June 13, 2010

Found! The Gyro-X Car on YouTube

Wow! Thanks to John Windsor for contacting me about his amazing find and waking up the Gyro Car Blog. John has the Gyro-X Car! See it running (although not on the gyro-ocntrolled system):

Here it is on YouTube!


Stephen Cobb
The Gyro-X Files


April 10, 2010

My 10 Year-old Jeep Grand Cherokee Turns 100K

Okay, so this is not exactly monumental news from the road, but it is a cool milestone. My ten year-old Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo passed 100,000 miles on my drive back from Philadelphia yesterday evening.

I was going to take a picture of the odometer at precisely the 100,000 mile mark but pulling over on the side of Interstate 81 in the dark for a snapshot didn't feel like a responsible thing to do.

The vehicle is still running smoothly and continues to deliver a very comfortable ride. For those who frown on SUVs I should point out that a. There's no way you can get up and down our driveway in the Winter without a vehicle that has a 4 wheel drive system that can be locked into low range, and b. The carbon footprint of continuing to run this vehicle versus buying a brand new vehicle that is more fuel efficient is an interesting calculation to make.

January 23, 2010

Artist Cuts a Hummer in Half: And Jeremy Dean's just getting started!

How do you turn a General Motors Hummer H2 into a green machine? Cut it in half! That's what wild and crazy Brooklyn artist and filmmaker Jeremy Dean has done. Check out the awesome pictures and video here.

Frankly, I don't know if I should be blogging this amazing feat here, or on my arts blog, or on my personal blog (I'm proud to be able to count Jeremy as a close personal friend). What I do know is that you should really check out Jeremy's blog: http://backtothefuturama.blogspot.com. Here's a thought: I will focus this post on the automotive aspects of the project.

First, if you need serious custom car work done, it's clear you should head to Slicks Garage in Palmetto, Florida (their web site is coming soon but they are open for business now at 923 Fifth Street West, phone number 941-776-7298). Jeremy can't say enough good things about these guys. He had planned to just drop the Hummer off after he drove it back from Orlando but these guys were so stoked about the project they went straight to work, for 36 hours straight!

[The garage is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.]

Second, one of the many points of this project is human ingenuity and fortitude in the face of financial hardship.That's the spirit that created the original Hoovercarts and Bennett Buggies: horse-drawn cars used for transportation during the Great Depression. Waste not! was a motto of the times and Jeremy is not going to waste any of this Hummer. Rumor has it the motor and transmission have already found a new home in a vehicle restoration project.

But I don't want to steal any more of Jeremy's thunder. Follow the progress on his blog. Tell people about the project. And get ready for the big day, when Jeremy drives the horse-drawn Hummer into New York City in March, a rolling symbol of so many things that are messed up in the world today.

(If you want to help maximize the impact of this project please consider joining me in the KickStart program.)

January 13, 2010

Happy New Year! Could it be a turning point?

Solent NewsAs 2010 starts off and Detroit hosts the big auto show, some people are looking to signs of increased car sales as a spark of hope for economic recovery. But what about the long term effect of selling more cars? There are now more cars being sold in China than in the US, and the effects of this trend could be killer, literally.

I just calculated that if the number of vehicles per person in China reaches the level of, for example, the UK--by no means the most "vehicle-rich" country in the world, what with its public transportation system and high vehicle taxes--then China would become home to somewhere in excess of 6 billion vehicles, versus the 150 million vehicles in China today. Remember the smog before the Olympics?

To put it a different way, China would have three times the number of vehicles in America today. And if the Chinese "achieve" American levels of vehicle density, we could be looking at 5 times as many cars in China as there are in America. Sales opportunity for the car makers or death sentence for the planet?

Happy New Year!