RoAb #98 – The ‘Juan-Ton Soup’ Episode

September 26th, 2011 at 2:11am

Coming up on RoundAbout, Heinz makes dining while motoring a little bit easier.  Wheel skirts could be making a comeback . . . except not.  And we take a look at a money-saving iPhone app in our Auto Gadget Segment.  Stay tuned for all these incredible savings PLUS a brand-new segment after the break.  You’re going to want to sit down and stay awhile . . . go ahead, take your shoes off; make yourself comfortable.

Brought to you by Advance Auto Parts and Tire Rack

Thanks to our partner:

Play RoundAbout Episode 98

Download MP3 | iTunes | Zune | RSS
Featuring: Dali Dimovski, Christiaan Conover, Jeffrey Ross, Craig Cole and Ben Sanders

Show notes and video after the jump!

RoundAbout records LIVE on Fridays at 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT. Visit and click Watch Live to watch our webcast and look in on all the antics.

Show Notes:

Driver caught hauling 64 kids in one minivan!
There’s no doubt about it, the safety Nazis are slowly taking over every aspect of our lives.  From riding lawnmowers that won’t cut while going backwards to brake-shift-interlocks to ground-fault electrical outlets, all of the fun and danger of living is slowly being taken away.  Despite all of this madness there’s a mythical land where the rules do not apply.  It’s called China, the wild, wild East.  But there is a limit to what the reds will allow.  According to Jalopnik, a minivan driver in the country was pulled over under the suspicion of having an overloaded vehicle.  Turns out it was.  The miniature van — designed to hold eight passengers — was stuffed to capacity with — get this — 66 children.  How’d they do it?  Well, enterprising . . . owners . . . replaced the seats with long wooden benches.

Heinz invents ketchup pack for in-car use
There are two things that I look forward to every morning when I wake up: A) I’m in my car for 3-4 hours per day, and as a typical American that means that I’m constantly hungry and slightly overweight. B) I have a 2-year old daughter that loves Freedom Fries when in the car seat. Both of these “wonderful” things — sarcasm intended — cause me to need ketchup a lot. The open ketchup cups are great for dipping, but get messy when the kiddo “accidentally” drops it on the seat next to her. The packets? Well, just try to rip one open with your teeth while speeding down I-75 and controlling the explosion. Thankfully, Heinz has created a new ketchup packet that incorporates both a tooth-friendly twist off top for squeezing and a peel-away portion for dipping. Now, I just need to protect my steering wheel from all of the inevitable layers of salt and grease, and my arteries from the upcoming heart attack, and I should be fine.

How did an “I, Robot” prop-car end up on a Canadian salvage barge?
As a huge “Back to the Future” fan, one of my favorite things about futuristic movies are usually the cars. In the case of the 2004 movie I, Robot, this was definitely the case when it came to the lead car: an Audi RSQ that looks very similar to the what we now know as the R8. According to Jalopnik, one of its readers saw a scaled-down, fiberglass prop car version of the RSQ sitting on a salvage barge in Canada… where the movie was filmed. After doing some digging, Jalopnik learned that a salvage company had found the model car abandoned on the outskirts of Vancouver, and added it to their collection of floating scrap that included the HMCS Annapolis which is being turned into an artificial reef. Fans of movie cars, or cool-looking junk, will want to take note since the article says that the salvage company is willing to part ways with the car if the price is correct.

Laid off by NASA, shuttle engineers build a rocket-inspired, street-legal trike
After being laid off once the space shuttle program ended earlier this year, a group of NASA engineers have founded their own company building rocket-inspired tricycles.  The vehicles are powered by the 3.5 liter V6 out of the Chrysler 300, and can go 0-60 in 3.6 seconds.  They’re made from a whole host of composite and lightweight materials, and look like three-wheeled hot rods.  The biggest benefit from these,however, comes from the fact that rocket scientists won’t seem quite as nerdy.

Regulators investigate report of fatal tire-jack failures
Anyone else feeling a safety vibe from me today?  Well, get a load of this.  Ford is in hot water with NHTSA again.  No, I’m not talking about spontaneously combusting cruise-control systems or Firestone tires, this time it’s something else.  According to Rupert Murdoch and company at The Wall Street Journal, the blue oval is under investigation for issues with its jacks.  No, not Nasser, or Telnack, I’m talking about those God-forsaken, knuckle-busting contraptions that can barely prop up your vehicle during an emergency tire change.  It seems the Ford Freestar and its EVEN LESS popular sister model, the Mercury Monterey, are being probed and cavity searched by the feds over complaints about collapsing jacks.  It’s reported that the Office of Defects Investigation has received five complaints on the issue so far.  In one case a person died while working under a vehicle — never mind that every one of these jacks I’ve ever seen explicitly warns the user NOT TO CRAWL UNDER THE VEHICLE, but instead to properly support it while making repairs — it’s Ford’s fault!  The inquiry affects some 205,000 vehicles from the 2004 and 2005 model years.  All I can say is, they sold that many Freestars and Montereys?!

This Corvette, Camaro, pickup mashup will blow your mind
Abbott and Costello. Peanut butter and jelly. McCain and Pal–, wait, maybe not that one. Regardless, there are many things that go together well in combination. Corvettes, Camaros, and pickup trucks could be one of those, if you proposed to your wife while cruising Gratiot at 3AM on a Tuesday night. This ultimate threeway on a freeway combines pieces of several of GM’s vehicles all Frankenstein-like, while at the same time offending… well, everyone. Someone eventually had to make this monstrosity, but just be glad it wasn’t you.

Why wheel skirts probably won’t make a comeback despite aero benefits
Fender skirts might be a great way to make an old Lincoln Continental look great or make a first-gen Honda Insight more aerodynamic, but according to an article on Automotive News, don’t expect this design element to make a comeback anytime soon…. at least from General Motors. According to GM’s global design chief, Ed Welburn, fender skirts aren’t likely to return to future vehicle designs mostly because they add to a car’s total cost and compromise the rear tire size. Speaking of tires, one of the more surprising negative aspects Welburn mentioned is that fender skirts can also cause tire pressures to increase which is likely a result of added heat in the enclosed wheel opening. What does this all mean? If the Buick Roadmaster ever returns to production, it probably won’t have fender skirts.

Man creates multi-car horn emulator to better startle slowpokes
Sometimes one horn doesn’t adequately express one’s frustration and rage at stupid drivers.  Luckily a man bitten with the DIY bug has rigged up a cheap solution.  Using a set of air horns mounted under the hood and switches in the console, he’s able to emulate up to 4 different cars at once.  It’s pretty neat, but if you’re really that frustrated you should probably save your money and take after my great uncle by putting an ax in the guy’s radiator.

RoundAbout RearView

The ‘groovy’ highway hi-fis of the 1950s


Cost2Drive estimates fuel cost for road trips

Lie of the Beholder

Round No. 1
Jeff — Chevy Cruze, Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200
Dali — Kia Optima, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 300
Craig — Ford Econoline Club Wagon, Chrysler 200, Mercury Topaz

Round No. 2
Jeff — Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke,
Dali — Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Juke, Volvo XC-60, Pontiac Aztec
Craig — MItsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Terrible, Merkur X4RTi
Christiaan — BMW X6

Round No. 3
Jeff — Volvo XC-60, Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Nissan Quest
Dali — Toyota Venza, Infiniti QX, Toyota Venza
Craig — Infiniti EX, Infiniti QX, Ford F-150

One Comment to “RoAb #98 – The ‘Juan-Ton Soup’ Episode”

  1. RoAb #98 – The ‘Juan-Ton Soup’ Episode | Trade Reseller - The Latest Gadget News and Happenings Says:

    [...] More: RoAb #98 – The ‘Juan-Ton Soup’ Episode This entry was posted in Latest Gadget and tagged article, automotive, images, iphone, journal, [...]