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Auto blogMon, 26 Aug 2013 16:29:00 EST
Hemmings came across an interesting article from the Throwin' Wrenches blog about the intersection of ice cream, cars and civic duty in America's late 1950s. In particular, it focuses on the Mister Softee trucks, which criss-crossed neighborhoods of the eastern US serving ice cream. Looking past the ultra-durable vehicles used - heavy-duty Ford-based chassis, for what it's worth - the article delves into some deeper national-security territory.
See, Mister Softee truck owners were voluntary members of the Civil Defense, thanks to all the useful stuff (potable water, generators, freezers and fridges) that the machines carried with them for serving ice cream. Click over to Throwin' Wrenches for the full run down of how Mister Softee would have stepped in to help fight if the Cold War ever turned a little hotter.
Unless you've been living in an off-the-grid cabin in the woods for the last couple of weeks or abstain entirely from social media activities, you've probably seen someone you know dump a bucket of ice and water over their own head recently. While the origins of the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge are shrouded in a history typical of Internet memes, its effectiveness in raising money and awareness for the ALS Association has been astonishing.
Celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, sports, technology and more have generated untold millions of video views in support of the organization that is helping patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), and generated a much needed influx of cash, as well. Recent reports have some $15.6M raised in the last two weeks.
Of course, the big-hearted world of automotive celebrities has taken part in the drenching charity effort as well. Follow on below for some of the biggest names on four wheels getting iced for charity, with a smattering of your favorite Autobloggers thrown in for good measure.
Ford is among the kings of concealment when it comes to test cars. On one recent Mustang SVT mule, the automaker went to the extreme of putting baffles over the exhausts to hide how many there were. Sounds like a lot of work, right? In a new video, the Blue Oval has decided to take fans behind the scenes to show them what it takes to camouflage a prototype. In this case the subject was the recently unveiled 2014 Falcon XR8 for Australia.
Ford's prototype build coordinator Down Under has the very appropriate name of Neil Trickey, and it's his job to obfuscate the important bits of test cars to keep them out of spy shooters' camera lenses. Trickey calls his job a "dark art," and he shows off some of the tricks of his trade in the video. It turns out that the fabric we often see on mules is a type of lycra, but his team isn't above getting out a can of spray paint to conceal parts, too.
Scroll down to watch a video about a man who you probably wish could be a little worse at his job.