Wednesday, 29 April 2015

If Cars Are Art, Goodwood is The Tate

This is as good a way as any to get me to my self-imposed four posts per month minimum. Why? Because Neil Carey (with help from that Harris bloke) has put together something which can only be described as art.

You ought to know already that the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the greatest celebration of motorsport and petrol-headedness on Earth, but another jolly good show they've put on for a while is the Goodwood Revival, where classic racing cars worth more money than every reader of this post will ever make in their lifetimes put together (probably) are raced as if they're cheap track cars, i.e. Properly. However, for those not into the '60s or anything older than that, there is now also the Goodwood Members Meeting, which has been captured in these videos. This celebrates later, slightly more down-to-Earth stuff. And '70s F1 cars. And Group C cars. And 911s. What more could you want? Classic BTCC cars? Oh, go on then.

If you don't like slow-motion powerslides in historically significant racing cars, you're shit out of luck. If you love watching onboard footage of powerslides in historically significant racing cars, click ALL THE PLAYS. It's as simple as that! Is it possible for Lord March to give any more joy to petrolheads? I'd like to find out the answer to that...

Tuesday, 28 April 2015



There's going to be a hot hatch version of the Dacia Sandero (badged as a Renault) with a 2.0-litre engine available in countries where there are currently no Renaultsport models, such as South America and Russia!

Source: FlatOut (Brazil)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

What a TopGear Presenter Should Be

Yes that's right, it's another TopGear speculation blog post!! YAAAAAAAY!!! I know you're excited about it. Don't lie.
It is unlikely to have escaped your notice that TopGear (the greatest car show...... In The World) has been in some serious jeopardy of late. With lofty controversy enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson harassing and ultimately punching a producer in the face - despite being on a "final warning" - the show's main presenter has had to be let go from the BBC. In the last couple of days it has been confirmed that series producer Andy Wilman, along with co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May, are also leaving TopGear in a show of solidarity, because when your long-time friend has verbally and physically assaulted the nearest person upon discovering that there's no hot food left, you should stand by his side, dammit.

This has obviously tipped car fans, entertainment fans and society in general into a frenzy. People are literally setting fire in disgust, there is mass panic in the streets, some are losing their minds to the point where they actually think they care about politics, children are throwing their own feces at things (more often than usual, that is) because they mistakenly think that it's actually called "fracas," and probably thousands of people are curled up in the foetal position outside any prestige car dealer they could run to with only one shoe on before hallucinating about all cars in sight melting into the Earth and their own skin morphing into a Greenpeace hybrid public transport bicycle. Oh wait, no they aren't, they're just bombarding any social media post or news article posts up with "Bring Back Clarkson[, Hammond and May]" comments, as if that's going to have even 1% of persuasive power over a huge global organisation that's already made up its mind, and which, if you think about it, didn't really have any other choice.

Oh, you want us to bring them back?
Oh okay then. You should've said.
I actually don't understand what's going on in these people's minds. Do they actually think it's going to have any effect at all? Do they think that bitching about it is all it would take? Do they think that TopGear's online team are somehow unaware of what's going on with their TV counterpart, and that letting them know on Twitface or the website itself will prompt an easily-initiated reactive course of action that will magically reinstate the four of them and making everything hunky-doory again? Have they got it in their minds that the people at Fortress TopGear had no idea that this ordeal would be controversial and they need telling?
Guess what, gormless keyboard chimps: they know. They're very much aware that the show as we know and love habitually follow it is doomed. They realised before you did that it was going to spark outrage, shock and other such words you'll find in all-caps atop any newspaper article about Clarkson's fracas. You're not informing them, you're not educating or enlightening them. You're frankly achieving nothing but to constantly remind all followers of their pages of the very public situation the show is in. You might as well just walk up to The Tall One himself and shout "YOU'VE BEEN SACKED AND THE TV SHOW IS DEAD, IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW." Maybe he'll call you a mealy-mouthed imbecile (or a one-eyed Scottish idiot) and shoot you in front of your families when you do. Maybe not.

Regardless of cyber whining or anything else, TopGear "Mk.2" (2002-2015) is dead. Its metabolic processes are now history. It's off the twig. It's kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. It is an ex-programme. The features that were prepared for the final three episodes will be shown, somehow, somewhere - probably iPlayer - and with that, back to the studio in the sky.

But don't worry, because they're going to reboot it next year! Just because the four key people in creating it and making it great are no longer involved, doesn't mean the BBC can stop making a show that basically prints money. However, before they can find out how much of that money-printing ability was down to The Tall One, The Short One, The Slow One and The Lucky Underpants One, there's the rather thorny issue of figuring out who their replacements are. I don't know who to replace Andy Wilman with, but the presenters? Well, now......

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Mother of All GT-Rs Is For Sale

Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO Z-Tune, chassis R34-Z-001
2002 was a dark year for lovers of Japanese sports cars. New environmental regulations killed off the Mazda RX-7, Nissan Silvia, Toyota Supra, and the latter car's arch rival in the battle to reign as the king of Japanese performance cars, the mighty Nissan Skyline GT-R. A new Skyline soon followed, but there was no halo version for the car, now based on the 350Z's platform and sold in the US as the Infiniti G35 (and later the G37). By this point Nissan had already hinted at a future GT-R in 2001, which was followed up in 2005 by the GT-R PROTO concept after the '01 car was deemed to look too "nice" for the pinnacle of Japanese technological brute force. Despite promises for the future, the longing for the recent past was so strong that Nissan's motorsport arm NISMO decided they had to do something with the old R34-generation of "Godzilla." The R34 (or at least a silhouette racer in its image) was raced domestically in the JGTC (now called SUPER GT) for a year after the road car ceased production, sealing its legacy with the 2003 GT500 title before being replaced by an equally-successful V6-powered Fairlady Z. With that, the legendary RB26DETT straight-six engine originally made for the R32 GT-R in 1989 was also out of service, having won races and hearts around the globe both on and off the track.

So how to pay tribute to the greatest car and engine in the company's history? Build the fastest, most extreme road version possible, of course...