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Thursday, 24 Apr 2014
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MODOT Acquires LRAD to Blast Speeders

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If you think your ride is faster than the speed of sound—think again. The friendly folks at the Missouri Department of Transportation revealed earlier this week that they have added to LRAD sound cannons to their arsenal…And, we’re betting that even the most tricked out, super-charged, bottle-fed, ride on the block won’t be able to outrun these headache inducing devices.
That’s right, the folks that are responsible for patching potholes and mowing medians have picked up a pair of sonic Long-Range Acoustic Devices that they will reportedly be using to target vehicles that speed in work zones.
Best known for its use against protesters and insurgents in Afghanistan, the devices (which cost a mere $25,000…each!) will be used to alert drivers to road conditions by shooting a sonic messaged directly through their windshields.
“The LRAD puts out up to 153 decibels of sound through an emitter, not a loud speaker,” said MoDOT employee Michele Compton told local news outlets. “The sound easily penetrates the windshield and well-insulated cab of a car, even overriding the vehicle’s engine sounds and a radio turned up loud enough to jam to tunes at highway speeds.”
The radar-activated LRADs are programed to capture the attention of drivers by emitting a message that says “Slow vehicles ahead.”
State officials are heralding the devices as valuable safety tools that are designed to capture the attention of drivers…not scare the living crap out of them.
Can you hear me now?

Would You Drive A Rollerskate?

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You never know what you’ll find when you can’t sleep and find yourself surfing Craigslist at 2 a.m. 
Earlier this morning I stumbled upon a rather unique listing out in the Garden State…And, I hate to admit it, but they had me at “Incredible performance….like a 4-wheeled motorcycle!” Because, who hasn't dreamed of experiencing the freedom of the open road from the back of a 4-wheeled chopper?
If you haven’t figured out what the car is by now, let me introduce you to the intriguing—yet short-lived—Maxton Rollerskate
Weighing a mere 1,600 lbs., these hand-built (some assembly required!) minimalist cars, received positive reviews when they first began shipping out of the Colorado-based production facility back in the day when Zack Morris was still trying to teach “Screech” how to pick up chicks.
However, the idea of shelling out $30K for a kit car that arrives at your doorstep in about a hundred different boxes—and did not include a box with an engine—failed to catch on and the company went out of business a mere three years later.
The Rollerskate currently listed on Craigslist can be yours for a mere $16,600 (OBO, we have to assume). This particular car is number #19 of approximately 50 that were built back in the early 90’s and is powered by a 200 hp Mazda 13B fuel-injected rotary engine.
So, let’s all be honest here—would you ever consider building a custom kit car like the Maxton Rollerskate?

What Does a 1,200 HP Caddy Wagon Sound Like?

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If you’re a fan of insane amounts of horsepower, you’re probably aware of John Hennessey’s work.
Huge horsepower is what the turbocharging Texans has become famous for—just remember his infamous Venom GT—a 1,244 horsepower monster that holds the record for fastest production car after hitting 270.49 mph. He also whipped up a wicked VR1200 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, which has achieved 220 mph on a closed track a couple of years ago.
Much like the coupe, his newest creation, a sweet grocery-getter is powered by a 7.0-liter LS7 from the outgoing Corvette Z06. The car also takes advantage of upgraded intake, fuel, and exhaust systems. Throw in a massive pair of ball-bearing Precision turbochargers hanging off of its 427 cubic inch mill.
While the folks at Hennessey Performance haven’t released all the specifics just yet…we expect this wicked wagon to be similarly priced to the CTS-V Coupe. The 2-door variety starts at a mere $295,000.
So, until we find out more info—play the video below and just imagine how cool the 1,058 wheel horsepower would sound as you haul a whole heap-o-kids to school each morning!


Honda Pitches 2015 Do-It-Yourself Kit

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For those who know exactly what you want in a car and don’t mine getting your hands a little dirty, Honda has announced a 2015 Fit do-it-yourself kit.
The automotive powerhouse posted a video today on the inter-web previewing their new modular build-it-yourself concept that allegedly allows auto enthusiasts to build a car to their own specs…similar to how you would build a new teddy at Build-A-Bear.
Designed for those who prefer "built not bought", the 2015 Honda Fit now comes as a very complex DIY kit—some assembly required. Rather than waiting for the U.S-spec Fit to be assembled in the firm's Celaya, Mexico factory, all the 180,000+ mechanical parts can now be shipped to your door so that you can build your very own dream car.
In the press release issued on April 1 (wink. wink. nudge. nudge), Honda fails to mention anything about a price tag (or shipping fees) but it's presumably more affordable than purchasing the fully assembled car which goes on sale later this spring. In addition, the satisfaction you'll experience building a car with your own hands is priceless, especially for all you hipster wannabes out there tuning cars.

Feds Require Backup Cameras on All Vehicles

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After years of delays and nearly a decade of lawsuits, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ruled that all vehicles less than 10,000 lbs. must be equipped with a backup camera starting in 2018.

Yep, you read it here first folks, every single car, truck, and SUV rolling off the assembly line will be reqired to have a backup cam...But, at least it's better than requiring those annoying backup beepers!
The rule follows an outcry from consumer groups and families touched by tragic back-over accidents, especially those involving children.
Under the new rule, all vehicles will be required to provide drivers with a view 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. There are also requirements for image size and other factors that all but require rear-view cameras as the only solution that will meet the new requirements.
In a 2010 report, the DOT’s NHTSA said that each year 210 people die and 15,000 are injured in light-vehicle backup accidents. According to the NHTSA estimates, the new rule will save between 58 to 69 lives each year.
According to NHTSA's estimates, the installation of a rear visibility system will cost approximately $43 to $45 for vehicles already equipped with a suitable display screen, and between $132 and $142 for all other vehicles.
Do you think this is a good idea?

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