2012

 
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2012: Mostly, the $au bobbed around at us$1.00 to us$1.06, WTI oil at us$90/b to us$100/b±, and ULP at au$1.30 to au$1.45/l. The US could become self sufficient in energy by 2035 (see 12 Nov. below). Climate news wasn't good (4 Dec., 27 Nov., 18 Nov., 19 Sept., 14 , etc.) with +4°C to +6°C looking likely by the end of the century. Invicta Cars was wound up (30 April). European car-makers experienced hard times, although greater VW continued to do well worldwide. A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO reportedly sold for £22.7 million, us$35 million (5 June). And a S1 Land Rover sold for £129,000 (15 Aug.), but it did have special provenance. UK Inc. put on a show with HMQ's 60th jubilee, the Olympics, and a new 007 Bond movie.

24 Dec 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.29); oil us$$89/b
22 December 2012: We are still here.
21 December 2012: ABC [www]['09], NASA [www]['09].
22 Dec 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.29);

21 December 2012 (Fri.), surprise: "Petrol prices rise ahead of holiday ..." -- [abc].

21 December 2012, .uk: All car insurance policies bought after Friday 21 December will be gender neutral" (the AA [www]), whereas women, being safer, generally used to pay less. Also see the AA British Insurance Premium Index [www].

20 December 2012: Mitsubishi "announced that it would recall 1.2 million cars in Japan to fix faulty oil seals. ..." -- [bbc].

December 2012: M.R.Ziembicki, J.C.Z.Woinarski & B.Mackey, 'Evaluating the status of species using indigenous knowledge: Novel evidence for major native mammal declines in northern Australia', Biological Conservation, 157, pp.78-92, reports that declines in native mammals "were reported as extending from the earliest memory of Indigenous participants, but the rate of decline has increased recently. ..." -- [www], auth1 [www], [abc].

20 December 2012, .au: Lake Eyre's traditional name, 'Kati Thanda', as used by the Arabana people, has been officially recognised -- [abc].

19 December 2012: GM announced that it would "purchase 200 million shares of GM common stock held by the U.S. Dept of the Treasury for $5.5 billion ... [As] part of the Treasury's plan ... to fully exit its entire holdings of GM stock within 12 to 15 months, subject to market conditions. ..." -- [www], [bbc].

19 Dec 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.31 (Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.30); oil us$88/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.79, ¥89

20 December 2012: Crude oil, WTI us$89/b Brent us$110/b, [bbc][19/12], Tapis us$110/b -- AIP [www]. Terminal gate prices, ULP au$1.30/l (Bris.) to au$1.34/l (Hobart), diesel au$1.34/l (Melb.) to au$1.39/l (Hobart) -- AIP [www][20/12].

18 December 2012: "Koko, the canine star of the film 'Red Dog' (2011), has died in Perth ..." -- [abc]. Oh.-(

December 2012, .au: Australia's "best cars" included Volkswagen Polo 66TDI (light car >$20K), Toyota Camry Hybrid H (medium car <$50K), Land Rover Discovery (all terrain 4WD) -- RACV [www].

14 Dec 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.32); oil us$86/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.81, ¥88

14 December 2012: The Witness King Tides Project asked Australians to photograph king tides (expected ~8.30-9.30am, 13th-15th) to help "build a picture of the threat posed by sea level rise ... and help track the future impact of climate change." -- [www]. "The New South Wales and Tasmanian governments [provided] funding" -- [abc]. (Also see 29 Nov. below.)

13 December 2012: Renault sold its "remaining stake in Volvo AB", bought in 2001, for 12.78 billion SEK (€1.476 billion) -- [www].

December 2012: The Lit Motors prototype 'C-1' electric motorcycle is gyro-stabilised [www], [bbc]. (Hmm, the name sounds a bit like the Sinclair 'C1' ... 'C5'.-)

12 December 2012: Worldwide, Porsche sold a record "128,978 new vehicles" by November -- [www].

12 December 2012: Job cuts were part of PSA Peugeot's restructuring plan -- [www].

December 2012, .uk: 'Which' magazine [www] began its 'Which Car' survey [www] for 2013.

12 December 2012: Honda recalled "~318,000 Odyssey and 259,000 Pilot vehicles from the 2003-2004 model years and ~230,000 Acura MDX vehicles from the 2003-2006 model years in the US ..." -- [www].

11 December 2012: "A pair of highly trained dogs from New Zealand have passed their doggie driving test ..." -- [abc]:-)

11 December 2012: It was reported that Jaguar had cancelled plans (see 6 May 2011) to put into production the hybrid C-X75, a concept first shown at Paris 2010.

10 December 2012: GM Opel announced that "vehicle production is planned to end in Bochum at the end of the current Zafira ... ~2016." -- [www].

10 December 2012, .au: "Police have warned that Apple's glitch-filled Maps app could get someone killed ... in the past two months they have rescued six people who were lost in the Murray Sunset National Park while trying to get to Mildura 70+km away ..." -- [abc].

December 2012: The AA warns that a car caught in a flood might have many hidden faults such as "seriously affect[ed] electrical and electronic systems including the airbags, which might go off unexpectedly - or not deploy when they should" -- [www]. It gave hints for identifying such a car.

9 Dec 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.33); oil us$86/b
7 Dec 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.81, ¥86

December 2012: D. J. Frame & D. A. Stone, 'Assessment of the first consensus prediction on climate change', Nature Climate Change (2012) [www], "In 1990, climate scientists ... wrote the First Assessment Report ... on Climate Change. It contained a prediction of the global mean temperature trend over the 1990-2030 period that, halfway through that period, seems accurate. ...". (& [abc]).

7 December 2012: "Aston Martin welcomes Investindustrial as a major shareholder ... investing £150m ... 37.5% ..." -- Aston Martin .[d], & the G. [www], [bbc].

6 December 2012: "Spyker N.V. announce[d] a subscription agreement ... with the Chinese car manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman Passenger Car Group Co, Ltd ("Youngman") ... [for] 29.9% of the issued and outstanding share capital of Spyker ..." -- [www].

6 December 2012: The FIA tweaked the F1 regulations and calendar for 2013; FIA [www][6/12].

5 December 2012, .uk: J. S. Mindell, D. Leslie, M. Wardlaw, 'Exposure-Based, ‘Like for-Like’ Assessment of Road Safety by Travel Mode Using Routine Health Data', PLoS ONE 7(12), e5066, 2012, compared road safety for "... pedestrians, cyclists, and car/van drivers ... fatalities per million hours' use (f/mhu) ... by time spent travelling vary within similar ranges for walking, cycling and driving. Risks for drivers were highest in youth and fell with age, while for pedestrians and cyclists, risks increased with age. For the young, especially males, cycling is safer than driving." [www].

5 December 2012: "Growth in US energy production outstrips consumption growth ..." -- eia.gov [www].

5 December 2012: 6cm of snow fell at Falls Creek, Vic. -- [abc].

4 Dec 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.32 (Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.34); oil us$89/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.80, ¥86

4 December 2012: G. P. Peters et al, 'Rapid growth in CO2 emissions after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis', Nature Climate Change, 2 (2-4), Dec. 2012 [www], "Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production grew 5.9% in 2010, surpassed 9 Pg of carbon (Pg C) for the first time, and more than offset the 1.4% decrease in 2009. ...". (Also see ['12]@ GCP [www], [bbc].)

3 December 2012: Bonhams Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia auction, Mercedes Benz World, Brooklands [www]. Including lot 306 a Rolls-Royce engined, 1950 Land Rover 81" prototype, chassis #RO61 04618, engine #596 (sold £47,150); lot 345 a 2003/2010 Pagani Zonda C12S/F 7.3-litre coupe, chassis #ZA9C820C10SF76046; lot 355 a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, chassis #WPOZZZ9826L000104, engine #90630633 (sold £281,500); and lot 375 an airworthy 1942 Hawker Hurricane Mark XIIA WW2 fighter!

 

November 2012: Steve McCurry caused surprise by creating a Pirelli Calendar for 2013 in which the models were clothed [www].

30 November - 9 December 2012: LA Auto Show [www]. Including BMW 'i3' electric concept; Fiat 2014 '500L' 1.4 turbo [www]; Jaguar 'XFR-S'; Porsche 2013 'Cayman'; Toyota next, 2013 'RAV4' (2.0 petrol or diesel) [www]; VW 'Jetta' hybrid (1.1kWh).

29 Nov 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.34 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.32); oil us$87/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.81, ¥86

29 November 2012: "... Adelaide ... hit 38°C , while Melbourne reached 39.1°. [And] Mildura ... 45.4° ..." -- [abc].

29 November 2012: A. Shepherd et al, 'A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance', Science 338 (6111), pp.1183-1189, 2012 [doi:10.1126/science.1228102], "... Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59±0.20 millimeter/year to the rate of global sea-level rise." That 11mm is 1/5 of the total rise over that time, and increasing. Thermal expansion of warmer oceans is a large factor.

27 November 2012: "Thawing of permafrost [is] expected to cause significant additional global warming, not yet accounted for in climate predictions ..." -- UNEP [www], [www]. Also see UNFCC, Doha conference [www], and Nature [www].

27 November 2012, .au: A red algal bloom, in places as bright as tomato soup, closed Sydney beaches -- abc [1], [2].

27 November 2012: GM Holden announced it would add a new "new Colorado 7 4X4" wagon, 7 as in 7-seats, 2.8 td, 6-speed auto, part-time 4WD, to the Colorado range [www].

26 November 2012, .au: The Climate Commission released a report on renewable energy [www], [abc].

25 Nov 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.36 (Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.32); oil us$88/b
23 Nov 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.81, ¥86
25 November 2012 (20/20): Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Sao Paulo (start 2pm local, 4pm GMT).
Results: 1. Jenson Button (McLaren), 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 3. Felipe Massa (Ferrari). The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button qualified 1 and 2. On Sunday it drizzled, rained and was dry in spells making for an eventful race. Sebastain Vettel (Red Bull), starting 4th, was in a collision with Bruno Senna (Williams) at the 4th corner and fell to last, but finished 6th, enough to win his third consecutive drivers' world championship. Lewis Hamilton was leading on lap 55 when Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) attempted a pass but slid into the McLaren and broke its suspension. (Also see the FIA [www] [www], and [bbc].)

24 November 2012: 'Historics at Brooklands', auction includes lot 226 a 1978 Land Rover 'Royal Review State' V series III, chassis #91184842C, 1,892 miles, (sold £28,380) -- [www], [www].

22 November 2012, .au: The final Murray-Darling Basin Plan was signed by Environment Minister Tony Burke, report [www].

November 2012: "Will the pledges made by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions be sufficient to achieve the 2.0° or 1.5° Celsius temperature limits by year 2020 or will there be a gap ..." -- UNEP report [www].

21 November 2012: Chrysler released details of the 2013 Dodge 'Viper' [www]; 8.4-litre V10 640hp, 206mph, so not very green.

21 November 2012, .uk: "The Mitsubishi Lancer [05-08] has been revealed as the most reliable car of the last 15 years ... Toyota and Honda fare best in the top 10 ..." -- Warranty Direct's [www] Reliability Index [www].

20 November 2012: Jaguar Land Rover and Cherry (.cn) announced a joint venture, 'Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company', to include manufacturing at Changshu near Shanghai.

19 Nov 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.28 (Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.28); oil us$87/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.81, ¥84

November 2012: "... the average UK petrol price has fallen 3.87p/l, from 138.95p to 135.08. Diesel prices are down 1.85p/l, from 143.74 to 141.89. ..." -- the AA [www][16/11].

18 November 2012: "New Report Examines Risks of 4° Hotter World by End of Century. ... Increases of 6°C or more in average monthly summer temps. ... expected in the Mediterranean, N.Africa, Middle East and parts of the United States. ... Sea level-rise by 0.5 to 1 meter by 2100 ... " -- the World Bank [www], [www].

18 November 2012 (19/20): USA F1 Grand Prix, Austin, Texas [www] (start 1pm local, 7pm GMT. The last F1 GP in the USA was at Indianapolis in 2007).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 2: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). Alonso qualified only 8th -- on the dirty side of the track. But Ferrari did some "work" on Felipe Massa's car, so that he took a 5 place penalty ... promoting Alonso to 7th, on the better side. Mark Webber (Red Bull) retired on lap 17 with an alternator problem. Hamilton passed Vettel for the lead on lap 42. Reb Bull clinched its third consecutive constructors' world championship. The drivers' world championship remained in play, Vettel 273 : Alonso 260. (Also see the FIA [www], [www], and [bbc].)

18 November 2012 (Sun): Historic Commercial Vehicle Club (HCVC) 31st Annual Display Day Rally, Sandown Racecource, Melbourne (Melways 80D8) [www].

17-18 November 2012: Bendigo National Swap Meet [www].

16-18 November 2012: Classic Motor Show, the NEC, Birmingham, .uk [www]. And auction [www][17/11].

16 November 2012: "More than 200 Ford workers are being told they have lost their jobs at ... Geelong and Broadmeadows. ..." -- [abc].

15 November 2012 (8pm Thu): 'Catalyst', ser.13, ep.25, "Australia's weather - has it really changed in the last 100 years?" -- [abc].

15 November 2012: "Xi Jinping was announced as the Communist Party's new general secretary today [following] president Hu Jintao ... Li Keqiang [to be] prime minister, taking over from Wen Jiabao. ..." -- [abc].

November 2012: As the new Bond movie, 'Skyfall' did well in .uk and .us, Aston Martin reviewed 007 and Aston Martins in film, DB5 Goldfinger & Thunderball, DBS OHMSS, V8 Vantage the Living Daylights, DB5 Goldeneye, V12 Vanquish Die Another Day, DBS & DB5 Casino Royale, DBS Quantum of Solace, DB5 Skyfall -- [www].

14 Nov 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.33 (Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.29); oil us$85/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.66, €0.82, ¥83

14 November 2012: Toyota recalled "2.8m cars to fix faulty steering columns and water pumps" -- the G [www], [bbc], [abc], T [www], and .au #2012/13381 [www][20/11] & #2012/13377 [www][16/11].

November 2012: For sale, Porsche 962, road registered, £324,995 -- Specialist Cars .uk [www].

14 November 2012, .au: Total eclipse "starting in Kakadu National Park ~6am, crosses the Gulf of Carpenteria, Cairns 5.45-(6.39)-7.40am" -- [abc], [2]. Do not view directly.

13 November 2012: The 4th generation Subaru 'Forester' made its debut in Japan.

 

12 November 2012: Bushfires on the lower Eyre Peninsula, S.A. -- [cfs.sa][12/11], [abc].

12 November 2012: "... growth in oil and natural gas output in the United States ... In the New Policies Scenario, the WEO's central scenario, the [US] becomes a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and is almost self-sufficient in energy, in net terms, by 2035. ..." -- 'World Energy Outlook', IEA [www], [bbc], G. [www].

10 November 2012: "Measurements show the average global temperature has risen by 0.8°. ... More records are being broken with high temperatures than low. ..." -- Science Show [abc].
9 Nov 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.34 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.31); oil us$85/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.82, ¥83

9 November 2012: Top Gear drove the Channel (service) Tunnel in a GM Vauxhall Ampera -- [www].

7 November 2012: "Jaguar Land Rover wholesales for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012 grew 13.9% [v.] last year to 77,442 units. ... Jaguar ... 9,832 and Land Rover ... 67,610 ... strong demand from the China region, which rep. 21.1% of sales ..." -- Tata [www].

7 November 2012: Barack Obama (Dem.) was reelected as President of the USA, defeating Mitt Romney (Rep.), electoral college 332 : 206 (& popular vote 61.7m : 58.5m) bbc [1] [2], Guardian [www].

6 November 2012: "UK new car registrations rose 12.1% to 151,252 units in October [v. 2011], bucking current demand trends in Europe. ..." -- SMMT [www].

6 November 2012: "American Suzuki Motor Corporation ('ASMC'), a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corp. ('SMC') which distributes ... in the [USA] (exc. Hawaii) ... [to start] a reorganization proceeding under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code ..." and ending USA car sales -- [www].

6 November 2012, Tuesday: 3pm, Melbourne Cup, Vic., .au.

5 November 2012: Caterham Cars and Renault announced a joint venture to produce a new sports car to be built in Dieppe [www], [www].

4 November 2012 (18/20): Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix (start 5pm local, 1pm GMT) [www].
Results: 1. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 3: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), An exciting race. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) had a comfortable lead until halted by a fuel-pump failure on lap 20. Sebastian Vettel qualified 3rd fastest but stopped on the track, apparently with a fuel system problem. His car could not provide a 1-litre fuel sample for testing and was excluded. Red Bull withdrew the car from Parc Ferme to work on it and Vettel started from pit lane. He did well, and had some luck, to finish 3rd and maintain a 10pt lead in the drivers' championship. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc]. And Adrian Newey in the driving seat [bbc].)
4 Nov 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.34 (Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.34); oil us$85/b
2 Nov 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.80, ¥83
4 November 2012 (Sun.): The London to Brighton run [www], G. [www]. And ...
3 November 2012 (Sat.): Regent Street Motor Show [www].
3 November 2012 (Sat.): The 'RAC Future Car Challenge' for "Electric, Hybrid, Low-Emission, Hydrogen and ICE vehicles" [www].
2 November 2012 (Fri.): Bonhams auction, New Bond St., [www], [www].

2 November 2012: "A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta 'Tour de France' [sold] for £1,960,000 ... [And] a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 [once owned by] Paul McCartney ... achieved £344,400" at RM Auctions' London sale -- [www].

2 November 2012: Hyundai and Kia Motors announced "following discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), [adjustment of] the fuel economy ratings for approximately 900,000, or 35% of, 2011-13 model year vehicles sold through October 31, 2012. ..." -- [www], [www]. The revised figures were about 3% to 5% worse.

2 November 2012: (GM) Holden "is shedding 170 Adelaide workers because of dwindling car sales." -- [abc], GMH [www]. And ... [abc]?

1 November 2012: The (GM) Holden 'Volt' series-hybrid "goes on sale 1 November" -- [www][30/8], [www].

1 November 2012, .au: "Autodom Ltd is closing the doors of its [SA] (aiAutomotive) and Victorian (Dair) facilities for an indefinite period. [And] announced a trading suspension ... on the ASX ..." -- Autodom [www][1/11].
"About 400 workers have lost their jobs ..." -- [abc],

 

October 2012, .uk: The "Association of British Insurers signals potential for reduced premiums with the introduction of Autonomous Emergency Braking [AEB] into group ratings ... data analyses showed ... about a quarter [fewer claims] for the XC60 [with AEB] than other similar 4X4s ... expected one to five point drop in insurance group ratings ..." -- Thatcham [www].

30 October 2012: (Post-) Hurricane Sandy (15 miles E. of York, Penn., 5am EDT Tues. 30 Oct.) monstered eastern USA -- NHC [www][30/10] [#32], [bbc], Guardian [www][1/11].

30 October 2012: For sale, 1981 BMW M1, chassis #4301154, rear (mid) engine, 3.5 l, 6-cyl, dohc, 4 valves/cyl., dry-sump, 30K miles, "one of the last of 399 road spec. examples to be built," p.o.a. -- Hexagon Classics [www].

29 October 2012: The facelifted Mazda MX-5 arrived in .au, 2-litre, 4-cyl., 118kW@7000rpm, 188Nm@5000rpm, 6-spd manual or auto, from au$47.3K+ to $52K -- Mazda.

30 Oct 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.36); oil us$86/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.64, €0.80, ¥83
28 October 2012 (17/20): Indian F1 Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit (start 3pm local, 9.30am GMT) [www].
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). The Red Bulls started 1 and 2, continuing that way until Webber's KERS failed and Alonso got past on lap 48. The day left Vettel having led every lap of three consecutive grands prix, a feat last achieved by Ayrton Senna (McLaren) in 1989. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

28 October 2012: Casey Stoner, in his last year of MotoGP, won the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, [abc].

26-28 October 2012: 'Motorclassica', Melbourne [www].
28 October 2012: Manheim auction, lane 99, Melbourne [www], including lot 23, a 1967 Elfin 300 Roadster; lot 27, a 1963 Aston Martin DB5 coupe; lot 30, a 1969 Lamborghini Muira S coupe.

26 October 2012: "13% of Australian households opted for diesel [cars] in 2012, compared with 9% in 2009 ... 78% travelled to work or full-time study in a private motor vehicle, while 16% used public transport ..." -- ABS [www].

25 Oct 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.43 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.37); oil us$86/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.80, ¥83
25 October 2012: Ford confirmed that it would close its Southampton Transit van assembly factory, and its Dagenham stamping plant [www].
24 October 2012: Ford announced plans "to close its Genk Plant [Belgium] and to cease vehicle production by the end of 2014" -- [www]. And there were rumours about Ford's Southampton factory -- [bbc].
European car makers (even VW) experienced falls in sales.

24 October 2012: "... the French State has announced its intention to provide up to €7 billion in refinancing guarantees ..." for troubled PSA Peugeot Citroen -- [www]. And, PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors announced specific projects as part of their Global Strategic Alliance [www] & [www].

24 October 2012: "A wetter than normal season is more likely for large parts of N. and central Australia ... After hovering around El Nino thresholds ... tropical Pacific temps. have retreated to neutral levels over the past several weeks. ..." -- [bom], and [abc][25/10].

23 October 2012, .au: Frogwatch reported that it had tested a "cane toad tadpole control technique using the bufotoxin secretions of cane toads as bait to attract tadpoles into traps" with good results -- [www].

23 October 2012, WA: "A new report has recommended hundreds of squatter shacks built on Western Australia's Mid-West coast be protected. ... built on crown land at Wedge Island and Grey settlements between the 1950s and 1980s by fishermen and pastoralists. ..." -- [abc].

22 October 2012: Manganese Bronze, maker of London taxis, went into administration -- [www], [www]. The company is 20% owned by Geely (.cn) -- [www].

22 October 2012: The Grauniad on the Lotus Evora 414E range extender (series hybrid) experimental prototype [www]; Lotus Evora 414E, 1.2 l, 3-cyl. → 17kWh → 2 × 152kW [www].

20 Oct 2012 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.54/l; min $1.42 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.37); oil us$90/b
19 Oct 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.79, ¥82

19-28 October 2012: Australian International Motor Show, Sydney [www]. Including an Aston Martin 'One-77'; GM Opel 'Astra', 'Insignia', 'Corsa'; Jaguar 'F-type'; Kia "Track'ster" concept; Land-Rover 'Range Rover IV'; Toyota Lexus 'LF-LC' hybrid concept.

16 October 2012: "New car sales in the European Union have fallen for the 12th month in a row in September ..." -- [bbc].

October 2012: It was reported that the Gibbs Sports 'Quadski', a high speed amphibious quad bike, would go on sale shortly ~us$40K ~£25K -- Gibbs Sports [www], & [D.Tele.][15/10].

15 October 2012: "UK engineers create petrol from air ... Air capture technology ... scrubs carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air ... Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), based in Stockton-on-Tees ..." -- Inst. Mech. Eng. [www], S1706 - Air Capture: Developing technologies for carbon recycling and negative emissions [www]. Also see Air Fuel Synthesis [www], electrolysis→H2, + CO2 from the atmosphere, →methanol →petrol. Thinks. No it's not the 1st April. (5 litres to date, for £1 million -- [bbc][19/10].) And also, "Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory [NRL] ... extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into [JP-5] jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. ... predict that jet fuel from seawater would cost in the range of $3 to $6 per gallon" -- navy [www][24/9], maybe, eventually.

15 Oct 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.38); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.64, €0.79, ¥80

14 October 2012: Brooklands Autumn Motorsport Day -- [www], [www].

14 October 2012: 'Skyfall', the latest James Bond 007 movie, had its previews; Daniel Craig (Bond), Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory), Helen McCrory (Clair Dowar), Judi Dench (M), Berenice Marlohe (Severine), Naomie Harris (Eve), Ben Whishaw (Q). (Premier [bbc][23/10].)

14 October 2012 (16/20): Korean F1 Grand Prix (start 3pm local, 6am GMT) [www].
Results: 1: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 3. Felipe Massa (Ferrari). (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].) Vettel took the championship lead away from Alonso. McLaren was cursed -- Jenson Button retired on lap 1 after being hit by Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), and Lewis Hamilton suffered a broken rear anti-roll bar and, near the end, picked up a large piece of astroturf that affected his car's aerodynamics; he finished 10th.

13 October 2012: Coys 'Spirit of Motoring' auction, Ascot [www], including lot 123 a 2004 Ferrari 'Enzo', chassis #ZFFCZ56B000136073, reg. PL54 URZ, "ex Jenson Button."

11 October 2012: "... there has been October snow across some southern areas of South Australia. ... last reports of snowfall in the Adelaide and neighbouring Mount Lofty Ranges region in October were a century ago. ..." -- [abc]. (12 Oct: Then ACT & NSW -- [abc].)

10 Oct 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.35); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.64, €0.80, ¥80

10 October 2012: Toyota USA announced a recall of "approximately 2.5 million vehicles" [2007-2010, over a fire risk] "to inspect and apply special fluorine grease to the driver's side power window master switch (PWMS)" -- [www], [www]. And 2× more worldwide -- Guardian [www], [bbc], [www]. Also PRA #2012/13327, .gov.au [www].

7 October 2012 (Sun), .au: The Bathurst 1000 [www]. ("held on the second Sunday" of October -- [www].) Results: 1. Paul Dumbrell & Jamie Whincup (TeamVodafone Commodore), 2. Dean Canto & David Reynolds (Bottle-O Falcon), 3. Craig Lowndes & Warren Luff (TeamVodafone Commodore).

7 October 2012 (15/20): Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Suzuka (start 3pm local, 6am GMT).
Results: 1: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 2. Felipe Massa (Ferrari), 3. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber). Vettel and Mark Webber (Red Bull) started 1st and 2nd, but Romain Grosjean (Lotus) hit Webber at turn 2, the latter dropping to last, and eventually finishing 9th. Grosjean was awarded a 10-second stop-and-go penalty; also see 2 Sept. There was contact between Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) before turn 1 which resulted in Alonso getting a puncture, spinning and being unable to continue. In the drivers' championship, Alonso 194, Vettel 190, Raikkonen 157pts. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

7 October 2012, .au: "Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am (AEST) on the first Sunday in October" [www].

5 Oct 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.36 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.34); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.63, €0.79, ¥80

4 October 2012: 'Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles', T. R. Hawkins et al, J. Industrial Ecology, "... a transparent life cycle inventory of conventional and electric vehicles and apply [it] to assess conventional and EVs over a range of impact categories. ... EVs powered by the present European electricity mix offer a 10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles assuming lifetimes of 150,000km. However, EVs exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts, largely emanating from the vehicle supply chain. Results are sensitive to assumptions regarding electricity source ..." -- [www]. So, not a great deal in it, unless you have spare hydro power, say.

4 October 2012, .uk: September car sales "[grew] 8.2% to 359,612" v. 2011. The Ford 'Fiesta' was #1 for the month (18,651) and ytd (88,747) -- SMMT [www].

3-6 October 2012: Bonneville World Finals [www].

3 October 2012, .uk: The 'Bloodhound' project, building a 1,000 mph car (l. 13.4m, h. 2.8m, 6,422kg) powered by a jet (90kN) and a rocket (122kN, 27,000 lbs) [www] [www], "will be streaming the rocket test [part 1] live at [www]. The rocket generated 14,000 lbs [62kN] of thrust -- [www].

1 October 2012: 'The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes,' G. De'ath et al, PNAS, "... Based on the world's most extensive time series data on reef condition (2,258 surveys of 214 reefs over 1985-2012), we show a major decline in coral cover from 28.0% to 13.8% (0.53%/y), a loss of 50.7% of initial coral cover. ..." -- [www].

 

29 September - 14 October 2012: Paris Motor Show [www/en/]. Including Audi 'Crosslane' coupe concept; BMW concept 'Active Tourer' hybrid [www]; Citroen 'DS3' cabrio of sorts; Fiat next 'Panda' 4x4 [www] [www]; Ford next 'Fiesta' (Jan 2013) [bbc], next 'Mondeo'; GM Chevrolet 'Trax' SUV (~Vauxhall 'Mokka'), Opel/Vauxhall 'Adam' [www] [www] [www] [www], Vauxhall 'Cascada' convertible [www]; Jaguar 'F-type' (based on the C-X16 concept) ~£58K to £90K? flash@[www], SAE [www]; Kia new 'Rondo' MPV, next 'Sorento' [www], "Pro cee'd" hatch [www]; Land Rover new 2013 all-Al 'Range Rover' IV [www]; no Lotus at all; Mazda '6' station wagon; McLaren 'P1' concept (to be £800K+); Mercedes 'B-class' with natural gas drive [www]; Mitsubishi new 'Outlander PHEV' plug-in hybrid (2-litre + 2×60kW + 12kWh) [www]; Peugeot 'Onyx' hybrid concept [www]; Smart 'Forstars' concept [www]; Suzuki 'S-Cross' concept [www], revised '208' GTi; Toyota next 'Auris' hatch (1.5 & 1.8) [www], Lexus 'LF-CC' hybrid coupe concept [www], 'FT-Bh' claiming 134mpg; Volvo 'V40' cross-country [www]; VW next (VII) 'Golf' [www]. (Also see [bbc], Daily T. [www].)

29-30 September 2012: Model Engineering Exhibition, Engineering Hall, Clayton, Monash University, Melbourne [www].

29 September 2012: "The longest dry spell recorded at the Alice Springs airport has been broken. It had not rained there since April, but three mm of rain fell overnight. ..." -- [abc].

28 September - 8 October 2012: Christie's 50 Years of James Bond (007) auction. "Forty lots will be offered at an online-only auction ... with 10 further lots to highlight an invitation-only auction at Christie's S. Kensington on 5th October" -- [www]. Mostly clothes and small props, but including lot 50 a 2008 Aston Martin V12 DBS chassis #SCFAB05D99GE00044, engine #AM08/21544, used in Quantum of Solace (2008) [www].

28 September 2012: "Holden is to shut down the assembly lines at its Elizabeth plant in Adelaide for periods between now and Christmas. ... called 'market response days' ... in response to lower sales. ..." -- [abc].

28 Sept 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.35); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.81, ¥81

27 September 2012: Terminal gate prices ULP au$1.34.9/l (Melb.) to $1.39.4 (Hobart), diesel au$1.39.1/l (Melb.) to $1.43.4 (Hobart). Crude oil Tapis us$113/b AIP [www][26th], Brent us$111/b, W.Texas us$92/b [bbc][27th].

27 September 2012: One of the snippets in the .uk Department for Transport's 'Reported Road Casualties GB 2011' [www] is that "an estimated 8% of adult drivers who had consumed alcohol in the last year reported driving at least once or twice ... whilst they thought they were over the legal alcohol limit".

26 September 2012: "... Failure to act on climate change already costs the world economy 1.6% of global GDP amounting to 1.2 trillion dollars in forgone prosperity a year ..." -- DARA [www]@[www].

23 Sept 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.37); oil us$93/b
21 Sept 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.81, ¥82

23 September 2012: Melb. average fuel prices rose about 15c/litre with the start of the school holidays. Coincidence?

23 September 2012 (14/20): Singapore F1 Grand Prix (start 8pm local, noon GMT) [www].
Results: 1: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 2. Jenson Button (McLaren), 3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) started from pole, and seemed set to win until suffering a gearbox failure on lap 23. (Also see FIA [www], [bbc].)

23 September 2012, .au: ABC TV's Compass showed The Man on the $20 Note, about the Rev. John Flynn who founded the Australian Inland Mission 100 years ago, and "famously launched the Flying Doctor Service" -- [abc], and on iView for two weeks.

22 September - 2 October 2012: Royal Melbourne Show, Vic., .au [www].

20 September 2012: The 2012 IgNobel prizes [www] included 'Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction,' C. M. Bennett et al, (2009) [www], & J. of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results, 1(1), pp.1-5 (2010) [www], that is, looking for brainwaves in dead fish. And, 'Walking with coffee: Why does it spill?' H. C. Meyer & R. Krechetnikov, Phys. Rev. E 85, 046117 (2012) [www].

19 September 2012: On 16/9, "Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its minimum extent for the year of 3.41 million square km (1.32 million square miles). ... the lowest seasonal minimum extent in the satellite record ... 18% below 2007 [previous record] and 49% below the 1979 to 2000 average. ..." -- NSIDC [www], [www][19/9].

19 September 2012: In two cases, "the Regional Court of Braunschweig today dismissed actions for damages against Porsche Automobil Holding SE ..." -- [www]. The cases stemmed from Porsche's attempted take over of VW, e.g., see 26 Nov. 2008. (The end was more a VW takeover of Porsche. 'Volkswagen and Porsche finalized the creation of their "Integrated Automotive Group"' -- 1 August 2012.)

18 Sept 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.33 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.38); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.80, ¥82

18 September 2012: 'A Victorian Government investigation has concluded it is "highly unlikely" there are wild big cats living in Victoria. ...' -- [www] -- our taxes at work.

14-16 September 2012: Goodwood Revival, .uk [www]. Including the Bluebird K3 water speed record hydroplane (130.91mph 1938) [www].

13 Sept 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.36); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.81, ¥81
9 September 2012 (13/20): Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza (start 2pm local, noon GMT) [www].
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 2. Sergio Perez (Sauber), 3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). Hamilton had a comfortable win. Jenson Button (McLaren) was in an apparently safe 2nd place when he stopped on lap 33 with a fuel system failure. Both Red Bulls retired. (Also see FIA [www], [bbc].)
8 Sept 2012 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.35); oil us$96/b
7 Sept 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.65, €0.82, ¥81

8 September 2012: Bonhams Beaulieu Sale auction [www], including lot 577 a Land Rover "Sandringham 6" 6x6 conversion by Hotspur Cars (sold £3,335) [www].

7-9 September 2012: Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance [www].

7 September 2012: "... PSA Peugeot Citroen is to be dropped from France's Cac 40 blue chip index ... its share price has plummeted 61% over the year ..." -- [bbc].

5-7 September 2012: Salon Prive, London, concours d'elegance, Syon House [www].

September 2012, for sale: 1957 Aston Martin DBR1, winner of Spa 1000km 1957 ... Le Mans 1959 -- Talacrest [www], [www].

3 Sept 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.32 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.36); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.65, €0.82, ¥80

3 September 2012: Nissan revealed "the [VK56] engine that it plans to use in next year's Australian V8 Supercars Championship ..." -- [www].

2 September 2012: Chelsea AutoLegends, Royal Hospital Gardens, Chelsea [www].

2 September 2012 (12/20): Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Jenson Button (McLaren), 2: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus). Jenson Button was by far fastest in qualifying and led all the way to the finish. But Romain Grosjean (Lotus) had a rush of blood at the first corner and took out Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Sergio Perez (Sauber), and himself. He was later fined €50K and received a one race ban, i.e., Monza. See FIA [www] [www], and [bbc].
 

August 2012: "... tropical Pacific remains warmer than average ... tends to favour below-average rainfall over eastern Australia. ..." -- [bom][28/8/'12], [www]['12]. (But see 24 Oct.)

31 August 2012: German sports car maker Gumpert applied for insolvency.

August 2012: 2012 is the 60th anniversary of the Avro Vulcan with the last survivor, XH558, doing summer air shows 1 & 2 Sept. Bournemouth and Shoreham, 8 Sept. Duxham, ... [www].

31 August - 1 September 2012: Birdsville Races .au [www].

31 August 2012: Mitsubishi's all-new 'Mirage' global compact car went on sale in Japan, 1-litre, 51kW, 3-cyl., petrol, CVT, claimed 27.2km/litre -- [www][1/8].

29 August - 9 September 2012: The London 2012 Paralympic Games [www]. Opening ceremony [bbc], [bbc].

29 August 2012, safety: The Volvo 'V40' "achieved five stars and is Euro NCAP's all time top scorer in its segment. ..." -- [www], [www], and [www].

29 August 2012: An 'Autocar' poll voted the (original) Mini, launched 1959, the greatest British car of all time. #2 was the Range Rover, and #3 the E-type -- [www].

29 Aug 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.36 (Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.36); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.66, €0.83, ¥81

29 August 2012, .au: "... Yesterday, at the launch of a new design tool at Ford's Broadmeadows facility in Melbourne, [the president of Ford .au] Mr Graziano said he believes Ford can have research and development in Australia without manufacturing. ..." -- [www]. Also see 10 Jan. below.

28 August 2012, usa: "The Obama Administration today finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. ..." -- [www]. (US gs of course.)

28 August 2012: The Australian Minister for Climate Change & Energy Efficiency (Greg Combet), and the European Commissioner for Climate Action (Connie Hedegaard) announced that "Australia and Europe will be linking their emissions trading systems. ... A full two-way link [of] the two cap and trade systems, is to commence [by] 1 July 2018 [and] Australian businesses will be able to use EU allowances ... from 1 July 2015" -- .gov.au [www]; also see .eu [www] & [abc].

27 August 2012: The FIA announced that it "reached an agreement to licence the commercial rights of the FIA Formula E [electric] Championship to a consortium ... Demonstration runs of the Formula E cars will start in 2013, followed by the championship in 2014 ..." -- [www]. And, Drayson Racing Technologies LLP (DRT) announced that it had "signed an agreement with Formula E Holdings Limited (FEH) to act as Scientific Advisor" -- [www]. Also see FEH [www].

24-26 August 2012: National 4x4 Show, Melbourne [www].

24 Aug 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.34); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.66, €0.83, ¥82

24 August 2012: The 2013 M.Y., gen-4 Nissan 'Pathfinder' SUV (~Infinity JX) available in N.A. from late 2012, "switches to unibody" (monocoque construction) "3.5-L V6 ... 260hp (194kW) @6400rpm and 240lb-ft (325Nm) @4400rpm ... CVT ... from us$28.3K" -- SAE [www].

24 August 2012: 'Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice-shelf history', R.Mulvaney et al, Nature, "Rapid warming over the past 50 years on the Antarctic Peninsula is associated with the collapse of a number of ice shelves and accelerating glacier mass loss ..." -- [doi:10.1038/nature11391], [bbc].

23 August 2012: Opel (GM) announced "short work for its Russelsheim facilities and Kaiserslautern component plant" from September -- [www]. Also see 13 June below.

21 August 2012: The Climate Commission released 'The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change,' including that 33 countries (total population 850 million) will soon have carbon pricing or similar -- [www].

20 Aug 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.39 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.35); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.67, €0.85, ¥83
August 2012: 'Uncertainties about the GHG Emissions Saving of Rapeseed Biodiesel,' G.Pehnelt, C.Vietze, report 2012-039, U. Jena and Max Plank Inst. for Economics pdf@[www], suggests that CO2 savings from rapeseed biodiesel are generally less than 30% where the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) requires at least 35% now, and 50% from 2017. Also see Nature ([www][9/8].)

19 August 2012: 62nd Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance [www].
The McLaren 'M12C Spider' (open) made its debut [www].
18-19 August 2012: Gooding and Co auction [www].
17-18 August 2012: RM Auctions Monterey auction including lot 117 a 1955 Ferrari 410S Berlinatta chassis #0594CM by Scaglietti (sold us$6,710,000), lot 139 a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage racer P/1074 (the camera car for Steve McQueens 'Le Mans' movie, sold us$11,000,000 wow), lot 214 a 1955 Aston Martin DB3S chassis #DB3S/118, engine #VB6K/118 (sold us$3,685,000) (James Bond 007 drove the firm's DB3 in the novel Goldfinger), and lot 226 a 1967 Ford GT40 ser.1 chassis #1059 (sold us$2,860,000), and lot 240A a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California spyder chassis #3119GT, engine #3119GT (sold us$8,580,000) -- [www] [www] [www].

18 August 2012 (Sat.), .au: Henley on Todd [www].

17 August 2012 (Fri): The Quail, a motorsports gathering, [www], and Bonhams and Butterfields auction [www], including lot 434 1966 Ford GT40 chassis #GT40P/1033 (sold us$2,205,000), and lot 459 the ex-GTC Gulf Team Davidoff 1997 McLaren F1 GTR 'Longtail' FIA GT Endurance racer chassis #028R -- [www], [www].

17 August 2012: CSIRO warned "climate change is having a big impact on the country's oceans, with tropical fish turning up as far south as Tasmania. ..." -- [abc]. Report: "... warming sea temperatures are influencing the distribution of marine plants and animals" -- CSIRO [www].

16 August 2012: "Ford sales decreased 12% in its traditional 19 European markets in July, reflecting continued weak demand for vehicles across Europe ..." -- [www].

16 August 2012: 'Reported road casualties Great Britain: provisional estimates Q1 2012' included "killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualty numbers for pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motor cyclists have increased by 6, 11 and 6 per cent respectively but fallen by 6 per cent for car users compared to the previous 12 months" -- DFT [www].

15 August 2012, .uk: Cheffins announced the 20 Oct. auction of the "Series 1 Land Rover presented to Sir Winston Churchill on ... his 80th birthday on the 30th November 1954 ..." UKE 80 -- [www] (sold £129,000 [www]).

August 2012, .au: The Victorian Government announced plans to "simplify the speed limit system" -- 40km/h: Areas with significant pedestrian activity like schools, ... 60km/h: Undivided roads with little or no pedestrian activity and divided roads with a high number of access points. 80km/h: Divided arterial roads with few access points ... 100km/h: Freeways and rural roads. Some high standard freeways will be ... 110km/h. [Default:] When a road doesn't have a speed sign [in] built-up areas ... 50km/h, and open road 100km/h. ... Remove 80km/h buffer zones ... "Review" 90km/h, and review (probably replace) 70km/h zones -- [www].

August 2012, .uk: Insurance company Aviva started testing its "RateMyDrive app [which] gives [Aviva] a snapshot of your driving style ... braking and accelerating to your cornering ... over 200 miles of driving", possibly awarding a 20% discount -- [www].

14 Aug 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.32); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.67, €0.85, ¥83

14 August 2012: ABC TV showed 'Inland Heart: The photography of Jeff Carter' (1928-2010) on Artscape [abc] [abc][15/8], and on iView for a month [abc]. Also 'Remembering Jeff Carter' [abc] Illawara [9/11/'10].

12 August 2012 (Sun): 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, as postponed from 8 July due to bushfires. Race week is 7-12 August. "12.42 mile course, 156 turns, begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at 14,110 [feet]." 1. Rhys Millen 9:46.164 (Hyundai), 2. Romain Dumas 9:46.181 (Porsche), ..., 6. Fumio Nutahara 10:15.380 electric (Toyota) -- [www][12/8].

11-17 August 2012: Bonneville Speed Week [www].

11-12 August 2012: Winton Festival of Speed, Vic., .au [www].

10-12 August 2012: LRO "Billing", as postponed from 27-29 July due to ground conditions.

10 August 2012: Crude oil WTI us$94/b, Brent us$112/b, [bbc][10/8]; Tapis us$115/b, AIP [www][8/8].

9 Aug 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.28 (Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.30); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.68, €0.86, ¥83

6 August 2012: Spyker NV owner of "bankrupt carmaker Saab has sued former partner General Motors for $3bn (£1.9bn). ... [for] interfering with a potential sale" of Saab "... Spyker still [has] the rights to the legal entity Saab ..." -- [bbc], Spyker pdf@[www]. (Also see 13 June.)

6 August 2012: NASA's 'Curiosity' 6x6 rover successfully landed on Mars to start its two year mission -- NASA [www] @ [www] or [www] @ [www], and [bbc].

August 2012: For sale by 'Gullwing Motors', NY, USA, asking us$49,500, a 1967 'Amphicar' -- [www]. That's an amphibious car.

4 Aug 2012 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.26 (Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.29); oil us$91/b
3 Aug 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.68, €0.86, ¥82

2 August 2012: Workers at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas were "laying [the] final piece of base course and completing the entire first layer of pavement around the track" in preparation for the US F1 Grand Prix on 18th November -- [www].

1 August 2012: Volkswagen and Porsche finalized the creation of their "Integrated Automotive Group" in which VW holds 100% of "Porsche AG [via] an intermediate holding company" -- [www].

1 August 2012: Chrysler Group reported total US sales for July of 126,089 vehicles, up 13% on July 2011 -- [www], [www]. Ford's US sales for July were up 2% -- [www], and GM's July US sales were 201,237 vehicles, down 6% on 2011 -- [www].

August 2012: Toyota announced a "safety recall involving 2006 to early 2011 [m.y.] RAV4 and 2010 model year Lexus HS 250h ... if the nuts on the rear suspension arm are not tightened following the proper procedure ... during a rear wheel alignment service, excessive play may occur at the threaded portion of the arm ..." -- [www].

 

July 2012: 'A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011,' "the rise in average world land temperature globe is approximately 1.5°C in the past 250 years, and about 0.9°C in the past 50 years ... the upward trend is likely to be an indication of anthropogenic changes ..." -- the Berkeley earth team, pdf@[www], [www], [bbc].

31 July 2012, recall 2012/13245, Audi Q5: "At temperatures below -20° celsius, the glass-sliding sunroof may suddenly break" -- [www]!

30 July 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.28 (Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.28); oil us$90/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.67, €0.85, ¥82

July 2012: The British Army's 'Foxhound' light protected patrol vehicle (l. 5.32m, h. 2.35m, wt 8.5 tonnes) arrived in Helmand province Afghanistan in June [www], and crews were in training -- 'Soldier', July 2012, p.42 [www]. Also see 30 Nov. 2010.

29 July 2012 (11/20): Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Hungaroring (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), 3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus). Hamilton was clearly fastest in qualifying but came under pressure from the Lotuses in the race, but there was little on-track passing in the race. (See the FIA [www], [bbc].)
27 July - 12 August 2012: The London Olympic Games [www]. Opening [bbc] & [www], [www], [abc], Grauniad [www].
.au: A national crisis persisted well into week two after New Zealand won three early gold medals to Australia's one (bbc); .au honour was restored by Wed. 8th, particularly through the efforts of its sailors. .au ended with 7 G, 16 S, 12 B (and the glorious nation of Kazakhstan with 7 G, 1 S, 5 B). Also see brick by brick, [www].

27-29 July 2012: Land Rover Owner's "Billing" show, .uk, for LR-ists -- [www]. But the event was postponed to 10-12 August due to ground conditions. (Also see 30 June.)

26 July 2012, .uk: The annual 'What Car' / 'Warranty Direct' reliability survey for cars upto 8 years old finds the top marques 1. Honda, 2. Toyota, 3. Lexus -- [www]. No surprises there. Warranty Direct's top models, 3-10 years old, are 1. Kia Picanta (small hatch), 2. Vauxhall Agila (small hatch), 3. Honda HR-V (small SUV) -- [www][27/7].

26 July 2012: Caltex announced that it would close its Kurnell (Sydney) oil refinery by 2014, instead importing petrol from Singapore -- [abc], also [abc][27/7].

25 July 2012: Peugeot announced "group revenues [were] down 5.1% year-on-year to €29.6 billion" with "recurring operating income for the Automotive Division at -€662 million" -- [www] [www]. European car makers are facing hard times (see 22 July), except VW, "operating profit up 6.7% to €6.5 billion" -- [www][26/7].

25 July 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.27); oil us$88/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.66, €0.85, ¥80

25 July 2012: "... an estimated 97% of the [Greenland] ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. ... melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. ..." -- NASA [www][24/7]. Also, "Arctic sea ice continued to track at levels far below average through the middle of July" -- NSIDC [www][24/7].

23 July 2012: "Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagon. Now, with more than 800,000km on the clock, Gunther is still going. ..." -- [bbc].

23 July 2012: "The all-new Ford Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom roll off the assembly line for the first time today at Kocaeli in Turkey. ..." -- [www].

22 July 2012 (10/20): German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 2. Jenson Button (McLaren), 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus). Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) finished second but was ruled to have been off the circuit when he passed Button on lap 66 (of 67), and was given a 20-second penalty, dropping him to fifth. At the season mid-point, the standings in the Drivers' Championships were Alonso 154 pts, Webber 120 points, Vettel 110 points. (FIA [www], and [bbc].)

22 July 2012: "NSW Police will investigate [the Piscioneri trucking company] after one of its vehicles was pulled off the road for having its speed limiter disabled. ..." -- [abc]. Also see 10 May and 22 Feb. below.

22 July 2012: The French Government and Peugeot were to meet "ahead of a government aid package for the car sector due to be unveiled this week. [Following] a decision by Europe's second largest carmaker to cut 8,000 jobs and close an assembly plant. ..." -- [bbc], and [bbc][12/7].

July 2012, .uk: The RAC's 2012 'Report on Motoring' calculates that it costs £6,689 p.a., 55.7p per mile, or £129/week, to own and run a car [www], "based on a pool of 17 new cars" [www][11/'11]. (Also see RACV, .au, June 2012 below.)

20 July 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.22 (Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.18); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.66, €0.85, ¥82

20-22 July 2012: Silverstone Classic, .uk [www]. (And celebrating the MGB's 50th, also many Ferrari F40s.)

19 July 2012: Z. Peng et al, 'A Reversible and Higher-Rate Li-O2 Battery', "The rechargeable nonaqueous Li-O2 battery ... depends critically on repeated and highly reversible formation/decomposition of Li2O2 at the cathode on cycling. Here, we show that this is possible, using a dimethyl sulfoxide electrolyte and porous gold electrode ...", Science, online 19 July [doi:10.1126/science.1223985]. One day, such a battery might have several times the energy density of today's Li-ion batteries.

18-22 July 2012: The 30th War and Peace Show, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, .uk [www].

18 July 2012: "The Australian Government today handed back four parcels of land to Arrernte, Anmatyerre, Warlpiri and Alyawarr traditional owners at a ceremony in Alice Springs ..." -- [www]. (Including part of the West MacDonnell Nat. Park -- [abc].)

17 July 2012: Subaru began sales of its new 'BRZ' sports car, online, from au$37,150 drive-away, inc. regn, stamp duty & 3rd party ins. -- [www].

17 July 2012: Recall PRA # 2012/13214, "Geely MK Sedan and Hatchback ... (1) In the event of a severe frontal impact, the driver's left side seat rail mechanism may not function as intended [and] (2) in the event of a severe side impact, the rear door locks may not function as intended, [both] possibly resulting in serious injury to the occupant. ..." -- [www].

17 July 2012: Ford Australia announced 440 job cuts as sales of its (large) 'Falcon' slumped further, with the recent 4-cyl turbo version failing to help. Also see 10 Jan. below, and the [abc][19/7].

9-15 July 2012: Farnborough International Airshow, .uk (trade 9-13, public 14-15) [www].

8 July 2012 (9/20): British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone (start 1pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). 3. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull). (FIA [www], and [bbc].)

8 July 2012 (Sun): Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The road is now fully paved. Race week begins on Tuesday, 3 July [www]. But the event was postponed to 12 August because of the Waldo Canyon bushfire -- [www].

 

30 June - 1 July 2012: Tankfest, Bovington tank museum, .uk [www].

30 June - 1 July 2012: Land Rover Monthly's "Max" show, Stoneleigh Park, .uk [www]. Cancelled, June 2012. (Also see 27 July.)

28 June - 1 July 2012: Goodwood Festival of Speed, .uk with the theme 'young guns - born to win' and featuring Lotus -- [www]. The Bonhams auction, 29 June, includes lot 204 the ex-Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin 1929-32 Bentley 4 1/2-litre supercharged single-seater which set the Brooklands outer circuit lap record at 137.96mph in 1931 (sold £5,041,500), lot 206 (Le Mans 24hrs) 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Spyder (sold £2,689,500), and lot 273 1938 Bugatti Type 57C special coupe chassis #57335 -- [www], [www], [www][29/6].

June 2012: GM, inc. Holden, recalled "413,418 Chevrolet Cruzes ... 2011 and 2012 [MYs] to modify the engine shield ... where a fire could start and spread. ..." -- GM [www], [abc], and recall PRA #2012/13189 [abc].

28 June 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.23/l; min $1.20 (Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.24); oil us$80/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.65, €0.81, ¥80

28 June 2012, .uk: "Road death figures for 2011, announced today show a rise from the 1,850 recorded in 2010 to 1901 - a 3% rise, and the first since 2003. ..." -- the AA [www].

June 2012: The RACV's annual report on the costs of car ownership showed that the most expensive vehicle was the "Toyota LandCruiser V8 petrol at $398.18 per week", and the cheapest small car was the Kia Cerato S "at $156.99 per week". The calculations are based on owning the vehicle for 5 years and driving 15,000km/year. As always, standing costs - depreciation, insurance, registration - make up by far the largest part of the cost -- [www], [www].

24 June 2012 (8/20): European F1 Grand Prix, Valencia (start 2pm local, noon GMT) [www].
Results: 1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus); 3. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes). The race was eventful with tyre degredation, collisions and pit stops all playing parts. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) was by far the fastest, in qualifying and in the race, but broke down on lap 34. Romain Grosjean (Lotus) was in a strong second place when his car also failed, on lap 40. Lewis Hamilton was in 3rd place but was taken out by Pastor Maldonado (Williams) on the penultimate lap. Alonso had only qualified 11th fastest. Mark Webber (Red Bull) qualified 19th due to mechanical problems but finished 4th. (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc].)
23 June 2012 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.21 (Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.27); oil us$80/b
22 June 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.64, €0.80, ¥81

23 June 2012: 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Mathison Turing (23/6/1912 - 7/6/1954), he of the Turing machine, decidability, WWII codebreaking at Bletchley Park including the Bombe, AI, the Turing test, and much else.

21 June 2012, .au: The ABS [www] released data from the 2011 census -- [www]. The 2011 Australian population was put at 22.3 million.

20-22 June 2012: RIO+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development [www]. With preparatory meetings from 13 June. (And the Guardian [www], [bbc].)

19 June 2012: There was a magnitude 5.4 earthquake in Victoria with its centre near Moe in Gippsland -- [abc].

19 June 2012: "After a period of rapid ice loss through the first half of June, sea ice extent is now slightly below 2010 levels, the previous record low at this time of year. ...", and [18th] "sea ice extent was 10.62 million km2 ..." -- NSIDC [www][19/6].

18 June 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.22 (Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.30); oil us$83/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.64, €0.80, ¥80

16-17 June 2012: The Le Mans 24-hour Race and 80th anniversary [www]. 1. Audi R18 e-tron quattro (hybrid) LMP1, Andre Fassler, Marcel Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer, 378 laps (24:01'16.128); 2. Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1, Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, 377 laps; 3. Audi R18 Ultra LMP1, Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis, Mike Rockenfeller, 375 laps. 33 of the 56 starters finished. Unfortunately the radical Nissan-powered Deltawing [www] retired at lap 75 after being hit by a Toyota prototype; its qualifying pace was 29th, mid-pack, not bad for 1.6 litres. The Audi e-trons used WHP (Williams Hybrid Power) flywheel energy storage [www], the petrol hybrid Toyotas, supercapacitors [www]. (Also see the FIA [www], Nissan [www].)

16-17 June 2012 (Sat., Sun.): Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival [www], [www].

15-17 June 2012: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire, .uk [www].

13 June 2012: "Euro NCAP [surveyed] the availability of Autonomous Emergency Braking [AEB] systems in Europe and reveal[ed] that the assessment programme will include AEB technologies in its star rating from 2014. ..." -- [www].

13 June 2012: GM (Opel) announced that it would close its Bochum (.de) factory in 2016 -- [www].

13 June 2012: National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), "Japanese, Swedish and Chinese stakeholders," "acquired the main assets of Saab Automobile" (but not Saab Parts or GM's IP in the Saab '9-5') to develop electric vehicles -- [www].

13 June 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.28 (Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.32); oil us$83/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.64, €0.80, ¥79

12 June 2012: The World Health Organization (WHO) "classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans" -- pdf@[www]. Also see [www] and [www].

12 June 2012: Some may remember the methane-powered generator, 'the thing in the cellar', in series one of 'The Good Life', [bbc]. Well, in .au, "manure could prove farmers' carbon cash cow ..." -- [abc]. (Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.)

11 June 2012: It seems that one hundred years ago, Malcolm Campbell saw Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and subsequently gave his racing and record-breaking cars and boats that name. Free exhibition -- [www].

11-17 June 2012: MotorExpo, Canary Wharf, London, -- [www].

11 June 2012, Monday: Queen's Birthday holiday, Vic., .au.

10 June 2012 (7/20): Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal (start 2pm local) [www].
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 2. Romain Grosjean (Lotus), 3. Sergio Perez (Sauber). Seventh race, seventh winner. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) was on pole, with Hamilton 2nd. For much of the race the lead was between Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso (Ferrari). But there was a good deal of action in the last 10 laps as Vettel and Alonso who thought their tyres were good for one stop found they were not. (See the FIA [www], & [bbc].)

9-11 June 2012: Finke Desert Race, NT, .au [www], & [abc][10/6].

9-10 June 2012, .uk: The Yorkshire Vintage Association [www] 7th annual gathering, "National Tractor Weekend," at Newby Hall [www].

8 June 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.32); oil us$84/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.64, €0.79, ¥78

8 June 2012: The Guardian claimed that the EU was planning to introduce a tougher carbon emission limit for cars of 95gm CO2/km from 2020 -- [www]. (The limit from 2015 is 130 gm CO2/km.)

7 June 2012: "Group Lotus plc ... can today confirm that, Mr Dany Bahar has been terminated from his employment as Chief Executive Officer ..." -- [www], [bbc]. Lotus revealed ambitious, possibly over ambitious, plans for new models at the 2010 Paris Motor Show (2-17 Oct.), but there had been recent reports of turmoil.

6 June 2012: A Transit of Venus, where Venus passed between Earth and the Sun, was visible from Victoria, .au, from about 8am (through breaks in the clouds). The next two Transits of Venus will occur in 2117 and 2125 -- RAS [www]; also see the Exploratorium [www].

6 June 2012, .au: The Adnyamathanha people, the "native title holders have bought the Wilpena Pound resort in the Flinders Ranges ..." -- [abc].

6 June 2012: Launch of GEO5, Global Environment Outlook 5 -- United Nations Environment Program [www]. (Also see RIO+20 20-22 June.)

5 June 2012, Vic., .au: Flood watches for E, S and W Gippsland -- [www][5/6]. The Princes Highway (A1) was flooded at several places -- [www][5/6], & [abc]. (And later NSW, [abc][6/6].)

June 2012: It was reported that Eric Heerema had sold his 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for £22.7 million, us$35 million. That would make it the world's most expensive car, topping £20.2 million paid for a 1963 GTO (see 6 Feb. below), and us$30 m.+ paid for a 1936 Bugatti type 57SC Atlantic (see 5 May 2010).

3 June 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.32 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.37); oil us$83/b
1 June 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$0.97, £0.63, €0.78, ¥76

3 June 2012: GreenGT announced that an 'H2' hydrogen fuel-cell powered car would run in the 2013 Le Mans 24-hour race -- [www][3/6], pdf@[www].

2-5 June 2012, .uk: As part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations [bbc], Beaulieu's drive-in of 1950's vehicles -- [www].

2 June 2012: "Good snowfalls [see 26 May] prompted Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales' Snowy Mountains to open ..." -- [abc].

1 June 2012, Vic., .au: "The government's new speed camera strategy would see the number of mobile speed camera vehicles increase from 6 to 45 ... by July 2013" -- [abc].

 

30 May 2012, .uk: In the J.D.Power & What Car 2012 Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS), the Kia 'Sportage' SUV had the highest score of 838. As a brand, Jaguar, on 828, did best -- [www].

29 May 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.36); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.63, €0.79, ¥78

28 May 2012: "For the first time ever a road train [or platoon] comprising [3 cars] and a Volvo S60 plus one truck automatically driving in convoy behind a lead vehicle has operated on a public motorway among other road users. .." -- [www]. What could possibly go wrong under everyday conditions?

27 May 2012 (Sun): Indianapolis 500 [www]. 1. Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing), 2. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi R.), 3. Tony Kanaan (KV Racing Tech.).

27 May 2012 (6/20): Monaco F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). Michael Schumacher set the fastest qualifying time but was carrying a 5-place penalty from the previous race, promoting Webber to pole. Tyre preservation was the main game in the race, to make a 1-stop strategy work on a track where passing is very difficult. (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc].)

27 May 2012, .au: On the 5,600 kilometres long dog (dingo) fence -- [abc], [www], Landline [www].

26 May - 8 June 2012: The Isle of Man TT [www].

26-27 May 2012: Motorsport at Crystal Palace, London [www].

26 May 2012: 30cm of snow fell at some NSW and Victorian ski resorts -- [abc].

25-27 May 2012: Concorso d'Eleganza, Villa d'Este [www].

25 May 2012: Renault released details of the 'Alpine A110-50' concept, a homage to the Alpine Berlinette of 1962 -- pdf@[www].

25 May 2012: The NSW government announced that it "will abolish registration labels from 1 January 2013," as in WA and SA, relying instead on automatic number plate recognition as now fitted to most(?) police cars in .au -- [www].

May 2012: The SAE on the new Scion (Toyota USA) 'FR-S' sports car ('GT86' .eu, '86' .jp), for a June debut, from us$24K; the car was developed with Subaru -- [www].

24 May 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.36); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.62, €0.78, ¥78

24 May 2012: "The U.S. Army ... refining a long-term plan for its fleet of 20,000 ... mine-resistant, ambush-protected ... MRAPs, ... [inc.] The now-in-development JLTV ... to begin fielding by 2016 ..." -- [www].

24 May 2012, Vic., .au: RACV Insurance reported that "12% of all car theft claims lodged ... during the past year related to Melbourne's west, with St Albans, Taylors Lakes, Laverton, Sydenham and Sunshine ... hot spots ..." -- [www].

23 May 2012: "Mazda ... and Fiat ... have signed a non-binding MoU ... [to develop] a new roadster ... based on [the next] MX-5 ..." -- Mazda [www].

22 May 2012, on topiary: "Williams F1 is pleased to announce that its display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 'The Williams Story', has been awarded the coveted gold medal. Designed by seasoned Chelsea exhibitors King and Co ..." -- [www][22/5], [www][23/4].

22 May 2012: "An Aboriginal group in outback South Australia has been granted native title over Lake Eyre. The native title claim by the Arabana people ... covers close to 70,000 square kilometres ..." -- [www].

21 May 2012, .uk: Pre 1960 "classic vehicles will be exempted from the MoT test, Roads Minister Mike Penning announced today. ... [still] legally required to ensure that they are safe ..." -- [www], [www].

21 May 2012: K. M. Walter Anthony et al, 'Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers,' Nature Geoscience [doi:10.1038/Ngeo1480], " ... With a carbon store of over 1,200 Pg, the Arctic geologic methane reservoir is large [cf.] the global atmospheric methane pool of around 5 Pg. ...", & youtube [www].

19 May 2012: Bonhams auction Aston Martin Works Service Sale, Newport Pagnell, including lot 239 a 1991 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe chassis #0198/R, engine #420/0198/GT (sold £1.23 million); the four sanction IIs were a factory-approved revival of the 19 1961-63 Zagatos -- [www], [www].

19 May 2012 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.41 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.38); oil us$91/b
18 May 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.62, €0.78, ¥78

18 May 2012: "Holden has announced a new export program, confirming today that Commodore will return to North America in late 2013 as the new Chevrolet SS performance sedan. The limited production derivative of the yet to be launched VF Commodore ..." -- [www], [www].

17 May 2012, .uk: The "Honest John" survey found the most popular 4x4 was the Land Rover 'Freelander', small family car VW 'Golf', ..., and the Toyota 'RAV4 2.2 D4D' was best real mpg performer, matching or beating its official figures -- [www].
Also see "Discrepancies between type-approval and real-world fuel consumption and CO2 values in 2001-2011 European passenger cars ... the gap between type-approval and 'real-world' ... values increased from about 8% in 2001 to 21% today ..." -- ICCT [www].

17 May 2012: J. Gergis et al, 'Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium,' J. of Climate, online May 2012, "... the first multi-proxy warm season (Sept.-Feb.) temperature reconstruction for the combined land and oceanic region of Australasia (0°S-50°S, 110°E-180°E). ... In 94.5% of the 3000-member reconstruction ensemble, there are no other warm periods in the past 1,000 years that match or exceed post-1950 warming observed in Australasia. The unusual 20th century warming cannot be explained by natural variability alone, suggesting a strong influence of anthropogenic forcing in the Australasian region." [doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00649.1]. Also see: "... the most complete climate record of the last millennium and [...] found that the last 50 years in Australia have been the warmest. ..." -- [abc].

17 May 2012: GM announced that the next (2015+) Vauxhall/Opel 'Astra' would be built at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory, .uk -- [bbc]. Was this a hedge against the € failing?

17 May 2012: Audi released more details of its 'R18 e-tron quattro' hybrid Le Mans (16 June) car. The motor/generator operates on the front wheels and energy is stored in a "carbon fibre flywheel ... [at up to] 45,000rpm ... electric motors ... ≤150kW of short-term power...".

16-19 May 2012: Shell Eco-Marathon, Rotterdam [www]. "Five-time winners Microjoule (.fr) ... achieved the equivalent of 2,833km/litre" (8,002 mpg imp.) -- [www].

16 May 2012: Lola announced the "intention to appoint an Administrator to Lola Cars International Ltd and Lola Composites Ltd. ..." -- [www]. Lola was formed in 1958.

16 May 2012: Subaru .au announced that it would introduce a CVT option for its 2-litre diesel 'Outback' in early 2013 -- [www].

15 May 2012: Porsche showed off prototypes of its forthcoming '918' Spyder hybrid "supercar" due Sept 2013, [www].

15 May 2012, .au: Recall #2012/13138, Ferrari motor vehicles vin 182713 & 183304, "a machining fault may cause crankshaft failure" -- [www].

14 May 2012: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released its 'Living Planet Report.' "... We are using 50% more resources that the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast - by 2030 even two planets will not be enough ...," Jim Leape [www]. "... The top 10 [worst] countries [...] per person are: Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, United States of America, Belgium, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and Ireland. ..." -- WWF [www].

14 May 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.43 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.42); oil us$95/b; au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.62, €0.78, ¥80

14 May 2012: ABC TV showed 'When We Were Racers,' about Sir Jack Brabham, on 'Australian Story' -- [abc].

13 May 2012 (5/20): Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Pastor Maldonado (Williams); 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus). Qualifying was interesting with some fast cars being caught out by a late improving track and failing to get into Q3. Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time but was demoted to the back of the grid (24th) for then running out of fuel (he finished a worthy 8th in the race). That put Maldonado and Alonso 1-2 on the grid. Alonso got the better start and led until the second pit-stop. Given a couple more laps, Raikkonen might well have caught Alonso. The win was Maldonado's first, and Williams's first since Brazil 2004 (Sir Frank Williams turned 70 on 16 April). A fire in the Williams garage, 90 minutes after the race, injured four team members and damaged Bruno Senna's car. (Also see FIA [www], [bbc], & Williams [www][14/3].)

11 May 2012, .uk: The Guardian's "Honest John" published pass-rates for the MoT (road worthiness) test. 80% of cars first registered in 2008 passed, falling to 52% for those registered in 2001, and 44% for 1996, but then steadily rising to 60%* for 1980. -- [www]. A failing car may be fixed up and resubmitted, but the figures apparently refer to initial tests. ( *Out of a much smaller number of tests.) Also see 21 May.↑

11 May 2012: An RAF P40 Kittyhawk fighter from WWII was found in the Egyptian desert -- [bbc].

11 May 2012: Bonhams auction, Les Grandes Marques a Monaco [www], inc. lot 222 a 1956 AC Aceca V8 coupe, chassis #BE575, sold for €138K; lot 223 a 1992 Bugatti EB110 GT chassis #39012, one of 154 built (PI); lot 228 ex-Luigi Scarfiotti, Scuderia Ferrari 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider, chassis #8513033, engine #8513033 (PI); lot 240 a 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Casar Scaffner special roadster chassis #57.584 / 57.577, engine #C15 (PI); lot 246 a 1976 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale coupe (Dino 2.4 V6) chassis #829ARO 001954, "to near group-4 spec." (PI).
And, 12 May 2012 (Sat): RM Auctions [www], inc. lot 345 a 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider (sold €5,040,000), lot 346 a 2000 Ferrari F1-2000 3-litre 800bhp V10 (sold €806,400), lot 367 a 1948 Ferrari 166 Inter Spyder Corsa (sold €1,010,000), lot 382 a 2007 Peugeot 908 V12 HDi Le Mans car (sold €1,680,000).

11 May 2012: Carroll Shelby, of the "Shelby Cobra sports car, died aged 89" -- [bbc].

10 May 2012: "... About 1,000 charges have been laid against managers of trucking companies Lennons, Scotts of Mount Gambier, Damorange and Freds Transport. ... The [NSW Roads &...] authority is cracking down on speeding drivers who tamper with their speed limiters ..." -- [abc].

9 May 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.49 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.42); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.62, €0.78, ¥80

7 May 2012: Tests confirmed a sighting of a "critically endangered" tiger quoll in the Otway Ranges -- [abc].

5-13 May 2012: Ecovelocity, Excel, London, green transport [www].

5-6 May 2012: Donington Historic Festival [www].

4 May 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.43 (Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.41); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.63, €0.78, ¥82

3 May 2012, .au: The ACCC announced that it would investigate whether the sharing of price information between fuel retailers amounts to price fixing -- ACCC [www], [abc]. Retailers use 'Informed Sources' [www] oil pricewatch; the RACV "wants the same real time price information shared by the service stations to be made available to the motorist" -- [www][4/5]. Also see 18 Dec. 2009.

2 May 2012, .uk: Based on about a million quotes, Tiger insurance reported that drivers of Porsche(24%), Volvo(21%!) & Lexus(21%) cars had the worst accident rates, and Rover(10%), Fiat(10%) & Daewoo(7%) the best. Grey(16%) was the most accident prone colour, and red(11%!) the safest -- [www][5/'12].

2 May 2012: The BBC reported that "Canadian stuntwoman Jolene Van Vugt recorded a [land speed record] of 75km/h (46mph)" . . . for a motorised toilet -- [www]. Also see the "Porcelain Princess" -- [www].

1 May 2012: A 3-day in-season F1 test session began at Mugello -- FIA [www].

1 May 2012: The RACV responded to the Victorian state budget -- [www].

1 May 2012, .uk: Rupert Murdoch was said to be "'not a fit person' to run a major international business," by members (6:4) of the Commons media committee, and "exhibited 'wilful blindness' to what was going on at News Corporation" in the phone hacking scandal -- [bbc], also the [abc], Guardian [www] & Telegraph [www]. (& the G on the Leveson enquiry [www].) (15 May: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to charge former NoW editor Rebekah Brooks and others with perverting the course of justice -- [www].) (12 June: Gordon Brown @Leveson enquiry -- [abc]. And John Major -- [bbc].) (Also see 12 Feb. below.)

 

30 April 2012: An unrestored 1959 Austin Mini Se7en de luxe, XLL 27, chassis #AA2S7/108, engine #8AUH-908, said by BMIHT to be the 8th off the Longbridge production line in May 1959, before the August launch, sold for £40,250 at Bonhams Collectors Motor Cars auction, Hendon [www].

30 April 2012: The DT reported that (reborn) Invicta Cars, originally founded in 1925, was bankrupt and had been wound up -- [www]. (Also see Bristol, 20 April 2011.)

30 April 2012: 'Impacts of wind farms on land surface temperature,' L. Zhou et al, Nature, "... wind turbines modify surface-atmosphere exchanges ... a region in west-central Texas, where four of the world's largest wind farms are located. ... show a significant warming trend of up to 0.72°C per decade, particularly at night-time ..." -- [www].

29 Apr 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.53/l; min $1.50 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.43); oil us$105/b
27 Apr 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.64, €0.79, ¥84

28 April 2012, .uk: What Car's "True mpg economy testing programme has revealed the cars that live up to and fall short of official Government figures when driven in real-world conditions on the UK's road network. ..." -- [www]. Mostly "fall short." (Also see the 'New European Driving Cycle' [NEDC]@[ecotest.eu]['12], and wikip [www].)

27 April - 2 May 2012: 12th Beijing Motor Show (press 23rd, 24th, & trade 25th, 26th) [www]. Including Audi 'RS Q3' hot SUV concept [www]; Chrysler '300C' [www], Jeep Wrangler 'Dragon' concept [www]; Citroen 'DS3' racing and WRC, 'DS5 Hybrid4', and 'Numero 9' concept pdf@[www]; Fiat new 'Viaggio', '500', 'Freemont' SUV [www]; Hyundai 'Langdon' (~'Elantra'); Lamborghini 'Urus' 3-door 4-seat SUV concept [www] (nothing like the 1980s 'LM002'); Mercedes 'CSC' concept [www]; MG (.cn owned) 'Icon' SUV concept; Volvo (.cn owned) next 'V60', 'V40', and 'XC60' plugin hybrid concept [www]; VW new 'Lavida', 'CC' V6, ... [www].

25 April 2012: The Scottish "village of Dull embraced silliness on a transatlantic scale by becoming the official sister community of the Oregon town of Boring. ..." and more ... -- the Guardian [www]. (Google maps reckons they exist.)

25 April 2012: Anzac Day. (Also see [abc].)

24 Apr 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.43 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.42); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.64, €0.78, ¥83

24 April 2012: Recalls 2012/13019 Rolls-Royce 'Ghost', 9/2009-6/2011, "the turbo cooling pump housing may crack" [www], and 2012/13018 Rolls-Royce 'Phantom' Series I, 1/2003-11/2009, "oil from the brake vacuum pump may enter the brake vacuum line" [www].

24 April 2012, .au: A cold snap brought some early snow to Falls Creek. And, in the SE during May-July, "the chances of below normal rainfall is between 60 and 75% ... The 2011-12 La Nina event has ended ..." -- [bom][24/3].

22 April 2012 (4/20): Bahrain F1 Grand Prix (maybe - [www]; start 3pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 2: Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), 3: Romain Grosjean (Lotus). McLaren and Mercedes lost their mojo while Red Bull and Lotus suddenly found theirs. Renault powered the top three, as Mercedes did in China (race 3). Raikkonen had one chance to pass Vettel, on lap 36, but could not quite do it. After the race, Grosjean had a grin from ear to ear. The first few laps were exciting but most overtaking after that was down to pit stops. (Also see FIA [www], [bbc].)
19 Apr 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.47 ([Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.43); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.79, ¥84

18 April 2012: "Compact wireless telegraphy allows motorists to send and receive messages. Complete wireless installations for sending and receiving messages over short distances are now so compact and so cheap that it is quite an easy matter to equip a motor-car so that as it travels it may communicate with wireless stations within a radius of twenty miles or so, or with other similarly equipped vehicles. ..." -- originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 18 April 1912 -- [www].

18 April 2012: Audi announced that it had acquired Italian motorcycle maker Ducati -- [www]. (¿Looking at BMW's motorbikes?)

18 April 2012: "UK average new car CO2 emissions fell 4.2% in 2011 and by over 23% since 2000. ... almost half of new cars (46.8%) had emissions below the 2015 European legislative target of 130gm CO2/km. ..." -- SMMT [www].

April 2012: 'Scrolling and Driving: How an MP3 Player and Its Aftermarket Controller Affect Driving Performance and Visual Behavior,' J.D.Lee et al, J. of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 54(2), suggests that using an MP3 player [iPod etc.] while driving is more dangerous than, say, adjusting the radio -- [www], [www].

15 April 2012 (3/20): Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shangai (start 3pm local, 7am GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 2. Jenson Button (McLaren), 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).
14 Apr 2012 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l; min $1.44 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.45); oil us$103/b
13 Apr 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.79, ¥84
Qualifying went 1. Rosberg, 2. Hamilton, 3. Schumacher (Mercedes), but Hamilton had a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change, so both Mercedes started on the front row. It was an interesting (dry) race with much overtaking and close racing. Schumacher retired after his first pit stop due to a badly fitted wheel. Button looked to be in with a chance but a poor final pit stop ruled that out. It was Rosberg's first F1 victory; his father, Keke, was the 1982 F1 world champion, driving for Williams. Mercedes, as a works team, last won an F1 Grand Prix in 1955 - with Fangio at Monza - although their engines powered many recent winners. (Also see FIA [www].)

14 April 2012: "A Russian state television channel will broadcast Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's talk show, The World Tomorrow" -- [abc]! (Assange also "announced that he is planning to run [for] the Australian Senate at the next Federal election" -- [abc][18/3].)

13 April 2012: Bob Brown announced his resignation as leader of the Australian Greens party (now), and also from the Senate (June) -- Greens [www], [abc].

April 2012, .uk: The Driver Power survey rated the best cars to own as 1. Skoda Yeti (2010+), 2. Skoda Superb (2008+), 3. Mercedes E-class (2009+), and the rest. [www].

9 Apr 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.45 ([Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.44); oil us$103/b
9 April 2012: Easter Monday.
8 April 2012: Easter Sunday.

6-15 April 2012: New York Auto Show (press 4-5th) [www]. Including Chrysler Dodge 2013 'Viper SRT' V10 is back [www]; Fisker 'Atlantic' prototype; Ford Lincoln 'MKZ'; GM Chevrolet 2014 'Impala LTZ'; Honda 2013 'Crosstour', Acura 2014 'RLX' prototype [www]; Hyundai next 'Santa Fe' SUV; Mercedes next 'GLK350'; Nissan 2013 'Altima', 'NV200' taxi; Terrafugia (see 3 April).

5 April 2012: Prof. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (1935-2012), 76, died. He "sculpted the first model" for the Porsche 911 and was "head of the Porsche design studio" when it was released -- [www].

4 April 2012: Jaguar announced it would build the 2-seat 'F-type' for sale in 2013, recalling the 1960s E-type, and based on the C-X16 concept which was shown at Frankfurt in Sept. 2011 -- [www], [bbc].

4 April 2012: In Australian car sales, there was a "3.9% increase (3,632 vehicles) compared to the same month in 2011. ... SUVs continue to dominate ... accounting for 28% of all new car sales so far this year ..." -- FCAI [www].

April 2012: In the uk, Parkers chose the Honda Civic 1.4 i-VTEC SE as the overall (and medium hatch) winner in its 2012 new car awards, decided on the total costs of motoring. The Range Rover Evoque 2.2 TD4 Pure, and siblings, dominated the 4x4 category, with the Suzuki Jimny "a good budget choice" -- [www].

4 Apr 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.53/l; min $1.47 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.42); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.65, €0.78, ¥85

3 April 2012: "A 93-year-old Florida grandmother has parked her car for good after driving 576,000 miles (927,000km) over 48 years at the wheel of one trusty vehicle. ..." -- [bbc].

3 April 2012: Another flying car -- the PAL-V (personal air and land vehicle) One -- a Dutch, 2-seat, 3-wheel (prettier than a Reliant Robin), folding gyrocopter -- [www].   Also see the Terrafugia Transition flying car 21 March 2009, the production prototype of which "completed its ... first flight at Plattsburgh Int. Airport 23 March 2012" [www], and the Skycar 27 December 2008 & 2 March 2009.

1 April 2012, .au: "Daylight Saving ... ends at 2am (AEST) ... on the first Sunday in April" -- [www].

 

30 March 2012: Ford filed its proxy statement for the 2012 A.M. of shareholders with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commn, "... Alan Mulally, president & CEO, earned $2,000,000 in salary & $5,460,000 in cash bonus in 2011. ... total listed compensation - inc. the grant date value of long-term stock options & other performance-based equity awards - was $29,497,572. ..." -- [www].

30 Mar 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.42); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.78, ¥85

29 March - 1 April 2012, .au: The Man From Snowy River Bush Festival [www].

28 March 2012: Rumours continued about GM closing one or more of its European Opel / Vauxhall factories -- [www].

27 March 2012: The SAE reviewed the new Mazda 'CX-5' "crossover" (2.0, 4-cyl., c.r. 13:1 but runs on regular) which replaced the larger 'CX-7' -- [www].

27 March 2012, .uk: The average petrol price was "138.50 pence a litre and diesel 145.45". The 2011 peaks were "137.43p for petrol and 143.04p for diesel" -- the AA [www].

March 2012: 'Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble,' D.J.Rowlands et al, Nature Geoscience, 2012, "... show global-mean temperature increases of 1.4-3°K by 2050, relative to 1961-1990, under a mid-range forcing scenario. ..." -- [www]. (Also see 13 March below.)

26 March 2012: BMW announced a recall of 1.3 million 2003-2010 vehicles over a wiring problem -- [bbc].

25 Mar 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.47 ([Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.42); oil us$107/b;
23 Mar 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.66, €0.79, ¥86
25 March 2012 (2/20): Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang (start 4pm local).
Results: 1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 2. Sergio Perez (Sauber), 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren). McLaren were again 1-2 (H-B) on the grid and held those positions until increasing rain caused a one hour halt at the end of lap 9. Not long after the restart Hamilton had a terrible pit stop and fell to third. Button broke his front wing trying to overtake an HRT and, after pitting, fell well back. It looked like Perez would pass Alonso until Perez ran wide and lost too much time, leaving Alonso the surprise winner. (FIA [www], [bbc].)
Bernie Ecclestone announced that terms had been agreed with the "majority" of teams to continue beyond 2012, after the current concorde agreement expires.

24-25 March 2012 (Sat, Sun), .au: The Longford Revival Festival, Tasmania [www].

23-25 March 2012, .au: National 4x4 Show, Brisbane [www].

23 March 2012: A magnitude 5.7 earhquake occurred near remote Ernabella (Pukatja) in South Australia, 30km S. of the N.T. border -- GA [www], [abc].

22-25 March 2012, .de: 24th Techno Classica, Essen (press 21st) [www].

22 March 2012: 'Holden will get a $275 million "co-investment" from federal and state governments to keep its Australian plants open for the next 10 years. ...' -- [abc], GM [www], [gov], ... now what about Ford and Toyota?

21 Mar 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l; min $1.37
20 Mar 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.41); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.67, €0.80, ¥88

21 March 2012: Tata's "Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has finalized a joint venture agreement with Chery Automobile Co (.cn) to manufacture and sell vehicles in China..." ... if approved -- Reuters [www].

20 March 2012: It was reported that Nissan would bring back the 'Datsun' name, in some markets, from 2014 -- [www].

20 March 2012: Crude oil, Brent us$124/b, WTI us$107/b [bbc][20/3], Tapis us$132/b AIP [www][20/3].

19 March 2012: "... the Federal Government would spend more than $15.5 million to manufacture components of the next tranche of Bushmaster vehicles from Thales ... ." And, "subject to successful testing ... final Government approval of the Hawkei is expected in 2015 ..." -- gov [www].

18 March 2012 (1/20): Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne (start 5pm local) [www].
Results: 1. Jenson Button (McLaren), 2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 4. Mark Webber (Red Bull). The McLarens were 1-2, LH-JB, on the grid but Button had the better start, and Vettel got lucky with a safety car. And six world champions started: Alonso (Ferrari), Button (McLaren), Hamilton(McLaren), Raikkonen (Lotus), Schumacher (Mercedes), and Vettel (Red Bull).
(1: 25pts, 2: 18pts, 3: 15pts, 4: 12pts, 5: 10pts, 6: 8pts, 7: 6pts, 8: 4pts, 9: 2pts, 10: 1pt.)
18 March 2012: "A cyclone warning is current for coastal and island communities from the NT/Qld Border to Cape Keerweer, ..." -- [bom] 2pm.
19th: The tropical low did not develop into a TC, but crossed the coast near Karumba Qld, and moved inland, bringing heavy rain -- [bom] 5.35pm, and [abc].
15 Mar 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.36); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.67, €0.80, ¥88

15-17 March 2012: International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show (ITTES), Melbourne Showgrounds, Vic., .au [www].

15 March 2012, .au: "The southern end of remote Lake Eyre is brimming with water and northern areas are about two-thirds covered. Floodwaters are rising ..." -- [www].

14 March 2012: "Tropical Cyclone Lua (cat.1) was ... 470km NW of Karratha and 465km N of Exmouth and moving WNW at 14km/hr. ..." -- [bom][14/3] 2:38am.
15th: "Lua ... slowed over the last 6 hours ... likely to turn back towards the Pilbara coast during Thurs. ... expected to intensify into a severe tropical cyclone during Thurs. and remain intense as it approaches the coast ..." -- [bom] 3am.
17th: "... Severe TC Lua [cat.4] crossed the east Pilbara coast just to the east of Pardoo Station [between Broome & Pt Headland] around 3pm WST Saturday [and] will move south through the inland Pilbara as it gradually weakens. ..." -- [bom] 5.45pm, [abc].

14 March 2012, unprinting: 'Toner-print removal from paper by long and ultrashort pulsed lasers,' D.R.Leal-Ayala et al, Proc. Royal Soc., A., [www], "... with the right laser, it is possible to remove toner from paper to enable its re-use. ...," too expensive now, but maybe one day?

13 March 2012: "The CO2 concentration of the atmosphere [rose] to ~390 parts per million in 2011 ... unprecedented in the past 800,000 years. During the past decade it has risen at more than 3% per year, which is projected to cause significant further global warming." -- CSIRO's 'State of the Climate' report 2012 [www], [abc].

13 March 2012: The astonishing 'DeltaWing' car took "its first laps in California ... now supported by Nissan ... 4-cyl. 1.6 litre turbo [engine] ..." intending to run with the LM P2 cars in the Le Mans 24-hour race (16-17 June) as an experimental entry "outside classification" -- [www], [www], [www], also [www][22/3] & [www][4/6].

12-18 March 2012: 33rd Corowa Swim In, Vic., .au, the year of the 6x6 [www].

March 2012: Recall PRA #2012/13055 for 2012 Volvo XC70, V60, S60 and XC60 vehicles, "failure of the airbags to deploy during a crash may increase the risk of injury" -- [www]. And 2012/13049, Porsche Cayenne, "detachment of the headlight from the car may result in a crash ..." -- [www].

12 Mar 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.45 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.37); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.67, €0.80, ¥87
12 March 2012, Monday: Labour Day, Vic., .au.
10-12 March 2012: Scoresby Steamfest, Ferntree Gully Rd., Scoresby, Vic., .au [www].
9-11 March 2012: Phillip Island Classic, Vic., .au [www].
9-12 March 2012: Port Fairy Folk Music Festival, Vic., .au [www].

9 March 2012: Gooding and Co Amelia island auction included lot 15 1955 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder us$3,685,000, lot 47 1976 Porsche 935/76 us$2,530,000, lot 49 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution us$1,265,000, lot 53 1984 Porsche 962 us$1,925,000 lot 55 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14 us$3,245,000, lot 57 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder chassis #917/30-004 us$4,400,000, lot 69 1967 Porsche 906E us$1,001,000, and more besides -- [www]['12].

8-18 March 2012: 82nd Geneva International Motor Show -- [www]. Including Audi next 'A3'; Bentley 'EXP9F' W12 SUV(!) concept (?VW Touareg++?); BMW 'M135i' 6-cyl 1-series, 'M6' 4.4 twin turbo V8; Ferrai 'F12 Berlinetta' front eng., rwd [www](flush); Fiat '500-L' station wagon, next 'Punto' [www] [www] [www]; Fisker 'Karma' hybrid; Ford 'B-Max' MPV [www] [www]; GM Chevrolet 'Cruze' station wagon [www], Opel 'Mokka', 'Astra OPC' [www] [www], Vauxhall 'Mokka' SUV 4x4 & 4x2 (late 2012); Honda 'NSX' hybrid-V6 concept; Hyundai 'i-Oniq' electric concept & next 'i30' station wagon [www]; Jaguar 'XF Sportbrake' wagon (late 2012) [www]; Koenigsegg 'Agera R' [www]; Land-Rover (Range Rover) 'Evoque' convertible concept [www]; Mazda 'Takeri' saloon concept (?~Mazda6?); Mercedes next 'A-class', with a bonnet (hood) [www] [www] & SAE [www][1/8]; Mitsubishi next 'Outlander' SUV (late 2012) [www]; Morgan 'Plus E' electric concept (with Zytek and Radshape) pdf@[www]; Nissan 'Invitation' concept & 'e-NV200' electric [www], Infiniti 'Emerge-E' hybrid concept [www]; Pagani Huayra Carbon ed.; Peugeot '208 GTi' hot hatch concept, 208 'XY' urban concept [www] & '4008' SUV (soon) [www]; Renault Dacia 'Lodgy' (Spooner?) 7-seater MPV [www]; Ssangyong 'XIV-2' SUV concept [www]; Suzuki 'G70' compact concept & 'Swift' range-extender (hybrid) [www] (seen Tokyo '11); Subaru 'BRZ' & 4th-gen. 'Impreza' 5-door in .eu-spec [www]; Tesla 'Model X' (electric) [www]; Toyota 'FT-Bh' (hideous) city concept, 'GT86' (June), 'Yaris' hybrid, 2013 'RX' SUV [www] [www]; Volvo next 'V40' [www]; VW 'Cross Coupe' SUV hybrid concept, Skoda 'Citigo' (May, ~VW 'Up').

5 Mar 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.37); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.68, €0.81, ¥87

4 March 2012 (Sun): Dandenong Ranges FWDC swap meet, Yarra Glen, Vic., .au [www]. (The weather had been wet earlier.)

1-4 March 2012: Third and final pre-season F1 test session, Barcelona -- [bbc], [3], [4].

1 March 2012, nsw: "The [BoM] predict[ed] the flood situation in south-western New South Wales to worsen ..." -- [abc], [bom](nsw) & [bom](vic), [abc][2/3], [abc][3/3], [abc][4/3].

 
29 Feb 2012 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.35); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$1.08, £0.68, €0.80, ¥87

February 2012: Asteroid AG5, 150 metre diameter, probability of earth impact on 5 Feb 2040 est. at 0.0016, i.e., about 1 in 600 -- NASA [www][29/2].

29 February 2012: On Ford's new 1-litre 3-cyl. turbo 'Ecoboost' engine (73kW, 5 l/100km, 109 gm CO2/km, to 92kW) which "replaces a 1.6-L 4-cyl naturally aspirated [engine] in the Focus" -- SAE [www].

29 February 2012: Audi announced details of its diesel+electric hybrid 'R18 e-tron' quattro LMP1 Le Mans prototype, the front axle having a motor/generator which draws/stores energy in a "flywheel accumulator" -- [www]. (Also see Toyota, 25 Jan. below.)

29 February 2012: GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen "announced the creation of a long-term and broad-scale global strategic alliance... " -- GM [www], PSA P C [www].

28 February 2012: "The weather bureau has issued a flood threat advice for Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and is predicting heavy rainfall from today until the weekend. ..." -- [abc]. "... possibly reaching 200mm over the next five days ..." -- [bom][28/2].

27 February 2012: GM Holden began production of a dedicated LPG version of the Holden Commodore -- [www].

26 February 2012: "... the Bruce Highway [was] cut by rising floodwaters in SE Queensland. ... S. of Gympie ..." -- [abc], [gov][26/2].

25-26 February 2012 (Sat-Sun): Ballarat Swap Meet, Vic., .au -- [www].

February 2012, .au: Vehicle Standards Bulletin 14 (VSB 14) National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (NCOP), NCOP11 Section LS Suspension and Steering V2 Jan 2011. Sec.4.2.4 "... The overall diameter of any tyre fitted to [a] 4WD ... Must not be more than 50mm [~2"] larger or 26mm smaller than that of any tyre designated by the vehicle manufacturer for that vehicle." Sec.4.11 "Raising the height of the vehicle may be performed without certification providing the overall increase in vehicle height is not more than 50mm." -- [www].

24 Feb 2012 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.33); oil us$108/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.68, €0.80, ¥86

24 February 2012: Crude oil, WTI us$108/b, Brent us$123/b [bbc][24/2], Tapis us$131/b AIP [www][23/2].

February 2012: For Sale, '1969 Land Rover Velar - "The Oldest Range Rover In The World" ... Chassis 100/6 was built, by hand, as an engineering prototype in August 1969 ... £77,750.' -- [www][2/'12]. (Also see the [RR], launched in 1970.)

22 February 2012, .au: '[NSW] Police say they are targeting a number of 'rogue' trucking companies ... Officers and officials ... arrived this morning at the headquarters of Lennons Transport Services ... [had] tampered with to override a device that limits its speed to the heavy-vehicle limit of 100km/h. ..." -- [abc].

21-24 February 2012: Second F1 test session, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona.

21 February 2012: "PSA Peugeot Citroen [confirmed] that discussions are taking place for potential cooperations and alliances" -- [www]. GM has been mentioned -- [bbc]. Then there's GM's Opel - see 16 Feb.. And a European recession is on the cards.

21 February 2012: The Daily T reported that a breathalyser would be compulsory equipment to be carried in all cars in France from 1 July -- [www].

19 Feb 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.31 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.34); oil us$104/b
17 Feb 2012 Fri au$1.00=us$1.08, £0.68, €0.82, ¥85

19 February 2012 (Sun), .au: The Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin -- [www].

17 February 2012, .au: GM Holden released details of the 'Colorado' ute, due mid 2012, engine options being 2.5- or 2.8-litre turbo diesels -- [www].

17 February 2012: Ferrari reported "7,195 cars delivered in 2011" up 9.5% on 2010 ("777 to the greater China area," up 63%) -- [www].

16 February 2012: GM reported record "2011 calendar-year net income attributable to common stockholders [profit] of us$7.6 billion, or $4.58 per fully diluted share, up [62%] from $4.7 billion" in 2010, but also losses of $700 million in Europe (Opel .de / Vauxhall .uk) -- GM [www], [bbc], [abc]. One or more European plants (.uk, .be, .de) could be back on the block, as they were for a time in 2009.

15 February 2012: (Toyota's) Lexus dominated the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) -- [www].

14 Feb 2012 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.32); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.68, €0.81, ¥83

12 February 2012, .au: "New research shows motorists were being short-changed during the latest 'double discount' promotion offered on fuel by the large supermarket chains over summer. ..." -- RACV [www].

12 February 2012: Five journalists at the dirty digger's Sun newspaper "including The Sun's deputy editor [were] detained at dawn as part of the Metropolitan police investigation into corruption of public officials. ..." -- D.T. [www], Grauniad [www], Independent [www]. News Corporation closed down the News of the World newspaper last year under not unrelated circumstances; see 7 July 2011.
1/3/'12: "James Murdoch has stepped down as executive chairman of News International, the UK newspaper business ..." -- [bbc].
27/3/'12: "... The BBC's Panorama program says News Corp's security arm NDS recruited a hacker to acquire the smart card codes of ITV's ONdigital, the biggest UK pay TV rival to News Corp's Sky TV. ... the codes were then posted online, allowing pirates to access ITV's digital services for free. ONdigital went bust in 2002 ..." -- [abc].
5/4/'12: "Sky News has admitted that one of its senior executives authorised a journalist to conduct email hacking on two separate occasions ..." -- the Grauniad [www].
Also see 1 May above.

10-19 February 2012: Chicago Motor Show (trade 8th & 9th, charity 9th) [www].

9 Feb 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.32); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$1.08, £0.68, €0.81, ¥83

9 February 2012: Aston Martin released pre-production pictures of the V12 Aston Martin 'Zagato' road car, due later 2012, from £330K -- [www].

7-9 February 2012: The first F1 test session of the year, at Jerez, Spain.
Twelve 2012 teams, team (engine): Caterham (Renault) was Team Lotus, Ferrari, Force India (Mercedes), HRT Hispania Racing Team (Cosworth), Lotus (Renault), Marussia (Cosworth) was Virgin, McLaren (Mercedes), Mercedes, Red Bull (Renault), Sauber (Ferrari), Toro Rosso (Ferrari), Williams (Renault).

7 February 2012: "Emerald residents [Qld] urged to make flood preparations ..." -- [abc]. And, flooded NSW towns face weeks of isolation ..." -- [abc].

6 February 2012: There were various reports, e.g., [www], that a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO (3-litre V12), chassis #5095, one of 39 built between 1962 and 1964, had sold privately for £20.2 million. (A 1936 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic reportedly sold for us$30million+ in 2010 - see 5 May.)

4 Feb 2012 Sat ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.32); oil us$98/b;
3 Feb Fri au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.68, €0.81, ¥81

3 February 2012: Floods in S. Queensland, [abc] [bom][3/2], and N. NSW.

2 February 2012, AADB PN 43: "The Executive Council filed a disciplinary Formal Complaint with the AADB [Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board, .uk] in connection with the conduct of Deloitte LLP and of Mr Maghsoud Einollahi in relation to the four individuals known as 'the Phoenix Four' and the MG Rover Group ..." -- AADB [www]. MG Rover collapsed in 2005.

2 February 2012: Bonhams Paris Sale auction, [www], including lot 254 a 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT coupe chassis #DB4/GT/0142/L, engine #370/0143/GT (sold €1,012,000), & lot 294 a 1964 Amphicar 770 chassis #101958 (sold €46,000).

2 February 2012: Holden announced it would cut about 100 jobs in Adelaide, citing factors such as the strong Australian $ -- [abc] & [www]. Toyota recently cut 350 jobs in Melbourne.

1-5 February 2012: RetroMobile, Paris [www].

1 February 2012: Fiat released results for 2011, including Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) "shipping" 2,032,900 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, down 2.4% in 2010. Chrysler sold 1,855,000 vehicles worldwide in 2011, up 22% on 2010 -- pdf@[www].

1 February 2012: "Only 588 electric cars were registered since Boris Johnson's announcement [in 2009] he would ensure 100,000 electric vehicles were in [London] ..." -- the Guardian [www].

 

31 January 2012: EuroNCAP released it's best (safest) cars in class of 2011 - small off-road 4x4 Audi Q3, supermini Chevrolet Aveo, small family car Ford Focus, small MPV Mercedes B Class, & large family car Volvo V60 -- [www].

31 January 2012, .au: The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, moved to stop the Victorian Gvmt allowing cattle into the Alpine National Park as it "would have a clearly unacceptable impact on the national heritage values of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves National Heritage Place. ..." -- [gov], [abc]. (Maisie Fawcett (later Carr) first established grazing exclusion plots in the Alps - Maisie's plots - in 1945 to study the effects of grazing, e.g., S.G.M.Carr and J.S.Turner, The Ecology of the Bogong High Plains (I and II), Journal of Australian Botany, 7(1), pp.12-63, 1959 -- see [www].)

30 Jan 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.30); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.67, €0.80, ¥81

30 January 2012: After heavy rain and flooding in NSW "the Pacific highway re-opened" -- [www]. However, flood warnings remained in place for several NSW and Qld rivers -- [bom][30/1] & [bom][30/1].

28 January 2012: "... A cyclone warning is current for coastal areas from Mardie to Coral Bay, including Exmouth and Onslow [WA]. ... At 5:00pm WST [TC] Iggy, category 2 was estimated to be 425km WNW of Exmouth and 470km NW of Coral Bay and moving SSW at 5 km per hour. ..." -- [bom][28/1], [abc]. Iggy moved away SSW -- [bom][31/1].

27 January 2012: Nissan announced global sales of 4,669,981 units for 2011, up 14.4% on 2010 -- [www].

26 January 2012, Thurs 10am+: Australia Day.
Historic Vintage and Veteran Vehicles display, Kings Domain Garden, Melbourne, .au.

26 January 2012: The US Army issued a "request for proposal ... for the engineering and manufacturing development [EMD] phase" of the JLTV -- [www], [www].

25 January 2012: An SAE article discussed Xtrac's new transverse gearbox for "supercars" such as the Pagani Huayra -- [www].

25 January 2012: Toyota released details of its 'TS030' hybrid LMP1 race car, 3.4-litre V8 + capacitor storage (≤500kJ) + either front or rear (rules) electric drive, for the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans (June) -- [www], [www]. (Also see Audi, 29 Feb. above.)

20 Jan 2012 Fri ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.32); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.67, €0.80, ¥80

19 January 2012: Eastman Kodak filed for 'chapter 11' bankruptcy protection -- [www], [bbc]. Digital cameras nobbled the film business, and while Kodak itself was quickly into digital photography it never became dominant.

19 January 2012: Bonhams Scottsdale Sale auction includes lot 365 ex-Richard Lloyd Racing 1987 Porsche type 962 Group C racing coupe, chassis #RLR 962-106B, engine #956 348 (passed in) -- [www].

19 January 2012: GM reported worldwide sales of 9,025,942 vehicles in 2011, up 7.6% on 2010 -- [www]. (Later, there were grumbles [VW, & see 6 Jan] that the total included sales by "affiliates" in .cn.)

18 January 2012: Peugeot announced that it would withdraw from endurance racing, including the 2012 Le Mans 24-hour race (June), citing financial reasons -- [www].

18 January - December 2012, .uk: Bond in Motion, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, cars from the James Bond 007 movies -- [www].

16 Jan 2012 Mon au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.67, €0.81, ¥79
15 Jan 2012 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.33); oil us$99/b

16 January 2012: "BMW is recalling 235,000 Mini vehicles worldwide - 29,868 in the UK - because of a fault with an electric water pump. ..." -- [bbc].

15 January 2012: The Dakar finished in Lima, Peru. Winners: cars Stephane Peterhansel & Jean-Paul Cottret (Mini 6-cyl 3-l td); trucks Gerard de Rooy, Darek Rodewald & Tom Colsoul (Iveco); bikes Cyril Despres (KTM); quads Alejandro Patronelli (Yamaha) -- [www].

12-15 January 2012: Autosport International, the Racing Car Show, NEC Birmingham, .uk [www] (trade 12-13, public 14-15).
And the Performance Car Show, 12th-15th [www].

12 January 2012: Tropical Cyclone Heidi crossed the WA coast and, at 5pm WST, was "170km S of Port Hedland and 110km NNE of Tom Price and moving south at 15km/hr." -- [bom][12/1/'12], [abc].

11 January 2012: "Lola Group and Drayson Racing Technologies ... unveiled the ... electric-powered Le Mans prototype racing car, the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV" demonstrator -- [www], [www].

10-22 January 2012: 90th European Motor Show, Brussels (public 12-22) [www].

January 2012: What Car's Car of the Year 2012 [www] was the Volkswagen 'Up', and sub-categories included: family car Ford 'Mondeo', small family car VW 'Golf', and 4x4 and SUV BMW 'X3'.

10 January 2012: "The Gillard (Fed.) and Baillieu (Vic.) Governments today announced new funding to boost the performance of the Ford Falcon and the Ford Territory produced here in Australia. The Commonwealth will provide $34 million towards a total investment of over $103 million to boost the fuel efficiency and emissions performance in both models. This funding will also see the Falcon produced at Broadmeadows in Melbourne to at least the end of 2016. ..." -- [www]. Ford made no promises beyond 2016 and there was much speculation that it would eventually stop building cars in .au. Ford, GM Holden, and Toyota build cars in .au. Also see 17 July above, and 5 Jan. below.

9 Jan 2012 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.31 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.32); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.66, €0.80, ¥78

9-22 January 2012: North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), COBO Center, Detroit (public 14-22) [www]. Including Audi 'Q3 Vail' SUV concept [www]; Bentley 4-litre twin turbo V8 (<CO2) for the 'Continental' GT & GTC (from £124K); BMW '335i' & Mini 'Roadster'; Chrysler Dodge (~Alfa-R) 'Dart' (~2013); Falcon 'F7' "supercar" rear mid 7-l V8 [www]; Ford 'Fusion' (2013 Mondeo) [www], [www]; GM Cadillac 'ATS' [www], [www] & Chevrolet '130R' 2-door concept; Honda 2013 'Accord' coupe concept & new 'NSX' concept [www]; Mercedes 2013 'SL' [www]; Porsche '911 Cabrio' [www]; Toyota 'Prius c' (1.5 l), 'NS4' plug-in hybrid concept [www] [www] & [www] & Lexus 'LF-LC' concept; VW 'Jetta hybrid' [www].

9 January 2012: Worldwide, Rolls Royce announced "record sales" of 3,538 cars in 2011, 31% up on 2010 -- [www]. (See VW, 6 Jan below.)

6 January 2012: GM announced "enhancements" to the batteries of the Chevrolet Volt after a few instances of them catching fire several days after a heavy crash -- [www].

6 January 2012: Worldwide, the Volkswagen (VW) Passenger Cars brand delivered 5.1 million vehicles in 2011 up 13.1% on 2010 -- [www]. And Volkswagen Group delivered 8.16 million vehicles, up 14.3% on 2010 -- [www].

6 January 2012: 1,941,253 new cars were registered in the .uk in 2011, down 4.4% on 2010 -- SMMT [www]. But 303,097 trucks and vans were registered, up 17.8% on 2010 -- [www].

5 Jan 2012 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.31 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.30); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.66, €0.80, ¥79

5 January 2012: The US Army clarified that the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV, son of Hummer) was not dead, and that "the solicitation for the JLTV EMD phase is planned for release on or about 20 Jan 2012" -- [www]. The JLTV had seemed to have been a budget cut; see 2 Dec. 2011.

5 January 2012: The Aurora Australis set out for Antarctica. Plans included celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Australian led Antarctic expedition: Douglas Mawson's group established its base at Commonwealth Bay on 8 January 1912 -- [www], [www].

5 January 2012: Worldwide, Mercedes-Benz cars sold 1,362,908 vehicles in 2011, up 7.7% on 2010 -- [www].

5 January 2012: 1,008,437 new vehicles were delivered in .au in 2011, down 2.6% on 2010. The Mazda3 (41,429) was the most popular new car, toppling the Holden Commodore (40,617). Toyota was the most popular brand, then GM Holden, and Ford -- FCAI [www].

4 January 2012: Chrysler Group reported US sales of 1.37 million units for 2011, up 26% on 2010 -- [www].
Ford reported total US sales of 2,148,806 vehicles for 2011, up 11% on 2010 -- [www].
GM reported US sales of 2,503,820 vehicles for 2011, up 13.7% on 2010 -- [www].
Honda USA reported US sales of 1,023,986 vehicles for 2011, down 6.9% on 2010 -- [www].
Hyundai reported US sales of 645,691 vehicles for 2011, up 20% on 2010 -- [www].
Porsche sold 29,023 cars in the US in 2011, up 15% on 2010 -- [www].

3 January 2012, .au: 2012 started off hot ~40°C, e.g., with "a day of total fire ban ... for the northern country total fire ban district" of Victoria -- [bom][3/1], [bom][3/1], [abc].

1-15 January 2012: The Dakar, Mar Del Plata to Lima through Argentina, Chile and Peru -- [www].

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