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Yes! Sniff Petrol has reached its ninth, yes ninth!, edition. Younger readers may not realise that we've been around since as far back as the balmy summer days of August 2001. But we have! And it's thanks to you, the loyal reading public, who have propelled us from CarWeek-style 'that'll-never-last' to Auto Express-like 'god-I-wish-it'd-go-away'.
To celebrate, we're giving all of you a special binder to keep each edition of Sniff Petrol safe, dry and free from stains. If your binder is not attached to the front of this page, please see a newsagent.
To celebrate this milestone, we've looked back at some of the key events over the past 18 and a bit weeks.
Here's to the next nine issues!


Revised Clio 172 crowned 'hot hatch king'
* MG Rover unveils plans for 48 new models
* Ford announces the exciting Focus RS will be launched "in the next couple of years or so. Probably."
* The average speed through central London drops so much it goes into negative figures. Using something about 'two minuses make a plus' that he remembered from O-level maths, Mayor Ken Livingstone immediately orders all traffic to enter the city in reverse. "That ought to do it" he mewed.

Early reports suggest the Honda Civic Type-R will be the new 'hot hatch champion'
* MG Rover says it is busy developing another 24 new models, some of which will be "really fast".
* Ferdinand Piech announces his successor will be Bernard Pisshstrider. Controversy ripples through Wolfsburg as VW managers struggle to find someone who can spell the new Chairman's name. "Don't look at me," an embarrassed Pschitstrangler muttered, "Hang on, I'll ring my dad�"
* The Focus RS is delayed by "a few months or so"
A small French car
Unspellable (left)
* The Honda Civic Type-R is officially named 'the best hot hatch in the world'
* MG Rover says it is "thinking really hard" about some exciting, faster derivatives of some interesting new models, which it is already intending to use as the basis of some fascinating new performance models.
* Stung by repeated accusations that its cars are 'dull', 'pedestrian' and 'shit', GM hires Bob Lutz. "I was in the war you know," the 97-year-old cigar smoker declared, eating some lemon curd.
* Scientists now say there is "almost no" evidence that the Focus RS even exists.

Quite old (right)
* The Clio 172 and Civic Type-R are jointly declared 'over-rated and over-powered tinny little piss pots' by drivers of proper sports cars.
* MG Rover admits that, at current factory capacity, it may only be able to produce "two or three" of each proposed new model per year.
* Peugeot officially gives away the nicest pens and knows some really good restaurants, according to Car of the Year judges.
* Internet chatrooms are buzzing with debates about the existence of the Focus RS. Some claim the US Government has captured one and is holding it at a secret location in the desert. A man who claims to have ridden in one is sectioned under the mental health act. A Ford spokesman laughed nervously and changed the subject.

"A free yacht? Ace!
Can I keep the woman
and the dog too?"

Watch out Channel 5! The real Top Gear is coming to Sniff Petrol! We're proud to announce that the real team behind TG's one-time success is coming right here to Britain's favourite badly made, orange-coloured website. Once we heard that the BBC was procrastinating over the programme's future we moved fast to snap up bearded comedy genius Chris Goffey and smooth, swoopy haired William Woollard for our team. Both have said they'll "think about it." No such chin stroking for Sue Baker, however. "Orange isn't really my colour" she said.

Meanwhile, the BBC has really cocked things up, writes our media correspondent Naylor Taylor-Taylor. It all went wrong when Escape Route, the headwoman of BBC2, took a look at the ratings-busting viewing figures of Top Gear and decided cars were rubbish. She immediately told her people to take the programme outside and burn it, then have all the staff killed with guns. But before they could get all the requisite departmental and directorate heads to provide the signatures for such a draconian move, a bidding war had broken out.
In the crossfire of confusion Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson and Adrian Simpson were duped into signing up for something called Channel Jive, which they believed to be a lucrative booking as a caberet dance act on the Dover-Le Havre ferry route. Meanwhile Quentin Willson was led to think he would be the new face of Chanel No.5 perfume. Imagine their surprise when they learnt that they'd actually been bought by Channel 5, and that that was a TV station.
The BBC was fast to retaliate. "Erm, we didn't mean Top Gear would be
axed," a spokespeaker said, "we meant, er�maxed. Yes that's it, maxed, with lots of body kit and enormous speakers".
Meanwhile, a Channel 5 source spoke thusly: "We've truly overtaken that other car, the BMW 2-series, if you will, in our BMW 5-series, if you like." But the stinky motoring analogies didn't end there. "It's goodbye to the 'Top Gear' because we've come up with something radically different: '5
th Gear'. That's because this new series will be a relaxed cruise through the world of cars, like a fifth gear. And it'll be economical too. Although it's also going to be like the overtaking gear on a 6 speed gear-box, because we're dynamic and moving forward�"
In the meantime, the BBC announced it intended to give Channel 5 a taste of it's own medicine, by broadcasting lots of fuzzy programmes with Suggs in them.
A ferry (above) and some perfume (below)
There were red faces in Stuttgart this week after Porsche officials realised they'd been sold a dummy by their own owners club. "A couple of years ago we sent out a questionnaire asking what existing owners would like to see from Porsche in the future," said an anonymous source (pictured, right), "When we saw the results we were surprised to find everyone wanted a large 4x4. So we decided to make one. Now it turns out they were taking the piss."
"That's right," confirmed Rasping Cough, President of the Porsche Club UK, "we liased with our European compadres to play a little prank. We decided to ask for the most ridiculous, un-Porsche thing in the world. We didn't realise they'd actually do it, the clots."
"Gott in Himmel," said our Porsche source (in German), "What are we going to do? We've spent a fortune on this and now we are going to look like silly twats."
"Ha ha ha ha," laughed Francois Framboise of Le Renault Club De Europe, "We ourselves played a similar trick a few years ago. We asked for a stupid, jacked up, four-wheel drive version of the Scenic, covered in ugly and disjointed plastic panels. The kind of thing no one in their right mind would buy. But at least Renault didn't actually make it! Oh, hang on, they did. Merde!"

The jubilant opening ceremony of Rally GB was marred last night by the startling revelation that every single result ever from the World Rally Championship has been withheld from teams and competitors since its inception.
"We've all been under the impression that the Championship was one big driving holiday, you know, like those fly-drive trips you see on
Wish You Were Here", Mack McFlurry, Mitsubishi Ralliart's Team Director said. "We had no idea it was supposed to be a competition, where you have to beat people".
This astounding news might explain some of the WRC teams' more recent decisions. "We'd never have let Tommi leave the team for a major rival like Subaru if we'd known he'd won all those championships," McFlurry continued, "I mean, it would have played into our competitors hands and frankly been daft."
Sniff Petrol caught up with Richard Burns to ask why on earth he's swapping the Impreza WRX for a little silver Peugeot next year. "What are you talking about, Driver's Crown?", exclaimed Burnsie, as he's called by people who don't know him. "Of course I wouldn't be leaving the team if I knew that. God, I feel really stupid."
To see just how far reaching this fiasco was, we approached Colin McRae who agreed to give his most expansive and in-depth interview ever. "Huh," the gloomy millionaire grunted.
Buying a set of wheels can be a difficult experience. Me, I've been in the East London motor trade for twenty years so I know what I'm talking about, okay? Let me talk you through a typical situation from my used car lot and explain some of the typical dealer's slang. By following my lead, you'll soon be talking like a true Peter. Peter Wheeler? Dealer? Geddit? Okay, here we go:

The other day this fridge (fridge freezer: geezer) turns up on my forecourt driving an old S Club (S Club 7: Porsche 911). I recognised the sound of the Brian (Brian Rix: flat six) straightaway and thought, '''Ere we go. Someone with sausage (sausage & mash: cash) to spend. Turns out he's looking for a floating (floating voter: motor) for his lovand (love & kisses: misses). He's looked at a load of Freddies (Freddy & The Dreamers: Beemers) which she don't like. So double quick I shows him this lovely Kathy (Kathy Burke: Merc) I've got out front. Well he don't like it 'cos it's got a terry (Terry Waite: V8) and he reckons it'll be too Keith (Keith Chegwin: thirsty). He's looking for a blue (Blue Peter: two litre). Says the bubble (bubble bath: other 'arf) likes cars that are on the bench (French) so I shows him this Citroen grant (Grant & Anthea: Xantia), you know, the one with the hydraulic sexual (sexual tension: suspension) which goes up and down when you turn the paul (Paul Daniels: little knob). Well, the rachel (Rachel Hunter: punter) loves it. Me, I can't believe he's driving about in a fackin' uPVC (uPVC porch: Porsche) and I'm gonna sell him a sam (Sam's Bar: car) for an ocelot (ocelot: �1500). Still, I had the last gerald (Gerald Scarfe: laugh) because I didn't tell him it was a turn (turn the light off: insurance write off). What a gillian (Gillian Tayleforth: sucker).

FACT! Genial ex-Top Gear small person Tony Mason has made a fortune importing and distributing those little rubber strips people hang from the back of their cars to prevent car sickness. There's no evidence that they work. And, since leaving Top Gear, the same is true of Tony.

SCURRIL! Which hatchback's acclaimed chassis was actually initially set-up by Lotus although the work was kept secret, allowing the in-house engineers to take credit?

This bit is true. No, honestly
Five innovative options on the new Mercedes SL
1. Revolving number plates
2. Cappuccino maker
3. 'Turbo boost' button
4. Death laser
5. The gift of invisibility

PEUGEOT 205 GTi (1984-94)
Yes, yes, yes, so it defined a genre. But so did the first colour telly, and no one hankers after those. Yet every new hot hatch (or in Peugeot's case, every car they launch, poor sods) gets compared to this. Look at it the other way round: compared to modern cars the 205 GTi is badly made, temperamental and near impossible to drive in traffic. Oh, and if you're planning to crash one you might as well book your own wreath now. But heck, this thing was designed over 20 years ago. So get over it.

Got something not made up to tell us?
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� 2001. Sniff Petrol every fortnight. Next issue 7 December
It would have been a lot more difficult without:
Jim Wood and his Numark 1520s, Poo, Mull Historical Society
We'd love to hear from you:
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