Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Anti-Tow anchors

Good luck towing this one
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

This car has a special security feature to discourage unauthorized towing. And by that I mean any towing that the owner did not allow to happen.

When the alarm is active, in addition to the usual features, it monitors the suspension and ABS wheel motion sensors to detect if the vehicle is being pushed, pulled, or lifted. When this alarm is triggered, 4 anchors are deployed. 1 for each corner. The anchor itself is a ballistically fired anchor pin formed to a steel cable. The tube it fires out of is lowered to the ground first to prevent the anchor or any debris from harming anyone nearby, the cable travels though this tube to a winch that picks up the slack via a spring then applies a brake. There is nearly 15ft of additional cable in each assembly to accomodate the persistent tower, should he provide enough force to overcome all 4 winch brakes. At this point damage is probably occuring to the car and perhaps the tow vehicle as well, or sections of concrete have been lifted/seperated to loosen the anchors. The average campus parking predator or thief will have to move on, the more determined or official parties will have to break out the angle grinder and cut the cables. In this regard it is not foolproof, simply a deterrant. But this is made difficult by low ground clearance, perhaps dropping the car completely to the ground if suspension options are available.

When you return surely there will be some explaining to do, and virtually 0% chance of a warning on any legitimate tickets, but at least you didn't have to pay tow+impound fees. Perhaps you blunted an outright theft. To undo the anchors, first disable the alarm. This will set the suspension to normal and undo the winch brakes. Start the car, move out from over the anchors. Pull the achor key and hammer out of the trunk, it looks like a pin that you put in the hole and hammer on to drive the anchor in further. This, without tension from the winches, causes the achor to unlatch and come loose, much like a Chinese finger puzzle. If this fails because the tow truck mashed them into unidentifiable nuggets of metal, then you may have to use bolt cutters or a side grinder. In either case the system will have to be reset with new charges for next time.

AutoMcDonough, Mar 12 2010


       somebody raped my annotation column i see ;P   

       Why not have each parking spot have a steel plate embedded and each car has a super electromagnet that lowers and attaches with 20,000lbs of force?
Arcanus, Mar 12 2010

       not quite sure how i managed that, it does seem rather narrow.   

       This is more for general use, particularly in shady college campus lots that are in bad shape to begin with, and tow trucks are on the prowl to nab someone. The electromagnet idea is really only applicable to your own driveway, and requires quite a bit of power.
AutoMcDonough, Mar 12 2010

       [21_Quest] I don't know if that anno is humor or something else, but, from whatever angle I examine it, it's brilliant.
mouseposture, Mar 13 2010

       all that aside, I'd toss a pastry to a car that hunkered down and growled menacingly when somebody tried to tow it.
FlyingToaster, Mar 13 2010

       ahh, but your idea had the problem of what happens when a car going 60mph literally tosses out an attached anchor into the pavement, the answer being well-baked in cartoons, movies and probably a youtube video or two.   

       [+] to make up for [21Q] rambling on and on about whatever, canipromorphism aside.
FlyingToaster, Mar 13 2010


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