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Brandon Seiler's Blog on Cars

Ford engineer creates vibrating shift knob from Xbox 360 controller

If rookie Ford engineer, Zach Nelson had created a novelty vibrating shift knob on the payroll Alan Mulally might have told him to vibrate his things into a box.  Luckily Nelson was smart.  His wiggly shifter does much more than tickle palms to prompt gear shifts.  

Acura leaks a titillating teaser

When an unreleased car reaches a certain level of buzz-worthiness a snippet of its exhaust note can grab headlines.  Such a clip emerged late last month from Acura’s top secret lair.  The video barely includes five seconds of footage, but offers the Internet masses the first real glimpse of the upcoming NSX – a vehicle that promises to resurrect one of the greatest sports car nameplates of all time.  

2015 Ford Mustang caught on camera

When a flasher wraps himself in an ill-fitting leather overcoat most people aren’t curious to know what he plans on revealing.  The same can’t be said for the 2015 Ford Mustang.  Spy video shot this month shows the hotly anticipated muscle car being tested on public streets.  Although there isn’t much that can be discerned about the exterior styling, the audible sound of the engine speaks volumes about the mold-breaking changes Ford has in store for its epic performance machine.

Shotgun car used in assassination attempt

Czech pawn shop owner Radovan Krejcir watched as twelve shotgun barrels opened fire on his Mercedes-Benz.  The blasts peppered the passenger-side window of his bullet-proof car; an obvious attempt to assassinate the wanted business owner in the doldrums of his daily routine.  This is car news, as the assassin was a red Volkswagen Cross Polo. 

The car with $1 million dollar wheels

Outfitting a car with wheels that are more expensive than the whole vehicle is a classic ghetto-fabulous aesthetic.  This month Miami-based Latitude Wheels tweaked the automotive statement to an all new level with a Ferrari 458 Italia intended to serve as their flagship show car.  As of this week it’s looking like Latitude may have made a very expensive mistake.    

This is the word’s most extreme redneck truck jump

Of the countless Internet videos featuring rednecks endangering their lives with amateur truck jumps, only one deserves to be dubbed the most extreme.  I took the liberty to sort through hours of the grisly footage in an effort to find the backwoods man, woman or child befitting of the crown.  It wasn’t easy, but in the end one glorious twenty-seven-second clip stood out clearly among the rest.  Before skipping down to the video link, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the grading criteria every red neck truck jump should be judged by:

Arlen’s Transmission makes an epic viral ad

When local businesses set out to make a crappy low-budget television ad they have two basic options.  Most opt to stick with a safe run of the mill spot that features narration from a voice actor that may or may not be a robot, and a jingle that’s only catchy because it threatens to make your ears bleed.  Arlen’s Transmission of Burbank, California decided to take the road less traveled and sling together a commercial that celebrates basement-level production value with a self-deprecating sense of humor.  The result is an epic ad called “Shift It” starring the shop’s sexually-suggestive owner, ‘Goorgen’. Be forewarned:  Goorgen knows his way around a transmission as well as he does the persuasive art of innuendo.                

Is this the flying car we were promised?

When the United States put a man on the moon in 1969 it might not have seemed naïve to assume we’d be living like the Jetsons by now.  But for all the science-fiction lore that’s become reality since then, being able to make the daily commute in a flying car isn’t one of them.  By the looks of the advancements being made by aerospace company Terrafugia, the future of personal aviation might soon find its way into household garages, and if all goes according to plan, anyone who’s able to drive a car could easily take to the skies. 

Intel working on headlights that make rain invisible

If a new technology co-developed by Intel and Carnegie Mellon University catches on, modern cars could soon have the ability to render nighttime rainfall invisible from a driver’s view.  CNET reports the optical illusion is achieved by headlights that ditch the old bulb design for a computer-operated system that operates much as a projector does. 

Rant: Why parking lot etiquette matters

Driving a 1998 Subaru wagon with 205 thousand miles on it doesn’t put me in a hurry to get anywhere.  I find keeping a lackadaisical throttle foot to be an effective survival technique designed to milk every remaining mile out my noble Japanese steed.   It’s also indicative of my thrift-artist financial situation, which as it stands requires I shop religiously at Costco as if it were a giant welfare box store.

If I need groceries, I go to Costco.  If I need a shirt, I go to Costco.  If I need tires, I go to Discount Tire; Costco’s nitrogen-filled tires scare me.  But that doesn’t affect my general complacency when tooling around a Costco parking lot to find a vacant space, nor does it negate my outrage at the affront to my dignity that took place there recently. 

Indian man arrested for letting 9-year-old son drive his Ferrari

Kids are growing up faster and faster these days, especially when their parents encourage them to do so. Take Mohammed Nisham for example, who was arrested by Indian police this month and charged with endangering the life of a child and allowing a minor to drive. 

The arrest was sparked by a video of his 9-year-old son driving the family Ferrari F430 on public roads with his 7-year-old brother riding shotgun.  When the footage went viral and caused an outrage in India police intervened.  Nisham’s wife doesn’t seem to understand what all the concern is about.    

2013 Ford Flex is different by design

Every so often a car rolls down the pike that helps people just say no to minivans.  The Ford Flex is one of those rare examples that aren’t burrowing out a new genre of soccer mom-mobiles in the crossover segment.  With the utilitarian chops to comfortably accommodate three rows of six-footers, the off-beat retro styling of a hotrod station wagon, and an available 355hp V6, the Flex deserves to be celebrated as a family hauler that hasn’t given up on living a little.   

America’s next transportation secretary is…

When Ray LaHood announced early this year he would not return to serve a second term as the Department of Transportation Secretary, a door opened for Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx.  President Obama nominated the second-term Democrat Monday to pick up where LaHood will leave soon leave off.  The President is hoping Foxx’s impressive track record of overseeing successful transportation projects in Charlotte will translate to a national scale.   

Two NASCAR crewmembers charged with post-race assault

A boot to the groin is rarely well-received in a sporting event, especially when it’s perceived to be intentional.  After the conclusion of a Nationwide race at Richmond International Raceway Friday, driver Brian Scott approached Nelson Piquet Jr. in the pits to exchange unpleasantries over a collision the two were involved in. 

Seattle Policeman drives a 1970 Plymouth Satellite

Of all the bad reasons to commit a crime in Seattle, getting to ride in the back of this fully-restored 1970 Plymouth Satellite police car might be at the top of the list.  Officer Jim Ritter not only uses the car as a community relations tool; he also cruises it around the Emerald City on active duty.  Without air-conditioning or a police computer terminal, the 30-year veteran makes due with a 330hp “Super Commando” 383ci-V8 and a whole lot of cool.  

Mammuth Works RC car is scary big

The classic remote control car is a simple, battery powered plaything small enough to fit on the shelf of the kids’ aisle at a grocery store. The latest RC project of the crazy people at Mammuth Works would have a hard time fitting through the front door of most houses.  It’s a big boy toy dubbed the Rewarron.   

The Hurricane Sandy Car Auctions

New York City is trying to auction off the last 535 abandoned vehicles of more than 3,300 that were displaced during Hurricane Sandy.  To deal with the leftovers from the flood, NYC hired David R. Maltz auction house in Long Island to see if they could turn a profit from the orphaned cars.  Maltz made a total of 125 sales during the initial auction; proof he's working with a market worth catering towards. 

Icona Vulcano smolders at Shanghai Auto Show

When Chinese-Italian auto designer Icona set out to produce a rolling example of their design muscle they came up with the Vulcano.  Judging by the salivating crowds it attracted at the Shanghai Auto Show this month, there’s a good chance the hybrid supercar will see limited production.  Although with five models total being considered for development, most of the world's ultra-rich playboys will have to settle for more conventional rides, such as a Ferrari or Lamborghini. 

Formula E burns up streets of Los Angeles

Formula E is on a mission to proliferate electric cars and sustainability around the world.  To make the dream come true they’ve set out to create a global all-electric racing circuit designed to occupy the streets of major cities.  The concept appears to be gaining popularity:  This week Los Angeles Mayor Antionio Villaraigosa applauded as a Formula E electric racecar pulled donuts in front of his city’s Department of Water and Power headquarters. 

VIDEO: NHRA Funny Car explodes, car body flies into stands

As Robert Hight rocketed down the drag strip at zMax Dragway in Charlotte Saturday, his funny car’s engine exploded, ejecting the car’s carbon fiber body high into the air.  Video shows the lightweight piece of wreckage falling like a torn kite in the breeze before landing on a pedestrian walkway, directly in front of spectator seating.

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About this blog

Brandon Seiler is a bonafide car guy, member of the Northwest Auto Press Association and proud Washingtonian. He covers the latest auto news, technology, and pretty much anything having to do with car culture. You don't have to like cars to read his blogs, you just have to be able to read.

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