Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category

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 (blogmaker.com/freeblog/overthelimitwithroylanchester57)

D.I. Blundell done report from Hungary 2014

Posted in Columns, D.I. Blundell by Sniff Petrol on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

DIBlundellnewOn Sunday 28th July I done proceed in an easterly direction to the Hungarian Grand Prix, what done be in Hungary. Here I done observe that driving conditions done be, in fairness, moist. This done pose a challenge to motorists what done have to be careful to done choose the right tyres.

This done be brought home to me when I done observe a green Caterham vehicle driven by a Mr M. Ericsson of Sweden, near Sweden, what done lose control and done collide with what done be, to be honest, a wall. This incident done quickly be followed by what be, in fairness, a very similar incident in which a black Lotus vehicle driven by a Mr R. Grosjean of France, near France, done also lose control and done also done hit what was, to be fair, another wall. I done conclude that the only difference between these incidents done be that the second one done occur at lower speed and done also be because the driver was, in fairness, a muppet.

Later the same afternoon I done observe a Mr S. Perez of Mexico, in Mexico, who done collide with a Mr N. Hulkenberg of the Germany area of Germany. This done be an unfortunate situation since both persons done be driving Force India vehicles and that done make this incident bad, in fairness, form. Mr Perez done later collide with what done done be, to be honest, the pit wall and this done write off his company car which done displease his boss, a Mr V.J. Mallya of the India region of India who done have, in fairness, shit hair.

I later done observe a purple Red Bull vehicle driven by a Mr S. Vettel of disappointing form who done lose control at what done be, to be honest, the same place as Mr Perez but he done be able to done regain control of the vehicle what done be, in fairness, skill.

There done be so many incidents that I done run out of space in my notebook when a black Lotus driven by a Mr P. Maldonado done collide with a red and white Marussia vehicle driven by a Mr J. Bianchi but this done be okay because I done keep a page free for Mr Maldonado’s incident since it done be, to be honest, inevitable since he done be, in fairness, useless.
Over and out.

Pushing dimes up my dick

Posted in Columns by Colby Dousche on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

US auto writer COLBY DOUSCHE returns with his unique take on cars

ColbyDouscheSo I’m sitting at home last week when I get a call from my buddy Todd. You’d like Todd. He’s literally the best goddam drummer I’ve ever seen. This dude can drum Moon, Bonham and Copeland under the table and still find time to be assistant manager of a big ass Taco Bell. Problem is, Todd knows jack about cars. So he calls my cell and he’s all like, Hey Dousche, I’m gonna buy a new car. And I’m like, dude, you need me with you. And he’s like, I just called for advice, there’s no need for you to come with. And I’m like, dude, I’m coming along. You think I’d rather sit at home pushing dimes up my dick?

Full disclosure – I only tried that once.

So we’re in my Sentra – aka The Beast – and Todd’s all like, this is what I got to spend and I just want a neat car that doesn’t use much gas and shit. I’m like, shut the fuck up, I’m the fucking auto writer here and I know exactly what you need. Two words: Cor Vette. And Todd’s all like, see this is why Corey says you’re a dick and wouldn’t let you join the band even after the old guitarist died. So I’m like, fine. What you need is a fucking Fiesta ‘cos it’s got a fucking awesome stick shift and a sweet ass chassis. I’m like, seriously dude, I took a Fiesta to Willow this one time and I totally nailed it past, like, 50 dudes in Ferraris and Lamborghinis and shit. Sure, that was mainly cuz I know how to fucking drive and I’m not some lard ass, buff book, corporate cock licker but anyways, the Fiesta rocked at the Big W.

Full disclosure – My therapist says some of this stuff is only happening in my mind.

Anyways, Todd’s all like, fuck the Fiesta man, I’m just gonna buy another Corolla cuz it’s cheap and it doesn’t use a lot of gas. But then he’s all like, it’s a good car, right? I’m doing the right thing, yea? And I’m like, hey, what do you want from me here? Do I look like Consumer fucking Reports?

Full disclosure – No. I’ve heard it say I look like Jack White but heavier or Jack Black but muskier.

So to stop his bitchass whining, and also because Shanice told him to be back at work by 2pm, we go to the Toyota dealership and I tell him no messing, let me handle this. So straightaways I ask to see the manager. The way I see it, you gotta let ‘em know a big dog is in the house. So the junior receptiobitch goes away and out comes this fucking shinybutt suit rack of a manager. Now this dude looks kinda familiar. And he’s all like, hey, weren’t we at high school together and weren’t you the guy who didn’t go to prom but sat outside in his car all night crying and masturbating?

Full disclosure – Fuck you, that was 20 years ago.

So we sit down with this assrag and straight away he’s talking greenbacks like a two bit hooker in a Reno restroom. I’m like, chill out man. Cut the shit and just give us the deets on your sweetest deal. And I can tell I got him on the ropes cuz he’s all like, ‘Sir, would you please allow me to speak with my customer’ and then Todd’s all like, ‘This is why I never call you’ and I’m like, shut the fuck up man, who’s the bitch here?

Full disclosure – It’s not me Uncle Jim, not anymore. Not anymore.

So the chief salesdick says he can get Todd in a ’14 Corolla for blah blah blah and Todd’s like, can you do any better and the guy’s like, if you take the car right now I can fix you up for blah and Todd’s like cool and he took the car right there. True story.

Full disclosure – Toyota did not pay me to tell you this and their PR lady has asked me to stop calling.

Colby Dousche is Awesomeness Editor at carsnark.com

2014 German GP preview

Posted in Columns by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, July 18th, 2014

F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race at Hockenheim

trenthamsleaves1Germany has always been one of my favourite Grand Prix. There’s a magic here that you just can’t put your finger on unless you are standing here in the paddock at Hockenheim, which of course I am. Only yesterday I was saying as much to my dear friend Sir Frank Williams and he agreed with me in his own unique way. ‘I’m sorry, who are you?’ he quipped. Priceless.

Last night I maintained a little tradition that exists amongst a few of us and headed for a legendary restaurant not far from the track which discretion prevents me from naming. Suffice to say, a certain three time world champion Scottish friend of mine will know where I mean! Indeed, I was told that this anonymous gentleman had dined there just recently. I have known dear old Gino who runs the place for more years than we care to remember and asked him if this certain ex-driver had mentioned me whilst enjoy the infamous penne al salmone. ‘What?’ he quipped. Marvellous.

As I dined alone last night, I was able to reflect on what a wonderful motorsport heritage Germany has given us. From von Trips and Stuck to Frentzen and my old mate Nick Heidfeld who never fails to make my laugh with his trademark japes such as completely ignoring me! The elephant in the room in these parts is of course my dear friend Michael Schumacher who we hope and pray continues to regain his health. I have received no reply to my many, many letters but I know for certain the weltmeister has read them all and is thinking of me.

As to this weekend’s race, who will take the legendary black and white flag? It would be foolish to speculate, but I believe Mercedes are strong as ever, Ferrari could surprise, Red Bull look ever stronger and we should never discount Force India, Sauber or an improving McLaren. Rest assured, whatever happens I will be on the spot to witness all the action in person.

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

The motor screaming like your mom

Posted in Columns by Colby Dousche on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Sniff Petrol is delighted to welcome American car writer COLBY DOUSCHE with his unique take on the US car market

ColbyDouscheFull disclosure – No pony ass auto maker paid me to write this.

So I’m on the event for some lame ass grocery getter and I’m looking at all the fat ass buff book bitches sucking at the corporate cock like a strawpenny whore working my dick behind Denny’s and I’m thinking, how did I get here?

Full disclosure – I ate one shrimp, pounded six beers and watched some porn in my room.

So next morning we’re given the keys and some Poindexter PR loser is all like, take it easy guys, no rubbin’ and no racin’. Man, every other Jello ass auto writer in the room was nodding like a silicone bitch in a trailer park titty bar on the day yours truly walked in to make it rain. FYI, this is the same public relations wuss who once had the titanium coconuts to ask why I was wearing a race suit at breakfast. Because Dousche, dipshit.

Full disclosure – They were Nomex pajamas.

So we’re out on the road and, as usual, yours truly has blown off the magazine morons and is riding a cappella. If I wanted to cozy up to some a fat old bitch I’d book a weekend in Florida and a fuck ton of lube. Am I the only guy on the event who bitch slapped the key guy ‘til he hooked me up with a stick shift? Hells yea. Is the motor screaming like your mom the day I swung by to fix her screen door? Damn straight. Am I nailing it like the 10 dollar Utah hooker my dad bought me for my 21st birthday? Fuck yes, and without crying this time.

Full disclosure – I live with my parents.

So this ride is fine if you like low cube crapola. Which I don’t cuz last time I checked I have one driver’s license and two big hairy balls. Thing is, there’s a problem here and I’m not talking about how fast I wore those skinny ass tires down to the bitch strips. See, if you’re the kind of beret wearing, tea drinking homo who lives in Europe you can buy this car as a diesel wagon with a stick. But in their ‘wisdom’, yet another cocktard auto maker has decided the sweetest piece of hardware this side of the Edwards AFB black hangar won’t be sold in the United States of fuckin’ A. Should they import it? Did I outdrive every over-stuffed golfing slacks shill on the event to the power of hells yea? Would a diesel wagon with a stick be what every so-called American consumer actually needs? Do I own over three guitars and spank them like my own dick every time I think about how fucking great I am? The answer is, fuck you mom, I was washing it.

Full disclosure – I’m awesome.

Colby Dousche is Awesomness Editor at fuckingcars.com

A Cavalcade of Classics!

Posted in Columns by Simon Peedoe on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

MingehamclassicsSummer is here and the classic car season is in full swing. Sniff Petrol classics correspondent SIMON PEEDOE reports on last weekend’s action.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed wasn’t the only motoring event taking place in Great Britain last weekend as it was also the fifth annual Mingeham Cavalcade of Classics with dozens of cars gathering in the shadow of the infamous meat rendering plant and a record crowd of several people, despite the persistent drizzle!

The star attraction of this year’s Cavalcade was of course the stunning display commemorating 60 years of the Saunders Scurvy. The SSOC really did justice to this venerable car, despite a falling out with their rivals at the SSCC over re-manufactured rear offside wheelarch finishers which has thus far claimed seven lives.

Giving the Scurv crowd a run for their money was a delightful showing from enthusiasts of the Aubrey Ulcer including a rare outing for the one-off 1347cc factory racer, better known as ‘The Chocolate Hostage’. The turnout of AUCC members was impressive, especially considering the club’s mailing list was lost when the police impounded Nigel’s computer.

Fans of the Denbie Dismal had a treat as over five cars were on display including an example of the rare Desperation special edition. DDOC members were treated to a fascinating presentation by club technical secretary Clive Swettee which including an ingenious new trick for replacing the rearmost spark plugs without first dismantling the engine, gearbox and seats. Clive warns that it’s not for the faint-hearted and is mostly the reason he recently lost an arm!

No classic car show would be complete without a strong showing from owners of the enduring Crosby Clit. This year the CCCUK and the CCCGB put their differences behind them to organise a charming display and, as a result, there was only one hospitalisation and just three arrests, one of which was unrelated to the violence.

Finally, owners of the wonderful Tribley Tomato gathered on Sunday morning to hold a minute’s silence to honour all those TTOC members who had passed away in the past year, which turned out to be all of them.

2014 Austrian GP preview

Posted in Columns by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, June 20th, 2014

Experienced F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1After too many years away, Formula 1 finally returns to Austria. Here in the paddock it feels like a homecoming for the sport that has known many local legends such as my old mate Niki Lauda, my chum Christian Klien or of course my close personal friend, Gerhard Berger. I’ve known Gerhard for years and I’ve always enjoyed the wonderful humour he most famously brought to bear on his relationship with the inimitable Ayrton Senna when the pair drove together at McLaren. I remember my old mate Ron Dennis once said to me, ‘Yes, that’s correct, they both drove for McLaren.’  I later asked Gerhard about this and he pretended not to understand the question. ‘You are blocking the door, please move,’ he joshed! Priceless.

Of course, some outside of the paddock have claimed that the legendary Red Bull Ring, previously the A1 Ring, wasn’t always known for thrilling racing so has anything changed? That’s the question I put to my old pal Dieter Mateschitz who I bumped into at a fabulous Red Bull party last night where the great and good of F1 partied into the wee small hours with gossip flowing as freely as a certain brand of energy drink! ‘I’m sorry, who are you?’ he quipped! Marvellous sense of humour.

I’m sure you’re wondering, who will take the flag here in Austria? I’m going to stick my neck out and say that the Mercedes are sure to be strong but the Red Bulls could give them a run for their money and you shouldn’t discount the Ferraris or ignore the ever-improving McLarens or Force India and Sauber, both of whom have the power surprise. Whatever happens, I’ll be enjoying a ringside seat for all the action. Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.

Yet more Ask a Total Prick From An Internet Forum

Posted in Columns by Total Prick From An Internet Forum on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

A keyboard warrior knobwallet answers your motoring queries 

TPFAIF_3Dear Total Prick From An Internet Forum,
I bought an Alfa MiTo three years ago and it’s been completely trouble free until last week when the gearbox failed without warning. Typically, it’s just out of warranty. Do you think I’ve got a case to ask Alfa for a contribution for replacing the ‘box?
Sam, Scarborough

Total Prick From An Internet Forum replies…
With the greatest of respect, you’re a bloody idiot. When does anything fail “without warning”. The warning was, you bought an Alfa. You know how many faults my Honda Civic Type-S has developed in the FOUR years I’ve owned it? None. I wonder why that is? Could it be because it’s a brilliant car and not Italian rubbish that, with respect, only a total moron would buy.

 

Dear Total Prick From An Internet Forum,
Whats you’re opinin on teh MGF. I been ofered a cheeap one for 400 quds. Good idaea for a sumer fnu car!?
Jay, Southend

Total Prick From An Internet Forum replies…
Welcome to the forum. No offence, but you sound like a complete twat. Is it the school holidays or something? If you can’t even get basic spelling and grammar right, you probably deserve a “400 qud” MGF. Personally, my “opinin” is I wouldn’t touch an old heap of British crap like “teh MGF” with your headwand, no matter how “cheeap” it is. There’s a reason I paid 50 times that for my Honda Civic Type-S. Because it’s more than 50 times better and gives me all the “sumer fnu” I need. Tell me, have you ever heard of a little thing called ‘spellcheck’. Try using it, idiot. No offence.

 

Dear Total Prick From An Internet Forum,
It’s Ric (HCTSman85) here. I think we met at the HCTS sub-forum meet in Bramley last week. Sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye. Lost track of time and had to chip off. Anyway, good to meet you buddy.
Ric, Farnham

Total Prick From An Internet Forum replies…
Hi HCTSman85!! Epic meet! Legendary banter! I know I won’t be able to look at cheese & onion crisps in the same way again!! ; ) Hey, listen, I never got your mobile number on the meet. Can you PM it to me? We’ve got to meet up again soon for more HCTS bants. Now wash your hands!! LOL!!!! Seriously, I’m free this week. Or next week. Just PM me! Please.

2014 Canadian GP preview

Posted in Columns by Trentham Sleaves on Friday, June 6th, 2014

Experienced F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race.

trenthamsleaves1You’re probably not good friends with world champion Jacques Villeneuve but if you were, and I am, you would recall with great fondness his unique accent and his marvellous sense of humour. I remember once in Belgium, for example, he told me to leave him alone and then actually punched me in the stomach! Hilarious! I was reminded of my pal the 1997 World Champ as I arrived here in Montreal because of course the circuit is named after his equally legendary father, Gilles, who I’m sure I would have enjoyed knowing and becoming friends with if he was still around. Sadly, I did not have that pleasure but I feel like I knew him well through his former team mate and my good friend Jody Scheckter. I remember Jody once said to me, ‘I hope you’re going to pay for that ice cream you little prick!’ Wonderful banter!

I had time to reflect on the wonderful Villeneuve legacy only last night as one of F1’s most prestigious sponsors organized a VIP party at a very exclusive restaurant in the city. I was unable to attend myself due a problem with receiving an invitation but instead gratefully took the opportunity to dine alone at the infamous Mimmo’s restaurant, a legendary motorsport watering hole in this town. I didn’t have the meatballs. Those within F1 will know what I’m talking about!

All eyes are of course on this weekend’s race and in particular the increasingly difficult relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Earlier this week I got to spend some time with Lewis who I have known for many years of course. He seemed relaxed and unfussed, even taking time to lark about by pretending he did not recognise me and asking if I was a competition winner before abruptly walking out of the Mercedes hospitality suite!

Can the boy from Stevenage win the race this Sunday? Well I wouldn’t bet against his team mate Nico Rosberg and nor could you completely discount Daniel Ricciardo or Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso or one of the Force Indias or perhaps even a Sauber. Whatever happens, rest assured I will be watching from the paddock. That’s because I’m here and you’re not.

Will Smith writes…

Posted in Columns by Will Smith on Thursday, June 5th, 2014

What ho fans!

WillSmith850iSWill Smith here! Bicka bicka bow bow bow and so on! You know, I’m often asked what my ‘ride’ is these days. You leave my wife out of it, I sometimes quip! No, but seriously, what am I driving these days? Well, as you may remember, on my 1998 smash hit, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It, I rapped that I had an ‘850iS if you need a lift’. What you might not realise is that, 16 years later, I still have that car! ! In fact, I drive it almost every day, professional and personal commitments permitting! That’s right, I’m no longer ‘the Man in Black’ but I am ‘the man in a Calypso Red 8-series with tan leather interior’. Bicka bow bow bump bump!

The truth is, I’ve had my dear old BMW for so long simply because I just can’t find a suitable replacement! Of course, keeping such a complex and technologically advanced car in tip-top condition isn’t easy but a good independent specialist is worth his weight in gold! That’s why I must give a mention, a ‘shout out’ if you will, to Brad at Hollywood German who always makes sure the old girl is running as sweetly as the day she was made! He really does know his way around all products from the blue-and-white propeller. Indeed, my 2005 hit song Switch was inspired by seeing him replacing a faulty transmission mode selector on a 1997 540i! Of course, Brad isn’t cheap. Many’s the time I’ve been on a movie set thinking, it’s a darned good job I’m being paid millions of dollars for this picture because I fear the old Calypso coupe is going to need a new cat-back exhaust! Unh, unh, unh, unh!

I’m afraid I do have a couple of confessions regarding my BMW and its immortalisation in song. First of all, although I referred to it as an ‘850iS’ there was no such model, something the chaps at the LA E31 Owners’ Club have never let me forget! Of course, I should have said ‘850Ci’ but I was damned if I could get the correct badging to scan in the song! Secondly, you may recall the next line of the track says ‘Who’s the kid in the drop / Who else? Will Smith’. Well you won’t need me to tell you that’s just artistic licence as BMW never made a drop-top version of the 8-series, more’s the pity. What’s interesting is that BMW did build prototypes of such a variant, an example of which remains in storage at their Munich headquarters, but they never put it into production! I’ve written about this extensively on my 8-series blog, Gettin’ 850 Wit’ It. Which, I should add, actually covers all 8-series variants including the V8-engined 840 models! At the risk of sounding immodest, it’s a ‘must read’ for all 8-series fans! Mama-uh, mama-uh!

Anyway, I must be off now. I’m popping to the shops to buy some ‘sneakers’. How will I be getting there? As if you need to ask!

All the best,

Will Smith

 

Due to an error, this column was written by the wrong Will Smith