Archive for stupid drivers

What recession?

Posted in General opinions with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27/03/2012 by Alexander

For those that don’t know it, I live in Portugal. It’s one of the three countries of the Eurozone that had to be bailed out because it was verging on bankruptcy, which would lead the average person to think that the Portuguese wouldn’t have much money to spend on things, especially cars. Now, I like to think of a country’s habits when it comes to the acquisition of cars as a sort of barometer of said country’s economic health, since buying a car is usually the second biggest personal investment people make in their lives, after a house.

This should be especially true in Portugal, where buying and running a car is extremely expensive, both compared to what people earn and what it costs abroad. Fuel prices are astronomically high, and according to official figures, only Denmark, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands have dearer petrol. Toll-free motorways are a thing of the past, and though that might not seem so bad to foreigners, but to us it means every journey or commute out of town is precious dosh lining someone else’s pockets instead of our own. Plus, lots of areas of the country depend on tourists coming in from Spain, and these tourists now don’t come here because it’s awkward and expensive to use our motorways, but I digress.

To top it off, cars here are amazingly overpriced, both used and new, but I’ll stick to new cars since that’s complicated enough as it is. To illustrate, let’s use Europe’s best-selling car, the VW Golf, as an example. In its native Germany, prices start at €16,975, in France, at €16,790, in Spain, a more expensive €18,820 and in the UK, £15,865, which for the purpose of this comparison, is €18,968. Portugal? A whopping €21,800, nearly €3000 more than the most expensive of the other aforementioned markets!

So one would think that cars wouldn’t sell much, in Portugal, what with gargantuan prices and deep recession. And on the face of it, you’d think that was the case, with January 2012 sales plummeting nearly 50% when compared to the same month in 2011, and February 2012 sporting the same sort of numbers. However, look again. In both January and February, Audi, Mercedes and BMW made the top ten. In February, Merc, BMW and Audi sold a combined total of 1,332 cars. So of the 6,932 cars sold in Portugal, 1 in 5 was a German luxury car. And that’s not counting the thriving used-car import market, which consists mainly of E-Class Mercs and Audi A3’s.

I could go on and lace some more layers of fact on this already iron-clad evidence that Portugal is living beyond its means, that it’s chock-full of idiots who only look at badges and how unevenly and third-worldly money is distributed here, but I think the point’s been made. It’s a miracle Europe bailed us out.


Naming your car

Posted in General opinions with tags , on 23/01/2012 by Alexander

Nearly half the drivers in the UK name their car. No problem there, it’s normal to give things a nickname, in my honest opinion. People who don’t give their cars names are most likely part of the population who view driving as a necessary evil, as opposed to a pleasure, but then they’ll probably give nicknames to their cutlery or genitals. I have no problems admitting that I’ve named cars all my life, and still do today. My dad’s green Citroen CX was nicknamed “Gizmo”. My Citroen BX was “The Black Steed”, and my current car is “Ernesto”. I don’t refer to them by their nickname on a regular basis, mind you, it’s just a token of affection and gratitude for delivering my person to various locations in one piece.

So even though naming your vehicle might seem strange, even stranger are the most common names that are given by UK drivers. Lady Gaga. Rooney. Prince William. What the…? What sort of car inspires the name “Lady Gaga”?

Whoops, there goes my supercar

Posted in Crap cars with tags , , , on 05/12/2011 by Alexander

Good news, everybody: a crash in Japan resulted in the totalling of a number of Ferraris and a Lambo, as well as other cars. No one was injured (otherwise it wouldn’t be good news), but this may be the most expensive accident in car history. Insurance companies will have to cough up, and a bunch of rich delinquents won’t be able to flaunt their costly toys in the face of us victims of the world recession. F**k you, luxury car owners.

3-way street

Posted in Driving theory, General opinions with tags , on 15/06/2011 by Alexander

Very cool video of a New York intersection. Could be in nearly any big city (except India, they know how to negotiate super-busy intersection with no traffic-lights like no-one), and some attitudes make you want to be able to punch some offenders in the face. Also, it’s more proof that bikers are morons. I should know. I’m very civilised and law-abiding behind the wheel of my Volvo, but I’m an animal behind the handlebars.

BMW 1-series: could it be uglier?

Posted in Crap cars, Upcoming cars with tags , on 06/06/2011 by Alexander

The first BMW 1-series is an ugly car, and this just goes to show how many people go for badges over looks, as it sells in huge quantities (1-series owners are so stupid that 80% of them think they have a front-wheel drive car). And the other day, BMW showed the new version, which is even uglier, with disgusting headlamps and the same, awful shape. I was genuinely surprised by this extraordinary feat, because BMW seemed to be shifting to good-looking cars again, if the Gran Coupé concept and the latest 5-series were anything to go by. But no, BMW intend to prove they can keep selling cars that look like crap. Pity.

A blight on God’s clean Earth #7 – Rolls Royce

Posted in A blight on God's clean Earth, Crap cars with tags , , on 06/04/2011 by Alexander

The epitome of the inversely proportionate relation some people have between money and sense. It’s also proof that today’s society is all about labels and brands and what other people think, not what’s actually good.

Rolls Royces are no better than a host of other high-end cars available for the rich and corrupt. The difference is that Rollers have catered to upper-class parasite’s needs for more than a century, thus making them a well-established cog in the super-rich machine. Because of this, they think they can ask how much they sodding well please for their latest aesthetic nightmare on wheels. And what’s worse, their customers deem it a fine practice. What better way to distinguish yourself from the riff-raff, than to ride around in a car with an unmistakably high price tag? It can very well be argued that a RR customer’s only requirement is that it costs a tad more than the amount a moderately successful member of the nouveau-riche caste can realistically afford, even if it’s made of manure and sellotape.

And though you may deem these to be just the rantings of someone you perceive to be some sort of commie bastard, I have nothing against expensive cars per se (as can be told by choices for my dream garage), but the car lover in me hates other things beside simply the irrational cost. The conservatism of Rolls’ design is astonishing, as each new version is just a slight modernisation of the previous one. Very slight. The latest Rollers are simply an updated version of a stuffy 50’s design, and a bad one. The fact that current RRs look like fricking bricks with wheels doesn’t seem to register on anyone’s radar.

And then there’s the grill. That stupid, s**tty, pathetic grill. Personally I’d find it hard to swallow if a car maker decided to make one of its products resemble a well-known piece of architecture, and I think most people would too. Imagine the next Ford Mondeo with Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim giving shape to the car’s face. Stupid? Well Rollers have a metallic rendering of the Parthenon’s façade on its ugly mug, and has always done so, and no-one finds it odd, to say the very understated least.

All of the above goes for Bentley too.

Audi A7 – Why?

Posted in Crap cars, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27/07/2010 by Alexander

I’m not a fan of Audi. As I’ve said before, they’re no more than VW’s with four rings nailed onto the front. That said, however, I quite like the Audi A5 coupé, because it has a nice shape and doesn’t have a corresponding VW version. The same can be said, though it’s debatable, of the A6 and the A8, though I don’t like either of them.

So now Audi announces the A7 Sportback, and I just don’t understand what the hell it’s for. Audi say it’s a competitor for the Merc CLS, which makes sense only up to a certain point. For saloon cars, Audi has the A4, the A5 Sportback, the A6, the new A7 Sportback and the A8. That’s five fricking cars that cover everything from family saloon to four-door ostentatious fascist-mobile. Merc have the C-Class, E-Class, CLS and S-Class. That’s only four. BMW have the 3-series, 5-series, the pathetic 5GT and and the 7-series, that’s four too (though they’re coming up with the new 6-series Gran Coupé, which will probably be the first good-looking BMW since 1988).

The problem with Audi, apart from being driven solely by absolute bastards, is that from the front, they all look exactly the same. Yes, perhaps Audi fanboys can tell the difference, but the designers took the “same design-language coherence across the range” thing far too literally. This makes Audis far too bland and boring, with no singular, fantastic-looking model. Mercedes have the CLS for this, and it also justifies the existence of the model, even though it’s really only an E-Class in a frock.

So why would I buy an A7 Sportback? Want a four-door coupé? There’s the A5 Sportback.”Ah, but I want it to be luxuriuos”. Get an A8. I don’t get it.

I wish it would flop like the absolutely stupid 5-series GT seems to be doing, but alas, car-buyers are far too thick not to be fooled by the overpriced crap the Big German Three flog on the market.