Riding Bean Factoids

Cars

1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR

(Properly written as GT500 per Ford's designation. To be super specific, the 1968 Shelby Cobra would be written as G.T.500, however, most people default to the GT500 designation used by Ford.)

A high-performance variant of the Ford Mustang, originally produced by Carroll Shelby's Shelby American from 1965-1968, internally by Ford from 1969-1970, and revived as the high-performance variant's namebadge with the introduction of the 5th Generation Mustang by Ford in 2005.

In Riding Bean, based on Percy's identification as a Shelby Cobra GT500 with 335 horsepower, his specific model is the 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR (KR standing for King of the Road), which replaced the previous 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500 in April of 1968. This model was equipped with the new 428 Cobra Jet engine, putting out 400 horsepower with 440 ft-lb of torque, although the official ratings were felt to be underreported, and as such, the official figures match Percy's claim of 335hp. The original sale price in 1968 was $4,500 with 1,571 units of the KR variant produced. The 1968 run of Cobra GTs were the only ones during the five-year Shelby Mustang production run not assembled in Los Angeles, instead being produced in Ionia, Michigan. The GT500KR would eventually have a direct successor in 2008 with the 40th Anniversary model, now priced at $120,000.

'84 Chrysler New Yorker

Produced by Chrysler from 1940 to 1996. Some claim that until its discontinuation, it had the longest running American car nameplate, however, the Chevrolet Suburban predates it by 5 years and is still in active production.

'70 Ford Torino GT

Released at part of a family of 13 Torino models for the 1970 model year, the Torino GT was available in two variants, the 2-door SportsRoof type, and the GT Convertible. The 1970 Torino GT was equipped stock with a 302-2V Ford Windsor V8, featuring 220 horsepower and 300 ft-lb of torque.

4-wheel (in-phase) steering

Several vehicles are available with 4-wheel steering, including monster trucks and farm vehicles, but the feature can also be found in many road vehicles. These include the modern BMW 5,6 and 7 series, Infiniti G35 Sedan, G35 Coupe, M35 Sport and M45 Sport, Lexus GS, Mazda RX7, and several Porsche 911 models. This is usually an optional add-on feature, and uses computer control to turn the rear wheels opposite the front wheels at low speeds, while at high speeds, all 4 wheels turn alike, enhancing straight-line stability.

Crab steering, in which the wheels all turn the same direction and angle, is most often found on heavy equipment, although it has been prototyped on the unreleased Jeep Hurricane concept vehicle.

NACA

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor to NASA. A NACA duct brings air into a vehicle with minimal increase in drag. The NACA duct or NACA scoop is a common form of low-drag intake design which allows fluid to be drawn into an internal duct, often for cooling purposes, with a minimal disturbance to the flow. It is especially favored in racing car design. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NACA_duct

Guns

AR-15

A 5.56-firing American-designed semi-automatic rifle. Originally designed in 1958 by ArmaLite as a selective-fire rifle, the design was sold to Colt Manufacturing Company after ArmaLite suffered financial difficulties. Colt proceeded to modify the design, which eventually ended up as the U.S. Military M16. After the M16 was completed, Colt went into production on semi-automatic civilian version, the “Armalite rifle, version 15” or AR-15. Several variants have subsequently been made, as well as a number of copycat designs that are frequently called AR-15s. Like the Calico M100, the AR-15 was banned for civilian purchase in 1994 in the United States by the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Colt was free to resume production and sale in 2004 after the ban expired.

Beretta Cheetah Model 82

A .32 ACP-firing Italian-designed semi-automatic pistol. First manufactured in Italy in 1976 by Beretta, the Model 82 Cheetah is similar to the first production model, the Model 81, in that both are .32 ACP firing pistols, however the Model 82 has a single-stacked magazine with nine round capacity opposed to the 81's double-stack, 12 round magazine. As a result, the 82 has thinner grips. Several variants exist, with later variants having an additional letter to indicate further modifications such as additional safety features, a combat trigger guard, and modified sights (82B, 82BB, 82F, 82FS.) Import of the Model 82 to the U.S. was halted in 2013, although it is still available for purchase in Europe, although the Model 81FS has resumed imports as of 2014-2015.

Calico M100

A .22 Long Rifle-firing American-designed semi-automatic carbine-type rifle. Released in the 1980s by Calico Light Weapons Systems, it was originally intended for use in law enforcement and military applications. Due to the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, civilian purchase of the M100 was made illegal. This was due to the unique 100-round helical-feed magazine design, which met the criteria of a large-capacity magazine. After the ban expired in 2004, Calico was free to resume manufacture and sale of the M100 in its original form.

Colt M1911/M1911A1

A .45 ACP American designed pistol. Designed by John Browning in 1911 and produced by Colt Manufacturing Company, the M1911 and its successor variant, the M1911A1 (designed in 1924) served as the standard-issue sidearm for the US Armed Forces from the pistol's introduction until 1986 when it was replaced by the Beretta M9. Modernized derivatives are still in use by some units of the U.S. Army Green Berets, U.S.S Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps. The US military branches procured approximately 2.7 million units during the M1911's service lifespan. Heavily customizable, the M1911 is popular with civilian users, with civilian variants introduced in 1970 and still in production today.

CZ 75

A 9mm Czech designed pistol. Designed by Czech Arms Factory and introduced in 1975, the CZ 75 was originally designed for export purposes and was not available in its home country until 10 years after its introduction. Despite this, the CZ 75 is the most common handgun in the Czech Republic and can be found throughout the world. More than 20 variants and revisions of the CZ 75 have been created since it was first introduced, and several clones, copies, and other variants, like thE Springfield P9, owe their origins to the CZ 75. Available in both semi-auto and selective fire variants, as of October 2007, more than 1 million CZ 75s have been produced.

MAC-10

A .45 ACP or 9mm-firing American-designed machine pistol. Designed by Gordon B. Ingram in 1964 for Military Armament Corporation, the M-10, commonly called the MAC-10, had a short production history, manufactured from 1970 to 1973. While the weapon has poor accuracy, the .45 variant can fire 1090 rounds/min, while the 9mm variant is capable of 1250 round/min. One key feature off the MAC-10 is the threaded barrel, which allows the pistol to be equipped with a sound suppressor, which also acts as a foregrip to allow the user to counter muzzle rise when firing. Because it failed several points of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban in the U.S., the semi-auto civilian counterpart was banned, and it's successors were redesigned to operate within the restrictions of the ban's mandate. The MAC-10 is still in use by various forces around the world, and several foreign clones of the design exist.

MP5-K

A 9mm German designed submachine gun. Designed by Heckler & Koch GmbH in the 1960s, today, the MP5 family consists of over 100 variants, including a semi-auto version. The MP5K is a shortened variant of the previous A2 model, designed in 1976, and features a 115mm barrel (compared to the 225mm barrel of the MP5A2) The K stands for Kurz, the German word for “short”. Designed for close-quarters use, the K variant lacks the typical shoulder stock, and a shortened bolt and receiver. As a result of the reduction in weight on the bolt, the MP5K has a higher rate of fire than the standard MP5.

The name MP5 comes from the German name “Maschinenpistole 5” meaning “Submachine gun 5” in English.

Remington 870

A 12, 16, 20, 28 gauge or .410 bore-firing American-designed pump-action shotgun. Designed in 1951 by Remington Arms Company, LLC, the 870 is the 4th major design in a series of pump shotguns by Remington. As of April 13, 2009, 10 million Model 870 shotguns have been produced. There are hundreds of variations of the 870, owing to the various design types and shell variants. Unlicensed clones are also produced in China by manufacturer Norinco as the 870's design is no longer protected by patent. The 870 is commonly used around the world by armed forces, police, prison guards, and more.

Solothurn S-18

20mm-firing Swiss/German-designed semi-automatic anti-tank rifle. After World War I, a ban on domestic German firearms manufacturing resulted in German firm Rheinmetall purchasing Swiss arms manufacturer Solothurn to bypass the ban. Although powerful, the heavy recoil and overall size of the rifle made portability and operation difficult. Although tested by US forces, the rifle was never ordered. Other countries that made use of the S-18 include Italy, China, and Hungary.

Places

Chicago Jeweler's Building

Located at 35 East Wacker Dr., prior to the current renovation to reconfigure the building into a more modern layout, the 40-story building included several interesting features, such as parking on the first 23 floors and a car lift to facilitate the transfer of safes for the jewelry merchants that occupied the building. The dome at the top was previously a restaurant which now serves as a showroom for architect Helmut Jahn.

Howard Johnson's

Founded in 1925 as a restaurant chain in Quincy, MA, and expanded in 1954 in Savannah, GA with the addition of a chain of motor lodges. In the 1960s and 1970s, the restaurant arm was the largest restaurant chain in the US, with over 1000 company-owned and franchised locations. As of September 2016, there is only one remaining restaurant location operating in the U.S., located in Lake George, NY.

Marina City

Designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg in 1959 and completed in 1964 at a cost of 36 million dollars, at the time of completion, the matching towers were both the tallest residential buildings and tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world. Designed as a “city within a city”, the development featured a theatre, gym, pool, ice rink, bowling alley, shopping, restaurants, and a marina. The first 19 floors of each tower are comprised of parking, with the upper floors occupied by residential space and services for the residential areas.

The Truckstop

We believe, based on a bunch of Wikipedia research, that we know where the truckstop was located. It ties back into the whole Hollywood geography aspect because it seems to be farther out of the city than it actually is, and they MAY have been going in the wrong direction all around, but here's our analysis:

1. The Des Plaines Oasis, one of 7 (now 6 because this particular one was closed due to a new highway project linking to O'Hare) was the location in The Blues Brothers where Carrie Fisher torches their car. There's also the phone booth they are in that gets destroyed. When the truck leaves the truckstop in RB, it destroys a phone booth. Given the nods to Blues Brothers in the anime anyway, it kinda makes sense. The Belvedere Oasis would be closer to the possible airport, but doesn't have that TBB connection.

2. The I-294/I-90 interchange is not far from the Des Plaines Oasis, and the exit on 294 to 90 is supposedly Exit 40. Hollywood geography or just the bit mentioned in the commentary that points out they were working off of maps and such could account for this.

3. Chicago Rockford International is out in Rockford, just off 90, which is where the Oasis would be. That would line up with them heading for another smaller regional airport rather than O'Hare, which they'd otherwise be right next to.

There’s no Penny’s or any such restaurant like it, and in fact, the Oasis design was one that spanned over the top of the highway, but if we assume artistic license (or maybe Japanese highway stops would be similar to the layout seen in the anime?), it would make sense.

Water Tower Place

Planned in the late 1960s and built in 1975, the Water Tower Place building, located at 835 N. Michigan Avenue, is a 78-story concrete building containing a Ritz-Carlton hotel, luxury condos, office space, and sits atop an atrium-style retail mall. At the time of construction, like the Marina City towers before it, Water Tower Place was the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world. The structure is named for the nearby Chicago Water Tower.

Companies

Artmic (short for Art and Modern Ideology for Creation)

A Japanese design studio that was formed in 1978 and went bankrupt and was liquidated in 1997. Members included Ken’ichi Sonoda, Shinji Aramaki (Gasaraki, Fullmetal Alchemist), and Kimitoshi Yamane (Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne). Riding Bean was created by Artmic in partnership with AIC, which now has intellectual property of most of its titles.

Karizma (the band)

Toshiba

Founded in 1938 as the result of a merger between Shibaura Seisaku-sho and Tokyo Denki, and originally known as Tokyo Shibaura Electric K.K., the company name was shortened to Toshiba Corporation in 1978 after decades of use of the name as a nickname. Rapidly expanding in the 60's and 70's, Toshiba's reach includes consumer electronics and home appliances, lighting systems, semiconductors, digital storage, power systems including thermal, hydro, and nuclear, and more. Their previous joint venture with EMI Music was Toshiba EMI, under which their subsidiary Youmex produced numerous anime titles, including Bubblegum Crisis, Otaku no Video, Blue Gender, and of course, Riding Bean.

UCC Coffee

Ueshima Coffee Co. is a Japanese coffee and tea manufacturer based in Kobe, Japan. The company also owns a Kona coffee farm on the island of Hawaii. Credited with popularizing the canned coffee trend in the late 60's after the release of the first canned coffee (UCC Coffee with Milk,) many anime fans recognize their products from their appearance in 1997's The End of Evangelion by Studio Gainax. Their partnership with the Evangelion franchise continued a decade later with appearances in the Rebuild of Evangelion films. While the company has an American branch to distribute their products, this branch was founded in 2003, making their appearance in Riding Bean a bit anachronistic.

Shout-Outs

The Blues Brothers

Created by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live in 1976. After three appearances on SNL, the band released an album in 1978, after which the eponymous film “The Blues Brothers” was released in 1980. After Belushi's death in 1982, the band continued to tour, releasing several other studio albums and compilations, and a sequel film, Blues Brothers 2000, was released in 1998.

THX 1138

A 1971 science-fiction film, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by George Lucas in his directorial debut. Developed from Lucas' 1967 student film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, the film stars Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence and depicts a future in which the people are controlled by drug-induced emotional suppression and order is maintained by an android police force. While garnering a lukewarm reception upon release, after the success of Star Wars in 1977, more attention was given to THX 1138 and as a result, the film gained more of a cult following. The alphanumeric combination of THX 1138, used in the film as the name of Robert Duvall's character, has subsequently appeared in numerous pieces of media. It appears in Riding Bean on Percy's license plate, albeit as THX 1148.

Miscellaneous

Bean’s watch

A Porsche Design IWC Titan Chronograph.

Kevlar

A synthetic fiber developed in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek at DuPont. Originally used in the early 1970s as a steel replacement in racing tires, its many applications include use in bicycle tires, racing sails, high-impact drumheads, and mooring lines for boats, just to name a few. Kevlar is probably best known, however, for its use in body armor such as helmets, face masks, and body armor for police and military uses, as well as for motorcycle gear. As seen in Riding Bean, Bean's outfit is lined with Kevlar, protecting him from numerous gunshots throughout the film.

Squib

A small explosive previously used in the motion picture industry to simulate bullet impacts. Sand, soil, wood, or liquid packs can be used to add the splash effect of a bullet hitting solid objects or flesh as seen in Riding Bean. The first screen use of a squib to simulate a bullet impact was the 1955 Polish film Pokolenie. The use of squibs with live actors have been phased out in favor of safer devices such as compressed gas packs, although the use of the term squib has survived.

Stockholm syndrome

First described in 1973, Stockholm syndrome or capture-bonding is a psychological syndrome in which hostages latch on to their captors and begin to express empathy, sympathy, and otherwise positive feelings toward them despite the danger of their situation. The name Stockholm syndrome was coined by criminologist Nils Bejerot after a bank robbery in which several bank employees of Kreditbanken in Stockholm, Sweden were held in a bank vault for six days and by the end of the standoff, showed signs of attachment and defense of their captors.

Wild 7 (1969-1979)

A Japanese manga series created by Mikiya Mochizuki.