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Cars… and Disaster

June 19, 2008

This post was going to be about new “outrageous” cars, the cars that auto makers either produce one of, show off at auto shows, and then never put into production because they’re just too cool, or that cost so much money that you and I and everyone we know will never ever see them? Yes, those.

But then I was catching up on some long-overdue blog reading last night and I learned that our good friends Sster and Attic Man (their noms de blog) have become victims of the Midwest flooding.

I mentioned our local paper yesterday, the Free Press, which published this picture (from the news wires, naturally):


The Spouse noticed it first, doing a double take on the grainy black-and-white picture of houses that had floated downstream like flotsam and jetsam, washed up against a bridge trestle. Turns out that Sster and Attic Man’s house in Cedar Rapids is very near that bridge. They haven’t been allowed back to their house yet, so no one really knows what’s going on and how bad the damage is. If you know Sster and Attic Man, check out Sster’s blog and zing them an e-mail of support.

But, because life goes on, and because thinking about flood victims half the country away who you can’t do anything for at the moment is a sure recipe for depression, I guess we should look at a few of the outrageous cars.

First up is a video from BMW’s new GINA project:


I especially liked this bit from Chris Bangle: “Emotion is really the added value to this. I mean, one way is saying you get better function or you get better alternative ways of doing things… but really we want to achieve a higher emotional plane out of this.” Because when I first watched the video, I had a number of OMG! moments.

Having owned a convertible, I’m extremely hesitant about the GINA’s road handling, though. Even tightly-stretched and clamped down convertible roofs flap and flutter in the wind as you drive the car with the top up. I’m left wondering how the GINA’s skin will react to speed and atmosphere, especially with the split hood (which is incredibly cool).

The Spouse sent me this link to a Yahoo story about outrageous cars, and many of them are very cool. But one in particular caught my attention, and it wasn’t even included as a picture in the article! (Bad, lazy Yahoo!) Here’s the Jeep Renegade:


If you’ve ever played the game Halo, you recognize this as a blatant rip-off of the Warthog vehicle from the game (minus the chain gun, of course).


But while looking for the Jeep, I came across this concept car from Volkswagen, and I think it’s a much cooler variation on the same theme:


And so, as gas prices head for the $6 mark, and as our friends try to figure out what to do now that their living room has become a sewage-filled aquarium, we can at least dream about better times and better, cooler cars.

(I’m still waiting, however, for the flying cars I was promised we’d have by the year 2000.)

Categories: Blog News, Technology
  1. June 22, 2008 at 5:57 pm | #1

    Not to de-disasterize your post (as if one could possibly accomplish that in Cedar Rapids at the moment), but the houses in question are actually houseboats from the community upstream. But STILL. It is crazy in CR right now. It’s no Katrina, but it’s bad.

  2. Attic Man
    June 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm | #2

    It’s my understanding (based on snippets of talk radio and Fox News heard in gas stations in the months following Hurricane Katrina) that FEMA is going to buy me one of those sweet rides. When they do I’ll congratulate them on having done a heckuva [sic] job.

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