The re-elected grinning twat of motoring, every month
SNIFF PETROL IN MELTDOWN
Fans of orangey internet car satire websites were in mourning this week following news that Sniff Petrol has gone into administration. The slightly popular made-up news site had been hoping to broker a partnership with Chinese automotive piss-taking giant You Laugh At This Now Worker Scum (YLATNWS) but talks broke down late last week as the delegation from Shanghai became increasingly concerned about Sniff Petrol's financial state and in particular the fact that it has made no money ever.
Since 2001 Sniff Petrol has been run by a collective of businessmen known as 'The Dodo 5' who bought the entire website for a token sum of £8.56. The five men, led by former Sniff Petrol editor Joan Towers, have been the subject of regular scrutiny ever since having been accused of financial malpractice and also of wearing grey suits, having some beards, and tying their ties so that the fat end hangs down somewhere down around testicle level in a way that marks out inept British businessmen globally. In 2002 Sniff Petrol managing director Kevin Why? authorised the division of Sniff Petrol into smaller units, so that the profitable Motorsport and Made Up Adverts divisions were separated from the loss making News and Stars Whose Names Sounds Like Cars parts of the company. He also brought the orange side bar bit to the left of the text under direct control of the parent company, Dodo Venture Graspings. The following year Why? and his colleagues attracted further criticism for selling the buttons that access the archive, mailing list and e-mail facility and then leasing them back from a company that wanted to use them to build houses on. Why? later denied that selling something you still need was "rather fucking stupid".
However, despite the gloomy outlook for Sniff Petrol, Joan Towers remained in bullish mood this week: "When we took on this website people gave us 14 months at most," he said. "In fact it was three and a half years… before we became millionaires". He later denied allegations that his legs appeared to be made of gold.
Yet despite recent suggestions that Sniff Petrol cannot recover from its collapse and that this is entirely the fault of everyone except five blokes who apparently couldn't manage their way out of a phone box, there does remain one glimmer of hope. Nikolai Smellyski, the 14-year-old owner of sports car maker TVR, has reportedly expressed an interest in buying Sniff Petrol. Sources close to the spotty billionaire say he could make a bid for the beleaguered website, although he may still prefer to spend his money on a cowboy outfit. Or MG-Rover, as they are currently known.
TG ATTACKED BY TWATS
Popular car-based television show Top Gear was under fire this week from tedious leaf eating group Transport 1973 which claims that the programme is "too fun" and should be removed from our screens. Transport 1973, whose aim is to make Britain adopt a transport policy similar to that experienced in the early '70s, insist that Top Gear is indoctrinating the public into enjoying cars and viewing them as an entirely reasonable way to get around considering that the trains are so expensive and shit. "This simply won't do," said Transport 1973 spokesman Umbar Farp. "Our organisation is promoting a return to the transport policies of the early '70s when everyone didn't have a car and those that did couldn't use it anyway because of the fuel crisis. We would like to see more people using public transport or investigating other alternatives for making themselves miserable and late". Mr Farp went on to insist that Top Gear is not only far too entertaining to be on television, but that its tone was inflammatory and dangerous; "The general public cannot be allowed to watch a programme in which a car is driven at speed on a private airfield because they will immediately go out and copy that behaviour on public roads in just the same way as they might watch Witness with Harrison Ford and then run off to hide with Kelly McGillis in an Amish community or rent a copy of Leon and start assassinating people, talking in a French accent and nurturing a young Natalie Portman". Mr Farp later denied that his group's outlook was so patronising that it made your tongue itch. "The public is at risk and it's up to self-appointed guardians like us to protect them from experiencing 'pleasure', especially in cars". Transport 1973 say they are also stoutly opposed to 'progress' and 'minding their own fucking business'.
CALLUM'S UNSURPRISING SALOON SHOCK
There was excitement at Jaguar this week with the news that top designer Ian Callum has finally designed a saloon car. Callum, whose work includes the Aston Martin DB7 coupe, the Aston Martin DB9 coupe and the Jaguar ALC concept coupe, had reportedly been struggling to translate his favoured design themes of a long thrusting bonnet, bold rear haunches and an elegant tapering tail onto a saloon body style, until now. "What he's done is very clever," said one insider. "Basically he's taken the same old design that he's been doing for the past few years and he's sort of drawn some back doors on it". A Jaguar source later denied that the reason for Callum's delay in creating a saloon design was because someone had lost the key to the photocopier room.
NEW A-CLASS PASSES ELK, BADGER, AND BABOON TESTS
When the original Mercedes A-class failed the notorious 'elk test' avoidance manoeuvre the German firm suffered the embarrassment of having fucked up. Keen to avoid a repeat of this fiasco with the new A-class, the company has been revealing details of the severe test procedures that have been part of the new car's development. In association with automotive expert Professor Ken Freeply of Nigel Havers College, Kettering, Merc engineers have subjected their latest model not only to the usual 'elk test', but also to a series of extreme handling tests designed to assess the car's ability to avoid a whole range of other animals. And fish. "It's all well and good making a car that can avoid elks," Prof. Freeply commented. "But the elk is only indigenous to Scandinavia and America and probably some part of Wales. That's why I've created a more realistic series of tests so that Mercedes customers the world over can be confident that whether they come across a gibbon or an ocelot or a giant panda lying in the road, their car will be able to swerve round it. Or, in the case of a sperm whale, at least aim for the tail. I couldn't sleep at night if I thought someone in an A-class couldn't safely swerve around a obstacle such as a crow, elephant or dinosaur". Prof. Freeply later denied that his tests were "shit".
An ocelot, yester... oh you know
LUTZ WISHES PEOPLE AT WORK LIKED CARS
Lutz looks for someone to talk about cars over lunch, yesterday
When GM hired 112-year-old warhorse Bob Lutz as their product development boss the company talked proudly of how he was a real "car guy". Now Detroit sources say the enthusiastic pensioner is becoming increasingly depressed because no one in the company wants to talk about cars. "Bob seems real down at the moment," said one insider. "He's always wandering about the design offices showing people pictures of new cars and trying to talk about them but I guess the guys here just aren't interested. Poor fella, I guess if he wants to discuss cars he's come to the wrong place". However, some of Lutz's colleagues were less sympathetic. Sources say some employees are starting to avoid the elderly driving fan if at all possible and have been heard muttering phrases such as "Oh Christ, here comes that guy who likes cars". "Jeez, I wish he'd shut up about the cars already," said one manager. "God, the way he goes on you'd think GM was an auto maker or something. Dammit, we're a pensions and healthcare business, we don't have time to worry about cars".
BUTTON POOS AWAY POINTS
The world of F1 was rocked this week by the shock revelation that BAR's current car weight controversy was in fact caused by Jenson Button having a big poo. When the British driver's BAR007 was found to be under weight after last month's San Marino GP, the FIA investigation was initially centred around the amount of fuel the car was carrying. Now it seems they may have to turn their attention to the lead driver's arse. "This is a bit of a turn up," admitted one senior team insider. "We optimised the weight of the car around Jenson and hoped that his weight would remain constant. Unfortunately, during the race Jenson came on the radio and told us that he really needed a big shit. Of course, no one outside the team knew this, although they may have been puzzled at his suddenly competitive pace". Another BAR source says that immediately after the race Button ran to the nearest lavatory and evacuated his bowels, and that this "sort of threw all our calculations".
Whilst F1 fans in the medical community are still struggling to understand how Button might have extruded a 5kg poo, those close to the British star say some blame may lie with the driver's decision on the eve of the race to eat at a restaurant often favoured by Juan Pablo Montoya.
Jenson Button, not having a poo yesterday
'CRAZY' DAVE COULTHARD
Och aye the noo motherfuckers! Crazy Dave Coulthard comin' atcha with a fresh attitude for '05, fo' sho'. See, I got this new boss fella, I call him Mateschitz 'cos he my mate and he da shitz, hot diggety. Yea. He say, Crazy Dave, you gotta chill man, you gotta get yo'sel' a beard and a new flava for the season and hell, I is cool wit' dat, know wha'm sayin'? No more heavy ass shit from da man Ronnie D at the M to tha C, I'm layin' back, kick off ma shoes, jus' chill with vibe of the big bad Bull, know wha'm sayin'? Yo ain't gonna see Crazy Davey C getting' no corporate responsibilitay no more, cos I my own guy and I don' give a shee-it. Now I have to go and see my accountant about offsetting another hotel against tax. Yes.
© 2005. Sniff Petrol every month. Next issue 3 June
Written by Sniff Petrol, with thanks to Budvar and Poo