Posts tagged ‘Vehicle’

April 19, 2012

Beatnik Bandit

beatnik bandit

The Beatnik Bandit is a custom car created in 1961 by ‘Big Daddy’ Ed Roth, originally as a project for ‘Rod & Custom magazine’; instead of a steering wheel, it was controlled by a joystick.

A Hot Wheels car was made based on the Beatnik Bandit. The car is a representation of ‘Kustom Kulture,’ a neologism used to describe the oeuvre of those who drove and built custom cars and motorcycles in the US from the 1950s through today.

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February 2, 2012

Submarine Aircraft Carrier


Submarine aircraft carriers are submarines equipped with fixed wing aircraft for observation or attack missions. These submarines saw their most extensive use during World War II, although their operational significance remained rather small.

The most famous of them were the Japanese I-400 class submarine and the French submarine Surcouf, although a few similar craft were built by other nations’ navies as well. Except for the I-400, submarine aircraft carriers used their aircraft in a supporting role (usually for reconnaissance), unlike the typical surface aircraft carrier, which describes a ship whose main function is serving as a base for combat aircraft.

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February 2, 2012

Sen Toku I-400


The Sen Toku I-400-class Imperial Japanese Navy submarines were the largest submarines of World War II and remained the largest ever built until the construction of nuclear ballistic missile submarines in the 1960s. They were submarine aircraft carriers able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft underwater to their destinations. They were designed to surface, launch the planes then dive again quickly before they were discovered. They also carried torpedoes for close-range combat. The I-400-class was designed with the range to travel anywhere in the world and return. A fleet of 18 boats was planned in 1942, of which only three were completed.

Located approximately amidships on the top deck was a cylindrical watertight aircraft hangar, 31 m (102 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter. The outer access door could be opened hydraulically from within or manually from the outside by turning a large hand-wheel connected to a rack and spur gear. The door was made waterproof with a 51-millimeter-thick (2 in.) rubber gasket.

January 24, 2012

Bait Car

bait car

A bait car, also called a decoy car, is a vehicle used by law enforcement agencies to capture car thieves. The vehicles are modified, with features including GPS tracking and audio/video surveillance technology, and can be remotely monitored and controlled. A ‘kill switch’ may be installed in the vehicle allowing police to remotely disable the engine and lock all doors from the inside, preventing escape.

The bait car, often filled with valuable items to draw attention to it, is parked in a high auto-theft area. In some cases, the vehicle may be simply left unlocked with the keys in the ignition. When the car is stolen, officers are immediately alerted, and can monitor the vehicle and send commands to control it such as disabling the engine, locking the doors or honking the horn. Live audio/video streaming devices may be installed allowing law enforcement personnel to determine how many suspects are in the car, what they are planning and if they are armed.

November 29, 2011

Dymaxion Car

dymaxion car

fuller by todd st john

The Dymaxion [dahy-mak-see-uhn] car was a concept car designed by U.S. inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller in 1933. The word Dymaxion is a brand name that Fuller gave to several of his inventions, to emphasize that he considered them part of a more general project to improve humanity’s living conditions. The car had a fuel efficiency of 30 mpg, and could transport 11 passengers.

While Fuller claimed it could reach speeds of 120 miles per hour, the fastest documented speed was 90 miles per hour. Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi was involved with the development of the Dymaxion car, creating plaster wind tunnel models that were a factor in determining its shape, and during 1934 drove it for an extended road trip through Connecticut with congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce and actress Dorothy Hale.

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November 29, 2011



A jalopy [juh-lop-ee] (also clunker or hooptie or beater) is a decrepit car, often old and in a barely functional state. A jalopy is not a well kept antique car, but a car which is mostly rundown or beaten up.

As a slang term in American English, ‘jalopy’ was noted in 1924 but is now slightly passé. The term was used extensively in the book ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac, first published in 1957, although written from 1947. The equivalent English term is old banger, often shortened to banger, a reference to older poorly maintained vehicles’ tendency to backfire.

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November 28, 2011



lead sled

Kustoms are modified cars from the 1930s to the early 1960s, done in the customizing styles of that time period. The usage of a ‘K’ rather than a ‘C,’ is believed to have originated with car designer George Barris.

This style generally consists of, but it not limited to starting with a 2-door coupe; lowering the suspension; chopping down the roof line (usually chopped more in the rear to give a ‘raked back’ look, with B-pillars also commonly leaned to enhance this look); sectioning and/or channeling the body (removing a section from the center); certain pieces of side trim are usually removed or ‘shaved’ to make the car look longer, lower and smoother; often bits and pieces of trim from other model cars, are cut, spliced and added to give the car a totally new and interesting ‘line’ to lead the eye in the direction that the Kustomizer wishes it to go; door handles are also ‘shaved’ as well (electric solenoids or cables are installed); buttons are installed in hidden locations and used to open the doors; trunk lids and other pieces of the body can also be altered in this matter.

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November 28, 2011

Rat Bike

rat bike

Rat bikes are motorcycles that have fallen apart over time but been kept on the road and maintained for little or no cost by employing kludge (ad hoc) fixes. The concept of keeping a motorcycle in at least minimally operational condition without consideration for appearance has probably characterized motorcycle ownership since its earliest days. The essence of a rat bike is keeping a motorbike on the road for the maximum amount of time while spending as little as possible on it.  This calls for adaptation of parts that were not designed to fit the model of bike in question. Most Rat bikes are painted matte black but this is not a requirement.

‘Survival bikes’ are bikes that may appear to be rat bikes, but are not. They are influenced by the ‘Mad Max’ films. The term survival bike itself originated in the British motorcycle press particularly ‘Back Street Heroes,’ and the now-defunct AWoL in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

July 20, 2011

Cessna 172


The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing, fixed-wing aircraft. First flown in 1955 and still in production, more Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft.

Measured by its longevity and popularity, the Cessna 172 is the most successful mass produced light aircraft in history. The first production models were delivered in 1956 and they are still in production. As of 2008, more than 43,000 had been built.

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June 21, 2011


chivas bus

Rustic buses are old artisan modified buses used in rural Colombia and Ecuador where they are known as chivas (kid goats) or escaleras (ladders). They are used as public transport and more recently used as party buses in both countries. These are varied but characterized for being painted colorfully (usually with the yellow, blue, and red colors of the flags of Ecuador and Colombia) with local arabesques and figures.

Most have a ladder to the rack on the roof which is also used for carrying people, livestock and merchandise. They are built upon a bus chassis with a modified body made out either metal or wood. Seats are bench alike, made out of wood and with doors instead of windows.

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May 11, 2011


doc hudson

newman bug

A sleeper (called a Q-car in the UK) is a car that has high performance and an unassuming exterior. Sleeper cars are termed such because their exterior looks little or no different from a standard or economy-class car. In some cases the car appears worse due to seeming neglect on the owner’s part, typically referred to as ‘all go and no show.’ While appearing to be a standard or neglected car, internally they are modified to perform at higher performance levels. The American nomenclature comes from the term sleeper agent, while the British term derives from the Q-ships used by the Royal Navy.

American actor Paul Newman famously drove a 1963 VW Beetle convertible with a 300-horsepower engine, racing suspension and five-speed gearbox. The back seats were removed to make room for the 351-cubic-inch Ford engine.

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April 2, 2011




General Motors EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) is a 2-seat urban electric concept car developed by GM that can be driven normally or operated autonomously. Designed for urban environments and around an extrapolation of the P.U.M.A. prototype announced in 2009 by GM and Segway, which contributed the two-wheeled balancing system. Three different vehicles are showcased, Xiao (Laugh), Jiao (Pride) and Miao (Magic). The EN-V can detect and avoid obstacles–including other vehicles–park themselves and will come when called by phone. Accomplished through a combination of GPS, vehicle-based sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

This autonomous technology is an extrapolation of that found in GM’s 2007 autonomous ‘The Boss’ Chevrolet Tahoe created for the DARPA Grand Challenge (2007). The EN-Vs can communicate with each other allowing platooning, with one or more EN-Vs tagging along automatically behind a leader. Also, if an EN-V detects another in close proximity, it can check what that other is intending to do and agree on how to pass it safely. Powered by two electric motors, one on each wheel, and a lithium-ion phosphate battery, the EN-V has a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph) and a maximum all-electric range of 40 kilometers (25 mi).

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