If you like your big rigs with airbrushed images of Vikings all over them, the latest custom job from Swedish logistics firm Berthons will float your battle boat.
The Scania R580 it has liveried up with all manner of Norse niceness is rather excellent. And that’s just the exterior; the interior — with sword handle arm rests and medieval-style leather trim — is a work of art in itself.
And glory be! Thanks to the wonders of 360-degree camera technology, you can go for a virtual tour of a workshop garage containing the Berthons Scania R580. You can wander around the truck and even hop inside; it’s like a cross between a Forza console game (without the racing) and Game of Thrones (especially once you climb up inside the cab).
Berthons is already famous in Scandi truck circles; it runs an impressive Scania R560 “Hot Rod” which features airbrushed artwork that seamlessly spills from the cab across two trailer units. That’s worth a quick Google in itself.
Maybe Preston Henn is just guilty of trying a little too hard.
The Florida-based second-hand-dealer-made-good is attempting to sue Ferrari for not letting him buy a LaFerrari Spider. Not letting him?
Well, the fact the very limited edition LaFerrari Spider has already all but sold out seems to be the problem.
Henn, a reasonably well-known Ferrari collector who is already in possession of a LaFerrari coupe, is miffed his favourite exotic carmaker didn’t bother to pick up the phone and offer him one.
Henn has filed a verified complaint for damages in the Fort Lauderdale Division of the US District Court system. The document (which he also sent to a couple of US-based car magazines) details his long history as a Ferrari owner and lists the rather bold and desperate bids he has made to secure a LaFerrari Spider.
This includes writing out a US$1m ($1.4m) deposit cheque and mailing it directly to company CEO Sergio Marchionne ... which is a bit needy if you ask us. Ferrari, he claims, sent back a “demeaning” letter of rejection, so now — perhaps sensing that suing a car company for not making enough examples of their limited edition car may be pushing it a bit — Henn is also pursuing a defamation suit.
Henn sounds like an interesting guy. He got his start running a drive-in movie theatre before turning his entrepreneurial attention to flea markets. That business became an extremely profitable tourist attraction in Fort Lauderdale.
He has raced at Le Mans and Sebring. He was also in the team that won the 1983 24 Hours of Daytona (alongside A.J. Foyt and Bob Wollek who, let’s face it, probably did the lion’s share of the driving).
That race was won in a Porsche 935L. One would suggest Henn may like to stick with Porsche.
Who needs bus lanes?
A model of motoring ingenuity. Picture / Hu qingming — Imaginechina
When it was previewed in scale-model form in May, TEBtech’s Transit Elevated Bus (or TEB) looked cool in a Gerry Anderson, Joe 90 kind of way. Things move quickly in China and now the working machine has debuted in Qinhuandao City in Hebei province.
The TEB is an interesting transport solution to congestion which, as you may imagine with its burgeoning car-buying middle class, is of particular concern in China these days.
Rather than sit in meandering traffic, or even run alongside it, the TEB hovers over the top of slow-moving vehicles in a strange mechanical game of leap frog. The bus/train hybrid straddles two lanes of traffic (it is 22m long and 7.8m wide). Underneath it features 2.1m of clearance that, says its designers, is about the same as most parking buildings.
It can carry up to 300 passengers who — as far as the video shows — are able to enter the TEB from either street level or via a raised platform.
The video released showing the TEB working has it crawling along at walking pace, like the gantry-laying contraptions bridge-builders deploy. TEBtech claims it can move at up to 60km/h.
Of course a few questions remain unanswered, such as what happens when the TEB encounters an overbridge or even a truck ahead.
The 300m test track built for the machine featured a couple of mild corners, but overall it looks like the sort of solution that will require its own infrastructure ... which kind of defeats the purpose of inserting it into (or on to) an existing motorway system.
Still, in terms of madcap 1960s-ish sci-fi thinking, the TEB has our vote.
69,762 UNITS Amount of trucks Scania sold worldwide in 2015
1911 YEAR Scania founded
44,000 EMPLOYEES Work for Scania businesses worldwide
1920s DECADEScania first started building buses (as Scania-Vabis)