Make These 5 Oculus Rift Fantasies Real
Pick your favorite wheeled reality, and get virtual.
Virtual reality company Oculus is finally ready to tear open the rift between the real and the digital. Oculus Rift headset pre-orders begin today at 8 A.M. PST, and the geek-o-verse has been set alight. The headset is an impressive piece of kit, capable of offering a totally immersive experience into anything you can imagine—think of it as a holodeck for your head. While there's some initial support for gaming, the chance to roam around inside a different reality immediately got us thinking of how we could use the Rift to get a better look at cars and experiences what we could only previously see from the outside.
Suddenly, co-driving for Ari Vatanen during his Climb Dance up Pikes Peak is a possibility. So is riding with Tazio Nuvolari as he trounces the state-funded Silver Arrows in front of the backpfeifengesicht Führer and his cohort. Anything is theoretically possible, any car, any place, any dream. Here is just a smattering of five VR wishes.
Co-drive for Sir Stirling Moss at the 1955 Mille Miglia
Perhaps the best piece of driving ever achieved, the headlong flight of Moss and Jenks (Denis Jenkinson) along a thousand miles of treacherously serpentine Italian roads is a thing never to be repeated. Their silver Mercedes-Benz 300SLR glinted in the Mediterranean sun, even as it took to the air over a sharply humpbacked bridge. Ten hours, seven minutes and forty-eight seconds; a record never to be beaten. Lower yourself into the open cockpit. Brace one foot on the firewall—there aren't any seatbelts. Ready the pace notes, and get ready for the ride of your life.
Tour the Sultan of Brunei's Collection
Even the best museums of the world pale in comparison to the automotive wealth hoarded by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, ruler of Brunei. Ask yourself what you'd put in your personal garage, were money no object, and then double it: the Sultan has a rumored 5,000 cars, collectively worth more than $300 million. The public will never see it, but thanks to VR, you can. Walk among the rows of machines, wipe the dust from the fender of a Porsche 962 LM, peer into the cabin of one of his many one-off Ferrari shooting brakes. Then, take down the keys to one of 11 McLaren F1s and go for a blast through the jungle.
Raindance in Senna's McLaren at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix
There is an art to racing in the rain, and Ayrton Senna was the grand master. Perhaps his finest drive—and there were many that could be called such—came during qualifying at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, often considered the pinnacle of F1's racing calendar. The then-rookie's slow Toleman-Hart simply danced among the raindrops, reeling in Alain Prost's McLaren. The race was called on the 31st lap, a controversial decision made just before Senna passed Prost. The two would become adversarial teammates, but there was little doubt who handled the wet better: Climb in the cockpit with Ayrton, and see how he did it.
Run the Cannonball With Adrienne Barbeau
A Countach. A zippered jumpsuit. Huge, er, tracts of land. This is the stuff of adolescent dreams, posters on the wall and a funny feeling in your stomach. Relive that first nascent crush by taking the wheel of the black Lamborghini LP400S yourself—but keep your eyes on the road.
Chase Down the Bad Guys With Frank Bullitt
It's likely the greatest car chase seen on film, and you can be part of it. Climb into Steve McQueen's dark green fastback Mustang GT and get ready to turn the tables on the goons in the ‘68 Charger. Down the hills of San Francisco, getting air over the humps, screeching through the streets with all eight cylinders roaring. Don't just watch the action—be there.