Monday, 29 May 2017

Motoring Offences

Ok, so what's the worst motoring crime?
  1. Driving while using the phone.
  2. Locking two children in the boot.
  3. Driving at 4TIMES the speed limit.
Two of these are pretty serious.

What? Only two of them?  Surely I can't be serious?

Well I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

Let's take them in order.

1. Driving while using the phone.
We have this story today from BBC News.  UK police caught almost 6,000 drivers using their mobile devices while driving in the four weeks after March 1st.  The significance of that date is that it was then that penalties for being caught were doubled plus any newly-passed drivers caught would have their licences revoked.  It looks like this is still not enough of a deterrent.
2. Locking two children in the boot.
Another BBC story - this time from yesterday where this woman,
Tori Castillo allegedly locked her 5 and 2 year old children into the boot of her car in Utah, USA while she went shopping.  She is facing child abuse charges and the children are now with their father.
Which brings us onto the not-so serious story about the chap convicted of...
3. Driving at 4TIMES the speed limit.
Fox News have this story.  The guilty party was one Walter Arnold and he committed the offence in Kent, UK.
He was driving this very car here: 
The constable who arrested him estimated he was doing a speed of approximately 8mph in a 2mph zone.  Actually, the entire country was a 2mph zone back in 1896 when this happened.  The article describes 2mph as "a little quicker than the average speed of an ambling cow."

The constable was on a bike but I reckon if he'd just upped his walking pace a little he would have still caught him anyway.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Platonic Love

 Plato hasn't been saying much this year.
This probably isn't too unusual.  However Jason Plato also hasn't said much.
This is unusual.

He is normally quite outspoken.  But then again, he's normally doing very well in the British Touring Car Championships.

And this year he isn't.

As I type this, we are currently two races into the Oulton Park Round and Plato has finished 12th and 11th.

He's been blaming the boost regulations.  But that doesn't explain how his team-mate Ash Sutton finished 3rd and 1st.

So Jason has also been blaming this:
He reckons his car has never been fully straightened out after looking like this after crashing at Brands Hatch earlier in the year.
There are four cars in that team and Plato is the senior driver - surely they could have put his number on one of the other cars.  Mind you, I don't envy Warren Scott, the team manager:
It can't be easy having to deal with Plato but I also feel a little sympathy for Jason too - as he pointed out today (now he's finally talking) - it is him who is the front-man for the team and it is him who is having the awkward conversations with the sponsors and money-men.  Although it is also him who flew in to Oulton Park today after attending Pippa Middleton's wedding.  So maybe his life isn't too bad at the moment after all.
However, the real star of the day at Oulton is this young man:
18-year-old Billy Monger.  Five weeks ago, he was involved in a horrific crash while taking part in a Formula 4 race at Donington Park.  He lost both his legs.  His maturity, is attitude, his cheerfulness are amazing.  He wants to race again.
I have no doubt he will.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Darting About After Criminals

Here is a Daimler Dart Police Pursuit vehicle:
Very useful for car chases in the '60s.
But nowadays, cars are faster, crims are meaner and there are a lot more cars on the road.
Which is why this looks like such a good idea: 

Autoguide pointed me at it from here.  The official Website is here.

Alternatively, Police Forces could always bring along one of these guys when they have a pursuit:

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Free Unicorns!

That's an offer not an instruction.

As the party manifestos are getting launched this week, those sceptical about them will be claiming that unreasonable promises are being made and I have heard the term "Free Unicorns" used.

But Autocar today are taking a different tack on unicorns.

They list a series of motoring unicorns - cars that are very, very rare on our roads.

It made me think Vauxhall Signum - I see one of these regularly around where I live and wonder how many are still about.
But no.  Autocar go with the aesthetically- challenged Ford Scorpio, the also-strange-looking Seat Altea Freetrack and, amongst others, a car I'd forgotten about altogether, the Mercedes R-Class.

They also give a mention to the Volvo S80 V8. Any political party offering me a free one of those unicorns can definitely have my vote.
I suspect it won't be The Greens.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Something Good Come Out of Brexit?

I doubt it - I think it's just an excuse.

Mahindra are using it to justify stopping selling the e2o electric car in Britain.
It was just over a year ago that Autocar and I reported on the prospect of these ugly things coming over here - using our roads - taking our parking spaces.  How dare they!

Anyway, today, Autocar and Reuters of all people are announcing that Mahindra are pulling the plug on it.  See what they did there?  "Pulling The Plug" - it's an electric car - I like that.

Apparently, sales have been "untenable".

Well Duh!  Look at it!

All outstanding orders are cancelled.  They are also buying back sold cars at the original asking price.  That seems a strange move - are they ashamed of them? I would be but that's beside the point.  Maybe there's something they aren't telling us - perhaps, as I speculated last April, there really is some safety thing going on here - with added legal implications?

Or maybe Brexit has seen off an obnoxious, ugly, runt not welcome on our shores.

One more now please...

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Buick Starts Here

I'd always assumed that General Motors had bought Buick - the same way they bought Vauxhall, Chevrolet, Daewoo, Saab and all of the other marques that they've owned over the years.

But no.

They evolved from Buick - the first motor brand bought by The Durant-Dort Carriage Company out of Flint, Michigan.

Autoguide have the story here about how their original headquarters is now to be used as a "300 person events space with offices."
Should that be a Chrysler 300 person events space?
The founders were William C. Durant and J. Dallas Dort.

The J in J. Dallas Dort stands for Josiah but the only real reason that I'm sharing this only mildly interesting story is that the C in William C. Durant stands for Crapo.