Clearly we’re a fans of retrofitted mobile retail operations, and, since we’re human, we’re also clearly fans of pizza. This is why we were so excited to hear about Del Popolo, the new mobile pizzeria cruising the streets of San Francisco inside a converted shipping container.
A year ago Jon Darsky left his job at Flour + Water to start his own business. He wanted to bring authentic Neapolitan pizza directly to his customers so he bought a shipping container and mounted it on the back of a flat bed truck. He then had an authentic 5,000 lbs wood-fire oven shipped over from Naples. The oven can reach temperatures over 800 degrees and can toast up a pie in under 60 seconds. To allow customers to see the magic at work he opened up one side of the container and put in floor to ceiling glass windows that can swing open.
You can follow Jon and his mobile pizzeria on Twitter to see where he’ll be stopping next. We might try to lobby him to join the AETHERstream on a national tour.
The Action Camper is a bomber drop-in camper shell that turns a Jeep Wrangler into a rugged, all-terrain mobile RV. While there are a lot of third-party add-ons available for Jeep Wranglers, this one has a particularly solid look and a smart multi-functional layout. Designed by Austria-based Thaler Design and distributed in North America by Adventure Trailers, the Action Camper allows two individuals to live, eat, and sleep in comfort while out in the backcountry.
To maximize available space the Action Camper features a single space that can be transformed to serve multiple purposes. There is small kitchen area with a 3 burner stove top, a sink, and 40 liter refrigerator. Next to that is a foldable table and seating area. The camper also comes with a chemical toilet with 4 gallons of clean water capacity and 5.5 gallons of dirty water capacity. The kitchen sink facet can be pulled out to double as a shower fixture.
At night, a full sized king mattress folds out and rests on top of the counters and table, turning the space into a bed. The mattress can also be folded out half-way to allow one person to access the kitchen area. Specialized designed cut out function as night stands.
The only problem with the Action Camper is the $53,500 price tag (Jeep Wrangler not included). Seeing how Laird Herbert was able to make full-sized custom RV with about the same amount of money, the Action Camper begins to feel a little overpriced. Although if your woodworking skills aren’t quite up to snuff, the Action Camper might be your best bet for an all-in-one solution.
Here is how you know you’re doing your mobile home right: the wood paneling is on the outside. This sharp looking cabin on wheels is the work of small home enthusiast Laird Herbert who hails the far north of Whitehorse, Canada. Inspired by the micro-living moment, Herbert was intrigued by the idea of building his own home. So after testing out a few prototype designs, he started work on the model you see here: the Tiny Leaf Verson.2.
Designed to handle the frigid Canadian winters, the Tiny Leaf is a custom made, self-contained, mobile house with a surprising amount of room inside. It comes complete with living room area, fully-functional kitchen, loft bed, a bathroom with a compact tub, and a open dinning area. Reportedly it is large enough to accommodate a family of four, cozily we’re sure.
The house also features many self-sustaining elements including a composting toilet, propane tankless hot water system, propane GE half fridge, Ecoheat electric baseboards, LED and halogen lighting and a 35-gallon water storage unit. The only thing missing is a solar powered roof to take it completely off the grid. Then again there is always Version.3
Recently Cool Hunting posted a great video interview with our good-friend Jonathan Ward of Icon 4×4. Jon started Icon 4×4 with the desire to combine classic automotive design with modern technologies and components. He has been getting a lot of great press on his newly unveiled Ford Bronco series. In this video he walks through the process of building one, from concept to final product.
We can also personally attest that when he says he can tell an entire story behind each and every component on his truck he is not joking. Jon is an absolute master in his field and it is always a pleasure to hear him talk about his work.
There are not many ways you can make a Land Rover Defender look any more rugged – they’re pretty much the text book definition as is. But for people looking to take their vehicles to the outer extremes of the earth, especially the non-firma parts of terra firma, then a Mattrack conversion kit will do just the trick.
Mattrack treads have 26 feet of combined surface area, which offers superior weight distribution compared to traditional off-road tires. The reduced ground pressure allows vehicles to traverse over swampy mud, loose sands, and deep snow drifts without the risk of spinning out and digging in. The increased weight distribution also allows vehicles to drive over relatively thin ice as seen above. And unlike the metal treads normally found on tanks and halftracks, Mattracks are made out of a specially formulated rubber, which means they’re completely street legal.
Designed and manufactured in Karlstad Minnesota, Mattrack has been outfitting all-terrain enthusiasts with track kits since 1994. They sell conversions for a wide variety of off-road vehicles including 4X4 trucks, farm tractors, and ATVs. And for most models, install is as easy can changing a tire. So if you’re looking to take your Defender over the ice fields of the Bering Strait, the loose sand dunes of the Sahara, or LA’s pot-hole strewn secondary streets, then strap on some Mattracks and get going.
Much like the Oxford Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition undertaken five years earlier, the Trans Darien Expedition of 1960 pitted another pair of Land Rovers, this time Series 2, against the dense jungles along the border of Panama and Columbia. The region is called the Darien Gap and is widely considered to be the most impassable stretch of land on the planet. At the time there was no overland route connecting North and South America – all travel had to be accomplished via boat or plane. In 1957 an exploratory committee was assembled to assess the feasibility of constructing a Pan-American Highway that would connect the two continents. To get a better understanding of the terrain the committee commissioned an overland expedition from Panama City to Bogota.
The expedition consisted of two Land Rover Series 2 and a Jeep Willy, and was crewed by Amado Araúz and his wife Reina, Otis Imboden, Richard E. Bevir, Terrence Withfield, Ilse Abashagen and later with José A. Saénz and Bolívar Araúz. The expedition had to hack their way through the thick underbrush, wade through endless miles of mud, winch their way over mountains, and forge through murky rivers of questionable depth. Some days the company could only manage 5 kilometers of forward progress. In the end, it took a total of 134 days to cover just 500 kilometers, although by all accounts they were the most treacherous 500 kilometers ever crossed. The Trans Darien Expedition was a success, which inspired subsequent crossings by other expeditions, however for a myriad of political and environmental reasons construction of the highway never materialized. Still to this day there is no overland route from North America to South America.
Getting a flat can be a real hassle, especially if you’re in hostile territory taking enemy fire. But now Resilient Technologies has developed a new Non-Pneumatic Tire that uses a rubber honeycombed structure instead of air pressure to keep vehicles supported. The current Humvee setup uses traditional pneumatic tires with a run-flat donut insert. If the tire is punctured by a bullet or road-side bomb, the truck will be able to limp away but only at a top speed of 30 mphs and for a distance of about 30 miles.
The new Resilient NPT will never go flat and can be driven at any speed. They are also virtually the same in weight as a traditional tire, and have a 100,000 mile life span before they need to be retreaded. Resilient Technologies is looking to bring this technology to the military first, but if the concept takes off commercial variation may soon become available. Which is good, because we’ve been waiting forever for Michelin‘s problem-prone “Tweel” to be released.
Last year we had the chance to catch up with Jon Ward of Icon 4×4 and get a tour of his Los Angeles garage. When we asked him if he had any new projects coming down the line all he could say was that there might be something with Ford in the works. He didn’t want to talk about it until things were finalized but we could tell by the excitement in his voice that it was going to be big. Now a few months later, we finally get to see for ourselves. Introducing the new Icon 1968 Ford Bronco.
After receiving the blessing and support of Ford Motor Company, which came in the form of a CAD file and technical assistance, Jon set to work procuring five uncut-fender Ford Broncos from the late 1960′s. From top to bottom the Icon Bronco is completely custom designed. All new components had to be developed for the suspension, steering, axles, and brakes. The engine was replaced with a Ford 5.0 liter V8 from a Mustang GT, giving it 412 horsepower and 390 lb feet of torque. The interior has been completely recrafted as well, using Jon’s boarder line OCD attention to detail. Front grill, dashboard display, and doorhandles are some of the many items that received their own custom touches. The final product is a Ford Bronco like no other. And with only a limited number being built, it looks like there will be no other like it in the future as well.
Our suggestion for Icon’s next revamp? The VW Thing.
So as most of you probably already know, we have an Airstream trailer and it’s awesome. Actually, we’d like to take a moment and thank you for all the positive feedback you’ve given us over the past few days. Its been greatly appreciated.
The AETHERstream is going to be in Los Angeles for the next month or so before heading to New York City for the holiday season. In preparation for this big move we’ve been searching for the perfect tow-vehicle to bring the trailer across the country. Not only will the vehicle serve the practical purpose of towing, but it will also need to complement the trailer’s overall aesthetic. Thankfully there are an assortment of truck manufacturers out there who have done a magnificent job of blending both performance and design. We wanted to share a few of the options we’ve been looking at so far, some being more “realistic” than others.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions on what you think should tow the AETHERstream, let us know at email@example.com
The Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition was a 1955 journey from London to Singapore undertaken by six graduates of Oxford & Cambridge using two Land Rover Series I Station Wagons. It was the first time the route, or any one similar, had been attempted using overland vehicles. The journey took six months and six days, during which time the expedition had traversed 18,000 miles.
Land Rover was the main sponsor of the expedition and saw it as great opportunity to field test the Series I while building publicity for the model’s commercial launch in 1956. Over 80 other companies also contributed equipment and supplies ranging from collapsible buckets to whiskey. The expedition was thoroughly documented using film stock secured by Sir David Attenborough and the footage was broadcast on the BBC.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, sit back, relax, and enjoy: “Overland to Singapore”.