31/12/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.03/l, min $1.00
avg $1.01, min $0.97); oil us$39/b
30/12/2008 Tue Melb ULP avg $1.06/l, min $1.01
(Perth avg $1.01, min $0.97); oil us$40/b;
au$1.00=us$0.69, £0.48, €0.49, ¥62
29/12/2008 Mon Melb ULP avg $1.08/l, min $1.01
(Perth avg $1.02, min $0.97); oil us$38/b
- During 2008
oil rose as high as us$147/barrel in July, and some were
predicting it would reach us$200/b in 2009, but
it fell as low as us$37/b in December.
Over the same period the au$ fell from us$0.96 to us$0.68±.
ULP fell from about au$1.70/l to au$1.00/l --
- 31 December 2008: Petrol in Perth (with
was several cents per litre cheaper over the Christmas holiday period than in
Melbourne (without fuelwatch), and Perth residents knew with certainty
where to get the best deal.
- 31st, diesel however, Melb avg $1.26, min $1.22, Perth avg $1.31, min $1.20.
27 December 2008: The Skycar Expedition
has been preparing to fly from London to Tombouctou in Mali,
6000km, aiming to leave on 14 January 2009.
The Skycar is a rear wheel drive buggy fitted with a rear-mounted propeller,
and a parafoil ram-air wing
On road speed to 180km/h, take-off 60km/h, flying to 110km/h.
It sounds like just the thing for the next Bond movie.
(The expedition succeeded; see 2 March 2009.)
25 December 2008: Christmas Day.
25/12/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg $1.14, min $1.13
avg $1.04, min $0.97) oil us$36/b
24/12/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.02, min $0.97
(Perth avg $1.04, min $0.97) oil us$39/b;
au$1.00=us$0.68, £0.46, €0.49, ¥61
23 December 2008, 12.40pm: "TC Billy is currently located northwest of
Broome [WA] and is expected to move away from
the Kimberley coast today.
In the next 24 hours the cyclone is expected to move in a more westerly
-- BOM [23/12/'08].
22 December 2008: Even Toyota reported that it was expecting to make a
loss for the year (to the end of March 2009) --
¥150bn (au$2.4bn) v. a profit of ¥2.3tn (au$37bn) for
last year. Toyota last made a loss in 1938.
22 December 2008: GM Holden announced that it would
"build an all-new small car in Australia ... start in the 3rd quarter
of 2010 with support from the Federal and
South Australian Governments. ..." — GM[12/'08].
21 December 2008: EU memo/08/799
CO2 from passenger cars which
"account for about 12% of all Community CO2 emissions ...
[aim] fleet average CO2 for new cars sold in the EU of 120g/km in 2012 ...
targets will be applied to 65%, 75% & 80% of a manufacturer's cars
in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 resp. ... penalties ...
Long term objective for 2020 of 95gm/km ..."
Legislation was passed 18/12/2008.
20 December 2008:
Bonhams Ferrari et les Prestigieuses Italiennes auction
at Gstaad, .ch, includes
an ex-works 1955 Ferrari 121LM Spyder Corsa (lot 205) --
estimate CHF 4,700,000 to 6,600,000 (£2,900,000 to 4,000,000).
Dear Santa... (not sold.)
19 December 2008: Outgoing US President George Bush
agreed to loan GM and Chrysler us$17.4bn (of the people's money)
to stave off (delay?) bankruptcy.
President elect Barack Obama emphasised that the companies must not blow
the dough but must come up with a plan to restructure,
so that's all right then.
(Ford is in a better financial state and is
"not seeking short-term financial assistance from the government"
"asking for access to a line of credit of up to $9billion
in bridge financing" — Ford.)
19 December 2008: "Land Rover has today confirmed that it will
cancel the Land Rover G4 Challenge programme in order to focus more on
product launches in 2009.
'Given the severity of the global economic downturn and
trading conditions,' ..."
- LR ['12/'08].
30/10/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l, min $1.34
avg $1.38, avg $1.34); oil us$68/b
29/10/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.38, min $1.35
(Perth avg $1.39, min $1.35); oil us$65/b;
au$1.00=us$0.64, £0.40, €0.50, ¥62
29 October 2008, Wed.: RM Auctions 'Automobiles of London'
includes lot 253, a 1924
3/8 litre Sports Roadster,
chassis no.458, pre-auction estimate £600,000-£680,000
The Bentley was passed-in at £475,000.
(Also see 1 Dec 2008 above.)
27 October 2008, .uk:
"... average UK petrol prices dropped through £1/litre
[$au2.54/l] over the weekend for the first time in almost a year ..."
— the AA, 27/10/'08.
25 October 2008: The 30th anniversary of the
GM Holden Commodore passenger car.
"More than 2.5 million Commodores have been built since
the first VB series sedans went into production." — GMH.
24 October 2008, .uk: The Bloodhound SSC project
aims to raise the World Land-Speed Record to over 1000mph, Mach 1.4.
Some of the team were involved with Thrust SSC,
including project leader Richard Noble and driver Andy Green.
Thrust SSC reached 763mph and first broke the sound barrier
on land on 15 Oct 1997.
The “car” will be 12.8m long. weigh 6,422kg, and be powered by
a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine and a Falcon rocket engine.
The project was officially launched
"at the Science Museum [by] Lord Drayson, Minister of State for
Science and Innovation." Apparently "the
low altitude speed record for aircraft [is “only”] c.994mph."
23-26 October 2008, Thurs-Sun: National 4x4 Show, Melbourne, Vic .au,
23/10/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg $1.51/l, min $1.43
([Perth] avg $1.45, min $1.41); oil us$67/b
22/10/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.45, min $1.44
(Perth avg $1.45, min $1.42); oil us$71/b
au$1.00=us$0.67, £0.41, €0.52, ¥66
22 October 2008: Oil fell below us$70/barrel, less than half of its July
peak, but the au$ was us$0.96± then; it is about 2/3 of that now.
22 October 2008: "... Mini E:
a 100% electric, zero-emission [car] ... seeking up to
500 pioneers to lease the Mini E for a one-year period ...",
"... 150kW electric motor ... lithium-ion battery ...
range >150 miles ... 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds ... 1,465kg ...
California, New York and New Jersey ...
[and maybe] Europe ..."
And the electric e500 (Fiat 500) was at
the British Motor Show, 23 July.
And "the CSIRO-invented ‘UltraBattery’
is set to have a global impact on greenhouse gas emissions
after Japan's Furukawa Battery Company, which has already
begun production of the UltraBattery, and
US manufacturer, East Penn [signed up]..."
— ref: 08/173 CSIRO [23/9/08].
This is a lead-acid battery, relatively heavy but cheap, combined
with a supercapacitor to smooth out high demand, and charging,
for l o n g life.
21 October 2008: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
released "retail unleaded petrol prices in the five largest
metropolitan cities and Singapore Mogas 95 unleaded prices -
seven day rolling averages
- 17 July to 17 October 2008 – ACCC.
Singapore and .au prices track each other closely.
Figures from the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP)
suggested that wholesale suppliers' margins jumped
in the few days before 19th Oct..
20 Oct 2008, .uk: Mid October average
petrol £1.064/l (au$2.64), diesel £1.177/l (au$2.92)
(v. 17 July peak,
petrol £1.197/l (au$2.97), diesel £1.333/l (au$3.31)) --the AA.
20 October 2008:
Top price at Shannon's Sydney Motor Show auction was
au$105,500 for a 1985 factory-RHD Ferrari Testarossa;
the pre-auction guide was $80,000 - $95,000.
- 19 October 2008 (Sun): Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai
(practice from Fri 17th).
- Hamilton held a comfortable lead, with Raikkonen second
and Massa third, apart from when pit-stops dictated otherwise.
Towards the end Raikkonen let Massa past for the sake of
Massa's championship hopes. Kovalainen had a puncture, and later retired
with "a problem with the pneumatic system" on the engine.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes),
2. Filipe Massa (Ferrari),
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari),
4. Fernando Alonso (Renault).
Drivers' championship, Hamilton 94pts, Massa 87pts;
constructors', Ferrari 156pts, McLaren 145pts.
16/10/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg $1.57/l, min $1.44
avg $1.49, min $1.41); oil us$74/b
15/10/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.46, min $1.44
(Perth avg $1.48, min $1.45); oil us$79/b;
au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.40, €0.51, ¥71
- 12 October 2008 (Sun): Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Fuji Speedway
(practice from Fri 10th).
- Hamilton, on pole, had a bad start and then
outbraked himself at the first corner, as did others.
The championship contenders ran wide and fell back several places.
A lap later, Hamilton overtook Massa going into the chicane but
Massa cut the exit and hit Hamilton causing the latter to spin and
fall to last place; Massa received a drive-through penalty.
Hamilton received a similar penalty for the opening lap, 1st corner, action.
Late in the race, as Bourdais (Torro Rosso) left the pits,
Massa tried to overtake him, for position, at the 1st corner but
instead hit the Toro Rosso and spun.
Results:: 1. Fernanda Alonso (Renault),
2. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber),
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).
Massa finished 8th (1pt)
but was elevated to 7th (2pts) when the stewards astonishingly penalised
Bourdais 25 seconds, apparently for being run into by a Ferrari.
12 October 2008, .au: Ford drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup won
their third straight Bathurst 1000 race for V8 Supercars
9-19 October 2008:
Sydney International Motor Show, Darling Harbour.
Elfin Type 5;
Ford's new Fiesta;
GM Chevy Volt;
Honda City concept;
Isuzu D-Max ute;
Kia's new Cerato;
Lexus LF-Xh SUV hybrid concept;
Mazda Taki concept;
Nissan GT-R, new Murano SUV, and Mixim electric concept;
Renault Koleos SUV;
Subaru Imprezza WRX;
Toyota Camry Hybrid (to be built in .au from 2009/2010);
VW's new Golf and Passat CC.
8 October 2008: The Steampunk Contraptors, Erico Guizzo:
"... Steampunk is a burgeoning subculture that draws on the
elaborate aesthetics and romantic worldview of 19th-Century England to
envision how things might have looked had a few key technologies been
developed further. It conjures a gaslit cityscape filled with
steam-powered robots, mechanical computers, ray-gun-toting aeronauts,
and monocled mad scientists. ..."
— IEEE Spectrum.
And for more steam, the
British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC) group (world speed record attempt)
is ironing out teething problems.
4-19 October 2008: Mondial de l'Automobile (Paris Motor Show).
Aston Martin DBS and One-77 model;
BMW X1 SUV concept;
Citroen GT & Hypnos concepts, and new C3 Picasso;
Ferrari California convertible;
Ford's new Ka;
Honda Insight concept hybrid 5-seat 5-door hatch;
Hyundai i20 hatch;
Kia Soul, and hybrid & fuel-cell concepts;
Lamborghini Estoque 4-door concept;
Mazda Kiyora urban concept;
Mercedes Fascination "shooting brake" concept;
Mini Crossman (a "crossover", not angry) 4x4 prototype;
Peugeot RC Hymotion4 GT concept, hybrid, 4 door;
Renault electric ZE concept;
Saab 9-X Air (as in open air) concept;
Vauxhall's new Insignia;
Volvo DRIVe models, <120gm CO2/km, <4.5 l/100km, >60mpg;
VW's new Golf (Mk 6) inc. GTI.
3-4 October 2008: The 10th Deni Ute Muster, Deniliquin, NSW, .au
(6,235 utes in 2007, 7,242 in 2008).
The next muster is on the 2nd and
3rd October next year.
3 October 2008, .au:
"80,938 cars, trucks and buses were sold in September - down 3.1%
(2,551 vehicles) compared to the same month
last year." — Vfacts.
3 October 2008:
"Tata Motors has been obliged to take the hard decision of moving the
[Nano small car factory] out of the state" [West Bengal, India].
There have been riots because of land disputes over the site of the new factory.
2/10/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg $1.58, min $1.46
avg $1.52, min $1.41); oil us$99/b
1/10/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.46, min $1.40
(Perth avg $1.56, min $1.47); oil us$102/b;
au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.45, €0.56, ¥84
30/9/2008 Tue Melb ULP avg $1.47, min $1.45
(Perth avg $1.47, min $1.41); oil us$96/b
29 September 2008, Monday, 7.30pm: The Australian edition
of the motoring programme Top Gear
started on SBS TV
with local presenters Warren Brown, Charlie Cox, and Steve Pizzati.
The programme made a sound start; it should do OK if it can maintain
a good supply of cars to test and stars to embarrass.
The barriers and barrels marking out the test track look
reasonably solid — if someone should over-cook things.
- 28 September 2008 (Sun): Singapore F1 Grand Prix
(practice from Fri 26th) --
the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held at night,
starting 8pm local time:
"nearly 1,500 lighting projectors ... powered by
12 twin-power generators. An overall average of about 3000 lux
levels is required to illuminate the circuit, which is enough to
meet [HDTV] broadcast standards. ... the track will be almost
four times brighter than a typical stadium."
crash by Piquet on lap 14 brought out the safety car,
just after Alonso's early pit stop but shortly before most the
two-stoppers' scheduled stops.
In the pits, Ferrari released Massa, who had been leading,
into the path of Sutil (as at Valencia, 24 Aug.) and
with the fuel hose still attached so that it tore off the rig;
he had to wait while mechanics ran to the car and wrestled the remains off and
he later received a drive-through penalty.
A crash by Sutil on lap 51 brought out the safety car again, and
Raikkonen crashed from 5th place on lap 58.
Results: 1. Fernando Alonso (Renault),
2. Nico Rosberg (Williams Toyota),
3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes), ...,
(13. Filipe Massa).
23-25/9/2008 (Tue-Thu) Bendigo ULP au$1.48/l
not bad for country Vic, but diesel $1.68/l;
25/9 Thu oil us$106/b;
24/9 Wed au$1.00=us$0.84, £0.45, €0.57, ¥89
25 September (Thu) - 2 October (Thu) 2008:
62nd IAA Commercial Vehicles Motor Show, Hanover
"The central focus
of this IAA is on the efforts promoting sustainability in transport ...
CO2 emissions per tonne-km from road freight traffic
in Germany have come down by over 1/3 since 1991. ...
regard a further reduction of 20% by the year 2020
as realistic ..."
23 September 2008:
"Chrysler LLC announced today that the Company and
its ENVI organization have new production-intent,
advanced electric-drive technology packaged in
three different vehicles — one for each of its brands,
Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge."
22 September 2008:
The FIA International Court of Appeal rejected McLaren's appeal against the
25 second penalty imposed on Lewis Hamilton after the Belgian
F1 Grand Prix (7 Sept 2008) which dropped him from 1st to 3rd.
He was robbed.
Hamilton leads Massa by one point in the drivers' championship.
19 September (Fri) - 21 Sept (Sun) 2008, Goodwood Revival,
16 September 2008:
"Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart, acquired a further 4.89% of
the Volkswagen ordinary shares [and] the total stake in the Wolfsburg-based
car manufacturer now amounts to 35.14% of the voting rights. ...
Porsche will acquire de facto control of [VW] ..."
And Porsche is running web ads for its upcoming
4-door Panamera Gran Turismo.
18/9/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg $1.58/l, min $1.47
(Perth avg $1.48, min $1.42); oil us$98/b
17/9/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.48/l, min $1.47
(Perth ULP $1.47, min $1.41); oil us$93/b;
au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.45, €0.65, ¥85
- 15 September 2008:
The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP HY is a long-distance sports race car with
hybrid diesel/electric power which may appear in the
2009 Le Mans series
depending on the future regulations for LMP1 cars.
Braking energy is recovered and stored in "600 lithium-ion"
batteries to be fed back into a 60kW electric motor/generator.
This can boost total power or conserve fuel by 3 to 5%.
- Lap times broke 3min 30s at Le Mans this year (race 14-15 June),
so peformance in 2009 is to be pegged back by
smaller restrictors (2×37.9mm) and reduced
boost-pressure (max 2.75 bar) on turbo-diesels (Audi, Peugeot), and
lesser reductions on petrol engines to even up competition.
Major rule changes are held back to 2011, but the 24 Heures du Mans,
and some other races, will allow "teams to participate with hybrid cars
as from 2009, upon invitation, but without being classified."
"They will be allowed to race with other
cars from 2010 onwards." — lemans.org.
14 September 2008 (Sun): As part of its 60th Anniversary Celebrations,
Lotus Cars is having an Open Day at its Hethel Factory.
£13/adult inc. 2 children u16 if booked in advance
or £15 at the gate & subject to availability.
- 14 September 2008 (Sun): Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza
(practice from Fri 12th).
- Rain during practice, qualifying, and the race
really spiced things up, with Vettel on pole, and
Raikkonen and Hamilton 14th and 15th on the starting grid.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso),
2. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren Mercedes),
3. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber),
4. Fernando Alonso,
5. Nick Heidfeld,
6. Filipe Massa,
7. Lewis Hamilton,
8. Mark Weber,
9. Kimi Raikkonen, ... .
12 September 2008:
The FIA will hear McLaren's appeal re last weekend's Belgian F1 Grand Prix
in Paris on 22 September.
11/9/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.59/l, min $1.47
(Perth avg $1.46, min $1.42);
10/9/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.48, min $1.47
(Perth avg $1.46, min $1.41);
au$1.00=us$0.81, £0.46, €0.57, ¥85
11 September 2008: The Australian dollar has fallen about 20%, v. the us$,
- 7 September 2008 (Sun):
Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
(practice from Fri 5th).
- Results: The last three laps were exciting as rain started
to fall. Raikkonen held a shrinking lead from Hamilton with Massa third.
At the end of lap -2, Hamilton made a passing move on the outside
at the final chicane. He was just ahead as Raikkonen forced him to the outside
kerb. Hamilton took the short-cut apparently to avoid the looming collision and
then slowed so as not to keep the advantage and to allow Raikkonen back
in front. H. then retook the lead by outbreaking R. at the hairpin.
Both cars later "scattered", H. onto the grass, to avoid a spun
Nico Rosberg. A little further on R. spun and hit the wall.
Crossing the line were
1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes),
2. Felipe Massa (Ferrari),
3. Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
who had stopped for wet tyres.
- Surprisingly, the stewards later penalised Hamilton 25 seconds,
dropping him to 3rd place, for gaining an advantage at the chicane.
McLaren are to appeal to the FIA [22 Sept] and seem to have a strong case.
- Races in the wet greatly increase the excitement in F1 --
it makes you wonder if sprinklers shouldn't be installed
5 September 2008:
The Garnaut Review (.au) released its Supplementary Draft Report
Targets and Trajectories — on climate change and CO2 trading.
It describes four scenarios by 2020 ranging from
"waiting-game" $30/ton, to "450ppm" 25% reduction
(40%/person) $60/ton (prices in 2005 $)
equivalent, for example, to 7c to 15c/litre on fuel.
'The Garnaut Climate Change Review', Oct. 2008,
CUP, isbn:978–0521744447, and
'The Garnaut Review 2011', June 2011, CUP,
4/9/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.60/l, min $1.47,
if you can find it,
diesel avg $1.65, min $1.61
ULP avg $1.46, min $1.40, diesel avg $1.70, min $1.63);
3/9/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.47/l, min $1.46,
diesel avg $1.65, min $1.61
(Perth ULP avg $1.46, min $1.40, diesel avg $1.70, min $1.45);
au$1.00=us$0.83, £0.47, €0.57, ¥90
3 September 2008, .au: VFACTS shows that
77,324 cars, trucks and buses were sold
in .au during August 2008, 12% less
than August 2007
- 3 September 2008:
"For the second year in a row, PSA Peugeot Citroen leads the [CO2] rankings,
with the lowest average emissions: 141gm/km for Group vehicles sold in
Europe in 2007, compared with a global average,
all models all brands, of 158gm/km."
— PSA Peugeot Citroen.
- Also see the European Federation for Transport and Environment
(* big gaps in data)
|| CO2 gm/km 2007 fleet avg |
| PSA Peugeot Citroen || 141 |
| Fiat || 141 |
| Renault || 146 |
| Toyota || 149 |
| Honda* || 156 |
| General Motors || 156 |
| Hyundai || 160 |
| Ford || 162 |
| Suzuki || 162 |
| Volkswagen || 163 |
| Nissan* || 167 |
| BMW || 170 |
| Mazda || 171 |
| Daimler || 181 |
| Average || 158 |
- The 2008 report recommends that
"any excess CO2 over the target for the average car should be charged
at €150/gm/km per vehicle
However the EC currently proposes that the fine should be
€20 in 2012
rising to €95 in 2015.
see the 2007 results for 2006,
(Dec) 2011 results for 2010.
- The Federation also notes that
"The 1948 and 2008 Volkswagen Beetles,
separated by sixty years of advances in automobile design, [share]
the same level of fuel efficiency."
The reason is that while engines have become (just) a
few percent more efficient in turning fuel into work,
it is very hard to beat smallness and lightness when it
comes to cheap motoring. Cars have become big and flabby.
After the oil-shock of the early 1980s, cars became more efficient,
but when the price of fuel (in real terms) fell back, they soon put
on weight and "features", negating the improvements.
2 September 2008: "Tata Motors Ltd. [of India] has been constrained
to suspend the construction and commissioning work at the Nano plant in
Singur in view of continued confrontation and agitation at the site..."
The dispute is over land, the land that the factory sits on.
Tata may even "relocate the plant and machinery to an
alternate site [ ] under preparation."
The Nano is a new small car announced with much fanfare this year.
[Also see 3 Oct. above.]
1 September 2008: Aston Martin will
revive the Lagonda name, presumably on a large, luxury car:
"In 2009 Lagonda is about to celebrate its 100th birthday and
in its centenary year we are confident that we will show the
first concept of a car which could be in the market
in 2012" — AM.
The last use of the Lagonda name was on a large 4-door, 1979-1989.
1 September 2008, .au:
"GM Holden is tackling rising fuel prices head-on by capping the
price of fuel at 99 cents per litre for all new Holden customers. ...
up to 20,000 kilometres ..." — GM Holden
30-31 August 2008 (Sat-Sun), .be:
Tanks in Town,
Royal Mons Auto Moto Club in collaboration with the City of Mons, Belgium
28 August 2008: Phil Hill (1927-2008),
1961 Formula One world champion (Ferrari), died;
he was 81. Hill also won Le Mans three times.
28 August - 1 September 2008: 12th Moscow International Motor
28/8/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l, min $1.41
(Perth avg $1.47, min $1.41);
27/8/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l, min $1.41
(Perth avg $1.46, min $1.41); oil us$116/b;
au$1.00=us$0.86, £0.47, €0.58, ¥94
28 August 2008: ULP fuel prices under
in Perth, remain generally lower than in Melbourne, and the
price won't have gone up by the time you've driven to the best petrol station.
27 (Wed) - 31 (Sun) August 2008: The 40th Great Dorset Steam Fair, .uk,
- 24 August 2008 (Sun): F1 Grand Prix of Europe, Valencia, Spain
(practice from Fri 22nd).
1. Filipe Massa (Ferrari),
2. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes),
3. Rober Kubica (BMW Sauber).
After the race, Massa was reprimanded and fined €10,000 for being
"released unsafely into the path of Force India's Adrian Sutil"
in the pits on lap 37.
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) had an engine failure on lap 46.
(Championship: Hamilton 70pts, Massa 64, Raikkonen 57.)
August 2008: Helen and John Taylor
hold the current fuel-economy record of
90.75mpg (imperial), 3.13 l/100km,
for the coastal road route around Australia (14,580km, 9,059 miles),
driving a Peugeot 308 HDi diesel.
The fuel cost au$703.
August 2008: Land Rover has been testing
diesel-electric hybrid experimental prototypes.
- 21 August 2008, Thurs: Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l, min $1.43/l;
avg $1.45/l, min $1.41/l and you know exactly where to get it.
- 20/8/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.45/l, min $1.43/l;
Perth avg $1.45, min $1.40.
- Lately, oil us$112-$116/barrel.
UK ULP £1.13/l, diesel £1.26/l.
au$1.00=us$0.87, £0.47, €0.59, ¥96.
Four grandchildren of 1930 taxi-driver Charlie Heard recently
spent seven weeks retracing the longest taxi fare in history.
The fare involved taking three ladies from
Melbourne through Adelaide, Alice Springs (via the Old Ghan line),
Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney, and home, Geelong.
The reenactment used a 1929 Essex, a close match to the original 1928 Hudson
14/8/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.56/l, min $1.44
avg $1.45, min $1.41); oil us$117/b
13/8/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l, min $1.42
avg $1.46, min $1.41); oil us$113/b
au$1.00=us$0.87 £0.46 €0.58 ¥94
14 August 2008: Crude oil fell as low as ~us$113/barrel
so fuel prices are down with Melbourne ULP at au$1.45-$1.55/litre,
but a stronger us$ and the hint of possible future interest-rate cuts
in .au meant that the au$ fell from us$0.96± (July) to us$0.87 so
local ULP did not fall as far as it otherwise would have.
- 8 August 2008: Steve Burgess and Dan Evans "sailed" across
the Bering Strait (Siberia - Alaska) in a LandRover
Defender equipped with
floats (not unlike those on the old
amphibious prototypes, but more sea-worthy!)
- (The amphibious Jeep (Seep)
Half-Safe completed a full
round the world trip, all on its own wheels and hull, between 1950 and 1958.)
- 8-24 August 2008 (Fri 8 - Sun 24): Beijing Olympic Games,
opening ceremony 8 Aug.,
athletics 15-24 Aug.,
swimming 10-17 & 20-21 Aug.,
closing ceremony 24 Aug.
(and a good time to take a quiet holiday somewhere if you are not into sport).
5 Aug 2008, .au: "83,976 cars, trucks and buses were sold in July -
down 2,315 vehicles (2.7%) compared to the same month
last year." — fcai.
7/8/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.56/l, min $1.44
(Perth avg $1.48, min $1.42)
6/8/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.45, min $1.44
(Perth avg $1.47, min $1.42);
au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.47, €0.59, ¥99
5 August 2008, neat: The Lotus Evora, recently shown at the
British Motor Show, can soon be test driven on ...
"a special demo of Gran Turismo 5
Prologue on PlayStation 3,"
before the real thing goes on
sale ~March 2009.
4 August 2008, .au:
GM Holden has dropped the price of its new-car LPG conversions
so that "private customers can now buy dual fuel LPG-powered
Holden Commodores for as little as $400 more than their
petrol equivalents" when the
"Federal Government's current rebate of $2000" is taken into account.
— GM Holden 4/8/'08.
- 3 August 2008, Sunday: Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Hungaroring,
(practice from Friday 1st).
1. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren Mercedes),
2. Timo Glock (Toyota),
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).
Filipe Massa (Ferrari)
had an engine failure while leading
with 3 laps to go.
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren M.) had a puncture while in 2nd place
with 29 laps to go; he finished 5th.
- Apparently most F1 teams would like KERS, which is to be optional in any
case, to be delayed beyond 2009, apart from BMW and Williams whose
2009 KERS plans are well advanced.
1 August 2008: With big cars and SUVs on the nose
because of high fuel prices, General Motors (GM)
reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2008
with a "reported net loss of us$15.5 billion"
("adjusted net loss of $6.3 billion") — GM[1/8/'08].
That is a lot of money to loose in 90 days.
(Also see GM and Ford, 7 Nov above.)
1 August 2008: Production, ie assembly, of 500
MG TF LE500 sports cars began at Longbridge,
price £16.4K (pilot production had started in 2007).
31/7/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg $1.57, min $1.48
(Perth avg $1.50, min $1.45);
30/7/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.50, min $1.47 (Perth avg $1.50, min $1.46);
au$1.00=us$0.95, £0.48, €0.61, ¥102
31 July 2008:
Crude oil has bounced around at us$122 - $126/barrel
for a week or so, down from us$145+ in early July.
When oil was last us$124±, in mid May,
ULP was au$1.45-$1.55/l.
¿What happens after the Olympics when China's businesses switch
back on, or not?
For all the Opposition's anti-.au-wide fuelwatch nonsense, Perth's ULP
(with fuelwatch) has been generally cheaper than Melbourne's (without), and
it is easy to find where to get the best deal.
30 July 2008: Theo Rosmulder, 52,
who "was missing in Western Australia's Goldfields
Region [near Laverton] for 4 days survived by eating termites and bugs"
When not prospecting, Mr. Rosmulder is a pest controller.-)
30 July 2008:
There is something odd about the British car road tax bands
for cars registered after 1/3/'01
announced in the March budget. The bands are based on CO2 emissions,
starting at £0/year for band A, ≤100gm/km, rising to
£440 standard rate (£950 1st year rate '09-'10)
for band M, >255gm/km.
The thing is, if the problem is CO2 then the tax should be on the
cause — on (the C in) the fuel. As they stand, the bands cause a
high-band low-mileage driver to subsidise a low-band high-mileage driver
who may well emit more CO2 per year. So the bands are really a big-car tax
in eco clothing (and they are retrospective too).
27 July 2008 (Sun.), Melbourne .au: Tolling starts on
| 24/7/2008 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.65, min 1.56/litre
(Perth avg $1.57, min 1.51);
w.tx oil us$124/barrel
23/7/2008 Wed Melb ULP avg $1.58, min 1.56
(Perth avg $1.57, min 1.52)
- 23 July - 3 August 2008:
British International Motor Show, ExCeL,
Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL, UK.
- Global debuts include
Alfa Romeo MiTo,
Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed,
Ford Focus RS & Fiesta ECOnetic (<100gm CO2/km),
Land Rover Disco & Rangie ('09),
new Lotus Evora 3.5 l V6 (project Eagle, on sale ~March '09),
Vauxhall (GM) Insignia,
and a number of electric cars
(attracting zero road tax in the UK),
e.g., the e500 (electric Fiat 500) through
- Citroen C-Cactus (change that name for .au) concept
is an 83mpg diesel/electric hybrid.
July 2008: Monash University Accident Research Centre
studies real accidents — as they happen, to new and old cars,
on the road. Report #280, 2008 update,
covers Australian and New Zealand crashes during 1987-2006.
As a market group,
medium four wheel drives have the best crashworthiness rating
of 2.50±0.19 serious injuries per 100 drivers involved, and
light cars the worst of 4.88±0.14 (p.28).
22 July 2008, Jerez:
"A BMW Sauber mechanic has been injured after suffering an electric
shock ... [testing] their Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS)"
KERS recovers braking energy; it will be allowed
in F1 from 2009. Some teams are
developing mechanical systems rather than electric ones.
22 July 2008: Crude oil at us$132/barrel,
fell to us$129 at the end of last week.
(And the .au
has been spruced up
21-26 July 2008: 100th Year
Model T Ford Celebration,
Wayne County Fairgrounds, Richmond, Indiana, US,
21 July 2008: "Chevrolet Unveils the 2010 Camaro"
3.6L V6 or 6.2L V8.
20 July 2008: Race Day, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, CO, USA
Nobuhiro Tajima recorded 10min 18.250secs for
the 12.42 mile hill climb in his twin turbo Suzuki special.
(His 2007 record is 10m 1s.)
- 20 July 2008, Sunday: German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim
practice from Friday 18th.
1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes),
2. Nelson Piquet (Renault),
3. Filipe Massa (Ferrari).
It was an eventful race with lots of passing.
|Thu 17/7 Melb ULP avg $1.70/litre, min au$1.58,
(w.tx oil $135/barrel)
|Wed 16/7 Melb ULP $1.60+/-; Perth from $1.54
16 July 2008: The Australian Government's
Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper,
proposes tradeable permits to emit CO2,
starting 2010, fuel taxes to be reduced to
offset the price rise for the first 3 years, and
transitional support for coal power stations,
aluminium smelters etc..
(Also see the
white paper, 15 December above, and the
Garnaut report, 4 July, below.)
16-20 July 2008: The War and Peace Show (military vehicles),
The Hop Farm, Beltring, Kent UK.
14-20 July 2008: Farnborough Air Show, uk
– Sun 20
open to public visitors)
- 13-22 July 2008: North American Solar Challenge (NASC)
from Piano, Texas to Calgary, Alberta (~2400 miles), for solar-powered cars.
- 1. University of Michigan
(51h 41m 53s),
2. Principia College,
3. Hochschule Bochum (.de).
- (Also see the World Solar Challenge,
in October 2009.)
12-13 July (Sat-Sun) 2008: Flying Legends Air Show
IWM Duxford, UK.
|10/7/2008: w.tx crude oil us$140±/barrel;
au$1.00 = us$0.96. £0.46, €0.61, ¥103.
|Thu 10/7/2008 Melb. ULP, au$1.69±
|Wed 9/7/2008 Melb. ULP $1.59±
11 July (Fri) - 13 July (Sun) 2008, Goodwood Festival of Speed,
The 2008 theme is "Hawthorn to Hamilton — Britain's Love Affair
with World Motor Sport."
July 2008: In 2002 Volkswagen demonstrated an experimental two-seater car
than achieved better than 1 litre/100km — the "1-litre car."
The car is a 21C reimagining of a micro car:
the passenger behind the driver,
1-cylinder 299cc diesel engine,
"an output of 6.3kW at 4,000rpm,"
"3.65m long, 1.25m wide" and ~1m tall,
a weight of "290kg ... maximum speed of 120km/h/75mph,"
"braking energy is fed into the generator and thus
recovered." — VW[9/7/'08].
(Not sure that I'd care to mix it with semi-trailers
in one however.)
- 6 July 2008, Sunday 1pm: British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone
(practice from Fri. 4th).
1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes),
2. Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber),
3. Rubens Barrichello (Honda).
The winning margin was 1min 9secs.
The race was wet and there were many incidents,
some drivers spinning multiple times.
Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen each have 48 point in
the world championship.
- (The GP moves to Donnington Park,
Castle Donington, Derby, DE74 2RP (M1 junction 23a),
4 July 2008: The Garnaut Climate Change Draft Report was released
This is a step towards the .au Government introducing carbon-trading,
and other measures.
(If Australian CO2 were to be charged at
$4 × X /ton,
that would add about X c/litre to petrol
if there was no compensation; X is likely to be small.)
(Also see the green paper, 17 July, the
supplementary draft report, 5 September, and the
white paper, 15 December above.)
A record 542,695 new vehicles were sold Jan-June in .au
(v. 524,376 Jan-June 2007).
There was a big increase in medium SUV sales (+18.5%).
The #1 car for the period was the Toyota Corolla (24,415)
29 June 2008 (Sunday):
Opening date for the EastLink tollway
Melbourne, Vic., .au (free for the first four weeks).
|28/6/2008: w.tx crude oil us$140+/barrel
|Thu 26/6/2008 Melb. ULP, au$1.70
min $1.55, avg $1.60)
|Wed 25/6/2008 Melb. ULP $1.59±
28 (Saturday) - 29 (Sunday) June 2008: Tankfest 2008,
at the Tank Museum,
Bovington, Dorset, UK.
27 June (Friday) 2008, .au: Red Nose Day
in aid of SIDS research.
25 June 2008:
The RACV (.au) annual survey of car ownership and running costs
"the Hyundai Getz S at $122.83 per week
was the cheapest Light Car" and
"the Hyundai i30 SX CRDi turbo diesel at $151.55 per week
was the cheapest Small Car to run."
A 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser GXL turbo-diesel costs $401+ per week.
The calculations include
depreciation, interest, registration, insurance, servicing, and
fuel costs, averaged over 5 years'
ownership, driving 15,000km/y.
Even with the recent rise in petrol prices,
standing costs still make up 70-80% of total costs,
pretty much as in 2005, say.
24 June 2008, uk:
"Average diesel prices ... [topped] £6/gallon" reaching
"132.03pence/litre. ... petrol also hit a record 118.65pence/litre."
- 22 June 2008 (Sunday): French F1 Grand Prix, Magny-Cours
(practice from Friday).
1. Felipe Massa (Ferrari),
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari),
3. Jarno Trulli (Toyota).
|Thu 19/6/2008 Melb. ULP, au$1.70±, min $1.61
min $1.54, avg $1.59)
|Wed 18/6/2008 Melb. ULP,
am au$1.55 - $1.58/litre,
oil, w.tx us$133/barrel;
au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.48, €0.61, ¥102
June 2008: Even Ferraris get recalls (clutch sensor, 2008/10079)
15 June 2008 (UK Fathers' Day): Military Vehicle Show
IWM Duxford, UK.
- 14-15 June 2008: 76th Le Mans 24 Hours race,
both Audi and Peugeot fielded diesels.
1. R.Capello, T.Kristensen, A.McNish,
#2 Audi R10 TDI, 381 laps;
2. M.Gene, N.Minassian, J.Villeneuve,
#7 Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP, 381 laps;
3. C.Klein, F.Montagny, R.Zonta,
#9 Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP, 379 laps.
|Wed 11/6/2008 Melb. ULP, am au$1.54, pm $1.65/litre
|oil, w.tx us$137/barrel;
au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.48, €0.61, ¥101
10 June 2008:
The .au PM, Kevin Rudd, was in Japan and, happily,
Toyota announced that it will build 10,000 hybrid Camrys per year at
Altona, Vic., from 2010;
TV news footage suggested it might be a plug-in hybrid but
that could have been a stunt.
The 2008 model Camry hybrid available in the USA
has a nickel metal hydride battery weighing 150lbs (68kg), of about
1.5 kW hr capacity
(244.8v × 6.5 amp hr),
probably enough for a few minutes driving without the petrol motor, and
good for smoothing out load and storing recovered braking energy.
Prices are from us$25,200, against non-hybrid prices
of us$18,570 (base 4-cyl) to us$28,120 (top V6)
Also see 19 May below.
9-15 June 2008: Motorexpo, Canary Wharf, London, UK.
- 8 June 2008, Sunday 1pm: Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal,
practice from Fri. 6th.
1. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber),
2. Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber),
3. David Coulthard (Red Bull).
(At the 1st pit-top, under the safety car, Lewis Hamilton rear-ended
Kimi Raikkonen who was waiting at the red light at the end of the pit lane.)
- 7-9 (Sat-Mon) June 2008: Queen's Birthday Long Weekend (.au).
- 7-8 June 2008:
Echuca Steam, Horse & Vintage Rally, Vic., .au.
- 6-9 June (Fri-Mon) 2008:
Finke Desert Race, NT .au
|Wed 4/6/2008 Melb. ULP, am au$1.50, pm $1.60/litre
2 June 2008, Monday: Series 10 of Top Gear started on
SBS TV (.au), 7.30pm
(also with news in the coming Australian series).
June 2008: The British Steam Car Challenge
(BSCC) hopes to raise the steam-powered
World Land Speed Record to 200+mph later this year.
June 2008: Australian combat troops started to withdraw
|Thu 29/5/2008 Melb. ULP au$1.60/litre.
|Wed 28/5/2008 Melb. ULP am $1.50, pm $1.60;|
au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.49, €0.61, ¥100
29 May 2008:
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
released details of its economic modelling of the effects the fuelwatch scheme.
(There is a load of political hot air
about fuelwatch in parliament and in the media just now. Also see
28 May 2008:
"Volkswagen has entered the thriving Compact SUV segment
in Australia for the first time with the all new Tiguan"
choice between a 2-litre TDI and 2 petrol engines,
6-speed manual or auto., 4MOTION (4x4),
priced from au$33,990 — VW.
26 May 2008: Race day, 92nd Indianapolis 500
1. Scott Dixon,
2. Vitor Meira,
3. Marco Andretti.
- 25 May 2008: 66th Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren),
2. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber),
3. Felipe Massa (Ferrari).
Early rain caused many incidents.
Hamilton now leads Raikkonen in the championship.
24-25 May 2008: Historic Winton
historic cars and bikes, at Winton Raceway
near Benalla, Victoria, .au.
24 May 2008, .uk:
Greenpower's Formula 24+ (F24+) is a new electric car racing class
"for 16-21 year olds" which complements the
"F24 series for secondary schools [run] since 1999"
Cars are propelled by a "24 volt electric wheelchair motor"
drawing from 2 12v Yuasa 100T Elite batteries.
Teams must compete in 2 out of eight rounds held
"during June, July and September 2008 ...
plus the final round of the season held at the
Goodwood Motor Circuit in October."
(The 2007 winning F24 entry from Seaford College covered 129-miles in 4-hours,
not bad on a couple of car batteries.)
|Thu 22/5/2008 Melb. ULP au$1.40 to $1.50/litre
|Wed 21/5/2008 ULP au$1.41 to $1.62;|
w.tx crude oil us$130+/barrel;
au$1.00 = us$0.96, £0.49; €0.61
22 May 2008, Thurs.:
Melbourne ULP prices had been less obviously cyclic
over the previous couple of weeks, in the au$1.40 - $1.47 range, perhaps
because of plans to introduce a WA-style "fuel watch" scheme, and
despite crude oil (w.tx) heading over us$130/barrel.
However on Wed. 21st ULP touched au$1.62/litre at a few outlets.
[23rd, 24th: ULP generally au$1.50/litre.]
Some are predicting oil to reach us$200/barrel
19 May 2008: GM Holden said it would sell a
petrol-electric hybrid version of the Holden Commodore "within two years."
(Holden and CSIRO built an
experimental hybrid ‘EcoCommodore’
Toyota .au is
hoping to build the hybrid Camry locally from 2010+.
Also see 10 June above.
17 May 2008:
The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS)
celebrated the 80th anniversary of its first
"call for help from the remote town of Julia Creek."
May 2008, in
Plugging Away in a Prius Continued, IEEE Spectrum,
John Voelcker writes about a modified Toyota Prius Hybrid with a much
larger battery and "plug-in" ability,
"in the car's first 2 months of operation, it ran more
than 1000 miles, and he still had some gas sloshing around in the 45-litre
(11.9 [US] gallon) tank from his first and only fill-up.
That works out to roughly the magical 100mpg figure (2.35 L/100km),
obtained by religiously plugging in the car every night and driving
it mostly in urban areas and on short trips."
Charging the battery takes 3-4kWh (3-4¢) v. us$3/gallon (11/2007).
But as a strictly financial investment, due to the cost of the
Prius + conversion it is still not worth doing the same, yet.
(Over one million Toyota Prius hybrids have been sold
since the car was launched in Japan in 1997
Melb. ULP au$1.41±/litre, &
crude oil us$124±.|
(In 1930, outback, petrol up to 5s 9d/gal., $0.13/litre
— see left.)
14 May 2008: The ABC (.au) 7.30 Report reported the story of
the world's longest taxi fare.
"In 1930, taxi driver Charlie Heard accepted the world's longest taxi
fare, driving an elderly spinster [Ada Beal] and her two companions from
Melbourne to Darwin and back" --
The taxi was a 1928 Hudson soft top.
In 1930 the 7,000 mile trip from the Great Ocean Road, through Alice Springs
to Darwin and back via the east coast was a real adventure.
The fare is unknow but guestimated to be about £300,
equivalent to au$19K today.
Heard's descendants are planning to recreate the trip in June,
driving a 1929 Essex.
(The reenactment took seven weeks and
was completed in August.)
13 May 2008: Petrol (gas) prices must be really
hurting SUV sales in the US --
"Chrysler LLC today announces ... an exclusive gas price protection
policy that eliminates the risk of further spikes in fuel prices. With the U.S.
purchase of eligible Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles, customers can enroll in
the "Let's Refuel America" program and receive a gas card that immediately
lowers their gas price to $2.99 a gallon, and keeps it there for
three years." — Jeep.
(There's a limit on volume!)
- 11 May 2008: Turkish F1 Grand Prix, Istanbul Park Circuit.
1. Felipe Massa (Ferrari),
2. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren),
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).
8 May 2008: W.Texas crude oil rose above us$120/barrel this week,
currently ~ us$123+.
au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.4813, €0.6137.
6 May 2008:
"Super Aguri Formula One Team has today announced its
withdrawal from the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship."
- 5 May 2008: Financial wobbles or not, a record number of
new motor vehicles, 84,061, were sold for an April in .au
#1 Toyota Hilux 3,814 (adding 4x2 and 4x4 together),
#2 Corolla 3,722,
#3 Holden Commodore 3,324
— Vfacts [5/5/'08].
- This year, January-April:
GM Holden 44,037,
3-4 May 2008: Heritage Land Rover Weekend
at the (British) Heritage Motor Centre,
Gaydon, to celebrate the
Land-Rover 60th Anniversary.
29 April 2008:
a share in Automotive Hybrid Power Ltd, renamed `Williams Hybrid Power Ltd',
"a company developing high-energy composite flywheels for use in energy
recovery systems", with a view to the introduction of
KERS to F1 in 2009.
- 27 April 2008, Sunday: Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Catalunya
(practice from Friday 25th).
- Results: 1. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari),
2. Felipe Massa (Ferrari),
3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).
| 24/4/2008 Thu Melb, ULP au$1.45-$1.54/litre|
from $1.39, avg $1.51)
| 23/4/2008 Wed,
am $1.40, pm $1.55/litre
(Perth avg $1.46)
|22/4/2008 Tue ULP au$1.39±/litre|
from $1.38±, avg $1.42)
|22/4/2008 Tue. oil w.tx us$117;
au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.48, €0.59
25 April 2008, Friday: Anzac Day (.au).
- April 2008: The US Army is in the
"Technology Development Phase"
of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) project
"a multi-service initiative for a family of
future light tactical vehicles."
The JLTV will be a successor to
the HMMWV and, going way back,
(Also see 4 Nov 2008, above.)
- And the British Army has begun using its new
Jackal 4x4 patrol vehicles
in southern Afghanistan. The (open) Jackal is based on the Supacat (UK)
HMT 400 design,
l. 5.39m, w. 2.0m,
h. 1.97m, wt 6,650kg,
24-27 April 2008: National 4x4 Show, RNA Showgrounds,
Brisbane, Qld, .au
23-28 April (Wed-Mon) 2008:
Caravan, Camping and Touring Show, Caulfield Racecourse, Vic., .au
22-28 April 2008: Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Motor Show).
20-26 April 2008: Central Europe Rally.
"This new rally organised under the `Dakar Series'
certification ... in Hungary and Romania."
17 April 2008 - 1 March 2009, .uk:
The Imperial War Museum, London, is
holding the first major exhibition
devoted to the life and work of Ian Fleming, creator
of James Bond, 007.
Ian Fleming wrote 14 James Bond books:
Casino Royale (1953), Live and Let Die (1954), Moonraker (1955),
Diamonds Are Forever (1956), From Russia with Love (1957), Dr. No (1958),
Goldfinger (1959), For your Eyes Only (1960), Thunderball (1961),
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963),
You Only Live Twice (1964), The Man With The Golden Gun (1965),
Octopussy and the Living Daylights (1966).
He also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and had
the idea for The Man from Uncle.
|16/4/2008 Wed pm. Melb. ULP au$1.52±/litre
|16/4/2008 Wed am. ULP au$1.39±/litre
|oil w.tx us$114/barrel;
au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.47; €0.59
16 April 2008: As the Federal Government said that it would introduce
a West Australian-style Fuel Watch system
(see 30 March below) across Australia,
ULP reached $1.52.9/litre at many petrol stations in Melbourne.
Fuel Watch has operated successfully for several years in
WA and is reckoned to save the average motorist 2c/litre and indeed
ULP was available (all) this day for $1.37.4/litre in Perth with a
metropolitan average of $1.40.8/litre!
(City ULP first
in August 2000, as oil
rose to us$32/barrel, but then fell back.
At that time au$1.00 = us$0.58, £0.39, €0.65.)
15 April 2008: The BBC reports
that "All petrol and diesel which is sold at UK pumps now
has to include at least 2.5% biofuels."
The minimum proportion will rise to 5% by 2010 although
there is much debate about the current, and future, effects of biofuels on
(i) CO2 emissions (when production is included), and
(ii) the price of food, particularly in poor countries.
(ULP-95 petrol prices in the UK are
currently about £1.05/litre.)
15-17 April 2008, uk: The Commercial Vehicle Show
NEC, Birmingham, .uk,
included demonstrations of
'Modec' electric commercial vehicles
(3.5 tonnes + 2 tonnes payload).
April 2008: First the green news
"Chevrolet Volt development charges on ...", and
then the bad
"the 2009 Hummer H3T ... debuted the brand's first pick-up truck [ute]
[at] the Dallas Auto Show",
(Dallas Auto Show, 2-6 April 2008.)
And Volvo are testing a hybrid
(7-litre 320hp diesel and, mixing units, 120kW electric)
garbage truck with regenerative braking — Volvo.
Apart from the fuel saving,
I really like the bit about
"emitting low noise".
|10/4/2008 Thu Melb. ULP au$1.48±/litre
|9/4/2008 Wed ULP au$1.36±/litre
|oil w.tx=us$109/barrel; au$1.00 = us$0.93, £0.47, €0.59
- 6 April 2008, Sunday: Bahrain F1 Grand Prix.
1. Felipe Massa (Ferrari),
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari),
3. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber);
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) finished out of the points.
3 April 2008: The first pictures of the wreck of HMAS Sydney,
were taken by the Finding Sydney Foundation
using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
"Both funnels and masts were gone and all the lifeboats
were missing from their cradle stands, but all four turrets were
retained in place."
Pictures of the wreck of the Kormoran were released on 8 April.
Sydney, and the Kormoran, were recently located by
side-scan sonar (see 17 March below).
3-6 April 2008:
Man From Snowy River
Corryong, Vic, .au.
As of 1/2008, reported
2-5 April 2009"
due to equine influenza.
|3/4/2008 Thu Melb. ULP au$1.47±/litre
|2/4/2008 Wed 11am: ULP au$1.33±/litre
2 April 2008: Sir Rod Eddington's* report on the `East West
Link Needs Assessment' (EWLNA) for Melbourne is out,
#1 an E-W rail tunnel,
#2 a rail link fom Werribee to Sunshine, ...,
#4 an E-W road tunnel from the Eastern Freeway
leading to the Western Ringroad, ...,
#7 more cycle links, ...,
#15 ... bring [.au] into line with Euro. CO2 emission standards
for motor vehicles [see Dec. 2007].
It seems to give every interest group something to like,
and something to hate.
(And winds up to 130km/h disrupted transport
in Melbourne this day).
[*] Sound familiar?
It was Paul Eddington who played Jim Hacker
in the BBC's Yes Minister
In series 3, episode 5, The Bed of Nails, Jim
is asked to formulate an Integrated Transport Policy - a political minefield.-)
April 2008: Entry is open to apply for the
next LandRover G4 Challenge
30 March 2008:
There are suggestions that the
Western Australian Government's Fuel Watch system
for monitoring and publishing petrol prices (wwweb, email & phone)
could be extended to other states. Sounds great.
"provides advance notice of retail fuel prices",
and by law
"retailers [must] notify their next day's retail price for
each fuel type by 2pm. Price boards and bowser prices are changed
by the retailer at 6am and remain unchanged for 24-hours."
FuelWatch is claimed to save most motorists $2.50/week.
Best and average prices, and various statistics are posted, e.g.,
the best in Perth on Sunday 30th were
PULP $1.399/L (95 RON),
98 RON $1.442/L,
B20 $1.529/L (B20 is a biodiesel blend).
The country data is very useful to interstate travellers.|
27 March 2008, .au: Mitsubishi built its last 380, its last car,
at its Adelaide factory.
Cars were first built at the site by Chrysler in 1964.
26 March 2008: After much anticipation,
Ford and Tata Motors of India
announced that Ford had agreed to sell
Land Rover to
Tata Motors for about $2.3billion,
"The transfer of ownership to Tata Motors is expected to close
by the end of the next quarter...," and
"Ford [will] contribute up to approximately $600million to the
Jaguar Land Rover pension plans."
Ford bought LandRover from BMW in 2000
for about us$2.7billion.
- 23 March, Sunday: Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang.
1. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari),
2. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber),
3. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren),
4. Jarno Trulli (Toyota),
5. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren);
Massa (Ferrari) DNF, spun out.
Reliability was much better than in Melbourne with
17 of the 22 cars finishing. The two McLarens were penalised 5 places on
the starting grid for their fuel-conservation slow-down laps impeding
the Q3 flying laps of Heidfeld and Alonso. These very slow slow-down laps
are an unfortunate side-effect of the new qualifying system.
- 21-24 (Fri-Mon) March 2008, Easter long weekend.
- 60th anniversary
of Land Rover celebrations,
Cooma, Snowy Mountains, Australia
jointly organised by
Land Rover Owners Club of Victoria, Land Rover Owners Club of Sydney,
Land Rover Club of the ACT and Range Rover Club of NSW.
After: "Over 750 Land Rover
vehicles and 1300 enthusiasts
from Denmark, England, New Zealand, the USA and every State and Territory
in Australia descended on the region."
- Blinman (LRRSA)
— Land-Rover Register of South Australia.
- 7th Australian
National 4x4 Gathering, Mitta Mitta
- 39th Jaguar National Rally,
Geelong, Vic., .au, 21st-24 March
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
warned that it would be on the lookout for any
unjustifed jump in petrol prices around the Easter holiday.
20 March 2008: The X Prize Foundation and Progressive Insurance announced
the $10 million dollar Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize
to build a "production-capable, 100MPGe (miles per gallon energy
equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meets market
needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance."
17 March 2008: The Finding Sydney Foundation
announced that it had located the wrecks of the Australian cruiser
HMAS Sydney II
and the German raider HSK Kormoran
"approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point,
Western Australia" at a depth of about 2,500m.
(A documentary is to be screened on ABC TV, 8.30pm, 15 April.)
16 March 2008: GM Holden Utes
(an Australian institution, also see 3-4 Oct. 2008)
are to be sold in the USA as Pontiac "pickups."
- 16 March 2008, Sunday: Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melb.,
(practice etc. from Thurs., the 13th).
Ferrari, BMW Sauber, Force India, Honda, McLaren, Red Bull & Toro Rosso,
Renault, Super Aguri, Toyota, William
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes,
2. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber,
3. Nico Rosberg Williams Toyota.
Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) would probably have finished 2nd, rather than 5th,
but for the unlucky timing of a safety car outing.
Only seven cars were running at the end, although an 8th,
Sebastian Bourdais (Toro Rosso), was classified.
Neither of the Ferraris finished.
Traction control having been banned this year, the cars
are sliding much more in corners.
(With ING having naming rights to the event, some of the signs seemed to be
for the F1ING Grand Prix.-)
- 15 March 2008, Saturday: The Sebring 12-hour sports-car race
featured diesel Peugeot 908s which joined the diesel Audi R10 TDIs.
1. Dumas, Bernhard, Collard
(Porsche RS Spyder, 3.4 l V8, LM P2 class),
2. Franchitti, Leitzinger, Lally
(Porsche RS Spyder, LM P2 class),
3. Capello, Kristensen, McNish
(Audi R10 TDI, LM P1 class).
- (And "the victorious R10 TDI in
Le Mans 
used approximately 20% less fuel than the
[petrol] Audi R8 during [the R8's] 1st win [in 2000]", and
"Shell GTL Diesel ... GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) is extracted
from natural gas. ... synthetic Diesel fuel" --[Audi 3/'08].
But there again, diesel contains
10 to 15% more energy, and C,
|13/3/2008 Thu: ULP Melb. au$1.47±/litre
|12/3/2008 Wed: ULP au$1.35±/litre
12 March 2008, (cringing and) reading Prof. Bernhard Schlag on
psychology and the car:
"If I can afford useless things, I've reached the top.
SUVs symbolise this feeling in a particularly apt manner. ...
another well known psychological phenomenon [that] people are willing to
invest [a lot] just to gain options that they will never use. ...
with the German Assurance Association GDV we carried out an
evaluation of 10,000 claim reports. The results were quite clear:
most of the accidents surveyed were caused by male drivers.
This remained true even after we adjusted the findings for the
difference in the total number of [km] driven by men and women."
— pp.4-9, (Siemens) Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) Magazine [1/'08].
Monday 10 - Sunday 16 March 2008:
The 29th Annual GPA Swim In &
Ex Military Vehicle Rally, Corowa, Vic., .au
this year's special theme is the tracked vehicle.
10 March 2008:
LandRover sold 226,395 worldwide
in 2007 --[LR].
- 10 March 2008, Monday, .au: Labour Day.
- 8-10 March 2008: Scoresby Steamfest,
Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club.
- 7-10 March 2008: Port Fairy Folk Festival,
- Spell-binding: Jake Shimabukuro
7-9 March 2008, .au: Shannons Phillip Island Classic
classic racing cars.
- 6-16 March 2008: 78th Geneva International Motor Show:
Audi R8 V12 TDi (diesel) concept & TTS (270bhp),
Jeep Cherokee permanent-4x4,
Ford Focus in many guises &
the (compact) Fiesta replacement's debut,
Jaguar XKR-S coupe (4.2 l V8),
Mazda Furai concept,
Mercedes SL makeover,
Mitsubishi Lancer prototype-S,
Nissan GT-R 3.8 l twin turbo.,
Peugeot Partner MPV,
(think electric, submersible Lotus Elise!),
Saab 9-4X 4×4 (petrol or E85) concept,
Tata Nano micro car & Indica,
Volvo C30 plug-in hybrid concept (looks plausible),
VW Passat CC coupe & Golf Variant 4motion,
and much much more.-)
- Bentley (VW) claimed its "average fleet emissions
[will] fall by at least 15% by 2012" and foreshadowed a
"new powertrain ... by 2012, delivering a 40% reduction in fuel
The European Commission's (EC) 2012 limit of
120gm/km CO2 looms large!
|6/3/2008 Thu: ULP Melb. au$1.45±/litre
|5/3/2008 Wed: ULP au$1.35±/litre
4 March 2008, Qld, .au:
"Flood warning for coastal streams between Cooktown
and Cardwell..." — bom.
2 March (Sunday) 2008, .au: DRFWDC 4x4 Swap Meet,
Yarra Glen Showgrounds, Melways ref: 275 A2, buyers $3, u12 free.
2 March 2008: Assoc. of Motor Clubs
[www] (AOMC) - RACV
Classic Showcase, Flemington Racecourse, Members Car Park, Melb., .au.
- 29 February (Fri) - 10 March (Mon) 2008:
Melbourne Motor Show,
Audi TTS, RS6 station wagon & new A4,
BMW X6 & series-1 convertible,
new (Australian) Bolwell Nagari,
Bugatti Veyron (for the 1st 3 days),
new FG Ford Falcon sedan (see 17 Feb. below),
6 litre V8 (petrol or E85) Coupe 60 concept &
new (station-) sport-wagon model of the VE Commodore,
Land Rover LRX concept,
Nissan's latest GT-R,
Peugeot 308, &
Subaru's new Forester.
Last year the then PM was a climate change sceptic,
now it's panic stations. The Australian Greenhouse Office reports that
Australia's total 2005 emissions of
559.1 m.tons CO2 equivalent were made by:
stationary energy 50% (inc. power stations),
fugitive emissions 5.6%,
industrial processes 5.3%,
land use & forestry 6%,
— was greenhouse.gov.au.
Passenger cars contributed just 7.8% of the total.
(Fugitive emissions include coal, oil & gas production.)
The total corresponds to
about 27.3 tons equiv. per person
given an Australian population of 20,452,300 in 2005.
In comparison, the
UK's total 2005 CO2 equivalent emissions were
655.5 m.tons — defra.gov.uk.
about 10.9 tons per person of 60.2m.
(Note, there is a strong argument that if .au, say, generates power to mine and
smelt aluminium which goes to China to make saucepans for Europe and the USA
then the CO2 generated should be counted under the totals of the countries of
final cause, except perhaps for any divergence from best practice along
But don't worry too much: At the .gov.au Green Vehicle Guide
the 3 greenest are the Toyota Prius (I'm sceptical), Fiat Punto and
Citroen C3 on 5-stars but nearly as good, on 4.5-stars,
is the Lotus Elise; it's practically your duty to drive one.
(The Ford Falcon & Holden Commodore only get 3-stars,
the Toyota Camry 3.5-stars.)
23-24 February 2008: Pajero Challenge, Vic., .au.
19 February 2008:
Tropical Cyclone Nicholas remains off the West Australian Pilbara coast
17 February 2008, Sunday:
.au, Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin (Melways 119 G7),
9am-4.30pm, adults $15, u16 free
17 February 2008 (.au): The new model FG Ford Falcon
sedan and ute came out on the web
prior to the Melbourne Motor Show (see 29 Feb., above):
G Series (G6, G6E & G6E Turbo), and
XR (XR6, XR6 Turbo & XR8);
4-litre I6 (195kW at 6000rpm, 391Nm at 3250rpm),
I6-turbo (270kW at 5250rpm, 533Nm at 2000rpm - 4750rpm), & 5.4-litre
Boss 290 V8 (290kW at 5750rpm, 520Nm at 4750rpm);
6-speed manual, 5-speed auto.,
"6-speed automatic transmission on G6 and G6E."
(An LPG version of the I6 engine continues.) There is
no FG station wagon — the previous model s/w continues or
there is the 4x4 Ford Territory.
15-17 February 2008 (Fri-Sun): Trucks in Action,
Lardner Park, Warragul, Vic, .au.
12 February 2008: Organisers of the Dakar Rally
"announced that the 2009 Dakar would take
place in Argentina and Chile from the 3rd to the 18th of January."
The move is in response to terrorist threats which caused this year's event
to be cancelled at the last minute.
|Weather [Qld][2/'08] & [flood][2/'08] |
|7/2/2008 Thu: ULP Melb. au$1.43±/litre
|6/2/2008 Wed: ULP au$1.33±/litre
11 February 2008:
At the Shannons Motor Auction following the Brisbane Int. Motor Show (below),
1971 Ford Falcon XY GT-HO Phase 3 sedan was passed in at $730K, a
1968 LHD Shelby Mustang GT500 fastback sold for $180K,
1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S cabriolet $170K,
1962 Mercedes-Benz 190SL convertible $100K,
1965 Ford Mustang convertible $60K,
restored 1954 Holden FJ Special $24K,
amongst others ($au).
5 February 2008: Mitsubishi announced that it
"has taken the decision to close [its] manufacturing plant in
[Adelaide] South Australia and cease production of the 380 passenger car
in Australia at the end of March this year" —
The large V6 front wheel drive 380 sedan has run a poor 4th behind
the Holden Commodore, Toyota Aurion/ Camry, and Ford Falcon.
1-10 February 2008 (Fri-Sun):
Brisbane International Motor Show
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Qld, .au,
BMW turbo 135i coupe,
Citroen C4 HDi (diesel),
new Subaru Impreza WRX STI,
Fiat Ritmo sedan.
|31/1/2008 Thu: ULP Melb. au$1.43±/litre
|30/1/2008 Wed: ULP au$1.36±/litre
February 2008: Diesel Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer and Outback
went on sale in Europe with a
2-litre flat-4 "boxer" turbo-charged engine
a configuration favoured in Subaru petrol engines.
- 26 January 2008, Saturday:
Australia Day, including
- NRMA Motorfest, Macquarie and College Streets, Sydney,
- Historic Vehicle Display, King's Domain, Melbourne, Vic. .au.
still sex on wheels — E-type
in the Domain
|24/1/2008 Thu: ULP Melb. au$1.45±/litre;
au$1.00 = us$0.87 = €0.60 = £0.45
|23/1/2008 Wed: au$1.36±;
And then a low on Wednesday with
the price jump on Thurs...
23 January 2008: In Queensland, continuing flood warnings include
Burdekin, Fitzroy, Condamine-Balonne, Warrego, Paroo,
Bulloo, Thomson, Barcoo, Cooper Ck, rivers and others — bom.
"ACCC takes action against GM Holden Ltd over Saab 'green' claims ...
[Saab ads claimed] Saab would plant 17 native trees in the first year following a Saab vehicle purchase as a carbon offset."
The ACCC believes that the ads implied this would offset lifetime
CO2 emissions but it actually corresponds to only
"a single year's operation" of a Saab and is thus
misleading — ACCC.
January 2008: Recent Motor Vehicle Recalls at recalls.gov.au
include Holden VE and WM (fuel lines) and
Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander (brakes).
- 19 (Sat) - 27 (Sun) January 2008:
North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Detroit
- Daimler's Maybach Landaulet could
use the smart fortwo as a life-boat.
The Mercedes S300 Bluetec is a diesel-electric hybrid
the 3x3 ML450 Hybrid a V6-petrol-electric hybrid due ~2009.
had the 2009
model F150 on show (on sale late 2008) with
"an all V-8 engine lineup. This lineup begins
with a 4.6L 2-valve[/cyl] engine ... ."
No woosy hybrids there, although the concept Ford Explorer
did feature a 2-litre 4-cylinder direct injection engine.
- General Motors had the concept electric car the Chevy
(planned to go on sale ~2010) which
"can be configured to run on electricity,
gasoline, E85 or biodiesel."
Also a related Saab BioPower Hybrid
concept 9-3 (ethanol E100/ electric).
The Hummer HX concept will be controversial if
it goes on sale but its 3.6 litre V6 can run on ULP or E85.
- LandRover showed a hybrid diesel/electric,
four wheel drive, the LRX,
at NAIAS. LandRover claims 120 gm C02/km
(see  for the EC's plans on
car CO2 emissions). In looks, think LRX:Freelander as
Range Rover Sport:Range Rover.
- Mazda's CX-9 SUV was
"named North American Truck of the Year".
- Mini (BMW)
"... hinted that Mini will launch a
crossover [read 4x4] vehicle in the near
it is thought that Magna-[Steyr] will do the 4x4.
- 17 (Thu) - 27 (Sun) January 2008: 86th European Motor Show,
- Audi prototype of the A1.
- Fiat Panda concept
"runs on petrol & on a mixture of natural gas & hydrogen.
CO2 emissions of barely 69 grams/km."
- Ford Kuga a compact SUV due mid 2008.
- Mercedes' research F700 "with an innovative DIESOTTO engine
which combines the advantages of a low-emissions petrol engine
with the economy of a diesel vehicle."
This dispenses with spark ignition for auto ignition
under low to medium load and rpm.
- Even Porsche is working on
"development of a hybrid motor" and a hybrid Cayenne 4x4
"will go into production by the end of the decade" aiming for
"less than 9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (31.0mpg)."
|16/1/2008 Wed: ULP Melb. au$1.46±/L |
|15/1/ Tues: au$1.39±/L |
|14/1/ Mon.: au$1.41±/L |
|12/1/ Sat.: au$1.46±/L |
|10/1/ Thurs: au$1.48±/L |
| 8/1/2008 Tues: au$1.37±/L;|
w.tx crude us$95/barrel, tapis us$102;
au$1.0 = us$0.88, £0.44, €0.60
Of late, Tuesday has been the day to buy fuel
in .au (right).
- 16 January 2008: Flood warnings, Don, Dawson, Balonne, Diamantina rivers
- 10, 11 January 2008, Vic., .au:
41°C forecast — v. high fire risk — DSE.
- 9 January 2008:
Flooding in northern NSW continues to ease gradually — bom.
7 January 2008, car sales in Australia:
"...1,049,982 cars, trucks and buses were sold in
which is 9.1% more than 2006.
The GM Holden Commodore remains in #1 spot (57,307);
the Toyota Corolla is in 2nd place (47,792).
- 5 January (Lisbon) - 20 January (Dakar) 2008:
The Dakar is on SBS TV (.au)
every night at 6pm from 6 Jan.
- "... the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to
cancel the 2008 edition of the rally ...
Based on the current international political tension and the murder of
four French tourists last 24th of December ...
threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organisations,
no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be
taken by A.S.O. ..." —
Dakar 2009 took place in South America.
|3/1/2008: ULP Melb. au$1.46±/L;
w.tx crude us$100/barrel;
au$1.0 = us$0.88, £0.44
|2/1/2008: ULP Melb. $1.35/L|
- 5 January 2008: Ex T.C.
Helen is wandering around the north of N.T., .au, causing flooding etc..
- And in Victoria .au,
"... The Mt Victoria fire, north west of Buchan is 28.2 hectares
in size. The Erikson Skycrane is attending to a spotover on the steep
northern perimeter of the Mount Victoria fire. Crews are on site to
black out and patrol the spot. ..." and
- Road Closures due to in E. Gippsland: ... Yalmy Road ... and
Deddick Trail south of ..."
at 12.30 5/1/'08.
January 2008: Many are tipping Tata of India
to buy Jaguar and LandRover
from cash-strapped Ford this month;
March 2007 Ford sold most of
Aston Martin to a consortium of investors.
- January 2008:
For some interesting and plausible fuel-consumption figures
for various modes of transport
In typical use,
cars ~ air per passenger km
with rail doing much better.
(With air there tends to be a few long trips per individual.)
So don't agonise too much about flying v. driving from Melbourne to Sydney but
take the train if you can.
- And the F1 rules for engines in 2009
(next year) specify naturally-aspirated, petrol, 2.4-litre V8 plus
an "optional" kinetic energy recover system (KERS):
- "5.2.3 The max. power, in or out of a KERS must not exceed 60kW.
Energy released from the KERS may not exceed 400kJ in any one
- and two wheel drive (was
- On KERS development for year 2009, at least one group, Flybrid
is going for a flywheel (60,000+rpm) energy storage system with a CVT drive.
Toyota and Honda make electric hybrid road cars but that does not
necessarily mean they will go electric-KERS
(battery or super-capacitor) in F1?
It does seem daft that 4WD will remain
banned given that much of the braking is through the front wheels.
- The FCAI .au has some guidelines on the use of E5 and E10
ethanol-blended petrol with current and older cars
and similarly for biodiesel