The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
12 yards long, 2 lanes wide, 65 tons of American pride! Canyonero! Canyonero!
You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.
By the time a man can afford to buy one of those little sports cars, he's too fat to get into it.
The sports car and sailboat are investments for my retirement. I'm using them to attract a woman who will support me in my old age.
I've just been on a family holiday and our Range Rover was barely able to handle the requirements of five people. In a Lexus 450, you'd have to leave one of the suitcases, or children, at home. Or go to a nudist camp.
Learning to drive - you start out with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the experience bag before the luck bag is empty.
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Japanese have a law that you can only buy a car if you can prove you have a parking space, unless the car is less than 3.4m (about 11 feet) long and has an engine less than 660cc. Since nobody has a parking space, the demand for these cars is sky high. Almost everyone has a car that is almost invisible to the naked eye. You don't have people cluttering up the streets circling the block looking for somewhere to park - you just pull over and put it in your pocket..
College in Kansas offers 4 year graduate course in auto restoration, producing technicians for the increasing number of auto rest shops across US. Part sponsored by Jay Leno, who has his own museum/garage of classic cars. Train students on pre-1936 cars which had wooden frames and metal skins, so they become proficient in both wood and metal tech. Leno said that one of reasons he enthusiastically supports college is that 10 years ago he had tried to get gears made for his Duesenberg. He eventually found an 80 yo guy in Chicago who was able to do it for him, but all old skills were being lost.
Graham Hill is the only man to have won racing's "Triple Crown - F1 Championship (1962 and 1968), Indianapolis 500 (1966) and the Le Mans 24 Hour (1972). He is also part of only father and son world champions (his son Damon was champion in 1996). Remarkably, he first drove a car at age of 24.
The boss of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, paid £4000 to equip his luxury MB with taxi license and meter so he could use the car pool lane to get to work.
Wealthy Russians have recently found a way around the country's horrid traffic jams: fake ambulances, outfitted with plush interiors for relaxation while specially trained drivers use unauthorized lights and sirens to maneuver through cluttered streets. London's Daily Telegraph reported in March that "ambulance" companies charge the equivalent of about $200 an hour for these taxis.
In many city centres it costs more than the minimum wage to park. People working in McDonalds can look out the window and see parking meters earning more than they do.
Beijing has a 'Dial-a-Driver' program for daytime. If you're stuck in a traffic jam, a kid will pick you up on his motor bike and get you to your office, while his mate sits in the traffic and eventually delivers your car to the office.
LST got hold of kids of celebs and asked about their parents' driving. 14 yo son of Pink Floyd drummer reckoned his mum always criticized father's driving so when she was putting on her makeup he'd drive fast over speed bumps so that her lipstick would wind up in her eyebrows.
(review of Bentley Speed convert) you could feel the contempt flooding at you in hot waves through the windscreen. Some of it was clearly ecological, arising from a notion that the driver of a car such as this must be fundamentally irresponsible. People would shoot narrow-eyed looks of scorn at me, based on the firm suspicion that, beneath the bonnet, I was actually spit-roasting puffins. And what you really want to suggest, in the face of such objections, is that you could ban every Bentley in the world this afternoon, or sooner, and it wouldn't make the faintest difference to the planet's destiny because there simply aren't enough of them, relatively speaking, to matter.
Interesting observation from research into building automated cars - found that at a 4-way intersection, humans don't just obey road rules, they make eye contact with the other driver, evaluate his body language and take into account what sort of vehicle hes driving to decide who has right of way and who is going to yield.
SMH article on commuting - triangle of happiness - greater the distance between where you work shop and live, the gter the unhappiness - mainly the toll on family life - dad gets home from work, too tired to communicate, and takes out frustrations on wife and kids - could downsize, but humans actually quite bad at evaluating choices - we focus more on what we lose than what they gain - so stay in bigger house, with bigger commute, for the bigger salary.
Arizona driver evading speed camera tickets by wearing a monkey mask ("They can't prove it's me")
Speed camera car - students pinched number plate from the car, stuck it on a similar model, then drove up and down at high speed - computer sent itself 19 infringement notices.
British have introduced 'average speed' cameras which read rego plates and calculate whether you must have broken speed limit between the two cameras.
More Anecdotes about Cars
ANTARCTICA, the world's most inaccessible continent, has finally been conquered by the car, with scientists and commercial adventure firms creating three new 'road' routes from the coast to the South Pole. So far about 10 convoys of modified 4x4 vehicles have made the trip, their occupants enjoying heated cabins, electric windows and reclining seats as they journey to the remotest place in the world. One recent expedition saw the British explorer Jason De Carteret make the fastest overland journey to the South Pole from the coast in less than three days in a modified off-roader. Robert Scott sailed from Britain in mid-1910 and did not reach the South Pole until January 1912. Scott and his crew died after two more months of trekking back towards the coast.
Sultan of Brunei is the proud owner of the world's most unique car collection. Total price of the collection containing 7,000 high performance cars is $5,000,000,000.
FROM two expansive windows in an 11th-floor condominium in NY, there are sweeping views of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. But visitors will not find an inviting sofa in this room, no place where a guest might sit back and admire the cityscape. Most of the room, you see, is filled with a 2004 Range Rover.
For many less wealthy classic car enthusiasts, such as myself, their car is a part of their family. However, most owners will privately admit that they've spent far more on their classic than they could ever hope to get back by selling it. If you take a classic wreck and fully restore it, you can expect to recover between one quarter and one third of the money you spent on it, not including a few thousand hours of your own labour.I've been restoring classic cars for over 20 years, and my general advice is that people should buy them because they love them, not because they want to make money from them.
(Jeremy Clarkson) Most European and Japanese cars these days hide their thrills behind a curtain of electronic interference and acoustically tuned, synthetic exhaust noises. Driving, say, an M5, is like having sex in a condom. Driving this Corvette is like taking it off.
More than anything else people purchase, a car broadcasts so much about who they are - or, rather, who they like to think they are. The whole business is fraught with stereotypes, often amusing, rarely meaningful, but once in a while spot on. For instance, Bentley nowadays implies 'footballer's wife'. Cadillac screams 'old codger trying to look cool'. Honda mutters something about being reliable but boring. Mercedes-Benz says simply 'taxi' in Europe and the Middle East, and 'too old for a BMW' in America. Porsche is code for 'desperate male having a mid-life crisis'.
I'm in an ordinary 5-series BMW in the fast lane of the autobahn, ploughing through rush-hour traffic on the outskirts of Munich. The drivers I'm overtaking don't give the car a second glance, but there's something earth-shaking about this understated vehicle. It has no driver.
Can't stop people using mobile phones while driving. The culture of the car as a haven, a roving office, and a place where you do what you like. The culture of connection and our fear of being left out....solution is simple: when a phone is moving, don't permit it to accomplish certain tasks...worry about people on trains or passengers in carpools.But you know what? It's better than being dead. Better than being the victim of the one out of three drivers I see who couldn't wait.
RECKLESS drivers beware. Police forces are to encourage the public to send them video footage, recorded on dashcam cameras of motorists breaking the law, for potential prosecutions. Tens of thousands of cars have dashboard-mounted cameras, costing as little as £70 and typically installed defensively to protect against false claims or to cut insurance premiums. Now the police plan to exploit their potential for catching traffic offenders, urging drivers to send in footage of other motorists breaking traffic laws.
A gadget fitted by car manufacturers to improve driver safety can also be used by law enforcement agencies to pinpoint suspects. The device, eCall, is designed to contact the emergency services automatically if it detects the vehicle has been involved in a collision. The black box is already fitted to many production cars including certain BMWs, Citroens and Volvos, and will be installed in all new cars by 2015 under EU regulations. Unbeknown to most drivers, it can also be used to track motorists remotely even if they haven't been involved in a crash. Interpol, which co-ordinates police intelligence across 190 countries, confirmed that some of its members are using the eCall system for surveillance operations.
Top Gear appeals to the 9 yo boy in most of us. Mile race between a Porsche and a VW; (the VW won; it was dropped from a helicopter one mile up). Race between an XJS and an Audi 4wd ... on rail tracks, towing caravans.
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Story about guy who used to drive around ChCh in a beat up old car with his dog in back seat and daughter in front. Dog had back seat full of old rug and feed bowl etc. Daughter had front seat full of crap toys like water pistol and sundry dolls and cars etc. Anyway one day he stalls car at lights, and a car full of hoons starts tooting horn at him. So he starts car again and drives off really really slow. Then at Latimer Sq the street splits in two, and the hoons car pulls alongside, both windows come down, and a boy and a girl start yelling abuse. "The driver kept the car alongside so that Mike and his little daughter could enjoy the full extent of the abuse they deserved. But Mike is not dead yet. He had been expecting something along these lines. As the first tranche of the median strip separated his car from theirs he raised from his lap his daughter's water pistol. Mike reckons the first jet got the girl in the open mouth. The second drenched the young man. Then the median strip widened and irrevocably sent the two cars their separate ways....
Celebrity Cat Recipes
A trick Bill Bryson and brother came up with to fill in time while they waited in their car for dad to return - rotate the windscreen washers so that they pointed to the sidewalk. Then every time someone walked past they'd get a squirt. The victims would stop in dumb-founded amazement, but we'd have the windows up and seemed completely oblivious to them. So they'd turn and look at the building behind them - and Willoughby would drill them in the back with another soaking blast. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
WW2 stringent blackout regulations. Drivers weren't even allowed dashboard lights at night, so to avoid hitting parked cars, they drove in the middle of the road, which of course led to head on collisions. In first four months of the war 4000 people were killed on the roads, twice the peace time rate. Without dropping a single bomb, Germans were killing 600 people a month. At Home
A Turkish driver unfamiliar with concept of speed cameras, was caught four times in two minutes. Helped by the two roundabouts on either side of the camera, he went back to try to figure out what was flashing the light at him. He also did it at increasing speeds - 36mph then 39, 42 and finally 47 mph.
Very first car race in US organized by Alva Vanderbilt, on the lawn of her Newport Mansion - an obstacle course of dummy policemen, nursemaids and babies in prams. One who 'killed' the least bystanders declared winner. The Natural History of the Rich
Dream Garages and More Dream Garages
Seem hard to believe but it's simply the brain's response to monotonous stimulation. The same thing happens to drivers on long straight roads at night - you may have the radio up loud, but you still fall into a trance as your mind shuts down. You may not be completely asleep, but you're not far off.
Elephants On Acid and Other Bizarre Experiments
2005 was a worse than average year - some 400,000 people were killed by natural disasters: about 5 times the normal average. But in same year a million people were killed on the roads, and 8 million children died of preventable childhood diseases. How Many Friends Does One Person Need?
Computers are making rapid and unexpected inroads. A book published 2004 The New Division of Labor discussing the comparative abilities of computers and human workers, and used the example of truck driving as the sort of skill that could not be automated. Yet today, self-drive cars are on the roads in US and Germany. Automation is progressing so fast that it takes things from the realm of science fiction to the real world, not in generations, but in just a few years. Race Against The Machine
"A lot hot rodders I see today have grey hair and they're with young babes. Their wives probably threw them out for spending too much time messing with cars. The young ones don't know any better." (Perhaps, but maybe the girls grew up differently - with fathers who loved hot rods and used to sing along to their Little Deuce Coupe Beach Boys tapes in the car...)
Guy looking for a huge Dodge D-700 race car transporter he'd owned new in late 60's. He still had original papers with a VIN number on it. From that he was able to get an address where it was last registered in mid-90's. Figured it was too big to be stored in a shed, so used Google Earth to search the address, and there, right in the backyard, was his truck.
The owner of this beautiful Ford hotrod (which he'd owned as a teenager, then bought it back 40 years later)"I'm having more fun than I've ever had in my life," he said. "I may have a 64 yo body but I'm 17 yo in my mind." The Corvette In The Barn
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OPINIONS - FORUMS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Stick shifts, self-drive cars ...
Songs - the poetry of modern life
Now get yourself in gear
Oh baby come on
Still cruisin' after all of these years
Hey girl let's go for a spin
Hop in my hot rod and do it again
More Car Songs
My phone had a text from Suzette
she broke off with me with regret
she'd found someone new
with a Rolls Royce or two
and for weekends a shiny Corvette!
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