On the whole, Mercedes-Benz produce very sensible, sought after popular cars. But as with every brand of car, there are some who think a little different and maybe push the weirdness envelope a bit too much. Here are a few examples of Mercedes weirdness. Continue reading
The ‘OX’ is a ready-to-build all-terrain truck, designed for remote villages, for use across parts of the world without a culture of automation. The OX has been designed here in Britain, by The Global Vehicle Trust, and is the first of its kind. The Camden-based organisation, who exist to improve the lives of those in the developing world, put any profits generated by sales of the OX into further development of its charitable endeavours.
When you get caught doing something utterly stupid, you’re likely to say anything to try and get you out of trouble. Suddenly it’s like you’re 8 years old again and discovered with half a pack of Jaffa Cakes crammed into your gob. And it’s even worse when your indiscretion occurs behind the wheel, and a member of Her Majesty’s Constabulary decides to get involved. But let’s hope that your stuttering, pathetic reasons for going too fast or talking on your phone are slightly more believable than this lot…
DRUM ‘N’ BASS
When Aaron Cogley was pulled over in Bristol for driving erratically and running two red lights, he undertook the usual battery of tests for drink and drugs. But he was found to be completely clean. Instead, he claimed the reason he was performing so poorly behind the wheel was due to being “high on drum and bass”. The intoxicating rhythms of the music led him to also cut up another driver and take a corner on two wheels, due to his speed.
He’s known for professionally throwing curve balls, but spin bowler Graeme Swann produced a monumental googly when he was pulled over by Nottinghamshire police and found to be over the legal drink drive limit. Swann explained that he’d been celebrating his birthday, when he returned home and realised his cat was trapped under the floorboards. He rushed out to buy a screwdriver to free the feline, when the coppers caught him. Luckily, his whole defense didn’t solely rest on this bizarre story. He actually escaped prosecution on a technicality.
A motorist in Southwark South London claimed the only reason he illegally swerved into a bus lane was to avoid an alien spaceship that had been hurtling towards him. To avoid a collision with the craft and possibly destroying our first contact with a creature from another planet, he did the wrong, though possibly civilization advancing, thing. Magistrates pointed out that he was seen on CCTV, where as the UFO was not and he was fined £120.
A motorist in Purbeck, Dorset was pulled over when spotted driving while using their mobile phone. The driver insisted that this was simply impossible as they didn’t have a phone with them and instead the police had seen them eating a prawn cracker and mistaken the large crispy treat as a bog standard Samsung. But the clever copper had a plan, called the driver’s number and instantly heard the phone ring in the car. The driver apologised, offered the police officer a cracker and was given an on the spot fine.
Usually when a police officer says ‘I see we have a comedian here’, he’s probably not greatly amused and something bad is about to happen. But actual comedian Jimmy Carr was able to use his profession as his defense when he was seen driving while speaking into his iPhone. He claimed that rather than having a conversation, he was actually recording a joke he’d just thought up, for use later. Amazingly, Magistrates agreed and the case was dismissed.
A Minnesota man crashed his car into another vehicle and a mailbox then quickly sped away. When the authorities finally caught up with him, he claimed the reason he’d crashed was that his passenger had a large spider in the motor which proceeded to escape and bite him. He didn’t really say why he needed to hit-and-run because of this, possibly it was due to PTSD. Sadly the police failed to find the spider or any evidence of a Tarantula bite on the man and he was prosecuted.
A driver in East Sussex was seen driving at a mammoth 103MPH as well as weaving in between cars and waving a cigarette at other drivers. When finally tracked down, he claimed the reason he was travelling so speedily was that he had dyslexia and couldn’t read the speed dial. Because that is the only indication of speed isn’t it? The fact that he was passing all the other cars and the terrified expressions on the other drivers’ faces didn’t make an impression. The authorities didn’t buy this and he was banned from driving for three years.
A Florida man was pulled over when his truck was witnessed swerving through traffic and nearly hitting a parked car head on. Police believed he was drunk, but he disagreed. He claimed the reason he’s been driving so poorly was that there was a squirrel eating him. Officers assumed this was crazy drunk talk, but sure enough, the man opened his shirt to reveal a small squirrel nestling there. He didn’t appear to have any reason for there being a rodent in his clothing, but it might have been connected with him being totally wasted. He was arrested for driving under the influence. The squirrel was released without charge.
Volkswagen has, aptly, chosen the idyllic setting of Wörthersee Lake on the southern tip of Austria to launch a car that’s the stuff of Boy Racer wet dreams.
Christened, the Design Vision Golf GTI, VW’s new ride not only looks every inch performance, it also lives up the billing under the hood – packing the best part of 500bhp!
From new superminis to single person taxis, automated cars to congestion charges, the unprecedented cost of inner city parking to the increasing number of bus lanes, the modern British urban driver has never been presented with a more rapidly changing landscape.
Of course you want your own supercar to proudly polish on a Sunday morning, impress former ex-girlfriends as you drive slowly by their house and, most importantly, do doughnuts on Asda car park. But there is a slight hitch. The exorbitant cost. These iconic four-wheeled wonders are not for the likes of us. So we add even more decals to our Nissan Cherry and sob openly behind the wheel. But there is another way. Some manic gearheads out there have built their own supercars for buttons. All you need is a bit of mechanical know-how, a few spare parts and a dream. A crazy, impossible dream. Oh, and possibly a welding torch.
Wang Jian – Lamborghini
Chinese car nut Wang Jian always fantasised about being behind the wheel of his very own Lambo. He had his eye on the Reventon, but didn’t fancy the £1.6million price tag. No problem! Using a Volkswagen chassis, the engine from a Nissan and a load of sheet metal he put together this impressive looking knock-off. It still cost about £10K, but it’s a small beans compared to that satisfied feeling you get flying down the street to swathe of impressed glances. Except the authorities decided it wasn’t roadworthy, so it is mainly used to transport manure on the family farm. So it may not be a load of crap, but it’s used to actually load crap.
Henrik I. Matevossian – Maserati
Sometimes your dreams can be realised in an instant. Sometimes they take decades. In Armenia, they take decades. But this didn’t deter a determined car freak like Henrik I. Matevossian. In 1981 he looked around at the Soviet vehicular monstrosities available to him and decided that slow, boxy and grey coloured just wasn’t for him. He began to construct a bespoke Maserati, from his own personal design. After a brief delay while the Soviet empire crumbled and his country went to war, he’d completed his dream vehicle. In 2007. Still, it’s an impressive looking beast featuring actual Maserati parts, such as the gearbox, suspension, and the Biturbo V6 engine. Though the steering wheel comes from a Toyota, which slightly shatters the illusion.
Hannes Langeder – Porsche
Some enter the garage, tools in hand, with a vision of self-creating that vehicle they have always aspired to. Others are just taking the piss. Firmly in the second category is Herr Langender, an artist who decided to build a replica GT3 from tin foil and sellotape. Oh, and it rests on a bike chassis and is pedal-driven. In the sales video promoting the car, specifications such as its lightness (it doesn’t have any innards) and speed (it boasts about being the slowest Porsche ever made) are pointed out. So if you are a cyclist who hates cars or a car owner who hates bikes, this might be perfect for you.
Mike Duke – Bugatti
Even if you had the £1.5million that a Bugatti Veyron usually goes for, they are as rare as a pothole-free road, with only around 300 originally constructed. So, if you’re like car fanatic Mike Duke, what can be done? Just blow about a grand on a Ford Cougar and build your own Bugatti on top of it. You’ve saved several million and you don’t have to look at a Ford Cougar all day. Mike’s motor, which took 9 months to put together, may resemble a Bugatti, but underneath it’s all Ford. So rather than reaching 250MPH, it makes a more modest 140. But you won’t spend sleepless nights worrying about the petrol costs, your insurance rates or distant relatives bothering you, as they assume you’ve recently won the lottery.
Filandri Moreno – Urango
Cheeky! Not only did Senor Moreno spend four years building his own supercar, which he dubbed the Urango Hurricane, from scratch, he did it in Ferrari’s back yard. He planned, designed and built every aspect of this beauty in his backyard. That includes chassis, suspension and brakes. Brakes! How do you build your own brakes? The only bit he couldn’t manage was the engine, so it has an Audi 4.2 litre V8 under the hood. And what’s more, it’s completely unique. So far no-one has knocked on door and begged for the blueprints.
Doug Small – MG TD
Ok, so it might not be classed as a ‘supercar’ but the MG TD is a super car by any definition. Doug Small of East Moline, Illinois decided he wanted this classic 1950’s vintage motor, but didn’t want to shell out the spondoolicks on a real one. So instead he built it using a fibreglass shell placed on the light, cheap and easily convertible VW Beetle chassis. And the environmentally conscious Doug also wanted it to be electric, making the conversion even more difficult. So it doesn’t go very far and it can’t go very fast, but it does look pretty sweet.
Reading Rockets completed a great 2012/13 season by becoming VCARS.co.uk D1 Men‘s Playoff champions after defeating Worthing Thunder (88-57) on Sunday at England Basketball‘s Final Fours Weekend 2013.