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01 Feb. 2016 

World's Craziest Cars Photos - ABC News

Even if you have a lot of other priorities for instance, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., still you need to complete a senior project to graduate successfully

Gene Simmons VW Bug

This 1970 Volkswagen Beetle has been modified to resemble KISS bassist Gene Simmons. The ad was listed on Craigslist, and the car is yours for $10,000. The car features the face, hair, and signature tongue of Simmons. It's like no other car on the road today and is sure to get people to turn their head.

Photo courtesy of Tim Hall/ Caddy Works.com

Toyota Unveils Touch Screen Car

Stephan Winkelmann, the CEO of Lamborghini SpA, at the unveiling of the Urus sport-utility concept vehicle at the Beijing Auto Show in China, April 22, 2012. Lamborghini unveiled its first SUV in almost two decades. The Italian supercar maker looks to expand its lineup to tap rising demand from emerging markets.

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Crazy Cars/Lincoln Toe Truck

For years, Lincoln Towing Co.'s "Pink Toe Truck" was a landmark in Seattle. The original left foot truck was built nearly 30 years ago by the company's owner, who retired in 2000. The truck does not have doors and with its big toe, reaches a height of 11.5 feet. The truck could tow a small vehicle, but it spent most of its time on display outside Lincoln's towing yard or in local parades. A newer truck, resembling a right foot, was built in 1996. The original now calls Seattle's Museum of History and Industry its home.



Kathleen Kennedy Knies/Museum of History & Industry, Seattle.

Crazy Cars/Camera Van

Inspired by a dream, Harrod Blank, seen here, spent two years designing and decorating his "<a href="http://www.cameravan.com/" target="external">Camera Van</a>." This car is covered in old Polaroid cameras, color TV monitors and antique models. Using Kodak Instamatic cameras, Blank wrote the word "Smile" on the top of the van and created a replica of the camera on the van's driver's side. After completing the van in 1995, Blank drove across the country from California to New York, taking pictures. The artist and filmmaker made his first art car at the age of 16.

Hunter Mann

Crazy_Cars/Automorphosis

Filmmaker and photographer Harrod Blank's photos of cars turned into works of art have been collected into a book and are also featured in his film, "<a href="http://www.automorphosis.com" target="external">Automorphosis</a>." Blank is currently on tour with his "Camera Van" and six other art cars.

Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/California Fantasy



Ernie Steingold of Burbank, Calif., spent more than 10 years welding his "<a href="http://www.artcarworld.org" target="external">California Fantasy Van</a>" with brass-colored items. Steingold, who died in 1998, drove the vehicle slowly and eventually ruined its tires and brakes because of the car's weight. A 1975 GMC Panel Van, the art car calls the Art Car World museum in Douglas, Ariz., its home.

Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/Hamburger Harley

This is one hamburger not meant to be eaten. The "<a href="http://www.burgerweb.com" target="external">Hamburger Harley</a>," was created by burger lover Harry Sperl, who has more than 1,000 pieces in his collection of hamburger paraphernalia. Airbrush artist Chris Cruz put the finishing touches to the motorcycle, with detailed toppings, including cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato and ketchup. The vehicle's top bun opens up to expose the driver's seat. You can also find an order of burger and fries sitting by the handlebars.

Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/Mondrian Mobile



Inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian's simple use of lines and colors, artist Emily Duffy of El Cerrito, Calif., seen here standing on the hood, began working on her "<a href="http://www.artcarworld.org" target="external">Mondrian Mobile</a>" in 1996. Originally trained as a fashion designer, Duffy even made a hat, dress and purse to match her painted 1984 Nissan Sentra. She has designed other projects like the "Vain Van" and "Bra Ball."

Emily Duffy

Crazy Cars/Pico De Gallo

Artist and filmmaker Harrod Blank added some spice to this 1963 Volkswagen Beetle. Named the "<a href="http://www.harrodblank.com/artcars/index.htmlURL" target="external">Pico De Gallo</a>" (which means spicy salsa in Spanish), this art car features a stereo system, rooftop stage and working musical instruments. The car is currently on display at the Art Car World museum in Douglas, Ariz.

Hunter Mann

Crazy Cars/Ripper The Shark

Don't let the teeth of this shark car frighten you. "<a href="http://www.artcarfest.com" target="external">Ripper the Friendly Shark</a>" was constructed from a 1982 Nissan Sentra by the late San Francisco artist Tom Kennedy, seen here. The artist added fins and a swishing tail to the car's exterior and decorated the interior with blue lighting and fish that dangles from the roof. Before his death in 2009, Kennedy created many other art cars and helped popularize the movement.



Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/Rocket Bike

This "<a href="http://www.artcaragency.com" target="external">Rocket Bike</a>," by Scott McNamara, is actually a motorcycle. It is one of many art cars featured in Harrod Blank's film, "Automorphosis."

Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/Shoe Car

Looking for the perfect way to accessorize an outfit? How about taking a spin in this "<a href="http://www.artcaragency.com" target="external">Red Stiletto</a>"? David Crow designed the shoe, using parts of a Honda motorcycle, fiberglass and hand-rubbed paint. Crow, shown here, spent nearly four years making the car for his then girlfriend as a way to make up for teasing her about her shoe collection.

Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/Telephone Car

This 1975 Volkswagen Beetle was converted to resemble a desk phone to promote Datel Communications, a telephone company based in Massachusetts. Datel's owner, Howard Davis, and a friend spent more than two years building the <a href="http://www.thephonecar.com" target="external">oversized telephone</a>.

Harrod Blank

Crazy Cars/The Duke

There's not an inch of empty space on artist Rick McKinney's "<a href="http://www.jigglebox.com" target="external">Duke</a>" car. The rolling museum is a 1976 Ford Granada weighing 5,000 lbs. The car's exterior features Fisher Price toys, and other childhood mementos, old TV sets and ship portal windows from a yacht once owned by President Herbert Hoover. At its height, the car reaches 12 feet with a live-in steamer trunk sculpture -- a 5 foot by 8 foot by 5 foot loft bedroom made up of old travel trunks with a removable skylight. The inside of the car is also home to odds and ends, like windup toys and photographs.

Harrod Blank

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01 Feb. 2016 

Watching a Pro Race In Person - a Guide for the New Race Fan

Even if you have a lot of other priorities for instance, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., still you need to complete a senior project to graduate successfully



See It Live - If you have ever seen a Broadway play or attended a professional ball and stick game, I bet you know the experience is more exciting than watching the same thing on TV. Not convinced? Which would you rather see, live fireworks going off over your head or watch them, at home, on the small screen? The sounds, smells and shared buzz from the crowd make watching events just that little bit better. And, as exciting as auto racing can be when covered well on television, attending a race takes the experience to the next level. Happily, for us folks living within the tri-state area, there are many opportunities to watch professional (and amateur) racing located at race tracks that are within about a 100 mile circle of the George Washington Bridge. At the end of this story, I'll list a few race track web sites to help you plan a fun day or weekend. But first things first - the next big local race is around the corner. Read on...

Celebrities - yeah IMSA have that!

(C) D.Miliano 2015 All Rights Reserved

Spins happen

(C) D.miliano 2015 all rights reserved

The Northeast Grand Prix - The next exciting race in our area will be held on July 24 and 25 at Lime Rock Park in north west Connecticut. That's when the sanctioning body - IMSA - is holding the latest round of the United Tudor SportsCar Championship at Lime Rock. Unlike NASCAR and Formula 1, Tudor SportsCar is very fan-friendly. They happily invite fans into the paddock where the drivers and mechanics prepare the Porsches, Aston Martins, Audis, Vipers, BMWs and Ferraris that run in the various classes in the series. This means you can stroll through the vast paddock expanse of the track, chat with fans and team members, take pictures of cars and drivers, get free "Hero Cards" of the cars and, at specific times, clearly alerted by the track announcer, go and meet your favorite driver at his tent or car hauler. Of course, "selfies" and autographs are part of the show - all included in your general admission. One more exciting opportunity is what IMSA calls a "fan walk". This when the cars are lined up on the starting grid - right there on the track at the Start/Finish line and everyone at the event is invited to walk among the crews, cars and drivers just prior to the start of the race. Often, there are "umbrella girls" - lovely fashion models who hold umbrellas over the drivers to keep them shaded from the sun - these lovely ladies are tastefully dressed in sponsor attire and they are all very beautiful.



Schedule - Sports Car races are usually two day events. The first day is dedicated to practice and qualifying by class. These practice sessions are both fast and loud and Lime Rock is very fan friendly so you can get remarkably close to the edge of the track to soak up the sounds and smells as well as taking some exciting photos.

Be Prepared - Unlike most other venues, Lime Rock Park doesn't have traditional grand stands. The asphalt road course of the track is laid out in the middle of a park-like facility with rolling hills, vast expanses of well tended grass and great sight lines that offer unobstructed views of several turns. The track offers food concessions with traditional fare such as hot dogs, burgers and fries as well as healthy options like turkey and chicken plus some specialties like pulled pork BBQ. Prices are fair considering the location but you may want to pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket or folding chair and your favorite beverage (alcoholic drinks are allowed but not in the paddock) to save a few bucks. Also, road races happen rain or shine so watch the weather forecast and bring a poncho or raincoat and hat but don't stay home because the excitement really heats up in the rain. Finally, because you have free access to every corner of the 1.5 mile long track, wear the right footwear - sneakers or waterproof hiking boots work best .

Planning - Go to the track web site and buy your tickets in advance to help speed up entry into the track. If you belong to a local car club like Audi, BMW, Corvette, Jaguar, Mercedes, MG, Miata, Porsche, etc., check your club's web site to see if they will be holding a "car corral" - a gathering for cars of similar marques within the parking area. Often, the track will allow the cars in these car corrals to drive "pace" laps - low speed in a lead / follow parade around the track during the lunch breaks. Definitely worth checking out if you have ever wanted to see a track up close and personal.

Local tracks - Besides Lime Rock () there are several local tracks that hold spectator events. Pocono Raceway in Long Pond PA, () holds two NASCAR events on their 2.5 mile "tri-oval" and vintage sports car races as well as SCCA events. New Jersey Motorsports Park () is located in south, central New Jersey - about even with Atlantic City in the middle of the state - they hold a variety of road races - including motorcycle races and monster truck spectacles - all through out the spring, summer and fall.



Gear Up - Besides rain gear, good shoes, a picnic basket and something to sit on, every fan should bring a camera, ear protection (race cars can be very loud), sunblock, a hat, sunglasses and binoculars.



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