Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Five Macans

In November 2013 I created a post called "The Fifth McGann".

It commemorated a new car in a gap that I thought didn't exist - the Porsche Macan.

Although, given the number of similar cars selling in large numbers from just about every manufacturer - none of which I would touch - the gap must have existed after all.

Porsche have now painted five of these in famous past Porsche racing liveries and launched them to the world in Singapore.  A marketing event that seems to have worked.  Car+Driver have it, Autoguide have it and I have it.  (No link to me having it, you're already here)

It irks me a bit because, at the end of the day, while Porsches have always appeared on race tracks - Macans don't.

Here are the cars:
I'd never heard of the red Salzburg car.  If I had to pick a favourite, it would be the Rothmans one: 
Not that they would be able to acknowledge a cigarette company nowadays.  Obviously, the Orange and blue Gulf livery is by far and away the most iconic.
 
But if you want a really iconic livery, painted on a car you could race, you have to look somewhere other than Porsche:

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Woman

I've just watched the second episode of the second series of The Grand Tour.

And, just like the second series of the post-Jeremy Top Gear, it's taken on board the criticisms of series one and improved.

Actually, series two of GT has evolved into what looks like the later-Jeremy-era TG.

The dead-celebrity running-joke has gone and been replaced with something that looks a lot like Star-in-a-Reasonably-Priced-Car.  But so far, without the annoying plugging.

And "The American" has been replaced by this lady:
Although you only got to see the bit of her face that isn't hidden by her helmet.

Her name is Abbie Eaton.

Obviously she is a race driver.  But she also appeared in the ITV show Drive mentoring Professor Green - who isn't a real professor.  But, then again, she was mentoring him in race driving.

So does this mean a more female bias to the show?

Well Jeremy did reveal that he has James listed on his phone as "Vagina."

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Would You Use Bitcoin to Buy a Car?

This car in fact...
According to Autoguide - story here, this McLaren 720S is up for sale for 25 Bitcoins.
 
So, Would I use Bitcoin to buy a Car?
 
No.
 
It's going to crash.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms./Other

This lady is called Caron Garrod.
 
I don't know if she is married or not.

The BBC don't give us any clues in this article in which they refer to her as "Ms. Garrod."  They do point out that she suffers from multiple sclerosis - a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. (I got that from the NHS site on the subject)

I'm not sure if "Ms" actually stands for anything - it's just a compromise between Miss and Mrs. - usually.

But, as some twerp at the DVLA has accidentally (and yes I do think it was an accident) found out, it also stands for "Multiple Sclerosis":
That is a letter sent by them to "Multiple Sclerosis Garrod."
 
Oh dear.  It would be quite funny if it wasn't so offensive.
 
Don't think I'll be phoning to tell them about a recent dose of venereal disease.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Wrestlemania

I'd never heard of John Cena.

He's a professional wrestler - a term that disturbs me.  I know there is a genuine sport of wrestling.

But professional wrestlers seem to be the ones made famous for playacting and overacting whether it be in the WWE in America or back in Wallasey Town Hall on ITV on a Saturday afternoon in the 1970s - I'm thinking Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.

Anyway, I digress somewhat.

John Cena is also a car nut with an extensive collection. Here he is with his 2006 Ford GT...
...and here he is talking about it... 

I think he makes a very good motoring presenter - I was quite impressed.

However, towards the end of that video, he hints that he will also be the owner of a 2017 Ford GT.

And that is why I have now heard of him.

The thing is, anyone purchasing a 2017 Ford GT must sign a contract saying the buyer won’t resell the car for at least 24 months.

roadandtrack.com are reporting this.  "This" being that he HAS allegedly resold his car and Ford are now taking him to Court.

According to the lawsuit, “Mr. Cena has unfairly made a large profit from the unauthorized resale flip of the vehicle, and Ford has suffered additional damages and losses, including, but not limited to, loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill due to the improper sale,”

It is claimed that Ford reached out to Cena and confirmed that he had sold the car to liquidate cash to pay for other expenses.

If that is true then maybe he has some debt issues - in which case he should have maybe looked at offloading some other vehicles from his extensive collection, or tried to sell the car back to Ford who would have had no problems selling it again.

If that is not true, then he is very greedy.

In either case, the only flips he should be involved in are those inside the wrestling ring.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Messerschmitts v Spifires

Just been watching an Episode of Chasing Classic Cars where Wayne Carini was at an auction where they were selling one of these:
...a Messerschmitt KR200.
 
Which is a slight coincidence because today's Autocar Throwback Thursday was looking at their old report on...
 
...the Messerschmitt KR200!
 
How big is your wife?
 
I only ask because, according to the review from 1957:
 
"at the back there is a bench which will hold a small wife and child, or a larger wife and a shopping basket."
 
Meanwhile, the interesting bit for me was that I would be allowed to use the reverse gears but if I only had a motorbike licence (they were more popular in the '50s) I would only be allowed to go forward.
 
However, I'd rather have a Spitfire myself:

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Puddled

We've all heard of Ford Door Protectors.

Well now you can get AMG Door Projectors.
You can fit them to any car in the current Mercedes range - even the more lowly ones.

What a naff, gaudy, pointless, show-offy piece of kit.

I really like them - I'm going to have to buy a Merc!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Confused.com

I was a bit confused by this headline.
It comes with this BBC story.
 
I took a screenshot in case they realise it is confusing and consequently correct it.
 
You see, to me, the headline is telling us that a woman in America sent some pictures of herself to her insurer when she should have sent them to her car.
 
In actual fact, she sent pictures of herself to her insurers when she should have sent pictures of her car to her insurers.
 
I hope that clarifies matters.

I've never heard of insurers wanting pictures of a car they plan on covering but I suppose it would prove that any claim made for side or front damage wasn't already there when they took on the risk - so it sort of makes sense.

It means they can GoCompare the pictures.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

1996 Honda Accord For Sale

The 2018 Honda Accord looks quite good in a the-front-radiator-grille-has-fallen-off sort of way.
But we won't be able to buy it in Britain.  In fact we haven't been able to buy a new Accord since 2015.  That sector of the market has been taken over by the luxury Germans on one side and the Mazda 5 and Hyundai/Kia i40/Optima on the other side.  You don't even see Mondeos on Ford forecourts nowadays.
 
Meanwhile, in the land where you can still buy a new Accord, a 1996 version is doing very well thank you on an auction site thanks to a very professional advert made by a professional film-maker.
 
The BBC report it here.
 
And here is the ad: 

It's a wonder nobody has thought of this before.

Oh yes, they did.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Balls to Bad Road Signs


This sign infuriated me recently.
Or did it?
 
No, I don't suppose it did really.   But the road layout it "helps" you with did.  It's like a big square roundabout on the edge of Swansea near the waterfront development.
 
If you don't go there often and you don't have a sat-nav it is a bugger to negotiate it.
 
But it would have infuriated this man for a different reason:
His name is Matt Parker and he dislikes the representation of a football so much that he started a petition (signed by 20000 people) to get it changed. The BBC have the story here. He is a maths geek and knows that a football made up of all hexagons, like the one on the sign, could not exist.  You need some pentagons.
 
Now I am a football fan and a maths geek. I could argue that this representation is OK because the roadsign is flat but that would be missing the point.
 
The Department of Transport say:
 
"The purpose of a traffic sign is not to raise public appreciation and awareness of geometry which is better dealt with in other ways.

If the signs were corrected, it would only be visible close up and not from the distance at which drivers will see the sign.

The higher level of attention needed to understand the geometry could distract a driver's view away from the road for longer than necessary which could therefore increase the risk of an incident."

But what about the distraction for drivers trying to mentally recreate a sphere from hexagons and realising that there is a fundamental error on the sign?

Meanwhile, for any Americans reading this - I would like to point out that the item in the picture that you think is a football is actually a rugby ball.  The football is the round item.

Here is a rugby picture for no other reason than I think it looks nice:

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Working Up Your Speed

The BBC report today that the Motorway roadworks speed limit could be increased.  It is currently 50mph.

There's been a study.

The tests took place at 60mph on the M5 between junction 4A and junction 6, and at 55mph on the M3 in Surrey between junction 3 and 4A.

The study found 60% of those who drove in the 60mph trial zone had a decreased average heart rate, while it was lower for only 56% of those on the 55mph journey.

Therefore, if they raised it to 100mph, there would be a decreased heart rate for 100% of those taking part.  (I have a Degree in Statistics)

But the heart-rates of the road-workers would be much higher.

That is the main issue here I think - the safety of the workers on these sites.  A union spokesman said: "Sadly, in recent years there have been several deaths of motorway workers and these changes will make their work even more dangerous. Already motorists frequently drive into coned-off areas. At increased speeds, it will make such potentially lethal accidents even more common."

However, many stretches of motorway roadworks look like this:
...without a worker in sight.  These are the places they can up the speeds - the workers can then bring with them signs reducing the speed limit when they set up in the morning.

Or would that be too sensible?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dodgy Policemen

The BBC tell us today that "Humberside Police defends social media pictures of officers on dodgems."

This annoys me.

Not the officers.

Or the BBC for telling us about them.

Here they are, by the way:
No, what annoys me is that they feel they have to defend themselves for what is, after all, just a bit of fun PR.

But The Sun doesn't see it like that.

The Sun claims that "residents were furious".

But, since The Sun is a pointless Tory rag read by thick people and most famous for its lies, I don't think Humberside Police have any need to defend themselves.

A spokesman for the killjoy Sun said the "newspaper" stands by its story.

He added: "We are happy with the story we ran and it speaks for itself."

They said that about Hillsborough too.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Cooking Up Something Interesting

A couple of Autoguide stories piqued my interest today.

The first was this.

Apparently, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS isn't very good.

I'd never heard of the Chevrolet Traverse (it obviously hasn't traversed the Atlantic Ocean) - but it certainly doesn't look very good:
Which is odd because it is basically just a slightly stretched 2017 Land-Rover Discovery without the off-road skills...
 ...or interior, or badge, or engineering.

And the Land-Rover looks OK.

Which brings me on to the other Autoguide story.  This tells of how Land-Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division have turned a Discovery into a mobile kitchen for Jamie Oliver - who I didn't realise had traversed the Atlantic Ocean.  He must have done so though because Autoguide seem to know who he is.

Apart from the daft looking hub caps, it is quite an impressive kitting-out job they've done.
I'd have been happy with just the toaster:

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Murray's Looking Mint

At least he is for someone who turns 94 in nine days time:
I speak, of course, of Murray Walker.  Although he does now remind me of Waldorf from Statler & Waldorf: 
It was good to see him so spritely and knowledgeable when interviewed today on ITV4 while attending the season finale of the BTCC at Brands Hatch.
 
And what a season finale it was.
 
My favourite, Colin Turkington (actually my favourite is Colin's team-mate Rob Collard but he was recovering from a nasty crash at the previous meeting in Silverstone) went into the first of today's three races slightly behind on points but miles behind on the starting grid.  The race went badly for him and it looked like he, realistically, was out of the running at the end of the race.  He then brilliantly stormed through to win the second race and was suddenly back in contention.  Unfortunately, he got knobbled by a bit of bad luck early in the third so the 2017 BTCC Champion is: 
Congratulations and full marks to Ash who has been consistent and raced like a champion - especially since he had an uncompetitive car for the first couple of meetings - and it's only his second season racing in the BTCC.
 
Meanwhile, his more famous team-mate has had a very poor season - as I discussed back in May.
 
While Colin and Rob's other team-mate has also done relatively poorly - as I sort of predicted back in November.
 
Meanwhile, this guy has had a pretty good season:
I know he looks like a stand-up comedian there, but he is Tom Ingram.  He won the Independent Drivers Championship and came third overall in the main championship.  Which is very impressive because he drives for Speedworks - which is a teeny tiny team.
 
Congratulations, Tom - definitely not a muppet.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A Lady in Saudi Can Soon Drive an Audi

Good news for the petrolhead ladies of Saudi Arabia.

There's plenty of petrol there.

Also, the Saudis are finally catching up with the rest of the planet and letting the ladies drive.  Cue sexist comments about more road deaths from ignorant comedians.  Also Islamaphobic ones from tossers, which are bound to dredge up this faked photo:
as opposed to this genuine one: 
The BBC have the story here.  (The Saudi women to drive story, not the Pasta-Colander one)  They hope the change in law will be implemented by next June.
 
I wonder if the Saudi Girls' Council had any influence on the decision?  Here they are posing for a photo:
Meanwhile, in other motoring related news from the BBC today, a man has had a toy traffic cone embedded in his lung for 40 years.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Prior Warning II

'Twas March 2015 when I published Prior Warning - A little piece on the musings of Autocar journo, Matt Prior.
I've just read his latest piece and it looks like there's a bit missing.  It seems to end a bit abruptly - perhaps you have to buy the mag to get the full story.  Fair enough I suppose.

It feels a bit short because the item is subtitled "We discuss why F1 isn't as exciting as it once was."

Unfortunately, the total actually said on the subject is, "The spectacle probably peaked when cars were at their noisiest and wildest and drivers at their most visible, which is why classic car racing is so popular, regardless of how tech-laden some racing series, contested by companies with cars to flog, have become."

That doesn't sound like much of a discussion.  Although I do like watching classic car racing.

The gist of the article is that sometimes, rather than look to the latest hi-tech solutions, the old ways are more than good enough having proved themselves whilst standing the test of time.

My example of this would be that, in the olden days, British people were encouraged to shoot Nazis rather than to read their crap in the Daily Mail.

What there is of Matt's piece is written well enough and he does manage to both use the word "eschew" and talk about tweed trousers.  Although he does also claim that there is such a thing as a "digital salt dispenser."

Ludicrous eh!?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Dig This Old MG

I saw a repeat of Time Team yesterday on Yesterday.

(For non-viewers of British TV, I can assure you that that sentence does make sense)

Phil Harding was his usual, fun, self.
He is still going strong and still works with Wessex Archaeology.
 
He doesn't get a mention on this BBC story involving Wessex Archaeology though.
 
While excavating an old military site on Salisbury Plain, they dug up an old MG J2:
I'm not sure how they could tell what it was - it looks like a soap-box derby cart to me but this is how it probably looked half-a-century ago:
They can tell by the tyre patterns that it was last used in the 1960s.
 
So it probably wasn't Roman.
 
Still very interesting though - and a change from looking for flint or dinosaurs.  Maybe they should expand their search? - this could be down there somewhere:

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

nice.cheese.sandwich

Search for "nice cheese sandwich" on Google Images and you get lots of pictures of cheese toasties.

You do get some proper ones too though - like these ones:
So what piece of motoring journalism prompted me to look for cheese butties today?

This piece.

It's an Autoguide story about something that is probably the biggest thing to happen to maps in a very long time - and how Mercedes are getting on board with it.

Basically, someone has gone away and quietly divided the Earth into 3m x 3m squares and allocated every one of them a three word identity.  I have some in my front garden and even more in my back garden.  My property includes the words "boring", "slices" and "upset".

I'd love to know what algorithm they've used to allocate these words - and can they move them around?

For example, good.food.prices is in an industrial area in the town of New Tazewell, Tennessee - I'm sure a few supermarkets would pay good.money to have that in the middle of their canned goods aisle.

Not all words are included of course.  The nearest they have to "Iver Child Bollards" is over.chill.billiards (it's in the bit of Angola that makes it look like a jigsaw piece)

location.location.location is in Russia.

The uses for this are incredible - imagine your ship is sinking at misspellings.appendages.history (for this covers the sea as well as land) - you could summon aid to exactly the right spot before you became a victim of The Bermuda Triangle.

Pirate treasure maps would be a lot simpler too.

This amazing tool is called what3words and can be found at  https://map.what3words.com/daring.lion.race or on the Sat-navs of upcoming Mercedes models.

And my phone.

Incidentally, nice.cheese.sandwich is near the town of Los Mantos in Northern Chile.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Iver Child Bollards

The title of this post ought not to make any sense.

But it does.
That is an Iver Child Bollard.  They don't look much less scary during daylight hours:
They have been placed outside Primary and Junior schools in the Buckinghamshire town of Iver to deter bad driving and people parking on the kerbs.  The Telegraph reported it here and the BBC have a short video about them here.
 
I'll bet a few of the pupils at these schools have nightmares after seeing them.
 
I think it is the soulless expression staring out, judging anyone who dares to drive a car in their vicinity.
Perhaps even more scary is the cost - they seem to be £5,395 plus installation.  Each!
 
Still, I look forward to seeing them feature in a Doctor Who storyline in the next couple of years.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Electric Rod

Not sure what Steve Darnell will make of this story.
Steve Darnell is the one who isn't Richard Rawlings.
Richard Rawlings owns Gas Monkey Garage as featured in Fast'n'Loud while Steve Darnell owns Welder Up as featured in Sin City Motors (or, as it is known in America, Vegas Rat Rods)

And one thing Steve Darnell loves doing is sticking huge Cummins Diesel engines into Rat Rods.

But the story, from Autoguide today, tells of Cummins producing an all-powerful, all electric Semi.  (Note that in this case we are talking about a tractor unit not a suburban house or the start of an erection)

Here it is:
and here is another type of semi - a small one:
Very neatly erected in its own way.
 
But I digress.
 
The Cummins/Aeos truck is challenging Tesla who are working on an electric truck themselves.  Autoguide claim that Cummins have got there first since they put out this tweet yesterday at an unveiling:
Very impressive.
 
Does this mean that Steve will now have sparks rather than plumes of black smoke coming from his creations in the future?
 
It's already been done with a few examples coming up if you Google "Electric Rat Rod" but I reckon he will end up doing one too.

I'd put some money on it if I could just think of somewhere in America where it is legal to gamble.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sex Plates

It is approaching September 1st which means that a new set of car registration numbers will be made available.

This means that a news organisation will do a report on numbers that the DVLA will hold back because they are "offensive".

This week it was the BBC's turn.

They use this depiction:
To be fair, rather than say they are offensive, they ask the question, Do these "suppressed" vehicle registration marks cause "upset or offence"?
 
The first looks a bit like "MURDER" and the second (and it took me a while to work it out) looks a bit like "NEGLECT" so the third one must be "NOGLMUM".
 
They claim that "NO MUM" has potential to cause offence irrespective of the numbers in between.  I'm not convinced that if you wanted to upset someone who had lost a parent that you would go to the trouble of transferring this registration to their car.
 
It may be more likely that the MUM, DAD and SON registrations are being held back to sell off at the next DVLA auction.
 
I'd like to know what will happen in two years time when ALL plates will be deemed offensive.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Does 200 Come With Fried Rice?

Chrysler 200 that is.
Looks like a local chip shop want to buy out Fiat Chrysler. 
You can't see that chip shop from space.  Various news sources have the story.  Here's what BBC Business have to say.
 
It would appear, though, that the Chinese are more interested in the Jeep part of Fiat Chrysler.
But they aren't ruling out a bid for the whole FCA she-bang.  If they'd gone for it last year, they could have got Ferrari too.
 
I chose the BBC story to link to because they picked up on something I had also thought - I can't see Mr.Trump being too happy with China owning a major US Car Corporation as well as a large chunk of the national debt.
 
Here's a Jeep toy that might make him feel better about it. 
As Mork would say...
Nano Nano.