Believe it or Not ⁠— February 7, 2020

Boxy Beetle

Smyth Performance, a company that offers affordable DIY conversion kits capable of transforming cars into trucks, is striving to keep the Volkswagen Beetle alive by unveiling a kit that can convert the cult classic vehicle into a pickup truck.

The kit, which can transform any Beetle model released between 1998 and 2010 into a small truck, runs for less than $3,000 and offers a proper cargo bed, period-matching wheels and exterior accessories.

Now, the price mentioned above obviously does not include the cost of the donor Beetle itself, but a complete installation at a body shop could wrack up a bill of nearly $10,000. Do it yourself through Smyth Performance’s resources and it could be considerably less.

Click here for a video of the Beetle conversion, or here for a step-by-step video of the process.

“There is nothing like the feeling of building your own car,” reads Smyth Performance’s website. “We believe our truck projects are an easy way to enjoy the astounding performance of cars with the utility of a pickup.”

Smyth Performance also sells conversion kits for Dodge Chargers, VW Jettas, Subaru Imprezas and Audi A4 and S4 models.

Radar wrongdoer

Toronto city officials are growing frustrated with a local thief that reportedly won’t stop stealing the city’s new photo radar cameras, which were recently implemented to help curb speeding in the city.

According to the city, the boxy cameras cost around $50,000 apiece to operate and weight nearly 800 pounds. Thus far, four out of the 50-or-so cameras set up in school zones around the city have disappeared–and officials are growing tired of the thief’s antics.

“We condemn it,” city spokesperson Brad Ross told CBC News. “You’re removing a tool to help, you’re potentially removing or getting in the way of an opportunity to save a life.”

The cameras are ground-mounted so that the city may move them to new locations at a whim–meaning they are far easier to steal than a machine mounted to a hydro pole.

Two of the stolen radars have been replaced, while city officials say the other two will be replaced later in February.


Lawmakers in Vermont, U.S. are currently engaged in a rigorous debate involved the state’s licence plates⁠—should the state allow its motorists to request plates with emojis plastered on them?

Democratic representative Rebecca White introduced the draft bill in January and, if approved, it could create a new type of license plate that adds an emoji to the random numerical sequence assigned by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

Drivers would be able to choose from six pre-approved emojis, though the state has not revealed which six it has in mind.

The state’s more expressive motorists would also be allowed to apply for personalized plates that consist of letters, numbers and emojis. Again, they’d have the same six pre-approved emojis to choose from and would need to follow Vermont’s standard vanity plate guidelines.

Other American states could follow Vermont’s example. California already lets motorists apply for a vanity plate that includes a heart, a star or a hand outline. 

The move wouldn’t be unprecedented, either⁠—drivers registering a car in the Australian state of Queensland can pay about $340 for the right to put one of five emojis on their custom plates. Drivers can choose between the laughing out loud emoji (😂), the sunglasses emoji (😎), the heart eyes emoji (😍), the winking emoji (😉) or the simple smiley face emoji (😊).

Summon a snowplow

Touted as the “Uber of snow removal,” Toronto-based company Eden is reminding residents of the Greater Toronto Area that its app and mobile platform are prepared to plow through the rest of the snowy season by offering on-demand snow removal services.

According to a recent press release by Eden, Canadian residents are “ready for the storms ahead” but are in search of a more “convenient way” to order snow removal services. Using the company’s app, EdenApp, Canadians are able to instantly request seasonal services⁠—with no strings or long-term commitments attached.

The service works similarly to Uber and other ride-sharing practices⁠—Eden will show up at your destination, pick up your snow and deliver it to a “more appropriate” location. Further, Eden will deliver a quote on the expected cost of the job prior to booking, allowing you to confirm or reject the price, just like ordering an Uber.

When the job is complete, the customer is sent before and after photos of the lot to prove that it’s all done and dusted.

The new service operates in the GTA, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Burlington, Cambridge, Oshawa and  Cobourg, Ont.


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