Supposed cross-country record holder and leaky fuel-cell enthusiast Ed Bolian has released a new vehicle history app that aims to dethrone Carfax and bring vehicle history reporting into the hands of owners. The startup is appropriately named VINwiki and it bills itself as a social vehicle history reporting platform.
Knowing that vehicle history reports can be inaccurate, it’s always beneficial to have more data points when researching a car, but VINwiki appears to be less about verifiable vehicle history and more about car spotting and showing off your past and present rides.
Our Editor in Chief Pro Tempore’s post about the new unofficial coast to coast driving record, facilitated by the use of bed pans and big gas tanks, got the old synapses firing and I remembered something from my youth, maybe an episode of What’s My Line? or To Tell The Truth, about a guy who set continuous driving records in a highly modified Cadillac. Master of search fu that I am (it helps to have learned how to do an index/abstract/journal search back in the dead tree book days) I quickly discovered that the gentleman in question was named Louie Mattar. The San Diego garage owner bought a 1947 Cadillac new and started to add some custom features, like a built in shower, a back seat grill for cooking hot dogs and a wire recorder, as this 1951 issue of Modern Mechanix (today Popular Mechanics) shows. Then he started modifying the Cadillac mechanically, it so he could do things like change tires without stopping the car. Mattar made it his life’s mission to set and then break, over and over, the “record” for non-stop driving. His first record was a *non-stop drive in 1952 from San Diego to New York City and back, 6,320 miles. (Read More…)