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Track Tuesday: Name That Track

Robert Emslie October 20, 2015 Track Tuesday

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Welcome to Track Tuesday where you are asked to identify a (maybe) famous race or test track from just one closely-cropped aerial image. This week, it’s a horse shoe. Good luck!

Image: ©2015 Redusernab/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Redusernab Asks: What’s Your Favorite “Really Slow” Car?

Robert Emslie October 20, 2015 Redusernab Asks

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Yesterday we talked a little bit about the Tesla Model S, which is one of the quickest cars your can buy. Well, maybe you can buy one, it’s actually way outside of my reach financially. I could, I suppose, if I wanted to live in it too. In fact, I sadly can’t afford most quick cars, and the one that I can – old Foxstangs and the like – are pretty scary ways to get your speedy feet wet.

That’s why I have come to love slow cars. In fact, pretty much everything I own is pretty much middle of the road when it comes to getting down that very same road. Of course speed and quickness aren’t the only ways to enjoy your time behind the wheel, and I can say that some of the slowest cars I’ve ever driven, which include an Isetta and a 2CV, have been among the most fun.

Do you agree that slow cars can be fun? If so, do you have a preferred putt-around? What is your favorite slow car?

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Last Call: Dogs and Cats Edition

Robert Emslie October 19, 2015 Last Call

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Shh, don’t tell them. They don’t know it’s a Jaguar.

Last Call indicates the end of Redusernab’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

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Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

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J.G. Ballard’s 1973 novel Crash was considered unfilmable due to its necessarily graphic nature, in both the coital bits and the automotive carnage. Never say never, and in 1996 Canadian director David Cronenberg – the master of the lurid and fetishistic – released his film version of Ballard’s novel. Both novel and film concern a car crash victim who is inexorably drawn to a charismatic leader of crash-reenacting sexual fetishists. I’m a firm believer in what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own roped-off side street, but this movie really freaked me out.

Of course if you’re looking to freak out audiences your go-to lead is always going to be James Spader and here he is the main character, named after the book’s author, James Ballard. Holly Hunter and Elias Koteas also show up, act weird, and make you wonder, “what the hell, dude?” As you would expect this isn’t a movie you let the kids watch, and you probably would n’t want to actually see it with your parents or anybody else either as it’s just that discomfortingly bent.

Still, there’s some cool cars here, and a reenactment of James Dean’s accident that’s cringe-worthy for the metal not the weirdo sex. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, but today isn’t considered to be on of Cronenberg’s better offerings. It took me a while to find a trailer for the film that wasn’t age-restricted, and even the one I found isn’t really appropriate for work so be forewarned. Otherwise, make the jump and head down the rabbit hole. … Continue Reading

Redusernab Asks: Tesla’s Self-Driving Mode- Yeah! or Nah?

Robert Emslie October 19, 2015 Redusernab Asks

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Tesla’s all-electric Model S is undeniably good looking, mind-blowingly quick, exceptionally friendly to the environment, and possesses a range on batteries that rivals gasoline engined cars. Is there any way that Tesla could make the S even more appealing? Well, what if it could drive itself? That’s just what last week’s software upgrade allows models built since September to do, and I wonder what that means for the rest of us.

If you’re like me, then the Tesla is far out of reach economically. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to sample the cars at a couple of events and came away impressed. I haven’t driven – or more accurately, been driven by – one since the upgrade, however. The cars don’t do all the driving for you now, and Tesla (or their lawyer) says you still need to keep your hands on the wheel while the car’s doing its thing.

Radar-controlled cruise control has been a thing for a while now, and a number of high-end cars have lane detection too. What Tesla has done is combine a lot of existing components together and turned them loose to make that next trip to Vegas a far less taxing ride. What we are wondering is, do you think this is a good thing? Do you more trust the Tesla’s computers than their drivers to stay in lane and not run into the back end of you in a panic stop? What do you think about Tesla’s self-driving cars, yeah! or nah?

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Last Call: Cool Cat Edition

Robert Emslie October 16, 2015 Last Call

James Brown

Look, you may think that you are cool, but are you James Brown resting on his Lincoln Mark III in front of his LearJet 23 at LAX cool? I didn’t think so.

Last Call indicates the end of Redusernab’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

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Mystery Car

Robert Emslie October 16, 2015 Mystery Car

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Do you have a pumpkin on your front porch, or outside your front door? I do. I love Halloween and decking out the house in the accoutrements of the season, including a soon to be jack-o-lantern.

Today’s Mystery Car® is likewise fit for the fall, decked out as it is in the earthy tones befitting the season. And, all we need to know is the make and model for the win. It’s as easy as fall-ing down!

Image: ©2015 Redusernab/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Redusernab Asks: What’s the Worst Easy to Build, Hard to Fix Car Component You’ve Ever Come Across?

Robert Emslie October 16, 2015 Redusernab Asks

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So my 1998 Volvo V90 has sprung a leak in its heater core. That’s not an uncommon occurrence, especially in a car that’s rocking over 180,000 miles, and as such you’d think the people who designed it would have made the heater core a fairly accessible component. You’d think wrong.

Now that picture above isn’t my car – hell, that’s not even a 900-series – but it does show what I have to look forward to if I want to have a working heater in the car once again. Right now I have simply bypassed the core with a copper U-bend in the engine bay. Still, it brings to mid the question, why do car makers engineer their products so that consumables are easy to assemble, but damn-near impossible to fix when they are broken?

A lot of effort has been put by manufacturers into making common maintenance items like dipsticks, power steering caps, and the like, easily identifiable under the hood, but there’s still this expectation that what they screw together they expect to stay screwed together in perpetuity. Here’s a news flash, that isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s almost never the case. I mean, don’t get me started on what a pain in the ass it is to change the spark plugs on a Toyota Sienna. What about you, what’s the most inscrutable repair you’ve ever had to accomplish? Whats the worst “easy to build but hard to fix”component you’ve ever come across?

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Last Call: Arby’s Edition

Robert Emslie October 15, 2015 Last Call

Arby's

There are several likely explanations for what’s going on here:

  1. There could have been no rest stop for the past 80 miles and this was the best way the driver could find to satisfy nature’s call and still stay true to their non-littering ethics and not stinking up a borrowed car
  2. This is an alien life form, cleverly disguised to traverse the nation undetected (nobody suspects the Arby’s bag) in search of natural resources for its dying planet
  3. It’s really a bag full of Arby’s

Last Call indicates the end of Redusernab’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

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Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie October 15, 2015 Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!

This week’s question: What car is generally regarded as the first coil spring chassis Cobra?

If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you are right. … Continue Reading

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