Tag: cars

DRM

Or: How to ruin anything.

I have to confess that I did not understand “DRM”, when I learned that it stands for “Digital Rights Management”. I always thought about “digital rights”, like perhaps something connected with publishing, authorship, or maybe in connection with the Snowden (Ger., Eng.) papers or such. But its more about the management of rights, digitally.
Let’s assume you want to buy a car. And because the idea of a combustion engine is a bit too steam punk for you, you choose an electrical vehicle. Maybe by Renault or such, because you do not want to get fried in a Tesla. You buy the car, the battery is leased only. The advertisement people tell you that it’s okay and brings only advantages, if for example there is something wrong – no hassle, will be changed easily, no problem.
There is a problem when you can not come up with the leasing rate, because Renault is enabled (and seemingly entitled) to manipulate your battery digitally so that it will not recharge anymore. End of mobility. The company can do this from a distance via the electronic gizmos in the car – which is in fact a rolling computer. A data collecting rolling computer. This is no sci-fi but reality. I have only two German articles (here and here), but who is interested will surely find English texts about this.
And it’s really easy to connect your iphone to the “car”; don’t know whether it comes with a top notch navigation system too. 🙂

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Little Elise

I have to confess that I like motor racing. With cars, motorcycles and trucks – not so-called monster trucks but something like this. I like Bergrennen / hillclimbing (Ger., Eng.) too – it must not necessarily be such an over the top thing as it was in Rachau (video)). Generally I think that race tracks should show some more variations as the modern circuits generally do, as Niki LAUDA (Ger., Eng.) once put it: “I had enough from driving in circles.”
Touring youtube I came about the following nice video, showing a part of the 2005 Lotus Trophy event at Bathurst. Driver Dean EVANS shows how it is done.

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Sadly I could find no more information about Mr. EVANS. The title of the video says only Bathurst (Ger., Eng.), correctly it is the Mount Panorama Circuit (Ger., Eng.),  a very challenging course in New South Wales, Australia.  I like races held on public roads – for example the TT – and the Mount Panorama Circuit has some very interesting ups and downs. It was opened only ten years after the Nürburgring (Ger., Eng.).
Enjoy a round in a 1967 BMW-Lola:

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Cars

Until the 17th of October the Paris Motor Show will take place, but major magazines already present photographs of the new models. Clicking through these collections I come to the conclusion that the new models are the old models – I miss something.

Most cars look the same. And if it’s low and loud it’s a Porsche – but I do not want to ride one inch over the tarmac and peep trucks under the belly while overtaking.Porsches surely are good cars, reliable, fast, carrying tons of status and a handbag.  They are produced in high numbers, what is basically no bad thing. They combine the high quality of modern industrialized production with the possibility of individualization: My Porsche is green with pink stars, see? A Mangusta is assembled by hand, as is a Wiesmann, let alone the iconic Morgan Roadster with it’s wooden frame, in production since – oh, before the war. Of course Morgan uses Ford engines, as Wiesmann the BMW power plants, while Porsche still builds it’s own six cylinder boxer.

One has always  the possibility to build a kit, put an individual body shell over a frame – by far no new idea. There is still a hard-core community for 2 CV conversions and various small companies offer their products. After WWII a lot of kits were produced in the UK and elsewhere, Ashley and Scimitar may be known still today. A nice publication is OldClassicCars. Actual one can have a boattail from Deco Rides for example.

But all these cars are or at least pretend to be sports cars: Low, loud, fast. To sum it up: Uncomfortable.
Of course one must not turn to the other extreme and jump in – or better climb onto a Landrover. It was once built under license by German company Tempo, who had developed a very interesting overland vehicle of it’s own. But riding high over the tarmac and having the theoretical possibility to drive the beast nearly anywhere on the planet not necessarily includes comfort.

Comfort as it was found in the DS for example, years after production’s end still a design and technical icon. A friend once owned a real Pallas seven-seater and I can assure you that it is like riding on the magic carpet. Sadly enough déesses rust away in exceptional speed. The hydropneumatical suspension and spring responsible for the smooth ride is developed further, actual Citroen cars are fitted with mark three of the system.

While Stutz is out of production my personal favorite is the Blenheim 3 G by Bristol Cars. It’s comfortable, compact but roomy and no-nonsense.  A comfy fauteuil on wheels. And as I see it the last really independent car producer.

Public Service Announcement

An important Public Service Announcement by Herr Kessler.
Drugs you should no use while driving.