Capitalism is just fine with me, but I have to say I was put off just a little by the glut of corporate cross-marketing tie-ins yesterday to Oct. 21, 2015, the date in the future to which Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel in the second Back To The Future movie.
Not that I have anything against the BTTF franchise: the trilogy is clever, charming and obviously inspires passionate fandom. Christopher Lloyd is crazy gifted in a Jonathan Winters manner and I have no objection to him making a few bucks appearing in ads with Michael J. Fox. Fox has a family to support, too.
I’m not naive and many of yesterday’s marketing efforts, from Nike’s self lacing shoes, to USA Today’s headline about Marty’s arrest only reflect product placement deals in the original films. (Read More…)
I think we can all take a moment to appreciate the fine, fine work that Stanford researchers have put into making a 1981 Delorean do its own donuts in a parking lot on “Back to the Future” day Wednesday. Bravo.
But the car, dubbed MARTY (Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control), is more than just epic clickbait for a made-up, 1980s-movie holiday. The car is display for autonomous vehicle control that can go beyond a car’s “safety limits” to exploit physics.
Or, you know, the way you disable stability control to do the same donuts in a nearby parking lot.
Should you happen to be in Berlin next Friday, you could have a shot at the DeLorean once owned by none other than the former Mrs. DeLorean herself.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that people who like unusual gullwing cars are people who like unusual gullwing cars. There are a number of car enthusiasts who own both DeLorean DMC-12 and Bricklin SV-1 cars and there appears to be a sense of camaraderie as well between DeLorean and Bricklin enthusiasts. I first realized this when visiting the Lingenfelter Collection, which includes both of those cars in a collection that’s focused primarily on Corvettes, American muscle and Ferraris. Then, more recently, a couple of Bricklin owners decided to take in the Woodward Dream Cruise, sharing the same north Woodward vantage point where DeLorean owners gather each year.
TTAC readers, the Best and the Brightest, seemed to have liked the first Magazine Memories so I started to sort and organize the boxes of old buff books in the basement, with an eye towards another column for you guys. The first piece was about a Sports Car Graphic from 1969, a golden age for both performance cars and auto racing. I thought it would be interesting, by way of contrast, to look at an era of less worthy automobiles, the “malaise era”, so named because of a speech given by Jimmy Carter during his presidency that attempted to address a sense of national lethargy. Though Carter never actually used the word malaise, the tag stuck. Looking at magazines from the middle of the Carter years, the winter of 1980-81, though, the cars were so boring and mediocre that I thought it’d be too much of a challenge to even joke about how boring and mediocre they were.