Monday, January 27, 2020

Widebody Volkswagen Beetle Is Real, Also Absurd

These days, it's only natural for a build to be based on a rendering, since this is one facile way for the owner of a factory machine to test various custom incarnations before actually commissioning one. However, things are the other way around with the Volkswagen Beetle sitting before us - while this is a rendering, it is based on an actual car.
 3 photos
Widebody VW Beetle (rendering based on build)Widebody VW Beetle
"So the rendering is way more extreme than the real deal, right?" Wrong. In fact, it's pretty hard to tell the difference between the two. And if you're not so sure, you can compare the two thanks to the Instagram posts at the bottom of the page.

The first post, which comes from digital artist Khyzyl Saleem, is a fully-textured 3D model of the wacky Bug. As for the ones below it, these portray the actual car. For the record, this car belongs to the collection of Juca Viapri, a Mexican social media star with over 5 million YouTube subscribers and north of 3.3 million Instagram followers.

From the rusty take, to that rear spoiler, which could be mistaken for some sort of shed pillar, this Vee-Dub is not easy on the eyes. Then again, even the artist who decided to bring the contraption into the virtual world admits this.

"We all have different taste when it comes to building cars, and it's something we should be respectful of. Which is purely the reason why I wanted to model @jucaviapri's Beetle," the pixel wielder explains in the post showcasing the Porsche sibling we have here.

In fact, the parts of the vehicle that are the most difficult to digest might just be the most important attention grabbers. Looking past the said spoiler, I'm referring to bits such as the "diffuser", as well as to the negative camber angle of the rear wheels, which seem to scream "function follows form". Oh, and if we also factor in the metal work up front, the whole "aero" kit looks a bit like a medieval armor...

PS: All those who felt that renderings portraying a Rauh-Welt Begriff Beetle were too much now have a new standard to judge by.


Sunday, January 26, 2020


$1M worth of Corvettes trapped inside flattened buildings after blast

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Among those picking up the pieces after Friday's deadly explosion is the owner of Houston Corvette Service.

Gordon Andrus' business is right across the street from Watson Grinding & Manufacturing, the site of the deadly blast. Two employees at Watson were killed.

Due to the explosion, two of the buildings Andrus owns were flattened, trapping the Corvettes inside. In fact, he says the cars are worth $1 million.

"Mine are flattened. It's sitting there with about a million dollars in cars right now. We restore old Corvettes, and it's full of what used to be really nice cars," Andrus said.

No one was inside the buildings at the time of the explosion.

Andrus said he's grateful no one was hurt at his facility.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Photos Show Dozens of Classic Cars Abandoned in Collapsed Train Tunnel

It's human nature to bury the dead. Maybe that's why it's so eerie to look through this collection of photos showing a group of classic cars rotting away in a disused, collapsed train tunnel—it's like peering into a crypt, disturbing the spirits within.
There's a long story behind these leprosic husks and their resting place, a ruined piece of late-Victorian infrastructure in northwest England. After the trains stopped running decades ago, the tunnel was converted into a subterranean car repair shop, then subsequently abandoned in 2012 when a large ceiling collapse threatened the integrity of the entire complex.
Everything was left behind—customer cars, old projects, tools and equipment, and older abandoned vehicles that predated the shop itself—and the place was sealed off. Recently, a local photographer named Kyle May got access to the tunnel from its current owner and agreed to share his photos with The Drive on the condition that we don't publish its exact location or the full backstory to help safeguard it from scavengers. You'll notice that some of the chambers look surprisingly clean and well-lit—that's because the property was actually being used to film a movie at the time.

Wernher von Braun: his story told. "Missile to Moon", documentary. PBS (2012)

The Munsters Drag-U-La Coffin Car and Koach

Dodge Makes Controversial Change To Charger And Challenger

Hot stuff coming through!
There are some things in this world that are hard to explain. Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger owners choosing to keep the factory-installed splitter guard protectors on their vehicles following delivery is one of them. Fiat Chrysler first began installing these plastic protectors on its muscle cars back in 2015, specifically for the SRT Charger and Challenger to protect them during shipping. Makes sense, right? Of course. Thing is, owners opted not to remove them.

Car and Driver researched this matter further and, not surprisingly, it's a polarizing topic within the Charger and Challenger community. Heck, there's even a Facebook group solely dedicated to the practice. As of now, it has 12,000 members.

Dealerships are technically supposed to remove the splitter guards before customers take delivery, but this isn't always being done. The plastic guards even have written on them the following: "TO BE REMOVED BY DEALER." Why aren't dealers doing so? Because some are being pressured to keep them installed by customers. Go figure. Many owners don't seem to be bothered by these yellow pieces of plastic at the front of their muscle cars, even if they contrast with the body color. Protection is protection, right? Not necessarily.

Dodge and SRT design chief Mark Trostle previously stated owners are "just ruining the paint." FCA, which continues to actively encourage owners to remove the guards, has decided to act. Starting now, those splitter guards will no longer be bright yellow but rather hot pink.

Because "they weren't part of the original design," FCA sees no reason to keep them yellow, a color that was apparently randomly chosen. Chances are muscle car enthusiasts will not be fans of hot pink. Even though FCA is doing what it can to discourage this annoying trend, it's too early to tell whether the switch to pink will work. The automaker hasn't ruled out changing the guard color yet again, perhaps to black to avoid contrast, if the practice continues. This would be admitting defeat because the switch to hot pink may not change owners' minds, but it's worth a shot.

Meanwhile, the online debate continues.