Next week the New York International Auto Show rolls around in a small town called, conveniently, New York. It promises thousands of square feet filled with brand-new cars, one-of-a-kind concepts, and huge swathes of electric vehicle “makers” no one has ever seen before trying to pass themselves off as real companies. This year, however, there’s an interesting twist: the 2022 Toyota GR Corolla is coming to New York.
We will steal it. Here’s how.
The reasons for the theft of the GR Corolla are simple: it reigns and all the personnel want it. We have already worked out an internal sharing schedule, where various Jalops can call dibs on the property for different days. It will be stored somewhere safe and remote, but so far no one has complained about having to take it home.
For the actual heist, however, one crucial piece of information is missing: we don’t know where the Corolla will actually be. be inside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Based on previously released floor plans, there are two possible places Toyota could put the Corolla. This means that we need of them heist plans.
Plan One: The Crystal Palace
Of the two Toyota locations for the show, I’m willing to bet the GR Corolla is more likely to end up at the Crystal Palace at the Javits Center. You can see it in the bottom left of the floor plan, a massive, transparent assembly of glass and scaffolding that could perfectly show off every curve of the Corolla to onlookers. It could also be a perfectly simple heist.
The Crystal Palace, conveniently, opens directly to the outside world. It has two main entrances, one of which is already level with 11th Avenue outside. Our media passes will get us in, and Andy Kalmowitz’s trip-induced sleep deprivation on the second press day will serve as a diversion. He’ll strike up a conversation with the Toyota reps, then pretend to pass out (or maybe he’ll actually pass out, he’ll run on very little sleep) thus distracting anyone securing the car. Erik will start to separate the crowds and then the party will begin.
Getting the Corolla from its rack to the door will be the easy part. It’s entirely possible that the car already has some fuel in the tank, leftover donuts it’s been running for his debut in Long Beach. Otherwise, sneaking into a small jerrycan through the rear loading dock should be trivial – at least compared to what’s to come.
So we have a car inside, a road outside, and a few precious meters between them. The problem is what is in these feet: a number of obstacles specifically intended to prevent cars outsidebut it will also serve to keep the GR Corolla in. First, the doors themselves, which is a fairly straightforward matter. They each seem to be a 64″ wide standard double door, but the bars between them are not an integral part of the structure of the Crystal Palace. Small explosive charges placed at the top and bottom of a single door divider will open the way for us to escape the building aboard the Corolla, where we will face our next challenge: the planters.
See those pretty, shiny flowerbeds in front of the Crystal Palace? These are floor mounted, intended to prevent cars from rushing into all the glass, steel and people. Unfortunately they will also prevent our car from fairing outsidebut there is a simple solution: We move the planter. With a city bus. I can explain, but it will take some math.
These planters are just over twice the width of a standard traffic barrelwhich means they are probably similar to these 60″ concrete planter gates just encased in metal. These weigh 3,470 pounds, which we’ll even round up to 3,500 to account for dirt and plants. If the base is concrete, not covered with metal, a coefficient of friction with the sidewalk of 0.80 in dry weather is considered. So how much force do we need to slide a planter out of the way?
It is, of course, a lot of strength. Fear not, though: I have a plan. A New York City hybrid bus is capable of producing 4,979 lb-ft of torque from a dead point. Of course, that’s not close to what we need, but remember that we’re converting couple for Obligate – we have to take care of everything between the engine and the ground.
It starts with a gearbox, and a 4.75:1 reduction ratio. Then there’s the differential, which is hard to find for this exact system but Thison average seem to hang around the 5:1 mark. We now have up to 118,251.25 lb-ft of torque, more than enough to haul our single terminal to freedom.
But wait, there’s more: To take traction out of the equation, Owen and I are going to chock the front wheels of the bus and use its rear axle as a sort of impromptu winch. By wrapping our cable around the axle, rather than the wheels, our strength is multiplied up to 709,506 pounds of force. I would say that’s enough.
Just wait for a bus to stop at the nearby red light, circle the bollard with a 1 1/8″ thick steel cable, and mount the other end on the rear axle of the bus. Once he clears the bollard, I insert the explosives in the door frame and Raph drives the GR Corolla to freedom. Simple as.
Plan Two: Fly for Free
This is where it gets difficult. The Crystal Palace is at ground level, making it easy for our group to pilot the Corolla right out the front door. But Toyota’s other display, the dead center of the third floor of the Javits Center (which is really one floor off the ground) is trickier. It is surrounded by security, physically elevated from nearby streets, and will likely be overrun with other automotive journalists. It’s almost impenetrable.
The GR corolla will be located somewhere in this area, centered above the central entrance to the building. Seeing the layout, UK resident Owen Bellwood suggested an airport catering van, the kind that lifts up to meet a plane at the gate. It’s a good concept, but too slow – security would swarm us before the car hits the ground. No, we need something faster – like gravity.
Currently there is a 2016 Cottrell 7 car trailer listed on eBay. Its overall shape, flat at the top but angled down along the back, may start to give you an idea of what we’re planning here. The trailer, mounted on a truck loaned by the press, will be our ramp to get the GR Corolla out of the second floor of the Javits Center.
First, we insert our team of elite rogues (again Andy, Raph, Erik, and me) onto the living room floor. Andy is again on fake fainting diversion duty, while Erik directs crowd control. This time, Owen is driving the truck and trailer combo, and he’s heading straight through the doors to this main entrance. Once inside it starts to argue with all the security approaches – that’s it their fault, you see, of living in a country that drives on the wrong side of the road.
Once the truck is in place, it won’t be at a perfect 90 degree angle to the second story windows. That’s where Raph comes in — he’s the spotter, directing me into the Corolla through the window and towards the trailer. We only have one chance, so its role is crucial: a few degrees lower, and we’re not going anywhere.
Once the car lands on the trailer, it’s easy to drive down the ramp and down into the sunset. Theoretically, of course — we would never really carry out either of these regimes. Just be aware that if the car mysteriously goes missing next week, the safe location is outside of Ithaca. The entry password is “Poughkeepsie”.