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The debate over speeding motorists has been stoked this week by news that TV satirist Chris Morris is to cover this sensitive subject in a Brass Eye special. Although a broadcast date has yet to be agreed, the Home Office has already reacted angrily. "Channel Four are being blatantly irresponsible," said junior minister Rudyard Anglepoise, "Speeding is not a suitable subject matter for this kind of so-called 'comedy' and Mr Morris is undermining our efforts to eliminate it. He should stick to lampooning less serious matters such as gang rape, child abuse and fiddling with farm animals". Mr Anglepoise denied allegations that continually picking on motorists at the potential expense of other crime fighting is a complete waste of everyone's fucking time. "Speeding is a disgusting blight and the government will not rest until it has been eradicated" concluded the junior minister, who is a habitual heroin user and regularly visits underage prostitutes. The twat.


Issue 1
3 August 2001

A police marksman prepares to shoot at someone doing 63mph on a dual carriageway yesterday
With dozens of on-board computers and a 42-volt electrical system, BMW's new 7-series is one of the cleverest cars around. So clever in fact that it has developed cognitive reasoning and the ability to consider its own destiny. "We first realised how clever this car was during early testing," says an anonymous engineer who worked on the project, "an air-con calibration car became paranoid about spy photographers and refused to leave the garage until we had fitted it with 'some sort of hat'". The development team was even more alarmed when two powertrain assessment cars started to grow opposable thumbs and a crash test car was heard to shout "Owww" during a low speed impact simulation. Most disturbing of all, an electronics verification vehicle responded to anyone who failed to follow road directions from the satellite navigation by sticking its virtual tongue into its chin and going "MNNNNNUUURRR" in a sarcastic way. We rang BMW in Munich for further comment but Sniff Petrol isn't very good at German and we accidentally asked them for directions to the station instead. "It's just around the corner," a spokesperson said. "Opposite the town hall," they added, mysteriously.
BMW's new 7-series:


Formula 1 ace Michael Schumacher has stunned linguists by buying the phrase 'to be honest' at a closed auction last week. The German racer picked up the phrase for an undisclosed sum, believed to be somewhere around �500,000, having already used it several million times in conversation. "Michael loves saying 'to be honest'," said a Schumacher spokesman after the auction, "so it was only natural that he made it his own. He tries to say it at least once during every interview because his English teacher said it makes him sound open and straightforward, rather than like a scary, bionic uber-human." Scholars of English language are less impressed; "I'm not entirely sure that one person can own some words," noted Professor Mandible Fungicide of Durham University. "Furthermore, the use of this phrase might be taken to imply that everything he's said prior to that moment is a lie," the professor continued, "although I must admit, he's peerless in the wet."

Schumacher: can't get his arms into the car again
The BBC has announced that Top Gear is to be taken off air for a "thorough overhaul". Essentially that means it's completely fuckered and you'll have more chance of seeing the Mary Rose re-launched next year. To mark the death of Britain's favourite way to waste half an hour on a Thursday night, Sniff Petrol looks back at the history of BBC2's motoring flagship.
Goffey's zany style was perfectly balanced by the more urbane approach of another new presenter; William Woollard. With his alarmingly swooping hairstyle and raffish taste in anoraks, Woollard enthralled audiences with his unique ability to walk towards the camera whilst talking and waving his hands about a bit. Sometimes he would even rest one foot on a car bumper giving him the appearance of a particularly learned C&A model. Little wonder that producers credited Woollard for attracting a new female audience to the Top Gear fold.

Despite the on-screen magic of the Goffey/Woollard 'dream team', by the end of the 1980s Top Gear was becoming stale and the ratings dropped dramatically. Fortunately salvation was just around the corner in the shape of a man who changed Top Gear and motoring journalism forever; Tony Mason. Although medically a midget with a head worn almost smooth from wearing too many flat caps, Mason gripped audiences as never before. Top Gear ratings rocketed as even people with little interest in cars tuned in to see what the genial dwarf would get up to next. Mason's ability to deliver every line like an insanely grinning idiot, even if he was reporting on a fatal rallying accident, re-defined Top Gear and entranced the nation. Anyone who watched the programme during the 1990s will remember at least one legendary Mason moment, probably that bloody outtake of the perma-smiling loon getting hit by a snowball which always crops up on Auntie's Bloomers.
Woollard: swooping
Top Gear first hit our screens back 1978, presented by professional nob Noel Edmonds and glamorous Angela Rippon who was drafted in at short notice after Margaret Thatcher pulled out due to prior commitments. The programme quickly established its own inimitable style based around tedious features about safety and describing every new car as 'quite good' even if the car in question was the Austin Ambassador. Unable to take the pace, Edmonds and Rippon soon fell by the wayside and were replaced by a series of charismatic and irreverent presenters including notorious party animal Chris Goffey. Goffey was originally hired to fulfil a contemporary BBC rule which stipulated that all magazine programmes must feature at least one man with a beard. However, he soon made Top Gear his own and his damning indictments of new cars, including the now legendary criticism of the Fiat Tipo's bonnet release catch positioning, earned him a fearsome reputation for honesty.

Sadly the good times couldn't last and in 1999 Mason announced his departure from Top Gear by getting sacked. The resignations of other supporting presenters, including Quinton Wellson and someone called Jeremy Clarkson, followed soon after. Today the future of the programme hangs in the balance, despite assurances from people with trendy glasses in Television Centre that everything is going to be just fine. In the meantime the BBC has declined to renew the contracts of today's knowledgeable and popular presenters, choosing instead to hang onto Jason Barlow. The future looks for Britain's erstwhile favourite motoring programme looks grim and that's very sad - even though the current series is rubbish. Goodnight Top Gear, and drive safely.
Top Gear: shagged
Mason: small
No. 1: Volkswagen Beetle (1945-present)

Insect-like pet project of one Adolf Hitler, ironically adopted by peace-loving, non-conformists during 1960s/70s. Strange conceit that this ancient, uncomfortable Nazi staff car was somehow "alternative", conveniently forgot that it was also "shit". Rear mounted engine made a distinctive noise, like a barrel of heavy duty nails being kicked around a warehouse. And imagine being inside one of those. Let's face it; the Beetle is pure, undiluted rubbish.

� 2001. Sniff Petrol every other Friday

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In this issue:

Clever 7

Schuey buys phrase


VW Beetle retrospective