Only In America . . . TM

Copyright © 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.


The automotive think tank Genes of Tin (GOT) announced the first cloning of a complete automobile yesterday. On display was a brand-new, electric blue 1965 Shelby Cobra Mustang, one of the most sought-after cars of the 60's, that was cloned entirely from pieces found in Pydynsky's Midnight Junk Yard.

"Now that we've got one classic car completed, the others will be much easier," GOT CEO Michael Speedbrake told a meeting of the Automotive Genome Endeavor (AGE) in Chicago last night. "We have almost completed the initial cloning of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gull Wing, and clones of the Maxwell, Duesenberg, and Edsel are in the works," he said. "Our facility in Michigan will produce 1500 classic cars by the end of this year, and we expect to be in full production of 100,000 plus automobiles by next summer."

He also announced the formation of the Hybrid Motor Corporation (HMC) to produce new cars from production mockups and idea cars. "It is much cheaper to clone cars than manufacture them," he told the meeting. "You don't need monster production plants on acres and acres of ground fed by thousands of suppliers. All you need is some old parts, a few chemicals, and a big parking lot. You can put all of your engineering effort into a single prototype until you get it just right," he said, "then clone as many of them as you like."

In a few years Speedbrake hopes to be able to simplify the process to the point that an automobile can be cloned in less than 24 hours. That would enable every HMC car dealer to be a mini genetic production line, manipulating a few genes to produce whatever color and option combination the customer orders.

But GOT doesn't expect to stop at automobiles; they expect to eventually produce an entire spectrum of consumer goods ranging from toasters to computers.

"The mechanics of cloning non-biological entities is fairly simple," a GOT spokesman said. "Human beings are made up of anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 genes," he explained, "and other creatures - pigs, sheep, cows, whatever - have only slightly less. An automobile, on the other hand, is made up of just over 3,000 genes, depending on horsepower and options. Other electro-mechanical gadgets are even simpler: at the high end of the spectrum are computers ranging from 1200 to 1800 genes and VCR's with about a thousand; cell phones and fax machines are somewhere in the middle with just 300 to 600 genes; and toasters are on the bottom end with only six."

The new mechano-clones are being hailed as saviors by environmental groups. They are already making plans for tearing down large manufacturing complexes to create parks, lakes, bike paths, ice rinks and soccer fields.

And, all of this elimination of physical plants and cloning with a handful of employees and a few chemicals will drastically reduce the price of most of these cloned consumer goods, right?

Well, not exactly, according to the National Association of Clones, Robots and Copied Artifacts. A spokesman for the organization overseeing all cloning of non-biological objects said in a prepared statement that, "We must remember the millions and millions of dollars our members have spent researching this new technology, and that they have a right to recoup their investment plus a reasonable profit." Of course, reasonable profit remains undefined, but it is expected that mechano-clone prices will parallel the cost/profit curves established by the pharmaceutical companies.

Copyright © 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.