As lovers of science and innovation, few things delight us more than tinkering around with spare parts. In our 138 years of publication, we've showcased scores of similar-minded inventors who could turn scrap heaps into motorcycles, robots, and four-wheelers. These people aren't just hobbyists, they're visionaries capable of imagining great machinery from what others had deemed broken and useless.
While people have created a great number of things from scratch, cars stand out as the prime project for professional engineers and bored tinkerers alike. We don't blame them - who wouldn't enjoy taking their invention for a celebratory spin upon completion? Join us as we take a look at some of the more curious vehicles assembled in garages over the past hundred years, and decide for yourself whether they're clever or the work of a crackpot.
By Alison Lakin, Associate Editor of DriverSidePosted 12.17.2010 at 1:07 pm 4 Comments
When the warm summer air gives way to the chill of an impending winter, some of you are probably thinking more about fading tans and lost beach days than you are about car care. We understand that anything related to cold weather might be a sore subject. However, snow tires (also known as "winter tires") are tremendously important for your safety if you live in a snowy climate, and it's important to know when to switch over to them.
See what happens when a 1927 Model T and a 1986 Mustang come together in an unholy (but fast!) union
By Murilee MartinPosted 12.16.2010 at 1:00 pm 3 Comments
After four years, the 24 Hours of LeMons—endurance racing for $500 cars—has become one of the most competitive forms of motorsport on the planet. Most of the time, a team gunning for the bragging rights that come with a LeMons win will follow a standard formula: put a bunch of top drivers in a 20-year-old German or Japanese sports car. Not so with the Beverly Hellbillies; they've got the top drivers, all right, but their car is a 1927 Model T Ford pickup built by a crew of old-time hot rodders.
And it finished an incredible 9th out of 173 entries in a recent race.
3-D printing has already resulted in advances in manufacturing (as well as tiny stop-motion animation), but now taking it one step further is the Urbee hybrid: the world’s first 3-D printed car, developed by Kor Ecologic and Stratasys.
Back in July, two all-electric, driverless vans set out from Italy bound for China, an 8,000-mile trek through two continents, several countries, and endless driving variables like traffic, weather conditions, and roadway conditions.
German researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology have developed an eyetracking device that could soon help keep drowsy drivers alert on the road for a fraction of the cost of existing systems.
A new Web site and smartphone app connect license plates with an e-mail address, allowing businesses to track customers, drivers to connect with each other, and road rage to reach new heights. In doing so, Bump.com, which launched this week, throws open the doors of one of this country's last private places: Your car.
The site aims to bring social media connectivity to the road, even for cars that don't come with Wi-Fi. "We're right next to each other on the highway, but we have no way to communicate, connect, and network," as Bump's Web site explains.
An invention that's been around for two decades, but is only now getting any real attention, could change the way millions of people drive -- if people ever have the good sense to adopt it, its inventor says. Japanese inventor Masuyuki Naruse claims that placing the braking and acceleration pedals in our cars side-by-side, just inches apart, is a dangerous design flaw. The solution: his Naruse pedal, a unified pedal design that puts accelerator and brake on the same foot-activated lever.
Randy Grubb couldn’t get it off his mind. For years he had been driving past an old logger’s place near his home in rural Oregon, and one of the long-haul trucks in the man’s yard kept catching his attention. In late 2008, Grubb finally stopped for a closer look, and the toothless, cigar-chomping trucker let him rev the engine. He was sold, but he had a big change in mind: He was going to transform it into a hot rod.