I can sum up my ownership experience of a 2004 Launch Edition Volkswagen Phaeton W12 exactly the way my friends describe their boats: my two best days were the day I bought it and the day I sold it. That said, the experience was bittersweet, mostly because I had a pretty good handle on the backstory of the car.
Stupid proprietary streaming services...
What makes the Subaru WRX so magical? Is it symmetrical all-wheel drive? Turbocharging? The flat-brimmed hat that is required to operate one? All of those things are true, but one of the most unique things about this sport sedan is its special heart: the horizontally opposed “boxer” four-cylinder engine. Let’s learn…
"Lord of the G-Strings" lulz
The new Honda Odyssey comes equipped with a tech-forward feature that lets parents spy on their kids—in night vision, too! I guess that would’ve been a handy asset for early buyers, because the minivan’s entertainment system literally offered a range of porn, including titles like “Gladiator Eroticus,” “Kinky Kong,”…
Long before everyone had machines on their desks, laps, and in their pockets capable of providing them with pornography from a global pornography-distribution network, people had to distribute hardcore pornography on celluloid film, like animals. The earliest example seems to be a 1915 movie that revolves around a car.
The question of whether or not you can damage a car that asks for premium gas by using regular gas is one that never seems to die. I’ve seen this question tear families apart, with sobbing and recriminations—it’s not pretty. That’s why I reached out to an actual fuel systems engineer to get to the bottom of this…
If the youth haven’t told you lately—it’s not cool to talk to adults, after all—little devices called “fidget spinners” are all the rage right now. And because it’s a sensation that’s sweeping more than just this nation, our friends from the land of wacky dash-cam videos decided to weld three cars into a giant spinner.
I know as much about Sumo wrestling as you do- two large men in small loincloths slowly try to push each other out of a circle. I would have expected the same looming, deliberate pace from Robot Sumo. But no, these mean little things are terrifreakingfingly fast.
Of course the Awful Little Town had to be in NB... heh
If there’s anything that deserves to be cross-stitched into the great Throw Pillow of Justice, it’s probably the phrase Drive What Thou Wilt. Unless it’s dangerous or somehow really impairing someone else’s freedom, everyone should be free to drive whatever they damn well please. This is a lesson that the Canadian…
Some of these colour names would make better rapper names. Stanky Bean!
Last night, a display screen in Union Station—one of Washington DC’s main transit hubs—found itself moonlighting as a tiny pornographic theater. Now, Gizmodo can exclusively reveal footage of the incident, and I can assure you that, one, it’s definitely pornography, and two, I have never had a commute this stimulating.
While not technically safe for work, this version has the most explicit moments censored:
As The Washington Post reported earlier today, bystanders were left “speechless” after the graphic video began playing on a display screen inside the station. The footage appeared to come from PornHub, a popular porn website, and lasted for about three minutes, according to an anonymous bystander interviewed by the Post. It remains unclear what caused the explicit video to play in this public train station.
Here are some eyewitness reactions from the story:
“What the hell is this?” proclaimed one man, pointing at the screen.
“Oh my God!” yelled a woman who watched from afar.
“With all this new technology comes a lot of things we don’t expect,” Beverly Swaim-Staley, president and CEO of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, told NBC. Crucially, the Post did not include footage of the incident itself, which it noted had been posted online before disappearing.
Fortunately for us all, Gizmodo has received a video of the incident from a tipster who wished to remain anonymous.
“It took a while for people to notice but when they did, they were surprised,” the tipster told us. “I’m not sure if it’s part of the larger hacks happening or just the most embarrassing kind of accident.”
WARNING: NSFW VIDEO BELOW
When shown the video, Gizmodo Media Group executive managing editor Alex Dickinson said, “What’s that?” followed immediately by, “Oh.”
Update: Corey Price, VP of Pornhub, provided Gizmodo with the following comment regarding the brand’s surprise appearance in Union Station yesterday evening.
“Pornhub is accessed by nearly 75 million fans across the world each day. It’s entirely possible the perpetrator of this incident was an avid fan who was perusing our content and unfortunately mishandled the technology behind the video screen at Union Hall. While we don’t condone such behavior — by any means — whatsoever, especially broadcasting unwarranted material to innocent passersby, we do hope it provided some…relief…in the midst of a hellacious commute home.”
On the Internet, people say all kinds of things they'd never say aloud -- about sex and race, about their true wants and fears. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has spent years parsing the data. His conclusion: our online searches are the reflection of our true selves. In the real world, everybody lies.
lol, first "GRABBER" and now this? What's next?
A Star Trek fan in Canada has been forced to turn over his personalized license plate after people complained its message, ASIMIL8, was insulting to indigenous people.
Manitoba Public Insurance revoked Nick Troller’s personalized license plate that read ASIMIL8, a nod to the Borg in Star Trek. According to a report in the Toronto Star, Troller had been driving around with it for two years, and it was accompanied by a license frame that said “We Are the Borg” and “Resistance is Futile.” Troller said fellow fans liked his license plate and asked to take pictures with it, and complained that critics were being too sensitive about the issue.
This is one of those situations where neither side is wrong in their arguments. Troller’s ASIMIL8 license plate was clearly referencing Star Trek, and (most likely) was not designed to offend Canada’s indigenous population. But not everyone knows what the race of the Borg on Star Trek are. And let’s face it: Canada has an unsettling history with its indigenous population— including the Sagkeeng First Nation, which is in the Manitoba area.
Post-Confederation Canadian aboriginal policy existed until the mid 20th century for the purpose of assimilating indigenous people into Euro-Canadian life. There were forced-assimilation boarding schools, and legislation, like the Indian Act, was designed to erase indigenous culture. There are strong efforts in the First Nations to recover their voice and heritage, but it’s been a long battle rampant with racism and discrimination. For example, just this week, two teenage girls were arrested for the Facebook-posted death of Serena McKay, one of about 1,200 aboriginal girls who’ve died or gone missing since 1980, with very little investigation.
“For basically the entirety of this country’s history, indigenous peoples have been forcibly assimilated through really extremely destructive means and ways,” Ry Moran, from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, said.
MPI’s policy says “plates cannot contain a slogan that could be considered offensive,” and it’s investigating why Troller’s personalized plate was approved in the first place. Since license plates are the property of the Crown, there is no appeal process. MPI offered him a new plate or a $100 refund.
When you watch this video of a loose tire in Turkey’s Adana province bounce out of nowhere, roll through the entrance of a pharmacy, find its way into a back office and slam right into one of the men seated there, you realize one thing: that wheel knew exactly what it was doing. Look at the focus and precision here. This was no accident; this was a hit.
There’s no sound on these surveillance videos, but I’m pretty sure when the other people have the wheel held down near the end of the video, that wheel is facing that bearded guy in the chair and saying
“So, we meet again. November, 2011. A dark parking lot. You were drunk. Let me give you some advice, sir. If you’re going to slash a tire, sir, you better damn well be prepared to finish the job.”
It’s possible the wheel was working alone, but it’s been noted that if you go to 0:03 in the video, you can see that bicycle propped up against that tree giving a valuable steering assist to that wheel to get it vectored right at the entrance to that pharmacy. It’s possible the bicycle was in on the attack the entire time.
I mean, it’s either that this wheel was exacting a carefully-planned revenge plot or that ours is a chaotic world, full of random, unpredictable events that can cause us harm at any moment, without warning.
I think I’d rather live in the world of sentient, vengeful wheels.
I would totally mess with a dog for that RS7.
Okay. Black and white. Cool! Yuppies in a park. Alright! I’m on board.
POW! Man is hit in the neck by a ball, thrown by this apologetic dog owner who apparently isn’t the best at aiming. Or paying attention. It happens.
Man throws the ball away. Dog is thrilled that another Human has joined in on this game of fetch in the park. He brings the ball back to Man, hoping for another round of this fun, fun game.
THE EVIL PLAN IS HATCHED.
Man looks around, spies a departing truck and takes aim.
WHAT? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? FUCK THIS GUY. WHO DOES THIS.
Look. Look at this face of pain and betrayal, while dog goes chasing after the truck, not knowing that dogs can rarely catch up to trucks.
And then this smirk. Bastard’s looking right at you, breaking through that fourth wall without even giving it a second thought.
This is the face of someone who just fucked over a dog. A dog.
And then he goes back to kissing his girlfriend or date or whoever she is.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me ask you something: would you continue making out with this piece of shit if he did what he just did right in front of you? I think I’d get up and leave—find a man who knows how to treat a dog nicely. Because you know what they say about being able to spot a bully: watch how they treat creatures smaller and weaker than themselves. That’ll tell you all you need to know about someone.
I also don’t speak any German, but I sincerely hope this Audi ad was meant as a joke. Otherwise, what a horrible message: “Audi: We’re assholes.”
I’m still flabbergasted as I’m writing this. First, that this story involves a tank collector. And second, that he found gold bars in an old tank that totaled about $2.5 million dollars at today’s exchange rates.
Nick Mead, who runs Tanks-A-Lot in the United Kingdom, a company that offers armored vehicles including tanks for driving classes, TV and movies and private events, bought an ex-Iraqi Army Type 69 tank on eBay, according to Popular Mechanics. You know, as you do.
But the biggest surprise lay within: upon opening one of the tank’s diesel fuel tanks, he and his mechanic discovered gold bars totaling about £2 million, reports The Daily Mail. That’s almost $2.5 million.
The five gold bars are believed to have been looted by Iraqi soldiers during the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the Mail reports. Mead had found machine gun ammo while stripping the Type 69 down and was worried that guns were hidden inside the fuel tank, so he filmed the operation to have proof just in case anyone came asking questions.
After discovering the gold, Mead told The Sun, “We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police.”
The police gave them a receipt, though, so that was nice.
As amazing as this story is, I’m also laughing because I’m imagining the reaction soldiers who allegedly hid the gold had when they discovered that it was gone.
I suppose the moral of this story is to buy tanks?
What you are about to see is both amazing and disturbing. A Chinese martial arts expert has just broken his previous record of towing five cars with just his testicles, this time by pulling seven cars. What have you done with your life?
According to the Daily Mail, Ye Wei managed to move seven Audis using a rope attached to his genitals on March 30 in China’s Shandong Province. He was able to pull the vehicles 26 feet. The 39-year-old previously held the record of pulling five cars, which he set last year.
Now you may be wondering how a man is able to do such a thing given that most people know that that area can be a bit painful. As Jalopnik’s resident Kung Fu practitioner, I can tell you that in Chinese martial arts, there is something known as iron body (or iron shirt) training. It takes years and years of practice and the goal is to make the human body able to withstand superhuman amounts of pain and damage and come away unscathed.
This is done through a long combination of mental and physical conditioning and the ability to send energy, or Chi, to a specific region. You may have seen this type of training simulated in movies or demonstrated live when someone breaks a coconut with their hands (much harder than it looks) or has a wooden rod broken on their arm or leg. Each body part can be conditioned to do amazing things, like towing several two-ton vehicles with a very sensitive area.
It is not recommended that you try this at home.
We’re all familiar with the not-so-pleasant experience of buying a car in a dealer. When you feel ready to commit to that brand new Honda CR-V or shiny new DAF 600, you’re likely to deal with haggling, arrogance from your sales rep, no car on the lot with the options you want, plus endless hours of negotiation with the finance rep about extended warranty programs, anti-corrosion products, and other useless add-ons to your loan.
You’re also poor, so of course you’ll apply for a loan.
But what is it like to buy an expensive car when you’re loaded? I’ve always wondered about the purchasing experience for the one percent. To find out, my shooter Myle and I dropped in at Decarie Motors, in Montreal.
They’re the oldest Aston Martin and Bentley dealership in Canada, a family-owned business that’s been slinging British sports cars for 70 years now. Our goal: to experience what a typical customer goes through when he or she is about to dish out $300,000 for a brand new British sports car.
You’ll Be Greeted Like The Rich SOB That You Are
When you walk into an Aston Martin dealership, you’re not introduced to a teenager floating inside a suit that’s too large for him or a giant inflatable purple gorilla outside, but rather a Vanquish Volante and a friendly receptionist who offers you an espresso freshly poured out of a machine that’s hidden into the wall behind her.
Suddenly you feel like you’re James Bond and you’ve just entered the MI6 building.
As you sit at the bar in the entrance hall, waiting for someone to come greet you, sipping away your caffeine-injected drink, you’re not exposed to shitty, two-page marketing pamphlets, but rather full-fledged, high-quality books, with stories and high-res shots of the car you’re about to purchase usually surrounded by country club golf courses, stunning architecture, expensive watches, and airplanes.
Because, of course, when you’re buying a Mulsanne, you’ve got a plane situation.
In this sort of dealership, you don’t meet a sales rep, but a sales executive. The latter is, of course, formally dressed in a stylish, fitted suit.
It was then that I realized I should have worn a nicer shirt for this. And also that I forgot a belt.
The ‘Aston Martin Experience’
There are no kids shouting and fiddling with the cars here, and no lineup of salesmen eyeing you out from the distance, jealous that they didn’t get your sale. Because at Aston, there are only two sales executives in charge of selling the cars. And they don’t seem worried about the kind of commission they’ll be making—I wonder why.
Everything has a purpose in this showroom, and nothing interrupts the experience. There are no banners here to announce a monthly special, no distinguishable awards or plaques on the wall to brag about sales figures, and no oversized low interest, bright yellow lettering on the windows either.
If I were to buy an Aston Martin DB11 tomorrow morning—you know, to replace my Honda Civic—I wouldn’t get to drive off with it the same week as I would a $30,000 crossover; I’d have to wait five to six months, and expect 200 man-hours to be injected into my Bond car before I’d get the keys and drive off into the sunset, because all Astons are hand-built on demand.
That’s because at this shop, they only keep show cars and demonstrators, and a very limited inventory. Aston Martin wants to move towards only custom built in the future. The DB11 is only on demand, but you can buy the showroom car if you want one now.
Then again, why should I care about the wait to build my custom car? I’ve got my BMW 7 Series to drive around in during that time.
Before signing the transaction, my sales executive, presumably named Maurice or something, wouldn’t lock me into his under-heated, crappy office to confuse me with convoluted payment plans, but rather have me sit at the bar lounge located directly on the show floor.
This is where I’d choose my preferred paint job, leathers, and veneers for my Aston.
Of course, I would probably spend the entire day selecting the perfect color combination, playing with the miniature versions of my future supercar, carefully feeling all the different available textures.
And ripping my hair out to pick a color for my brake calipers.
After another espresso, I would possibly tell the gentleman that I’m not satisfied with the overwhelming choice of colors that spans an entire section of the showroom’s wall. Because I worked so hard in life, I’d want something “different” to account for it.
Not worried he’ll lose the sale, the man would then tell me that this is not an issue, that anything is possible at Aston Martin. Because of course it is.
He would then turn on the 40-inch LCD screen located next to that colorful wall, and introduce me to Aston Martin’s Q-division (it’s actually called the Q-division!), where another hundred or so color/leather/veneer combinations would be presented to me.
Perhaps one of those will do.
But What If I Require A Bentley Instead?
Ah, well, I’d go through a similar process as with the Aston, meaning I’d have to wait five to six months as well, that is if I didn’t want to settle for the one on the showroom floor.
Of course I wouldn’t want that one. And, is it just me, or the richer you get, the more you wait in life?
For my Mulsanne, up to 500 man-hours would be involved in its construction. While my Aston Martin’s interior would be made from the hides of nine different cows, however, my Bentley would walk all over it with 17 variations of Alpine bull skins (or Braunvieh) - because the skin on a bull is less elastic than on a cow, meaning there would be no stretch marks, hence the best possible leather for my ultra-posh limo.
Take that, silly Aston.
My newfound friend would carry on explaining to me that the wood spanning the dashboard and doors of my Flying Spur was made out of one, solid piece of wood, originating from the root of the same tree, and that Bentley keeps a spare piece of that same plank for three years, in the event I’d need one replaced.
Meanwhile, at the Honda dealer, I’d most likely be arguing with my salesperson that the wood trim is in fact fake.
Once I’d have committed myself to a $300,000 Continental GT (after writing many Jalopnik articles), I’d once again sit down with Maurice to customize my Bentley in the Mulliner section of the showroom.
Perhaps I could get my leather in pink? That sure would make an impression at the country club.
Of course, being the successful businessman that I am, I would not want my Aston Martin or Bentley to be in contact with Québec’s garbage natural elements before I’d get to drive it.
Unlike my Honda, which would have spent an entire month sitting in a lot covered in snow, ice, and crow poop, my freshly-built British automobile would be shipped to my dealer in a closed transport directly from England to some sort of climate-controlled and static-free room along with other special order vehicles.
Also, there might be a race car.
While the raciest thing you’ll find in a Honda garage would be a riced-up Civic or weekend warrior S2000, an Aston Martin dealership would presumably have a full-fledged race car being worked on, and the owner would most likely be taking part in some kind of club sports event.
How about a GT4 prepped V8 Vantage?
The Shop Itself Is A Highly Technical, Super Clean And Serene Work Area
Once out there in the open with my Bentley, I’d, of course, want to make sure the people working on it actually know what they are doing.
But since I’m rich, no sweat.
The team of mechanics and technicians responsible for fiddling on my Continental GT wouldn’t be fresh graduates straight out of school, but highly trained technical experts culminating over 45 years of experience rebuilding fine British autos.
On average, Aston Martin and Bentley dealers employ only two mechanics, and two technical advisers, but each is extensively trained to keep up with the quickly evolving technology these vehicles are equipped with. Once a technical employee receives their assessment in England, they must follow in-depth, mandatory, monthly training courses that deal with each specific section of the cars.
These employees travel across the world to attend seminars or submit to evaluations which include everything from practical, real-life situation repairs, to actual customer service simulations.
To meet the demands of egocentric fighting winners such as yourself.
Combined, Aston Martin and Bentley spend over $100,000 a year in training for a single employee.
So yeah, these guys know a thing or two about your car. And it’s unlikely one of them will forget to properly bolt your wheel after changing the pads.
But How Do People Buy These Things?
When I asked Wesley Rehel, one of the sales executives at Decarie, what kind of customers buy an Aston, he responded with: “Very unique types of personalities. You either have the type of customers who have no qualms about driving their car around Québec, all year long, or even race them.”
“We’re ready to back up a customer who wants to track his Aston.” At the same time, “you get those who don’t ever so much as back them out of their garage. They just want to wake up in the morning and gaze upon their car collection.”
Great, and good for them, especially the track people. They’re doing the Lord’s work. But here’s the big question: if you want one of these cars, how do you buy them? Lease, like it’s a BMW 3 Series? Finance, like that CPO C-RV that’s cheaper than a new one? Or do you pay cash outright like some Craigslist Miata special?
Believe it or not, it’s the third one, Decarie’s people told me. The vast majority of their customers will pay cash. Some will lease simply because they like the idea of changing often. The store will also buy back anything that’s hot—they have a second floor filled with second hand Corvettes, Jags, Porsches and anything else you can imagine.
If nothing else, the place should give you something to aim for in life.
William Clavey is an automotive journalist from Montréal, Québec, Canada. He runs claveyscorner.com.
Special thanks: www.decarie.com