Archive for the ‘From the archives’ Category

Ex-Brunei car comes up for sale

Posted in From the archives, News by Sniff Petrol on Monday, June 5th, 2017

The Sultan of Brunei, yesterday

The Sultan of Brunei, yesterday

Cars once owned by the Sultan of Brunei are always highly sought after and a new acquisition by Titkettle Cars of Writhing in Agony is sure to be no exception. The vehicle in question is a 2003 Vauxhall Omega GLS with the desirable 2.2-litre engine and was thought to be driven not by the Sultan himself but by his cousin, Prince Ken.

‘As you’d expect, The Sultan and Prince Ken specced every luxury on this extraordinary motor car,’ says Titkettle Cars proprietor, Kit Titkettle. ‘This includes sumptuous grey cloth seats, a manually operated gearbox and electrically retractable windows front and rear.’

‘However, you won’t be surprised to learn that this stunning vehicle also comes with a host of features unlikely to be found on any other 2003 Vauxhall Omega GLS,’ Mr Titkittle continues. ‘These include a considerable quantity of cigarette ash in the carpets, a rare 1997 edition of the A-Z of Cardiff in the glovebox and a cassette tape which, having examined the markings on the outside, we believe to be nothing less than the very best of Chris Rea.’

‘We understand this car was used not in Brunei itself but was retained for use at Prince Ken’s private residence in Tilehurst, just outside Reading,’ Mr Titkettle explains. ‘And, as befits a car of this provenance, I’m looking for offers in the region of 8.5 hundred pounds.’

70 years of the driving test

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Crash032005 marks the 70th anniversary of the British driving test. To celebrate this occasion, Sniff Petrol asked you to send us your amusing driving test stories.

“Having failed my driving test once, you can imagine my discomfort when I went to take my test for the second time and the examiner recognised me as the man who had accidentally killed his wife! Imagine my surprise when he told me I had passed!” Strom Knaaa, Rotsmock

“When I went to take my driving test I was sure the examiner would fail me. I had forgotten my provisional licence, I couldn’t reach the pedals and I wasn’t wearing clothes. Also, I am a springer spaniel. Imagine my surprise when he told me I had passed!” Sophie, Chchchchangester 

“During my driving test I deliberately drove into the sea. My examiner took it all in good spirits, even when I punched him in the face for no reason. Nonetheless, I was sure I had failed. Imagine my surprise when he told me I had passed!”Amstrad Popfrig, Leezmm

“I was so embarrassed when I went to take my driving test and realised that I had forgotten to bring a car! I had to carry on as if nothing was wrong but I was sure he was notice something was afoot. Imagine my surprise when he told me I had passed!” Lazlo Pamphap, Ppnging

“During my driving test I completely misheard my examiner and instead of performing an emergency stop, I smashed a gypsy in the face with a desk fan! Imagine my surprise when he told me I had passed!” Daffturd Smee, Leslie 

This story was originally published in June 2005

Longbridge redevelopment plans revealed

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Thursday, August 21st, 2014

How one of the rides might look in the future, yesterday

How one of the rides might look in the future, yesterday

As MG Rover’s new owners continue to stuff as many things as they can into their trousers and then sneak back to China, Sniff Petrol has unearthed a remarkable plan to rejuvenate the Longbridge area with an innovative amusement park. To be called British LeyLand, the new park will be sited on part of the former Longbridge factory and will offer a range of unique rides and attractions themed around the history of the local motor industry.

“This really will be a unique entertainment experience,” said a spokesman for the park’s developers. “It will be focussed very much around kids which is why one of our slogans will be ‘Make your daughter feel like a Princess’. In other words, flaky, slow and inclined to poke her arse in the air when parked on a hill”.

Spies tell us that specific British LeyLand attractions will include the dangerously understeering Marina Rollercoaster, the terrifyingly rusty Austin 1100 Pedalos and an amusement arcade featuring the ever-popular Michael Edwards’ Break The Strike game. Parents won’t be forgotten either, with a unique MG Rover relaxation tent in which Peter Stevens and his team will attempt to give you a facelift for £3.50.

“We really are promising a Maxi-mum experience,” said a spokesman. “By which I mean the park will be spacious, ugly and impossible to get into reverse.”

British LeyLand is expected to open around the same time that car production resumes at Longbridge. So basically, never.

This story was originally published in September 2005

Prost caught in temporal twat-up

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Prost gives it large to Acid House music, which he believes to be a relatively new phenomenon

Prost gives it large to Acid House music, which he believes to be a relatively new phenomenon

News that Alain Prost has been sighted at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track has confirmed what many motorsport experts have feared for some time – the former world champion is stuck in a time warp.

“The Italians are claiming Prost was there to test the Maserati MC12 GT,” said Maurice Ital of Every Other Sunday magazine. “But it seems pretty clear to me they’re covering up. Prost wasn’t invited there at all. For him this was just another day at work. Unfortunately, he still thinks his ‘work’ is as a driver for the Ferrari F1 team.”

An anonymous Ferrari source was quick to confirm these remarkable allegations. “Alain has been turning up here on a regular basis,” he confirmed. “He often jumps out of his Fiat Tipo enthusing about the Stone Roses or talking about how difficult it must be to merge East and West Germany. It seems pretty clear, he’s become trapped in 1990. I mean, God, just look at his hairstyle.”

In fact, experts say it may be that very hairstyle that is causing the ex-champ’s unusual confusion: “Alain Prost has exceptionally curly hair,” noted Pne Flemby, Head of Mentalist Studies at St. Elmosfire College, Stoke. “It may have put excess pressure on his brain, causing him to lose that last 14 years. Or something.”

Whatever the explanation, our Italian mole says the situation in Modena is only getting worse. “No one has the guts to tell him what year it is,” he confessed. “It’s difficult enough hiding all the extra trophies, never mind pretending there are only two Lethal Weapon films.”

This story was originally published in May 2004

New Discovery in wrong doors fiasco

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

New Discovery: Note missing door groove problem situation

New Discovery: Note missing door groove problem situation

There was panic at Land Rover last night as it emerged that the new Discovery could be delayed because it has been fitted with the wrong doors.

‘Oh God, what are we going to do?’ wailed one anonymous engineer. ‘The doors don’t match at all. I think they must be off a different car.’ According to a bloke we spoke to, the problem stems from the deep groove which runs along the front and rear wings, in stark contrast to the doors which are completely smooth. ‘We used a lot of black tape to disguise Discovery prototypes,’ explained one slightly less anonymous engineer. ‘So when we first peeled it off we initially thought the missing groove must have just come off and be stuck to the sticky side of the tape. But it wasn’t there. I think we’ve somehow ordered the wrong sort of doors.’

Due to the complicated way the car industry works, doors must be ordered long before a model goes on sale and there is plenty of scope for errors. In this instance experts believe Land Rover simply forgot to tick the box marked ‘groove’ on their special door order form. This is in marked contrast to former sister company Rover’s experience with the original 800 where some clot ticked the groove order box far too many times.

‘It’s not uncommon for a groove to be lost,’ noted Dr Upe Geoffpex, Head of Stuff at St Gobain College. ‘For example, the Artist Now Known As Prince Again lost his groove some time in the late 1990s and, judging from his pedestrian new single, he still hasn’t got it back.’

This story was originally published in April 2004

New Volvo S40 27 percent more pleasant

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Monday, August 18th, 2014

Pleasence: Pleasant

Pleasence: Pleasant

Volvo’s brand new S40 has already attracted praise for its unusually compact five cylinder engines, sophisticated multi-link rear suspension and something described as a ‘floating centre console’ which presumably means you’d better keep the windows shut. However, Volvo’s engineers are said to be especially proud to have achieved a remarkable 27 percent increase in pleasantness, compared to the previous S40.

‘Along with safety and nice seats and headlights you can’t turn off, being pleasant is a key Volvo quality,’ claimed S40 project leader Bjorn Ulvaeus (out of Abba). ‘We’re very proud of this pleasant increase. The S40’s pleasantness performance is now as good as the larger S80.’

Sources say that this impressive level of just, you know, somehow being quite nice was achieved thanks to careful development work. ‘That’s right,’ agreed Ulvaeus (out of Abba). ‘To inspire the project team we decorated the main design offices with pictures of Thora Hird and the bloke who does the voice of Wallace & Gromit whilst key members of the team spent time drinking nice cups of tea and listening to Travis CDs. Mmm, that’s good pleasantness.’

Of course, not everything from Sweden is so pleasant. A Sunday afternoon spent in a branch of IKEA, for example, has been scientifically proven to be slightly less pleasant than having a park bench welded to your eyelids and then being thrown into the sea.

This story was originally published in November 2003

‘Yes we have no prices’ admits Citroen

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Friday, August 15th, 2014

Some Citroen advertising, yesterday

Some Citroen advertising, yesterday

In a shock move this week Citroen has been forced to admit that its cars actually have no prices at all.

The surprise announcement came after a customer tried to buy a special edition Saxo Plastique (Cashback £4995) and asked their dealer for a price list. Red faced Double Chevron officials finally conceded that nobody had tried to pay full whack for a Citroen in living memory. “Our policy has been to just try and flog as many as possible and bugger the second hand values,” said a Citroen UK spokesman. “And at these prices you can just throw them away and start again.”

Citroen cashback offers have now been running for seventeen years, which is quite a long time according to experts. “We haven’t printed any new lists for a good while now,” our spokesman confessed. “Somebody found one for an Ami 8 behind a filing cabinet, but we don’t sell that anymore do we?”

Citroen insists it will soon be back as a prestige name and will stop throwing cash back at customers like “quite expensive confetti”. Failing that, spies say the company may simply adopt a barter-based system under which buyers could, for example, offer a horse, two mountain bikes, a first born child and a really nice watch in return for a C5 2.2 Hdi Exclusive SE estate.

This story was originally published in April 2002

Dr Ferdinand Piech retires

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Dr Piech, yesterday

Dr Piech, yesterday

On 16 April Dr Ferdinand Piech celebrated his 65th birthday and his official retirement from head of the Volkswagen Group. We take a look back at some of the highlights of his career.

– Contrary to popular belief Dr Piech was not born into the Porsche family. He won his family history in a Lower Saxony cow punching contest organised by the sports car maker to distract critics from their embarrassing involvement with the Nazi party.

– Piech cites the Porsche 917 race car as one of his finest achievements, except for one detail: ‘The glovebox action was inadequately damped’ quipped the former engineer.

– Since 1964 Dr Piech has claimed that he can ‘smell’ colours

– Piech had a unique way of dealing with troublesome managers. ‘I simply arranged to have them killed,’ quipped the slapheaded autocrat.

– In 1977 Piech became European Face Wrestling champion after beating Alan Hansen in the final.

– Unlike soup loving fellow engineering loon Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Piech is not a big fan of ox tail soup: ‘I don’t like the bits in it’ quipped the former Audi boss.

– In his last years at VAG Dr Piech had every single internal door in the Volkswagen head office redesigned at a cost of over 40 million Deutchmarks to ensure class leading shutlines. The completely pointless move was prompted by a rumour that BMW’s Munich HQ boasted class leading 3mm internal door tolerances.

– Dr Piech’s legs are made of aluminium. ‘It makes me 17% more efficient climbing stairs,’ quipped the now-retired mentalist.

– On his last day at VAG Dr Piech was presented with a specially constructed vehicle, built by VW engineers using a Golf chassis and the latest 150bhp diesel engine. The vehicle was built to Piech’s own plans and is codenamed the ‘Death Machine TDI PD 150 SE’. Before leaving Wolfsburg for the last time Piech screamed ‘I WILL RETURN! MWAAA-HA-HA-HAAAAAA!’.


This story was originally published in April 2002

Volkswagen in Bez-based fiasco

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Dr Bez surprises engineers by insisting that the anti-roll bar be a 'loose fit'

Dr Bez surprises engineers by insisting that the anti-roll bar be a ‘loose fit’

There were red faces at Volkswagen this week after another attempt to improve their consistently mediocre chassis tuning went hilariously wrong. Sources say VW bosses intended to hire respected ex-BMW and Porsche boffin Dr Ulrich Bez, now head of Aston Martin, to inject some much-needed spirit into their upcoming models. However, due to an amusing mix up the German giant actually ended up employing Bez, the dancing goon out of the Happy Mondays.

“We were a bit surprised when he turned up to a design parameters meeting for the next Passat wagon,” said one anonymous engineer. “Whilst we attempted to define the self levelling rear suspension requirements he insisted on freaky dancing around the studio shaking his maracas.”

Wolfsburg spies say worse was to come at a review session for the next generation Golf: “We attempted to show ‘Dr’ Bez the computer models for the new independent rear suspension,” explained our source, “but he just danced around the CAD/CAM units and claimed the design was ‘twisting his melon’. Now the workstation digital input pad has got sweat all over it.”

However, it’s not all bad news for collegues of the hollow cheeked groove monster: “He’s very generous with his little sweets,” noted one senior engineer, before adding, “I love this company. I love you. Do you want a swig of my water, friend?”

This is not the first time a large German car maker has suffered a music-related mix-up. Several years ago BMW’s attempts to lure Chris Bangle from Fiat were almost derailed after they inadvertently made a generous salary offer to 1980s all-girl pop foursome, The Bangles. “Yes, that was a close one,” agreed a company source. “But the deal was off when we discovered that they had a stupid habit of doing nothing from Tuesday through Friday and then had to finish all their projects in a mad rush at the start of the next week. And then had the audacity to complain about it via the medium of song. Mind you,” our Munich mole added, “perhaps they would have made a better job of the new 7-series.”


This story was originally published in April 2002

Stop press! Reitzle explodes!

Posted in From the archives by Sniff Petrol on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Wolfgang Reitzle, yesterday

Wolfgang Reitzle, yesterday

The car industry has been shocked by the news today (19 April) that Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, head of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, has exploded.

Sources say the announcement made today (Friday) was as much a total shock to PAG insiders as to those outside the organisation, even though they’re ‘glad to see the back’ of ‘the old nutcase’. Reitzle is believed to have formally exploded earlier this week but management withheld the news until today (today) to give them time to clear up the mess.

Dr Reitzle enjoyed a long and successful career, primarily at BMW where he was responsible for the dynamic excellence of cars such as the E36 3-series and also for the decision to revamp the canteen with a range of soups. He was also instrumental in BMW’s scheme to completely bugger up Rover and then write it off against tax.

Ford were delighted when, in 1999, the six times winner of Precision Moustache Wearer of the Year agreed to head up their prestige arm which encompasses many famous brands including Jaguar, Volvo, Campbell’s Concentrated Soup, Aston Martin, Lincoln, Heinz Big Soup, Land Rover and Cup-a-Soup. The reasons behind Dr Reitzle’s explosion are, as yet, unclear, but insiders suggest it may have something to do with soup.

ERRATUM: Due to problems with our complex spell checking system it seems that the word ‘exploded’ has appeared in the article above. We now accept that this should have read ‘resigned’.

This story was originally published in April 2002