Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category

Roy Lanchester on vans

Posted in Columns, Roy Lanchester by Sniff Petrol on Friday, October 24th, 2014

RoyLanchester14Have a look around your home. If it’s anything like mine it will have many consumer durables within it and, from the Peugeot pen to the Monroe shock absorbers desk lamp, all of these items had to come from somewhere. How do you think they reached the shop or market stall or press launch? It was almost certainly in a van. Yet we take vans for granted and none more so than the products of Kangjai, better known as Korea’s fifth largest van manufacturer.

I had long overlooked these myself, not least because their press officer was a former Renault man who I had fallen out with in an argument about whether the spare wheels from press cars were mine to remove and sell. It tells you all you need to know about this particular chap that he insisted they weren’t. Fortunately for me, just three months after taking up his position at Kangjai he had to leave the job due to circumstances out of his control, specifically a heart attack and then death. It certainly looks like I had the last laugh there!

His replacement was much more amenable to speaking to me on the phone without swearing and, though he claimed not to have heard of me, he finally agreed to invite me to his next event as long as I promised to end the conversation and get off the phone. It helped of course that I write a website that is now in the top 85 for car-related blogs in northern England!

Just five weeks and three more phone calls later I was delighted to receive an invitation to try out the revamped Kangjai 400 and 600 light-to-medium vans at Broughleigh House Hotel in North Yorkshire, conveniently situated just 15 minutes from On The Limit with Roy Lanchester Towers. Naturally, I was really looking forward to trying these excellent machines.

Shortly afterwards I arrived at the charming Broughleigh House Hotel, its close proximity to my home meaning I could be there bright and early, ready to check-in to my room and prepare for the day ahead. Making my way downstairs again for the technical briefing I encountered Kangjai’s new PR man for the first time in person and what an enquiring fellow he turned out to be, firing endless questions at me such as ‘Have you been drinking from your minibar?’ and ‘No seriously, it’s 11am, have you really been at the minibar?’ I parried his rather impertinent line of questioning and, together with two dozen other ‘muttering rotters’, entered the allotted conference room where a Korean gentleman stood at the front and began to address us. I was sitting next to a rather dull chap from Van & Vanning who failed to see the funny side of my humourous interjections during the presentation and eventually gave me a rather terse explanation of the difference between North and South Korea. Rather pathetic in my view. I’m sure it’s not the first time the Korean gentleman has been called ‘Kim Jong-van’ in a jocular manner!

Suffice to say, the presentation was excellent and gave a highly informative view of these excellent commercial vehicles, as did the electronic press pack handed out afterwards which reminded us that Kangjai strives for the utmost quality and value in the purchase and ownership of a new commercial vehicle and the company has seen a significant 11 percent rise in sales YTD in 2014 which the thorough revamp of core models will build upon as the company bolsters its brand positioning in Q4 and beyond. For more details call the Kangjai press offi

Following the presentation, we were invited into an adjacent room for an excellent lunch during which there was plenty of opportunity to ask the waiter to bring some wine and then to sample it. The representatives from Kangjai, however, seemed less keen and began muttering some irrelevances about a ‘driving exercise’ with the excellent new vans that afternoon. I diffused the situation with another large red livener and regaled them with a tremendous anecdote about a visit to Korea with Daewoo many years ago during which I encountered the most extraordinary prostitute.

I had barely reached the part where she removed the apple from whence it had been inserted when I found myself being bodily removed from the room by three or four exceedingly angry men, none of whom would cease in their desire to escort me from the premises, even when I was attempting to be sick. To my disappointment, I was bluntly informed that I was no longer welcome on the launch event and bundled into the back of a vehicle to be driven home on a pile of towels.

Can you guess what sort of vehicle it was? No, me neither. However, I presume it was a Kangjai van and therefore excellent!

Roy Lanchester is the motoring correspondent for Your Knitting magazine and founder of the blog Over The Limit with Roy Lanchester.  (


2014 Russian GP preview

Posted in Columns by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, October 10th, 2014

F1 journalist and world’s smuggest man TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race


There’s something wonderful about arriving at a brand new track on the F1 calendar and savouring the paddock atmosphere for the first time, as I did yesterday. Though the air is tinged with sadness following the awful, awful accident that befell my dear friend Jules Bianchi, it is also full of hope and the excitement of the new.

I said as much to my old mate Ron Dennis as we walked together down the pit lane this morning. ‘Please terminate your parallel perambulatory course and cease forthwith this unrequested conversational gambit,’ he quipped! As those who know him well, and I do of course, Ron has always had a marvelous sense of humour!

A new track means new experiences outside of the paddock and I certainly enjoyed one of those as I dined alone at a charming little Italian place I had been recommended by a certain ex-driver and 1996 World Champion who shall remain nameless! The food was revolting and the service appalling but the view was something else. It was of a human waste processing facility! Dear old Damo always did have the most wonderfully mischievous sense of humour to those who know him well, which of course I do!

As to who will take victory on this freshly minted hallowed turf of motorsport, I think the newness of this venue makes any speculation utterly foolish. Suffice to say, I think the Mercedes will have it but Red Bull could be in with a shout and you could never discount Williams or Ferrari though don’t be surprised if the McLarens have a point to prove as well. Whatever happens, rest assured I will have an excellent trackside view of all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

News from Dany Bahaha

Posted in Columns by Dany Bahaha on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

DanyBahahaArseHello believers.

For some time now you may have been wondering what I, St Dany of Bahaha, have been working on. Now at last my glorious new project can be revealed to you, loyal disciples of my life, my work and my simply excellent hair. It is a project of unimaginable premium lifestyle heritage craftsmanship premium aspiration excellenceness and it has a name that I believe is already synonymous with Dany Bahaha. It is called ARSE.

The background to ARSE is simple. When the vile infidels at Lotus decided to allow me to choose to be told to clear my office I had a great deal of time to reflect, mostly in the mirror of my room at the Norwich Airport branch of Premier Inn. God, my hair looked good. Of course, I had job offers from several large car companies, all of whom were desperate to announce five different models all at once and then spunk all their money on glossy magazines and has-been celebrities. I was the man they wanted to make this optimum aspirational lifestyle premium experiential experience occur. I could not accept these offers, however, because I knew I had to pursue my own vision. Also, because I was helping out in my brother’s restaurant.

As I sat on my luxury king-size pocket sprung bed, I considered what was at the heart of my business aspirational heritage lifestyle skillset and I remembered what countless people had said to me after I decided to be told to get off the premises by Lotus. ‘Dany,’ they said. ‘You really fucked that up.’ And that is when it hit me: This is my skill. I knew then that my next venture should be not to make my own cars but to take existing cars and really fuck them up. At that moment, ARSE was born.

If you look at the Bentley Continental GT and wish it had a worse grille, wheels and interior or you believe the Aston Martin Rapide is not a good looking car and needs the entire roofline modified for no readily apparent reason or you wish the interior of your Range Rover was covered in diamonds and whale foreskin, talk to my ARSE. We are ready and waiting with a complete range of services in coachbuilding, retrimming and psychiatry. As we say here at ARSE, we have the skills if you have the chequebook.

I am now installed in my office at the premium lifestyle aspirational headquarters of my new company and it beings me great pride, loyal subjects, to tell you that this time I truly am talking out of my ARSE.

Keep drinking the Kool Aid.

Lord Dany of Bahaha



2014 Japanese GP preview

Posted in Columns, Motorsport by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, October 3rd, 2014

trenthamsleaves1There is something very magical about the paddock here in Japan, an atmosphere that’s impossible to explain unless you’re actually here, which of course I am. Perhaps it’s the great sense of history and the memories of my dear friend Ayrton Senna and my old pal Alain Prost, both of whom were and are marvelous characters respectively. It’s hard to explain why, but you’d know if you’d met them, which I have.

There’s something very magical about downtown Suzuka and in particular Gino’s, a wonderful Italian restaurant you will know about if you’ve been there, which I have, many times. This is one of F1’s best kept secrets and as I dined alone there last night I was able to reflect on what a wonderful atmosphere this tiny hole-in-the-wall establishment boasts, something I’m sure a certain two-time world champion from Finland would agree with, though discretion prevents me from naming him, although of course he is wonderful company if you’ve ever been in the same room as him, which I have, and commented on how hard it was raining outside to which he has replied, ‘I’m sorry, who are you?’

There’s something very magical about getting caught in a typhoon. It’s hard to explain the intensity of the rain unless you’ve been caught in it, which of course I have. I’ve always said that my old mate Michael Schumacher was peerless in the wet but even he might have struggled in the immense downpour that greeted me as I walked through Suzuka! Keep fighting Michael, and reply to my letters whenever you’re ready. Just as I thought I would never find shelter I saw a certain 1996 world champion and dear friend getting into a cab and I leapt into the back seat with great relief.

There’s something magical about being told to ‘please get out of my cab you weirdo’ by Damon Hill. It’s the politeness and intensity that you really can’t explain unless you are actually there, which of course I was. Good old Damo is famed for his wonderful sense of humour and in this instance he wouldn’t stop telling me to get out until I really did exit the taxi and allowed it to drive off! What a jester!

As for who will take the infamous chequered flag at this weekend’s race, as ever I refuse to speculate but suffice to say I think a Mercedes will probably win although one would be foolish to discount Red Bull or Williams and Ferrari always have the power to surprise, along with McLaren. Whatever happens, rest assured I will have a trackside seat for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

The spider inside your passenger door mirror writes…

Posted in Columns by The spider inside your passenger door mirror on Monday, September 29th, 2014

SpiderindoormirrorHi there!

As you might have noticed, over the weekend someone – mentioning no names! – managed to knock down the web I’d built between the passenger door and the passenger-side door mirror of your car. Again!

Well, just to let you know I’ve been working flat out and the good news is, the web is rebuilt! It was a rush job and it’s not quite as big as before but don’t worry, it’s a work in progress and I’m confident I can make it just as large and just as covered in tiny bits of leaf!

I’m sure you’re probably concerned about some other aspects of the web such as whether it will blow away if you drive at high speed on the motorway. Well, I have marvellous news! It won’t! In fact, I’m pretty confident that no matter how fast you drive, the web will still be there! You’ll forget about it when you get out of your car but rest assured, you’ll notice it when you’re driving along!

You may also have some worries about what do when washing your car. Well, I’m afraid in such circumstances the web will be damaged but don’t worry about me. No matter how much water you spray into the passenger-side door mirror the great news is, I’ll be okay! You see, I received water survival training from my cousin. I think you might know him actually. He’s in your bath as we speak!

By the way, if this new web does not meet with your satisfaction, please do let me know. I can always build another one! And another one! And another one! In fact, I’m more than happy to keep building them for the rest of the time you own the car! And I will!

All the best!

The spider inside your passenger door mirror

Nailed like your sister

Posted in Columns by Colby Dousche on Friday, September 26th, 2014

ColbyDouscheUS auto writer COLBY DOUSCHE returns with another missive from the Americas

Full disclosure – No one paid me to write this.

So I’m hangin’ in NoCal on the event for some milquetoast grocery getter when this smooth sac newbie comes up and he’s all like, hey buddy, do you know Dan Neil, and I’m like, hey no-pubes, do you know what it’s like to be smacked in the mouth?

Full disclosure – I didn’t actually say this out loud.

So this kid’s barely out of fuckin’ kindergarten and writing for some website I wouldn’t wipe my dick on so I figure it’s time to show him how a big dog smashes it and later he can tell his mommy that today he met the real Dousche. Now normally on an event yours truly strictly flies solo, and I’m not talking about last night’s encounter with three bottles of Coors and the gentleman’s pay channel.

Full disclosure – If you’re gonna complain about the weeping from the room next door, don’t stay in a fucking hotel, cockwallet.

Anyways, today I’m gonna make an exception to the a cappella rule so I can show this school bus shit streak how it’s done. First job, donkey punch the PR Poindexter until he coughs the keys to a car with a sweet ass stick shift which is rarely a problem when every buff book ballsack on the event thinks anything but losermatic is gonna burn off too much cholesterol.

Full disclosure – I breakfasted Dousche-style. One egg white twice griddled over-under, a slug of Jack and I’m good to go.

So I key the motor and tell the glasses-wearing wiener in the bitch seat to hang the fuck on ‘cuz this is about to get real. I’m barely out of the lot and I’m totally whipping it ‘cuz within, like, 30 seconds the red line is getting nailed like your sister on prom night and the tires are screaming like your other sister when she saw me outside the window last year.

Full disclosure – Do you have any idea how difficult it is to masturbate in a tree?

So I’m working the chassis like a 40 dollar whore when I look over and see the little piss dribble to my right is pulling out his fucking GoPro and I’m like, what the fuck? He’s all like, you never seen one of these and I’m like, fuck you, I invented fucking GoPro, kid.

Full disclosure – I did not invent GoPro. I have owned several, however, and still would if Bakersfield fucking PD hadn’t taken them as evidence.

So this skinny shower of shit says he’s gotta shoot video for his fucking lilly ass website and that’s when I realise I really gotta take this loser to school. Not literally. The State of California still insists I maintain a 50 yard exclusion zone. But if you want fucking web video, you’ve come to the right guy. So I say to him, kid, quit fucking whining about which side of the road we’re on and hold the fuckin’ camera steady while I talk about myself. But this fucking dufus, he’s not down with that and fuck me, he will not stop screaming.

Full disclosure – The sidewalk is still part of the road, dickwad.

Long story short, was I right about this? Hells yea. This snot nosed shitbin put his footage on fucking YouTube and it’s a frigging online sensation. Just search ‘On board – total idiot crashes Hyundai into Starbucks’. Yea, I planned that. ‘Cuz when it comes to web video, I piss excellence. And also a little blood.

Full disclosure – I’m awesome.

Colby Dousche is Awesomeness Editor at

2014 Singapore GP preview

Posted in Columns by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, September 19th, 2014

trenthamsleaves1F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race

There’s a wonderful atmosphere to the F1 paddock here in Singapore and it’s one that you can’t really explain unless you are here, which of course I am. Perhaps it’s the twinkling lights of this majestic city or the cloaking veil of darkness around it, but either way there is a magic that just doesn’t come across unless you are actually standing right behind the pit garages chatting to your old mate Ron Dennis who is once again pretending not to remember who you are! People simply do not realise what a marvellous sense of humour dear old Ron actually has!

Formula 1 is in many ways a sport of habit and the same little groups of the great and good tend to dine at the same places whenever the travelling circus is in town. In Singapore that means Lorenzo’s, a wonderful little Italian place that discretion prevents me from telling you more about. Suffice to say, the food is superb although a certain well-known 1996 world champion and dear friend of mine would probably tell you to avoid the four seasons pizza! In fact, I texted him to remind him of this only yesterday. He didn’t reply of course. He never does!

As I dined alone at Lorenzo’s last night I had time to reflect on what a season it has been so far and how exciting it is to have a close race between my good mate Nico Rosberg and my old chum Lewis Hamilton. I saw Lew only yesterday and asked him how he was feeling about his prospects. ‘No comment!’ he quipped as he kept on walking. Such a character!

As to who will win this nocturnal spectacle on Sunday, I think it would be very foolish to attempt any speculation but I would definitely say a Mercedes is likely to take it unless Red Bull can come up with something special or one of the ever-stronger Williams drivers can deliver, though of course one should never discount Ferrari or even Force India or McLaren. Whatever happens, rest assured I will have a trackside seat for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

The return of Ask a Total Prick From An Internet Forum

Posted in Columns by Total Prick From An Internet Forum on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

TPFAIF_4Your questions answered by an online titwhisk who wouldn’t dare speak like this in real life

Dear Total Prick From An Internet Forum,
I’ve read reviews of the new Porsche Cayman GTS in several car magazines and it sounds brilliant. Do you think it would make a good replacement for my BMW Z4M?
Nick, London

Total Prick From An Internet Forum replies…
This is a joke, right? Don’t you know all car magazines are paid off by Porsche to say their – awful IMHO – cars are brilliant. This is a fact. They know nothing except where their next fat pay-off from a German car company is coming from. This has been proven time and time again. If you want further proof of how little so-called professional car journalists know, I once read one of them describing the Honda Civic Type-S as ‘disappointing’. I’ve owned my HCTS for over four years now and not once have I been ‘disappointed’. It’s simply the best car I have ever owned. End of.

Dear Total Prick From An Internet Forum,
After watching Chris Harris’s video review of the BMW M235i I’m seriously considering one. Am I mad?
Hem, Leeds

Total Prick From An Internet Forum replies…
Are you mad? No, you’re an idiot. Don’t you know that Harris, like all car journalists, is paid off by BMW and VW and Porsche to say good things about their (woeful) cars. You should also know he can’t drive. Fact. If you believe anything any car journalist says then, no offence, you’re more stupid than you sound. Seriously, I’ve done over three track days and I’d like to see these so-called ‘experts’ keep up with a well driven HCTS, never mind write something other than blatant lies and total rubbish about it whilst staying in a five star hotel at someone else’s expense. They couldn’t. Simple as.

Dear Total Prick From An Internet Forum,
Thanks for your latest submission. As I explained earlier in the year, we’re not looking for new writers at the moment and, if I may be totally honest, your copy is probably a little ‘unpolished’ for us. Thanks for bearing AutoMotoringCar in mind all the same.
All the best,
Pete Hampson, AutoMotoringCar magazine

Total Prick From An Internet Forum replies…
I have more articles. I can send them to you or maybe give you a link to my blog. It’s a sideways glance at the world of motoring! I think you’ll really like it! Please read it. Please.

2014 Italian Grand Prix preview

Posted in Columns, Motorsport by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, September 5th, 2014

trenthamsleaves1F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race

If Formula 1 has a home it’s surely here in la bellisima ambiente of Monza. Standing in the paddock, as I was earlier today, one can almost literally smell the history in the air and taste the sweet dolcelatte of heritage.

I remarked as much to my old mate and multiple Monza winner Damon Hill just yesterday as we walked together down the pit lane. ‘I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ he quipped and then he pretended he needed to speak to someone in the Caterham pit and walked off! Damo has always had, as the locals might say, un senso dell’umorismo fantastico!

Of course, all eyes are on the ongoing battle between my mate Lewis Hamilton and his great rival, and my great friend, Nico Rosberg. It’s pretty clear to me that Lew and Nic won’t be giving each other una centimetre when the lights go out on Sunday. That makes life tricky for my old chum Niki Lauda who I caught up with inside the Mercedes motorhome yesterday morning. ‘How have you got in here again?’ he jested. ‘This is bullshit. Get out!’ he added. As they say around here, molto comico!

Last night as I dined alone in Huang’s, something of a legend in F1 circles and simply the finest ristorante Chineseo in the whole of La Lombardia, I had time to reflect on the legacy of my dear old friend Ayrton Senna who lost his life 20 years ago just a few hundred kilometres from here at a different track.  There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think of dear old Ayrt and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

As for this Sunday’s race, it would be foolish to speculate on who might take the infamous flagio chequred but you wouldn’t bet against Mercedes or Red Bull although Ferrari could surprise on terreno di casa as could Toro Rosso and you wouldn’t discount Williams or Force India. Whatever happens, I’ll have una posto primo for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

Roy Lanchester on the Mitsubishi Mirage

Posted in Columns, Roy Lanchester by Roy Lanchester on Thursday, July 31st, 2014

RoyLanchester14Road testing cars is one of the most important parts of a motoring writer’s job but do not assume for one moment that car manufacturers are queuing up to give out their wares, even to highly experienced former local newspaper journalists whose Over The Limit With Roy Lanchester blog is now one of the top 109 car-related blogs in the country. Indeed, for every ‘oh alright we’ll lend you one for a day’ there can be just as many cases of ‘oh we thought you died in 2004’ and ‘oh do piss off you delusional alcoholic’!  However, despite the odds being stacked against him, you will not find this ‘muttering rotter’ filling his blog with blandly complimentary reviews just to keep himself in test cars!

Nonetheless, I was especially looking forward to testing the excellent Mirage, which is an excellent new small car from those excellent people at Mitsubishi. The test car arrived looking excellent in a vibrant shade of green which I was able to admire at length while a typically grumpy delivery driver bent my ear about the ‘hours’ he had been waiting on my doorstep. It’s simply not my fault that lunch at my local pub became a little longer and more refreshing than anticipated, a fact he seemed unable to grasp even as I gave him details of the walking route to the bus stop that would take him to the other bus to the station.

The next day I was delighted to be able to take the excellent Mirage out for a spin and discover just how excellent it is. First impressions are of a commanding driving position with all controls falling easily to hand. It’s out on the open road, however, where this excellent car really excels. The ride is excellent and would shame a Rolls-Royce whilst the whole car truly corners as if it is on rails. Performance is excellent too with impressive numbers on the Mitsubishi website such as Max. output kw (bhp) at rpm 59 (79) 6,000 Max. torque Nm (lb.ft) at rpm 106 (78) 4,000 Acceleration 0-62 mph secs 11.7 Maximum speed mph (kph) 112 (180). When behind the wheel, performance feels even more excellent than that.

In controlled conditions I was able to really open her up and saw impressive speeds in excess of 80mph. The Mirage handled this with excellent aplomb and I’m pleased to report it is also impressively composed when the driver is passed by a police car going in the other direction, remembers the amount of wine he had with lunch and is forced to swerve into a field, dump the car behind a hedge and walk home through the woods.

If I had one criticism, which I don’t, it would be that the Mirage has simply no flaws whatsoever and is excellent. Excellent.

Roy Lanchester is the motoring correspondent for Amateur Scaffolding magazine and founder of Over The Limit with Roy Lanchester a blog which takes a sideways glance at the world of motoring (