27 December 2008: The Skycar Expedition [www]['08] 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 [www]['08]. 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.
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 direction." -- 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 ..." [www][17/12/'08]. Legislation was passed 18/12/2008.
20 December 2008: Bonhams Ferrari et les Prestigieuses Italiennes auction [www][12/'08] 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$17.4bn (of the people's money)
to stave off (delay?) bankruptcy.
President elect Barack Obama emphasised that the companies must not blow
the dough but must come up with a plan to restructure,
so that's all right then.
19 December 2008: "Land Rover has today confirmed that it will
cancel the Land Rover G4 Challenge programme in order to focus more on
product launches in 2009.
'Given the severity of the global economic downturn and
trading conditions,' ..."
- LR ['12/'08].
29 October 2008, Wed.: RM Auctions 'Automobiles of London' includes lot 253, a 1924 Bentley 3/8 litre Sports Roadster, chassis no.458, pre-auction estimate £600,000-£680,000 — RM. The Bentley was passed-in at £475,000. (Also see 1 Dec 2008 above.)
27 October 2008, .uk: "... average UK petrol prices dropped through £1/litre [$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 [www] 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,
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 ..."
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) [www] suggested that wholesale suppliers' margins jumped in the few days before 19th Oct..
20 Oct 2008, .uk: Mid October average UK prices, 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.
12 October 2008, .au: Ford drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup won their third straight Bathurst 1000 race for V8 Supercars [www].
9-19 October 2008: Sydney International Motor Show, Darling Harbour. Including Elfin Type 5; Ford's new Fiesta; GM Chevy Volt; Honda City concept; Isuzu D-Max ute; Kia's new Cerato; Koenigsegg CCX; 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). Including 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 [www] (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.
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.
25 September (Thu) - 2 October (Thu) 2008: 62nd IAA Commercial Vehicles Motor Show, Hanover [www]: "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." — Jeep.
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, [www].
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] ..."
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.
12 September 2008:
The FIA will hear McLaren's appeal re last weekend's Belgian F1 Grand Prix
in Paris on 22 September.
11 September 2008: The Australian dollar has fallen about 20%, v. the us$, since July.
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.
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 — FCAI.
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..." — Tata. 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 [www]['08].
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 August 2008: ULP fuel prices under [fuelwatch], 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, [www].
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 Freelander diesel-electric hybrid experimental prototypes.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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" [www][30/7/'08]. 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 (was www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2008/pn-complete.pdf) 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
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)" — F1. 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 greenvehicle guide has been spruced up [www][7/'08].)
21-26 July 2008: 100th Year Model T Ford Celebration, Wayne County Fairgrounds, Richmond, Indiana, US, [MTFCI] or [MTFCA].
21 July 2008: "Chevrolet Unveils the 2010 Camaro" — GM, 3.6L V6 or 6.2L V8.
20 July 2008: Race Day, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, CO, USA [www]['08]. 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.)
16 July 2008: The Australian Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper, (was www.greenhouse.gov.au/greenpaper), 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 (Sat 19 – Sun 20 open to public visitors) [www]['08].
12-13 July (Sat-Sun) 2008: Flying Legends Air Show
IWM Duxford, UK.
11 July (Fri) - 13 July (Sun) 2008, Goodwood Festival of Speed, [www]. 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.)
July 2008: 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) — FCAI.
29 June 2008 (Sunday):
Opening date for the EastLink tollway
Melbourne, Vic., .au (free for the first four weeks).
28 (Saturday) - 29 (Sunday) June 2008: Tankfest 2008, at the Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, UK.
27 June (Friday) 2008, .au: Red Nose Day charity appeal [www] in aid of SIDS research.
25 June 2008: The RACV (.au) annual survey of car ownership and running costs shows that "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." — AA[6/'08].
June 2008: Even Ferraris get recalls (clutch sensor, 2008/10079) recalls.gov.au.
15 June 2008 (UK Fathers' Day): Military Vehicle Show IWM Duxford, UK.
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.
9-15 June 2008: Motorexpo, Canary Wharf, London, UK.
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
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 [WA].)
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 [www]. 1. Scott Dixon, 2. Vitor Meira, 3. Marco Andretti.
24-25 May 2008: Historic Winton [www], 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.)
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 in 2009.
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’ around 2000.) 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) [www] 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
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" -- [www][14/5/'08]. 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!)
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." — saf1.co.jp.
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: Williams F1 has bought 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.
25 April 2008, Friday: Anzac Day (.au).
24-27 April 2008: National 4x4 Show, RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, Qld, .au [www].
23-28 April (Wed-Mon) 2008: Caravan, Camping and Touring Show, Caulfield Racecourse, Vic., .au [www]
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." (was www.centraleuroperally.com).
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.
16 April 2008: As the Federal Government said that it would introduce a West Australian-style Fuel Watch system [www] (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 breached au$1.00/litre 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 [www][4/'08] 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 [www], 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.)
3 April 2008: The first pictures of the wreck of HMAS Sydney, were taken by the Finding Sydney Foundation [www][4/4/'08] 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
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).
April 2008: Entry is open to apply for the next LandRover G4 Challenge (was www.landroverg4challenge.com).
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 Jaguar and 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.
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." [www]['08].
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.
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."
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 [www]; this year's special theme is the tracked vehicle.
10 March 2008: LandRover sold 226,395 worldwide in 2007 --[LR].
7-9 March 2008, .au: Shannons Phillip Island Classic [www][3/'08], classic racing cars.
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.
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
23-24 February 2008: Pajero Challenge, Vic., .au.
19 February 2008: Tropical Cyclone Nicholas remains off the West Australian Pilbara coast — bom.
17 February 2008, Sunday: .au, Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin (Melways 119 G7), 9am-4.30pm, adults $15, u16 free [www].
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.
11 February 2008: At the Shannons Motor Auction following the Brisbane Int. Motor Show (below), a 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.
February 2008: Diesel Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer and Outback went on sale in Europe with a 2-litre flat-4 "boxer" turbo-charged engine – Subaru[2/'08], a configuration favoured in Subaru petrol engines.
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.
January 2008: "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).
Of late, Tuesday has been the day to buy fuel in .au (right).
7 January 2008, car sales in Australia: "...1,049,982 cars, trucks and buses were sold in 2007..." (fcai[7/1/'08]), 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).
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.
↑ © 1994 . . . now, L. Allison, www.allisons.org/ll/ Created with "vi (Linux)", charset=iso-8859-1
Free: Linux, Ubuntu operating-sys, OpenOffice office-suite, The GIMP ~photoshop, Firefox web-browser, FlashBlock flash on/off.