Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from The Truth About Cars, Bloomberg Businessweek and Mental_Floss.
Editorial: Get Ready For Massive Recalls Driven By Modular Platforms - The Truth About Cars
Toyota is recalling more than 6,000,000 vehicles. That may sound like a lot, but in the future, it may sound like a pittance. That's because so many different cars share parts these days, and that engineering trend will only continue to grow.
Volkswagen's MQB architecture is an oft-cited example of this, largely because it takes a holistic approach to modularity. Much like Lego bricks, different "modules" can be assembled to create different vehicles. MQB is capable of spawning everything from a B-segment Volkswagen Polo to a D-segment Volkswagen Passat to an Audi TT sports car to a Volkswagen Touran minivan. Only a small number of "hard points" like the dimension from the center line of the front wheel to the pedal box, or the engine mounts, are fixed.
Within these modules are a high level of common parts, designed to be used across the entire range of MQB vehicles. This can include everything from whole powertrains to braking systems to smaller components that could be shared across a range of small to mid-size vehicles – which is, in theory, a truly vast quantity.
Font War: Inside the Design World's $20 Million Divorce - Bloomberg Businessweek
As car nuts, we're huge fans of all types of design. That includes typeface design, which makes it incredible that two of the world's biggest typeface designers are splitting up.
Not quite. In January, Frere-Jones filed a lawsuit against Hoefler, saying that their company was not actually a partnership, but a long con in which Hoefler had tricked him into signing over the rights to all of his work, cheating Frere-Jones out of his half of the business. "In the most profound treachery and sustained exploitation of friendship, trust and confidence, Hoefler accepted all the benefits provided by Frere-Jones while repeatedly promising Frere-Jones that he would give him the agreed equity, only to refuse to do so when finally demanded," the complaint charges. Frere-Jones is asking a court to grant him $20 million.
The Rise and Fall of the Bullpen Car - Mental_Floss
Older baseball fans may remember that back in the day, relief pitchers wouldn't have to make a long, undignified walk out from the bullpen. They'd take a special little car, and they were often elaborate works of art themselves. Alas, nowadays pitchers are too fat, and probably need the walk.
The impetus for the car might have been the size of the old Cleveland Stadium. Because it was built for mixed use by both baseball and football teams, the stadium's original baseball field wound up being far larger than many other ball parks and an inner fence eventually had to be put up to cut down the size of the outfield. The car might have been a valuable time-saver when pitchers came out in the middle of a game.
Over the years, other teams, regardless of their stadium size, began introducing their own versions of the bullpen car—from golf carts topped with gigantic baseballs or caps, to the Yankees' pinstriped Datsun and the Mariners' tugboat-on-wheels.