h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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My friend recently came up with the idea
to replace all the bolts and other fasteners
holding the body panels to the chassis of
his car with explosive bolts, the kind that
NASA uses to quickly separate sections of
I've also heard that Hollywood often uses
charges to blow body
panels off of cars.
A slightly smaller system would have
countless practical uses on your average
car. For example, a small low-powered
blast would be perfect for fixing dents
from the inside. If the damage is too
extensive for that, just blow off the whole
fender rather than wasting precious
minutes loosening bolts or drilling out
rivets. When combined with airbags, it
would offer another layer of protection in
the event of a crash.
This system could also be used to startle
other motorists, impress your friends or
members of the opposite sex, or cause
these people to swear at you and fine you
for littering. And having a built-in self-
destruct mechanism would be far more
entertaining than selling the car for scrap,
leaving it to rust, or pushing it into a river.
Of course, it could be used for special
effects, but that would too ordinary. Car
insurance fraud would be a far better use
of your time.
[BJS, Oct 09 2006]
Close To Home comic
today's comics had a very similar idea [discontinuuity, Jan 22 2008]
||Count me in [gets bumped from behind at low speed, pushes button to fire all rear panels].
||For some reason, I saw this as Explosive Body Parts.
||Active armor for cars? I know some car freaks who would consider this to teach people to not touch the exquisite finish on thier "babies."
||+ I like it as much as I like my car...
||I think that explosions would be worse
than someone touching your car.
||I suggest adding an ejector seat and a set of large speakers blasting some apocalyptic music to accompany the car's flying to pieces. Now imagine driving out and having a minor car accident in that thing. One minor dent in the parking lot, you are ejected fifty feet into the air, and the entire car explodes to the soundtrack of Terminator 2.
||Bun for it. It would suck though if you were driving down the highway and all of sudden, a passenger pushs a button thinking it is the radio. From great car to "curb art" in seconds...
||What happpens if the accident is in a parking garage or other enlosed parking facility? Do you eject into the ceiling? (this would be vehicular homicide where the vehicle commits the homicide on the driver...)
||P.S. are the panels reattachable? (i.e. a child accidentally detonates the bolts and blows the body off of the car...Bolts not included)
||reattachable? probably if you get new bolts and the explosion isnt strong enough to damage the panels or the chassis
||If you measured and timed everything
right, you could make the explosive bolts
fire before the lift charge so that the body
panel would fly away relatively unharmed,
but I'm not sure how likely this is. I
imagine the exploding bolts would tend to
destroy the mounting holes in the body
panel, and the body panel would probably
land on something hard and abrasive.
||This idea reminded me of reactive body armour for military tanks.
||One might use this for effect, sort of an augmented horn honk. There should be a part of the car which one could blow off and then easily reattach. Maybe a muffler.
||We had an ice storm here today, and I had helped a guy over a bridge by nudging his car with mine - I don't want to get all asplody trying to be the nice guy. Count me out.
||Of course, if he could selectively trigger a panel at will, he could have blasted himself over the hump at any time.