Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Slide Rules

I read something someone posted on Facebook this morning.

That's not unusual - I often do that.

It asked me to share it to 15 other people.

Also unfortunately not unusual - I've posted about that sort of thing before.  It irritates me and makes me immediately suspicious of whatever it is that they want me to share - which in this case was a plausible warning about using cruise-control in the wet causing aqua-planing.
In this case it was an unnamed woman who had wrecked her car - of course there was no link to an actual story of it actually happening.
The article argued that a slipping wheel would cause cruise-control to think the car wasn't going as fast as it should be so it would accelerate to compensate.
Yes, I can see that - I'm still not sharing a Facebook article that tells me to share it though - there's still something fishy going on.
It's like those Posts that tell you to Copy-and-Paste their text onto your own Timeline - DON'T SHARE!  I eventually found out what that was about -  it has two benefits for the Scammer:
  • It's harder for Facebook to delete 20000 copies of an article rather than one article with all its shares.
  • It allows the Scammer to include an easily Google-Searchable phrase in order to identify 20000 gullible people.
Anyway, I did a bit of digging on this rainy aquaplaney thing.  I found this most excellent piece by Joe Kenwright on www.motoring.com.au which not only describes where cruise-control came from and how it works but also why you shouldn't use it in the wet and also why the Post I read this morning is complete and utter nonsense.
So, if you want to make wet motorways a safer place - share my article far and wide.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Pick Up Lines

I've said it before.

On more than one occasion.


Today we have this one:
It's from this Autocar story about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.  You can't tell anything about the car/pick-up thingy from that picture - least of all the big news that IT IS A DIESEL!
Actually that is quite big news for America because, apart from Sin City Motors' Steve Darnell, nobody in America likes Diesels.
And what's with the 2019 model year? - it's still 2017 for goodness sake!
And how are you supposed to tell from that picture that it's a Diesel anyway?
Ah - apparently this bloke with the Michigan State T-shirt and the blurry face is using a Diesel pump.
Anyway, I have a scoop here!  This is an exclusive picture of the 2020 Ford Fiesta under testing at the Nürburgring

Monday, 19 June 2017

For Richer, For Poorer

There were a couple of interesting Autocar articles published this week that I quite enjoyed until I read a comment that made me feel quite cold.

The first one was this one.

It is a story about a company called "Flying Spares", based near Nuneaton which basically recycles discarded Bentleys and Rolls Royces to supply spares all around the World.  Most of the business is shipping new or remanufactured spares but they do also source many off the vehicles that they have there too.
Not sure what that 66 plate Bentayga is doing there though. I wonder if they will actually cater for newer Bentleys given that they are now part of VAG so will have a completely different set of spares to Rollers.
I know I love wandering about a scrapyard - that particular one (not that they call it a scrapyard) would be particularly fascinating.
The company was started out of a Portakabin by Ben Handford and his wife, Lucy and is now turning over close to £10 million per year.
Another entrepreneur who started small (in a barn in fact) is Tim Earnshaw, who owns Windrush Car Storage which is what the other article is about.  It is a storage facility for luxury cars and a Metro.
The article begins, "They call it ‘the Batcave’ because of the amazing cars it contains, and because you could be standing within two feet of it and not know it was there.
I can’t tell you precisely where it is except that it’s in an underground car park in central London, shielded from view by thick walls."

It seems to be under the Westfield Shopping Centre.

It costs £480 a month to store your car there and it will get cosseted including regular running.  I hope they aren't charging the Metro owner that - it will be costing more than the car is worth just to store it.  They do have a cheaper facility in the Cotswolds where they charge £270 a month.  It would be worth driving from London to there just for the savings - but then again, money is not going to be an issue for the people using this service.
Could that be a Bugatti Veyron under that sheet perhaps?

Then I read the comments at the bottom of the story.

Someone using the name voyager12 said "The city where cars are better looked after than people."

Now I love cars.  That's why I was finding it so interesting reading these articles.  The first article is fine - it is about helping people - enthusiasts - to keep old luxury cars on the road at a budget to be enjoyed.  The second article though is about helping obscenely rich people store luxury cars that will very rarely be driven.

The location is nice and handy for Kensington.

Kensington where there are many luxury properties laying empty while their rich, usually foreign, owners are abroad somewhere for most of the year.

Kensington where, at the latest count, 79 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire.  They were there because they were poor - because that was the best social housing that could be found for them.  If it is true that the block was covered in dangerous cladding because it was more attractive to look at then someone needs to go to prison for a very long time.  But if it is true, we know they won't.

Now don't get me wrong, I've no problem with Tim.  He has found an excellent way of bringing some foreign money into our country while he provides a unique and useful service.  It's just a shame that (and I know I'm making a big assumption here) I suspect that most of his client base will think more about their cars than about people.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Amazon Primed to Sell Cars in the UK

Allegedly, you can already buy a new Fiat 500, 500L or Panda through Amazon in Italy.

I can't find any evidence of that actually happening though.

Autocar have the story here.  It looks like it will be Fiat Chrysler Group cars they'll be flogging though.

Hope they've got a big drone.

If it was to have been used cars, then they should have been thinking Volvo:
(That's a Volvo Amazon)
Now they just need some way of publicising the venture to lots of people interested in cars. Can't think how they may go about that...

Friday, 2 June 2017

El Nombre del Coche

Buenos Días.

According to Autoguide, Seat are opening up the naming of their new model to the general public.

It's going to be an SUV slotting into their range above the Ateca which isn't a bad-looking car despite being an SUV:
There is  certain samey-ness to most SUVs nowadays - mainstream manufacturers all seem to be concentrating on different sized cross-overs.  Which is boring.  But people keep buying the things so I can't really criticise the business model.

Anyway, Autoguide announce that the new car won't end up with the name Carry McCarface.  This is a reference to the Polar Research Ship The RRS Sir David Attenborough currently being built up the road from my house.  That ship may have been called Boaty McBoatface if the general public had got their way.

But they didn't.

And Seat insist that their cars are named after Spanish places so it's not an issue.

And when they say "above the Ateca", they don't say if it will be a replacement for the Alhambra (which is more of a people-carrier) or it's going to fit into the range between the two.

I've checked the map and, depending on which route you take, half-way between Ateca and Alhambra is a small place called Buendía.  Which means "Good Day" - a very positive name for a car.

Or they could go for a little town to the South-West of Pamplona.