The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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Apple's Secret Car Testing Center Is Getting Complaints About Late Night 'Motor Noises'

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It’s believed that Apple has a shell company in a building in Sunnyvale, Calif. with a nice big garage area to work on their also-secretive automotive projects. Recently a neighbor of that building has issued a noise complaint to the city, citing “motor noises.” What’s going on?

AppleInsider reports this alleged shell company that the building is registered to is called SixtyEight Research, a name that could possibly be referencing the Motorola 68000 that was the CPU of the first Macs.


There’s almost no information about the company, which cannot be officially confirmed to be related to Apple, but it is known that the company paid to import a 1957 Fiat Multipla. That would be a fantastic inspiration for any car Apple is thinking about designing.


Let’s get back to the noise complaint, though, because this brings up all kinds of interesting issues. AppleInsider obtained a copy of the complaint filed with the city last year which read, in part:

“(Do) there have to (be) motor noises at 11:00 p.m. at night like last night?” the resident wrote to the city of Sunnyvale. “Even with the windows closed I could still hear it.”

So, here’s the thing: every report about Apple’s interest and development of a car had to do with them developing an electric car. Nobody has suggested that Apple would be working on an internal-combustion car, but this noise complaint makes me question that.

There’s simply no way in hell any neighbor, especially one with “windows closed,” could hear even the loudest electric motor running. They just don’t really produce any “motor noises,” just some humming, at best. Maybe a squeak or something if they need lubricating.


But loud “motor noises” sure as hell suggests an ICE being worked on. Now, there’s a lot of possibilities here. Apple could be using a conventional gasoline car for systems integration and testing, they could be using normal cars for their CarPlay platform (though they could do that on their own campus.)


Or—and this is my pet theory—it could be just Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive working on his personal sand rail project. In which case I like to imagine screams of “Yeah yeah yeah yeah YEAH! Fuckin’ a, man! Listen to that shit! Boomboomboomboomboom!” accompanied the motor sounds in the garage.

It’s definitely also possible the resident just heard something else, or another car noise from nearby. We don’t know yet, but if you know anything else about that site or SixtyEight Research—including these weird late-night noises—email us at


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