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The Good Oil: You can’t keep an ugly car down + more
You can’t keep an ugly car down
Your Oilman was thrilled to find that his favourite Ugly Car — the mighty (and mighty ugly) Pontiac Aztek — is having something of a resurgence in the US.
Actually, resurgence is the wrong word — something has to be popular in the first place to have a resurgence in popularity, and the unfortunate Aztek has been roundly hated since its troubled birth.
Not anymore! A survey by US website Edmunds.com revealed the oft-reviled Aztek is one of the most popular used cars among Millennials — that annoying and vague generation born somewhere between the early 1980s and early 2000s.
Possibly being bought ironically by people with odd beards and tattoos of vintage cameras, the Aztek rose in popularity following its appearance in Breaking Bad.
It now sits in sixth position on the list, topped by the Dodge Magnum and the thoroughly awful Chrysler Pacifica, and one place ahead of the Nissan GT-R. Figure that one out.
We are the world
■If you ever do something particularly stupid, console yourself with the knowledge that you are not as stupid as Seth Tichenor. He was recently pulled over by Vermont police for doing 112mph (180km/h) in a 65mph (105km/h) zone. His excuse? He was hurrying to get to a court appearance to deal with ... a speeding ticket.
■In a scene directly out of a slapstick flick about inept criminals, two men stole an ATM machine in the US. They made it as far as the parking lot before the machine fell out of the back of their van and they drove off without noticing. Police speculate the suspects drove too fast over a speed bump, causing their hard-earned loot to fall out the back.
The Honda you want
As we predicted a few weeks ago, Honda is playing with us now.
We told you about Project 2&4, a MotoGP bike engine-powered, lightweight, single-seat track car that would debut at the Frankfurt motor show, but almost certainly never be built.
Well, it has been revealed and it is more incredibly awesome than The Good Oil could have imagined. And we have a pretty seriously warped imagination.
The Project 2&4 looks incredible, has all sorts of silly numbers, big (such as 160kW@13,000rpm) and small (such as 405kg) attached to it, and Honda will almost certainly never build a production version, no matter how nicely you ask them. Oh, Honda — how can you be so interesting and exciting and yet still produce cars like the Civic sedan?
BMW: the ultimate video machine
BMW is the automotive king of YouTube, if a new study by online marketing company ZEFR is to be believed.
It claims BMW tops the number of car-related YouTube views at more than 4 billion, with 95 per cent of those sweet, sweet clicks being for “fan-created” videos, meaning lots of free brand recognition and advertising for BMW. Honda comes in a close second with just under 4 billion views, while Mercedes-Benz is not far behind in third.
Rather unexpectedly, the leading car type on YouTube is the sedan, with more than 10 billion views, with the SUV a very distant second with fewer than 3 billion. Sports cars come third, level-pegging with the pickup.
Racing is by far the most popular car-related subject, with 8.2 billion views of more than 895,000 videos.
It just goes to show that there are far better things to watch on YouTube than videos of cats and people hurting themselves.
Actually, scratch that — videos of people hurting themselves are gold!
Small-scale launch for S90
A Chinese model manufacturer has inadvertently outed the Volvo S90 sedan several months before its official unveiling.
According to Swedish magazine Teknikens Varld, the model appears on a Chinese website and replicates what the large sedan will look like when it is launched sometime next year. And we really hope it does look like that, because it looks incredible.
The Good Oil is a fan of the XC90’s “Thor’s Hammer” headlights, so is thrilled to see them on the car that will replace the S80 and is based on the same scalable product architecture as the XC90.
Oh, and we’d buy that model too — there’s some fine detailing going on there.
The Crown Vic rises again
Just when we thought we had seen the death of a legend, the mighty Crown Vic is to live on as a police cruiser. In Detroit, at least. Ford stopped production of the Crown Victoria in 2011 but the Detroit Police Department is refurbishing its fleet of ageing cruisers and will use them as neighbourhood patrol units.
Any Crown Vic deemed to be “mechanically sound” is being stripped of paint, given a body refresh and repainted before being sent out to rural police officers to try to “increase public awareness and provide an atmosphere of safety and protection”. The work is being donated by a local body shop. The driver of the first car to roll out says he is constantly being flagged down by residents to say how much they like the unit.
Length of time the Ford Crown Victoria was in production — 1979-2011.
Built on the Panther platform, including the Crown Vic and Lincoln Town Car.
250 THOUSAND MILES
The expected lifespan of a Crown Vic police car — that’s 402,000km!
500 THOUSAND MILES
The mileage that many of them actually achieve — that’s 804,000km.