhere; literally.
  6. Front bumper - facing forward, yay! I was afraid they'd point it into the radiator.
  7. Hood - again, but this time forward. They learn from their mistakes! But they stick it back near the windshield so you see a lot of hood. Looks not too different from the roof mount.
  8. Inside the rear window - facing forward. This can be okay if you have a passenger and there are amusing interactions between the two of you such as sharing snacks, spilling a soda or fighting over the music. In this video I think the "passenger" is one of those inflatable fakes you use to sneak into the carpool lane.
  9. On the driver's head! This one would never occur to me because I don't think I've ever been in a vehicle with sufficient head room to do this, except for a Checker cab and, of course, buses. It'd work in an RV too. Also, I'm sure this is NOT done with the suction cup mount.
  10. On the "co-driver's" head. In America the "co-driver" is called the "backseat driver," no matter where he sits. I guess putting a camera on his head might shut him up. Of course, most "co-drivers" with cameras on their heads would turn and stare at the driver, making him self-conscious. In the video the "co-driver" that I thought was an inflatable dummy does move a little, but never, ever looks out his side window.
  11. On the dash facing the passenger compartment. Good idea if you are hot or famous. These two, driver and "co-driver," must be brothers or lovers.
  12. Same thing, moved two feet toward the passenger's side of the dash.

permalink | April 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2013

Barker Ranch Loop

One day in Death Valley we drove the long loop that includes a stop at Barker Ranch where Charles Manson was arrested. Photos from along the way:

Goler Wash (9663)
Goler Wash.

Barker Ranch (4267)
Some of the remains of Barker Ranch.

Striped Butte Valley (9747)
Striped Butte Valley.

Cabin In Striped Butte Valley (4290)
A cabin in Striped Butte Valley.
This is available for camping, but camping inside will probably expose you to hantavirus.

Dodge Truck From Barker Ranch At Ballarat (9547A)
A Dodge truck at Ballarat.
It had been parked at Barker Ranch when Manson was arrested there.

Near Ballarat in Panamint Valley (9654)
Airing down near Ballarat in Panamint Valley.

Ballarat (9554)
An exhibit at Ballarat to illustrate the risks of not having enough spare tires.

Motorcyclist Climbing Mengel Pass (9710)
One of the touring motorcycles coming up Mengel Pass.

Wildrose Road (9637)

Wildrose Road with a view into Panamint Valley (9640)
Entering Panamint Valley on Wildrose Road.

Wildrose Road in Panamint Valley (9650)
Panamint Valley.

Burros In Mengel Pass (9692)

Death Valley (9770)

Badwater Road (9772)
Badwater Road in Death Valley.

permalink | March 20, 2013 at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2013

Mini Flip

You may have already seen this video of the 360° back flip of a Mini Cooper when it hit the news a couple of weeks ago:

One's view of the event depends on which sponsors are feeding you the information. As we might have expected, GoPro was a sponsor too, and here's their video:

You'll notice he wears different helmets in the two videos, but I'm betting he did the trick only once, so the Monster/GoPro helmet was the one worn during the actual flipping.

permalink | March 5, 2013 at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2013

Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance

Last Sunday at the Desert Princess country club.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL (9474)
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

1939 Kenworth fire engine (9340)
1939 Kenworth fire engine.
Only five of these were made and this one was originally owned by the City of Beverly Hills.

1947 Delahaye 135MS (9532)
1947 Delahaye 135MS
which wins the prize in the color category, IMO.

1948 Tucker 48 (9509)
1948 Tucker
- okay, now I've seen two Tuckers.

1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I (9417)
1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I
. The accident happened on the way to this show. Here's what the placard on the car said:

This vehicle has been seen in many movies, mini-series and TV ads including "Columbo," "Murder She Wrote," "Loveboat," "The Thornbirds," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," "Fresno," and was the Rolls Royce featured in the first Grey Poupon commercial which made the reply "but of course..." popular.

1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I (9419)
The force of the accident torqued the body so that damage occurred in spots on the right side of the car, away from the actual hit.

Here's one of the Grey Poupon ads using the car above.

1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner 500 (9408)
1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner 500.

1949 Volkswagen Hebmüller (9426)
1949 Volkswagen Hebmüller.
The placard on the car misspelled the name of the car as "Volkswagon Hebmulle." Car collectors are supposed to be well informed, detail-oriented people, so I found this error to be rather mystifying.

1953 Corvette (9372)
1953 Corvette
- from the first year of production when only 300 were built. You could get it in any color, so long as it was white with a red interior.

1953 Cunningham C3 (9355)
1953 Cunningham C3.
The placard read...

Built in 1953 by Briggs Cunningham in Palm Beach, Florida, at his factory. Body built by Carosserie Vignale in Italy. One of 25 built, 20 coupes, 5 convertibles. Chosen as one of the world's ten best car designs by the New York Museum of Art.

1962 Corvair Spyder (9398)
1962 Corvair Spyder
- the placard cited a study done in the early '70s that showed this model of Corvair was no more dangerous than any of the other cars being produced in the early '60s.

1967 Corvette (9364)
There were a lot of Corvettes - that's a 1967 in the foreground.

1967 Westfalia for sale (9456)
This 1967 Westfalia with 2110 cc engine is for sale.
Asking $43,500. Contact info here.

The complete set of photos is here.

permalink | February 27, 2013 at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2013

1984 Mazda RX-7 - Sorta

It is, of course, in California.

permalink | February 11, 2013 at 09:39 PM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2013

Nethercutt Collection & Museum

This past weekend I visited the Nethercutt Collection and Museum in Sylmar with the Long Beach/Orange County chapter of Great Outdoors. Completely free to visit, it's got cars, mechanical musical instruments, antique furniture that you can sit on, and tschotskes; all supported by profits from Merle Norman Cosmetics.

Nethercutt Collection (8984)

Nethercutt Collection (8941)

Nethercutt Collection - Wurlitzer Organ (9023)
Wurlitzer organ, originally from the Denver Auditorium.

Nethercutt Collection - Wurlitzer Organ (9030)
Some of the pipes for the Wurlitzer.

Nethercutt Collection - Wurlitzer Organ (9053)
While playing, the Wurlitzer rises up about 18 inches from the floor.
They've wired the Wurlitzer into a Windows computer that will record every action and then play it back exactly.

Nethercutt Collection - Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (8933)
Merecedes-Benz 300SL

Nethercutt Collection - Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (8970)
With its gullwing doors open.

Nethercutt Collection - 1957 Corvette (8921)

Nethercutt Collection - General Motors EV1 (8909)
The second General Motors EV1 that I've seen.
The Nethercutt maintains all of its cars in drivable condition. Fuel is in the tank, and the keys are in the ignition. They say they drive every car outside at least once a year. I wonder about the EV1, though. I thought General Motors imposed a condition that all existing EV1s be rendered somehow undrivable.

Nethercutt Collection - Pierce-Arrow (8964)
Pierce-Arrow hood ornament.

Nethercutt Museum - 1948 Tucker (9074)
The first Tucker I've seen face to face.

Nethercutt Museum (9063)
This is a view from the newer Nethercutt Museum (all cars) across the street to the original Nethercutt Collection
which includes the Wurlitzer on the top floor.

Nethercutt Museum - Bugatti (9091)

Nethercutt Collection (8987)

Many more photos here.

Gripes: in the Collection, they invariably placed the information placard square in front of the car, usually within 6 inches of the grill, totally ruining any attempt to see what the front view of the car looked like and get a photo. Velvet ropes, where they use them, are very close to the cars, making it almost impossible to get an unobstructed photo. The cars are packed very close together. The Collection is viewable only as part of a group tour. There were about 50 people on our tour, and they get you through in two hours, so browsing has to be quick. But I suppose the point of the collection is to be a collection, while showing it off to visitors is secondary.

Petersen's Automotive Museum, OTOH, was put together by people from the magazine publishing industry who have a lot stronger sense of how to set up a car for visual beauty. Petersen's is a much more enjoyable experience. But they don't have a Tucker and not all of their cars run, so you take your choices.

permalink | January 29, 2013 at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2013

The best thing about traffic videos shot in São Paulo... they're not shot in Russia. São Paulo looks warm and comfortable. A video shot from a motorcycle in São Paulo where most people, it appears, go out and park their cars on the freeway so that motorcyclists can ride between them. I suspect a GoPro Hero camera is involved, and you can see his speedometer clearly. Often he exceeds 120 kph, but 120 kph is only about 75 mph.

More of his stuff.

permalink | January 6, 2013 at 08:45 PM | Comments (2)