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Roadside Route 66: Combine City

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Roadside Route 66: Combine City

In the middle of vast dusty stretches of tumbleweeds and mobile homes in Amarillo, Texas sits a plot of land with a bunch of vehicles buried in the ground, noses pointed towards the heavens. No, it’s not Cadillac Ranch. It’s Combine City. Read more>

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Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again

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Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again

This week will be my last in New York City. After a year and a half battered by hurricanes, endless winter and round-the-clock days of slowly aging in front of a laptop screen, I'm packing up and heading out west to settle in Redondo Beach, California.

My car has seen very little action since moving from LA to NYC in 2012. That's about to change. Read more>

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Volkswagen Has No Female Engineers, According to Super Bowl Spot

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Volkswagen Has No Female Engineers, According to Super Bowl Spot

Volkswagen has a history of Super Bowl ad excellence, but last night's "Wings" spot struck a sour note with many who were understandably bothered by this sausage fest of an execution.

The German brand tells us that their cars are now more reliable. As a previous owner of a late 90s always-broken Jetta, this focus to shift negative brand perception makes sense.

In the spot, the father excitedly points out the moment the odometer rolls over to 100,000, telling his daughter that every time a VW reaches this milestone, "a German engineer gets his wings." (emphasis: mine)

This implies that all German engineers are male. As the ad plays out, we see that all of the engineers shown are, in fact, guys - the one exception being a female engineer in the elevator whose ass is accidentally slapped by the freshly-erect wings of her male coworker.

Now, this isn't all VW's fault. The company does have very successful female engineers. But they're too busy kicking ass and taking names at the highest level on the race track to be bothered with silly wingy thingies.

Maybe instead of focusing on an amusing, cute gimmick for the Super Bowl, Volkswagen could focus more on celebrating the inspiring stories they already have within their company. During the biggest sporting event of the year, who wouldn't want to see fast-paced Le Mans ad celebrating dedication, courage and ground-breaking victory? 

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How a Stuntman Proved Human Drivers are Better Than Drone Cars

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How a Stuntman Proved Human Drivers are Better Than Drone Cars

Google engineers will tell you that one day robot-controlled cars will be able to drive better and safer than humans. One year ago, in a stunt for Hot Wheels, driver Greg Tracy proved just how far off those robots really are.

Hot Wheels released their behind the scenes documentary on last year's Double Loop Dare stunt at the X Games. In it, Hot Wheels VP Felix Holst narrates the story of how the stunt came to life. The math and engineering were certainly impressive - it took a team of 11 - including a NASA engineer, roller coaster designer and Navy pilot - to design and build the 6-story split loop.

When it came time for testing, the team had a custom-fabricated stripped-down Mitsubishi drone car that would be driven remotely to ensure that the stunt would work. After months of preparation, time and money - the team anxiously watched as the car got up to speed on the ramp, hit the loop, and crashed miserably.

It was a disheartening moment, but it proved that all of the science and engineering can't give driverless cars the one element that only a driver brings - the human element.  Read more>

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Now You Can Build (and Destroy) Your Favorite Hot Wheels Cars

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Now You Can Build (and Destroy) Your Favorite Hot Wheels Cars

From the company that brought you the Porsche 911 GT3 RS that kept me sane during a snow storm comes a new line of Team Hot Wheels vehicles, mini-figs and play sets created in partnership with Mattel.

For those who are fans of Team Hot Wheels, this toy line is actually the only one featuring the Team Hot Wheels drivers - brought to life as mini-figs with detailed fire suits and helmets, miniature replicas of Troy Lee's original designs. Read more>

 

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Now Your Kid Can Afford a Cooler Car Than You

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Now Your Kid Can Afford a Cooler Car Than You

Remember when you were a kid, and you scooted around town in the adorable, rotationally molded wonder that was the Cozy Coupe? Remember how awesome that was? Remember how, at that age, you thought it was the pinnacle of automotive excellence?

Kids these days have it way better than you ever did. Read more>

 

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Building a Porsche 911 GT3 RS

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Building a Porsche 911 GT3 RS

To most people, the name "Mega Bloks" conjures up memories of big, chunky, brightly-colored building blocks in a clear plastic carrying bag - the types of toys meant for young children before they hone their motor skills enough to graduate to LEGO. The brand is thought by many to be second-tier, the "knock off" to the company that brought us LEGO Batman, LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Harry Potter - to name a few.

Mega Bloks had developed a line in partnership with the Need for Speed franchise, and the sets are a true car lover's dream. They're proportionally accurate, complete with the perfect balance of visible blockiness and smooth plastic finishes to ensure the finished products reflect the cars they were designed after.

The one set I hadn't put together was the biggest build - the 630-piece 1:14 scale Porsche 911 GT3 RS, complete with detailed interior, adjustable seats and mini engine build. The set has been sitting in the box for months, and had made the journey from LA to NYC with me when I moved for Gawker back in October. Read more>

 

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