The Hot List: Volume 1

By Winding Road Staff

August 05, 2011

Every week we sift through a truly amazing amount of “stuff” in the dozen or so hours we spend online—you know, the time spent not driving sweet cars. A lot of the cool stuff we find has to do specifically with new cars, naturally, but there’s also a huge amount of awesomeness that doesn’t completely fit in the normal Winding Road world. To date, we’ve been in the habit of simply reading, watching, or talking amongst ourselves about this web detritus, but recently we thought it might be a good idea to start sharing it with you all. Thus, The Hot List.
Each week we’ll aim to bring you a list of the most interesting bits of information we run across. Ten worth-knowing-about things that may or may not be related directly to the world of cars, but all of which we think our typical enthusiast readers will be able to really dig into. We won’t know, from week to week, what will show up on this list, which is part of the fun for us and for you.

Read, enjoy, and comment. If you happen to know of something that you think would make for a good inclusion on next week’s list, drop us a line at  

Sonic Editions: The Impossible Cool Collection

Splitting the difference between pricey original photography in custom frames, and those dorm room posters you’ve still got hanging up in your office, Sonic Editions offers ready-framed prints of iconic photography for around a hundred bucks out the door. The company’s new Impossible Cool Collection includes shots of some of our all-time faves: McQueen, Connery, Dean, and, of course, Monroe. Yowza.

The Old Car Manual Project

Enthusiasts upload and browse scanned images of—you guessed it—old car manuals. Potentially useful if you’ve forgotten the location of the fuse checker on your Australian-born Chrysler Sigma Scorpion (for instance), or just a fine way to bliss out on cool photos of old cars.

Nissan “Leaf-to-Home”
So you buy a Nissan Leaf EV, drive the wheels off of it, and are left with some still-pretty-useful battery backs, apparently. Nissan is shaping plans to use reclaimed Leaf batteries as home power storage devices; useful in case of blackout-type situations. The battery packs are predicted to retain up to 80 percent of their original capacity after the car is off the road, making them ideal for emergency power supply at home.

Swan Paddle Boat

Our experiences with paddle boats came mostly in early childhood, often with Grandma and/or Grandpa aboard as our co-pilot, and were generally pretty slow and soggy. Had Gramps had the means to throw down the better part of three grand on one of these majestic swan boats, we probably would have been a lot more terrified thrilled.
Used Tire Animal Sculptures
Instead of finishing of those doomed old tires in a delicious burnout, Artist Yong Ho Ji has an equally beautiful end for old rubber. His amazing sculptures of various animals are stunning, creepy, and generally impressive. To see the anatomy of sharks, jaguars, and even human hybrids wrought in recycled rubber tread is pretty spectacular.
Motorcycle Roads
If you’re looking for scenic drives throughout the US, motorcycle roads had an extensive database of great cruises for wherever you live. With maps, descriptions, and user ratings, choosing your next Sunday ride should be an easy, fun task. There’s no reason you can’t use a car on these roads, either, just keep an eye out for our two-wheeled friends.
How To Build A Go Kart In One Day
Gotta love Popular Mechanics. They offer the basic plans and instructions to build all sorts of fun projects, but we’re particularly interested in this go-kart. If you’ve got the means to weld, and about $700 to spend on parts, you can be driving this bad boy around by Sunday.
BMW Guggenheim Lab
BMW’s Guggenheim Lab is a mobile laboratory that will travel to six cities around the world, bring together people from various disciplines, and have them come up with solutions to improve city life. The first stop is in New York City, at Houston St. and 2nd Ave. Head over to the website for a video that explains the idea behind this experiment in urban design.
Auto Buds
This humorous website is devoted to capturing pictures of two or more cars of the same make, model, and color in close proximity to each other. We promise, once you visit the site, you’ll start noticing this wonderful phenomenon much more often. Next time you see two red Ford Windstars parked side by side at your local donut shop, make sure to snap a picture and submit it.
Streets Of Monaco Yacht
Yacht Island Design offers various concepts for outrageous yachts. Our favorite is the recently designed Streets Of Monaco yacht, which is a decadent floating replica of one of our favorite Formula 1 courses. And yes, you can drive on it; it is intended to serve as a fully functional kart track.