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Good Oil: Land Rover's Defender lives on
Defender lives on
Land Rover purists rejoice — a new Defender is about to enter production.
Handbuilt in the traditional way, the new version features an aluminium body with protective panels on the front guards. Off-road tyres and suspension come standard, along with a leather seat and steering wheel.
Yes, that’s right — just the one seat.
The newest Defender is a scale version built especially for kids.
Made by Land Rover in the UK, the pedal car is aimed at the world’s up-and-coming eccentrics (or at least the offspring of existing ones) and each comes with a personalised number plate and individual chassis number.
The Defender pedal car is expensive at £10,000 ($23,000).
We are the world
■Ah, the age-old prank of adding nipples to those road signs that warn of an uneven surface. It’s been around since someone put up the first sign that looked a little bit like boobs. Now a British prankster has taken it a step further by adding some additional text to a sign using the official font. The text? A rather well-put “Wahay!”
■An “aggressive emu” named Jimmy was “arrested” by UK police recently after his crimes progressed from harassing walkers and picnickers to chasing motorcyclists. Jimmy had a reputation for being unwilling to share his outdoor space with, well, anyone. Police swooped on the wayward bird “for his own safety” as reports of his exploits near roads grew. Two police cars descended on the park where Jimmy lived, but he refused to go quietly. Eventually he was rounded up and is now in the care of the RSPCA.
Mustang of our dreams
Each year US retailer Neiman Marcus features a car in the Fantasy Gifts section of its Christmas catalogue. To give you an idea: Maserati, McLaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari have had pride of place.
But this year’s car promised to be more unique — a supercharged 522kW convertible Ford Mustang with four-wheel-drive.
Though a supercharged V8 4WD Mustang might well be a truly awesome thing, unfortunately, it proved to be a bit of, um, “over-enthusiastic” copywriting. Though the description of the Mustang boasted “all-wheel-drive technology”, it isn’t to be.
It was an error, and has been removed from the company’s website.
Still, the Neiman Marcus Mustang is a serious piece of kit, boasting a TVS 2.3-litre supercharger system, stainless steel performance exhaust, larger performance radiator, lowered heavy-duty sports suspension, Brembo 6-piston brakes, forged 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels, an extensive body kit and exclusive Neiman Marcus badges.
It costs a rather hefty US$95,000 (NZ$142,000) but comes with a two-day racing school experience.
Tell us what you really think!
Angry racing team owner Marc van der Straten. Picture / supplied
Marc van der Straten’s racing team has competed in GT3 for a while with a win in the Spa 24 Hours, but those he trusted to keep an eye on the costs allowed them to get out of control. And he isn’t happy about it.
Marc has decided to close the team and concentrate on motorbike racing.
But before he left, he fired off a magnificent press release that tears a new one in everyone he felt wronged by:
“The decision to cease car racing activities was made not because of the financial cost, but because of the moral cost to a team that no longer operates with the same principles that Marc van der Straten holds dear and which were instilled in him by his late father, with whom he started his motorsport adventure.
“For Marc van der Straten racing is about passion, competition, honour and professionalism. For car racing his passion has now gone, crushed by the deceit of those he thought shared his vision for the Marc VDS Racing Team, but who turned out to be thinking only of themselves.”
At the end of the release, he doesn’t hold back:
“Collaborators have betrayed both my trust and the family spirit of our team.
“I am 67 years old and I do not have the time left to accept behaviour that disrespects the moral principles I hold dear. I am tired by the lack of professionalism of some of the people I, wrongly, placed in key positions within the team. I’m tired of those who have no other purpose but to financially jeopardise our business, even to the point of bankruptcy.
“That is why I have decided today to bring down the curtain on Belgian Racing and end my long association with four-wheeled motorsport.”
Tell us what you really think, Marc.
The ultimate Eco Lexus
Lexus has created a full-size version of the IS made from 1700 sheets of cardboard.
Each sheet is laser-cut and attached to a hidden steel and aluminium frame that makes it self-supporting and capable of being driven by an electric motor. The entire interior has been made from cardboard as well.
Though it may well be the ultimate green car (electric power and made entirely from recycled material) it wouldn’t do so well in the rain, so Lexus has no plans to release a cardboard version of the IS any time soon.
The one existing example, however, will be exhibited at the Grand Designs Live show in the UK.