Automotive Guinness world records, vol. 2
If you feel like your life is pointless (first of all, welcome to the club), you can set a Guinness world record so that someone somewhere might remember you after you die. It will last longer than any monument to the great people of history, it will outlive the pyramids, and it will greet the heat-death of the universe at the end of time with the page opened to your name. Ahem. There are plenty of automotive world records, so here are some of the more interesting ones.
This story is almost as good as the one about Romeo and Juliet. When American ex-girlfriend Jennifer Fitzgerald dumped a guy, he registered his car in her name and left it at the Chicago airport paid parking lot. The abandoned vehicle accumulated 678 parking tickets for a total of over 100,000 dollars in fines. Our condolences to Jennifer, whose day was utterly ruined, and to the parking lot staff who didn’t want to tow the vehicle (although with that payout, we can see why).
We’ve all had to push a car. It’s hard to do alone, and towing a car for 70 meters on your own the way Kapil Gehlot did would be even harder. And you know what would be even harder than THAT? Towing that car tied to your beard, which is exactly what Kapil did. And DO YOU KNOW what would be even harder THAN THAT!? To do ALL of that shit on rollerblades, which is exactly what Kapil did! This absolute mindfuck raises countless questions, the most pressing of which for us are: a) how was this possible when you can’t grip the ground because you’re on rollerblades? b) Can he still feel his face, or is that just the price one pays for greatness?
The smallest registered vehicle in the world is about 1 meter high, 66 centimeters wide, and 1.3 meters long. The driver is Perry Watkins from Great Britain, who we assume does not play basketball. There’s no doubt that such a car has lots of benefits. Perry will never need to worry about parking spaces or having a garage at home. He can just carry it with him in a large sack or keep it in his closet. He’ll also never need to give his wife, kids, or anyone else a ride.
The largest automobile dance in the world happened in the United Arab Emirates and was organized by their police force (sounds like they have a very different concept of “police”). It involved 143 cars moving in synchronized unison. It just goes to show that, in addition to royal princes who enjoy beheading journalists, this country is also home to police officers with tender souls who value the art of dance. Quite unlike the ones in Belarus.
Rural America is known for loving noisy and pointless entertainment - like wrestling. Or like watching cars get destroyed in something that they like to call destruction derbies. However, the honor of hosting the greatest destruction derby festival was stolen by some rural corner of Canada, where a total of 125 participants engaged in an absolute slaughter. After 50 minutes of roaring engines and grinding metal, a guy driving a Toyota Corolla was crowned king. He won 10,000 Canadian dollars, which is enough to buy several large pizzas in the US or something.
Let’s go on an adventure!
When Swiss couple Emil and Lilian set out on a vacation in 1984 in their Toyota Land Cruiser, they took a bit longer than expected. They both said they got bored with their office jobs and didn’t want to go home. They were so reluctant to go home, in fact, that they didn’t - and they never stopped. They made it into the Guinness book in 1997, and the last update was in 2017. They’ve traveled more than 740,000 km in that same Toyota Land Cruiser. That’s more than 18 times around the earth.
Lightning in a bathtub
Here’s a trivia fact you won’t soon forget - the land speed record for a bathtub is almost 90 kmph. The bathtub on wheels was created by two guys in California who used parts from a 1969 Cadillac DeVille. It took them 6 years to create and was partially financed by another bunch of whack jobs on Kickstarter. There is one bathtub engineering problem we are sure they have yet to overcome, however - which way are you supposed to turn it to get hot water?
In 2008, Northampton in the UK was struck by a seismic earthquake. It was caused not by tectonic plate action, not by your mother rolling out of bed, but by 22 cars and their sound systems. They managed to vibrate the ground at a velocity of 6.325 mm/s. That doesn’t say much to us, but that’s the record. However, there’s another number that makes more sense - this would be the velocity of the ground’s vibration if someone were to set off a highly explosive 300 kg charge 500 m from the seismograph recording the event. What we really want to know is - what song did they play? Could it have just been a recording of your mother getting out of bed?
All coffee, no brake
The greatest distance driven by a coffee-powered vehicle is almost 340 km - from London to Manchester. Is this the gas-killer that environmentalists have been hoping for? Probably not, since it apparently takes about 56 espressos to go 1 mile (judging by the prices at my local hipster cafe, that mile would cost about 30,000 dollars). It was done in a modified Volkswagen Scirocco designed to heat coffee granules. These produce gasses that then power the engine. It’s a lot like when I drink coffee, except that I wind up producing gas without generating any energy.