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Formula Ben-Hur

Chariot cars.
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The deafening roar of the crowd dissipated finally as the Announcer made his way to the centre of the Hippodrome, the sand whipping about his feet with an impatient ferocity. A microphone descended from the heavens and laid itself directly into the Announcer’s open palm, and without hesitation he boomed forth the tale of Formula Ben-Hur.

“Tis in this very ‘drome of dust and dirt that you shall bare witness to the greatest spectacle of the 21st century! A race so fantastic as to shame those that bore the name Ferrari, McLaren and Williams upon their breast. A race so feverishly exciting you’ll be telling tales of it upon your deathbeds! And now, my beloved spectators… the Riders!”

The roar of the crowd exploded over the audience like a spark at a gas main as the Riders entered the Hippodrome. Already mounted upon their powerful steeds they waved at the crowds and paraded around the course in a lap of pre-emptive glory. They stood upon their Ben-Hur converted Ford Escorts, Vauxhall Cavaliers and their Saab 900s and rode them by the reins with an air of authority. Stood upon the chariot platform attached to the roof of the car just behind the sunroof, the riders pulled taught their seat-belt reins against the steering wheels below. The Riders revved their engines with the extended pedals by their feet and looked magnificent in their full body leathers, helmet, and bright flowing capes. The bonnets of the cars had been beautifully ordained with crafted mechanical metal horses’ torsos that moved with an elegance and prestige that could only pertain to axle rotation.

When the Riders steered their beastly apparatus in line with the starting point the suspense was unbearable. The crowd, softened only by their anticipation for the starting pistol, had been reduced to a dull thunder. The Riders strapped themselves in and tested the instant release mechanisms, should they need them upon a roll of their carriage. They assured the instant roll-cage extender bars of the chariot base were working properly, whilst the pit crews sharpened the protruding spokes of the wheels.

Some Riders waved to loved ones in the crowd, others prayed to God to keep them safe from trampling wheels, and another held a steely gaze fuelled with rage at a single opponent - the ruler and presiding Champion of the Hippodrome - with 20 years of slavery pounding vengeance through his veins. This will be the day. This will be the day. This will be the day.

The moment was imminent… the race poised and ready like an arrow quivering in a tightly strung bow. Revved engines, smoke, dust, cheers, grease, metal, and but one thing remaining… Victory.

theleopard, Jan 30 2007

Car Wars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_Wars
[DrBob, Jan 30 2007]

Here's an alternative interpretation http://www.showrods...ages/gladiator.html
[Ned_Ludd, Jan 31 2007]

[link]






       That's not a bad plan their [21]. The most important thing however is that the main part of the steering control is using reins, so if you can design a remote control device that is controlled by reins then I'm all for it.   

       Actually, the horses torsos are the most important part. I like those.
theleopard, Jan 30 2007
  

       Oops, thanks for that [jurist].<edited>   

       I also had a thought that throttle control could be manipulated with some kind of whip device, and breaks would be pulling back on both reins at the same time. No idea about gears though.
theleopard, Jan 31 2007
  

       flappy paddle jobbies actuated by two thin leather straps would do the gears nicely, [theleopard].
methinksnot, Jan 31 2007
  

       Memories of the movie 'Grease' come to mind.
RayfordSteele, Feb 01 2007
  

       Reminds me (rather too much, in fact) of 'Car Surfing' - a particular craze involving standing on the roof of your car, holding onto reins (fashioned from the seatbelts being stretched out of the windows) and getting your friends to drive as fast as they can down a quiet, moonlit road while you, standing atop the speeding vehicle, roar like Ahab against the wind. Quite exhilarating - if (looking back) largely mad.   

       For extra japes, jump off before your friends stop the car, and giggle from the bushes like a teenager (for that, dear reader is what you must be) as you watch them coming to the realisation that you are no longer on the roof.   

       [+] for memories.
zen_tom, Feb 02 2007
  

       Jeepers [Tom], were you on drugs or something?! Only the most hardened elite warriors would enlist in Formula Ben-Hur, and there's you emulating their heroism at a tender teen-age, happy to throw yourself to the shrubs and risk life and limb for a practical joke! You are a braver man than I.   

       I don't quite get the Grease reference. There was some dancing on cars if I recall, but no actual excitement or fun involved. And the girl was better in Cheers.
theleopard, Feb 02 2007
  

       Perhaps if we get a whole bunch of Segways, short out the speed governor, and affix to their wheels colanders that have been butchered with a chainsaw...
m_Al_com, Feb 03 2007
  

       The winner has a fleeting moment drinking water from a cup offered by a kind stranger with no face. A man whom no matter which angle you gaze upon Him, He always has His back to you, with the sun casting His body as a silhouette against the dusty landscape. Not one member of the Hippodrome's audience will see His face, just a flowing curtain of thick brown Bethlehaian hair.
theleopard, Feb 03 2007
  

       Oh really? All I remember is the awful tight leather trousered ending.
theleopard, Feb 03 2007
  

       I recall them stealing a scene right out of 'Ben Hur' where one custom car had spiked hubcaps and tore up the other car's door; but that must've been some other movie.
RayfordSteele, Feb 04 2007
  

       Great work, but there must be gore, lots and lots of gore.
proee, Feb 05 2007
  

       Yes, I wanted gore too, but unfortunately it needs to fit in with today's society.   

       Who knows, perhaps we can look forward to a nuclear holocaust in the near future, and the subsequent desolate wastelands of a post-apocalyptic archaic civilisation that has deserted all the (then) out-dated human concepts of morality and compassion, where machines are the relics of the past, and sport returns to its violent origins. Then, finally, this dream can be realised.
theleopard, Feb 07 2007
  
      
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