Good Oil: Iran's Hillman hunter
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Every car fan knows all about the Morris Oxford’s long second life on the Indian subcontinent as the Hindustan Ambassador.
But one lesser-known automotive cloning effort that took root in the late-1960s is Iran’s Paykan; essentially a 1966 Hillman Hunter.
Not that anyone in The Good Oil offices has been to Tehran, but apparently even today Paykans (the name means arrow in Persian) are ubiquitous on the teeming city streets, as battered taxis, cherished private cars and chopped-down pick-up trucks.
Paykans even served as makeshift ambulances during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and became so much a part of the fabric of Iranian society that the jingle from a 1970s Paykan advertisement became the song commonly sung at Iranian birthday parties.
How do we know all this? A new documentary called Iran’s Arrow: The Rise and Fall of Paykan is making its way around the US arthouse theatre circuit.
The documentary is a co-production between Paykan enthusiast Shahin Armin and film-maker Sohrab Daryabandari.
There’s no word on when we may see it here, although we’ll scan next year’s New Zealand International Film Festival programme with interest.
Jamie Oliver’s not-normal food truck
Jamie Oliver and his cheffed-up Discovery. Photo / Supplied
Food trucks are hot items. But trust geezer-ish TV chef Jamie Oliver to come up with a different take on tacos from the back of a refurbished Commer van.
Oliver has partnered with Jaguar Land Rover SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) to design and build a kitchen-on-wheels, based around a 2017 Land Rover Discovery.
Rather than simply removing the rear rows of seats and replacing them with a couple of worktops, Oliver has gone to town on the idea; the finished product is more akin to a cook school than the school run.
Some interesting ideas incorporated into the Disco design include wheels with oversized hubcaps that churn butter while on the move, a slow cooker under the bonnet that utilises engine heat, and retractable condiments, including an olive oil dispenser in the boot and an integrated spice rack, accessible via a pop-out rear quarter window.
Almost every accessory required to put a three-course meal together is included, from an on-board barbecue to an icecream maker.
The centre console has been redesigned to include a two-slice toaster; and, for oregano on the go, the Disco is even home to a travelling herb garden.
That roll call of weird and wonderful culinary creativity almost makes the slide-out bench top-slash-dining table seem like a given.
And the flat screen TV.
The Discovery design and build process was documented in a three-part series, the first episode of which went live on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube channel last week.
Sleeker than a Bugatti and goes places Chirons can’t
Lookalikes - if you squint - the Seabreacher and the similarly liveried Bugatti Chiron. Photo / Supplied
The numbers associated with Bugatti’s Chiron hypercar are astounding: 1103kW peak power and 1600Nm of torque available from a 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbo engine help propel this, frankly, ridiculous car from 0-100km/h in a shade less than 2.5 seconds, from 0-200km/h in around six seconds, and from 0-300km/h in just 13.6 seconds.
All rather stunning stuff that no owner will be able to fully experience for themselves unless they a) own their own high-speed test track or b) enjoy a casual approach to safety, the law etc. There’s also the Chiron’s US$2.9 million (NZ$4.1m ) price tag, which will take care of most tyre-kickers.
But here’s a way to get something as sleek as a Chiron for a fraction of the price.
Plus — and this is something Bugatti never dreamed of — this one will rocket over and under the water at your favourite beachside holiday resort. It’s the latest creation from Innespace Productions in California.
Headed by ex-pat Kiwi and mad boffin Rob Innes, the Bugatti-tastic paint scheme is just the latest option available to owners of the watercraft engineering firm’s Seabreacher line of underwater jet skis.
Despite being distinctly aquatic in nature, the Seabreacher is more akin to a sub-marine fighter jet to control.
Unlike conventional recreational watercraft that operate on a two-dimensional plane, the Seabreacher has three axis of control; pitch, roll and yaw.
This means the driver can carve left and right, as well as jump over and dive under waves.
Add in some Chiron-style exterior design and you’ll stand out in (or under) the harbour at next year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
In the meantime, the Seabreacher presents the perfect way to come and go from that hollowed-out volcano you’re using as a secret lair.