Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 11 April 2013 16:07

Chinese GP this weekend

The Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai this weekend, and also in Pattaya the start of the Songkran festival.  This national ‘sport’ kills around 600 participants each year.  Songkran that is, not the Grand Prix.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 16:01

Does Sir want some Chanel this morning?

In what must be the ultimate extravagance, Mercedes-Benz S Class models will have a liquid perfume dispenser among its offerings of high-tech devices and fittings.  Similar to the liquid deodorant dispensers in the local loo, this item fills the cabin with your chosen odor from an electronic fitting in the glove-box.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 16:00

Want a new Lexus LFA?

If you have just decided to buy a new Lexus LFA Supercar, then I am afraid you are a little late.  They have all gone and no more are being built.

Whitest white LFA chassis No 493 has just been delivered to a customer in Switzerland and 40 out of the 500 produced LFA have been delivered to clients in Europe, including 4 LFA with Nürburgring Package.  Germany was the largest market in Europe (15 units), followed by Switzerland (6), UK (5), the Netherlands (4) and France (3).  A European customer was the only client in the world to purchase three LFA, and two others ordered a second unit after receiving their first delivery.   (That I find inexplicable, unless they want to make sure they have one to drive when the first goes for service.)

The last LFA to a European customer marked the end of sales of the supercar, which has been built at the rate of one car per day between 15 December 2010 and 14 December 2012.

The proud owner of LFA No 493 is Nicolas Schilling, a long-time friend of Japan and an exporter of French and Italian wines to Lexus’ homeland, who opened one of the first gastronomic Japanese restaurants in Switzerland.  “I was first impressed by the LFA’s design, but it was when I heard the sound of the engine of this breath-taking machine that I knew it was my dream car,” he said.  “To me, the LFA stands for far-reaching innovative technology, absolute passion and determination, all dressed-up in pure elegance.  It’s a world-class vehicle.”

So there you are - you’re too late!

Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:52

Motor show skin changes

Nissan had plenty of their March eco-cars on display at the Motor Show: The pictures reveal a redesigned front end with a version of Nissan’s current corporate grille with a strange chrome V.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:51

What’s in a name?

Analysis by MoneySuper market.com reveals that the type of car you drive is not just a matter of personal choice, but can also be influenced by your name.  The UK’s number one comparison site analyzed 17 million car insurance searches through its site and has come up with cars people are most likely to drive based on their name.

For example, anyone called Stephen will most likely drive a Land Rover, while Jessica is most likely to drive a Ferrari.  (I only know one Jessica and she is too young to drive, damn!)

Celebrities have a penchant for fast cars.  Surprisingly the analysis shows men with the name Justin are most likely to drive Porsches.  In reality, this isn’t worlds apart from Justin Bieber’s real choice of motor, which is a Fisker Karmer - a luxury hybrid car.

The research also found that Damiens and Vincents are the names most likely to drive a Porsche, whereas Jades and Garys have the highest affinity with Ford brands.  Moving off-road, Bruce and Donald are more likely to own Jeeps, while Nigel and Roger will have an affinity towards Land Rovers.  Those who topped the chart of souped-up Subaru drivers are called Shane, Dale and Carly, while those most likely to drive Skoda’s have more sensible names such as Norman, Roland and Valerie.  The research found the names highly associated with Jaguars are Bernard, Malcolm, Audrey and Janet, while someone called Jeremy is most likely to drive an Aston Martin - taking after Mr Clarkson himself!

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket said, “So what’s really in a name?  When it comes to driving a car, your name does actually influence the type of car you are most likely to drive according to our analysis.  While celebrities and sports personalities are being photographed getting out of the latest luxury vehicles, our analysis shows that some of their namesakes may also have a preference for nice cars, despite the having a very different lifestyle.

Last week I asked which ground bird had an association with sports car racing!  I was thinking of the Chapparal which is the road runner, however, frequent quiz entrant Pat Weir reminded me that the McLaren cars had a kiwi on them, also a ground bird.  Well doe Pat, three correct in a row.

So to this week.  This car has a V12 engine with Traction Avant.  It is French.  What is it?

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 .

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 17:01

Do you need insurance?

Do you need travel insurance?  Yes you do.  Now, it seems most people take these out at the travel agency and the days included are enough to give you cover from the day you leave until the day your flight returns.  Simple and easy to understand - but is it enough?

Thursday, 04 April 2013 16:26

BIMS 2013

An annual event to which I look forward every year is the Bangkok International Motor Show.  This is Thailand’s official motor show, accredited by the OICA, the world body that overseas motor shows.

Thursday, 04 April 2013 16:19

Asian Le Mans series

Drivers, team owners, motorsports officials, sponsors and other VIPs gathered at the iconic Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Tuesday, March 5 to toast the official start of the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series.

Thursday, 04 April 2013 16:18

Natter Nosh and Noggin

The car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park.  The next meeting is on Monday April 8 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 are 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 always on the second Monday of the month (not every second Monday).

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