Car-crushing, fire-breathing robot for sale

The infamous Robosaurus will be sold at the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction early next year.

Robosaurus crushes a car. Universal Studios

The annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., is usually a place where car collectors and enthusiasts gather to admire scores of vintage Jaguars, Mercedes, Cadillacs and other fine specimens of automobiles made in years past.

Those types of cars will still be there when the event rolls around again in January, but there will be one rather disturbing lot that's bound to steal the show: a 40-foot-high, 31-ton mechanical dinosaur that throws 20-foot flames from its nostrils.

The Robosaurus, created 17 years ago by Monster Robots in Southern California, will be sold with no minimum price during the auction, which takes place January 12 to 20. The machine, which is controlled by a pilot who sits in a cockpit inside the dinosaur's head, comes complete with stainless steel teeth that can rip into and twist metal with 20,000 pounds of crushing force.

Not to be a party pooper, but does the idea of auctioning this thing off to the public trouble anyone? Little old ladies are getting their value-size bottles of perfume confiscated at the airport, while any schmuck with a bunch of money can buy a deadly machine that could take out an entire city block. How does that make sense?

About the author

    Laura Burstein is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. She covers car news and events for a variety of companies including CNET, General Motors, and Mercedes-Benz. Laura is a member of the Motor Press Guild and the BMW Car Club of America, and spends much of her spare time at high-performance driving schools, car control clinics, and motorsports events. She's also an avid Formula 1 fan. When she's not at the track, Laura's rubbing elbows with car cognoscenti at auto shows, auctions, design events, and various social gatherings. Disclosure.

     

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