Friday Fun July, 13

The Karlmannn King “Ground Stealth Fighter," is the world's most expensive SUV.
Toronto, Ontario — July 13, 2018 — In today’s Friday Fun: tk, ADHD and collisions, and much, much more.
What must surely be one of the weirdest stories in the auto sector this year popped up on the CBC website this past week. According to the story, this past June a woman rented a black Nissan Sentra from Enterprise Rent-A-Car company in Cornwall, Ontario. The woman drove to a nearby Wal-Mart. She did some shopping, and then walked back to the area where she had parked the car. According to the CBC story she saw a shiny black vehicle, hopped in. The fob in the car allowed her to start it, before she drove away. She drove the car around for two weeks and then returned it to the rental car company. The manager of the rental car outlet told her that they did not rent that type of vehicle she was trying to return. But the customer had her own complaints. According to the CBC story, quoting one of the rental company employees, “She was upset because the ashtray was dirty, there were papers in the glove box, and there were golf clubs in the back. And she was giving the manager the business on renting her a dirty vehicle.” Eventually the manager figured it out. The fob had worked on another vehicle. She had driven away from the Wal-Mart in the wrong car. The manager and the client drove over to the Walmart parking lot and found the original rental where it had been parked two weeks previous. The police were called. The woman avoided charges (obviously). The owner of the abducted vehicle was glad to get his car back.
An Australian online comedy series documents the day-to-day challenges of a unique subsector of the modern auto after market–Aboriginal Australians who create and fix so-called ‘bush cars’ in the far outback of the land down under. This is the latest episode:
An odd incident near Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario surely created a boom in refinish work for collision repair centers in the area. Locals had gathered for a the annual Lavender Festival. But the scorching temperatures dried out a hay field being used as a parking lot. According to local media reports, “… a large, fast-moving grass fire,” scorched 34 vehicles in just minutes. “It was one of the fastest-moving fires I’ve seen in my career,” the local fire chief was quoted as saying. Said a festival attendee, “… it just escalated. Within two or three minutes … it swarmed and took over like 20 vehicles at once.” According to the news report, “Watching the fire jump from car to car made her feel sick to her stomach.”
The world’s most expensive SUV? Perhaps. An Italian firm is building nine vehicles called the Karlmannn King “Ground Stealth Fighter.” The trucks are designed to look like a U.S. Air Force stealth jet. And they do. Check out the pictures at the link below. The vehicles will retail for $3.8 million apiece. Underneath the angled ‘faceted’ carbon fiber and steel clad-work is a Ford F550 commercial cab chassis. The truck weighs a ridiculous 13,000 lbs. Inside there are reclining lounges, an air purification system, a “starlight-simulating LED ceiling,” a Nespresso coffee machine, flat-screen TV with Apple TV and PlayStation 4, storage safes and a refrigerator. The truck can be ordered in a bullet-proof version, which would, presumably, weigh even more. Italian design director Luciano D’Ambrosio is the man responsible for the stark and striking detailing of the hand built vehicles.
An Ontario firm has an interesting use for recycled cars. A story in the Globe and Mail this week tells the tales of a home builder, Green Terra Homes in Trenton, Ontario. The company is producing steel-framed homes out of steel from recycled cars. According to the company each home consumes six recycled cars. The steel replaces the fifty trees that would normally be harvested to build the frame of the homes. So far the company has had a bit of a tough sell, “We have seminars where 200 people come out on the weekend … and we know that 99 per cent of them are still going to buy a wood-frame house… People don’t like change: ‘Is it a Faraday cage?; Will I get phone signal?; Is it going to electrocute me when lightning hits?’,” according to a company spokesperson quoted in the story. The spokesperson goes on to say that, “… these are questions usually asked by city folk who work in steel-framed buildings every day.” And so the company is pressing ahead with an original new use for the steel from recycled cars. Hopefully the company breaks through the reticence of buyers and recyclers end up with a new end market for steel.
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