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Dude, Where's Your Car?

07/01/2015

California Girls and California Kings be warned! Last week, the National Insurance Crime Bureau released their latest list of the top ten hotspots for vehicle thefts and seven of them are in the Golden State. 

Taking the top spot on the infamous list is the San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area. The location jumps up from fourth even though the rate and number of thefts has decreased since the last report in 2013. Maybe that's why they call them the Oakland Raiders?

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National Insurance Crime Bureau

California's Bakersfield comes in second with vehicle theft rates coming in at 595.82.  The only non-California MSAs to rank in the top ten are Odessa, Texas (4th), Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington (6th) and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington (8th). Hosting the smallest rate is State College, PA which recorded a 21.42 and only 34 cases.

The results include 380 total MSAs. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are defined by the Census Bureau as "areas that consist of one or more counties and includes the counties containing the core urban area, as well as any adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration- as measured by commuting to work- with the urban core".  

Find out where your MSA ranks! Download 2014-Hot-Spots-Report for the full list provided by the NICB.

Disclaimer: the list does not include cars stolen during Overhaulin'.  

How the Blade is Made will Blow Your Mind

06/29/2015

The future of auto manufacturing is here thanks to startup company Divergent Microfactories. Enter the Blade, the first ever supercar to employ 3D printing technology. Its as efficient as it is sleek and powerful.

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Divergent Microfactories

Divergent Microfactories, based out of San Fransisco, employed a 3-D printer to create the groundbreaking chassis of this jaw-dropping supercar. Aluminum joints called Nodes connect to aerospace carbon fiber tubing to form the Blade's chassis. The structure utilizes approximately 61 pounds of aluminum and 41 pounds of carbon fiber, according to the manufacturer. In total, the chassis weighs a mere 102 pounds. But fear not skeptics, the chassis has undergone the appropriate testing and is actually industrial strength. The construction of the chassis, however, has a striking resemblance to your old K'NEX set and takes less than an hour by hand.

The Blade's revolutionary skeleton allows for a 90 percent reduction in the vehicle's overall weight-- it tips the scale at 1,388 pounds. The new lightweight infrastructure and its 700HP bi-fuel engine allow the vehicle to accelerate at enviable speeds, reaching 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds. 

The goal, however, is to widen the usage of the Node design and technology to sedans and pickups. Divergent Microfactories hopes this process will not only revolutionize automobile construction, but also encourage a reduction in emissions.

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. 

According to an analysis published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology the construction of gas-powered cars produces approximately 14,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide, which is 17 percent of its lifetime emissions. Electric cars are not perfect either: the study found that their production produces 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide.

Need another Super Car to drool over? Check out when Chasing Classic Cars spotlighted a rare '88 Porsche. 

SUPRISE! The Most American Car is...

In the 10th annual American-Made Index, Cars.com declared the most American car of 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, please remove your hats as we honor the... Toyota Camry!

The Camry, manufactured in Kentucky and Indiana, ranks number one for the first time on the American-Made Index since 2012. How on Earth is this possible, you ask? The index considers where the specific vehicles are manufactured, their total US-based sales, and the percentage of parts considered domestic under federal regulations, according to Cars.com. The index does not analyze the automaker as a whole, although Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. is the only company to produce two models on the list. 

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via Cars.com

Potentially concerning for the US market is the few number of automobiles that turn to American-made parts. This is the first time in the AMI's history that less than ten cars strongly utilize domestic content. A mere seven vehicles declare that 75 percent of parts employed are homegrown, whereas in 2010 the list was more than four times larger. 

There is good news, however. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States exported over two million cars in 2014. The growth in American exports has risen dramatically since 2009 when only one million cars left US soil.  

Love America and need a way to celebrate Independence day? Nothing screams "USA USA USA" like Americarna and the only King the US has ever had- Elvis Presley.  

Could This Be the End of DUIs?

06/26/2015

Earlier this month, the US Department of Transportation unveiled prototypes of new technology developed to prevent vehicles from being driven by anyone with a BAC over the legal limit. The research program behind the technology, Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, is a partnership between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety Administration. Because of DADSS (pronounced "dads" of course) drunk driving may be eradicated within the next 10 years. 

Officials unveiled an automobile installed with touch pads that measure a driver's blood alcohol concentration immediately upon contact. The goal is to inconspicuously place these pads on steering wheels or starter buttons of vehicles. The program also created a system which analyzes the breath of a driver prior to starting. The technology is similar to current breathalyzers, but more accurate and requires less severe of an exhale. 

The implications of drinking and driving are immensely serious, yet intoxicated drivers still get behind the wheel.The FBI reports that each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times. On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest. In 2013, one alcohol-impaired driving death occurred every 52 minutes, according to the NHTSA.

However, the fight against unsafe driving is not over! Velocity has joined forces with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Toyota TeenDrive365 in an effort to end drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. Make YOUR pledge to Drive Smart here and we will make donation to MADD in your honor.

Father's Day Blunder Goes Viral

06/24/2015

Father's Day marks a day in which in the social media explodes with well-wishes and heartfelt tributes to the best dads out there. One post, in particular, went viral almost immediately and it's easy to see why.

What is the best gift you have ever given your dad for father's day? Happy Fathers Day! Disclaimer: no paint was harmed in this awesome social media post 󾌯 ⚠️ #fathersday #meguiars #happyfathersday

Posted by Meguiar's on Sunday, June 21, 2015

A picture's worth a thousand words and all 1,000 make our eyes widen in fear looking at this picture. If one thing's for certain, this little girl sure knows how to get her dad's attention. Can you imagine walking out and seeing your car terrorized by a tyke with a screwdriver? It is a nice gesture, though. Everyone likes to know they're loved.

Within hours, the image could be seen across the internet. Musician Shaggy ("It Wasn't Me") posted it on his Facebook page where it gathered over 1 million shares and 2 million likes. Personal trainer and TV personality, Jillian Michaels posted it for her 2.6 million Facebook fans to see with the caption "The joys of parenthood :) HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!". Jordan Hamilton of the LA Clippers shared the image with his 38,000 followers and as one would assume, the picture went wild on Reddit.

Fortunately for the car, the viral image is just a brilliant marketing ploy courtesy of the creative folks at Meguiar's. According to the Meguiar's Facebook page, the image originated with them as their logo occupies the lower left-hand corner of the original post. The marketing stunt comes with a disclaimer stating that "no paint was harmed in this awesome social media post". Just make sure your kids don't get a hold of the image and try to replicate it for the next holiday.

It's always nice to pay respect where respect is due, especially around Father's Day. Check out this clip of Overhaulin's Chip Foose gush about his car-lovin' old man.

Disclosure: Meguiar’s is a Velocity sponsor


Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.

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