Say it with me "ThunderCougarFalconBird." Now say it again 10 times fast. Addicting huh? Well I have to say it's a memorable piece of Futurama fiction. Apparently the future's version of manliness is a mash of classic car names and parts rolled up in a big fancy hover car. Episode S2E10 entitled "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" introduces us to the car. In the beginning of this episode Amy decides she needs to go car shopping. They go to see Malfunctioning Eddie and his Rocket Car Emporium. Where Fry is nearly swayed by the salesperson to buy the car.
Nothing makes you feel more like a man than a Thunder Cougar Falcon Bird
Nice pitch isn't it? The car reminds me much of Simpson's: The Homer in it's terms of oddness. It does pay great tribute to the old big fin cars of the 1950's. You can see the artist had the 50's Ford Thunderbird in mind. The grill is kinda a mix of a Ford Cougar and Ford Falcon. Hints the name ThunderCougarFalconBird. Check out that super-charged V8 poking up from the hood. Rarrr! I like the rest of Fry and Salesperson's conversation.
Fry: "Sorry, I'm not here to buy."
Sales Person: "I understand and it's wonderful that you don't care whether anyone questions your sexual orientation."
Fry: "I care! I care plenty! I just dunno how to make them stop!"
Sales Person: "One word: Thundercougarfalconbird."
I think this car would have an interesting emblem to it as well. Take a 80's Mercury Cougar emblem (I still think it reminds me of a ThunderCats logo). Throw some wings on the cougar, thunderbolts and there ya go an emblem for the ThunderCougarFalconbird! Last but not least check out this Flickr post on a LEGO version of the ThunderCougarFalconBird. Nice job LEGO Ambassador Matt De Lanoy! aka Pepa Quin on Flickr. Well that's all I have for now on the topic of the ThunderCougarFalconBird. Let's hear what you have to say! Post in the comments. See ya next time!
Yesterday Hasbro rolled up their display in New York City at the American International Toy Fair. A full scale movie vehicle of the famous Transformers Optimus Prime was parked out side The TimesCenter. The truck however cannot move on his own power and is not street legal. It took a team of two flat beds traveling across the country to bring Optimus to the big show. Hopefully he'll be on his best behavior after Bumble Bee's appearance during a Super Bowl Commercial. It's hard to keep your cool when you get a New York City welcome.
Well how did the city respond? They gave Optimus a ticket. Hasbro reported that all the proper permits were acquired to park Optimus on the street. However a $115 dollar ticket was applied. No word yet if Hasbro has plans to pay. But word quickly spread through out the web. Including a video or two popped up on Youtube. Check out one of the videos below for the full street appeal. Till next time avoid a boot or tow and pay your tickets!
Who said all On Screen Cars had to be nice? Sometimes you just need something that works. That's the goal behind the British hit show Scrapheap Challenge. The show were teams of contestants are given the challenge of designing and building devices to complete varies tasks. You may also remember the show as Junkyard Wars on the Discovery Channel. I plan to feature more cars from this series. Growing up I remember tuning in every week to see what the teams were about to design and build. Now for Spy Cars!
In this episode the teams were given the task of building spy cars. Their spy cars had to be able to navigate through a warehouse setup as a super secret spy base. The warehouse err spy base, had several obstacles that the cars and the team had to take into account. The vehicles were required to hold all four team members while being low enough for clearance of some of the obstacles. The kicker was the fact the vehicle also had to be able to clear a high hump in the middle of the course without high-centering.
The blue team used a lawn tractor as a power plant while towing a trailer for the rest of the team. Not a bad choice for the clearance issues. I think I would be concerned about the lack of power. The back seat on the trailer folded down backwards so the team lay down for clearance. Note the outriggers on the lawn tractor. This can help the driver take in account how wide the trailer is when making turns. This also serves as a place for the driver to duck to when laying low. They navigate the course slowly but without any major problems. Until the team got to the hump. They took a penalty by disconnecting the trailer and pushing it over the hump. The lack of power I talked about earlier cost them a few points.
The pink team on the other hand didn't have power issues. They used two full size front wheel drive cars cut in half. The two front haves of the car were jointed near the back of the drivers seat. They joined the two cars using a huge hinge point. With the aid of hydraulics this allowed them to pivot the car upwards for the hump. By using the front haves they were also able to gain four way steering. They flew through the first part of the course. The four-way steering really made it sweet for turning corners. The team did well until, guess what.. the hump. A major mechanical failure caused their drive shafts to twist and sheer in two. You could hear them cracking up the motor but it wasn't pulling them along. The end of the road for the pink team.
You can checkout the action from the competition portion of the show from YouTube (thanks SpinifexPeople). I've embedded it for your viewing pleasure. We'll see ya next time!
Above is a commercial produced by General Motors in the early '80s. GM was really pushing "high-tech" in those days. Promoting features like digital dashes and on-board computer diagnostics. Well we can say that on-board computer diagnostics are here to stay. But not many cars use digital gauges. Just seems that it never caught on. But I do remember my brother telling me stories about freaking out the girls when changing the speedo readout from a MPH to KPH. You do the math but 65 looks more like a 100. But hey, it looked cool at 88 miles per hour right?
Pretty much every college student has taken a road trip some where. I was guilty of taking a few myself. But I can't say I jumped a car over a bridge like the guys in the movie Road Trip. A movie about four guys on a quest to drive half away across the country to prevent one of their girlfriends from seeing a explicit video tape. Along the way they're dealt a series of wild challenges and obstacles. The crew talk one of their nerdy friends, Kyle Edwards into borrowing their car (a 1991 Ford Taurus) for the 1800 mile trip from Ithaca, New York to Austin, Texas.
Things go wrong fairly early in the journey. They start off taking shortcuts that lead them to a bridge that's out of commission. Faced with the choice of either turning back and losing valuable time or going Dukes of Hazard style over the short gap in the bridge. As you can imagine the group chooses the later. Working out the physics of the car jump they predict they can clear the gap by approaching the bridge at 60 miles an hour. Nervous car owner Kyle reluctantly gets climbs into the backseat and puts on a crash helmet.
They back the car up and take off down the dirt road leading up to the bridge. They all brace for impact and the car hits the bridge. Like pure movie magic they clear the bridge and come to a hard landing. The grill and front bumper shatters on contact. They're all celebrating until all four wheels fall off and the air bag deploys. Thinking they've met the worst of the incident the car bursts into flame destroying the car and their stuff. Awesome!
Of course now they've gotta figure out what to do next. But we'll let that be for now. Don't wanta ruin the story for ya. But what about some of serious goofs we're seeing here? Could a 1991 Ford Taurus really jump a bridge? I'm sure the SHO package would help drastically! Well I guess you can jump anything that far with the right kinda power and if you hit it right. I did a little bit of research and I found a interesting article where someone talks about the physics behind the jump. Pretty interesting stuff. But the goof that stuck out the most to me was the misrepresentation of the actual weight of the car.
A 1991 Ford Taurus curb weight is roughly 3100 pounds. Sorry guys 1500 pounds is more like a sport car. Another site notes that the front wheels lift up unnaturally during the jump. I haven't been able to find any technical information about the jump yet. But I'm fairly sure this feat was pure movie magic. But none the less if it wasn't, I wouldn't be surprised if the car didn't end up like the one in the movie. But I felt this jump is worth mention. Road Trip is and always will be one of my favorite college movies. Till next time, don't go sending out video tapes that you wouldn't want anyone else seeing!