Sunday, 29 December 2013


A few weeks ago, in my post Electric Dreams, I suggested that I might do a follow-up called "Wet Dreams".

Well this is more a case of "Wet Nightmares".

The BBC covered the recent flooding that hit various parts of the UK last week including this picture...
...of a flood damaged classic MG that appears to have had logs floating around it.
The Mail seems to be taking great pleasure in an Aston Martin Rapide that got caught up in flood water.  The wording of the item and the comments at the end all seem to me to show that much jealousy is in abundance.
I feel very sorry for the owners of both these beautiful cars.
I don't have much sympathy though, with the twerp in this Mirror story from today.  A 19-Year-Old seems to have deliberately driven his car off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean.  Maybe he was trying to kill himself - he will certainly have endangered the lives of his rescuers.  It all looks very scary and his car was battered beyond recognition.
A bit like this one from a story that has been gradually picked up by various news agencies including the BBC over the last few days since it happened. 
A car travelling at motorway speeds (or maybe faster given the damage) has left the carriageway and hit a motorway sign.  The driver and passenger survived with minor injuries.  Nobody has speculated about what the car actually is but after ruling out a Nissan Juke, my guess is it used to be a Lexus RX.
I know that last story doesn't involve a car ending up in water - but I bet the front seats weren't dry.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Ideal Christmas Present for The Traffic Warden in Your Life

It's almost Christmas Eve, the day that traditionally, men visit their local petrol station to stock up on Christmas presents for their loved ones.

The Telegraph motoring section has suggestions today including a "Parking Ticket Holder"
It is actually a clear bit of plastic that you are supposed to fix pay-and-display tickets to your windows with.  It costs £1.99 which seems excessive and I would be very miffed if someone bought me one of these for Christmas.
It is claimed that it helps prevent "sticky mess" on the window.  I never suffer from sticky mess on my windows but, then again, I never attach pay-and-display tickets to my windows - I just leave them, clearly visible on the dashboard.  However, the Tikettak (for that is what it is called) sticks to the window with an adhesive strip - bet that makes a mess if you take it off.
They make a big deal about it being manufactured in the UK.  Good.  However, some of the errors in their Website make me suspect that the producers themselves are not British:
  "unless, of course, you don’t mind whether the logo is legible properly!"

This may only be available online so it could be too late to get one for Christmas time so I guess it is off to the filling station now.

Charcoal Brickettes anyone?

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Abu Doubley

Bahrain don't like The Flintstones.

But Abu Dhabi do!

It's six months since I last commented on F1.  It's about two years since I gave up watching F1.

I still follow the odd F1 story though.

Today's from the BBC is about the sport's attempts to make itself more popular again.  They think that it is losing popularity because it is becoming more boring with Red Bull/Vettel winning all of the time.  A bit like the '90s when Ferrari/Schumacher were winning everything.

The FIA have come up three changes:
  1. A spending cap for all teams
  2. Double points for the last race of the Season (Abu Dhabi)
  3. Drivers get to chose a number and stick with it for their careers
The first of these is basically a good idea although the richer teams won't like it very much.  I've always been of the opinion that if people don't like the dominance of a team - it isn't that team's fault - it is up to the other teams to improve.  However, if the other teams don't have as much money to play with, they will never improve enough.  I speak here as a fan of a Premiership football club that cannot compete financially with the likes of Manchester City or Chelsea.

The second change is the one that has really set the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons.  I love reading the readers' comments at the end of such articles and, in this case, the fans are almost unanimous in their condemnation making some very good points along the way - some teams and drivers perform better at certain tracks - Abu Dhabi is not an exciting circuit - a driver with a 49 point advantage could lose the title.

The third change seemed pointless to me until I read on and saw the commercial/marketing angle - think Nigel Mansell and "Red 5".

I think the commercial/marketing angle must also be coming into play with change 2 since Abu Dhabi is where the money is but not a lot of fan interest.

And, of course, there may be more instances of the championship going to the last race of the Season - hence less boring.

The boring-ness is only one aspect of the dwindling popularity though - another is the sport disappearing behind paywalls in more and more countries - sorry to bring back my reason for giving up on it.  Andrew Benson, the BBC Chief F1 writer, believes that the same arrogance that existed among the teams then is still there - he states,

"Inside F1 teams, though, senior figures are more phlegmatic. They are not that worried about the purists - they reckon they will watch anyway. And if this new idea, gimmicky though it is, attracts more casual fans, all the better. "
I have to disagree with them if they really do believe that.  They thought that about the BBC/Sky deal and seem to have been proved wrong there.
My favourite comments though come from someone calling himself (or herself) Abu Lincon - a play on Abe Lincoln perhaps?  First he (or she) posted,
"Abu has good suggestion to all F1 fans...switch over to the far superior NASCAR...better cars, faster cars, better drivers ( some women too as they are better driver than the man ) and legandary circuits like Daytona, Indianopolis and Sazuka."
I wondered if this was a wind-up mentioning Suzuka but apparently they have raced Nascar there.  It was a bit of harmless trolling though because it was followed with this,
"Abu has read your comments again and u all seem sad about rule change, so as Abu good friends with F1 supremo Christoper Ecclestone, i have text him telling him the fans are not happy and he should scrap this rule. He text back sayin "who is this?" and i txt him it his good friend Abu. He hasnt replied back so Chris is obviously thinkin things over so hopefully he change mind and Abu save the day"

I wonder if Abu is British given his mis-spelling of Lincoln and his reference to Christopher Eccleston.

Anyway, I know who I'd rather have running F1.

And his name isn't Bernie.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Disc Breaks

or should I call it "Tax Brakes"?

No, this story is about tax discs not disc brakes.

I'm not sure why George Osborne announced that he was scrapping the Tax Disc this afternoon.

Because everyone knew that it was happening this morning - along with the rest of his Autumn Statement.  The BBC had it here.  Autocar had it here.

They used this picture.  That registration number belongs to a Range-Rover.  I wonder if it was just parked outside their offices or it belongs to a member of staff there - it isn't the one that comes up if you look for a review of a Range-Rover on their site.

The BBC have also used this as an excuse to bring back their occasional (and amusing) RIP item with "R.I.P. Car Tax Disc".  These sometimes prompt amusing tributes from the readership - I await these in mild anticipation.

What the scrapping of the discs doesn't mean, though, is the scrapping of the tax.  That will continue to be collected and the Police will have access to the databases which tell them who has actually paid - although your average traffic warden or nosey neighbour won't be able to easily tell.

The tax itself is "vehicle excise duty" not "road tax".  I make this point because this comes up every time anyone mentions tax discs - it comes up a lot in the comments at the end of the main BBC article.  Cyclists generally make this point a lot.

I am an occasional cyclist myself but very much take the Jeremy Clarkson point-of-view on this:

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Electric Dreams

I don't suppose many people dream about a G-Wiz:
Who would want a horribly put-together non crash-tested little quadricycle?  But people do dream about a tiny 2-seat electric car that looks quite similar to it - The Enfield 8000:
This is not an Enfield Thunderbolt as the BBC headline writers want to call it in this article today - it is an Enfield 8000.  An Enfield Thunderbolt is nearly a motorbike made by Royal Enfield which has nothing to do with Enfield Automotive who created the (properly crash-tested) 8000 back in the '70s.  The motorbike is actually called a Thunderbird.

So who does have electric dreams about this car?

The BBC article tells us that Radio 4 presenter Peter Curran has bought and restored an Enfield 8000.

Fifth Gear presenter Jonny Smith is converting one into a Hot-Rod and has been for some time now - you can follow his adventures here.

Meanwhile, in this interesting Independent article from 2006 we learn that Dave Woodbury, an entertainment agent based in Bournemouth has owned his since 1978 and had three of them at one point.

Next week, wet dreams:

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

404 Error

Actually, this is a 405 Error.  The Bristol 404 is smaller than the 405.

I'm not sure I should be commenting on this story because the Mail say "Sorry we are unable to accept comments for legal reasons."

The Evening Standard of London, from whom they admit they got the story, seem happy enough to take comments though.  Maybe they have better lawyers.

The story is actually about a lawyer - and, like those commenting within The Evening Standard, I have little sympathy for him.

Basically, the lawyer has bought one of these, a 405 saloon, for £20K...
...with the intention of paying £153K to Bristol for turning it into a 405D Drophead Coupe - ie one of these:
...with the addition of automatic transmission for good luck.

This was particularly bad luck for all concerned because it appears that Bristol don't have the expertise to perform these alterations.

So the lawyer took Bristol to Court for breach of contract (Bristol say they didn't sign any legal documentation) and the judge agreed with the lawyer.

I was always told that a verbal contract "wasn't worth the paper it wasn't signed on".

The lawyer is asking for up to £300K.

Not sure why, he's only shelled out £50K so far and I guess he still has the car.

The Evening Standard article contains a basic error as well that carries through to The Mail.  I thought it seemed strange that he would buy a car of which only 43 were built and then want to radically change it.  So I checked on Wikipedia.  Yes , I know - but I reckon this page was created by a car-nerd so will be right. 

There I found the 405 saloon picture that the Evening Standard had used plus the two pictures I have used

and I also found out that it was the Drophead Coupe that only 43 examples of were built - he was trying to create a 44th example.

I hope he doesn't get awarded big money - the decision will be next year but one of the reasons that Bristol no longer have the same expertise is redundancies after recovering from this.

Now, I wonder if anyone would be interested in turning a Peugeot 405 saloon:
into a Peugeot 405 coupe: 
Bet that wouldn't cost £153K

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Fifth McGann

Everyone knows the four famous McGanns.

Paul, Stephen, Mark and Renault.
Paul is being particularly famous this week seeing as how he is the 8th Doctor Who.

But as well as an eighth Doctor, we have a fifth McGann:
Porsche McGann (although the spelling has been changed for artistic reasons to "Macan") tell us that the new Porsche Macan, as debuted at the LA and Tokyo Motor Shows is going to be the smallest Porshe SUV ever available.  Porsche have got Maria Sharapova to model it for them.
I like Maria Sharapova.
I don't like tennis but I still like Maria Sharapova although I'm not convinced  by this photo of her. 
Her proportions seem wrong.

And so do the car's.

That photo comes from the Forbes site, specifically the work of Hannah Elliot.  I've already decided I don't like Hannah Elliot - maybe I'm jealous that, to quote Hannah Elliot, "I cover the fun stuff: Fashion, Cars and Culture" although, having said that, I have no interest in fashion or culture.

But back to the Aussie site.  It states that, "The Porsche Macan, measures 4699mm in length, 1923mm in width and 1624mm in height, making it 146mm shorter, 16mm narrower and 82mm lower than the Cayenne" - and here's the Cayenne:
Which is where we get back to proportions.  On a car this size, those size differentials make no difference - 14.6cm shorter! - under 6" in real money! - this will look exactly like a Cayenne - the only real difference is that this car utilises VW's new MQB platform so will be cheaper to engineer.  They should just call it a MkIII Cayenne and be done.
More of a Macan't than a Macan.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Clarkson et le Hamster Sont Interdits

I'm surprised not many sites have got this story.  None of the major newspapers have it, just a few motoring websites.

The story is this one:
It is from a Clarkson article so it will be in The Sun or The Sunday Times.
It will be hidden behind a paywall online but I wouldn't want to read either publication anyway since they are part of the odious Murdoch empire.
The gist of this is that Clarkson & Richard Hammond have been fined for speeding in France and banned from driving there for three months.
Being me, I am suspicious that if this happened, that it was just a publicity stunt for the DVD they were filming that will be out "just in time for Christmas" - the DVD that gets mentioned in the stories of the incident.
If it was though, it hasn't worked - yet.  Maybe it's just that nobody at The Mail has noticed it up to now.
They were doing 140kph in a 90kph zone that they claim to have thought was a 130kph zone.
There's no mention of James May - I guess Capitaine Lente would not have made that mistake.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Titchmarsh Borgward

There's two words you wouldn't expect to see together.  In fact I'd never heard of one of those words before today.

This is a Titchmarsh:
While this is a Borgward:
The former is a gardener turned TV host who I had heard of while the latter is a German car I had never heard of.
Alan Titchmarsh contributed this piece to the Telegraph motoring section this weekend about how he prefers to travel around in old cars.  He says that after passing his test, he "took to the roads in an assortment of cars that were owned either by my father or the plumbing firm that he worked for: everything from a Borgward Isabella to a Ford Capri."
That got me researching Borgward.
They seem to have existed from the late '20s to the early '60s when they went bust after producing a very large number of vehicles including trikes and trucks - I really don't understand how I could not have heard of them.  Were they not imported to the UK?  I don't know.  However, a quick visit to the UK Borgward Drivers Club website reveals plenty of right-hand drive examples, some on British plates.
Maybe we'll all get to hear the name in the future though.  The grandson of the original Herr Borgward has started up a new automotive company, called Borgward AG.  Their website uses lots of management-speak - but these days, they have to.  They use the word "revival" a lot - I hope they succeed - this project deserves to do better than the Maybach revival but even Mercedes money couldn't make that work.  I think it could be a long time before a popular UK TV gardener called Alan can go out and buy one to tootle around Yorkshire in...
...a long time before we see the Titchmarch Borgward.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Telegraph Road

Another bloke from The Telegraph is learning to drive.

His name is Tom Rowley.
Now I realise that looks like Una Stubbs - but that is the first picture that came up when I typed "Tom Rowley Telegraph" into Google Images.  This is what he really looks like: 
(the bloke in the glasses not the little creature on his arm)
Any road up, I found this story in the Telegraph motoring section.  It follows on from one earlier in the week about Noel Gaughan, the driving instructor to the stars (as opposed to Nick Freeman, the motoring lawyer to the stars).
So far, Noel has taught:
  • Adele who I have heard of
  • Niall Horan who I hadn't heard of but is from from the boy band One Direction who I unfortunately have heard of.
  • James McAvoy - Yes
  • Mika - Yes
  • Gemma Arterton - Yes
  • Christina Chong - Nope
  • Rhys Ifans - Yes
  • Lara Stone - a model apparently, not the girl from Tomb Raider
  • Pixie Geldof - Yuk
He also claims not to know who they all are.
He also didn't know who Tom Rowley is.
But he does now - he's giving him a one-week crash-course to pass his test.  I love that phrase when applied to driving lessons.
I don't know if we'll find out how Tom got on.  I say that because the adventures of Ed Cummings fizzled out after just three articles (at least that was all I ever found) - Ed being the other Telegraph bloke I hinted at before.  I covered Ed's story last December.
I wonder if he passed, or just ended up in Dire Straits.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mutually Beneficial

The BBC should become the UK's biggest mutual company to make it more accountable to licence fee payers - so says former culture secretary Dame Tessa Jowell.  The BBC report it here.

Mutual companies do not have external shareholders but all members of the company are considered owners. Money is reinvested back into the company rather than paid out as dividends.

I would like to be a member of the BBC.

If I was a member of the BBC, I might have had a say in the disposal of the F1 rights which led me to declare that I'd had it with the BBC.

I might also have a say in commissioning a new motoring show for BBC2.

But, I hear you say, BBC2 already has a brilliant motoring show called "Top Gear."

I agree - it does.  In fact Top Gear is my favourite show of any genre on television - it's even better than QI.

But I also want a show that is a bit more about the cars themselves - and accessories and racing and motoring law - and the sort of things you might read about on a car blog named after a small car from British Leyland.  I've been watching a couple of the old Top Gears from the '80s and '90s on Youtube and I want a show like that.  Or like Channel 4's Driven before they made it juvenile.

It would have to be on the BBC for two reasons:
  1. Impartiality - they mustn't be afraid of upsetting motoring manufacturers who could sponsor them - allegedly Toyota refused to let Jeremy Clarkson test-drive any more of their cars after he called the Corolla "dull" in a review.
  2. Profitability - I don't believe that enough people watch ordinary car programmes to make then viable commercially.  This leads to daft competitions that cost £1.50 to enter and added contrived "entertainment" like they put in the otherwise enjoyable Classic Car Rescue - this can be really cringeworthy to watch but seems to draw in the viewers.
The new show would be called "Second Gear" (or "Fourth Gear" if they showed it on BBC Four) and would need some decent presenters.  Definitely not the ones from "I Want That Car" - my review of which has garnered a very large number of hits for some reason - no comments, just hits.

I liked the old Top Gear presenters, Sue Baker, Chris Goffey and William Woollard so wouldn't object to any of them coming back although dare I say they are probably a bit long in the tooth nowadays?  William Woollard's style with a foot on the bumper of the car he was discussing has led to an Internet craze which had passed me by until I read this from the Metro newspaper (no relation).
But the lineup I'd probably plump for would be former Driven host Mike Brewer as the front man assuming I could prise him away from The Discovery Channel. I've got a leather jacket just like that by the way: 
Maybe Jason Dawe (Used Car Roadshow and series 1 of the revamped Top Gear before they decided James May would be a better fit) for the more serious, practical items:
Tom Ford (ex of Fifth Gear and still of TopGear Magazine) for road tests: 
And Sabine Schmitz for the racy stuff:
A half an hour show every Thursday evening.  Just before "Dave Allen at Large."  Sorted.
Oh, and can we have "Gardener's World" followed by "One Man and His Dog" on a Friday again please?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Driven to Drink

Is it really 10 years since Alastair Stewart was sacked as presenter of Police Camera Action after being caught drink-driving?


Nobody should drink-drive - but most people convicted will quietly go to Court, get fined and banned and quietly go away without anyone really noticing.

Some people though, like Alistair, may just attract a bit of attention.

The woman in this story for example.  She is a lawyer, who, according to her own firm's Website, "has a vast knowledge in relation to the offence of Drink Driving. She has won many cases using the many procedural defences available that can arise if the police fail to deal with clients at the roadside and/or in the police station correctly."  I've cut-and-pasted that directly from the site because I wouldn't be surprised if they change that bit soon.

Maybe she should have defended herself.

Or paid for this bloke.  Yes, I know that's a Wikipedia link but, today at least, everything seems to check out in it.  Nick Freeman - aka Mr.Loophole ("Mr Whiplash" would be funnier) is fairly famous for getting celebrities (including Jeremy Clarkson & Tiff Needell) cleared of motoring offences - often on technicalities.  I'm put off lawyers at the best of times - possibly because of the annoying multitude of injury lawyer adverts encouraging people to sue for the stupidest of things - there's one where a workman says "my company gave me the wrong sort of ladder" - well you should know the difference you moron.  I also object to my motor insurance premium increasing to pay for fictitious whiplash claims - I could have made one myself last year when I was rear-ended but I won't because I'm basically honest.

So, what's the moral of all this?

Don't drink and drive.

Unless you're somewhere safe and outside the jurisdiction of the law.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

I Want That Car

The second episode of I Want That Car was broadcast on ITV4 last night. 
It is ITV's new "Daisybeck Productions give you a male motoring journo & female racer presenting a show giving punters a choice of 3 cars to buy and after test-driving 2 of them they have to select one to purchase while telling you a bit about them and trying to get a good deal off the unseen seller while the car's number plate is covered with the initials of the programme" show.
I watched the first one last week and found it irritating but decided to give it another go.
This week, I still found it irritating.
It could be the music.
It could be the fact they go to a racing circuit to do the show while racing is going on but just show little clips of the same racing cars over and over again in the middle of the main element of the show.
But I think it's probably the presenters. 
Rebecca Jackson makes big deal of how she is a used car expert (a saleswoman perhaps? - after I suggested they may not exist - no, an "expert" - although judging by her own website, she's only sold one car) and how she races Porsche Boxsters - but she only looks 15 - and she and the cameraman refuse to stand still when she is doing her pieces to camera.  And she's overly enthusiastic.

Mat Watson, meanwhile, works for Auto Express.
He comes over as too chummy and his Brummie accent keeps slipping in and out.  He likes the punters to "floor it" on the test drives and then states that they didn't go over the speed limits.  I wonder if the producer was involved in making that statement.
At this point, I suppose, I'd have to admit that I'd be crap at presenting a motoring show, especially if I was an unknown - I'd feel awkward pretending that everyone should just accept me straight off and at least these two do have the right professional backgrounds.
But I'm not presenting a motoring show and they are.
The show doesn't even have its own Website.  The nearest is this which is really looking for people to take part in it.  They do have a Facebook page which doesn't have many contributions apart from themselves looking for people to take part.  The couple of people who have commented are mixed on the show but one person thinks it is better than Top Gear - idiot!
They also have a Twitter feed which doesn't have many contributions apart from themselves looking for people to take part. The couple of people who have commented are a bit pro the show but one person thinks it is better than Top Gear - idiot!
The first show consisted of a bloke who used to own a Lotus (we don't know what happened to it) looking for a suitable sporty replacement - he is offered a TT, an Abarth (sporty Fiat 500) and a Porsche Boxster - he chooses the Porsche.
The second show consisted of a bloke after a classic.  He is offered a Mini, an MGB and a Porsche 911 Carrera Targa - he chooses the Porsche.

Actually, I think I've worked out what irritates me the most, and why I probably won't bother watching the rest of the series - it is because it isn't Used Car Roadshow.  If you aren't sure what Used Car Roadshow was, it was ITV's "Daisybeck Productions give you a male motoring journo & female racer presenting a show giving punters a choice of 3 cars to buy and after test-driving 2 of them they have to select one to purchase while telling you a bit about them and trying to get a good deal off the unseen seller while the car's number plate is covered with the initials of the programme" show.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Patently Daft

This story from tells us that Google has applied for a patent on gesture-based car controls.  Their proposed system relies on both a ceiling-mounted depth camera and a laser scanner to trigger actions based on an occupant's hand positions and movements.
Examples they cite are: Swipe near the window and you'll roll it down; point to the radio and you'll turn the volume up.

Examples they don't cite are: Wave both arms in the air and you'll crash; give a one-finger salute to a Police vehicle that is following you and you'll get arrested.

Apparently, Google has acquired a motion control company so they will be looking for uses for it.

I'm not convinced this is the best one.

Voice-activated controls are improving so that they are actually usable now, combining them with this may actually make it more dangerous to be in a car - what if a nervous passenger finds a spider in the car?

Besides, Google are also developing their driverless cars so none of this should be needed.

As ever, I do enjoy reading the comments at the bottom of online articles - this one produced some good ones:

Examples I cite are NewGawker, who states "This won't work in Italy" and my personal favourite, fsmarin who, on seeing the picture above asks, "Why is a monkey driving a bus?"

Monday, 30 September 2013

Why My Car Is Like A Bugatti Veyron

See the similarities?  Actually that isn't my car, it's one the same that I found after doing a quick Google Images search.
So what could these two cars possibly have in common?
Well, they both cost their manufacturers two-and-a-half billion Australian dollars.
And if you're wondering why I'm quoting that figure in Australian dollars, it is because the information is sourced from this story in
It lists Europe’s Top 10 Loss-making Vehicles thus:
Model                       Years               Estimated Total Loss
Smart Fortwo         1997-2006           $5.0billion

Fiat Stilo                2001-2009           $3.0b

VW Phaeton          2001-2012           $2.9b

Peugeot 1007         2004-2009           $2.8b

Mercedes A-Class 1997-2004           $2.5b

Bugatti Veyron      2005-2013           $2.5b

Jaguar X-Type       2001-2009           $2.5b

Renault Laguna      2006-2012           $2.2b

Audi A2                  2000-2005          $1.9b

Renault Vel Satis    2001-2009          $1.7b

The list is, perhaps surprisingly, topped by the Smart car.  There are a few other quirky cars in there too, the Peugeot 1007 with its sliding doors that nobody wanted and the tiny aluminium A2 that was expensive to build.

There was also the original Merc A-Class seen here failing the Elk Test - maybe it wouldn't have been on the list if it wasn't for that embarrassment so early in its life.
I always liked the Vel-Satis but not many people were tempted to pay big money for a strange-looking luxury Renault so it was doomed from the start.
I am quite surprised that it had an 8-year lifespan.

The article also breaks down how much each manufacturer lost per example of these cars sold:

Model                     Years                    Estimated Loss Per Vehicle (rounded up/down)
Bugatti Veyron      2005-2013                $6,700,500

VW Phaeton          2001-2012                     $40,800

Renault Vel Satis   2001-2009                     $27,200

Peugeot 1007         2004-2009                     $22,300

Audi A2                 2000-2005                     $11,000

Jaguar X-Type       2001-2009                        $6800

Smart Fortwo         1997-2006                        $6500

Renault Laguna      2006-2012                        $5150

Fiat Stilo                 2001-2009                        $4000

Mercedes A-Class   1997-2004                       $2100

The Peugeot figure is quite shocking because $22300 = £12875 (€15400,US$20800) at current exchange rates which can't be too different from its selling price.

$6800 works out as £3925 (€4700,US$6350) so maybe I got a bargain when I bought my car.

Probably not as much of a bargain as Tata got when they bought Jaguar/Land Rover off Ford though.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Would you sell your Granny?

Somebody is.

And if I had £5K spare and some space and some time to travel down to East Anglia (as opposed to Ford Anglia - there's one of them for sale too) I would certainly be interested in making a purchase.

After all, she is beautiful:
It's the rarer 3-door coupe style as well.
So what alerted me to this sale?
This did.
It is a story from the BBC about a 1961 Triumph Herald up for sale with just 20 miles on the clock.  It is believed that the "one careful lady owner" never actually drove it. 
Sounds a bit like the story of the Merc I found in Swansea.
It goes under the hammer on Saturday together with the car you can just see behind it.
The car in the picture behind it interests me because my first car was identical to it.
OK, it had a different registration number and was three years younger but it was a Triumph Dolmite 1500HL in Vomit Yellow (aka Sandglow).
It must be in excellent condition because it is estimated to go for between £14K and £16K - although they've clearly got the colour wrong in the listing (brown) and the mileage too (69 - maybe they meant 69000)
I don't think they are too clever when it comes to the listings.  They have the mileage for the Herald that is making the headlines down as being 3750 (next to a photo of the speedo that shows 20).
3750 is still unbelievably low for a 50-year-old car and probably belongs to a second Herald the auctioneers are selling that they have listed as having 20 miles.
I would love to have a wander around this auctioneers site - the actual, physical site, not the website, although that is pretty interesting too.
For example, they have a 1988 Rover 213 - why on Earth would that be a classic?
Well, to answer my own question (and I bet you thought it was rhetorical) it only has 3101 miles on the clock and is expected to fetch £3K.
They also have Granny's successor for sale: 
Oh dear.  Maybe not.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

2014 Toyota Corolla Ditches Drab Design, But Will It Sell?

Of course it will - it's a Toyota Corolla.

They would have to triple its price and replace the driving seat with a huge, rusty spike for it not to sell.

The question is asked by Autoguide here.  They are commenting on the radical new look of the 2014 Corolla:
Caertainly more striking than the orginal Corolla:
The Corolla has been going since 1966 - just like me.  This photo of a 1966 model is taken from this Mail story from last year reporting on the milestone achieved when the Corolla officially became the World's most popular car.  They claim one was being sold every 40 seconds - I see no reason for that to change.
The radical look of the 2014 version won't put off the "traditional" buyers - they would buy it whatever it looked like.  Heck, in the mid-nineties, they bought (in Britain at least) Corollas that looked like this: 
The new look might even attract in some other buyers who wouldn't have given a Toyota a second glance.  The whole Toyota range is looking more stylish these days - but I think they are still a couple of years behind other manufacturers.
Like Honda for example.
When I first saw the new Corolla, I did think it looked like a Honda Civic:
Coincidence?  Maybe that is what Autoguide should have been asking.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Renault Space

A few different Renault stories have caught my eye this week.

The first comes on the back of my story last week about Ford's new Vignale sub-brand - it seems Renault want their own upmarket label.  They are calling it "Initiale Paris" and although it won't be a sub-brand, it will adorn the classiest versions of their range.  Like Vignale, it was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
It's purple.
Autocar, amongst many others, had the story.  Initiale Paris sounds pretentious - but that is probably because I hate the perfume adverts that pollute British television.  I wonder if perfume adverts in France have an English voice saying "Pie and Chips, the new scent from Fred Higginbottom"
The second story involves a priest giving the Pope a Renault 4 to potter around Vatican City in. 
The BBC used this photo in their story of a priest after a few brownie points.  Maybe the priest was inspired by my earlier story on that subject.  It's supposedly only 20 years old.  Yes I know that sounds old for a car but I didn't think they were still making Renault 4s in 1993.
Searching for a good link for that story of the Pope's newest car did lead me to this picture of Carly Pope.
Apparently, she's a Canadian actress.  But I digress.
The final Renault story of the week is this one
This handsome chappie is Carlos Ghosn who, according to Wikipedia, is a "French-Lebanese-Brazilian businessman."
There is no doubt, however, as to his position as president of Renault-Nissan.
He has been telling us, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, that the worst of the recession for the auto-trade is now over.  Hope he doesn't end up looking like an idiot.
Not that a French president could ever look an idiot.

Or could he?