#ODDITIES

Batteries

VW Powers Up Retrofit Electric Microbus

Convert a classic 1960s-era T1 model into an electric Bulli for 70K

Interiors & Electronics

Can Your Car Help Protect You Against the Coronavirus?

Geely touts air purification system in new crossover

Business

Americans Log More Miles but Fall Short of Peak

The average American regardless of age covered 8,855 miles by car last year, up 4.5% from 2013, according to Sivak Applied Research. 

Car Collection Sets Auction Record of $67 Million

An unidentified owner sold 22 of 25 vehicles offered for auction this week for a combined $67 million, marking the largest amount raised from a single owner's collection.

Corvette Museum to Fill Sinkhole, Fix or Display Damaged Cars

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., has decided to fill in the massive sinkhole that swallowed eight historic cars in February.

“Breaking In” a New Car is Old Hat

Since the early days of the automobile, new owners were advised to "break in" their vehicle's engine and transmission with a regimen of special driving routines.

Consumers Remain Deeply Suspicious of Auto Repair Shops

Only 16% of U.S. consumers have a positive view of auto repair shops, and four out of five believe they've been overcharged there, according to an online poll by AutoMD.com, a Web-based auto repair advisory service.

U.K. May Ban Smoking in Cars Carrying Children

The U.K.'s House of Commons has approved by more than 3:1 a measure that would make it a crime to smoke in a car with child passengers on board.

Sinkhole Swallows 8 Cars from Corvette Museum

A 40-foot-wide sinkhole has consumed eight historic Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., Automotive News reports. photo: Automotive News The museum says the 30-foot-deep chasm opened up under the floor of the facility's Skydome area at about 5:40 a.m.

This Car Comes With Its Own Drone

Renault SA has unveiled a crossover concept that can launch its own drone to scout traffic conditions ahead or take pictures of the scenery.

Design

New Tire Improves with Age

A new passenger car tire developed by Michelin & Cie. features a tread design and unique rubber compound that retains wet grip performance as the tire wears in part by opening up its tread as it wears down.

This Car Seat Can Adjust Before You Get There

Johnson Controls Inc. has come up with a seating concept that can automatically adjust itself to fit the driver before anyone gets in the car.

Four Import Brands Named for Best Resale Value

Honda, Lexus, Mercedes and Toyota have been honored by two estimators of used-car values as brands with the best residual value in the American market.

Flying Car Bows at Florida Boat Show

This week Parajet International Ltd. is using the Ft.

Name That Car!

About 25% of car owners in the U.S. love their vehicles enough to give them names, says Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

Mini-Mini Rated World's Smallest Licensed Car

It's only about two feet tall, two feet wide and four feet long.

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s A Martin Jetpack!

A New Zealand aircraft company says its new one-person jetpack can reach an altitude of 7,000 feet and zip along at speeds as high as 50 mph for half an hour at a time.

Ford Rotunda May Rise Again...in Indiana

The original Rotunda building Ford Motor Co.'s iconic Rotunda building, which was destroyed by fire 51 years ago, may be rebuilt as a museum in Auburn, Ind., Hemmings Daily reports.

Iconic VW Microbus Fades Away

VW's Microbus Volkswagen AG will end production of its venerable Microbus this year when the last factory that makes the iconic minivan a VW facility in Brazil finishes building the final 600 units.

Honda Aims to Help Save America's Drive-In Theaters

Honda Motor Co. is heading a nationwide effort to save America's 370 remaining drive-in theaters from extinction at the end of this year when distributors stop supplying movies in 35-mm film format.

Cars Catch Fire As Temps Soar in Shanghai

More than 60 car fires in Shanghai are being blamed on 106 temperatures in the region, according to ChinaNews.com.

Luxury-Car Thieves Prefer Mercedes-Benz

Almost 4,400 luxury cars were stolen in the U.S. between 2009 and 2012, and nearly one in four of them was a Mercedes-Benz C-, E- or S-Class model, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

$29 Million for a 59-Year-Old Race Car

An unidentified buyer has spent $29.7 million to acquire the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R race car driven by Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio to his second F1 title.