Watches, Stories, & Gear: Subaru 22b, Land Rover Hearse, & Banksy

“Watches, Stories, and Gear” is a roundup of our favorite content, watch or otherwise, from around the internet. Here, we support other creators, explore interesting content that inspires us, and put a spotlight on causes we believe in. Oh, and any gear we happen to be digging on this week. We love gear.

Share your story ideas or interesting finds with us by emailing our Managing Editor at [email protected]

This installment of “Watches, Stories, and Gear” is brought to you by the Windup Watch Shop.

Hacking McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines

Photo: Gabriela Hasbun for WIRED

You’re not imagining things: the ice cream machine at your local McDonald’s is, actually, always broken. It seems like everyone has had the experience in the midst of a Shamrock Shake or Oreo McFlurry craving of getting to that drive-through speaker and being told, in a way that indicates this dreadful information has been communicated to dozens if not hundreds in line before you, that the machine is malfunctioning, and they’re not serving any ice cream products at the moment. A bummer, for sure, but what’s the story behind the finicky McDonald’s ice cream machine? Wired has an incredible story about some industrious folks (or maybe they’re just ice cream fanatics) who hacked the machine, got deep into its code, and spill the secrets of the nearly $20,000 custom built tool that nearly every McDonald’s uses to make your favorite frozen treats. This one reads like a fast-food spy thriller, and it might make you look at that soft serve cone in an entirely different light.

The Land Rover Modified By Prince Philip That Carried His Casket

Credit: Steve Parsons Pool/AFP via Getty

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed away at the age of 99 earlier this month, and if you were one of the millions around the world who watched his funeral procession, you likely noticed the unusual custom hearse used to carry his casket. It turns out, the Land Rover that carried the Duke to his final resting place was a pet project of his for years. Philip was a Land Rover enthusiast for years, lending his Royal Warrant to the company over 40 years ago. Even into old age, he was often spotted behind the wheel, so it’s fitting that a Land Rover would be a featured vehicle in this funeral procession. The Defender that carried his casket was a custom build that Philip himself had considerable input on, and is painted in a green tone that is common to vehicles of the British military. Philip served in the Royal Navy during World War II, so this is certainly something that carried great meaning to him and the rest of the Royal family. Read more about Philip’s custom Defender (and his history with Land Rover) right here

NASA’s Ingenuity Successfully Takes Flight On Mars

Regular readers of this column know that we love a good story tied to space exploration, and we’ve taken a particular interest in the recently landed Perseverance rover on Mars. One of the more interesting parlor tricks of the Perseverance is that it actually carries another vehicle with it, a small helicopter dubbed the Ingenuity. The Ingenuity recently flew for the first time, and the images sent back from the Red Planet are absolutely mind blowing when you consider the engineering challenges inherent in flying an aircraft remotely on another planet. You can read more about the Ingenuity (and see some amazing video footage of the helicopter in flight) at NASA’s website right here.

Banksy’s Game Changer Sells for $23M

Via Christie’s

The anonymous street artist known as Banksy donated an original piece of artwork to the University Hospital Southampton (UHS) earlier this year, for whom the artwork just raised $23M at auction. The artwork, called Game Changer, depicts a child playing with a nurse as superhero, with Batman and Spiderman cast aside, honoring the heroic work done by healthcare workers during the height of the pandemic. The work was auctioned at Christie’s in London, nearly doubling the artist’s previous record for his 2009 piece, Devolved Parliament. The fund raised through the auction will go to the benefit of the University Hospital Southampton as other well health organizations and UK based charities.


Subaru Impreza 22b Sells for over $300k On BaT

Credit (+header): Bring A Trailer

If you frequent Bring A Trailer you undoubtedly noticed the peach Subaru Impreza 22b that was listed a few weeks back. The car, one of just 425 examples ever built, had a mere 24,850 miles on the clock, and looked as clean as the day it rolled off the lot. The auction closed this week, with the winning bid hitting a staggering $312,555. It might look like an old Subaru to most folk, but enthusiasts will recognize the car as one of the all time greats, celebrating the Subaru World Rally Team’s 3 consecutive manufacturer’s World Rally Championships from 1995 to 1997 at the hands of the legendary Colin McRae and the Impreza 555. Scope more of this one at Road & Track right here.

eBay Finds: Vintage Zenith

Credit: bhoboo77

This week we have a smaller watch with big presence. This 33mm steel cased vintage Zenith is an absolute classic. The ‘calatrava’ style case is excellent, likely lightly polished but still looks great. The clean and simple original dial has some patina, but it’s even and in my opinion quite attractive. The hands are lume filled, with a sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The gold-tone manual wind movement is clean and looks gorgeous, and the seller states the watch is running well at this time. The serial number on the movement dates this watch to approximately 1949. Hard to beat a simple, classic dress watch like this.

View auction here.

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