April Fool's Day Automobile Hoaxes
The Transporter Portable Computer.
Byte magazine featured a new portable computer, available from the Honda Corporation, called the "Transporter":
"The first truly transportable computer. With a few simple twists, you can transform the Transporter from a portable computer (with full keyboard, 24-line by 80-column display, and two microfloppy-disk drives) into a single-passenger automobile... The Transporter is 100 percent compatible with the popular Toyota Corolla and runs on most operating roads."
Byte later received a call from a USA Today reporter inquiring about the Transporter.
The Clegg GTi Turbo.
A Yorkshire ad agency, Male Winram Tweddle and Associates, placed an ad in the Yorkshire Post describing a new super-car, the Clegg GTi Turbo. The ad claimed that compared to this car "Owt else is nobbut middlin". A phone number was also provided for those wanting more information. When people called this number they were informed that they had "bin 'ad by some poncey ad agency."
BMW Canada ran an ad in the Globe and Mail announcing a new addition to its luxury cars: road warmers. Pivoting convex lasers mounted in front of each wheel would melt ice and snow on the road as the car was being driven. Turbo fans would then remove excess moisture from the road. According to BMW's press release, this invention would "virtually eliminate the need to clear your driveway during winter." The advertisement assured readers that road warmers would eventually become standard on all new BMWs, but until then dealers would install them on older models free of charge.
A commercial for BMW aired on British TV promoting a revolutionary new technology, "anti-track control," that enabled the removal of tire tracks from the ground. The ad explained that the technology had been developed by East German military authorities, but it could now be used by surreptitious lovers seeking to conceal their tracks from suspicious partners. The spoof commercial was created for BMW by ad agency WCRS. The footage of disappearing tire tracks was created by taking a previous BMW commercial and playing it backwards.
Russian President’s Nuclear-Proof Limousine.
The Moscow Times revealed details of the new limousine used to transport President Dmitry Medvedev. It was said to be far more secure than "The Beast" (the nickname of the limousine used to transport U.S. President Obama).
"The Russian car has a 12-centimeter-thick titanium plated roof that is so strong a T-72 tank can drive over it without causing any real damage... Its windows are made of glass that will withstand a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade, while its wheels automatically turn into caterpillar tracks when going over rough terrain...
The Kremlin official noted that the car's occupants could survive a small nuclear attack, but only if the wind was blowing in a certain direction."
A number of news outlets reported the story as fact, including The Guardian. Der Spiegel and three media outlets in South Korea contacted The Moscow Times seeking more details.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.