Darth Vader Car

Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car

July 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm by | Photography by Hot Wheels

The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car<img class=”size-large wp-image-155187 aligncenter” title=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” alt=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” src=”http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hot-Wheels-Star-Wars-Darth-Vader-Life-Size-Car-PLACEMENT-626×382.jpg” width=”626″ height=”382″ />


Comic-Con 2014 opens tomorrow, but details on many of the big reveals have already been blasting across cyberspace. Pertinent (sort of) to our milieu was Mattel’s release of its
Star Wars–themed Hot Wheels cars, but even more mind-blowing is the fact that the company built a full-size, fully operational version of the Darth Vader–themed coupe, which it has dubbed the “Darth Car.”

Unfortunately, San Diego, the site of the annual Comic-Con International convention, is more than 2000 miles from our offices in Ann Arbor, so we did the next best thing and got on the phone with the Darth Car’s creators to find out more. Here’s what we learned:

1. It’s based on a C5 Corvette.
Yes, a C5 Chevrolet Corvette. With a body fittingly crafted primarily from fiberglass—carbon fiber was employed for the front splitter—the finished Darth Car is said to weigh nearly 50 percent less than the donor Corvette. And because a Sith Lord can’t ever sink low enough, the donor chassis was lowered slightly.

2. It is fully drivable—and fast.
The car has been road-tested at speeds up to an 80-mph cruise. There’s more: Billy Hammon, CEO of PCW Brands, which built the car, says it is capable of reaching velocities in the neighborhood of 150 mph.

The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car<img class=”size-large wp-image-156233 aligncenter” title=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” alt=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” src=”http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hot-Wheels-Star-Wars-Darth-Vader-Life-Size-Car-110-626×382.jpg” width=”626″ height=”382″ />

3. It has an LS3, baby!
Moving forward a Corvette generation, a GM LS3 V-8—the C6 engine from 2008 onward—is fitted and makes a claimed 526 horsepower. Gearchanges are executed via a six-speed manual; we always knew Lord Vader was a Save the Manuals kind of guy.

4. The car is fitted with a “drift brake.”
The secondary, hand-actuated brake works on the rear axle and can be used to help steer the car or, you know, drift it. Perfect for terrorizing Ugnaughts riding shotgun.

5. It has custom wheels and redline tires.
Wheelmaker U.S. Mags custom-milled the wheels for the project. The unique tires are special to the car and styled to deliver the iconic Hot Wheels redline aesthetic while also delivering respectable performance.

6. It is, of course, packed with Vader-y goodness.
The plate on the hood is modeled after the one on the chest of Darth Vader’s suit, more specifically as it appeared in The Empire Strikes Back. The missiles mounted to the side are machined from stainless steel, and the side pipes are styled after Vader’s red lightsaber. Yes, they illuminate.

7. It breathes like Darth Vader.
Several Star Wars audio effects, including the unmistakable sounds of Darth Vader breathing and his lightsaber coming to life, can be controlled remotely via an iPad.

The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car<img class=”size-large wp-image-156234 aligncenter” title=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” alt=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” src=”http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hot-Wheels-Star-Wars-Darth-Vader-Life-Size-Car-112-626×382.jpg” width=”626″ height=”382″ />

8. The Darth Car’s designer is living his dream.
At the age of 10, Bryan Benedict—now lead designer for the Hot Wheels Entertainment die-cast line—wrote to his future employer to tell them what kind of toy cars to build. Two years later, he wrote a similar letter to General Motors and received a reply in the form of a checklist of goals he should pursue in order to become a car designer. With two decades of design success (split evenly between Honda and Hot Wheels) under his belt, following GM’s advice appears to have worked. He told us that his family was unable to afford Star Wars toys when he was a child—he got Hot Wheels instead—so now he’s making his own.

9. It was built in seven weeks.
Design work for the toy version of the car began in November of 2013. Work on the full-size car began in April of this year and went from final design to done in just over two months, according to PCW’s Hammon.

10. The hatch opens like Darth Vader’s helmet.
In fact, particular attention was paid to make sure it did so. It’s also equipped with a smoke-making device that activates when the hatch is opened for full dramatic effect.



11. It dropped jaws on the streets of L.A.
The promotional video embedded below was shot in the 2nd Street tunnel in Los Angeles, where the Darth Car reportedly stunned even the most jaded Tinsel Town residents.

12. It’s impressive. Most impressive.
Hot Wheels says its goal was to pay tribute to its own stylistic heritage but to also harness the futuristic yet timeless design of the Star Wars universe. We say it succeeded—mightily.
The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car<img class=”size-full wp-image-156216 aligncenter” title=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” alt=”The Darth Car: 12 Things You Need to Know About Hot Wheels’ Life-Size, 150-mph Darth Vader Car” src=”http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Hot-Wheels-Star-Wars-Darth-Vader-Life-Size-Car-REEL.jpg” width=”626″ height=”170″ />

About these ads

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-1.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”2048″ height=”1813″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45632″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-2.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”1279″ height=”1280″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45633″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-3.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”1280″ height=”985″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45634″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-4.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”960″ height=”1280″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45635″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-5.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”800″ height=”1143″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45636″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-6.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”1000″ height=”667″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45637″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals <img src=”http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fiona-7.jpg” alt=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls trompe loeil optical illusion murals drawing animals ” width=”900″ height=”1198″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-45638″ title=”Animal Murals by Fiona Tang Appear to Leap from Gallery Walls”/>

Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang creates large-scale murals of animals using charcoal, chalk pastel, and acrylic on paper that at first glance appear 3D. Tang makes use of a technique called trompe l’oeil where shadows and perspective within the two dimensional drawing are used to trick the viewer into thinking the piece is three dimensional. Tang recently graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and you can see more of her work over on Facebook. (via Juxtapoz, My Modern Met)

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations, Uncategorized

Random Humor

Random humor to perk up the end of the week…

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Acclaimed Author Robert Scanlan to Speak at VSEBT Annual Conference

Acclaimed Author Robert Scanlan to Speak at VSEBT Annual Conference.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Rough Spots…

We all have rough spots in our lives.  For me, I am in one.  I don’t usually whine or talk about myself if I can help it.  So forgive this exception…

First, it is 113 degrees in Phoenix, which is freaking hot, and our last electricity bill was $650 and will be higher for the next two or three months…

untitled (12)

Second, our three dogs have all been sick.  Our 18 year old dog was walking like a letter C.  We had to get her cortisone injections and x-rays.  Her liver is also failing.  Now she has a mystery splotch growing on her spine.  So she goes back tomorrow.  Meanwhile, her furry brothers got the flu or a cold.  Shaking, cold then hot, listless, have to be held…

untitled (3)

Third, my wife took my car without telling me.  Hers apparently has an air conditioner on the fritz and she had scheduled it for the shop.  I don’t like her driving my car because it is a six speed high compression sports car and she drives an automatic.  I worry she will have issues shifting and hit something.  Instead, a tire blew out.  So, my car was in the shop for a few days to get my custom tires imported from Japan and installed for just under $1,000.  Meanwhile, her car is in and out of the shop, fixed twice for around $400 and still not having the A/C work, goes back on Friday…

imagesCAZWJ3X0

Fourth, my ongoing osteo-necrosis has been cropping up again with severe pain in the neck and back…  Physical therapy three times per day for two hours each for six weeks has it down a bit, but this week it decided to be ugly again and get back to the 7 out of 10 scale at times…

untitled

Fifth, pain reduces my work day (I know I am supposed to be retired…).  However, as an author, writer for magazines, and consultant, this is a busy time of year for me.  The consulting especially is pretty heavy right now.  That leaves me working in pain and feeling zero creativity.

untitled (2)

Sixth, my main computer is still having memory issues.  Somehow it keeps putting temp files to my solid state boot up drive which only has 40 gig memory, instead of my hard drive which has 2 Terrabytes of unused space…  Meaning I work more off my laptop, which can’t handle graphics without restarting every 30 minutes and drops my typing speed from 100 wpm down to about 25 wpm.

Finally, unexpected expenses like cars, dogs, extreme early summer weather, medical, etc., have taken their toll on my retirement reserves.

That is my complaining for now.  Perhaps I should look at my cute dog picture posts…  How was your week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Redshirts – Safer Than You Might Think

Although more Redshirts died in the many Star Trek TV shows and films, oddly enough, it is more dangerous to be a gold shirt on a percentage basis.  For non-Trekkers, the original color scheme was - Gold for Command Crew and Navigation, Red for Engineering and Security, and Blue for Medical and Science.

 

According to Math, the Worst Color Shirt to Wear on Star Trek Is Actually Yellow

To Boldly Go

It’s a well known maxim that nobody wants to be a redshirt on Star Trek: The Original Series. The proud members of Operations, Engineering, and Security are the space-expendables, the first line of defense, the… well the ones who always get sent down with the away party full of more important characters and get murdered by the space monster of the week. Like, all the time. But what if, instead of considering this from the viewer’s perspective, you considered it from the perspective of a crewman choosing a line of work? What if you’re just a redshirt, and not “this episode’s redshirt?”

Matthew Barsalou took this perspective and applied math to it, and lets just say that Kirk, Chekov, and Sulu might not be to happy about it.

Barsalou’s findings were greatly informed by a bit of information missing from most Star Trek drinking games: the exact crew breakdown by color of the Enterprise NC 1701. While redshirt deaths make up the largest percentage of crewperson deaths in the Original Series (42%), redshirted crewmen also make up the majority of the crew of the Enterprise.

In fact, by percentage of total population of crewmen wearing their respective colors, the blue science and medical officers have it safest, only losing 5.1% of their population. Redshirts have it the next best, with an even 10%, and it’s the yellow shirts of command and helm crew who top out at losing 13.4% of their population over the course of the series. Barsalou can break it down even further: only a portion of red shirted crewmen are actually security personell, the specific population of crewmembers who suffered the worst casualties at 20%. But Barsalou takes it a step further:

Using what is known about Enterprise crew and casualty figures, suppose an Enterprise crew member has been killed. Discarding the 15 unknown casualties, redshirts consist of 60.0% of all fatalities where the uniform color is known; blue and gold uniforms are the remaining 40.0% of casualties. Redshirts are only 52.0% of the entire crew, but 60.0% of casualties, so what is the probability that the latest casualty was wearing a redshirt? The Enterprise often visits Starbases and takes on new crew members, so we assume sampling with replacement.

Then he does a bunch of math. His conclusions? If you hear about a crewperson dying on the Enterprise, there is a 64.5% chance that they were wearing a red shirt. But there is also a 61.9% chance that they were a member of the security department. All those other redshirts? They’ve only got an 8.6% casualty rate, which puts them ahead of every yellow shirted crewperson on the ship. So mommas, don’t let your kids grow up to be security personnel. But if they want to work in operations or engineering, you can probably relax.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Photorealistic Pencil Drawings

Pencil art to amaze you…You can click on the first then arrow through them all to see full-sized, as with all my galleries I post.  I just don’t know how people can be so talented…

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations, Uncategorized