READER! BEFORE YOU START THIS BOOK,
STOP RIGHT HERE!
Are YOU ready for a Test of Skill and Daring that will Impress Your Friends, Awe Your Enemies, and lead YOU to be eligible to win some pretty cool Prizes?
We knew you were, so here goes. In order to give you a real challenge, the kind of fiendishly difficult test that only you could master, WE DEVISED A SERIES OF CODES THAT ARE CAREFULLY PLANTED THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK. And we searched the country and found a real Code Master TO DO IT. Our Diabolical Brain spends his days devising secret codes so difficult that the world's most powerful computers couldn't break them in a thousand years--and he's written some special puzzles as a challenge for you. You'll see some PUZZLES right away. The Apprentice Puzzles are not only pretty easy to crack, they hold Hints and Clues--find as many of those as you can, because after that the road gets steep and winding.
The Apprentice Puzzles give you the equipment you'll need on your next quest: Find the fifteen Guardian Puzzles . Solve them and you will have the keys to the Three Master Puzzles . Pass beyond those gates and you can enter the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Mystic Land of the Ultimate, Great, and Final PUZZLE SUPREME --crack that, and the SECRET WILL BE REVEALED (and remember, you could win stuff).
But beware, things are not what they seem. Our Big, Bad Brain does not believe you can untangle his dark and devious schemes and has laid many traps. Be Alert! Keep Watch, Clues May Lurk Anywhere!
P.S. The puzzles are here for extra fun; if you don't feel like puzzling today, that's OK, we also have snakes, cars, magic tricks, battles, pizza, adventures, skateboards ... .
252 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds
Made by Volkswagen--the same company that makes the "slug bug" Beetle--the Veyron costs $1.2 million. The Bugatti brand has been around since the late 1800s, and this particular one is the most powerful supercar ever made: 1,000 horsepower, equal to more than 200 lawn mower engines.
242 miles per hour Zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds
Made by Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg, the CCX costs $755,000. New owners are encouraged to visit the factory in order to take special driving lessons on how to handle this four-wheeled beast.
240 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds
Created by America's most famous racing team, McLaren, the F1 is the only American car on this list. It is no longer made, but whenever one is put up for sale by its owner (for a million dollars or more), McLaren Automotive rebuilds it for the new owner. There are only 64 of them in the world.
217 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds
Ferrari is Italy's most famous carmaker, and Enzo is the name of the company founder. The car costs $620,000, and buyers fly to Italy to have the car's interior custom fit to their bodies.
C12 F ROADSTER
214 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds
Pagani is another Italian carmaker, and its convertible F costs $690,000. The designer, Horacio Pagani, designed his first supercar at age 12 out of modeling clay.
SUPERCARS ARE THE FASTEST, MOST EXPENSIVE cars that can be driven on American roads. (Racing cars can't be legally driven on because of speed, safety, and noise concerns.) Mainstream car companies like General Motors and Nissan make millions of cars a year; supercar manufacturers make only a few dozen or a few hundred, and each one costs more than most people's homes. They are usually hand-built and require an elite team of physicists to design them so they don't fly off the road or burn up from the heat of their engines and brakes. Some supercars can outrun regular sports cars by nearly 100 mph.
Getting picked up from school in one of these cars would probably make the other kids--as well as all your teachers--stop and stare. Maybe even drool. So start saving your pennies for the coolest cars to ever hit the road. This is the supercar list you might want to have when you get your driver's license.
MERCEDES-BENZ SLR MCLAREN
207 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds
This is a car you might actually see driving around, as Mercedes is a popular brand in America and the price is only $455,000. This car was designed with the help of the same McLaren team that created the F1, above.
205 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds
Italy's Lamborghini makes supercars that can only be described as "wicked." This one costs $280,000. Murcielago means "bat" in Spanish and the first time this car was ever used in a movie was Batman Begins.
202 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds
This supercar sells for $285,000. A Ferrari was featured in the Disney movie Cars as the dream car that the owner of the tire store had waited his whole life for.
201 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds
Spyker is an old-time race car company in Holland, and it sells this supercar for $355,000. The car has no keys for the door or ignition; everything is controlled by a computer card. Each La Turbie has been sold before it was even finished.
VANQUISH S V12
201 miles per hour
Zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds
This is the fastest car to come out of England. Aston Martins are perhaps best known as the cars used in James Bond movies, and this one sells for $260,000. The Vanquish was called the Vanish in the movie Die Another Day because it could turn invisible. Unfortunately, the real car can't do that--yet.
Copyright © 2007 by Marc Aronson and HP Newquist. Illustrations copyright © 2007 by Headcase Design.