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Four-Links – Ultravan across America, Henry Chang’s art cars, Australia’s open speed limits, Texaco truck resto

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Anybody living along the Lincoln Highway, keep an eye out for an UltraVan making its way westward.

* Some of the mutant cars on the playa at Burning Man are simple conglomerations, others are statements, and then there’s the elaborate engineering masterpieces of Henry Chang.

Henry loved the wildly creative art cars at Burning Man and decided to build one. But what to build? The spectrum of over 600 art cars runs from the mighty Monaco, the largest sailing art car in the world, to the motorized cupcakes and everything in between.

Then the proverbial epiphany. With his engineering haplotype expressing, Henry asked himself: “‘Why metaphor’? Why would an art car merely be a conveyance for art, like a parade float? Why couldn’t the vehicle itself, its frame and chassis and seats and body panels, be the art?”

* Used to be, on certain highways in Australia one could go pretty much as fast as one wanted. WhichCar last year took a look at how those rules have changed in the last few decades.

The only true unrestricted section of road in the country was located in Northern Territory, where a longstanding speed derestriction sign’s original definition of the “end of all local prohibitions imposed on moving vehicles” was never changed.

The territory’s unrestricted highways grew to national and international infamy following the 1994 Cannonball Run, which ran down the Stuart Highway and was sponsored by the then Country Liberal Party Government. During the event, a high-speed crash involving a Ferrari F40 killed four people.

* Restoring a big truck is a Herculean task in itself; taking on the restoration of a Diamond T-based Texaco tanker with many parts that needed to be reproduced by hand is a task best left to just a few people. One of them seems to be David Finlon:

David’s journey began in 2006. He had always loved the streamline style and had hoped to one day purchase a GM Futurliner. But when one fetched $4,400,000 at the Barrett Jackson auction that year, David’s dreams of ever owning one were dashed. In the same year, a friend of his, Tom Koens, went to look at a car for sale in California and discovered the Texaco tanker sitting at the property. Tom phoned David immediately to tell him about the truck, and the rest is history. David’s decision to purchase the tanker fulfilled his wish of owning a streamlined vehicle. That was the easy part!

* Finally, just a year after Bud Ekins popularized the run down the Baja peninsula, Chevrolet marketing folks decided to send the brand’s truck lineup from Michigan to Baja and back to demonstrate the trucks’ reliability. Perhaps the more daunting feat was coming up with all the rhymes in the narration to the subsequent marketing video. (via)