Tag Archives: Jalopnik

Your Ridiculously Awesome ’57 Chevy Bel-Air Wallpaper Is Here

The Chevrolet Bel-Air, especially those of the mid- to late- 50s, will always count as one of the prettiest cars ever made.

With that wraparound windscreen, those fins out back, and chrome upon chrome upon chrome, the Bel-Air is the quintessential American car. And now you, too, can have a slice of America that isn’t in apple pie form, but in picture-on-your-laptop form.

Just look at all that yellow metal. It’s like the best taxi in the world.

Photo credit FPI Studios. Used with permission, and you can also find their stuff on Facebook. Click here for a big desktop version.

Weekend Wallpapers are featured on Saturdays. Got one you’d like us to run? Send it to ballaban@jalopnik.com with the subject "Weekend Wallpaper." Just make sure you have the rights to use it.

The Porsche 918 Spyder Is An Ultimate Grocery Getter

What’s that in this grocery store parking lot? Oh you know, just a pair of Porsche 918 Spyders. No big deal.

These were sent to us by reader Marian K, who spotted them in the town of Niles, Illinois. Given the huge panel gaps and Georgia plates — Porsche Cars North America HQ is in Hotlanta — it looks like they’re pre-production prototypes.

They look pretty sexy in real life, don’t they? I could get used to seeing these everywhere. Too bad I probably won’t, as they cost $845,000.

Actually, maybe I will. They aren’t sold out quite yet.

Photos credit Marian K!

Get Thousands Of Car Owner’s Manuals For Free At This Wonderful Site

Have you ever spent hours digging for the manual in your glovebox, only to realize you lost it years ago and/or spilled coffee on it so now it’s useless?

Worry no more, as reddit user simohayha has now created Just Give Me The Damn Manual, a collection of more than 2,000 automotive manuals and counting.

Simohayha will surely be knighted, given the Congressional Medal of Freedom, and probably sainted by Pope Francis as well for his efforts.

As of right now there are manuals for brands ranging from Acura to Volvo, with a lot in between.

Seriously, Simohayha, if you’re ever in New York, I will buy you a beer. You deserve that much at the very least, and the world is forever in your debt.

I’ll put the link in again, because it is just that good. Just Give Me The Damn Manual.

Photo credit Shaine Mata

Moths Can Drive Cars Now, Just So You Know

That is a moth, driving a car. The steering wheel is a ball, and the moth walks along the ball to make it go places.

This experiment was conducted because Dr. Noriyasu Ando, writing in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, knew that there was but one thing standing between us and our flighty nemises, and decided to teach moths how to drive about:

In this study, we have employed a mobile robot driven by a genuine insect (insect-controlled robot) to evaluate the behavioural capabilities of a biological system implemented in an artificial system. We used a male silkmoth as the ‘driver’ and investigated its behavioural capabilities to imposed perturbations during odour tracking. When we manipulated the robot to induce the turning bias, it located the odour source by compensatory turning of the on-board moth. Shifting of the orientation paths to the odour plume boundaries and decreased orientation ability caused by covering the visual field suggested that the moth steered with bilateral olfaction and vision to overcome the bias.

Basically, what happened was that they put moths into robots and wafted some lovely smelling pheromones at the moth. When the moth liked what it smelled, it "drove" over to the scent. The moths were so good at driving, in fact, that they were able to correct for a slight turning bias artificially induced into the robot, like when you hold your steering wheel 15 degrees to the left because you can’t be bothered to check your wheel alignment anymore.

I, for one, welcome our new blah blah blah.

via NPR’s own Robert Krulwich

They say that true love knows no bounds.

They say that true love knows no bounds. It’s too bad I usually just watch Game Of Thrones if I want to see dragons, though.

Via Top Performance Magazine

See Why You Should Never Park On A Drawbridge

A cameraman filming a program for Dutch television called "Netherlands From Above" was trying to get a really great shot of some totally awesome sheep when the inevitable happened.

The cameraman had just enough time to grab his gear before running back down the Van Brienenoord Bridge in Rotterdam and saving himself, according to Dutch reports.

I hope the sheep were worth it, man.

Hat tip to Jason!

What’s The Best Car-Related Thing You Can Do For Your Mom?

Mom was always there for you as a kid, and part of growing up is learning how to be there for her.

Driving a car is statistically one of the most dangerous forms of transportation, and as such a lot of the things you can do for your mom are important. You can make sure she wears her seatbelt, or that her headlights aren’t fogged over. Either way, you’ll be making some sort of difference.

For my mom, though, the best thing I can do is making sure that all the tires in her Toyota Prius are properly inflated and set at the right pressure. Not only will you make the car safer by avoiding potential blowouts or flats, but you’ll also be improving her gas mileage as an added bonus.

Plus, air is usually free at gas stations. It should leave you plenty of coin left over for taking her out to that nice place she’s always wanted to go to.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I’ll check your tire pressure tomorrow.

What do you think is the best car-related thing you can do for your mom?

Photo credit: Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

Watch A Harlem Shake Attempt End In A Fiery Explosion In A Garage

Listen, people of Planet Earth: you need to stop making Harlem Shake videos. It’s not February anymore, and at this point, you’re just hurting yourselves. Want proof? Watch this video.

I’m not even sure what the plan was here, exactly. It looks like these kids were trying to do a version of the viral video with a candle or a sparkler next to a gas tank on the hood of an old Mitsubishi. In what appears to be an enclosed garage.

So no one, at any point, decided this was a horrible idea? Really?

Anyway, the fire quickly gets out of control, and two of the kids bail from the car. One of them turns around right in time for the gas tank to blow up in his face. The fire gets out of control pretty quickly and there’s a lot of screaming and futile attempts to put the flames out that actually make things worse.

I really hate to sound like some grumpy old man who’s like "Ohhh this wasn’t safe what were you kids thinking hurrr durrr" but really? This wasn’t safe. What were you kids thinking?

I just… ugh. I got nothing on this one. I’m glad it didn’t end as badly as it could have, but this is all I have to offer.

Hat tip to Austin!

Bus Driver Charged After Staging Fight Between Two Students

A bus driver in Bartow, Florida has been charged with false imprisonment, child abuse, and neglect after pulling over and encouraging two students to fight in her own front yard.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd probably said it best, when he expressed his disbelief to the local ABC affiliate:

"Girl what were you thinking?"

Patrice Sanders, 29, heard two girls arguing behind her as she drove the bus along, and decided that perhaps having the girls settle their differences in a physical manner, rather than a verbal one, was a bit better. This is all so insane, I’ll let the Sheriff’s Office just say what happened:

Sanders picked up kids from three Bartow schools – Gause Academy, Summerlin Academy, and Bartow High School – as part of her normal duties, but when she heard two young females, a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old, verbally arguing on the bus, she made the statement, “This is going to be handled today and they just need to fight.”

Sometimes when you gotta fight you gotta fight, I suppose.

Sanders then drove the school bus directly to her house located on Enterprise Drive in Lakeland – bypassing any and all stops she was supposed to make to let kids off the bus.

Sorry kids, you’re not going home today, maybe tomorrow. We got a score to settle.

She ordered all of the children to get off of the bus, and told the two females – a 13-year-old Hispanic female and a 16-year-old black female – that she would give them Vaseline or baby oil to put on their faces so their faces wouldn’t get scratched during the fight.

If you’re going to fight, you should probably get greased up first, right?

The 13-year-old told Sanders that she did not want to fight.

Too bad. Patrice Sanders has decided you’re going to fight today, so you’re going to fight. She’s kind of like Dennis Hopper in Waterworld in that way.

Sanders went inside her house to try to find Vaseline or baby oil and couldn’t find any. The girls then physically fought in Sanders’ front yard, as witnessed by Sanders and all of the other children who had gotten off of the bus. At least one child videotaped the fight on a cell phone. Sanders did not try to stop the fight, but stood by and watched. The girls fought until they decided to quit. Sanders then ordered all of the kids back onto the bus.

Once the bus was back in motion, the same two girls began physically fighting again. Sanders pulled the bus over and watched them fight until they were done. She did not try to stop the fight. When they were done, she told all of the kids on the bus, “What happens on the bus, stays on the bus,” and then proceeded to take them all to their bus stops.

I’m honestly not sure what the worst part is here. Is it the vaseline? The fact that she insisted that any and all instances of World Championship Child Wrestling happened on her front lawn? The part where she ordered everyone off the bus so that they can watch? How about when she didn’t try to stop it at all, and then pulled over a second time so it could happen again?

And then there’s the Las Vegas attitude of "what happens on the bus, stays on the bus."

Vegas, baby. Vegas.

Of course, the video of the fight has made its way to the internet.

Image via Getty

The Plymouth Laser Is Exciting Just Like Tina Turner, I Think

Gather round kids, because I’m about to tell you a story.

There once was a lady singer named Tina Turner. Well, there still is a lady singer named Tina Turner, but there once was, too. Anyways, you get what I mean. Your parents are familiar with her. If you’re familiar with her, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Tina Turner is generally known for being awesome and loud and for having great legs, and especially so the late 80′s.

Plymouth was not.

The ad geniuses at Plymouth realized that if you put Ms. Turner next to a Plymouth Laser, however, and said that it’s really great, just like Ms. Turner, you might be able to sell a few cars.

And a few cars is what they did sell, though not much more than that, as the Laser was only sold from 1989 to 1994.

The Laser wasn’t all bad if you consider the top-of-the-line RS Turbo model, with its 195 hp engine you could even say it was quick. But with the base model having a hundred less horses than that and those awful plastic wheel covers, it couldn’t really stand up right next to Tina Turner.

Oh, Tina Turner. What’s love got to do with a Plymouth Laser?