Wednesday, 29 March 2017

It's a Good Job Rose Royce Are American

Otherwise we could have the Rose Royce Rolls-Royce.

And that would be silly.

But would allow for a car wash joke.

Instead we have the Shirley Bassey Rolls-Royce, the Roger Daltrey Rolls-Royce and the Ronnie Wood Rolls-Royce.

Plus six more.

Autocar have the story today of how a series of Wraiths have been commissioned to celebrate nine British music icons.  They claim to have collaborated with them and the resulting cars will be sold off for charities nominated by the stars.

Given that a Wraith goes for about a quarter of a million pounds, I'm not sure how the funding of this is happening - maybe it's worth it for the publicity for owners BMW.

Here's The Daltrey one - it looks like it's got a concave bonnet:
But it hasn't.

I'm not sure how they've collaborated with Sir George Martin (who is one of the celebratees - if that's a word) given that he died about a year ago.

Ray Davies of The Kinks has one too but that leaves four unaccounted for.

David Bowie and George Michael would be obvious choices but again, difficult to collaborate with now.

Also, all of the other musicians are all getting on a bit so maybe Elton John would be too young for consideration too.

Which just leaves Cliff Richard who wouldn't want a Wraith as he was always associated with Shadows.

There's Paul McCartney of course.

Or they could do one in memory of his writing partner:
Perhaps not.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Not über Intelligent

Or even über artificial intelligent.

This BBC story tells of how Uber has pulled its self-driving cars from the roads after an accident which left one of the vehicles on its side on Arizona.

Looks nasty:
The car itself looks nice though - it must really pay to be an Uber Driver if they can afford new Volvo SUVs - especially with self-driving technology.

Uber have stated that the car was in self-driving mode at the time.

The allegation in this case is that another driver "failed to yield".

Which is why I don't like the idea of self-driving cars.  Most drivers rate themselves as having above-average driving skills.  This is actually impossible but even the best driver in the world cannot do anything if someone else acts unexpectedly and hits them.  The way things stand at the moment - self-driving cars still need someone behind the wheel to take over in the case of an emergency.  In which case that person has to be fully alert at all times to what is going on around them - I know I would want to be!  But that completely negates the point of a self-driving vehicle.

I'm quite concerned in this case as to how the car ended up on its side - was it travelling too fast?  - did it clip the kerb? - did the driver panic when the other car was suddenly in its path?

We know SUVs tend to topple a lot easier than normal cars but even so.

Is this what is known as doing a bit of taxi driving on the side?

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Edd's Gone!!!

And I don't mean Edd The Duck.    

No, I mean the only other "Ed" who spells his name with two D's - Edd China:
I was going to do a posting today about Sunday's Top Gear - I had a couple of ideas and was definitely going to mention my favourite quote of the show:

"The Suspects are Joey from Friends and a bald guy in a bad suit."

or maybe I was going to complain about them dissing the Dolomite Sprint...

...which led into Rory Reid driving the most famous car on TV (if you watch car shows) - a Mark I Golf GTi carrying Reg. number A651FEJ:

Here's Jeremy with it:
and here it is on Car SOS:
This may well be it again but I'm not going to find the episode in the second series of Wheeler Dealers - Trading Up to find out:
It's not appeared on For The Love of Cars yet though.

And here we arrive at the big news story of today:

Discovery today announced established automotive expert Ant Anstead is the new co-host and master mechanic on the global hit series WHEELER DEALERS. After 13 seasons, longtime co-host and lead mechanic Edd China has decided to leave the series to pursue other projects. WHEELER DEALERS will continue for a season 14 later this year with current co-host Mike Brewer who will now be joined by Anstead. Ant Anstead is the former host of the Channel 4 series “For The Love Of Cars”


Or I could have gone with...

"Opel cleared of diesel emissions cheating by French authorities" Autocar story today which comes just after it was announced that Opel was to become part of the PSA Group which is part-owned by the French authorities.

No - the Edd news is much bigger.  A bit like him.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Seems a Bit Harsh on Warwick Davis

According to the BBC, car-buyers who are small will pay more for Road Tax.

The headline clearly states, "Vehicle Excise Duty: Small car buyers face higher costs"

Now I'm a big fan of Warwick Davis - I'm not into Star Wars so I don't think of him as an Ewok but I loved the spoof documentary he starred in, "Life's Too Short" - there's a brilliant bit where he confounds a psychic by not knowing anyone whose name begins with "J" although this is my all time favourite clip of the show (warning - don't watch this if you're a bit straight-laced)

He's also appeared on Top Gear:
But, of course, I'm being mischievous (pronounced mischievious).

The article is about buyers of small cars - not car-buyers who happen to be small. Basically, anyone who buys a smaller, more efficient new car after April 1st will be worse off (in terms of percentage paid for Road Tax) than those who buy bigger, less efficient cars after that date.  There will also be some hefty initial charges on purchase.

And yes, I do know that there is no such thing as "Road Tax" - it is called "Vehicle Excise Duty" (VED) and is a general charge supplementing Government coffers based on pollution etc.  It never went to pay for upkeep of the roads - although that is one good thing coming out of these changes - money will go back into tarmac.

It is a very complicated system that is being introduced now, read the article if you want to learn more but, fortunately, any car registered up to that date (including mine) will still go by the older only slightly complicated rules.

This will have an impact down the line of cars registered before that date probably being worth more than those after.  Dealerships will probably pre-register a load of vehicles for this very reason.

Chaos will ensue.

What do you think, Warwick?

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Cool As FXXK

The Arctic Circle is pretty cool.

Or downright freezing.

And that is where they are testing the next iteration of the Black Cab.
Why? - I hear you ask.

Why? - I also hear BBC Transport correspondent Richard Westcott ask.

But he doesn't actually answer the question in that video.

Although he does in this article.

There are two reasons apparently:
  • the manufacturer tests all new vehicles in extreme temperatures to see how they perform.
  • it wants to sell it in polluted cities all over the world, including Moscow, which can get a little chilly in the winter.
This cab won't contribute to the pollution due to it being electric - with a little range-extender to keep it going.

Anyway, black cabs in cold places brings us, rather neatly, round to the new series of Top Gear:
and Rory Reid driving a black cab, in minus temperatures, with no heating, in Kazakhstan.

Chris Harris got to drive a Ferrari FXXK at Daytona
and boy did he enjoy it.

But, if only 40 were built, why did his have a number 54 on the side?

And nobody mentioned Chris Evans.

I thought they could have had a light-hearted dig like The Grand Tour boys did.  Chris himself mentioned how the newspapers said it was "better without the annoying one".

There was a mention in Extra Gear about the orginal test track being back with "all tarmac" but nothing was said about Mr.Evans.  There was a noticeable cheer from the studio audience when it was announced that the original track was back.

I agree with the studio audience and, much as I do like Chris Evans, I agree with the newspapers that it was "better without the annoying one".

Or maybe just a little cooler.