The Good Oil:Get your own back on the neighbours

Honda Mean M. for Good Oil. Photo / Supplied
Honda Mean M. for Good Oil. Photo / Supplied

Sometimes things just have to be done, regardless of whether they make any sense. Meet Honda's most exciting vehicle in years: Mean Mower.

The product of a collaboration between Honda UK and Team Dynamics - the racing team that runs Hondas in the British Touring Car Championship - it was created with the aim of being the world's fastest lawn mower, while retaining its original look and the ability to actually cut grass.

The result is a mower that will rocket from a standstill to 60mph (97km/h) in four seconds on its way to an estimated 130mph (209km/h) top speed, making an eardrum shattering 130db of noise. Now THAT is a mower to crank up at 7am on a Sunday morning as revenge for the neighbours' loud party.

Team Dynamics re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor, adding a custom-made chromoly chassis and 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm, with a bespoke suspension set up and wheels from an ATV. The catcher provides a convenient home for the fuel tank, a high-capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator.

In a remarkable stretch of credibility, the Mean Mower still "technically" cuts grass, thanks to two electric motors on the cutter deck, spinning 3mm-steel cutting cable at 4000rpm. The mower can cut grass at around 15mph, more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620.

It also features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system, a custom-made Cobra sports seat, a Scorpion exhaust system ... and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.

Mustang: Doing things by halves since 1964

There is a rumour doing the rounds that Ford may release a batch of a 1000 next-generation Mustangs with a 2014 model-year designation to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the muscle car. When the original Mustang was first released, it came in the middle of the traditional US yearly model cycle, hence the legendary ''1964'' model year designation of the highly sought-after original cars. It makes sense that Ford would want to make a big deal out of what is arguably its most iconic car's 50th birthday, so the early 2014 run of 1000 cars is likely to just be the tip of the iceberg. So far the rumour suggests the limited-run cars will carry a ''special'' VIN and build number, but no
performance upgrades over the 2015 car are thought to be part of the plans. Which is nicely in keeping with the original 1964 cars, really.

We are the world

Drinking and driving is very stupid indeed. Drinking and racing? Well, that's a whole new level of stupid.Surely no one would do that? Well, it seems that 64-year-old Leslie
Charles Hunter, of San Jose, California, did and was arrested for it. The police were called after other drivers were forced off track at the Watsonville Ocean Speedway by Hunter's ''aggressive and reckless'' driving.

A cop in Indiana has temporarily shut down the entire state's personalised number plate
programme while the people in charge decided whether his plate breaks their regulations. In the meantime, the state has stopped issuing new personalised plates until
the issue is sorted. His plate? ''Oink'' That's right, bureaucracy in Indiana has no sense of humour.

Californian motorists were somewhat alarmed last week when new road signs appeared saying speed limits were now being enforced by armed Predator drones, just like the ones being used by the US military in the Middle East.
However, it turned out the signs were a prank installed by a local artist.
They were quickly removed.

If Batman had a mullet

We here at The Good Oil are fans of all things Batmobile-related. Batman has, after all, had the coolest cars of all the various superheroes. So it was natural we were excited by this ridiculous yet brilliant tribute to the 1965 original television Batmobile. Meet the Crimefighter.

Created by Jared Barris, The Crimefighter is a pimped-up Ford F-150 decked out with a ''Tuxedo Black'' paint job with Ferrari red accents, huge 24-inch alloy wheels and, of course, fins.

If Jared's name is familiar, then you are clearly a bit of a Batmobile-nerd too, because he is the grandson of the 1965 TV Batmobile builder, the legendary George Barris. He created the 65 Batmobile out of a Ford Futura concept car and ''parts he found at a hardware store''. It has become one of the most recognisable of all television cars, the original selling for US$4.2 million ($5.2 million) at an auction in January.

The 1965 Batmobile is one of the coolest cars ever, while The Crimefighter is still just a big American truck with black wheels and some stickers. But the biggest difference is the fact that you don't need $5.2 million for it. The Crimefighter is built by Galpin Auto
Sports in Southern California who are taking orders now.

Latest concepts as camp as a row of ... Minis?

If you have always thought the BMW Mini was a bit, well, camp, then these three concepts released by Mini will do nothing to change your mind. The company claims the trio each ;;reflect different aspects of the rise in popularity of camping and festivals, creating a choice of premium home-from-home options for the enthusiastic traveller''.

The Mini Clubvan Camper is the name of what Mini calls ''the world's smallest luxury camper van'', and boasts a sleeping berth for one person, a small, extendible kitchenette complete with propane stove and fridge, a television, an auxiliary heater and an integrated hand-held shower, with a water tank housed underneath the load floor.

The Mini Countryman ALL4 Camp not only has the most unfortunate name, it is also the
most useful as an actual car, as its sleeping area is all on the roof, thanks to its pop-up roof tent. It also comes with a specially fitted bike rack on the rear.

Last, and almost certainly least, is the Mini Cowley. Least? Yes, because it is a tiny caravan. Claimed to be a ''compact yet comfortable caravan for two people'', the Cowley is equipped with a twin-ring gas stove, fridge, sink, water tank, a solar module for
charging the on-board battery and a 230v connection to power the TV/DVD and audio equipment.

All right, it DOES look kind of cool, but it is still a caravan. And that is the big advantage the Clubvan Camper and Countryman ALL4 Camp have; they are NOT caravans ...

Number Crunching

4.2 MILLION US DOLLARS The amount the original George Barris-built television Batmobile sold for earlier this year.

125,000 US DOLLARS The amount it was worth in 1966 during the filming of the Batman television show.

250,000 US DOLLARS The amount Ford is said to have spent in 1955 building the Futura show car the Batmobile was based on.

1 US DOLLAR The amount George Barris paid for the Futura show car when he bought it off Ford.

- NZ Herald

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