In the Extreme

Tales of the longest, the loudest, and the most efficient.

May/June 2022

David Matthews / May 18, 2022 / 2 minutes
David Matthews

For years the world’s longest car has sat in disrepair, but now it’s ready to take you and 74 friends on the ride of a lifetime.

The super limousine known as “The American Dream” was first built in 1986 by famed car customizer Jay Ohrberg, the same guy who created KITT from “Knight Rider” and the DeLorean time machine from “Back to the Future.”

Ohrberg’s original concept was conjoining a handful of 1970s Cadillac Eldorados into a 100-ft-long limousine that can comfortably transport six dozen people in luxury.

The American Dream also has room for some over-the-top amenities, including a waterbed, lounge, swimming pool complete with a diving board, jacuzzi, bathtub, mini-golf course, and even a helipad on the back that can hold up to 5,000 lbs.

To support all of this, The American Dream features 24 wheels, a pair of V8 engines in both the front and rear, and a hinge in the middle to enable turning.

After first being recognized as the World’s Longest Car by Guinness World Records in 1986, The American Dream was frequently rented out for car shows, parades and movie appearances.

Ohrberg eventually leased the vehicle to a company that used it for promotional purposes, but when the lease period ended, The Dream was abandoned at a New Jersey warehouse where it began to rust until parts of it were rendered unsalvageable.

In 2019, car collector Michael Dezer, owner of the Dezerland Tourist Attractions, found The Dream listed on eBay. After purchasing the vehicle and transporting it to Orlando in two halves, Dezer brought together a team of auto repair experts and autobody repair students to restore The Dream to its past glory.

The project cost $250,000 and took three years to complete, and now The American Dream is not only fully restored, but it also broke its own Guinness World Record with an extra 1.5 inches of length.

The American Dream is now on display at Dezerland Park Orlando’s Auto Museum in Florida.

 

Stop the music

If you own an electric vehicle, you’ve probably heard different theories on how to maximize your vehicle’s range.

Some believe it’s all about the braking technique, while others are sure it’s about picking the best routes.

Kia has a simpler solution: just pick the right music.

The automaker commissioned a study to look at how driving behavior is affected by music, and how those effects impact EV range.

Drivers listening to fast, high-energy music like The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” showed “more spirited and energetic driving styles” that were twice as inefficient.

If you really want to maximize your EV range, put those 2020s tunes away and crank up the greatest hits of the 1820s.

Classical music was most effective at maximizing range, with tunes like Beethoven’s “Symphony Number 9” influencing drivers to stay “composed and level-headed” and drive up to four times more efficiently.

 

Quiet riot

There are many things to consider when purchasing a new car, like comfort, fuel efficiency, and safety features.

One quality that is often overlooked is how noisy the vehicle is.

Research from the Vehicle Certification Agency has revealed which vehicles are the quietest and which are the noisiest based on their decibel levels (dBa).

If you’re looking for a quiet car, you’ll have to invest in an electric.

Lexus’ first EV, the UX 300e, was the quietest, registering just 62 dBa, equivalent to the volume of a normal conversation.

Trailing very close behind were the Mazda MX-30 (63 dBa) and Toyota RAV4 PHEV (64 dBa).

The loudest vehicle released in the past five years is the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR. This luxury crossover SUV has a 5.0 supercharged V8 engine, which reaches a decibel level of 86. According to the CDC, that’s louder than a lawn mower or a leaf blower, and can cause hearing damage after just 2 hours of exposure.

Rounding out the top 3 are the Kia ProCeed MY22 (79.7 dBa) and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe (78.5 dBa), both of which are comparable to a garbage disposal.

Speak up? I said “garbage disposal!” Marriage proposal? No, I said “GARBAGE DISPOSAL!” Nevermind.

About the Author

Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since 2000. The stories are all true.

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