Dr. Iain Corness

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 15:58

TBX networking at Shenanigans

The newly formed Trade Barter eXchange (TBX) held a networking evening at Shenanigans Jomtien, with MD Steve Graham welcoming everyone and assisting in more than a few business deals during the event.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:55

Spanish GP this weekend

Spain has a long history in GP racing, and the Catalunya circuit (aka Montmelo) was built just 20 km from Barcelona.  It was actually the fourth circuit in, or near, Barcelona, which has some claim to being Spain’s capital of motor racing.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:53

Jazzing around

One of the more successful teams based in Pattaya is Thomas Raldorf’s CEA Projects team.  He has for sale one complete Honda Jazz race car, set up for the Jazz One Make Series.  This car has been completely rebuilt with all new parts and is ready for the 2014 season.  The engine is fully legal for the Jazz One Make races.


There is also one complete spare fully modified engine which has been fully reconditioned, for sale separately

The race car is 580,000 baht and the spare race engine is 130,000 baht.  However, Thomas is prepared to rent the car out on a full Arrive and Drive basis, so just to show up and enjoy the racing with the team and the car...

Certainly makes for hassle-free motor racing.  I have driven with Thomas’ team before, and they are completely professional.

To contact Thomas, email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or send a Facebook message to Thomas Raldorf, or call on +6689 939 3253.

The styling of Lexus’ front has been radically altered and is called by Lexus, the “spindle grille”.  According to the Lexus Press Release, “creating a strong identity is all part of building a strong brand and the brand-defining grille shape plays a key role in positioning Lexus as a modern, advanced premium manufacturer.  The design’s versatility also allows it to amplify the sportier character of Lexus’s F Sport models.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:51

The Nanny State in the desert

The cinema advertisement for the new BMW 2 Series falls foul of the code of conduct according to the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

The advert footage shown in cinemas has the Series 2 BMW sliding in the sand.  Dear Oh Dearie me!

The ASB says the advert depicted unsafe driving in breach of a voluntary car industry advertising code of conduct, but admitted that even though it showed a tachometer up near the rev limit, it did not show a driver breaking the speed limit.

“The advertisement commenced with the vehicle being accelerated such that it lost traction of its driving wheels, then accelerating at speed and preceded to display 360’s and significant loss of traction, typical of hoon activity,” the complaint to the ASB says.  The complainer went on to say, “I consider it portrays an unfavorable message, contrary to safe and sensible driving.”

Unfortunately for BMW, the bureau agreed with part of the complaint.

In its defense, BMW Australia said the car was not shown being driven above the legal speed limit, with no image of the speedometer shown.

“Instead, any sensation of ‘speed’ was delivered by deliberate editing of a high standard (including by panning or rotating the footage) to create dramatic visual effect with alternative rock background music track sourced from local Australian band Kings of the North and sped up in pace from the original stock footage to match the musical beat and also shortened in duration for commercial (cost) reasons,” it said.

“We understand that footage of the vehicle on unsealed dusty desert roads was shot on private property, with deliberate camera angles, possible weather and lighting effects (including clever use of a low angle sun) employed to add visual impact.

“We would also add that these creative measures are likely to have been exaggerated from the viewer’s perspective in a cinema environment with Dolby surround sound and high definition, super-size cinema screens,” BMW Australia said.

However, while the ASB found that the ad did not depict excessive speed, it did show the 2 Series being driven in a reckless manner as the engine revved and the wheels spun, leaving black marks on the road.

“BMW does not consider this complaint or its allegations to be substantiated in any way and accordingly BMW submits that this application be dismissed summarily as a frivolous complaint given the cinematic environment.”

I agree with BMW, but then I am probably classed as a ‘hoon’ as well.  What you see on the screen is not ‘real’ life as anyone over the age of three understands.

What will they do next?  Ban Mission Impossible, Captain America and Spiderman?  After all, there’s some ‘hoon’ behavior there as well.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:50

Here is the Future - right now!

Motoring has already taken some incredible leaps forward in the last 50 years; for example, who would have predicted that computers would dominate the automotive technology.  Traction control, skid control and stability control.  Variable valve timing electronically.  Drive by wire, including electric steering.  Airbags that deploy in an accident.  50 years ago people would have laughed if you had suggested it, but here it is today.  Imagine what the next 50 years will hold!

In 2060 Audi envisions a hydrogen-powered vehicle that combines artificial intelligence with avenues of self expression as it can change its external shape.  This is obviously the ideal bank robber’s car!

GM’s effort is very imaginative.  Much like the self-regulating traffic system found in the ant, nature’s best commuter, vehicle-to-vehicle communication and intelligence allows GM’s ANT to act independently yet communicate with other vehicles to optimize traffic flow.  All body panels are connected with electro-active polymer actuators, allowing reconfiguration of body panels, depending on their optimal street use.

Honda presented a solar-hybrid powered car that allows carpoolers to take advantage of commuter lanes, share commuting costs and once near the individual passenger’s final destinations, splits from one to four separate and unique transportation modules.  This takes the changing shape bodywork to another level, allowing metamorphosis into four from one.

The Mazda Motonari RX uses an ‘energy form’ that non-invasively integrates the driver with the vehicle making each indistinguishable from the other allowing the driver to experience the road psycho-somatically, receiving electrical stimulation to specific muscle groups.  Four omni-directional wheels allow 360 degree movement.

The Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow utilizes micro-metallic particles that can be arranged via magnetic fields in many different forms.  This is similar to Audi’s idea of changing exterior shapes.  The vehicle can also be completely dissembled into a mass of ferromagnetic material for easy storage.

Nissan predicts that in 50 years time robots have become an integral part of our lives.  OneOne (pronounced “won-won”) is tomorrow’s live-in maid, driver and gardener, retrieving dry cleaning and groceries, tending to the children and guided by a real time GPS network.

Toyota predicts that due to limited ground space (especially in Japan!), vertical architectures have caused the transportation industry to create new pathways that also explore vertical space.  The vehicle is powered by pollution with electronic dynamic driving instincts and structural adaptations to accommodate the user’s need for space.

VW believes the urban area will have become unimaginably dense and the roadways have reached the point of total saturation.  Volkswagen’s solution is an advanced autonomous vehicle that dynamically adapts to minimize its footprint in the city and its drag coefficient on the highways.  The skin of the vehicle is made of hyper-efficient solar panels that power the vehicle.

There were some distinct common themes among the submitted designs.  Taking the ‘most likely’ scenarios, the car of tomorrow will have omni-directional wheels, and a body shape that will adapt to the environment (and the whim of the driver).  Electromagnetic energy will be used, and it may be solar extracted.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:49

Natter Nosh and Noggin

The Pattaya car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park.  The next meeting is on Monday May 12 at Jameson’s at 7 p.m.  A totally informal meeting of like-minded souls to discuss their pet motoring (and motorcycling) loves and hates (plus lies and outright exaggerations).  Come along and meet the guys who have a common interest in cars and bikes, and enjoy the Jameson’s specials, washed down with a few beers.  A couple of the members were scrutineers at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so they may have some scuttlebutt about the F1 scene.  Always a fun night.  Be prepared to laugh a lot at some of the antics of the members (when they were younger)!  The Car Club nights are only on the second Monday of the month (not every second Monday)!

Thursday, 08 May 2014 14:47

Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I asked what came into being in 1967, was in general use 1968 and outlawed 1969.  The clue was: think FIA.  It was the high aerofoil wings.

So to this week.  Which manufacturer who built the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles” also built a superior car?

For the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thursday, 08 May 2014 13:58

Miguel Torres the Wine King of Spain

The Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar at the Royal Cliff hosted the deVine Wine Club’s April gala dinner, featuring Spanish wines from the vineyards of Miguel Torres.  The Torres vineyard was proclaimed the best European Winery of the year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2012 and its wines have just been voted as “The Most Prestigious Wines in the World.”

Thursday, 08 May 2014 13:41

Ruffino at the Centara Grand Phratamnak

The Centara Grand Phratamnak has come a long way in a very short time.  Opened last year, GM Dominique Ronge has been in charge of what has obviously been a runaway success.  Their up-market restaurant is called Ruffino - the same as the winery whose wines we were to sample during the dinner.  Apparently the Ruffino winery and the Ruffino restaurant felt there was much to be gained in brand awareness by sharing the name.

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