This Electric Car Runs On TweetsS

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Wired: Autopia, Yahoo! Autos and Autoblog.

Electrified, Student-Built Karmann Ghia Runs on Tweets

Hopefully, we can give this project a little juice.

This year, the team put an electric drivetrain in a 1967 Karmann Ghia. Next week, they’re driving it from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. for a chance to meet elected officials and raise awareness about education. To make sure their voices are heard, they’ve attached an Arduino to the electric drivetrain and programmed it to let the car move forward only when there’s social media buzz about the project. Minddrive calls it “social fuel,” and it provides an important lesson for students: If you want people to care about what you’re doing, you have to make sure they know about it.

Pawning your Porsche, the latest trend for hard-up elitesMotoramicThis Electric Car Runs On TweetsS

A great get from our dear friend Justin Hyde about a high-end pawn shop that gives short-term loans backed by the types of high quality assets that rich people tend to acquire (Porsches) to cover the sudden needs that rich people have (not paying taxes).

The average Borro customer takes a six-month loan averaging about $17,000 — compared to the $150 average of an everyday pawnbroker — although repeat clients tend to borrow even more. And Aitken has to use his costs to pay for appraising, storing and caring for the valuables his clients hand over, from cars to paintings to a few well-known Hollywood award statues and even Olympic gold medals. Most of the 150 or so vehicles Borro stores at any given time run to the upscale modern exotic — "quite a lot of Ferraris," along with Bentleys and Porsches — but Aitken says the company often lends against rare classic cars if it feels certain about a vehicle's true value, like the Formula 1 car it once took in Britain.

Project Ugly Horse: Part VIIIAutoblogThis Electric Car Runs On TweetsS

Zach Bowman's "Project Ugly Horse" may be my favorite ongoing AutoBlog feature ever, due in no small part to it also being a very Jalopnik pursuit. Of course, I've decided to keep the 2.3 in my '80s era turbo Ford BECAUSE I'M TOUGH LIKE THAT. And also much slower and less mechanically inclined.

For reasons that will forever remain a mystery to me, the good people at Ford Racing Performance Parts have kept a close eye on my beater Mustang throughout its progression from immobile eyesore to immobile eyesore with an independent rear suspension. A few months back, they reached out to me with a few questions. What were my plans for the car? What engine was going under the hood? More importantly, did I want to try my hand at putting an EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the ludicrous Focus ST in the engine bay instead of the ancient 2.3T?