BAC Mono: The ultimate yacht accessory + more
The ultimate yacht accessory
Having your own superyacht is all fine and well, but what if you need a bit of land-based fun while on a voyage?
For those who have that problem, BAC — makers of the single-seater Mono — have come to the rescue with a “Marine Edition” of their mental little car.
It has been re-engineered for use on a superyacht, including being “marinised” with an anti-corrosion coating for metal parts and fitted with lifting points so it can be hoisted on and off the boat. There’s a climate-controlled container for storage and a carbon-fibre crane arm.
The Marine Edition is powered by the Mountune-tweaked Ford 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine that pumps out 227kW and will propel the 580kg Mono to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds.
The $1.2 million price tag might provoke words like “expensive”, “horrifying” or “the person who buys this will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes” from many of us. But to the person who has a superyacht it may be considered a bargain. The Good Oil really doesn’t know.
Holy Bat-copyright, Batman!
The Batmobile is protected by law. Picture / Jennifer Graylock
While Batman is kept busy fighting The Joker and other eccentric super-villains, his legal team are equally busy battling the evil of ... people who want to make replicas of his car. Yes, really.
The Good Oil has long been a fan of a bloke called Mark Towle and his business Gotham Garage, which builds completely awesome replicas of the 1966 TV Batmobile and the 1989 Tim Burton movie Batmobile. But according to DC Comics and Warner Bros, Towle is the automotive equivalent of The Riddler. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals feels the same way.
The court has upheld an earlier ruling stopping Gotham Garage from selling the replicas — a fight that has been going on for four years — effectively classifying the Batmobile as a character, despite its change of appearance over many years.
While Towle’s lawyers argued the Batmobile was simply a modified automobile so copyright was invalid because the US Copyright Act states that “useful articles” like cars, appliances and clothing can’t be protected.
But Judge Sandra Ikuta stated: “In addition to its status as ‘a highly interactive vehicle, equipped with high-tech gadgets and weaponry used to aid Batman in fighting crime’, the Batmobile is almost always bat-like in appearance, with a bat-themed front end, bat wings extending from the top or back of the car, exaggerated fenders, a curved windshield, and bat emblems. This bat-like appearance has been a consistent theme throughout the comic books, television series, and motion picture, even though the precise nature of the bat-like characteristics have changed from time to time.”
Although The Good Oil would suggest that this description means Judge Ikuta has never seen the Christopher Nolan “Tumbler”, it would seem she is a bit of a Bat-fan. She dropped a Bat-quote from Adam West into her ruling: “As Batman so sagely told Robin, ‘In our well-ordered society, protection of private property is essential’.”
She is probably right, but all The Good Oil knows is that we will almost certainly never have our own Batmobile now.
We are the world
■When Florida man Julius Lupowitz was pulled over for speeding, he had what he thought was a thoroughly excellent idea — report a man with a gun not far from where he was stopped. It didn’t work. Lots of other officers wasted their time looking for the imaginary gunman while the original cop hung around. When it was realised that the call was a hoax, the 911 operator tracked the call back to Lupowitz’s mobile phone while the original cop was writing the ticket. Instead of a US$200 speeding fine, Lupowitz faces a five-year prison sentence.
■A Michigan man’s fear of spiders nearly cost him his car and his life. When he saw a spider crawling on his car, the man’s first instinct was to kill it — by setting it on fire with his cigarette lighter. Unfortunately he was at a petrol station putting gas into his car at the time. Unsurprisingly flames and panic ensued, but no one was hurt and the only damage was one very charred and melted pump.
The ultimate torture test
Although it is common for manufacturers to “torture-test” prototypes to utter destruction, Nissan has taken this description quite literally.
Nissan, like other manufacturers do with their models, put its latest Juke and X-trail SUVs through all the usual extreme tests — such as running them for 2.25 million kilometres to test suspension durability, opening and closing the doors 1.2 million times, lifting the bonnet 48,000 times, opening and closing the windows 30,000 times, spraying volcanic dust into the air to test the electric window mechanism for durability and dropping weights onto the glass roof to make sure it can “withstand the weight of a brown bear climbing on the car”.
It puts the stereo through an even more arduous ordeal.
Yes, a test more arduous than bears.
A press release says the audio system goes through “playing the stereo at high volume for a total of 1200 days (that’s 1,728,000 minutes) using specifically selected music tracks to encompass the widest range of pitch and beat.
“These include Mariah Carey for the high notes and the thumping bass of German house music.”
Yes, 1200 days of Mariah and thumping, thudding German house music.
Quite frankly, The Good Oil would rather have a brown bear fall on us.
Batman has driven a staggering 271 Batmobiles since 1939.
He has driven 7 different cars on the silver screen.
90 THOUSAND US$
The approx price (NZ$141,000) of a Gotham Batmobile.
750 THOUSAND US$
The amount (NZ$1.17 million) per car sold that DC/Warner are asking in damages.