Posts Tagged ‘honda’

When you’re giving way to oncoming traffic, there is an unwritten rule that is polite for all drivers and that is the thank you ‘wave.’

I was giving way to a loooong line of traffic at rush hour thisy morning – this is how nice I am – or how little of a hurry I’m in to get to work. The people behind me weren’t so sure but the feeling any we get for doing a good deed is quite pleasurable, and if someone doesn’t say thank you it makes you feel quite bitter (well it does me) – I will always wave ‘thank you’ to traffic letting me pass.

When letting this long queue go past of approximately 10 cars, all but but two said thank you, and in all different ways. Some flashed their headlights – so frustrating to be blinded though, some even gave me an entire palm of wave, some lifted a finger or two off the steering wheel, some bared all 4 fingers and some even nodded, but given all those little ways of saying thank you, you realise that no one was taught this during their driving lessons, this little habit has just caught on.

This isn’t something I’ve observed driving on the continent. Certainly not while pulling of a do-it-yourself international removal last month from France to England. If anything I’ve rarely been so angered by both traffic and lack of common courtesy. Given I was driving a giant of a Citroen van I could’ve quite easily thrown my weight around on the road.

Is this unwritten but widely observed driving practice just a sign of our general, good English manners?

The two moody cars this morning that refrained from saying thank you were,  shockingly both Hondas. One a new CR-V. Obviously enjoying the extra amount of condescending allowed by the driving position or had recently read my less-than-positive comments about their looks. I’ve seen increasing amounts of the new Honda CRV in Kent lately. Still not too keen on them and this morning’s experience has just added to that.

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Heading home last night I got followed all the down the motorway through Kent by a Honda. At the time I didn’t know what it was. It didn’t overtake me or get too close but it sat on my tail all the way and left at the same junction. Up until this point I was thinking that it looked pretty good, as SUVs go.

honda cr-vNot being all that aware of Honda’s new cars as I am with other brands, I hadn’t registered seeing it before. Then I saw the rest of it as I joined a different lane on the exit. It was CR-V, Honda’s “SUV with a difference.” Granted, it’s not the worst looking thing on the road and isn’t without charm, I was, frankly, dissapointed. From the front I think this car looks great. Side on: not so much.

It got me thinking, it can’t be the only car to suffer from that sympton. There’s the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet, looking at it front-quarter on it’s a good looking car but any other angle and it’s as attractive as an early Proton in my eyes.

The Mercedes SLK also falls in to this catergory for me. From the front it looks capable of being a real power-house but side on it looks a but mis-proportioned and stunted. As powerful as a chocolate wafer bar. It could be worse, the Fiat Multipa looks like dog’s dinner all they way round.

They can’t be the only 3, what other cars fall into this catergory?

You may or may  not have noticed from these very pages that there’s a cynical element to my personality. One which MTV seems determined to arouse every morning before I leave for the office. 

Yesterday morning I found myself getting more agitated than usual. Yes, I know these are repeats. The ‘storyline’ focused on some kid who had the most dilapidated used Ford Escort you’ve ever seen. Only it turned out to be two of them glued together. The whole thing was so bad and unsafe the glorious team at The Place They Had To Bleep Out to stop advertising for them ended up giving him a brand new car and ‘Pimping’ that out instead. 

Now my problem with this show is three fold. Firstly: I’ve owned lot of old cars and I’ve NEVER let them get into such a bad state even when I’ve barely been able to make rent and yes I rely on my car as much as the people on the show do and ferry numerous members of my family around in them as they so often get the sympathy vote with. I get the very distinct impression that people are getting their hands on the worst cars they can find, making them even worse and then sending an audition tape to the network. If you genuinely rely on a car as much as most of them claim to you wouldn’t let it get so bad. And, if you let your car get in such a bad state do you really deserve a new one? It’s like giving an alcoholic a new liver.

The second is how badly and obviously set up the reactions are. You know that bit where Xzibit knocks at the door of the ‘unkowing’ lucky driver lives and they jump out, bounce up and down, scream “oh my gOd,” hug him and reveal a nicely set up mic-pack on their jeans where the film crew have been there ahead of time and wired them for sound?

honda civicThe other reason I get irked by this show is that it seems to be giving off completely the wrong message. It’s not aspirational in the sense that it’ll encourage people to get their car done up, it’s sending out the message: let your car fall to pieces, we’ll pick it up and turn it into a boy-racers wet dream and stick a fish-tank in the back and a pc in the dashboard so you can check your emails in the car park. No element of get things sorted for yourself, just let it all fall apart someone else will fix it for you. What if people started doing that across their lives. Their is no Pimp My Finances for those who just go into bankruptcy hoping a famous rapper will come along and give their bank account gull-wings and a gold-tinted cheque book. 

Though I did like the one with the Honda Civic that they gave Lambo doors but why do they insist on putting games consoles in every car? Who really wants to sit in their car playing Call of Duty?  

Am I alone in my cynicism on this or should I just change my morning viewing habits?

I’d like to think I played some small part in this given my statement that buyers for Honda’s F1 team could be “put off by the fact that they’re buying a team with payments on key components due in a matter of days,” but I doubt it.

Well, this is the news: Mercedes-Benz look like they’re willing to hang on as long as possible before finalising their 2009 supply deal which has given fresh impetus to the management buyout plan.

That Mercedes-Benz seem to be doing all they can to support the aililng Honda F1 team if only by not demanding payments and deals to be settled, shows that there really is still an element of honour and sportsmanship in Formula One.

There’s still loads of rumours for potential buyers but the management buyout is the strongest likelihood. If all goes to plan there may still be time for some pre-season testing and a Mr Button to be sat behind the wheel of a Honda F1 car in Brisbane for the Australian GP rather than a Civic in his local Morrison car park. Or his couch.   

Fingers crossed then.

Well, after the recent video from Jensen Button regarding his racing fitness, the decision time for his future and that of the previously Honda-backed F1 team is looming.

The deadline for decisions on the future of the Honda F1 team buyout is Monday according to team principal Ross Brawn. While  the Honda Motor Co. board need to have approved a deal by the 28th, Mercedes-Benz supplied the engines for the team and have said that the 23rd is the deadline for the first payment. No payment and it’s time to return the engines.

It was a bit of a shock when Honda pulled out financing for their team and potential buyer names bandied around have included the Virgin Group and management buyouts.  

Problem is, with the complications and haste of decision requirements it’s all looking a bit complicated. Will potential buyers be put off by the face that they’re buying a team with payments on key components due in a matter of days. And all a matter of weeks before the season starts.

It’s strange to think that what used to look like a playground for millionaires has been so heavily hit by the recession and given the huge wages commanded by the drivers it’s even stranger to think of them being affected by the financial climate. 

I suppose nobodies job is really that safe even if it was one seen as ideal by so many millions of schoolboys and car lovers. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that Button gets to race more than a Honda Civic around in 2009.

So the news today tells me that Jenson Button has said he remains “hopeful” that he’ll be sat behind the wheel of a Honda on the grid in Australia when the next Formula One season kicks off.

I have to admit I feel something resembling pity for Button. At one point he was the nation’s glimmering hope: a potential British Formula One Champion and then.. well, it all went a bit Tim Henman on him and he seems to have vanished in the heat haze of Lewis Hamilton. Then Honda put their team up for sale a couple of months ago and now all the other figure-hugging seats on the F1 grid have been filled so if Honda’s bid to find a rescue fail he’ll be watching the season from his sofa, albeit it a presumably very expensive and comfy one.

Well, slim as chances are and despite warnings from David Coulthard that he may fail to get back into the game if he misses a 2009 seat, Button seems up-beat and has been continuing his usual regime and a video on his personal site (if you’re not a fan it may induce vomit) has him stating his got his “fingers crossed” to be racing come the end of March.

Let’s hope that March 29 sees him racing an F1 Honda round the track rather than racing a Honda Civic around his local ring-road.