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BMW DESIGNER IS EVIL MERCEDES ROBOT CLAIMS INSIDER
The German car industry has been rocked this week by claims that BMW's design director is actually controlled by Mercedes-Benz.
An anonymous insider at Merc's Stuttgart HQ alleges that Chris Bangle, head of BMW styling for the last seven years, is actually a sophisticated robot intent on slowly destroying the company. "Zis started as a harmless project by ze R&D department," claims the informant who we've given a ludicrous German accent to make him seem more sinister, "But ven ze board discovered it zey hatched an interesting plan. Ve vould send ze robot for a job in ze BMW design studio, just to see vot vould happen. Little did ve sink he would be made design director."
The three-pointed snitch insists that this scheme was just an innocent prank; "I mean, ve made him look like such a clich�d designer. Ze stupid glasses, ze inadvisable facial hair, ze ability to talk complete bollocks about his company's designs and instinctively slag off all uzzer designer's verk; it vas too obvious but zey fell for it!" It was at this stage that the Mercedes management realised the evil potential for their new creation. "Ve haf long admired BMW's design integrity. So ve decided to see if it could be ruined," says the Teutonic tell-tale, "Ve verr careful at first but no one seemed to notice so ve decided to try a bigger experiment on a show car. Ze result vas ze Z9. It vas completely shit and no one complained. Ven we tried again ve got ze ridiculous X-coup�. Zen ve knew our plan vould verk. Even ve verr amazed ven ve saw ze new Compact. It vas completely rubbish yet no von qvestioned ze stupid little headlights or stumpy proportions. Ve even uploaded a picture of ze Lexus IS200 to see if zey would notice ven W290 [Mercedes codename for the robot] stole ze design for ze rear lights. It is good for zem zat zis car is bought by vankers uzzervise zey vould not sell any."
However, Merc's evil plan doesn't stop there according to the Daimler-Benz double crosser; "If you sink ze new 7-series is a big heap of cack, vait 'till you see vot ve haf done to ze next 5-series. Ve vill bring zem to zere KNEES! HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAA�"
Fears are growing that Bangle may be not the only terrifying super robot in the car industry. At the Frankfurt Motor Show a senior Ford director was seen squirting WD-40 into Wolfgang Reizle's elbows.
911 DESIGNER'S MUM: STOP FIDDLING, YOU'LL MAKE IT WORSE
The designer of the current Porsche 911, Harm Annimals, has been sulking in his room this week after a sensational scalding from his mother. Frau Annimals was forced to clip him round the ear after the latest face-lift of the Porsche supercar.
"I told her that the 911's design development has been a gradual evolution, not a revolution. The shape has evolved, not, err, revolved", sobbed Harm from behind his bedroom door. "We've been very careful to take the pure lines of the original 911 and very subtley make them more ugly with each new generation. The latest 996 facelift continues that successful philosophy. We make a bumper bigger here, a headlamp more blobby there; it would have been too easy to make the car totally hideous in one fell swoop".
His mum is less impressed. "It has got too much," she said, "The trouble is he never knows when to stop. I told him to stop fiddling with the design, he'd only make it worse but would he listen? Of course not. So I sent him to his room without any tea, and he hasn't come out since. People feel sorry for him but they forget it's ME who has to clear up all the crayons and paints off the kitchen table. He's made a right mess".
911: designer sitting grumpily in his bedroom, probably listening to OK Computer or something
VAUXHALL GO FOR PINK POUND
Vauxhall's reputation as creator of the lamest car advertising in the entire world is about to undergo a radical shake up. Sources say Tedious, Tedious & Clueless, the company's advertising agency, are preparing a radical new campaign aimed at gay motorists.
The first evidence of this brave initiative will be a print advert for the new five door version of the Corsa with the headline 'Get in the backdoor'. This will be followed by another ad for the sporting VX220 bearing the slogan 'Ever wanted a good, hard ride?'.
However, the pink pound campaign will really hit its stride with a lavish billboard poster campaign for the Luton-based manufacturer's mid-range model carrying the cheeky tag line, 'Everyone wants a piece of my Astra'.
Insiders were unable to confirm that a further series of advertisements featuring lame puns based around 'big ends' and 'greased nipples' were planned but they did hint that the entire range might be marketed under the slogan 'A right load of cock'.
Oooo, get you.
One of Vauxhall's new ads
STEVE CRAPLEY'S MOTORING WEAK
Lucky enough to kick the tyres of Ferrari's new 250mph supercar today. Couldn't wait to tell a really famous designer chum of mine about it. You've probably never heard of him. I was glad to report that, contrary to popular belief, Ferrari hospitality is alive and well, thanks in no small part to a lovely pasta and quite exquisite souffl�. Bit of a scoop on the design details too; all I'm going to say is "red". You read it here first.
Drove my Smart into town for the weekly food-shop. Find it very useful for towing trolleys round supermarket aisles. Reminded me of the pre-war practice of delivering car parts to factories via trains. It's the other way round these days. Reminded me of how times have changed.
Looked forward to Sunday roast. Reminded me of last Sunday's roast, when I had lots of sticky buns for pudding. Yummy.
Drove the new baby Aston today, a car I'm sure you're all keen to learn about. Reminded me of an encounter with Mr Martin himself. It was a luncheon engagement, with 4 hearty courses, a good bottle of wine and plenty of rolls. He kindly picked up the tab. A lovely man, sadly missed.
PALMER RACE SCHOOL CONFUSION
Hundreds of racing school pupils have been left fuming after a name-based confusion loosely based around things from the 1980s. The disgruntled race rookies all paid for up to a week's driving tuition from high-voiced 80s F1 driver Jonathan Palmer. However, due to some blithering idiocy they found themselves being instructed by smooth-voiced 80s pop singer Robert Palmer.
"I was furious," claims some bloke, "instead of being taught about car control, braking points and racing lines I spent a week learning bland soul songs and mincing about in a suit whilst some excessively made up woman pretended to play musical instruments behind me".
Another duped dimwit adds, "At one point they said we were going to do something with 'The Power Station' which I assumed was the name for a series of bends. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that what it actually meant was joining two thirds of Duran Duran to perform songs which even Simon Le Bon had deemed too cack to bother with."
A spokesman for Robert Palmer Racing was unrepentant; "Many people have been very happy with our courses. In fact, you could say they've become Addicted to Love-ing them", he said. "I might add that these courses are Simply Irresistable�" he continued, before we put the phone down on him.
Rookies at the Palmer racing school slowly start to realise their error
No. 3: TRIUMPH STAG (1970-77)
Look at it. Go on, look properly. Isn't that one of the best looking cars of the 1970s? Or perhaps ever? So how in the name of steam powered buggery did they mess it up so badly? The Stag had it all: great looks, decent dynamics and a groovy V8 rumble. But it was the WRONG V8. Picture it: Rover engineers hear that their new colleagues from Triumph are coming to visit so they quickly hide their stash of the superb, Buick-designed V8 they've been running for a few years. No V8s here, think the Canley boys, and rush back
to Coventry to design their own big engine. But, having taken about 5 minutes over the job, it's the most rubbish engine in the entire world. Excited to hear that the engine won't work for more than about 200 miles, the production engineers set to ensuring that the rest of the car was equally shonky, thus putting pay to what should have been a true world beater. If you ever see a Stag advertised in 'as new condition' run away screaming. It means it's an unreliable crock of rapidly rotting rubbish. And it could have been so, so good.
Stag: great car, shite quality
� 2001. Sniff Petrol every fortnight. Next issue 12 October
This issue, ta:
Jim Wood, The Charlatans, M&S Mini Jaffa Cakes