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Insider Report: What does it take to kill a Volvo?

Published December 28, 2012

Back in 1971, Volvo ran an ad campaign that featured a 144 with six of its mates stacked on top of it. The thrust of the ad was that Volvos were strong and therefore safe. The Swedish box cars were indeed strong, so much so that years later, many small town demolition derbies banned the cars because they destroyed everything in their paths.

YouTube users LifeHack2012 and Krimson37 got their hands on a ’90s era Volvo 850 wagon and then somebody let them loose in a wrecking yard. It isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine what sort of action they cooked up. While the poor wagon was looking more like a crumpled chip bag than a luxury car by the time they finished, at least it was still running!

Do not try this one at home kids!

More: 30 years, 800,000 km out of a Volvo. Here’s how I did it

Be careful when driving on snot

There is the old adage that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. A tad more relevant might be something like “We all make mistakes”, especially in modern media. Trust me, I have made more than my fair share of mistakes and they tend to be pointed out quickly and without mercy by my fellow automotive scribes. We all love to poke fun at each other. Then again, there is that old karma thingy, so I feel pretty good about sharing this little oops that is making its way around the Internet, as I’ve taken a few licks myself lately.

Someone in the control room at Fox23 put together this list of rules to follow when driving in snot. I think it’s safe to say that was supposed to read “snow”. Most of the advice is sound, although I take issue with the last statement “Do not drive in four-wheel-drive”. My belief is that you should absolutely drive in four-wheel drive, but use your head and don’t think that just because you can accelerate quickly that you can stop any faster.

Nordschleife Touristenfahrten Crash Compilation

As I have mentioned before here in the Insider Report, the legendary old Nordschleife circuit at the Nurburgring was called “The Green Hell” by Scottish Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart. He called it that because the place is beautiful but dangerous beyond belief. That is why Formula 1 no longer races there. To this day though, the Nurburgring hosts daily lapping events known as Nordschleife Touristenfahrten. No, that doesn’t mean that there are flatulent tourists on track, although I’m sure that some folks have experienced something similar when they realize just how tough the track is.

For just 26 Euro, anyone can go out for a lap and experience one of the most spectacular race tracks ever created. Perhaps more challenging than the track itself is the reality that during these public lapping events, drivers might share the track with top flight race cars, motorcycles, scooters and grocery getters. Needless to say, the level of driver experience also varies widely. It doesn’t take much of an oops to land one in the armco. Given the number of spectators that we can see in the video below, I would think that “offs” occur rather frequently.

Recreating classic Bullit car chase

Le Mans winner Justin Bell and the folks at eBay recently made a visit to San Francisco with a 2013 Ford Mustang GT California Special and set out to re-trace the route of the car chase in the Steve McQueen classic Bullit. Needless to say, the pace is much reduced from the original movie, but Bell does manage to get his ‘Stang off the ground at least once. As a bit of a history geek, I think the coolest part is that they start outside Detective Frank Bullit’s house, complete with modern day blue boxes. Fun stuff.

Now, will someone please tell Justin that the super white laces on his Chuck Taylors do not work with the suit he’s wearing!

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