Still using last season's car, every fortnight
"REDESIGN IT, BITCH!" SHOUTS TOOLED UP LUTZ
Bob Lutz, the man charged with turning around GM's fortunes in North America, is employing some interesting new tactics in order to ensure that forthcoming models are more desirable. Sources say the gnarly war veteran has decided that actions speak louder than words, and that carrying a large handgun speaks loudest of all. Employees first became aware that the 107-year-old 'car guy' was packing a piece when he was on a tour of the company's Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan. "Bob had been assured that end-of-line rectification was at an all time low," reported one observer. "Clearly the figures weren't good enough. Before we knew it he pulled out a revolver and started pistol-whipping our quality audit guys. I guess he was pretty pissed."
However, more was to come on a visit to GM's vast design studio complex in Warren, Michigan. Onlookers say Lutz noticed the signed off lower facia roll design for a forthcoming Chevrolet model and became immediately enraged at its unattractive shape and weak shutline resolution. When told that altering the plastic trim panel would add to the project cost Lutz is said to have pulled out his trusty shooter and aimed it at a senior designer's head yelling "Redesign the goddam moulding motherfucker! Go on, redesign it, bitch!"
"Bob's getting serious," confided one GM insider. "Last I saw him he was heading home to get his L39 jet fighter. Oh god! Call the cops! He's strafing the purchasing offices�."
Lutz successfully negotiates the repositioning of the front fog lamps on the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, yesterday
CLARKSON 'JUST PAUSING' CLAIMS TOP GEAR
Two other types of
The 'will he / won't he / who cares?' guessing game over Jeremy Clarkson's possible return to Top Gear is over as Sniff Petrol can exclusively reveal that the denim clad car bloke never actually left in the first place. Sources close to the BBC's motoring bunker at leafy Pebble Mill in historic Birmingham yesterday confirmed that throughout his absence from the screen the tall simile-meister was still in the employ of the Corporation. His silence was the result of an audacious attempt to stretch one of his trademark pauses to new lengths, in an attempt to break British, Commonwealth & World records for pausing. "I had to try it," said Clarkson, "it was time to go....for the big one".
At over two years and counting, the tousle haired tester's word gap is undoubtedly a record, according to linguistics expert Split Infinitive of Austin College, Cambridge. "David Frost managed to go for 10 months between saying 'hello', and 'good morning' and then a further month before he got round to saying 'welcome'. But that great achievement has been taken outside and duffed up good and proper, ain't it? Clarkson's the daddy when it comes to pauses and no mistake, guv'nor."
The only other attempt to come close to Clarkson's new record was by Sir Ralph Richardson in 1982, when he was appearing in Harold Pinter's play, The Birthday Party. He paused for nearly two years before the attempt was declared void thanks to the esteemed actor's sad death some eight months earlier.
Bookmakers William Hill are already accepting bets on the anthemic rock track that will accompany Clarkson's return to the screen, should he be able to remember what the end of his 1998 sentence was. The odds offered are as follows:
Here I go Again (on my own) by Whitesnake: 5/4 on
Back in Black by AC/DC: 11/2
Since You've been Gone by Rainbow: 13/1
We're Going To Ibiza by The Venga Boys: 50000/1
LOTUS SACKS SACKED PEOPLE
Fresh from laying off hundreds of workers at its Hethel factory, bosses at cash strapped Norfolk car company Lotus have announced further redundancies which actually mean that there will be a negative number of people working there. "It's very simple really." explained Director of Plastics & Unprofitability, Simon Dimm, "We needed to increase the revenue per head and we were losing huge quantities of cash. So if we make both the numerator and the denominator negative, hey jingo! We're making an enormous profit per person." The unheadcount does offer some problems since several departments are arguing as to who the non-employee shouldn't be. The technical community is adamant that it shouldn't be ride and handling guru Steve McQueen so that the company can continue to show off in car mags. However the bean counters feel that the only way a profit will be officially declared is if the single non-employee is an accountant. "We must have a finance person not in this job," said head of finance head, Finance Head, "So we just have to recruit someone who knows what a profit looks like, then make them redundant along with everyone else, twice. Errr, or something like that." Tengku Mohamed Siri Bang Bang Ailoveulongtime, head of Lotus owners Proton, is unrepentant. "I don't care how crap Lotus perform, I'm not selling to Ford," he spat, "That would be financial suicide, we'd be left with nothing more than tens of millions of pounds and...oh hang on. Shit!"
LAND ROVER LAUNCHES NEW JACKET
Land Rover, the Solihull-based manufacturer of pushchairs and outdoor clothing, has launched its first new jacket in over 30 years. Rohl Dover, managing director of the Midlands fashion emporium, explained the rationale behind the new item of action clothing. "In the last 30 years or so we've had to accept that Land Rover Jacket owners won't necessarily use their Jackets just for Land Rover events," he said. "That's why, with the new model, we've concentrated on enhancing the all-round on-launch capability without sacrificing any of the traditional Land Rover clothing attributes. In short," he continued, "We've got rid of the logo. You could just as easily use this jacket on a smart Volvo launch, but it's still perfectly at home when you're knee-deep in horse shit somewhere on the Eastnor Castle Estate." Several leading motoring correspondents have also stated that, relieved of its branding, the new Land Rover Jacket could also be seen as a suitable birthday present for a parent or other relative. "I sincerely hope other manufacturers will follow Land Rover's lead," said road tester Lisa Stansfield from behind a pair of Mitsubishi Raybans. However, the new Jacket has met with some resistance from the established Land Rover school, where the absence off the traditional logo is seen as confirmation that the whole design was the work of an outsider. Land Rover is countering such accusations with one of the most lavish launches ever devised for a new Jacket, including five-course dinners, lectures from leading Jacket-wearers, clay pigeon shooting and the opportunity for prospective owners to spend the day behind the wheel of a luxury German car.
Another sort of jacket, yesterday
MORGAN'S RACING RETURN
Morgan, Worcestershire's biggest car maker, has announced its return to international motor racing for the first time since they last went racing back in the 1990s. "We are delighted to be back," said Morgan spokesman Harris Tweed. "The car's an absolute cracker and we're going to line up some top line drivers. We've got our eye on that chap Hawthorn and there's a young fellow called Moss who shows real promise. Or we might go for Ascari although I'm not so sure about employing a Wop." A press statement confirmed that the car, designed by a man called Reg, would contest a number of prestigious events, including the 12 Hours of Rheims, the Targa Florio and the Mille Milligia. Sniff Petrol tried to tell the Morgan team that none of these events has been run for over 30 years but they were having none of it. "I know your game sonny," hurrumphed spokesman Tweed, wagging his finger quite a lot. "Just because our factory is a pre-fab and our basic road car design is 107 years old you think we're behind the times. Well you'll see, young fellow-me-lad. Just watch us give Johnny Foreigner a bloody nose. We are as up to date as the next man." We tried to speak to the next man, but apparently he died in 1974.
Morgan team boss Bunty Farquar-Ashframe, yesterday
"Hi! I'm Tina (from S Club 7).
The exciting F1 season starts soon, on Sunday 3 March!
But if you want to get all the info you need about all the teams, you should read my exclusive F1 2002 preview in assocation with Sniff Petrol.
To read it simply
� 2002. Sniff Petrol every fortnight. Next issue 8 March
Written by: Sniff Petrol, with Varzi, ano.n.ymous, JM
Thanks to: Jim Wood, Poo
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