How many of you remember this “two-faced” car?

I was amused to come across a photo essay about the Zundapp Janus, a German “bubble car” from the late 1950’s. The Roman legendary god Janus, for whom it was named, had two faces, one looking ahead to the future, and one behind to the past.  The car had two doors, one in front of the driver, the other behind the rear seat.  The two seats faced forward and aft, with the engine between them.  The car was terribly underpowered, able to reach only about 50 mph (probably downhill, with a following wind), and had very little interior space if filled with its maximum

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“The Thousand Dollar Windshield”

That’s the title of the latest article at Eric Peters’ blog.  He points out that modern technology in our vehicles is costing all of us a lot more when it comes to repairs, even for something as ostensibly simple as replacing a windshield. Embedded in the glass – part of the “assembly” – is saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety technology. It’s usually part of the rearview mirror, technically – but that’s now part of the windshield assembly in more and more new cars. It’s no longer the simple – and generic/universal – glue it in place rearview mirror cars used to have. The rearview mirror is almost an

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Move over, Ben-Hur!

Reader Steven S. sent me the link to this video of an Australian police motorcycle display team from 1933. Did any American or other display teams do something similar?  If so, please let us know in Comments, and if possible, provide a link to the video or report. Peter

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The “California Tax” on all US motorists

Eric Peters points out the effect of California’s ecological dictates about vehicles on the rest of the country – particularly our wallets. California regulators have acquired de facto control over the cars you’re allowed to buy – even if you don’t live in California – by decreeing their own California-specific mileage and emissions standards. These end up having the force of national standards because the car industry – which wants to sell cars in California – can’t afford to build cars for just California and then another set of cars for the rest of the country. So they build all their cars to meet

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A blast from my motorsport past

I’ve mentioned a few times that I used to do rallying in South Africa when I was (much) younger (and a lot less wise).  I drove a Ford Escort Mk. 2 most of the time, with a two-door body and a 1,600cc engine with a manual transmission (stick shift, for Americans).  It had a few components replaced with upgraded versions for sporting use, but basically it was pretty much the same vehicle you could buy off any Ford dealer’s lot.  It’s probably long since been scrapped, but I remember it with fondness. I was therefore very happy to come across this video

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Everything you ever wanted to know about car bombs, but were afraid to ask

Hugo Kamaan has produced an in-depth report for the Middle East Institute titled “Car Bombs As Weapons Of War – ISIS’s development of SVBIEDs, 2014-19“.  The link is to an Adobe Acrobat document in .PDF format.  The executive summary reads: The suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) has been one of ISIS’s most powerful and versatile weapons. The group consistently adapted the SVBIED design based on operational environment and other factors, with modifications in armor, payload organization, color, and detonation technology. Advanced SVBIED designs have been distributed between many ISIS provinces, not only within Iraq and Syria, but also globally

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Doofus Of The Day #1,047

Today’s award goes to an Australian stoner. An allegedly stoned and unlicensed Melbourne teenager, accused of ramming a police car and breaking an officer’s leg, has been granted bail. Benjamin Saurini, 19, previously said he couldn’t see the police vehicle because his car windows had fogged up from smoking cannabis after a session with friends on Friday night. Saurini allegedly took off when he thought he was going to be “jumped” by officers on patrol, but panicked and side-swiped their car. He is accused of pinning a senior constable against the car, breaking his leg. Saurini allegedly read a news article

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So much for trust

There’s a growing groundswell of opinion on the left that businesses should not do background checks on their customers – or even on their employees.  In fact, in some jurisdictions, laws have been passed making it illegal to do criminal background checks on prospective renters of property, or certain classes of employees, because this is believed to “disadvantage” people of color.  (The fact that people of color are statistically more likely to commit certain crimes is, apparently, neither here nor there.  That’s not a racist statement, either – it’s a factual one.  See the FBI crime statistics for details.) Well, one company

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A bit wobbly, perhaps, but ingenious!

I had to laugh when I saw this photograph on Gab: I can just see some poor tractor driver deciding that he’s going to keep the rain and dust out, no matter what!  I’m not sure about tight turns, though.  That cab’s got to be delicately balanced in position.  Turn too sharply, and a support might shear, and dump the occupants and the cab in the dirt.  As for practicality . . . well, one can’t have it all! Peter

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