Category Archives: Cars

Conspiracy Theory Top Gear Brexit Bollocks

OMG!!!!! Did anyone else spot the number plate of the Rolls Royce that Chris Evans drove in the Top Gear episode last sunday? BRX522T!!!! This was clearly an attempt to brainwash the common folk to vote for the Brexit Campaign, even though it was shown three days after the vote! This plate was assigned to the car when it was first registered in Newcastle in 78/79, and Evans has owned it for a few years. This just goes to show how far back the conspiracy goes.

shitstir copy

A non-story started by me, just now… shall we see how it goes?

Managed Motorways


The problem with this 4 lane running smart motorway guff is that its fine until someone breaks down.

Normally with 3 lanes and a hard shoulder this isn’t too much of a hassle, but with 4 lanes it means that you suddenly lose a 1/4 of the capacity for a short distance causing an instant bottleneck. Sounds brilliant so far. An utter blinder of a plan.

Now imagine this scenario: Poor little old Mrs Thingy in her aged Micra breaks down and gets as far left as she can. The fat controller in the watch-box is busy scratching his knackers and doesn’t spot this hazard immediately. An over-hours HGV driver, distracted by an overdose of Redbull and barnyard pornography also fails to spot the hapless lady in time. Thus her small car is briefly turned into a a metal and flesh death-ball, punted down the carriageway at speeds it has previously never reached. Itchy balls + Redbull + beastiality = dead pensioner.

Can’t possibly happen, right?

Not seen the video of the truck belting down the motorway with a Clio stuck to its front bumper?

Vauxhall Astra

So, its Rock Festival season again, and because I’m too useless to own a functioning vehicle and as my Rock-Buddy doesn’t want her precious 3 Series bogged axle deep in a morass of mud, piss and stale Tuborg, its time to hire a car.

After last year’s awful Chevrolet Spark Clown Car, we felt it was time to upgrade to the second cheapest option. A Ford Focus, or a Vauxhall Astra. I think its obvious which one we got.

So, courtesy of the nice people at Enterprise, we got a Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTI SE in, what I think is called, “Ubiquitous Silver”. Really, I’ve seen loads of these on the road, and most are in the same shade of silver that my Dad had our Granada estate re-sprayed to in 1980. Then, it was about it being a nice colour, now its all about silver cars having a higher re-sale value.

From the front, it really is quite a nice looking car.


The arse end, however, is goppingly awful.


This has to be the worst arse-end of an Astra since, erm, ever. Even the proto-Astra, the Chevette, had a better back end. And just look at the shape of the cabin. What is it about cars these days and making the roof three feet narrower than the doors? For normal people this probably isn’t a problem, but at 6’5″ there is no way I could sit comfortably in the back.

It is, however,  possible for a normal sized person to do a complete clothing change in the back, without opening the doors or booting the driver in the back of the head while he is trying to negotiate the Old Knotty Way bypass around Uttoxeter.

Driving wise, the six speed box on the diesel version is quite nice, and it has enough umph to get off the A50 Uttoxetter roundabout without having to worry about being killed to death by a Stobart. We didn’t speed test it, but it will happily do the legal speed limit +10mph +10%  in fourth, never mind sixth.

I does have a few features that I’m not a fan of. Eco Stop-Start annoys me, and on the Astra it seems to be a bit brain dead. Once, while parked, it started up when I nudged the wheel, and another time it started up while we were out of the car and leaning on it. You can turn it off, but it doesn’t stay off for long.

The push-button handbrake was similarly confusing until we decided to just ignore it. It does it’s job when needed, but you can’t pull a J-turn in Tesco’s car park with it. Not that we tried.

Is it nice to drive? Yes. So much so that once she got her hands on it, I wasn’t allowed to drive it again.

Would I buy one? No. But if I had the money, I’d go for the Estate version (which doesn’t have such a hideous arse-end).

Is this Post just filler material because you haven’t written anything since the middle of May? Yes!