Did Some Unknown Rando Invent Stop-Start Technology In 1969?

I think, over the course of a number of posts, we’ve established a few crucial things: first, my bowels are so regular the atomic clock people at the US Naval Observatory occasionally use them for calibration, and second, I have a huge stack of ‘60s era Popular Science magazines by my toilet. These two facts conspired… »10/16/15 4:54pm10/16/15 4:54pm

Volkswagen's History Of Emissions Deception Dates Back To The 1960s

We’re still in the throes of Dieselgate, that smoky, messy tale of Volkswagen’s disturbingly clever gaming of the EPA’s testing and emission regulations. But it’s not Volkswagen’s first time playing fast and loose with claims about emission controls, as we learn in two examples from the 1960s and ‘70s. »10/01/15 1:43pm10/01/15 1:43pm

That Victorian-Living Couple Is Just Playing Dress-Up Until They Get A Real Victorian Car

It seems like everyone’s talking about that woman who fired up her Difference Engine and keyed in a long, self-satisfied story about how she and her husband live like it’s 1880. That’s fine by me. But, while reading more about them, I found references to a “truck.” That just won’t do. But I’m not here to judge — I’m… »9/11/15 10:00pm9/11/15 10:00pm

Let's Tour The VW Autostadt Museum So You Can See How Clever It Is

The massive VW factory at Wolfsburg is nothing like I imagined. Sure, the building itself is familiar enough from old pictures, long massive brick blocks sprawling under four massive smokestacks. But I sure as hell didn’t expect the factory to be somehow surrounded by a massive, lovely park. But it is. »8/20/15 9:25pm8/20/15 9:25pm

Up Close With The 'First' Rear-View Mirror And Two Secret Facts About It

If you read any of my posts last week, you may know I was in Indianapolis setting up my Lancia-controlled-huge-Pole-Position installation. While I was there, I was lucky enough to get a quick look in the Indy 500’s museum, which is where I found what’s normally considered the first rear-view mirror ever. Except it’s a… »8/10/15 1:55pm8/10/15 1:55pm

This Photo From 1878 Is Likely The First Picture Of A Racecar

See that big, ungainly mass of wheels and boiler and smokestack there? That beast is the direct ancestor to every hyper-advanced F1 car, every NASCAR brute, every rallycross hot hatch, every racecar that exists today or ever has existed. Because that beast is very likely the first purpose-built racecar ever, and it’s… »7/20/15 10:30pm7/20/15 10:30pm

What Would These Famous Pre-Automobile People Drive?

It’s a holiday weekend coming up, and most of us are already planning our drunken bender logistics, so all actual productive thought is long gone. So let’s do something goofier with our brains as we ride out the day, like picking what car someone who died long before cars would have driven! Could be fun! Right? Maybe? »7/02/15 10:00pm7/02/15 10:00pm

The First Car To Be Repo'd Was Also The First Car In A Police Chase

One of my personal crusades is to raise awareness of the fact that Mercedes-Benz did not invent the car like they claim to, and that automobiles have been around far longer than most people realize — viable cars have been around since at least the early 1800s. That’s why I’m so delighted to tell you about the first… »6/30/15 2:53pm6/30/15 2:53pm