Two-Wheeled Taliban

The Greatest Living Englishman sounds off about bicyclists, and one has to sympathize with his take.  However, it should be said that the reason that there’s so much friction twixt the two-wheeled and four-wheeled sets is simply that Britishland roads, whether in- or out of town are just too damn small and narrow to accommodate both.

Over Here, we don’t have much of a problem with cyclists, largely because our roads are much wider (certainly here in north Texas, anyway), and even if one encounters a group (gaggle? mob? idiocy?) of cyclists taking up a full lane, there’s lots of room to go round them, all while shaking one’s head at the lunacy of riding a bike in the searing midsummer Texas heat.  Also, we have large pickup trucks and people with guns in them, hence the relative politeness of American cyclists compared to their Brit counterparts.

By the way, if you scroll further down the linked article, you’ll see that Clarkson’s take on the proposed Ford Capri redux  is exactly the same as mine.

GMTA, and all that.

One Forward, Two Back

Loyal Readers will remember that I love the 1970s Ford Capri:

…so one would think that the news of Ford reissuing the lovely thing would have me panting.

Alas, no.

Rather than a petrol-guzzling coupe, it will be re-marketed as an electric sports crossover capable of reaching 0-to-62mph in around 6.4 seconds with zero emissions, a Ford staff member has revealed.

And I bet that the “new” Capri won’t look anything like its predecessor.  Instead, it will look like all the other modern wind-tunnel-shaped anonymities, so in fact the only thing common to the two models will be the name.

Pass, with prejudice.  Fucking morons.

Color Palette

This article got my attention:

Why is grey the most popular car colour for the fifth year running? How subtler shades have dominated the market for a decade — and the reason brighter tones have fallen out of favour.

The reason, as any fule kno, is simple:

Consumers are concerned about a bright colour ‘driving down the resale value of their car’.

Which is fine, I guess.  Certainly, if I were buying another car today, I might not accept that ghastly bronze-y color of a decade back — even if the thing was really cheap because of it.

The problem, of course, is that car colors can date a car, e.g.

Haven’t seen too many modern cars looking like that, have you?  (I’m talking about the color, of course — although that applies to its styling too.)

And let’s be honest:  as much as they are the boring same-ol’-same ol’, black, gray, white and silver cars do carry over the years (and even decades), whereas brown, bronze, “champagne” and so on do not.

The latest color craze I see nowadays is that ghastly “putty”- or “cement” gray:

Ugh.  And the trend towards matte finishes should be halted by legislation.

Interestingly enough, there are non-bland colors that stay popular:  red, yellow, dark blue and dark green (a.k.a. “British Racing Green”), but that really depends on the car, of course, e.g.

…but even I might draw the line at a purple Dino, especially if I had another choice:

Ah-ha! white and silver, just like the article suggests.  But even for a Dino, I’d never take one of these:

…because, you see, I live in Texas — where the last thing you want is a black car which turns your car into an oven (against which the Dino’s puny lil’ Italian a/c unit stands no chance).

That’s not a problem they have in Britishland, of course.

Summer Beach / Island Car

Here’s the setup:  you own a seaside cottage somewhere pleasant — the Carolinas, southern Oregon, Cayman Islands, Aruba… you get the picture.  Wherever it is, you spend lots of time there:  the whole summer, the whole winter, nine months of the year, whatever.

You have everything in place, but you need to buy a runaround car:  something to get to the beach, go downtown to fetch more booze or groceries, or to just drive to the local restaurants for lunch or dinner.  There’s no car rental available, so you’ll have to buy one (which works out cheaper anyway).

Fortunately, there’s a retail auto dealer in town called “Island Cars”, which will cater to your needs and store it for you and keep it in running order when you’re not there.  Here’s what’s in stock, all with low miles, in good condition etc.  Assume the prices are reasonable, and all within a couple hundred dollars of each other.

Austin Mini-Moke 

VW Thing

Fiat Jolly

And now the kicker (you knew there was going to be one, right?):


Which one do you think she’d go for?  (For the unmarried / widowed among you, go back in time and guess.)


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

“While in the vehicle on the Hagley Road for reasons not established he lost control causing it to veer across the road into the opposite carriageway.

“He failed to correct the deviation and subsequently collided on the front end with another vehicle.

“The level of impact physically lifted that into the air and backwards into a third vehicle, which forced that into a fourth vehicle, which hit a fifth vehicle.”


“Essentially he has not driven the vehicle on more than two occasions.  He pressed the accelerator rather than brake and that caused him to lose control.”


To recap:

Inexperienced Driver + Speeding + 550hp = Massive Fuckup

I’ve said before that more than 250hp is excessive.  Proof of this comes in almost daily.

Now before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, thinking that I want overpowered car engines to be banned or something:  I don’t.

Before racing in Formula 1, drivers have to get what’s known as a “super license” — i.e. without one, they aren’t allowed to drive an F1 car, even for practice on a track.  The issuance is very strictly controlled, and even for F2 / Indycar champions, getting a super license is no pro forma  matter.

I would support legislation that any individual buying a street car with 250hp or over (or truck >350hp) should have to show a similar license before being allowed to take possession thereof.

Feel free to argue with me.