Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tear Along The Dotted Line

This is not an instruction to drive quickly down the road-markings which separate two lanes.

I'm glad that I spotted this Telegraph story today because it means I can maintain my record of five posts per calendar month this year.

The story is about how the DVLA is running out of the thick-ish paper that they print Tax Discs on so they are printing some of their own on thinner paper without the easy-tear perforations.

This is on the back of the news that the media have just noticed that Tax Discs will no longer need to be displayed on or after October 1st this year.
This is mildly irritating to me.  My disc expires on 30th September.  This means I probably won't be sent one of the new, thinner, unperforated discs that they talk about in the Telegraph article.  This is a shame because there is always someone sad enough to collect unusual ephemera like that so I could have put it on e-Bay after it expired and cashed in on its historic value.
The article also goes on to say that many motorists are unaware of this change and that there is a serious danger that anyone buying a car after October 1st will need to arrange tax straight away because no tax disc means no transfer of the duty paid along with the car.  Hopefully the seller will be refunded any remaining monies as is the current system when you send the disc back to the DVLA.
Although I am one of the 58% of motorists (according to the AA survey quoted in the Telegraph) who did know it was happening (check out my post from last December) I didn't know the start-date or the implications for car buyers.
Or the implications for people who make tax-disc holders - don't buy any shares in these...

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.