Friday, 29 August 2014

The Most Expensive Veyron Ever?

So why am I showing you a 2012 video of a Corvette?

Because this Corvette is (or probably "was" very soon) owned by Andy Lee House of Lufkin, Texas.  He seems to have a habit of making fast cars go fast, as can be seen in this 2006 video of him driving the most expensive Veyron ever - be aware there is swearing on this vid:

He claimed to have tried to avoid a pelican causing him to crash his $1million car into a swamp just after he had insured it for $2.2million.

I recall reading this story several years back and thinking it sounded fishy then.  Literally fishy.

Now then, no pelican on the video together with other evidence gleaned by investigators (as opposed to alligators) watching the clip showed that he had been telling porkies in 2006 so no payout.  And now, since it has come to trial, this Veyron could also have cost him up to 20 years in the clink.  Fox have the story here and The Mail, who always love an expensive car crash, have it in much more detail, here.

And what price freedom?

Here's a photo of the car being recovered from its swim:
Something to consider next time you approach a pelican crossing.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bayern Munich Have a New Coach

Here's the proof...

Now, while we're on the subject of silly videos, here's one from my youth...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fair deal?

The Discovery Quest Channel has started showing Wheeler Dealers.
This is excellent news for me - Quest is a Freeview Channel and I am a big fan of the show.

They have started to show the episodes right back from the first series in 2003.

For those of you unfamiliar with the programme, used car dealer Mike Brewer buys a classic car in need of a little attention at a knock-down price.  Then, trusted mechanic Edd China gives the car the attention and finally Mike sells the car on for a profit (if you don't count Edd's labour).

I have heard speculation over the years that all is not what it seems on this show.

I have heard that the people Mike buys the cars off and those he sells them to are production staff from the show.

I have heard that Edd doesn't do any of the work.

This interview from Total Car Magazine implies all is legit.  This is from this year.

This forum post from Wheel Whores implies otherwise.  This is from 2008.

A guy calling himself Pete Nice says he pretended to be the bloke Mike bought a knackered Beetle off -  this would be him:
Indeed, in the episode, this bloke is called Pete.
The episode involved converting the Beetle into a Beach Buggy.
Whether or not it is the same Pete is open to conjecture but there is something fishy in that episode from Series 2.  The knackered old Beetle had registration number FTD 243J.  That plate appears on the workshop wall behind Edd during that episode: 
However, when the conversion is complete, the finished Beach Buggy sports a completely different registration number - UPW 450H: 
That, to me, implies a completely different, slightly older, base car was used.
But never mind.
I would have thought, nowadays, if the show wasn't genuine, they would have to declare that bits were fabricated for entertainment purposes.  There are certainly such disclaimers on American Hot-Rod and Classic Car Rescue.
However, in 2003 such rules probably didn't exist.
Let's just say all is legit today.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

How to Get Off a Bribery Charge

According to Black's Law Dictionary, the definition of "Bribery" is "an illegal act where a person offers money or receives money from another person to influence the actions of a public officer or official."
 So it is quite serious if you are charged with it like F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone has been.
His guilt has not been established.
If he is innocent, then I guess he could put up with a fair trial and all should be OK for him.
Or, he could hand over some money to make the trial go away.  Effectively, offering money to influence the actions of a public officer or official.

Have a read of this.  Not illegal but can't help thinking it bloody well should be.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

A Software Engineer and a Hardware Engineer are in a Car Driving down a road...

Suddenly, there is a catstrophic steering failure and the car slams into a tree and catches fire.

The engineers manage to get out and the hardware engineer suggests phoning the emergency services.

But the software engineer says, "No, let's just get back in and see if it happens again."

So, who's Getting Excited About Driverless Cars?

Not me.

But The BBC are.

Three stories from them since it was announced that driverless cars will be allowed on British shores.

Here's the first one that makes the announcement.

Then Business Secretary Vince Cable had a ride in one.

Then a BBC Journalist had a go.

The Government want cities to bid for the right to trial driverless cars next January.  I hope none do.  But if are going to get lumbered with them, at least let them be like in the video with someone competent and sober at the steering wheel to take control.  I could live with that.

I don't like Vince Cable much since he helped his mate get the Lib Dem leadership by shafting the likeable Charles Kennedy in return for a senior post within the Party.  But that's beside the point.  He was asked in the report whether or not he was nervous.  Stupid question - he was travelling slowly-ish on a private test-track with massive run-off areas next to a professional test-driver who could take control at any second.  It's not like he'd accepted a high-speed lift across London off Charles Kennedy.

Maybe it is because I like cars and driving that I don't like the idea of driverless cars - I foresee accidents unless these cars go so slowly that they can cater for all of the eventualities that may or may not have been programmed in to them.  They are unlikely to travel above the speed limit and I doubt if they will get the concept of accelerating OUT of trouble.

But at least if someone in the driver's seat can arrest control, it shouldn't be too horrific - assuming he isn't texting or reading a book or having forty winks at the time.  Or blind drunk.  Or blind.

The Google driverless cars seem much scarier.  They have no steering wheel or pedals and a top speed of 25mph.  They will have no facility for a human to take control, other than an emergency stop button.  That will be really useful when an out-of-control bus is heading straight towards you.  I chose bus for dramatic effect but a motorbike would be bad enough.
Oh yes, and they look stupid.