Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Metro's Review of the Year

Well, it's that time of year again - New Year's Eve Eve.  Time to reflect on what has been and gone in 2014.

A year when, thanks to this very post you are reading now, I have achieved exactly 5 Posts in each calendar month - not something I set out to do back in January but as it started to happen, I decided to make a point of continuing it.  Normal service will be resumed next year.

Talking of back in January, the BBC showed "Russia on Four Wheels"
Metro, the free newspaper, unlike Metro the me, didn't appreciate it so I wrote a post explaining why they were wrong.

The big motoring story in February was the giant sinkhole that took 8 cars at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, USA.  I covered it along with a few British sinkholes that seemed to be coincident with it.

In March, I foresaw the emergence of UKIP as a force to be dealt with in British politics - they went on to win 2 by-elections unfortunately.  Although really it was an excuse to discuss the mascinations occurring at the top of F1.
Looking at that car, I just have to reiterate what I said in March, "Ugh!"

In April, Chris Evans tried to initiate "National Take Your Classic Car to Work Day".  It didn't work.

May saw the end of the Hindustan Motors Company - producer of the Hindustan Ambassador for over 60 years.  A sad time.  End of an era.  So I made comments about Ferrero Rocher.

In June a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Transport commented on the poor state of British roads.  It's a better story than it sounds.

Half way through the year already.  In the heat of the July sun, Jeremy Clarkson & James May crashed some Peugeots:
My story went on to discuss another crash a bit nearer to home.  MSN speculated that the Peugeots crash happened during filming of a new series of Top Gear and my response was "Well Duh!!"

Well I'm not so sure now because I haven't seen anything with those cars in.  Yet.

August saw the Bernie Ecclestone Bribery Trial reach its climax.  Or anti-climax.  He paid out a load of cash to make it go away.

Saturday September 13th 2014 will go down in history as the date of the first ever Formula e race.  It happened in Beijing and was everthing that had been hoped for including a dramatic crash at the end. I covered the event quite comprehensively by my standards.
This Katherine Legge, the only female, British driver.  She isn't very good.

October gets three stories - well, two stories in three posts.  October is when it all kicked off for the Top Gear team in Argentina.  Here's my take. I watched the shows this week and it looked very scary - not for the presenters because they were whisked away to safety quite early on - but for the crew - even the joke 2CV thing had its windows smashed - what was the point of doing that? (Apparently it is a Citroneta - here are some images)

I can see why they made the Butch Cassidy joke at the end of the show but it was a bit unnecessary and detracted from the danger their crew was in.

The Lotus was very impressive though.  Probably destroyed by now.

The other October story was the end of Luca di Montezemolo's chairmanship of Ferrari and his ousting by Sergio Marchionne.  Marchionne then went on to effectively sell Ferrari.  Details are here and here.

November.  Nearly at the end now.

November brought us SEMA (as it often does) and the news that Red Bull F1 Team boss Christian Horner got engaged to a Spice Girl and nobody noticed.

And then we reached December 2014.  This was when I decided to do a review of the year - don't think I'll include a link to that - might get recursive.  Instead I'll remind you that this month, Google uncovered a proper, working version of their stupid driverless car.
It actually makes the UKIP one look preferable.

Have a happy and prosperous 2015.  I'll be back in the New Year - maybe this Thursday (but probably not).

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Some Say... ...He Drives a Kia.

And not a reasonably-priced Kia Cee-apostrophe-D.

There's not a lot to add to this ad review in Car&Driver.

Kia are using, not one, but four, Stig-alikes to advertise the latest version of their Sedona people-carrier.

But it looks like have bottled it when it comes to putting it on Youtube:

They have "digitally enhanced" it.  But black helmets!?  Worried about a lawsuit?

 Maybe the original Stig will want to sue now.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Driverless Cars are not Good-ish

Perhaps they are Rubb-ish.

I went to see Dave Gorman live a few weeks ago.  He was more than good-ish.  If you don't know him, he presents a series on the Dave Channel called "Modern Life is Good-ish".  Part of this involves him performing seomething called a Found Poem which is where he takes comments made by idiots on the Internet at the bottom of news stories and turns them into something very funny.

Here is his found poem about the beef-being-substituted-by-horse-meat scandal from earlier this year.

He also produced a very fine poem about Google's driverless cars - although the funniest line in it wasn't made by an idiot - it was made by a genius (which is incidentally the name of another show Dave Gorman did)

That line was:

"Why does it have wing-mirrors?"

Well, it looks like that question has now been answered along with my main worry from July when I looked at driverless cars.

The answers appear in this article from caradvice.co.au

The article states that:

The long-awaited Google self-driving car has been uncovered with the technology company claiming it is “the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined”.

No it isn't.   It now has legal requirements such as those mirrors and working lights and safety features that the lack of concerned me - such as a steering wheel and controls.
It provides more Found Poem fodder...

...and it still looks stupid.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Color Me Bad

I've spelled "colour" the American way there because of a survey a couple of the American sites have picked up today.  Here's the Fox News version.  Apparently, white was the most popular colour for new cars for the fourth straight year.  This is true Stateside and in Europe.

I've not really done much on car colour in the past - here's a post from a couple of years back on yellow cars although it was probably just an excuse to include a picture of Susanna Reid.

Here's another one.
Now, despite white being most popular, a sort of metallicky yellow seems to be the colour of choice of this week's press releases.

Like this Lexus LF-C2 concept from this story.
Can't help thinking that the front end looks like a cheese-grater - or perhaps a pedestrian-grater.  If you hit an animal in it, you would end up with diced meat cooking on your engine block.

The other car in that colour is this one.
It is from this story.  It is a Willys Interlagos.  Willys doesn't really exist any more and Italian coachbuilders plan a limited run of this vehicle (apparently based on a Porsche 911) which pays homage to the original Willys Interlagos of the 1960s.

I hadn't heard of the original Willys Interlagos of the 1960s.  In fact I thought Willys were just responsible for the WWII Jeep.

But no.  Here is the Willys Wikipedia page so you don't have to type "Willys" into Google.  They had a long and illustrious car-making history which eventually became part of Daimler-Chrysler/Fiat (aka FCA) who make the modern-day Jeeps.

Like this one...
Which I don't.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Past Times

I've just been for a wander around the Skoda Museum.

They do scrambled eggs for 39 of whatever the currency is in The Czech Republic.  Which is cheaper than the "hot wine" which costs 45 of whatever the currency is in The Czech Republic.

Upstairs is a bit boring though - it's just white chairs and tables plus a fire extinguisher.

The ground floor is very interesting though - especially as you can get in some of the cars.

Shame it was only a virtual wander then.

I was pointed at it by this article in caradvice.com.au

It is good old Google Maps that let you have a look inside.  I'd love to know they got the Google Mapping car inside the museum restaurant.

They've also allegedly had it inside the Lamborghini, Mazda and Honda museums too.

Meanwhile, Autocar are taking us today on a gentle stroll around a Mini exhibition in Munich.

This shows us that, just after MINI launched their 4-Door version on the market, Minis really do look disproportionate with 4 Doors:
 This next item is wrong - 1959 Minis did not have those rear light clusters.
And this third picture is just wrong in other ways.  I can't decide if it meant to show that these cars have been driven at a wall at very high speed...

...or it is the result of some strange, perverted hunting trip.
Also, we are not told how much the scrambled eggs cost in the restaurant there.