More stolen lampposts

Phideaux draws our attention to yet another attempt at stealing lampposts by strapping them to the roof of a car. In Florida, this time. A month ago it was the Netherlands.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 14, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Cars

Armless Driver Fights Loss of License

Ray Myers was known as the 'armless musician.' He was born in 1911 without arms, but he taught himself to play the guitar with his feet, and he became quite accomplished. Good enough that he was considered to be talented in his own right, not just as a curiosity.

Myers also taught himself how to drive a car using only his feet. Not a specially outfitted car. Just a normal one. (Though I'm assuming it was an automatic.) But in 1965, after driving without incident for 29 years, he lost his license. The reason: the state's new computer flagged his license to be revoked when it came across the notation in his file that he had been "born without arms."

Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Jan 18, 1965

Myers appealed the decision, and (probably thanks to all the media attention the case got) was allowed to take a special exam. Two weeks later he was driving again.

Sayre Evening Times - Jan 28, 1965

Myers died in 1987 at the age of 75. More info about him at and Arcane Radio Trivia.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 07, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Human Marvels, 1960s, Cars

Art Arfons and the Green Monster

Love that rocketship design!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, 1960s, Cars

Stolen Lampposts

Police in Lelystad (the Netherlands) arrested a man who was driving with two stolen lampposts strapped to the top of his car. They posted the following picture to their Facebook page.

Google Translate provides the following translation of the picture's caption (and I think Google translate has been getting better lately, because this translation is fairly comprehensible):

This morning around 10:00 the police reported a passenger car riding from Almere to Lelystad with two huge lampposts on the roof. At the Oostvaardersdijk in Lelystad the combination was held and the driver checked.

We start with the traffic violations. That the cargo can not be transported in this way may be clear. In addition, the car was not insured and the APK had been running for more than three months. The driver's license B was declared invalid by the end of 2016. The colleagues smoke with the driver an alcoholic air. However, he refused to cooperate with a blow test on which he was arrested. Expectation is that the court will demand the highest possible penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol because the suspect did not cooperate with the investigation.

The investigation investigated the origin of the lampposts. These are most likely stolen in Almere. In addition, there appeared to be other criminal investigations to the suspect, such as refueling without paying.

The suspect is embedded in the cell complex and has now been insured. The car has been seized.

In summary, seems that the guy was drunk, uninsured, had an expired driver's license, and was driving around with two stolen lampposts on top of his car.

My question is, what was he planning to do with the lampposts?

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 05, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Stupid Criminals, Cars

Zippo Car

The Zippo Manufacturing Co. built the Zippo car in 1947 by adapting a Chrysler Saratoga. However, the weight of the lighters kept causing the tires to blow out. So in 1952 the car was sent to a Pittsburgh garage for repairs and re-adaptation. It was never seen again. To this day, no one knows what happened to the Zippo car.

It reminds me of the tale of the lost Star Wars Celica GT.

In 1998, a replica Zippo car was built — fitted with modern tires that could handle the weight.

More info:, NY Daily News, Zippo.

Thanks to hotsauce269 for the photo!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 04, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Cars, 1940s

Follies of the Madmen #318

I don't get it. Is "nimble as an ox" good or bad, the before or after status of fueling up with their gas?

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 20, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Products, 1950s, Cars

Anti-Safety Device

It's a combo seat-buckle alarm stopper and bottler opener. So that you can crack open a cold one when you get in the car, and then drive seat-belt free. You can find tons of them for sale on eBay, where they go for as little as 74 cents each.

They should give these away as a freebie when you buy a cellphone to make it a trifecta of unsafe driving.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 30, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Cars

The Drivometer

A device for simulating driving, and measuring the skill of drivers, which was developed at Iowa State's Driving Research Laboratory in the 1930s.

A description of what it felt like to operate the thing. It sounds like it would have made a good arcade game. From The Dalles Chronicle - Aug 21, 1936:

Dr. Alvan R. Lauer of Iowa State college sent here today a shiny red instrument of torture, designed apparently to give the ordinary, garden-variety motorist the everlasting willies. This device, which Dr. Lauer invented and christened the drivometer, insidiously reverses the usual laws of nature and turns them wrong side forward. The drivometer consists essentially of an automobile which doesn’t move, and a landscape which does, at 50 miles an hour. Imagine that, if you can! We couldn’t either, until the American Automobile association persuaded us to sit behind the wheel. The road twisted like a hula dancer – and we were supposed to steer down it, paying close attention to stop lights, warning signals, WPA men working, and hot dog stands. Never before have we had such a ride. We knocked a truck off the road. We ran down a farmer’s daughter and we wrecked his house. We whanged into a freight train, jumped across a mountain range, drove through a lake and smashed an ice cream shoppe into tutti-frutti. We tried to stop the thing, but everything we pressed made it go faster. We shifted into reverse and raced to the rear, bumping barns, beats and bicycles. Sadly shaking his head, Earl Allgaier, the AAA safety expert, turned off the current. He said we didn’t seem to be very well coordinated, somehow, but that he’d test us on his other machinery. This, together with the drivometer, will be taken on a nationwide tour beginning next week to prove to the average motorist that he’s got a lot to learn.

Update: I think the top picture shows the 2nd version of the Driveometer, developed in the 1950s. The original version, from the 1930s, is below.

Wausau Daily Herald - Oct 26, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 09, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Cars, Science, 1930s

The Singer Gazelle

Wikipedia page here.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 11, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: 1950s, Cars

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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