Just last week, some friends asked me if restoring the box type Lancer would be worth it. One friend was particularly interested in giving a car like this to his “first-time-driver” son for his college commute. It got me thinking about my very first car which I got almost 20 years ago. Here’s my non-expert take on this “almost-classic” car.
I didn’t like the first generation Everest. To me, it was too much like a truck. Compared to the Pajero and Fortuner, the 1st Gen. Everest looked uninspired and quite dated. I somewhat get this feeling that around 10 years ago, Ford was just desperate to offer an SUV alternative cheaper than the Expedition or Explorer that they took the Ranger Pick-up and fused a campershell to make it resemble a wagon. The result was a “Sport Utility Vehicle” which was a lot more “Utility” and not really that “Sporty”.
Then came the 2nd Gen. Ford Everest. This one is a much better designed vehicle. Smooth, rounded where it counts, and still massive like a Ford SUV should. It still has a truck feel, but this truck is a fashionable one.
Being a “sedan” guy all my life, I found this vehicle initially hard to handle. Driving a car which is long, wide, and tall, I couldn’t see a good part of the road right in front of me; I can barely fit on the narrow side streets in Project 4, QC; and I am sure to scrape a pipe or the ceiling in many of the parking lots in the metro. And don’t even think of parking in Shangrila Edsa Plaza, Citibank Eastwood, or Rufino Tower — the side walls of the parking ramp will most likely be covered with your paint color before you get through. Honestly, for a while then, I was afraid that if I ever lose control of the vehicle, I would literally squash a few cars beneath me. But when i got the hang of it, it totally changed my view on SUV’s.
Just recently, the U.S. has already convicted the first driver charged of motor vehicle homicide by texting, and he’s just 18 years old.
Photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). By mrJasonWeaver, used with permission.
Aaron Deveau, 18, faces up to four years in prison. According to Yahoo News, Deveau was texting on Feb. 20, 2011, when his vehicle swerved to the oncoming lane and crashed head on into a truck, killing the driver of the truck, a 55-year-old father of three.
Last March, luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz rolled out the closest thing you can get to an “invisible” car today.
Built specifically for an environment-related marketing campaign, Mercedes covered one side of a B-class hatchback with some flexible LED panels. On the other side, a Canon digital SLR was set up to capture the “hidden view” (areas obstructed by the car itself). The camera then streamed a live video feed which was displayed on the LED panels, thereby making the car “invisible” at certain angles.
It actually looks amazing. Here’s a video courtesy of Mashable.
Sorry guys, the invisible car is not really for sale. But it does prove that the concept of invisibility using a camera and a screen can work. Who knows, with improvements in LED screens and cameras, the invisible car may soon become a reality.
Many have failed trying to build a flying car. Traditionally, they start with a car and try to make it fly. Terrafugia, a US company, did it differently. They took a small plane and tried to make it “street-legal”. This is what they came up with…
And so far, it works! Terrafugia’s Transition® completed its successful first flight in New York last March. Not yet impressed? Consider the following:
It can be driven on roads and highways.
It can be parked in a single car garage.
It flies using unleaded automotive fuel
It has crumple zones, airbags, and full vehicle parachute
It seats 2 with extra space for luggage and a golf bag.