Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hope His Air-Brakes Work

This is impossible, right?
Apparently not.
What you are looking at is a picture of an articulated lorry jumping over a Lotus F1 car - including driver!
FoxNews had the story yesterday.
Well, the story is true - but the picture misleading.
This is what actually happened: 

They broke the World Record for the distance jumped by a tractor & trailer unit and also the suspension of the tractor unit.

The F1 car was racing alongside (or behind as the photographer was looking) the jump and would have been flattened if it had been where the photographer initially wants us to believe it is.

Still very impressive.

Here they are receiving their World Record certificate.
I knew there had to be some interesting F1 news somewhere this week.  (Sorry Lewis, only joking, well done to you too)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Would You Like Fries With That?

You would think a Spice Girl marrying an F1 Team boss would be big news.
But no.

I've only just spotted this Fox News story from 5 days ago and I hadn't heard it elsewhere.  Geri Halliwell is now engaged to Christian Horner, Red Bull boss.  Apparently they've announced it in The Times just like Benedict Cumberbatch did last week - that one was widely reported - I knew about that.

Maybe the F1 press are more concerned with the rather bad news about the smaller teams going into administration and worse.

The general motoring press have had a few interesting stories like this moron being quite rightly sent to jail for taking his girlfriend's car into a motor race.  An inexperienced driver like him could have caused total carnage.

Or there is the launch of Top Gear China.
I suppose I've not really looked for F1 stories since I stopped watching it.
Or maybe there is just less interest in F1 generally since the BBC did their dirty deal with Sky.
And I certainly don't follow showbiz gossip so maybe that's why I didn't know about Geri.  Maybe she's not famous any more - after all, I was fully aware of the truly awful news that S Club 7 are touring again.
And one of them seems to turned into Rutledge Wood.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Asda Priceless

I think I must have been breaking the law today.

Especially if what happened to this young Lancashire man is anything to go by.  He was fined after pleading guilty to driving while ‘able to see directly or by reflection a TV receiving apparatus used to display something other than information about the state of the vehicle or its equipment, or about the location of the vehicle and the road on which it was located, or to assist the driver to see the road adjacent to the vehicle or to assist the driver to reach his destination.’

I was watching Asda adverts as I drove past a Cheshire Constabulary building this morning.

These adverts were on what I thought was an Asda delivery van but then decided must have been one of these: 
A van with three big TV screens, one on each side and one on the back showing ads - in my case moving (literally moving pictures moving along the road) ads for Asda.

Not the first time it has been done though:
That is Top Gear's attempt at putting James Bond technology (cameras & TV screens) onto a van to make it appear invisible.  Richard Hammond is driving it but, of course, you can't see him.

Looking for those picture did lead me to several others that made we wonder about the drivers of actual Asda delivery vans.

This one trusted his sat-nav too much:
This one had to be rescued after going down a slipway to turn around:
But this one is my favourite - getting stuck after attempting a three-point turn in a too-narrow road. 
So what about Adsa customers?
I can't decide if this is brilliant or stupid.  The car-park was full of cars belonging to people doing their Christmas shopping: 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Simply Mercedes

Actually it's complicated Mercedes.

They are still having problems coming up with a naming convention for their product range.  Maybe that is the real reason why they have dropped the R-Class.  Then again, that had probably more to do with only selling 13 cars Worldwide.

Let me take you back two-and-a-bit years.

I picked up on an article in Car.  That article tries to explain how Mercedes were "simplifying" the naming structure as the old C-Class, E-Class, S-Class with added GLs, MLs, SLKs, CLCs etc. was confusing the stuffing out of their clientelle (and presumably sales staff too)

Good idea.

Only trouble is, the new system was even more confusing - trying to read the explanation in that article would make Stephen Hawking baulk.

But they went with it.

Then, in August this year, they decided to "tweak" it with some "sweeping changes".  Those quoted phrases come from this Autocar article from that time.

The article continues...

Among the changes is a renaming of the upcoming second-generation GLK, which will wear GLC badges which is meant to align the GLK with the C-Class in the same way the smaller GLA is tied to the A-Class. Mercedes-Benz also plans to abandon the long-established M-class name for an all-new GLE nomenclature.  As well as appearing on the facelifted version of the M-class, the GLE name is also planned to appear on the production version of the concept GLC Coupe, which will carry the name GLE Coupe into production.  Also, the GL is set to receive a new GLS name, positioning it as the S-class of Mercedes-Benz’s SUV line-up.

OK.  So far, so confusing.

Now, Mercedes have formally annouced these "tweaks" and according to Autocar, these tweaks are still "sweeping changes".

Here's a nice diagram:
Although, apparently, the SL is immune to these new rules because it is "iconic".  As is the G-Class (or G-Wagen)
“More clarity, more transparency, more consistency. The logic built up on the basis of the core model series will enable our customers to find their way round our growing product portfolio better,” said Jens Thiemer, head of marketing communications.
Maybe it translates better in German.
I could include another diagram about engine types being added to the names but let's not go there.
Actually let's.
These Mercedes-Benz model names will be graced with lower case letters indicating the type of engine used: c for compressed natural gas (previously Natural Gas Drive); d for diesel (previously BlueTec and CDI); e for electric (previously Plug-in Hybrid, BlueTec Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Drive); f for fuel cell (previously F-Cell); h for hybrid (previously Hybrid and BlueTec Hybrid).
Oh yes, and nothing for petrol.
And the numbers still bear no real relation to the engine size. 
Don't even mention 4MATIC.
I used to own a Mercedes C180 Sport - a C-Class with an 1800 petrol engine and with the Sport trim level.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Beer Wagon

It is SEMA Time!
What is SEMA?  Well, SEMA stands for "Speciality Equipment Market Association" and every year they hold a big motor show with lots of pimped up cars, vans and other vehicles.  I first heard of it through watching American Hot-Rod with Boyd Coddington regularly unveiling his creations there.
The big manufacturers are also interested with contributions this year from Honda, Mazda and Toyota to name but three and some nicely tricked out vans from Mercedes that I particularly liked.
The SEMA 2014 Website is pretty good but does point out something I hadn't realised before - this is a TRADE ONLY event, mere members of the public can't go along!  I don't think writing a semi-serious car blog would class me as being part of the trade - shame.
Obviously, the American car press is full of SEMA at the moment but also the Brits and Aussies are also seeming quite enthusiastic.  That was acouple of links to cars that stood out to those journos.  Here's the one I like:
It started out as a standard, boring Kia Sedona but has been converted into a mobile bar selling Ballast Point products.  Ballast Point are a brewery/distillery formed during the last Century (1996 to be precise).  Autoguide have the story of this beer wagon here.
I like it because it combines two of my favourite things - beer and cars.
I had a look on Google Images to see if anything combined three of my favourite things - beer, cars and football. Plenty of interesting images did come up but none that met my remit - so here is a picture of Loic Remy: 
- a footballer found guilty earlier this year of drink-driving.