Created with IMS Web Dwarf from Virtual Mechanics Inc.
21 December 2001
Do you know it's Christmas time, agaaaaaaain
Sniff Petrol talks to some of the motor industry's major players, and Roy Lanchester,
to find out what they'll be getting up to over the festive period.

Bernd Piechsetreidererer: "I think we often forget that Christmas is a celebration of a miracle. As I relax with my family this Christmas, I will reflect on the fact that, with Volkswagen's new luxury saloon and 4x4 going on sale soon, I am going to need a bloody miracle too."

Jason Barlow: "I'll be spending at least some of Christmas with my on-screen mates from Top Gear. Guys? Hello? Guys�..?"

Steve Crapley: "As an unashamed and long-time advocate of hearty Christmas lunches, regular readers will know I'm always reminded of the real meaning of Christmas; extra pudding."

Chris Bangle: "I'll be looking forward to playing Pictionary at home with my family. Funny, no-one ever guesses mine"

Niki Lauda: "For sure, I will be spending Christmas with my family. I am begging them, please don't buy me another red Parlamat baseball cap. I really don't like them and yet every year they buy me more and I have to wear them all year or my mother gets upset. For sure, it's the only present I ever receive. I had to deliberately bankrupt Lauda Air just to free up an aircraft hanger to store them all. For sure, no more red bloody Parlamat baseball caps. Please make them stop."

Peter Wheeler: "Ah, the touching story of a powerful one born in the ramshackle surroundings of a dilapidated shed, surrounded by straw and dirt. But enough about our new Tamora, I'll be getting drunk this Christmas."

Roy Lanchester: "No rest for the wicked. I'll be spending the run up to Christmas trying to get my hands on one of the latest luxury cars for assesment over the crucial December 21 to January 11 period. And my editor wants some copy out of me sometime in February so there's that to deal with. Tch!"

"Please God,
let it sell"

"Mmmm, pudding"
"Yes, I'm wearing it now"
Put your feet up, relax, stuff your face with tangerines and Bailey's Irish Cream like the sedentary gutlord you secretly are, and let our car-based entertainment guide smooth you through Christmas like a big wordy version of the automatic gearbox on a Lexus, but with less oil. And more swearing.
Lord of the Rings
(opens nationwide 21 Dec)
Ferdinand Piech is the Lord of the Rings, an eccentric creature from another world. He must get hold of as many shiny brands as possible before they fall into someone else's hands. But once he's got them, will he know what to do with them? Will he fuck.

Herbie Gets Fuckered
ITV, Dec 27, 2:45pm
Obscure last Herbie movie in which the loveable Beetle gets bought by a couple of SoCal stoners who decide to rip out his guts and fit a tuned Porsche flat-six engine. Sadly, during a competition at the local drag strip Herbie's now rampant floorpan corrosion gets the better of him and he breaks up at over 100mph, injuring his driver before being sent to the local wrecking yard to be crushed�.with hilarious consequences.

Leon (1999)
Ch4, Dec 28, 10pm
Touching portrait of a sensitive hit-man who offers more performance and equipment for less money than rival assassins. If only he wasn't bright yellow. And based on the shite Golf chassis.

Privateer rally
(Playstation 2)
Exciting new concept in driving games in which you get behind the wheel of a rubbish 1.3-litre Nova, carrying advertising for a local carpet shop or something, to compete in the 1987 Lombard RAC rally. This game is rightly acclaimed for the detailing of the road surfaces which, given the completely arse car you're driving, have already been churned up by the 200 cars running ahead of you. Contains guest appearance from Derek Bell who has accidentally driven his Astra into a big pond.

Coventry Playhouse, Dec 14 to Jan 20
Interesting new take on the classic fairytale. When Cinderella flees the ball she leaves behind not a glass slipper but a Peugeot 206. Who, thinks the handsome Prince, would fit into such a contrived and uncomfortable driving postion? If he can find the woman who fits this car, he will have found his Princess. Unfortunately, even Cinderella can't reach the heater controls properly and gets an achy leg on long journeys and they are destined not to be together.
A Christmas Carol
Milton Keynes Palaverdrome, Dec 21 to Jan 20
Another modern reinterpretation of a classic story. Miserable Scrooge buys an Audi A2 TDI and then realises he'll have to drive 269,000 miles a year to make a saving over the cheaper petrol version. Contains an amusing scene in which, having endured endless diesel chatter during acceleration, Scrooge exclaims "Bah! Thrumbug!"


[email protected]
Extra big festive thanks to: Jim Wood, Rob Spedding & Poo
plus Alan Ripley, Haz, John R, Mark Sutcliffe, evo, 4Car, Max Glaskin, MD, SH, JC, TS and all who supported Sniff Petrol in 2001. Ta
Hello Mark
Ah, the festive season. Which means a marked increase in taxi use. Our adventure begins when, even if you live at the top of a 15 storey tower block, the driver will pull up outside and hoot his horn. Cheers. That's assuming the horn works, because the rest of his car certainly doesn't. Is the steering wheel on at a funny angle? Are the seats well on their way to an eventual, soggy, spring popping collapse? Does the whole car stink of a nostril searing, entirely chemical approximation of 'fruit'? And is the radio tuned to a station you've never heard of which is called something like 'Presto FM' or 'Starburst 989' which appears to have got Lisa Stansfield's back catalogue on repeat? Then you're in a minicab. Probably a ten year old Nissan or a creaking Vauxhall Cavalier in a colour the brochures called 'Autumn Phlegmburst'. Perhaps because of the driver's quaint insistance on trying to remain in fourth whatever speed or condition, or perhaps because of his sporadic urge to drive like he's extremely late for a very important meeting, the car makes a series of probably catastrophic grinding noises. Now only if he knew where he was going. But they never do. Minicab drivers in London, for example, have absolutely no idea where, say, Leicester Square is. But they do have a map. A map which doesn't seem to have the M1 on it and contains a small introduction about the proposed repealing of the red flag law. Never mind, at least the driver is trying to second guess your destination by randomly asking if it's near things. eg "Can you take me to Tower Bridge please" "Erm, is that near the river mate? Oh yea, I know it, go past the Channel Tunnel and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?" And, assuming you can get there safely, the fare will be something nice and awkward, typically �5.50 or something. You want a tip mate? Get a better fucking car.

1. Volkswagen to launch flying car. Based on the Golf
2. Petrol rendered obsolete by new engine that runs on Fanta
3. MG Rover to buy BMW
4. New Range Rover only car heavy enough to be used in new international moon base
5. Ford to launch Focus RS