Posts Tagged ‘vauxhall’

The “Is It Just Me or is Your Driving Shite?!” book gained another chapter last night thanks to something I’d remained happily unaffected by for a while: the obnoxious speeder.

Once again I was commuting home though the motorway was a little more clogged than usual so I’d pulled out into the outside lane to, strangely enough, overtake a line of slower moving traffice. No sooner had I cleared than my attention is drawn to my rearview mirror by some schmuck in his Vauxhall Astra flashing his lights and getting so close he could no doubt see up my exhaust pipe. 

So, to Mr Astra I ask: why? Why do you think that you are important enough to bully me out of your way (despite the fact that my car could quite easily lap yours up for dinner) when there’s nowhere for me to go? What are you hoping for: that I’ll somehow find a gap in the stream of traffic to let you pass? Or that I won’t touch my brakes even once and have you cause mulitple fatalities? Cos that’s all it would take, just one little touch with you that close! Do you have any idea how stupid your driving behaviour is?

This has happened to me before, though not for a while, and I’m often tempted to slow down but I know the risks of touching my brakes with someone going that fast that close behind me even if they don’t. Instead I got out of his way as and when I could.  

Now, I could understand why people would think they had the right to act like such moron is if the lights he was flashing were blue, or even – at a stretch – they were rushing to be by their wife’s side as she gave birth. But just to bully people out of your way so you can enjoy your speed is something that should mean your license is revoked or you have to drive a Lada for a decade. 

As it was I had the last laugh as 5 minutes later I spotted the same Astra sat at the back of traffic queueing at the next junction as I sailed past restraining my middle finger. Must have been well worth the risk to get to that traffic. Moron

Anyone else got a suitable punishment or reaction to such obnoxious behaviour?

vauxhall astra vxrFirst of all it was Abarth who limited the amount of sported-up 500s they produced to, fittingly enough, 500.

Then Fiat, thankfully,announced that there will be only a low number of the bright-pink Barbie version of their 500 and now Vauxhall have done the same with their latest “special editions.”

Never too well considered in terms of sporting credibilty (the Nova SRi or Calibra anyone?) Vauxhall have decided to celebrate their success in the2008 BTCC (in a Vectra) by releasing new Astra and Corsa VX Racing Editions.  

They’ll be painted in the VX Racing colours of red and black, given some nice tinted windows, spoilers, some gorgeous gloss black alloys and, presumably, some nice beefy engines. 

Very nice, but why will only 888 examples of these new Vauxhalls hit the roads? Why make a car so well designed and aimed at its market and sell less than a thousand of them?An attempt to make them all the more special for their owners or is it some perverse marketing tactic – “no you can’t have these” – to create greater demand in an industry perceived as failing in the recession?

As seemingly every car maker seems to pay increasing lip service to the ‘green’ debate, Vauxhall have unveiled their bid for joint victory in the Eco Friendly, Stupid Name and What-Were-They-Thinking Styling catergories in future car awards. Here it is:

new vauxhall

It’s called the, ahem, Ampera. I know. Don’t get me wrong – I still think that every step car makers take toward the cleaner fuels the better but couldn’t they have at least consulted the design department? GM have confirmed that the Ampera will be with your Vaxuall dealer in 2012, will run about 40 miles on battery power alone then a small petrol-powered motor will power the battery for another 300. It’ll need to be plugged in to charge overnight. Which will no doubt keep you power-bills down.

Another one for the “Is It Just Me Or Is Your Driving Shite” book this one, inspiried by another drive home from the office.

Having filled up my car with petrol (at prices which are gradually sneaking up to stupid levels again) I joined a rainy evening motorway traffic for what I hoped to be an easy commute home. I settled in the flow of the traffic behind a new Corsa and was relatively content admiring its rear end and thinking what a good job Vauxhall had done with it and, indeed, their new range of motors, when I noticed a slight movement and then a bunch of red sparks hit the tarmac in front of my car.

Now maybe I’ve seen that scene in Payback one too many times but I was more than a little sweary and “uh oh” when I realised I was going to have to drive over this bunch of still light cigarette sparks, especially when I was still petrol-station-fresh.

Ignoring the fact that it’s littering, I know that while auto makers spend a lot of time fitting as many cup holders in a car as possible, the Corsa still has a bloody ashtray! Not only that, but surely it’s dangerous?? Isn’t it??

If you’re that determined not to have the stink of cigarettes in your car, don’t smoke in it. Who knows what could be on the surface of a road, I’ve seen some real bangers on the motorway that could easily be leaking all kinds of flammable. Just stub it out first if you don’t want to put it in your ashtray.

Obviously I didn’t go up in flames but it’s still frustrating how easily people are willing to throw stuff out their windows and litter the joint up when there’s a perfectly good ashtray just centimetres from their hand. Seriously, how lazy and inconsiderate must you be?

bad_parking-11Ok, this is another one of those Frustrating Practices…. posts that’s likely to ad to my reputation as a misery guts. But then I’m merely pointing out what are really breaches in common sense. I’m starting to think a book may be in order: Is It Just Me, Or Is Your Driving Shite?

This is one for the Parking chapter. My neighbour exemplified this lack of consideration, common courtesy and common sense last night and prompted this debate. If I get home last my drive is taken and I have to park on the street. No problem except when certain people manage to park their Vauxhall Vectra (you know who you are) in a way that takes up 3 spaces! You know how it is, enough for two thirds of a car in front and behind but not enough for a whole car. 

OR they leave just enough space for exactly the length of your car. This is my neighbour’s other party trick. So I go through an inordinate amount of steering, creeping back and forward trying not to clip the cars parked on the other side of the road and fighting the urge to outright ram his beloved Vectra. Instead I inevitably have to park at the bottom of the street and walk then forget this the next morning and think my car has been stolen. 

I’m sure this is the same in many streets in many towns. It’s also true in supermarkets and car parks. I’m sure everyone has seen some complete clown that’s managed to temporarily lose their vision of colour and park across the dividing yellow line in parking pays and thus take up two spots, or go a foot or so forward and make the one in front unusable. 

I’m sure, and once again pray, that I’m not the only one who gets irate at people’s lack of consideration for other drivers when they dump their car. It may well be directly infront of your gate, save you walking a few feet to the entrance of the shops but sho some bloody manners and thought for your fellow road users or I’m going to turn into one of those people that leaves little notes under your wiper and, I warn you now, I’ll only be using four-letter words.

It gets everywhere this car. After commenting on its launch up in London I came face-to-face with the new Vauxhall Insignia in Kent this weekend.

New Vauxhall Insignia

New Vauxhall Insignia

The new Insignia arrived at Caffyns on January 10th and they were eager to show it off, with due cause. It’s a good-looking car! My local Kent Vauxhall dealer placed a new Insignia in my local town centre and the shoppers seemed more interested in it than they did the remains of the January sales. Either that or it was a really bad parking job.

I’m not personally in the market for the executive class car but I do like this one. Are you in the market for such a car and what do you think of the new Vauxhall Insignia? Is it one to watch out for in 2009 for the stylish executive driver?