Sidewall Skiing – Saudi Arabia’s Latest Driving Craze

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Nobody does dangerous driving stunts quite like the youth of Saudi Arabia. Sure, drifting is pretty cool, and Ken Block’s Gymkhana is awesome, but they’re nothing compared to the latest driving craze in the Middle East. It’s called “sidewall skiing” and it basically means driving a car on its side wheels at high speed.

A few years back, footage of Saudi daredevils skating on the country’s dessert highways while clinging to speeding cars went viral on video sharing sites like YouTube. But that got old really fast, and the bored youth had to come up with something even more dangerous exciting. These days they get their kicks by driving around on two wheels, while passengers perform all kinds of tricks, like standing on top of the car, or even changing tires at high speed. The life-threatening stunt was apparently popularized by action films like ”The Dukes of Hazzard” or “Diamonds Are Forever”, and was recently featured in rapper M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” video. Sidewall skiing has also become a spectator sport, with crowds of young men and women sitting on the side of the road cheering on the adrenaline junkies. Some even take part in their death defying routines by laying down on the asphalt and allowing the vehicle to pass over them at breakneck speeds. Drivers use a ramp to tilt their cars on two wheels, then rely on their maneuvering skills to keep it from flipping over and potentially killing their balancing passengers. Somehow, saying this sport is extremely dangerous seems like a huge understatement.

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Arabian Tuner Specializes in Covering Cars with Thousands of Shiny Coins

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A Dubai-based car tuning company aptly named Cars Coin has come up with an original way of giving luxury vehicles a unique look. They simply cover the cars in tens of thousands of modern and antique coins to make them “shine as if they were made of diamonds”.

It’s not easy making your car stand out in the UAE. It doesn’t matter if you drive the latest Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche, there are probably hundreds of others just like it lining the streets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Covering your ride in gold foil is an option, but it’s been done more than once. Luckily, a group of tuning enthusiasts have come up with a new way to make expensive cars look unique. The guys at Cars Coin, an independent car workshop in Dubai, specialize in draping luxury cars in thousands of coins. Photos of their latest creation, a 2013 Range Rover draped in no less than 57,412 old Dirham coins have been making the rounds on the internet, during the last few days. Cars Coin artists spent weeks shinning the coins and gluing each one by hand to the body of the car. According to some sources, this extra metal layer added another 170 kilos to the weight of the luxury SUV. Just to make sure no one is tempted to steal the coins, the tuners used old Dirham coins that are no longer in circulation. But it’s not like most people in the UAE need small change, anyway.

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Nigerian Artisan Covers Car in Woven Raffia Palm Cane to Advertise His Business

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Ojo Obaniyi, a talented artisan from the Nigerian city of Ibadan has come up with an ingenious way of advertising his raffia palm cane weaving services – he covered the inside and outside of his Volkswagen pickup in the natural material.

There are a lot of raffia palm cane weavers in Nigeria, but one of them has managed to attract the attention of the whole internet, after photos of his unique advertisement-on-wheels were picked up by major news sites. 40-year-old Ojo Obaniyi had the original idea to cover up both the inside and outside of his small Volkswagen pickup in raffia palm cane. That includes the entire car body, the wheel caps, chairs, steering wheel and the entire dashboard. When he was done, he jumped in his one-of-a-kind vehicle and started driving around the city, attracting the attention of passers-by. Ojo, who has 20 years of experience weaving raffia palm cane, said “I wanted to prove a point that it is not only the educated elite that can make positive changes in society. We, the artisans also have talents to effect a change and make a positive impact in the society. That is why I decided that I too must do something that will make people to recognize me and know me across the whole world and by extension prove to the world that African and indeed the entire Black Race have very talented people.” This just goes to show you creative ideas and talent don’t need big advertising budgets to be effective.

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Carbeque – Barbeque Installed in a Car Gives “To Go” a Whole New Meaning

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What do you get when you put together a passion for cars and a love for barbeque? Well, a Carbeque, of course. A vehicle that’s perhaps the only one of its kind, the Carbeque looks just as cool as it sounds. Owned by Australian Radio personality Merrick Watts, the car itself is based around a 1973 Ford Langau, powered by a 351 V8 with extractors, and styled similar to the ones used in Mel Gibson’s ‘Mad Max’ movies. The only difference here is that the trunk comes with a fully functional grill. According to Watts, the Carbeque is the answer to the question that’s been plaguing people since the first tailgating party. “How many times are you driving somewhere, and there’s nowhere you can have a barbeque,” he says. But with the Carbeque, “you just pull over, and you start cooking.”

Watts was recently signed on as the face of Meat & Livestock Australia’s promotional campaign. As a part of the promotional activities, the Carbeque was unveiled in Parrmatta Mall on the 26th of November, last year. Just before he powered up the car for the first time at the unveiling, he said, “It’s balls-out amazing! I took our entire marketing budget. It’s not just a car, I introduced the world’s first CARBEQUE!” While describing the car, Watts said, “Half car, half barbeque! It’s integrated, it’s part of its genetic make-up, it’s been spliced with a barbeque. You open up the boot, and out comes a cantilevered barbeque, the greatest barbeque you’ve ever seen. Not some ratty little hot plate thing, a full blown barbeque.” Well, it has to be, considering that Watts spent a whopping $156,000 (the money meant for marketing his show, Merrick and the Highway Patrol), on the car. According to the show’s producer Elle Conwell, “We can cook 9 (10.5 ounce) T-Bone steaks at one time. The Carbeque can pump out around 35 pounds of steak within the hour, or around 200 sausages. The roasting hood means that this Carbeque is ideal for cooking multiple dogs at anytime – depends on your taste. Maybe three Chihuahuas or one larger German Shepherd!”

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Finnjet – A 29-Meter-Long Junk Limousine Worth $1 Million

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What weighs 7,500 pounds, is 29-foot long and made completely from junk scraps? Why, a limousine of course. ‘Finnijet’ belongs to Antti Rahko, a 72-year-old chauffeur from Finland. He immigrated to the US in 1984 and is now a resident of Palm Beach, Florida. It took Rahko 10 whole years to build the limousine from scratch, initially using two Mercedes Benz station wagons joined together, several parts from a 1962 Chrysler Imperial and various components from other vehicles.

The vehicle’s humble beginnings are hardly visible today, but Rakho says the process of building it was never really complete. He just kept adding parts however and whenever he could. “I had my own car shop, I bought and rented cars.” Eventually, he thought if he succeeded in welding two cars together, he would not need to sell more than one car. That’s how the idea for the Finnijet was born. The car is so well appreciated that it won a prize at the Art Car Parade competition in Houston, twice. Earlier this year, it was taken to Europe for the first time, to be shown at the Essen Motor Show. Packed in a 12m long container, the organizers paid all the costs of transportation and even took out a million dollar insurance policy on the car.

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Chinese Farmer Builds Wind-Powered Car

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A 55-year-old Chinese farmer has come up with a unique invention that might just make him a millionaire. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen vehicles that run on alternative fuel sources, but Tang Zhengping’s invention is really something else. The car he built in three months is 1m high,  3m long and powered by wind. But the best part is this – it has the potential to reach a speed of 90mph (140kmph). This does seem too good to be true for a wind-powered vehicle, but Mr.Zhengping from Beijing, the city that hosts the largest car show in the world, has a different story to tell.

According to Mr.Zhengping, the vehicle runs on electric generators and batteries, which are recharged by the large fan spinning in the front of the vehicle. The two solar energy wings at the back also support the generation of electricity. While one set of generators and batteries are working, another two get charged. For now, the batteries need to be charged every two days and the fan and wings provide extra electricity when the car is in motion. “It goes at a maximum speed of 140kmph and lasts longer than an electric car, which usually doesn’t have generators,” says Mr.Zhengping.

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Japan Develops Shock-Absorbing Electric Car Covered in Airbags

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Hiroshima University-affiliated startup business Humanix has recently revealed a three-wheel electric vehicle, called iSAVE YOU, which is covered in covered with an airbag-like cushion material that springs back to its original form after absorbing impacts.

You hear that, auto-makers around the world? You’re doing it wrong, airbags go on the OUTSIDE of the not the inside! At least according to Japanese company Humanix, whose golf-cart-like vehicle, iSAVE YOU, is covered in airbags. Researchers from the University of Hiroshima formed the venture company to sell their innovative creation for 790,000 yen ($9,740 USD). Professor Tsutomu, president of Humanix, told Japanese magazine Sponichi Annex that “the car will be perfect for our rapidly aging society and that there are already many requests for it from the elderly and disabled.” The cushions covering the vehicle are made of a tent fabric and sponge, and will absorb shock waves in case of an impact, protecting both the passengers and pedestrians. The iSAVE YOU can run up to 30 km on a single charge and and can be recharged from any regular household electrical outlet.

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Vietnamese Man Shows Off Car Made Almost Entirely Out of Wood

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It’s not the world’s first wooden car, but it is the first of its kind in Vietnam. Featuring a body made exclusively from high-quality wood and decorated with intricate carvings, the Achilles has been turning heads on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

The one-of-a-kind vehicle was created by Le Nguyen Khang, owner of Binh Duong-based wood processing firm Le Lumber. He told reporters the idea of building a wooden car started off as a joke, while he was talking to an English friend who works in the travel business. One day, he jokingly asked Khang, “Working in the wood processing industry, can you make me a wooden car?”. Little did he know the silly question would plant a seed in Le Nguyen’s brain, who started thinking seriously about making a car from wood. After all, he had all the materials he needed, and could count on the help of several professional woodworkers from his company. The sketch for his unusual automobile was completed in April of 2011, and with the help of 11 of his best employees, he worked on it for 16 months. The Achilles was finally completed last month, and as soon as he started driving it around the city, people assaulted him with all kinds of questions and requests to have their pictures taken with it.

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Ukrainian Car Enthusiast Turns His Mitsubishi Eclipse into a Lamborghini Reventon

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Alexander Stupkin, a 30-year-old car enthusiast from Odessa, Ukraine, has spent the last two years turning his old Mitsubishi Eclipse into a gorgeous Lamborghini Reventon replica.

It’s barely been two weeks since we posted an article about Wang Jian, the 28-year-old Chinese farmer who built his own Lamborghini Reventon from scrap, and now we have another Lambo fan who decided to built his own dream car. His name is Alexander Stupkin, a young Ukrainian jeweler from Odessa. Apparently he has always been a fan of beautiful sports cars, and since he was already working in a field that requires patience and accuracy, he decided to try his luck with tunning. Although he had no experience with tunning cars, with the help of family and friends, Alexander managed to transform an old 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse he bought in 2008 into a stunning replica of his Italian dream car, the Lamborghini Reventon. It’s true the build process took over two years, but the end-result is really impressive, if you ask me.

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Vietnamese Dark Knight Builds His Own Scrap-Part Batpod

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If you’ve seen any of the Batman movies from the latest trilogy, you know how cool his motorcycle looks, and probably understand why this Vietnamese bike enthusiast couldn’t resist the thought of owning his very own Batpod, even if that meant having to build it himself.

Dubbed the “Vietnamese Dark Knight”, the young man behind this impressive scrap-part motorcycle has been identified as Tùng Lâm, from Vietnam’s Lang Son province. About a month ago, the builder posted a YouTube video of himself riding a prototype of the home-made Batpod which went viral receiving about 370,000 views in just 10 days. Although it was obvious the replica was not yet finished, the video still managed to draw a lot of attention and left many viewers curious to know if he had built it himself, what parts he used or how long it took him. There were some trolls commentators who said it was a poor effort that looked almost nothing like the Batpod in the Dark Knight films, but overall the reaction to the video was positive. Yesterday, almost a month from the first video, another one was posted, this time of the completed bike.

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Chinese Farmer Builds Lamborghini Reventon from Scrap Metal

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28-year old Wang Jian, a mechanic and farmer from China’s Jiangsu province, has spent the last year building himself a home-made replica of the Lamborghini Reventon, one of the world’s most exclusive sport cars.

Wang developed a passion for cars at a very young age, and even worked at an auto shop for 10 years before opening his own business. Although he had a chance to work on many different cars, the young mechanic felt like something was missing from his life. It was his very own Lamborghini Reventon, a beautiful Italian sport car priced around $1.3 million. And as if the price wasn’t prohibitive enough, Wang Jian knew only a few of these gems had been produced by the Italian car maker, and all of them were sold to wealthy buyers most of who’s names remain a mystery. But he wasn’t going to let these kind of technicalities stand in the way of owning his own Lamborghini Reventon, so he decided that if he couldn’t buy one, he was going to build it. He set in plan in motion in May of last year, buying an old Volkswagen, and a small Reventon model car to use as reference.

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Chinese Lamborghini Is 99% Identical to the Original, Costs Just $65,000

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A brand new Lamborghini Murcielago LP64 would cost you over $400,000, but in China you can buy one that looks almost identical for only $65,000.

The Chinese love to build their own Lamborghini sport cars, probably because the original ones sold in China tend to break down a lot. The latest Lamborghini replica to come out of the rising Asian country is of the stunning Murcielago LP64, and is probably the best one yet. Refered to as the Shanzai Lamborghini, this impressive looking vehicle is said to be 99% identical to the original on the outside, while the interior is “only” 70% identical. Still, the price tag of 420,000 yuan ($65,000) is unbeatable for this kind of car. Only you’re not really buying a piece of Italian engineering, but a really well modified Toyota MR2.

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Motorcycle Enthusiast Builds His Dream Chopper Out of Wood. And It Runs!

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Istvan Puskas, a motorcycle enthusiast from Hungary took the term “chopper” litterally and actually spent the last two years chopping his dream ride from black locust wood.

In the past, we’ve featured a few other unique wooden vehicles, like the bicycles of Slawomir Weremkowicz, or the VW Betle built by Momir Bojic, and even the popsicle stick bike made by Sun Chao, but this is the first functional chopper we’ve ever seen. Istvan Puskas has spent the last two years building a -one-of-a-kind chopper almost entirely out of weather-resistant black locust wood. It’s not clear whether the agricultural machine expert from Tiszaros, 161 kilometers east of Budapest, couldn’t afford to buy himself an ordinary chopper, or if he just wanted to create something that would stand out weherever he went, but his wooden masterpiece certainly got a lot of attention when it was recently unveiled.

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Man Wins BMW after Keeping His Hand “Glued” to It for 87 Hours

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Song Changjiang, a lucky 27-year-old from Chengdu, China, has won the right to drive in a BMW 1 Series after keeping his hand glued to it for 4 days and three nights, in a bizarre contest.

What some people wouldn’t do for the chance to win a brand new BMW. Take the participants in the  ‘Who Can Keep Their Hand on the BMW‘ contest held in China’s Chengdu City. 120 contestants, aged between 18 and 40, signed up for the chance to win a BMW 1 Series. Organizers brought out a few vehicles, placed palm-shaped stickers on them, and all the participants had to do is keep their hands on them for as long as they could. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? I thought so too, but judging by the photos taken during the competition, it was a real physical and mental test.

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Real-Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert

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This is one of the most unbelievable stories I have come across in a while, and had my doubts about its authenticity at first, but after reading about it on some reputed websites, my worries were put to rest.

The story was recently made public by Reddit user ‘Naruhodo‘, who linked to a bunch of photos of a Mad-Max-style motorcycle apparently built out of the parts of a broken-down Citroen 2CV, by a man stranded in the Sahara Desert. Pretty unbelievable stuff, only it turned out to be absolutely 100% true. It all happened back in 1993, when Frenchman Emile Leray was on a solo trip in Northern Africa, driving his specially prepared Citroen 2CV. His car broke down in the middle of the desert, tens of kilometers from the nearest settlement. To survive, the French MacGyver created a motorcycle out of parts of his broken down car.

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