Created with IMS Web Dwarf from Virtual Mechanics Inc.
Issue 14
8 - 21 February 2002
Suckling on the swollen teat of motoring every fortnight
The first results of the European Commission's investigation into Block Exemption are emerging, and it looks like they're going to make no twatting difference whatsoever. The Commission has proposed that the current Block Exemption stays in place, much to the delight of the motor industry. "This is very good news," smirked Roger Shitt of the Co-operative Used & New Traders Society, "Without Block Exemption we could see a situation where overpriced cars are sold from sterile, pot plant festooned showrooms by ill-informed, incompetent, cheap-suited twats."
The commission's findings are also good news for servicing, according to Shitt; "Imagine a world where servicing is done in a really half-arsed way by some work experience lad, customers' cars are returned dented and filthy with 40 extra miles on the clock and the work costs a fortune, just for an oil and filter change. That would be awfu....oh. Hang on a minute�."
Sniff Petrol tried to contact the Commissioners responsible for this report but they had inexplicably knocked off early to drive their new cars down to their new villas in the south of France.

Pictured yesterday:
something else with no teeth
The Advertising Standards Agency has been targeting car makers again, and this time it's Peugeot that has been feeling their pedantic wrath. The advertising watchdog has ruled that the company's campaign for the new 307 bearing the slogan "More than just a number" is technically inaccurate. "Erm, actually it is just a number," mewled ASA spokesman Lockspur Diazepam, "It comes just after three hundred and six and just before three hundred and eight. If they'd called the car something like the 3-0-banana-7 then they would have been fine. That really is more than a number. It's a number, with a word in it. But 307 is just a number, and no more."
The ASA has also warned that Peugeot is on very thin ice with one of its proposed replacement slogans,
"More than just another generic, pointlessly tall, dynamically underwhelming mid-range hatchback".
A 307, yesterday
Just before Christmas TV viewers were shocked to see Quentin Willson's dreadful performance on a celebrity version of popular quiz show The Weakest Link. Now Sniff Petrol can exclusively reveal why the urbane used car guru apparently had his intellectual butt kicked. Sources within the BBC say that the programme as transmitted was in fact a second, rigged recording in which Quentin was deliberately voted off first. And Sniff Petrol's picture exclusive (below) shows why: during the original taping the wily Willson was using the familiar 'voting' system to sell used cars. On discovering the sly advertising scam Weakest Link bosses immediately halted recording and started proceedings from scratch with the instruction to punish Willson by making him look less intelligent than Keith Chegwin. We tried to contact the shamed ex-Top Gear star but he had gone to the library.

VW has been thrown into turmoil this week with news that its licence to use two consecutive letters of the alphabet has expired. Renewing the licence would cost millions, leaving the German firm with the choice of forking out or changing its popular abbreviated title. "This is a familiar problem," observed Leighton Buzzard, Doctor of Letters at St. Angreavsie College, Oxford. "Ford's cash reserves were severely drained in 1970 after it bought the letters 'RS' for a sporty Escort. Fortunately, in 1973 they hit upon a way to make some of their money back by leasing the letters to Porsche." Sources in Wolfsburg are unlikely to find such a neat solution and some spies suggest that the firm may have to opt for the cheaper 'WV' combo. "This would make the company name Wagenvolks," says one insider, "which means 'car people' in German. Actually, that's quite nice. I don't know why we didn't think of that before. If we weren't known as 'people's car' in future it would certainly make the Phaeton less laughable." However, some commentators believe that, to avoid making their familiar badge look 'top heavy', the car giant will dig deep to retain the rights to its current abbreviation. No one knows how much these rights will cost but it may well top the �200 million Michael Jackson paid back in 1970 for the rights to both 'ABC' and '123'.

An artist's impression of how VW's logo might look in future.
Sources say it may be better drawn than this
A Ferrari press conference this week wasn't just to unveil the new F2002, as sharp eyed journalists spotted a more interesting technical development on the team's lead driver. As Michael Schumacher spoke to the media, he proudly showed off his new chin, which is now 18% pointier than it was at the end of last season. "In F1 every single tiny advance is crucial in keeping you ahead of the pack," noted one team insider, "And we believe the extra pointiness of Michael's chin will give him a solid advantage in the first couple of races." Motor racing pundits have taken the more aerodynamic lower face as a sure sign that the current champion is as serious as ever about clinching yet another world title. "His chin really was very pointy," gasped Maurice Ital of Every Other Sunday magazine, "and I can't imagine who's going to put up a challenge to that. Certainly not David Coulthard whose big, massive jaw is actually wider than the top of his head." However, Schumacher's revised facial aspect could be just the start of a season-long development programme that will eventually see his chin poking down below his helmet. According to Ferrari spies, this will allow him to steer the car with his face, leaving his hands free to throw rocks and hot Ribena at other drivers.

Look at his chin! Look at it!
Christ, it's so pointy!
BMW Motorsport director Gerhard Berger has been forced to explain a remark he made earlier this week when he was quoted as saying that the new Williams was too slow. In a statement to the media the Austrian boss fella set the record straight: "When I said 'Williams is too slow' I wasn't talking about the FW24," Berger chortled, "I was referring to Frank Williams. Every time I go for a walk with him I always end up a few metres ahead and have to wait for him to catch up. And he won't let me push. It's very annoying. Oh, by the way, the new car is shit�.doh!"

Do you work in the press office for a large car company?
Are you saddled with a large and unwieldy budget?
Do you wish there was a way you could syphon off some of that pesky money before Mr Taxman gets his hands on it?
Relax! Because now there is!
That's right! Just offer your favourite orange coloured, vaguely humourous website a flight to Geneva, some kind of lavish dinner and a room in a hotel* and presto! A portion of your budget safely invested in dog-battering quantities of booze!
Go on!
INVITE SNIFF PETROL TO THE GENEVA SHOW and be the envy of your friends!

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� 2002. Sniff Petrol every fortnight. Next issue 22 February
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