CARicature news: Police investigate how idiot got on track

More than 35 years after the release of their first single “Fall Out”, band members of The Police have announced they will start an investigation into how a completely unqualified man was able to get on the track.

Volkswagen-Polo-Brands-Hatch-trackThe then 24-year old male, later identified as Corsican Henry Padovani, managed to get himself on the track playing a guitar without authorization from the actual band members Sting and Stewart Copeland. As the track was being recorded, Padovani came out of nowhere, having snuck past the security gates with his guitar, jumped into the studio behind the other musicians and started playing guitar solos.

When interviewed by the press, Sting explained: “Stewart was the drummer of the band and was supposed to play the guitar for this song as well. But when the vocals and drums had been recorded and we listened it back, we heard the guitar solos were already on the track as well. We never even noticed the extra guy in the studio. It wasn’t until we saw the cover that we noticed this weirdo acting like a total asshat in the picture as well.”

Copeland, who also wrote and produced the song, continues: “He really messed up this song, it didn’t even make the charts because of his guitar play, only when we hired Andy Summers to play the guitar, we managed to break through an become one of the most popular bands in the 1980s.”

The band says they have only now started to investigate into the matter because Sting had been too busy making appearances in films and TV-series “As himself”.

The original post: Watch This Asshole Drive Onto An Active Track During A Real Race


Great cars, great stories at Youngtimer Event 2014

Youngtimer-Event-2014Sunday June 15th was the third edition of the Dutch Youngtimer Event “Forever Young”. Owners and enthusiasts of cars from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s gathered together at the former DRU factory complex in Ulft, near the German border. Some visitors may have not even made it to the entrance of the event, as even the parking lot was one big cookie jar, filled to the brim with cars from the past, kept running by passionate owners who showed their car and told their story to other enthusiasts. With the outside area covered by brand- and model- owners clubs like the Mazda-owners club, Volvo 480-owners club and the EMW “Club for forgotten and undervalued youngtimers”, the air was filled with enthusiasm, passion and appreciation of each other’s hobby.

Walking into the factory hall was like stepping into a time capsule. It was easy to feel a bit of melancholy in this combination of the industrial atmosphere with the remains of the pre-war ironworks still visible and the well-preserved cars from the time when we were young. As most of the cars on display inside were for sale, some felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, finding it hard to restrain themselves.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis May 2014 – provisional

Renault-Clio-European-car-sales-may-2014The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association ACEA has published the provisional May 2014 European car sales data. Provisional because only the 32 major brands are published, and Malta sales (although minor) are not yet included. No detailed model data will be available until the first week of July.

May marks the 9th straight month of year-over-year gains for the European car market, although it’s still the second-worst May in at least a decade. Sales increased 4,5% to 1.093.448 units, setting the year-to-date total at 5.431.921, up 6,9% on the first five months of 2013.

In May, Volkswagen Group has taken the biggest chunk of the sales growth, thanks to increases at all of its core brands, but most notably Skoda (thanks to the new Octavia) and Seat (thanks to the new Leon). Skoda is knocking on the door of the brands top 10 while Seat outsold Kia and Dacia in May.

Renault-Nissan is strong again, but this month the star of the show is not Dacia but Renault itself, adding the most sales of all brands and the fastest growing brand in the top 10. Strong showings of the Clio and Captur are likely to have contributed to this success. Nissan is strong as well, slowly creeping closer to Toyota to become the number 1 Japanese brand in Europe.… Continue Reading …

2014 already a record year for MG

Yes, you read that right. You may or may not be aware of it, but MG is still alive in Europe, albeit only in the UK and Ireland, and no longer with classic British roadsters. But nonetheless it’s starting to make waves. In fact, it’s Europe’s fastest growing brand year-to-date with the exception of Tesla, which was introduced to the European market in 2013.

MG3-record-auto-sales-MG-UK-EuropeBut that’s not the only reason why champagne bottles will be uncorked these days at the Chinese-owned brand, as 2014 is also the first year since its resurrection five years ago that its European sales have exceeded the 1.000 units milestone, and with seven months to spare. By the end of May, MG had already sold a total of 1.008 cars in the UK, compared to 513 over the full year 2013 and 782 in 2012, the brand’s previous record.… Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis April 2014 – brands

Nissan-Qashqai-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeAfter exploring the models ranking in April and year-to-date, lets dig a little deeper into the brands ranking and trends.

Renault-Nissan is again the big winner this month, mostly thanks to big increases of Dacia and Nissan. The French-Japanese manufacturer is followed by the Volkswagen Group, where Skoda is responsible for 10.000 of the 13.000 added sales compared to last year. And PSA Peugeot-Citroën has some good news as well, with both brands back on track to increase sales.

At Fiat-Chrysler automobiles, the Fiat brand managed its third consecutive month of year-on-year growth, thanks to the continued success of the 500 and 500L. But on a smaller scale, Maserati and Jeep were among the biggest winners of the month in percentage terms. … Continue Reading …

European car sales analysis April 2014 – models

Audi-A3-European-car-sales-analysisEuropean new car sales have increased 2,8% to 1.126.319 units in April, slowing down the year-to-date increase of 6,6% to 4.471.024 units for the first four months of 2014. April is the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, but things are not all as positive as they may look: last month was still the third worst April in at least a decade.

The Volkswagen Group had yet another very successful month in the compact segment, with the Golf not only the best selling car overall as usual, but also adding more units on last year’s score than any other model in the top 15, both in April and year-to-date. But besides the Golf, the Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia both score their best April ever in the history of their respective nameplates, and both claim yet another European top-10 spot.

As a result, the VW Group has three cars in the compact segment top four, with only the Ford Focus in-between. As recently as 2006, the Opel Vauxhall Astra outsold the VW Golf in that segment, but the Golf is kicking its rival’s nuts this year with a 3:1 ratio and even the compact crossover VW Tiguan is outselling the Astra this month for the second time this year, and ever. The Astra has been around since 2009, but the Tiguan is even two years older, with just a few updates in that period.

April was also a great month for the Nissan Qashqai, as the new generation has hit showrooms all across Europe. The Qashqai is up 22,4% on last year and is set to come back into positive year-to-date territory by next month. Nissan has a great month overall, with also big gains for the Micra subcompact and the Note small MPV.… Continue Reading …

Spyker B6 Venator ready for production

The small yet ambitious Dutch supercar company Spyker has revealed the production version of its B6 Venator, which is planned to go into production in 2015. A concept version of the Venator, which is Latin for “hunter”, was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 2013, and a convertible Spyder version was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Both concept vehicles were based on the German Artega GT. Spyker promised to have the Venator production ready by now, they decided to make some last minute changes to the compact sports coupe, although the delay will undoubtedly also be related to the need for a capital injection into the company.


Spyker B6 Venator. Photo credit: Spyker

The past couple of months, Spyker has been working to a new design for its smallest car yet. “After careful research of our potential market we’ve concluded that we could make the Venator appeal to a larger audience with just a few tweaks to the original concept.” according to John Walton, Chief Commercial Officer at Spyker. As a result, the sports car has returned to the drawing board shortly after its initial introduction. The final result is a car that’s been slightly stretched to offer increased interior space and luggage room. “The car will have a longer wheelbase, giving us the possibility to add a rear seat while offering more capacity for baggage. We’ve found that our potential customers appreciate practicality more than we initially thought.” The new layout is either a 2+2 with only room for small children in the rear seat or a 2+0 in which the rear seats are removed to create a larger storage area with leather straps. … Continue Reading …

Book preview: Spada. The long story of a short tail

ercole-spadaBelgian automotive writer Bart Lenaerts and his wife, photographer Lies De Mol, have published a new book. People familiar with their previous work will know that this means something special has been created once again. The creators of the already legendary automotive bible “Waft” and its equally must-read sequel “Waft 2”, always capture the imagination of the reader and don’t follow the beaten track.

“Spada. The long story of a short tail” describes the history and career of the Italian automotive designer Ercole Spada and his son Paolo. Over his 50-year long career, Spada has designed and worked on a number of famous and price-winning designs, like the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ and Lancia  Flavia. Together they have created the spectacular Spada Codatronca. But knowing Lenaerts, don’t expect a simple recital of Spada’s work, this book will read like an exciting story about passion for automotive design, and the relationship between a father and his son. Lenaerts is always in search of a different perspective, and his wife tops it off visually with exquisite photographic decoration.

The new book is in the same size and layout as their previous books, so 30cm x 30cm hardcover, 304 pages and can be ordered through their website Early birds ordering the book before June 6th get a € 10,- discount on the € 90,- purchase price. If you think that’s a lot of money for a book I agree with you, but bear in mind this is not just another biography, more like a passionate narrative of the man behind the design, and features Spada designs that have never been published before. The connoisseurs who have read the limited edition “Waft” books and “Masters of modern car design”, know these are true collector’s items worth every cent.

Regular readers have been personally invited to pick up their copy on the evening of June 5th in the Brussels Automotive museum Autoworld, signed and presented by Ercole Spada himself. The museum will have a special collection on display featuring some of Spada’s designs, like the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, Alfa TZ1, de Alfa Junior Zagato and the Lancia’s Fulvia and Flaminia Zagato.… Continue Reading …

Watch these racing drivers scare their passengers

Walter-Rohrl-Audi-S3-NurburgringBeing a passenger is almost always scarier than being the driver, especially for people who are used to being in control. Like for example, other racing drivers. So it should be fun to see what happens when you put a racing driver in the passenger seat while another racing driver makes a hot lap round a circuit. In case of Darrell Waltrip and David Coulthard, it makes great video’s.

But it’s not only fun with other drivers in the passenger seat. You’d think that someone who’s married to a racing driver is used to a bit of fast driving, but apparently not all wives are entirely up-to-date on how quick their husbands really are. Turn up your volume while listening to Mrs. Patrese, Mrs. Farfus, Mrs. Barbosa and grandma Gené scream their lungs out.

Journalists usually prepare themselves before an interview, making sure they are familiar with the background of the person they’re about to meet, to avoid making a fool of themselves. But Barbara Schöneberger, Dominic Littlewood and even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson appear rather shocked by the speed at which their being driven around by drivers of whom you’d think are known for their ability to go fast.

Nico Rosberg is about to take former Formula 1 winner David Coulthard for a (wet) hot lap on the Nürburgring in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Before getting in, David warns us that he’s not a good passenger. As he crawls out of the car on his knees after the lap, we must conclude he wasn’t lying.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 exotic and sports car segments

Bentley-Continental-GT-GTC-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of exotic cars in Europe are up slightly in the first three months of 2014, growing 5% after a similar 5% decline over the full year 2013. The compact sports car segment is down again as well, just 2%, while the Jaguar F-type is pushing sales of large sports cars up 13%.

The top of the exotics ranking is stable, with the Bentley Continental GT still in the lead, although the Ferrari 458 Italia is gaining ground, up 12% thanks to the “Speciale” version, compared to an increase of just 3% for the Continental GT.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is also up, despite being in run-out mode until the introduction of the AMG GT “Porsche 911-fighter”. It passes the Ferrari F12 which is down 40% compared to the first quarter of 2014 when it was just introduced and customer deliveries were at full steam.… Continue Reading …