The Good Oil: Making a Hummer look ho-hum

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Canada's bespoke armoured vehicle maker, Conquest Vehicles of Toronto, has diversified from wheeled bomb shelters to an SUV with styling that makes a Hummer look sissy. The Evade's aluminium and mild steel body sits on a Ford F550 Super Duty chassis and seats two people up front and two in a luxury executive area in the rear.

In addition to the usual goodies you'd expect on a luxury SUV, the Evade has 360deg roof mounted, joystick controlled searchlights and night vision cameras front and rear.

Fitted with either a petrol or diesel engine, an Evade can be yours from $725,000, plus shipping, GST and on-road costs.

The cities that'll drive you crazy

CNN's travel website has listed the world's 10 worst cities for driving.

Unsurprisingly Beijing tops the list.

The compilers admit the results are not all that scientific. The white knuckle capitals are:

Beijing, China
New Delhi, India
Manila, Philippines
Mexico City, Mexico
Johannesburg, South Africa
Lagos, Nigeria
Sao Paolo, Brazil
Moscow, Russia
Toronto, Canada
Monaco

The name game Studillac

A hardtop Studebaker coupe fitted with a Cadillac V8 engine and made in the US for two years from 1953. Nose-heavy but quick, it could even be bought with a (pause for effect) two-speed automatic.

And now, the speed camera camera

There's clearly some anti-speed camera sentiment in one suburb of Washington DC, where the devices have been shot at and set on fire. The solution? A dozen sets of cameras to monitor speed cameras.

Officials reckon the speed camera cameras are well worthwhile, as replacing a vandalised eye on a pole costs between $25,000 and $125,000.

And there's also the matter of the "vandalisers creating a safety hazard in the community".

Good strategy, guys, but Good Oil can't help wondering how they'll watch the speed camera cameras?

Volvo-trained agents

Hang on, what's this? A report says Volvo in Australia has been supporting the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Academy Associates (FBINAA) annual training conference.

Why would an Aussie company selling Swedish cars be supporting an American law-enforcement agency?

Turns out the FBINAA is an association of past graduates of the FBI National Academy course, and is also open to police bosses, the US military and international law enforcement agencies.

This year, they decided to hold the do in Sydney under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific chapter. Volvo, which has a long tradition of supplying vehicles to law enforcement agencies, particularly in Europe, got the nod to supply the wheels.

Forget electrics, build a flying car

Tim Draper, pictured here with actor Natalie Portman, heads a US venture capital firm that supports electric-car manufacturer Tesla.

So he raised a few eyebrows when he told Detroit to go "create a flying car ... create something different because you've lost the electric car battle. See if you can win another."

He says Detroit's automakers are too far behind to be competitive in the EV field: "They have not innovated nearly enough in the auto industry here ... they really should wake up."

What to do with your X5

A Los Angeles man has been accused of using his 2003 BMW X5 as a battering ram to break into an Apple Store.

The robbery was caught by surveillance cameras, which showed the BMW smashing through the glass front and masked men snatching iPhones and iPads.

But Apple doesn't give up its goods without a fight. A security gate dropped from the ceiling, trapping the prestige Sports Activity Vehicle. The crooks managed to free the BMW, but with two flat tyres it wasn't much of a getaway car.

So the quick-thinking crooks stopped at a convenience store and stole some Fix-A-Flat.

But it gets even better: the driver was arrested when he returned to the Apple store to retrieve the BMW's licence plate that fell off during its altercation with the security gate.

We are the world

*Judi Collora, owner of Mrs Doe Pee's Buck Lures in Iowa, US, makes a living selling deer urine. She sells it to hunters who use it to lure deer, and she apparently makes a good living from it.

*Jet-skier Daniel Castillo's watercraft broke down in New York City's Jamaica Bay, forcing him to swim to the nearest shore - at JFK International Airport. He failed to disturb the airport's $120 million state-of-the-art perimeter intrusion detection system of cameras and motion sensors, and had stumbled into the Delta Airlines terminal before an employee noticed him.

*Short-stay "love hotels" are common in Brazil, but in the city of Belo Horizonte, entrepreneurs are about to open Animalle Mundo Pet, which they describe as a love hotel for dogs.

*New York City is in the midst of a nasty turf war among icecream trucks vying for space on the city's best streets. Drivers have been using baseball bats and cutting each other's brake lines.

- NZ Herald

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