28 January, 2007

Burning rubber

KUHMO Tire[sic] USA, American division of the Korean tyre giant has announced the introduction of the world's first "Aroma Tire" for selected vehicles.

The result of over a year's research and development each tyre contains heat resistant oils that replace the 'black rubber' smell with scents of lavender, orange and jasmine.

Which very much begs the next question, why? Why for the love of Bob, why?

According to Rick Brennan, Brand Director, KUMHO is selling the DX aroma tire "to help build brand awareness and highlight KUMHO’s tire technology expertise in the highly competitive automotive marketplace. The tire is targeted at female consumers who drive such sedans as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback, Chrysler Sebring and Ford Taurus."

Which as far as I can tell translates to: I am a worthless waste of space who has confused casual sexism and lazy thinking as edgy brand building PR opportunites. Or to distill it little further. Soccer Moms are stupid.

I'm really hoping the Mr Brennan drops the N-Bomb by announcing a range of Aftermarket low profile Hummer size tyres in aromas such as Fried Chicken, California Chronic, and Dumbass Ho'. Or perhaps they'll be looking to tap into the large market in the South with F150 fitting fragrances like Critters, SourMash Bourbon and Your Sister.

Personally speaking, you know what smell I really like? New tyres.

24 January, 2007

Def prince of fresh air

Perhaps one too many hounds has been transported in your ride and there's a bit of a hoy, some air freshening is required. That must be the reason minicabs so often rely on the faithful Magic Tree.

Potent enough to bring a tear to the eye even through the wrapper.

The Magic Tree perfume expert presumably had his sense of smell shot off during the war, he certainly tends towards the robust brassy notes of artificial vanilla.

A colleague tells me they now sell a 'new car smell' version, I prefer to submit to the Magic Tree management a slightly more esoteric selection, guaranteed to transport the driver on a Proustian journey even if the motorway is gridlocked.

19 January, 2007

Style counsel

Retro design. Lazy hack styling or a shrewd way to capitalise on a nostalgic market? Possibly both. It can cover everything from a subtle nod to the cognoscenti - with the placement of a styling cue harking back to a classic model, to the Ford GT's wholesale reproduction of the GT40, and all points in between.

Whatever, it appears to be here for the long haul, so until the stylists over at Dearborn MA, Milan and Tokyo are banned from using the photocopier here are a couple of styling features I'd like to see back.

High-profile tyres. Yeah baby. Let the chavs fit rubber bands to their 20inch alloys - that look is over. Nothing says muscle like a 20' rim with another generous 6' of sidewall to go. I'm talking De Tomaso, old school Vantage and Cobra. When you need comfortable ride to destroy a continent.

Black louvred rear windows. Ouch, feel the cool. All manner of US iron and sharp-suited euro sportscars rocked this look . Mark 1 Esprit and Lancia Stratos knew the story.

Nothing said sportscar in the seventies as much as a pop-up headlight, let's erase the memory of the TR7 and it's woeful electrics that often left it looking like a boss-eyed hound (it was). Eight track optional.

Don't get me started on three-spoke drilled steering wheels, yowzah!

15 January, 2007

Let me count the ways

Signs That America May Be Having a Love Affair With the Automobile.
By Darren Addy

Unexplained miles on the odometer overnight.

America begins picking fights as an excuse to "get out of the house."

Comes home smelling of pine-tree air freshener.

America's credit-card statements show the purchase of multiple pairs of driving gloves that you have never seen.

America begins losing weight and exercising.

Suspicious scratches all over the back of America's car.

America says it's working overtime, but it never shows up on pay stubs.

America offers to go to the store for you but doesn't come back for five hours.

Lately, America has become interested in exotic waxing.

Another great list from McSweeneys

11 January, 2007

gut und fasten Sie, natürlich

Is it wrong to fantasise about Sabine Schmitz? A slow afternoon in the office combined with YouTube reveals she's hosting a German motoring show, D Motor on DMAX that bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain British programme.

Except it has presenters who can drive.

Sabine came to the attention of Top Gear viewers when she damn near beat Clarkson's Jag 'ring lap in a bog standard transit van. But it was her brusque no nonsense teutonic demeanour that stuck in the mind. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for her to make a lot more more appearances on the show, something tells me that Jezza would be less than enthusuastic about giving more airtime to somebody who's opinionated, German, a woman, and actually knows which end of a racecar is up.

For now she must remain in my fevered imaginings, telling me off for clipping apexes.

Sabine in action, and some more.

07 January, 2007

Donald meets Scooby

I don't know why this is quite so funny, but it is.

What happens if you attach a duck call to the blow off valve on your scooby's turbo?

03 January, 2007

google "stretch tranny" at your peril

The Transit is named International Van of the Year 2007 and Ford celebrates that with a special one-off 7.4 metre long model.

The 2500 Kg stretch tranny gets a 128 Bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, enough to transport a large number of slags – whether it's to do a post-office blag by day or later to a hen party at shaggers nightclub.

Yes the always democratic workhorse that is the Ford Transit. To get even better value from it – print out a picture of it and tell the Daily Mail reader in your office that Ford have developed a new model especially so that Polish and Bulgarian plasterers can bring their extended families over to "soft touch Britain".

Happy New Year!