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colonial heights, VA, United States
It's not really a secret that the city of Detroit is in lots and lots of trouble. Even with an emergency manager working to guide it through bankruptcy, a number of the city's institutions remain in very serious danger. One of the most notable is the Detroit Institute of Arts, a 658,000-square-foot behemoth of art that counts works from Van Gogh, Picasso, Gauguin and Rembrandt (not to mention a version of Rodin's iconic "The Thinker," shown above) as part of its permanent collection.
Throughout the bankruptcy, the DIA has been under threat, with art enthusiasts, historians and fans of the museum concerned that its expansive collection - valued between $454 and $867 million by Christie's - could be sold by the city to help square its $18.5-billion debt.
Now, though, Detroit's hometown automakers could be set to step up and help save the renowned museum. According to a report from The Detroit News, the charitable arms of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler could be set to donate $25 million as part of a DIA-initiated campaign, called the "grand bargain." As part of the deal, the DIA would seek $100 million in corporate donations as part of a larger attempt at putting together an $816-million package that would be paid to city pension funds over 20 years. Such a move would protect the city's art collection from being sold off.
Chrysler's latest Super Bowl ad follows in the footsteps of its classic Imported From Detroit spot starring rapper Eminem and Half-Time in America ad starring Clint Eastwood. Featuring Bob Dylan's gravely voice asking, "Is there anything more American... than America?" the spot has been somewhat controversial, thanks to a few lines informing viewers that Germany can brew beer, Switzerland can make watches and Asia can assemble phones. The US, though, will build your car, Dylan tells us. When the ad aired, Shinola-wearing Detroiters simultaneously spit out their Atwater beer over the perceived slight.
Naturally, that controversy has spawned more than a few parodies, one of which comes from Conan O'Brien. Coco expands on the list of things that aren't made in the US, like French water, Danish cheese and Japanese animated, um, adult films. Beyond those examples, there are a number of other things that should be left to countries that aren't the United States. It's a chuckle-worthy parody, so scroll down and have a look, and compare it to the original Super Bowl ad below that.
It might be sacrilegious to admit among some auto enthusiasts, but there's more to driving than performance and speed. Sometimes it can be a matter of love, as it is for Yasushi Shiroi, who has spent the last 21 years building a faithful replica of a car from a '60s Japanese sci-fi show.
Shiroi's car is the star of the latest video from The Aficionauto and it's truly a labor of love. This machine, which is sort of like a Japanese Batmobile, is based on a 1958 Chrysler Imperial and is designed to recreate a car called the Pointer 1 from the series Ultra 7. The latter was apparently hugely popular when it ran in Japan in 1967 and 1968, and told the story a seven-member team that fought off aliens attacking Earth. While the car in the series never actually ran, Shiroi wanted one that would.
The Pointer 1 has been in constant development since Shiroi has owned it. All of the body modifications have been done in steel, but mechanically, it remains something of a mess. This replica might be slow - and to many people, ugly - but it has brought its owner about as much happiness as a car can, and that's something worth celebrating. Scroll down to check it out.