2014

Index
Books
News

2014

2015
2013
31 Dec Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.15/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.14/l, min $1.10); oil us$54/b; au$1.00=us$0.82, £0.53, €0.67, ¥98

In 2014,  the number of refugees and displaced persons exceeded 50 million (20 June). Gough Whitlam died (21 Oct.), and Sir Jack Brabham (19 May). Worldwide, millions of cars were recalled due to faults in Takata airbags. General Motors suffered its own recall scandal, e.g., [www]. Of course global warming continued [wmo], and Tony Abbott's Government continued to be an embarrassment. Oil fell from us$95-$110 per barrel to less than us$55 (West Texas Intermediate) as US "fracking" production built up. However OPEC maintained production supposedly to hurt the new high-cost US sources, or Iran, or both, or who knows; it certainly hurt Russia and various other producers. ULP (petrol) fell from au$1.55± per litre to au$1.20±. The au$ fell from us$0.94± mid year, to us$0.81. Mercedes Benz dominated F1, and Lewis Hamilton won the Drivers' F1 World Championship. A 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO sold at auction for us$38,115,000 (14-15 Aug.).

26 Dec Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.14 ([Perth] avg $1.25/l, min $1.13); oil us$56/b
24 Dec Wed au$1.00=us$0.81, £0.52, €0.67, ¥98

26 December 2014: Boxing Day. The 70th Sydney to Hobart yacht race starts, 1pm. 'Wild Oats XI' took line honours for the eighth time.

24 December 2014: "Australia's greenhouse gas emissions dropped 1.4% in the second full year [to June 2014] of the carbon price - the largest recorded annual decrease in the past decade. ..." -- The G [www]; [.gov.au] & pdf@[.gov.au].  But "have risen significantly since the [July] repeal of the carbon price, with a record rise in emissions predicted this financial year. ..." -- [4/11].

24 December 2014: ¿Most surprising recall, or getting them early? PRA number 2014/14494, "Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd - Baby Pacifier ... Tying the dummy around a baby's neck may present a strangulation hazard." -- [www].

23 December 2014: "... modern gasoline [petrol] direct-injection (GDI) engines in today's passenger cars can emit more hazardous fine particulate matter than a port fuel-injected engine (PFI), or even the latest heavy-duty diesels equipped with a particulate filter. ..." -- SAE [www].

22 December 2014, .au: The Government's Climate Change Authority (CCA) "... does not favour any significant scaling back of the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 41,000 GWh. ..." -- CCA [www].

21 December 2014: "Victorians have been warned to expect more dangerous fire conditions ..." -- [abc]. Also see [cfa].

21 Dec Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.16); oil us$57/b
19 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.82, £0.52, €0.67, ¥98

19 December 2014: Companies, such as Renault - Nissan, with major stakes in Russia 'are facing a "bloodbath" because of the plunge in the value of the rouble,' chief executive Carlos Ghosn, [bbc]. Russia has been hit by sanctions over its actions in Ukraine, and by the steep fall in the price of oil.

18 December 2014: Australian Population Grid 2011 "in 1km2 grid format by the Australian Bureau of Statistics" - ABS [www].

18 December 2014: "Today the District Court of Midden-Nederland, at the request of the administrator, converted the moratorium of payment, granted to Spyker N.V. and its wholly owned subsidiaries ... on December 2nd, last, to bankruptcy. ..." -- Spyker [www].

18 December 2014: "The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission ..." -- NASA [www].

17 December 2014: "Defence has signed a $33.393 million contract for 28 Aviation Fire Truck vehicles to provide aircraft crash, emergency and fighting fire fighting responses for RAAF and Army. ... The contract was recently signed with Oshkosh Corporation ..." -- [gov].au.

17 December 2014: "The ACCC will begin conducting its fuel price monitoring reporting quarterly rather than annually, and has the capacity to investigate specific regions of the fuel market. ..." -- [abc], ACCC [www].

16 December 2014: "... a large bushfire could threaten homes on the urban fringe of Wodonga ..." -- [abc], [2]. Also see [cfa], [rfs].

16 Dec Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.22); oil us$56/b; au$1.00=us$0.82, £0.53, €0.66, ¥97

16 December 2014: "The price of Brent crude oil has fallen below $60 a barrel for the first time since July 2009. ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see [21/12].)

15 December 2014: Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) revealed research into the "360 Virtual Urban Windscreen" -- "transparent roof pillars [for] a 360° view" -- [www]. That is to say, screens built into the A-, B- and C-pillars, head-tracking, and cameras.

December 2014: The Australian Army newspaper [www] had an article (p.35) on the 'Australian Armour and Artillery Museum', Cairns [www], a private museum that opened in September.

13 December 2014, UNFCC, Lima: The 'Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, Further advancing the Durban Platform,' [www], is as dry as dust. Also see [.eu] and [bbc][14/12].

12 December 2014: "The IEA Oil Market Report (OMR) for December cut the outlook for 2015 global oil demand growth by 230,000 barrels per day (230kb/d) to 0.9 million barrels per day (mb/d) ..." -- [www]. The price of oil fell. 13th: WTI us$59/b, Brent us$62/b.

12 December 2014: "... the final day of a key UN climate summit [1st-12th] ..." -- [bbc].

12 December 2014: The US Army released the request leading to the final selection of the JLTV from one of the AM General, Lockheed Martin, and Oshkosh Defense contenders -- [rfp] at .[mil].

11 December 2014: The FIA's annual Prize-Giving awards ceremony [www].

11 December 2014: McLaren F1 finally announced that Jenson Button, and not Kevin Magnussen, would race for them with Fernando Alonso in 2015 -- [www].

11 December 2014, recall 2014/14476: Volkswagen Polo "... faulty signals can be generated in the airbag control unit because of a fault in the production of an internal acceleration sensor. ... the airbag may not deploy as designed ..." -- [www].

11 Dec Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.22); oil us$64/b; au$1.00=us$0.83, £0.53, €0.67, ¥98

10 December 2014: Tesla "opened its first Australian showroom in north Sydney on Wednesday ... Model S from $117K ..." -- The G. [www].

9 December 2014: "... The Climate Action Tracker [www], produced by an independent group of scientists, said temperatures were set to rise by about three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by 2100 ..." -- [abc].

9 December 2014: The Bloodhound SSC team's "rocket partner Nammo test[ed] the first in a series of large hybrid rocket motors at their Norwegian test site. ... producing a maximum thrust of 30kN (or 3 tons). ..." -- [www].

6 Dec Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.23 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.24); oil us$67/b
5 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.84, £0.54, €0.68, ¥101

5-7 December 2014: Wild storms hit NSW, Qld and the ACT, [abc], [2], [3].

December 2014: With climate change, NSW "is expected to become hotter, with the greatest increases in temperature expected to occur in the north and west ..." -- environment.nsw.gov.au [www].

4 December 2014: "Aston Martin together with EON Productions, the producers of the James Bond film franchise, unveiled Bond's Aston Martin DB10, on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios. ... James Bond ... [Daniel Craig] will once again drive an Aston Martin in 'Spectre'. ... a model developed specifically for the film ... Production will be strictly limited to 10 ..." -- [www].

3 December 2014: "Cybersecurity ... at the Connected Car Expo of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. ... public infrastructure ... traffic signals ..." -- SAE [www].

3 December 2014: The FIA released a revised F1 calendar for 2015 provisionally including an extra race, number 5 of 21, Korea. There will not be double-points in the last race -- [www]. A report on Jules Bianchi's crash at Suzuka, 5 Oct., was also submitted -- [www].

3 December 2014: "The four English locations picked to test driverless cars have been named. Greenwich ... Bristol ... Coventry and Milton Keynes ..." -- [bbc].

3 December 2014: "The year 2014 is on track to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest, on record ... ahead of 2010, 2005 and 1998. ..." -- WMO [www]. And "... October was the hottest since records began in 1880. ..." -- [www]. Also see the [bbc][4/12].

2 December 2014: "Toyota today called for a coordinated industry-wide joint initiative to independently test Takata airbag inflators that have been the subject of recent recalls by several automakers. ..." -- SAE [www]. And 22/10: NHTSA [www], 3/12: [bbc].

2 December 2014, recall #2014/14461: "Ford Ecosport vehicles built from 15 June 2013 through to 26 August 2014. ... The curtain airbag, seat belt pre-tensioner and side impact sensor circuits have been incorrectly orientated in the main wiring harness. ... increased risk of injury to the vehicle occupants during a collision." -- [www].

1 Dec Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.25 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.26); oil us$66/b; au$1.00=us$0.85, £0.54, €0.68, ¥100

December 2014: " A drier than normal summer is more likely over northern, eastern and central Australia. ... The summer temperature outlooks indicate a warmer than normal season for both days and nights across most of the Australian mainland, except parts of the west and southeast. ..." -- [bom][1/12].

1 December 2014: "Australia has had its hottest spring [Sept.-Nov.] and second-hottest November on record. ... Spring 2014's average temperature of 24°C exceeded the mean by 1.5°C ..." -- [abc].

1 December 2014: "A key UN climate meeting in Peru [unfccc] has opened with negotiators attempting to advance a new global agreement. ..." -- [bbc]. (And "The Bank of England is to conduct an enquiry into the risk of fossil fuel companies causing a major economic crash if future climate change rules render their coal, oil and gas assets worthless. ..." -- The G. [www].)

 

November 2014: J. D. Power 'Car Reliability Ratings' - 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study - winners included 2011 Honda 'CR-V' and 2011 Chevrolet 'Volt'. In general "Engine and transmission problems increase by nearly 6 PP100 year over year. ... The decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with 4-cylinder engines ... Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability ..." -- [www]. Also see 'Reliability Index', October below.

30 November 2014: Bonhams Bond Street Sale auction including lot 4 a 1929 Bentley 4.5-litre tourer, chassis #HB3407, engine #HB3406, sold £471,900; lot 9 a 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort Coupe chassis, 4WD, #WPOZZZ95ZJ5900210, sold £505,500; lot 10 a 1953 Bentley R-type Continental 4.5-litre Sports Saloon chassis #BC8C, engine #BCC8 (not sold); lot 23 a 1969-70 Porsche 908-02 'Flunder' Langheck (long tail) group 6 racing sports-prototype, chassis #908.02-05, sold £2,185,500; [www].

29-30 November 2014 (Sat.-Sun.): Geelong Revival, the Waterfront, Geelong, Vic. [www].

29 November 2014 (Sat.): Victorian State election [www].
Labor won [www]. Geoff Shaw, Tony "at odds" (lies) Abbott and Joe mean-budget Hockey all helped. (After: [30/11], [2/12], [2/12].) Also see VEC [www].

28 November 2014, recall 2014/14456, Toyota Echo NCP1 - RAV4 ACA2: "... propellant wafers contained within the driver's side front airbag inflator. ... the inflator could rupture resulting in metallic projectile[!] fragments that could increase the risk of injuries." -- [www].

26 Nov Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.26 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.26); oil us$74/b; au$1.00=us$0.85, £0.54, €0.68, ¥101

26 November 2014: "The price of oil has fallen as Opec oil producers prepare for their meeting on Thursday ... Inventories of commercial US crude oil increased by 1.9 million barrels from the previous week ... Brent crude slid 58¢ to us$77.75 a barrel after the data. ... US crude finished Wednesday's business down 40¢ at $73.69 a barrel. ..." -- [bbc], [27th], The G. [28th].

25, 26 November 2014: There was a F1 test session at Abu Dhabi. Honda's 2015 F1 engine had an outing in a McLaren but suffered electrical problems. -- FIA [27th].

25 November 2014: "The 2015 Nissan GT-R [went] on sale today [in] Japan ..." -- Nissan [www].

25 November 2014: Australia's Best Cars awards included: Best Small Car under $35,000 Volkswagen Golf 90TSI Comfortline; Best Medium Car under $50,000 Skoda Octavia 103TSI Ambition Plus; Best AWD SUV under $45,000 Subaru Forester 2.5i -- RACV [www].

23 November 2014 (19/19): Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix (double points, start 5pm local, 1pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Filipe Massa [Williams]; 3. Valtteri Bottas (Williams). Hamilton qualified 2nd but had a perfect start and took the lead from Nico Rosberg who started on pole. Rosberg's energy recover system failed on lap 24 and he steadily fell back, eventually finishing 14th. There was overtaking action in mid field. Caterham got to the race on crowd funding -- Kamui Kobayashi retired and new boy Will Stevens finished, last. (Pole 1:40.480 N. Rosberg, fastest lap 1:44.496 D. Ricciardo, lap record 1:40.279 S. Vettel 2009.)
In the F1 Drivers' World Championship: 1. Lewis Hamilton 384pts, 2. Nico Rosberg 317pts, 3. Daniel Ricciardo 238pts. Hamilton won 11 races, Rosberg 5, and Ricciardo 3 during the season. In the F1 Constructors' World Championship: 1. Mercedes 701pts, 2. Red Bull (Renault) 405pts, 3. Williams (Mercedes) 320pts. Hamilton won his first World Championship driving for McLaren in 2008. Manuel Fangio was the last Mercedes driver to win a F1 Drivers' World Championship in a Mercedes -- in 1954 and 1955. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

23 November 2014: Rob Roy Hillclimb, Triple Cup round 3, Christmas Hills, Vic. (Melways 265 A9) [www].

21-30 November 2014: Los Angeles Auto Show [www] (press 18-20 Nov.). Including Audi 'Prologue' concept; Jaguar 'F-type' with a manual(!) gearbox; Mazda new 'CX-3' SUV; Mercedes 'Maybach' name is back on an S-class++; Toyota 'LF-C2' concept [www].

21 Nov Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.27); oil us$75/b; au$1.00=us$0.86, £0.55, €0.69, ¥101

20 November 2014: This summer "... more parts of south eastern Australia are now expected to experience above normal fire conditions. ... Record October warmth across much of southern Australia has caused a rapid drawing of moisture from the landscape ..." -- Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC [www].

20 November 2014: This is an engine, 2-stroke MAN B&W 12S90ME-C Mark 9.2 type, 56,800 kW @84rpm [www].

19 November 2014: Tony "no cuts to the ABC or SBS" [www] liar Abbott's Government announced that "The ABC will have its budget cut by $254 million over the next five years ..." -- [abc].

18 November 2014: "If you restore vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles, SAE International is looking for your expertise. ..." -- SAE [www].

17 November 2014: Toyota announced plans to start selling the 'Mirai' hydrogen fuel-cell car, in Japan 2014, and in California late 2015 (from us$57.5K) -- [www] [2] [3].

17 November 2014, privacy: The Assoc. of Global Automakers and its 12 members "will not disclose the customer's geolocation data to the government unless the government produces a warrant or a court order. ... will not market to their customers using identifiable personal data collected by the vehicle unless the customer explicitly agrees. ..." -- [www] and SAE [www].

16 November 2014: "Smoking has been banned in NSW national parks as firefighters work to contain a bushfire in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. ..." -- [abc]. [rfs].

16 November 2014 (Sun.), .uk: Brooklands Museum, Military Vehicles Day [www].

16 Nov Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.27); oil us$76/b
14 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.87, £0.55, €0.70, ¥101

16 November 2014: "Global oil supply inched up by 35,000 barrels per day (35 kb/d) in October to 94.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) ... [OPEC] oil ministers meet on 27 November against the backdrop of a 30% price decline since they last gathered, in June. ..." -- IEA [www]. Also see [bbc].

15-16 November 2014: Bendigo National Swap Meet [www].

15 November 2014, .au: The "G20" meeting got under way in Brisbane, [abc], [2], [3], [bbc]. Temperatures in Brisbane were near to 40°C, 10° above average -- [abc].

15 November 2014, .uk: The Kit Car Show, Brands Hatch [www], [www].

14-16 November 2014, .uk: Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham [www].
And Silverstone Auction's sale [www]. Lot 0334A a 1981 DeLorean DMC12, reg. LHJ 58W, chassis #SCEDT26T2BD004400, 27,000 miles, sold for £28,125; lot 344 a 1994 Jaguar XJ220, reg JAZ 220, chassis #SAJJEAEX7AX220693, sold for £247,000.

14 November 2014: "McLaren have run new partner Honda's turbo hybrid [F1] engine for the first time at Silverstone. ... The car had a 'shakedown' test run on a 'filming day', which allows 60 miles of running ..." -- [bbc]. McLaren switch from Mercedes to Honda engines in 2015.

12 November 2014: "China and the US have unveiled new pledges on greenhouse gas emissions ... reducing US levels between 26%-28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. China did not set a specific target, but said emissions would peak by 2030. ..." -- [bbc].

11 November 2014: Remembrance Day, [au], [uk].

11 Nov Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.31 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.29); oil us$77/b; au$1.00=us$0.86, £0.54, €0.69, ¥99

11 November 2014: "... exploration by coal and energy companies is subsidised by Australian taxpayers by as much as $US3.5 billion ($4 billion) every year in the form of direct spending and tax breaks. ..." -- [abc].

9 November 2014: "... a report by the Climate Council ... Flannery said over the past year investment in Australian renewable energy projects had dropped 70%, while China installed more renewable energy capacity than fossil fuels in 2013 ..." -- The G. [www], [abc], [bbc].

9 November 2014 (18/19): Brazilian F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, 4pm GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Filipe Massa [Williams]. The top three finished in qualifying order but there was some action during the race with tyres being the limiting factor in the higher than expected temperatures. Massa's third place has very popular with the spectators. Hamilton seemed faster than Rosberg and could have seized control during Rosberg's second pit stop but overdid things and spun, loosing several seconds. Predicted showers did not appear. Given the result, Hamilton still led Rosberg by 17 pts in the F1 Drivers' World Championship with one (double points) race to go. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

9 November 2014: 33rd Historic Commercial Vehicles Show, Yarra Glen Racecourse, Vic., 9am on, adults $10 [www].

6 November 2014, .uk: "Crash for cash - road traffic accidents deliberately caused in order to claim whiplash compensation - is now at the highest level ever detected by Aviva ... More than 50% of Aviva's motor injury claims fraud is now organised in nature and the insurer now has over 6,500 suspicious injury claims linked to known fraud rings. ..." -- Aviva [www].

6 November 2014: "ATO to examine Luxembourg corporate tax dodge information ..." -- [abc]. "French, German and Dutch finance ministers have rounded on Luxembourg for allowing multinational companies [Amazon ... Ikea ...] to create complicated structures to avoid billions of dollars of tax. ..." -- The G. [www]. "Luxembourg tax files: how tiny state rubber-stamped [Heinz ... Pepsi ... Macquarie ...] tax avoidance on an industrial scale ..." -- The G. [www][5/11].

6 Nov Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.33); oil us$79/b; au$1.00=us$0.86, £0.54, €0.69, ¥98

6 November 2014: The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists released the 'Blueprint for a Healthy Environment and a Productive Economy' report -- [www]. "[It] suggests the Federal Government eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and provide tax breaks to landowners who work to protect threatened species and ecosystems. ..." -- [abc].

5 November 2014: Tesla "reported a third-quarter loss of us$74.7m [but] it delivered 7,785 Model S cars from July to September, up 41% from the same period last year. ..." -- [bbc].

5 November 2014: The FIA released the provisional F1 entry list for 2015. It included 'Manor F1 team' (was Marussia), and 'Caterham F1 Team' under 1 Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd -- [www].

5 November 2014: "Global NCAP ... revealed zero star safety ratings for the Indian-sold Datsun 'Go' and Maruti Suzuki 'Swift'. ..." -- Ancap [www].

4 November 2014 (Tues): The Melbourne Cup. 'Protectionist' won. 'Admire Rakti', the pre-race favourite and Caulfield Cup winner, finished last and later collapsed and died. See the [abc], [2].

2 November 2014 (17/19): United States F1 Grand Prix (start 1pm local, 7pm GMT).
The Caterham and Marussia teams were missing, being in administration.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. Rosberg started on pole but Hamilton passed him on lap 24 and then seemed able to hold a two to three second lead easily. It was Hamilton's 5th straight win and his 10th in 2014. There was some good overtaking behind the Mercedes duo. (Pole 1:36.067 N. Rosberg; fastest race lap 1:41.379 S. Vettel; lap record 1:39.347 S. Vettel 2012.) In the F1 Drivers' World Championship, Hamilton 316, Rosberg 292, Ricciardo 214 points. Scoring 1. 25pts, 2. 18pts, 3. 15pts, 4. 12pts, 5. 10pts, 6. 8pts, 7. 6pts, 8. 4pts, 9. 2pts, 10. 1pt; note double points in the final race. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

2 November 2014: "The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change ... The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050. ..." -- [bbc]. "... greenhouse gas levels are at their highest they have been in 800,000 years ..." -- [abc]. See the IPCC [www], [www].

2 November 2014 (Sun.): London to Brighton Veteran Car Run [www].
31 October (Fri.): Bonhams auction [www]. Lot 207, a 1905 Gardner-Sepollet 18HP type L Phaeton Steamer, chassis #1013, engine #1307, sold for £371,100.

2 November 2014, NSW: "Easing conditions [helped] firefighters battle Blue Mountains blaze ..." -- [abc]. Also see [rfs].nsw.

1 Nov Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.31); oil us$81/b
31 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.55, €0.70, ¥97

1 November 2014 (Sat.): The Regent Street Motor Show, London [www].

1 November 2014, WA: A commemoration was held in Albany of the first Australian troops sailing, 100 years ago, to fight in WW1 [abc].

 

29 October 2014: An SAE article on oil viscosity, from 1911 to SAE 0W-16 [www].

29 October 2014: Fiat Chrysler (FCA) announced that it had "authorized the separation of Ferrari S.p.A. ('Ferrari') from FCA. ... a public offering of FCA's interest in Ferrari equal to 10% of Ferrari's outstanding shares and a distribution of FCA's remaining Ferrari shares to FCA shareholders. ..." -- [www].

October 2014, .uk: Reliabity Index's best cars are 1. Honda Jazz, 2. Mitsubishi Lancer, 3. Vauxhall Agila(!), and worst 1. Audi RS6, 2. BMW M5, 3. Nissan GT-R [www]. And the best and worst 4x4s [www] has a few surprises. (Also see the Daily T. [www].)

27 October 2014: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened a meeting in Copenhagen on Monday to finalize the Synthesis Report, the last stage of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which provides policymakers with a comprehensive assessment of the risks of climate change. ..." -- IPCC pdf@[www], [www]. (Also see [bbc].)

27 October 2014: "Marussia have become the second F1 team to be placed in administration ..." -- [bbc], [2] and [7/11]. (Also see 5 Nov. above, and Caterham, 20 Oct. below.)

27 October 2014: "... A spate of thefts means that some insurers are refusing to cover Range Rover drivers in London unless they have somewhere secure to park their car. The models favoured by thieves are those with 'keyless' ignition systems, which they have found a way to break into using a handheld device. ... [also] BMW X5s and Series 3 ..." -- The G. [www], [bbc]. (Also see 13 July 2015.)

27 Oct Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.35); oil us$81/b; au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.55, €0.69, ¥95

October 2014, .uk: In the 2014 MPG Marathon (8-9 Oct.), the most economical cars over the 330-mile route were 1. Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 I-DTEC manual (97.9mpg), 2. Ford Fiesta 1.6TDCi Titanium Econetic (97.1mpg), 3. Citroen C4 Cactus Blue Hdi 100 Feel (95.0mpg) -- [www]. This was a competition for specialists, not general driving. Note, imperial gallons.

27 October 2014: South Australia received "about 80,000 lighting strikes in 24 hours" -- [abc]. Melbourne also had a spectacular overnight storm [2]. And in Queensland, "storms rolled in after a record-breaking hot October day" -- [3].

26 October 2014, recall PRA #2014/14399: Volkswagen (VW) Beetle MY 2011-2013 "The trailing arm of the rear torsion crank axle can break as a result of damage ... may lead to immediate loss of vehicle control ..." -- [www].

24-26 October 2014: MotorClassica, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne [www].
And auction [www], including lot 5 a 1957 Lloyd Hartnett 600; lot 21 a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental, chassis #BC30D, engine #BC D-29; lot 34 a 1989± Lancia Delta Integrale HF; lot 23 a 1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk1 engine/chassis #A3014170 HRO body 1895 (a Dr. No Bond car).
25 October 2014: "EU leaders [agreed] to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. ... also agreed to boost the use of renewable energy to 27% ..." -- [bbc].
23-24 October 2014: "EU leaders are in Brussels on 23-24 October for European Council talks focusing on the bloc's 2030 energy and climate policy. ..." -- euractiv [www], [bbc].
23 October 2014, .au: Keppel Prince Engineering, Portland, Vic., "Australia's largest wind tower producer is sacking 100 staff after the Federal Government revealed plans to scale back the Renewable Energy Target (RET). ..." -- [abc]. (Also see [bbc][27/10].)
Meanwhile: "The UK's wind farms generated more power [14.2%] than its nuclear power stations [13.2%] on Tuesday [21st], the National Grid says. ..." -- [bbc].

22 October 2014: "US car safety regulators have expanded a recall of vehicles with potentially dangerous Takata airbags to 7.8 million. ..." -- [bbc].

22 Oct Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.36); oil us$83/b; au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.55, €0.69, ¥94

October 2014: America's "carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) increased from 5,267 million metric tons (MMmt) in 2012 to 5,396 MMmt in 2013 (2.5%)" -- EIA [www].

21 October 2014, recall PRA #2014/14385: Various Lexus 2005-2010, "... may result in a fuel leak. ..." -- .gov.au [www]. Also see 16 October below.

21 October 2014: Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister for just 1972-1975 but mover of many reforms, died aged 98. Also see [abc], [2], [bbc], wikip [www].
A memorial service was held at Sydney's Town Hall on the 5th of November. Subsequent PMs Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, and Tony Abbott attended, [abc]. Noel Pearson paid tribute in a particularly powerful speech -- [2].  Also see 20 March 2015.

20 October 2014: It was reported that Caterham Sports Ltd had been put into administration -- Daily T. [www], [bbc], [2], [3]. (Also see 27 Oct. above.)

October 2014: "The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2014 was the highest on record for September, at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). ..." -- NOAA [www].

19 October 2014: Comet 'Siding Spring' passed Mars at a distance of 139,000km (87,000 miles) -- CRISM [www]. (Our Moon is 360,000 to 405,000km from Earth.)

19 October 2014: As a demonstration, Audi took a "driverless Audi RS 7 Sportback [for] a lap on the Hockenheim race track on Sunday, October 19 ..." -- VW [www][9/10], [www][19/10]. The time of a complete hot lap was not revealed.
17 Oct Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.38); oil us$82/b; au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.54, €0.68, ¥93

16 October 2014: "The International Energy Agency (IEA) has again slashed its forecast for oil demand ... Brent crude was trading overnight at us$85.04 a barrel [v.] more than us$116 a barrel it was fetching at the start of the recent turmoil in Iraq. West Texas Intermediate crude was lower again at us$81.84 ..." -- [abc].

16 October 2014: "Toyota [USA] today announced ... a voluntary safety recall of approximately 423,000 Lexus vehicles ... fuel delivery pipes in the engine compartment ... fuel could leak past the gasket. ..." -- Toyota [www]. Also see 21 Oct. above.

15 October 2014: "Toyota is recalling 1.75 million vehicles worldwide over faulty brake installations and fuel component issues. ..." -- [bbc].

15 October 2014: The 9th annual Shonky Awards fingered Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) for "one of Australia's worst financial planning failures, leaving thousands of clients with broken dreams, disappearing bank balances and a rocky retirement." -- Choice [www], [www].

14 October 2014: "Chrysler ... recalling an estimated 184,215 SUVs globally to replace a component that manages restraint-system deployment. ... certain model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs may exhibit internal electrical short-circuits. ..." -- [www].

14 October 2014: "Italy will become the first country in Europe to legally require 'advanced biofuels' in cars and trucks ... From 2018, all fuel suppliers ... will have to include 0.6% [!] advanced biofuel in petrol and diesel. ... This rises to 1% by 2022." -- [bbc].

14 October 2014: "Sea level rises seen in the past 100 years are not within the natural fluctuations seen over past millennia, a new study suggests. ... the observed 20 centimetre sea level rise seen over the past century is 10 times what is observed on average over the past 6000 years. ..." -- [abc]

13 October 2014, .au: The Bureau of Meteorology "released its annual Tropical Cyclone Outlook ... average to below-average tropical cyclone activity likely for the 2014-15 season. ... there still remains a 50% chance of El Nino developing during the cyclone season. ..." -- [bom].

13 October 2014: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. ('FCA') (NYSE:FCAU) announced today that on October 12, 2014, the merger of Fiat S.p.A. with and into FCA (formerly Fiat Investments N.V.) (the 'Merger') became effective. FCA is now the holding company for the Fiat Chrysler Group. ..." -- [www].

13 October 2014, recall #2014/14372: "Holden 1.6L TM Barina ... & 1.8L Holden TJ Trax fitted with Manual Transmission ... A wear condition in the ignition key cylinder actuator trigger may allow the vehicle starter motor to crank the engine if the key is left inside the ignition key cylinder and in the 'OFF' position, while the vehicle is parked. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

12 Oct Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.38); oil us$86/b
10 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.54, €0.69, ¥95
12 October 2014 (16/19): Russian F1 Grand Prix (start 3pm local, 11am GMT).
Jules Bianchi remained in hospital, in a critical condition, after the previous week's crash in Japan.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]. The Mercedes started 1 (Hamilton) and 2 (Rosberg). Rosberg attempted a pass at turn 2 of lap 1 but was too fast, locked up, and ran off the track; he had to pit for new circular tyres. Hamilton then had an easy race. It was his 9th win of the year. After some overtaking in the first few laps the race became rather boring. The result clinched the 2014 F1 Constructors' World Championship for Mercedes. No one mentioned Ukraine. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

12 October 2014 (Sun.), .au: Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama [www]. 1: Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris (Ford); 2: James Moffat and Taz Doouglas (Nissan); 3: Nick Percat and Oliver Gavin (Holden). Also see abc [1], [2].

October 2014: "With three out of four drivers believing that hands-free technology is safe to use, Americans may be surprised to learn that these popular new vehicle features may actually increase mental distraction, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. ..." -- AAA [www], FTS [www].

10 October 2014: Bonhams Zoute auction, Belgium, included lot 9 a 1964 Amphicar 770, chassis #101572 (sold €46,000); lot 19 a 1989 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta (ex Nigel Mansell), chassis #ZFFGJ34B000080022, engine #16148 (sold €690,000) [www].

9 October 2014: "Australian tax authorities allege multinational oil giant Chevron used a series of loans and related party payments worth billions of dollars to slash its tax bill by up to $258 million ..." -- The Age [www].

October 2014: Wrightspeed is a US company making series-hybrid drive systems for commercal trucks, "on-board power generation options, including micro-turbines and piston engines" -- [www]. Also see [bbc].

7 Oct Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.38); oil us$90/b; au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.55, €0.69, ¥95

7 October 2014: "Australian National University dumps mining stocks ..." -- [abc].

5 October 2014 (Sun.), .au: Daylight saving begins (NSW, Vic., SA, Tas., ACT).

5 October 2014 (15/19): Japanese F1 Grand Prix (start 3pm local, 6am GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. 2. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 3. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull). The Mercedes qualified 1 (Rosberg) and 2 (Hamilton). The race started in heavy rain behind the safety car and was red flagged for twenty minutes after two laps. It resumed behind the safety car for 8 more laps. Hamilton passed Rosberg on lap 29 and easily pulled away. Towards the end the rain increased again and Adrian Sutil (Sauber) crashed on lap 43. While Sutil's car was being recovered under double waved yellow flags, Jules Bianchi (Marussia) lost control at the same point and crashed into the recovery tractor. The safety car came out and the race was stopped on lap 47 and declared ended at lap 44. Bianchi was taken to hospital, unconscious. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
(Jules Bianchi died of his injuries in July 2015.)
4 Oct.: It was announced that in 2015 Fernando Alonso would leave Ferrari, and Sebastian Vettel move from Red Bull to Ferrari, and Daniil Kvyat from Torro Rosso to Red Bull. It was rumoured that Alonso move to McLaren (-Honda).

4-19 October 2014: Paris Motor Show, 'Mondial Automobile', [www]. Including Audi 'TT' and 'TTS' Roadsters [www]; BMW Mini 5-door [www]; Jaguar 'XE'; Kia next 'Sorento' [www]; Lamborghini 'Asterion' hybrid concept; Land Rover 'Discovery Sport' (2015) [www]; Mercedes revised 'B-class'; Peugeot next '508' [www]; Renault Espace successor [www]; Suzuki next 'Vitara' SUV [www]; VW 'XL Sport' concept [www].

4 October 2014, .uk: The Joseph Whitaker School Young Engineers set a (not yet ratified) land speed record for a model car of 533.1mph -- JWS [www], [www], & @ bloodhound ssc [www].

3-4 October 2014 (Fri., Sat.): Deni Ute Muster [www].

3 October 2014, recall PRA 2014/14356: Mazda 6 (GJ1031) 2.5 petrol, "Due to a programming error, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) may fail to provide an adequate supply of electric power to the fuel pump following i-Stop operation. This may cause the fuel pump to stop operating ..."

3 Oct Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.34); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.54, €0.69, ¥96

2-5 October 2014: 7th Leisurefest, Sandown, Melbourne caravans, camping, boating, fishing, RVs and 4x4, [www].

 

26 September 2014: Ford 'is recalling about 850,000 cars in N.America over a "potential issue" with airbags ...' -- [bbc].

27 Sept Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.35); oil us$93/b
26 Sept Fri au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.54, €0.69, ¥95

September 2014, .uk: The SMMT reckons there are "more than 100 low-volume manufacturers in the UK building specialist and niche vehicles" -- [www].

23 September 2014: "The South Australian Government says it will increase its Renewable Energy Target (RET) and aim for 50% ... by 2025. ..." -- [abc].

23 September 2014: Climate Summit 2014, UN headquarters, NY, [www], [bbc].
24th: "China has pledged for the first time to take firm action to tackle climate change ... aims to make deep emissions cuts by 2020. ..." -- [bbc].
22 Sept Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.34); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.55, €0.69, ¥97

22 September 2014: "The Arctic's sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent on September 17, 2014 ... was measured at 5.02 million square kilometers (1.94 million square miles) ... the sixth-lowest extent recorded since satellites began measuring sea ice in 1979. ..." -- NSIDC [www]. And, at the other end, "on September 19, the [Antarctic] five-day average ice extent surpassed 20 million square kilometers (7.72 million square miles) for the first time in the satellite record. ..." -- [www]. (Surprisingly, global warming increases southern sea ice in winter, for now.)

22 September 2014, recall PRA 2014/14333: Nissan "Infiniti V37 Q50 ... Due to a software error, the traction motor inverter may function incorrectly and the inverter system may shut down. ..." -- [www]. That is, no go in electric mode.

21 September 2014: "General Motors has recalled more than 220,000 cars to correct a brake defect that could increase the risk of fire. ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see GM [1] [2].)

21 September 2014 (14/19): Singapore F1 Grand Prix (start 8pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. 2. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull). The Mercedes qualified 1-2, but Nico Rosberg had an electronic glitch before the start and had to begin the race from pit lane; he retired on lap 13. Hamilton had a comfortable race until a long safety car period at 2/3 distance caught him still needing to make another pit stop while the chasers maybe could get away without one. In the end he did it easily. The result put Hamilton three points clear of Rosberg in the drivers' championship. (FIA [www], [bbc].)

21 September 2014, .au: Land Rover Clubs' Expo, Castle Hill Showground, Sydney [www].

18 September 2014, .uk: Referendum to decide "Should Scotland be an independent country?", [bbc], [12/9], The G. [www].
The vote was "no" by 55% to 45% and the Kingdom remained United, The G. [www], [bbc].

17 Sept Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.33); oil us$95/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.56, €0.70, ¥97

15 September 2014: "A major new report ... finds that governments and businesses can now improve economic growth and reduce their carbon emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance. ..." -- the Global Commision on the Economy and Climate [www].

13 September 2014: First Formula E race, Beijing -- SAE [www], [bbc][13/9].

12-14 September 2014: Goodwood Revival [www].
13th: Bonhams auction [www]. Lot 223, a 1950 Land-Rover 81" prototype (mil., 2.8 RR 'B40' engine), reg TAB 767, chassis #RO61 04618, engine #596, sold for £51,750; lot 257, an OM (Officine Meccaniche) '665 SS MM Superba' 2.3-litre supercharged sports tourer, chassis #6651095, engine #6651095, sold for £1,255,900; lot 267, a 1937 Maserati Tipo 6CM single seater, chassis #1547, sold for £606,300.
12 Sept Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.34); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.56, €0.70, ¥97

12 September 2014: "A sudden drop in the global demand for oil is 'nothing short of remarkable' according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). ..." -- [abc].

September 2014: Jaguar revealed its next compact car, the Jaguar 'XE' (2-litre diesel to 3-litre V6 supercharged), from £27K -- [www], and SAE [www].

10 September 2014. .uk: "Owners of diesel cars should be given up to £2,000 to turn them into scrap and improve air quality in London, [mayor] Boris Johnson has claimed. ..." -- Daily T. [www], The G. [www].

9 September 2014, recall #2014/14306: "2014 (KL) Jeep Cherokee ... May 21, 2014 - June 06, 2014 ... The rear suspension shock absorbers on affected vehicles may break at one of the shock absorber attachment points. ..." (which would be bad) -- .gov.au [www].

9 September 2014: "A surge in atmospheric CO2 saw levels of greenhouse gases reach record levels in 2013 ... The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that it highlights the need for a global climate treaty. ..." -- [bbc].

7 Sept Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.32); oil us$93/b
5 Sept Fri au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.57, €0.72, ¥98
7 September 2014 (13/19): Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 3. Filipe Massa [Williams]; Hamilton started on pole but a software glitch caused a bad start and he fell to fourth. He soon recovered to 2nd. A mistake by Rosberg, missing the chicane at turn 1 on lap 29, let Hamilton by. Massa was a popular third. It was an exciting race with lots of overtaking. (Pole: 1:25.363, L.H.; fastest lap 1:28.004, L.H.. 2013 pole 1:23.755, S. Vettel, Red Bull; lap record 1:21.046, R. Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004. Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

5 September 2014: "... adjusted and unadjusted temperatures show that Australia's climate has warmed. Since 1955 adjusted and unadjusted data are virtually identical. It is during this time that most of the warming has occurred in Australia. ..." -- [bom].

5 September 2014: Bristol Cars (.uk), which went bankrupt in 2011, announced "significant new investments today at the Concours of Elegance held at Hampton Court Palace, London. ... The first new Bristol car since 2003 will be launched ... in 2015 ... all-new 70th anniversary model, codenamed Project Pinnacle. ... [and] development work is well underway on an all-new super-luxury flagship Bristol range-extended electric grand tourer. Frazer-Nash technology will underpin the electric drivetrain ..." -- [www].

4 September 2014: Mazda revealed the latest generation Mazda MX-5. "As of July 2014, total production volume of the Mazda MX-5 exceeded 940,000" -- [www]. And SAE [www][10/10].

3-5 September 2014, .uk: Salon Prive, Syon House, London [www].
The associated auction by Silverstone auctions includes Range Rover, chassis #001 -- [www]; it is claimed "the first Range Rover to go onto the production line" -- YVB 151H [www], chassis #33500001A, engine #35500001, sold £132,250.

3 September 2013: Land Rover released images of the coming 'Discovery Sport', the Freelander replacement, [www], [www]. From us$38K -- SAE [www].

2 Sept Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.33); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.56, €0.71, ¥98

1 September 2014, .uk: "Surgeons and GPs are the most accident-prone drivers, according to an analysis of 2 million insurance claims ... Moneysupermarket.com, found surgeons and GPs were nearly 100 times more likely to cause an at-fault accident while driving than a building society clerk. ..." -- The G. [www].

 

August 2014: 'Maralinga: The Chilling Expose of Our Secret Nuclear Shame and Betrayal of Our Troops and Country,' by Frank Walker published by Hachette Australia.

August 2014: At a recent computer security conference, 'A Survey of Remote Automotive Attack Surfaces' by C. Miller, and C. Valasek of IOActive, "... Most Hackable 1. 2014 Jeep Cherokee, 2. 2015 Cadillac Escalade, 3. 2014 Infiniti Q50. Least Hackable 1. 2014 Dodge Viper, 2. 2014 Audi A8, 3. 2014 Honda Accord. ..." -- [pdf] (94p), [www] at [www]. (Also see the bbc], IEEE [www].). Theft, safety ... it's a worry.

29 August 2014, .au: "... Defence Minister Senator David Johnston today announced that Supacat Ltd will supply 89 Special Operations Vehicle - 'Commando', in a contract that will create approximately 150 new jobs in W.Sydney and Victoria. ..." -- .gov.au [www]. Also see Supacat [www].

29 August 2014: "During the transition from a future fully autonomous vehicle to a human controlling the steering wheel and brake pedal in emergency take-overs ... a distracted driver is bad news.[!] ..." -- SAE [www]. But everyone just knows the kinds of thing the guy behind the wheel of a self-driving car is going to get up to (and probably film for youtube).

28 Aug Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.33); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.56, €0.71, ¥97

27 August 2014, recall PRA #2014/14280: "Audi A4 (8K), A5 (8T), A5 Cabriolet (8T), A6 (4GL), A7 (4G) and Q5 (8R) vehicles. ... Engine oil may enter the brake servo via the vacuum lines. ... diaphragm in the brake servo can rupture ..." -- [www].

27 August 2014: "Volvo Cars unveiled its all-new Volvo XC90 [SUV] ... a range of two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E [hybrid] powertrains ..." -- [www] -- the first new model under Chinese ownership. Also see the SAE [www].

26 August 2014: "The Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart has decided to open main proceedings against two former executive board members of Porsche Automobil Holding SE ('Porsche SE'). ... accuses former chairman of the exec. board, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, and former CFO, Holger Harter, of committing information-based market manipulation in connection with the acquisition of the investment in Volkswagen AG by Porsche SE in 2008. ..." -- [www].

25 August 2014: Over the 30 years since its launch, the 'Land Cruiser 70' ... Sales in Japan ended in 2004 ... to commemorate its 30th anniversary, Toyota is re-releasing the Land Cruiser 70 in Japan for roughly a year. ..." -- [www]. The station wagon ('Workmate'), ute and troop carrier remain available in .au, for example.

25 August 2014: "... Audi is to upgrade part of its vehicle electrical system from twelve to 48 volts. ..." -- [www] [www].

24 August 2014 (12/19): Belgian F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull], 2. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes], 3. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]. Rosberg was on pole but his team mate, Lewis Hamilton on 2, got the better start to lead until Rosberg clipped and punctured LH's rear tyre on lap 2, also damaging his own front wing (after the race the team expressed its displeasure). Rosberg recovered to 2nd but Hamilton circulated out of the points, retiring near the end of the race. The Red Bulls showed surprising speed, Ricciardo driving a composed race. (Fastest lap 1:50.511 N. Rosberg; lap record 1:47.263, S. Vettel, 2009.) In the drivers' championship, Rosberg 220, Hamilton 191, Ricciardo 156 points. (Also see the FIA [www], [2], & [bbc], [2], [3].)

23-24 August 2014, .uk: Brooklands Wings and Wheels at Dunsfold Park [www].

23 Aug Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.43 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.35); oil us$94/b
22 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.56, €0.70, ¥97

22-24 August 2014, .uk: CarFest South, Laverstoke Park Farm [www].

22-24 August 2014: National 4x4 Show, Melbourne [www].

21 August 2014: "The family of a Melbourne woman killed when her [VW Golf] appeared to suddenly lose power on a freeway [in Jan. 2011] has won the right to an independent review of the coronial inquest ..." -- [www].

21 August 2014: "The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched Federal Court action against petrol price information service Informed Sources, and several of its key clients [inc. supermarkets]. ..." -- [abc].

20 August 2014: "Australia has awarded UK-based Supacat Group an au$105 million (us$98 million) contract for 89 special operations vehicles based on the latest version of the 'Extenda' high-mobility transport (HMT) ..." -- Janes [www]. (See 29 Aug. above)

18 Aug Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.49 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.36); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.56, €0.70, ¥95

18 August 2014: "The company behind one of Australia's largest solar power plants has abandoned the project, in part due to uncertainty over the Renewable Energy Target [RET]. ... The 100-megawatt Silex Mildura solar power station would have provided electricity to 40,000 homes ..." -- [abc]. (Also see 17 July 2013.)

18 August 2014: "Mercedes-Benz has been found guilty of manipulating the price of spare parts [by] authorities in China. ..." -- [bbc]. Some other foreign car makers face similar charges.

17 August 2014: Pebble Beach Concours [www].

16-17 August 2014: Goodings Pebble Beach auction [www]. Including lot 18 a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, chassis #2903GT (sold us$15,180,000); lot 44 a 1995 McLaren F1, chassis #31 (not sold); (a 1969 Porsche 917K, chassis #917-024, formerly owned by Jo Siffert and featured in the 1971 film Le Mans;) lot 58 a 2001 Ferrari 333 SP racer, chassis #041 (sold us$2,365,000); lot 148 a 1967 Brabham-Repco BT24, chassis #BT24-1 (sold us$1,050,000).

16 August 2014 (Sat.): Henley on Todd Regatta, Alice Springs, NT [www].

15-16 August 2014: RM Auctions, Monterey [www], [www]. Including lot 248 a 1980 BMW M1 AHG, chassis #WBS00000094301090 (not sold); lot 150 a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti, chassis #6045, engine #6045 (sold us$11,550,000); lot 134 a 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster prototype (8th of 12), chassis #GT/108 (sold us$6,930,000); lot 233 a 1931 Bentley 8-litre Sports Coupe Cabriolet by Barker, chassis #YR5099, engine #YR5099, registration #GN82 (not sold); lot 220 a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti (once owned by Steve McQueen), chassis #10621, engine #10621 (sold us$10,175,000); and lot 231 another 275 GTB/4 chassis #10063, engine #10063 (sold us$3,750,000).

14-15 August 2014: Quail Lodge Auction, Bonhams [www]. Including lot 3 a 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, chassis #3851GT, engine #3851GT, ex-Jo Schlesser/ Henri Oreiller, Paolo Colombo, Ernesto Prinoth, Fabrizio Violati (sold us$38,115,000); lot 4 the ex-Carlos Reutemann, Gilles Villeneuve 1978 British Grand Prix-winning 1978 Ferrari 312 T3 F1, chassis #033, 3-litre flat-12 (sold us$2,310,000); lot 257 1970 Brabham Cosworth BT33 F1, chassis #BT33-2, engine #DFV 061 (sold us$1,034,000, au$1,109,225).

14 August 2014: The bbc magazine featured the Darien Gap, the remaining gap in the Pan-American Highway. It was skirted by the amphibious Jeep 'La Tortuga' (another one circumnavigated the globe), and has been crossed by a Land-Rover and a Jeep in 1960, by a British Army team with then new Range Rovers in 1972, and occasionally by adventurers -- [www].

13 Aug Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l; min $1.49 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.37); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.70, ¥95

13 August 2014, .au: "... the poorest people either don't have cars, or actually don't drive very far ..." -- Treasurer Joe Hockey on radio 612, Brisbane [www]. Also see fact check [www].

9-15 August 2014: Bonneville Speed Week [www].

8 Aug Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.38); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.55, €0.69, ¥94

7 August 2014: "China's decision to ban coal-fired power from Beijing and other major cities by 2020 ..." -- [abc].

6 August 2014: "A German court has agreed to end the bribery trial of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in exchange for a $100m (£60m) payment from him. ..." -- [bbc]. Doesn't seem fair.

5 August 2014, Melb.: "Toll road operator Transurban has enjoyed a surge in profits at the expense of motorists. ... CityLink toll rose 5% over the [fin. yr], helping revenue rise 8% to $525 million. ..." -- [abc].

4 August 2014: Britain entered WW1 on 11pm, 4 August 1914, [abc] [2] [3], [bbc], The G. [www]. Also see 28 June below.

3 Aug Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.39); oil us$98/b
1 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.69, ¥96

3 August 2014: "The Australian [F1] Grand Prix will stay in Melbourne until 2020, after a new contract was signed by the Victorian Government. ... Last year's race cost Victorian taxpayers $50 million. ..." -- [www].

1-3 August 2014, .uk: CarFest North, Oulton Park [www].

1 August 2014, .au, PRA recall #2014/14239, campaign N45: "1993-1998 (ZG) Jeep Grand Cherokee ... Some Jeep Grand Cherokee ... fuel leakage from the fuel tank during low speed collisions. ..." -- .gov.au [www]. And similarly, #2014/14240, 2002-2007 (KJ) Jeep Libertys -- [www]. (¿Is this the echo of the 4-18th June 2013 Jeep case in the US reaching .au? Also see the [bbc][18/3/'13].)

1 August 2014: "... the shareholders of Fiat S.p.A. ('Fiat') approved the cross-border merger of Fiat with and into Fiat Investments N.V. ('Fiat Investments') a wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in the Netherlands. Assuming all other conditions precedent in the Merger Plan are satisfied, Fiat will be merged into Fiat Investments which, upon completion of the transaction, will be renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. ('FCA') and become the holding company of the Group. ..." -- [www] [www].

1 August 2014: "... snow [fell] in parts of Victoria, including heavy falls in Ballarat, Mount Macedon, Kyneton, Trentham, Erskine Falls near Lorne, and in the Otways, in southern Victoria. ..." -- [abc].

 

29 July 2014, .uk: "Plans to charge drivers of diesel cars about £10 to drive into central London are being considered. The levy would be on top of the current £11.50 congestion charge for driving into the centre of the capital. ... introduced by 2020 ... meeting Euro 6 emissions standard [would] be exempt ... [pre 2006] petrol cars [would also] pay ..." -- [bbc], & The G. [www][7/8].
29 July 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.41); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.70, ¥96
(Also see ULEZ, pdf@@[london][11/7], The G. [30/7].)

29 July 2014: Land Rover revealed that the forthcoming 'Discovery Sport' (Spring 2015, Freelander replacement) would have 2+3+2 seating -- [www].

27 July 2014 (11/19): Hungarian F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) claimed a comfortable pole but Lewis Hamilton's woeful luck continued with his car catching fire in Q1 before even setting a time; he started the race from the pit lane. Rain before the start left parts of the track wet and there were two safety car periods in the first half of the race. Rosberg fell to 5th after the first safety car. Hamilton made good progress (after a spin on the first lap) and even led the race briefly at lap 38. Towards the end Alonso inherited 1st with Hamilton 2nd, both on ageing tyres. Ricciardo on fresh soft tyres (re)gained the lead but Rosberg, also on newer tyres, could not quite get by Hamilton, finishing 4th. (Also see FIA [www] & [bbc].)

26 July 2014 (Sat.): VEVA, Electrafest 2014 (electric vehicles), Vancouver, Concord Pacific Place [www].

25-27 July 2014: Silverstone Classic [www]. The associated auction includes lot 351, a 1976 Hawker Siddley Harrier GR3 Jump Jet, serial #XZ132, "potential for a future return to flight project", "no reserve" (sold £105,800), and lot 355 a 1988 Panavia Tornado F3, "not airworthy" (sold £36,800), [www], [H], [T].

July 2014: Aston Martin released plans for a "bespoke" Lagonda 4-door "luxurious and exclusive super saloon" - "offered exclusively in the Middle East" -- [www].

25 July 2014 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.41); oil us$102/b
24 July 2014 Thu au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.70, ¥96

24 July 2014: "General Motors (GM) is recalling an additional 717,949 vehicles due to a range of issues, including loose bolts and potentially incomplete welding on some seat hooks. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see GM [www].
.au: "[GM] Holden is recalling [25,000] late-model Commodore and Caprice cars ... a welding fault on the front seat assembly could result in it separating from the seat track ..." -- [abc]. Also see PRA #2014/14226 [www].

23 July 2014: "A large and dangerous saltwater crocodile has turned up in the freshwater Lake Kununurra [WA] ..." -- [abc].

20-26 July 2014 (Sun-Sat): All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship, Akron Ohio [www].

July 2014, .uk: BMW readied for the uk release of the 'i8' 2+2 plug-in hybrid: 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cyl. (rear drive) & 96kW electric (front drive), battery 7.1kW hr (5.1 available), 1,490kg, £99,845+, claimed 135mpg, 49gm CO2/km [www].

20 July 2014 (10/19): German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]; 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Hamilton had a brake failure in Q1 and crashed. He would have started 15th but also changed a gearbox, starting 20th. He did well to recover to 3rd but, with fading tyres, could not pass Bottas' Williams. Meanwhile, Rosberg had an easy run in the lead. (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc] [2].)
19 July 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.49 ([Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.42); oil us$103/b
18 July 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥95

19-20 July 2014, .uk: Farnborough Airshow (public 19-20th, trade 14-20th) [www].

17 July 2014: "Legislation to scrap the carbon tax has passed the Federal Parliament in a major win for the Abbott Government. ... 39 senators voting for and 32 voting against. ..." -- [abc].

16 July 2014: "Unseen family footage of Donald Campbell breaking the land and water speed records in 1964 has been restored to mark their 50th anniversaries. ... 403.10mph (644.96km/h) on the dry bed of Lake Eyre on 17 July [and] 276.33mph (444.71km/h) at Lake Dumbleyung on 31 December. ..." -- [bbc].

15 July 2014, .au: "The Abbott Government has quietly dropped the [fuel] excise increase legislation from the list it wants considered by the Senate this week ..." -- [abc].

14 July 2014 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.59/l; min $1.44 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.43); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥95
14 July 2014, .au: 'Wicked' campervans "is facing an online backlash over 'misogynistic and degrading' slogans painted on the sides of their vehicles. ..." -- [abc].
16 July: "Wicked Campers has apologised to the woman whose petition ... painting over the slogan. ..." -- [abc].

10 July 2014: 'The air quality in some of the UK's biggest cities is unlikely to meet EU standards before 2030, according to the government. ... "Take Oxford Street in London which is 3.5 times above the legal limit, during peak episodes it's ten times the legal limit," ...' -- [bbc].

10 July 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.60/l, min $1.43); oil us$102/b;
9 July 2014 Wed au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥96

10 July 2014: "Household solar shift sees electricity demand drop and taxpayers stuck with 'stranded assets' ..." -- [abc].

10 July 2014: "Melbourne shivered through its coldest day of the year on Wednesday with a top of 11°C. ..." -- [abc]. (Also see 100 years of temperatures [abc].)

7 July 2014: "... Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory - in the middle of the day. ..." -- The G. [www]. (Because of solar power.)

6 July 2014 (9/19): British F1 Grand Prix (start 1pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes], 2. Valtteri Bottas [Williams], 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. The race was red flagged for an hour after Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) crashed on the first lap. Nico Rosberg started on pole but suffered what had previously been Hamilton's bad luck (Australia, Canada) and retired on lap 29 - with a gearbox problem. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) had a close battle in the last part of the race, finishing 5th and 6th. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
4 July 2014 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.58/l, min $1.41); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥96

1 July 2014: Ford reported "June 2014 US sales of 222,064 vehicles [down] 6% from a year ago." -- [www].

July 2014, .au: The RACV annual survey of car operating costs (bought new, 15,000km/y, kept for 5y) found the cheapest was the micro Suzuki 'Alto GL' 5-door 1-litre at au$115.58/week. The most expensive large SUV in the survey was the Toyota 'Prado GXL' 3-litre turbo diesel at au$319.73/week -- [www]. Most expensive of all was the Toyota 'LandCruiser' diesel at au$393/week. Standing costs made up 2/3 to 3/4 of total costs.

 

30 June 2014, .au: Subaru announced "a capped price servicing program [for its] new car range from July 1 ... will apply to vehicles throughout their lifetime - not just the three-year warranty period. [And] covering Subaru vehicles back to [MY] 2006. ..." -- [www].

30 June 2014: In yet more recall woes, GM announced it would "conduct six new safety recalls in the United States involving about 7.6 million vehicles from the 1997 to 2014 model years. ..." -- [www], [bbc] (and 27th [www]).

June 2014: Celtic Renewables aims to make bio-butanol fuel for cars out of the waste from making Scottish Malt Whisky. The company reports that "Biobutanol has 25% more energy per unit volume than bioethanol ... can be blended without requiring modifications in blending facilities, storage tanks or retail station pumps ... can run in unmodified engines at any blend with petrol and may also be blended with diesel and biodiesel ..." -- [www].

29 June 2014 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.42); oil us$106/b
27 June 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥96

28 June 2014: "100 years since the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the act that triggered World War One. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see 4 August above.

26-29 June 2014: Goodwood Festival of Speed [www]. (Thurs 26th, 'moving motor show.')
27th: And Bonham's auction [www] [www], including lot 319 a 1963 Aston Martin DB4 convertible chassis #DB4C/1091/R, engine #370/1085, sold £701,500; lot 320 a 1954 Ferrari 375-plus, 4.9-litre V12, chassis #0384, engine #0384, sold £10,753,500 (us$18.2m), [www]; lot 329 a 1902 De Dietrich 16-hp "Paris-Vienna" rear-entrance tonneau registration no. A 2101, chassis #1036, engine #558, sold £998,300; lot 337 a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 'Periscopio' coupe, chassis #1120070, engine #1120068, sold £953,500 (also see 1 June below); lot 342 a 1968-69 Lotus-Cosworth Ford Type 49B F1 (and Tasman Racing), chassis #49B-R8, sold £673,500 [www]; a 1935 ex-Works Aston Martin Ulster CMC 614 [www].

26 June 2014: The World Motor Sport Council rules changes for F1 in 2015 include "The number of engines permitted by each driver in a season will be four. However, if there are more than 20 races in a season, the number will increase to five", fewer wind tunnel hours, there will be tyre warmers, and "Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid" except near the race beginning or end -- FIA [www].

26 June 2014, .us: "General Motors has [halted] sales of some Chevrolet Cruze cars due to a potential problem with the airbag. ..." -- [bbc].

June 2014, .uk: Land Rover confirmed that the "Land Rover Discovery Sport [would be] produced at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant. ... [and] on sale in 2015 ... in the compact SUV segment. ..." -- [www]. (The Freelander II will be dropped.)

24 June 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.43); oil us$106/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥96

June 2014: Aerofex plans to put a "hoverbike" on sale for us$85K in 2017. It is "a surface effect vehicle, similar to a hovercraft. ... [but] does not rely on [the] surface for stability, so it is able to fly higher. ..." -- [www].

24 June 2014, Vic.: "Damaging winds and snow are forecast across parts of New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT ..." -- [abc] [2].

23 June 2014: "Honda will voluntarily recall certain vehicles in the [US] in three separate market actions to replace one or both front driver's and passenger's airbag inflators ..." -- [www]. (And Toyota [www].) And Nissan, see the G. [www] and [bbc].

22 June 2014 (8/19): Austrian F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 3. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]. The Williams qualified 1 and 2, F. Massa (1:08.759) and Bottas, but finished 3 and 4. Hamilton spun in Q3 and did not set a time, starting 9th. The fastest lap of the race was 1:12.142 (59) set by S. Perez (Force India). (Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

20 June 2014: The UNHCR reported that "the number of refugees (16.7 m), asylum-seekers and internally displaced (33.3 m) people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people. ..." -- [www] @@ [www]. Also see 18 June 2015.

19 June 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.59/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.43); oil us$106/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.69, ¥96

19 June 2014: "The Northern Land Council has withdrawn its nomination of Muckaty Station north of Tennant Creek as the site for Australia's first nuclear waste dump. ..." -- [abc]. Nuclear waste should obviously be stored in the basement of Parliament House -- where (measures would be taken to ensure) it would be perfectly safe.

16 June 2014: GM announced that it would "rework or replace the ignition keys on about 3.16 million 2000 to 2014 ... cars in the US because the ignition switch may inadvertently move out of the 'run' position ..." -- [www].

16 June 2014: Snow has finally fallen on the NSW Snowy Mountains ..." -- [abc].

14 June 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.43); oil us$107/b
13 June 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.56, €0.69, ¥96

14-15 June 2014: Le Mans 24 hours [www]. 1. Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer, no.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro (379 laps, 24.01.59.8); 2. Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene, Tom Kristensen, no.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro (376 laps, 24.02.00); 3. Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, Sebastien Buemi, no.8 Toyota TS 040 hybrid (374 laps, 24.02.48). In Porsche's 2014 return to long distance racing, the no.20 919 hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber led for part of the race and was in 2nd place after 22 hours but shortly retired. (Also see Audi [www] [www], Toyota [www] and Porsche [www].)

14-15 June 2014, .uk: Brooklands Double Twelve Festival [www].

13 June 2014: General Motors "recalled more than 500,000 Chevrolet Camaro cars, mostly in North America, after finding a fault with the ignition system. ..." -- [bbc], GM [www]. And, "about 3.16 million 2000 to 2014 model year cars in the U.S." [16/6], GM [www].

13-15 June 2014: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Cheshire [www].

12 June 2014: The most efficient "cars" in the SAE's 35th Supermileage competition, Eaton's Marshall, MI, test track, were Brigham Young U. 1211 mpg, U. Laval of Quebec, Canada 1145 mpg, U. Massachusetts-Amherst 1142 mpg, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Quebec 1134 mpg, and Penn State U.-Behrend College 1020 mpg -- [www].

10 June 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.44); oil us$104/b
9 June 2014 Mon au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.56, €0.68, ¥96

9-15 June 2014: Motorexpo, Canary Wharf, London [www].

9 June 2014: Queen's Birthday holiday (Vic.).

8 June 2014 (7/19): Canadian F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, 6pm GMT).
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 2. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 3. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull). The two Mercedes ran off into the distance until they both suffered a loss of energy-recovery power at about half distance. Hamilton's overworked rear brakes soon failed and he retired but Rosberg held off the challengers until lap 65 (of 70). Perez (4th) and Massa (5th) collided at the start of the last lap leaving Ricciardo to win under safety car conditions. (Pole N. Rosberg 1:14.874, fastest lap (58) F. Massa 1:18.504. 2013 pole 1:25.425 wet, S. Vettel Red Bull. Lap record 1:13.622 R. Barichello, 2004.) (Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

7 June 2014: The RHD version of Tesla's electric 'Model S' was launched in London, from £50K -- Tesla [www], and the G. [www].

5 June 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.58/l, min $1.44); oil us$103/b
4 June 2014 Wed au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.68, ¥95

6 June 2014: 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landings in Normandy. See wikip. [www].

4 June 2014: "Reality check for robot cars ... it's going to take [15± years] for true autonomous vehicles ... bona fide robot cars that deliver bulletproof safety and reliability in all conditions-to hit the road ..." -- SAE [www].

2 June 2013, .us: "EPA proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. ..." -- [www], [www]. "... By 2030 ... Cut carbon emission from the power sector by 30% nationwide below 2005 levels ..." -- [www]. "Low-carbon economy can be engine for growth." "... targeting coal-burning power plants in an effort to curb global warming" -- [bbc].

1 June 2014: A 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 'Periscopica' was sold for us$1.21 million by Bonhams at its Greenwich (USA) auction -- [www]. (Also see 27 June above.)

 

30 May 2014:
30 May 2014 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.42); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.56, €0.69, ¥94
"Between 2010 and 2013, W.Antarctica, E.Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -134±27, -3±36, and -23±18Gt/yr resp. ... the average rate of ice thinning in W.Antarctica has also continued to rise, and mass losses from this sector are now 31% greater than over the period 2005-2011." -- M. McMillan et al, 'Increased ice losses from Antarctica detected by CryoSat-2' Geophys. Res. Lett., 2014, [www].

29 May 2014: Ford recalled "1.1 million sport utility vehicles (SUVs) sold in North America" ... "because they could suffer a loss of power steering. ..." -- [bbc].

27 May 2014: Google is to build 100 prototype driverless cars. It has "capped the speed of these first vehicles at 25mph." The cars have "buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route - and that's about it." See googleblog [www][27/5]. You just know what the first youtube videos will show occupants doing if the cars get into private hands.

May 2014, India: Production of the Hindustan 'Ambassador' (1957-2014) - was the Morris Oxford - was suspended. Ended? See the G. [www] & [bbc].

25 May 2014 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.42); oil us$104/b
23 May 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.55, €0.68, ¥94
25 May 2014 (6/19): Monaco F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. Rosberg and Hamilton ran a very close 1-2 for most of the race, well clear of the rest, until Hamilton got dirt in his eye in the closing laps and fell back towards Ricciardo but the latter could not get past. Jules Bianchi (9th) scored Marussia's first championship points. (Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

25 May 2014 (Sun.): 98th Indianapolis 500 [www].

23-25 May 2014: Villa d'Este Concourse, Lake Como [www].

21 May 2014: "Ebay urges users to reset passwords after cyberattack ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see [bbc].

21 May 2014: "Former Lotus head Dany Bahar has settled a claim for unfair dismissal with the sportscar company's Malaysian owners a month before the case was due to come to court. ..." [www].

20 May 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.43); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.68, ¥94

19 May 2014: Sir Jack Brabham (1926-2014) died aged 88. He won the F1 Drivers' World Championship in 1959, 1960 and 1966, the first two times in Coopers and the last in a Brabham BT19, a car of his own making. Also see the [abc], [bbc], [2], [10/4/'12].

18 May 2014: Spa Classic Sale, Bonhams auction [www], including lot 50, a 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' roadster, chassis #BN2-L/230581, engine #1B/230581, sold €149,500.

16 May 2014: General Motors Co. ... "has come to an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to report in a timely manner the ignition switch defect. As part of this agreement, GM will pay a [us]$35 million fine. ..." -- GM [www].

15 May 2014: "General Motors ... informed the [NHTSA] of five safety recalls covering about 2.7 million vehicles ... tail lamp malfunctions ... Chevrolet Corvettes for loss of low-beam head lamps ... Malibus from the 2014 model year for hydraulic brake booster malfunctions ... Cadillac CTS 2013-2014 models for windshield wiper failures ... 477 full-size trucks from the 2014 and 2015 [MYs] for a tie-rod defect ..." -- GM [www].

15 May 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.44); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.56, €0.68, ¥96

May 2014: "... an additional us$44 trillion in investment is needed to secure a clean-energy future by 2050, but this represents only a small portion of global GDP and is offset by over us$115 trillion in fuel savings. The new estimate compares to us$36 trillion in the previous ETP [2012] analysis ... the longer we wait, the more expensive it becomes to transform our energy system. ..." -- 'Energy Technology Perspectives' (ETP 2014), IEA [www], [www].

14 May 2014: Jaguar announced that it would build "six perfect reproductions of the original, [1963] race-bred Lightweight E-type ..." -- [www].

13 May 2014, .au, recall 2014/14100: "Suzuki Jimny SN413 [5/2012-3/2014] ... the joint fastening between the lateral rod and the axle housing may become defective. The fastening bolt of the joint may become loose ... In the worst case, the bolt can drop off and the steering function may be compromised.[!] ..." -- .gov.au [www].

13 May 2014: "Volkswagen declares the offer for Scania unconditional and will acquire all tendered shares ..." -- VW [www], [2].

13 May 2014, .au: Federal Budget Day. Including, "... the Abbott Government confirm[ed] it will bring back indexation against the CPI for the fuel excise tax." -- [abc], [14/5]. (But see 15 July above.  Also see RACV [www].)

13 May 2014: E. Rignot et al, Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011, Geophys. Res. Lett., "... Pine Island Glacier retreated 31km at its center ... Smith/Kohler glaciers retreated the most, 35km along its ice plain ..." -- [www]. "... If the glaciers really do disappear, they would add roughly 1.2m to global sea level rise. ..." -- [bbc].

11 May 2014 (5/19): Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), who started 15th due to a gearbox failure in Q3, finished fourth. (Fastest laps: 2014, pole 1:25.232 (Hamilton), race 1:28.918 (Vettel). 2013, qual. 1:20.718, race 1:26.217. Lap record 1:21.670 (Raikkonen, Ferrari, 2008). See the FIA [www] & [bbc].)
10 May 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.44); oil us$100/b
9 May 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.55, €0.68, ¥95

10 May 2014: RM Auctions, Monaco [www], [www], including lot 123 a 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT, chassis #ZA9AB01E0PCD39031, engine #044, sold €280,000; lot 133 a 1968 Toyota 2000GT, chassis #MF10-10174, sold €728,000(!); lot 135 1958 Lister-Jaguar 'Knobbly' prototype, chassis #BHL EE 101, sold €1,176,000; lot 169 a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C by Scaglietti, chassis #09067, engine #09067, sold €5,712,000, lot 179 a 1966 Brabham-Repco BT20 F1 (see 19 May above) chassis #F1-2-66, engine #RB 620-E8A, sold €1,092,000.

9 May 2014: "Datsun signaled its eagerly awaited return to Indonesian roads on Thursday as production of the GO+ MPV got underway. ..." -- Nissan [www], reviving its 'Datsun' marque.

9 May 2014, .au: "A Federal Government MP has spoken out against plans to raise the fuel excise ... Former [Lib.] prime minister John Howard abolished fuel excise indexation in 2001 ... Currently, motorists pay 38¢[per litre] to the Federal Government in tax ..." -- [abc] & [8/5]. So that would be an increased (hydro-)carbon-tax. (But also see 15 July above.)

7 May 2014: "Two European tourists [rescued] from floodwaters in the Pilbara ... Many roads in the area had been closed due to recent torrential rain. ..." -- [abc].

6 May 2014: "The tropical Pacific Ocean has warmed steadily in recent months, with large warm anomalies in the ocean sub-surface (5-day values up to +6°C) and increasingly warm sea surface temperatures. Climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest El Nino development is possible as early as July. These factors indicate that while El Nino in 2014 cannot be guaranteed, the likelihood of an event developing remains at least 70% and we are at El Nino ALERT level. ..." -- [bom] IDCKGEWWOO.

May 2014: "CO2 cuts claimed by carmakers only half as good as they sound ... Recent research shows that average fuel-efficiency figures achieved by drivers on the road are around 25% higher than official figures claimed by carmakers. ... " -- Transport and Environment [www].

May 2014, .us: "Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. ..." -- National Climte Assessment [www]. (Also see [bbc].)

5 May 2014 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.44); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.67, ¥95

3-5 May 2014 (Sat-Mon): Donington Historic Festival, including a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Maserati [www].

2 May 2014: Proton "announced the appointment of Jean-Marc Gales as the new [CEO] of Group Lotus plc ..." -- [www].

1 May 2014: Twenty years ago Ayrton Senna (Williams) died in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. Roland Ratzenberger (Simtek) died in qualifying, the day before. See the G. [www], [bbc], [bbc], FIA [www].

 
30 April 2014 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.44); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.67, ¥95

27 April 2014: "Average MY2012 vehicle CO2 emissions fell by 22 g/mi from MY2011 ... according to a new report by the U.S. EPA. The figures of 376 g/mi and 23.6 mpg [US g] are both [US] records ..." -- [www]. Cars became more efficient, and lighter, from 1975 to 1985, but then grew heavier losing some of the gains, until 2004.

27 April 2014: "Work is underway to clear roadways in Exmouth after heavy rain caused flooding, cutting off the West Australian town. ..." -- [abc].

April 2014, .uk: The Auto Express Driver Power best car survey results include 1. Skoda Yeti Mk1, 2. Skoda Citigo Mk1, 3. Skoda Superb Mk2 [www]. The list of most reliable cars begins 1. Honda Jazz Mk2, 2. Toyota Prius Mk3, 3. Toyota Prius Mk2 [www].

25 April 2014: Ford announced "First quarter pre-tax profit of us$1.4 billion, a decrease of us$765 million compared with a year ago ..." -- [www].

25 April 2014 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.44); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.55, €0.67, ¥95

25 April 2014: Anzac Day.

24 April 2014 (Thurs.): "Bernie Ecclestone .. is to stand trial in a bribery case that opens in Munich on Thursday ..." -- The G [21/4], & [bbc][23/4], [28/4].

24 April 2014: Australia has slipped to 18th place in terms of readiness "to apply the benefits of information and communications technology (ICT) to promote economic growth and well-being" -- the Global Information Technology Report [www].

April 2014: The Phantom Badger is a small military 4WD, with 4 wheel steering, made by Boeing's Defense, Space and Security unit [www][8/4/2014], [www][9/2013].

21 April 2014: Easter Monday.

20-29 April 2014: Beijing International Automotive Exhibition [www] (20th press, 21-22 trade, 23-29 public). Including Bentley plug-in hybrid(!) concept [www]; BMW '9-series' concept; Mercedes SUV Coupe concept; Peugeot '2008 Exalt' concept [www]; Renault 'Megane RS' [www]; Volvo 'S60' plugin hybrid [www].

20 April 2014 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.50 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.44); oil us$104/b
18 April 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.56, €0.68, ¥96
20 April 2014 (4/19): Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai (start 3pm local, 7am GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari]. Wet qualifying gave Red Bull a chance to split the Mercedes - Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel, Rosberg - but in the dry race Alonso's Ferrari was the best of the rest. Ricciardo finished fourth. (See the FIA [www], [www] and [bbc].)

20 April 2014: "Toyota finish[ed] 1-2 in rain-shortened Silverstone [WEC] race ... Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi [won] ... Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima [2nd] ... [and] the no.20 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley celebrated the team's return to top line competition with [3rd]. ..." -- FIA [www].

18-27 April 2014: New York Motor Show [www]. Including Ford next 'Focus' [www]; GM 2015 'Trax' SUV [www]; Jeep 'Renegade' small SUV [www]; Koenigsegg 'Agera' [www]; Land Rover 'Discovery Vision' concept [www], [www]; Mercedes 'S 63' AMG coupe 5.5 V8 turbo×2 [www]; Nissan next 'Murano' [www]; Subaru 2015 'Outback' [www] [www]; Toyota 2015 'Camry' [www]; VW 'Golf' station wagon.

18 April 2014: Good Friday.

15 April 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.41); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.56, €0.68, ¥95

16 April 2014, .au: Terminal gate fuel prices, ¢ per litre, ULP Sydney 142.8, Melb. 142.3, Brisbane 142.4, ...; diesel Sydney 144.2, Melb. 143.7, Brisbane 143.7, ... -- AIP [www].

15 April 2014: The International Court of Appeal upheld "decision no.56 of the Stewards by which they decided to exclude Infiniti Red Bull Racing's car no.3 from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix." -- FIA [www].

15 April 2014: "The closure of car manufacturing could cost Australia nearly 200,000 jobs and $29 billion in lost economic output, a new report ... [by] the National Institute for Economic and Industry Research ..." -- [abc].

10 April 2014: "Heavy outback rain has caused flash flooding at Coober Pedy in [SA] ..." -- [abc].

10 April 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.41); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.56, €0.68, ¥96

10 April 2014: General Motors "is adding ignition lock cylinders to its safety recall of 2.2 million older model cars in the United States. ..." -- GM [www].

9 April 2014: "Toyota is recalling 6.4 million vehicles globally ... over five separate issues. ..." -- [bbc].
14/4: PRA #2014/14058 "Toyota Hilux TGN16, GGN15, KUN16, GGN25 & KUN26" -- .gov.au [www].
14/4: PRA #2014/14057 "Toyota Yaris NCP90, NCP91 & NCP93" -- .gov.au [www]. (And see RACV [www].)
8 April 2014: "Tropical cyclone Ita in the Coral Sea off far N. Qld has strengthened into a category three system. ..." -- [abc].
10/4: Ita "poses a significant threat to communities along the far north Queensland coast ..." -- [bom], [abc].
[11/4], [11/4], [12/4], [14/4].

7-11 April 2014: Working Group III (WGIII) contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on mitigation of climate change considered in Berlin -- IPCC [www].

7 April 2014, .uk: "The RAC and ... insurance and telecoms technology business Quindell ... announced a joint venture creating a new business, Connected Car Solutions Limited, to distribute their ... telematics technology with an initial £30m investment. ..." [www]. Black boxes? (Also see RAC [www].)

6 April 2014 (3/19): Bahrain F1 Grand Prix (start 6pm local, 3pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sergio Perez [Force India]. Qualification went Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo (Red Bull), but the latter carried a 10-place grid penalty from the last race; he finished 4th. Hamilton got the better of the start, and managed to hold on at the end when tyre strategy, and a safety car, favoured Rosberg - no team orders. Fastest laps, qualifying 1:33.185, N. Rosberg; race 1:37.020, N. Rosberg. (Lap record 1:31.447, Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 2005. See the FIA [www], [2], [bbc].)

6 April 2014 (Sun.), .au: Daylight Saving ends, "move your clock backward one hour at 3am (DST)."

5 April 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.42); oil us$101/b
4 April 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.56, €0.67, ¥96

4-6 April 2014: National 4x4 Show, Brisbane, RNA Showgrounds [www].

4 April 2014, .uk: "... Year-to-date [car] registrations up 13.7% to 688,122 units ... #1 Ford Fiesta 39,240 ..." -- SMMT [www].

2 April 2014: BP "will shut its Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane with the loss of hundreds of jobs. ..." -- [abc].

1 April 2014: "The flywheel energy-storage technology that was used in ... the Le Mans-winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro is being sold by Williams to GKN Land Systems for use mainly in mass-transit vehicles. ..." -- SAE [www].
And details of Toyota's TS040 4x4 hybrid Le Mans entrant for this year -- [www], [www].
1 April 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.44 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.42); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.56, €0.67, ¥96

1 April 2014: A bushfire in the Mt Cole State Forest, SW Victoria, [abc][2/4]. (Check [cfa].)

 

31 March 2014 The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) covered observed impacts, adaptation, and vulnerabilities, [www], [wg2]. (Also see [bbc], [abc] ... [www].)

31 March 2014: "GM issues new mass recall for power steering issue ..." -- [bbc], & see GM [www]. (Also see 10 April above and 11 March below.)

30 March 2014 (2/19): Malaysian F1 Grand Prix (start 4pm local, 8am GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull]. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) was 4th until an unsafe release with a loose left front wheel; this was followed by other woes and he retired on lap 49. (See FIA [www] & [bbc].)

27 March 2014: Peugeot to enter the Dakar in 2015 -- P [www].

27 March 2014: ... more than 500 millimetres of rain around Yeppoon, north of Rockhampton [Qld], over two days. ..." -- [abc].

26 March 2014 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.59/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.43); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.56, €0.67, ¥94

25 March 2014: "Wanxiang America Corp. (the U.S. arm of a Chinese auto parts manufacturer) has completed the acquisition of the assets of failed U.S. [plug-in] auto startup Fisker Automotive ..." -- SAE [www].

21 March 2014 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.44); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.55, €0.66, ¥93

21-23 March 2014: The Texas Mile, Chase Field Naval Air Station [www]. (2013: Patrick O'Gorman set the new Texas Mile record in Mark Heidaker's [modified] Ford GT with a speed of 278.2mph.)

19 March 2014: Toyota announced "an agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the S.District of New York to resolve its investigation initiated in February 2010 into the communications and decision-making processes related to the company's 2009 - 2010 recalls to address potential 'sticking' accelerator pedals and floor mat entrapment. As part of the agreement, Toyota will make a payment totaling $1.2 billion. ..." -- Toyota [www].

18 March 2014: After high pollution levels in Paris, "only motorists with odd-numbered number plates were allowed to drive [on Monday]. Those with those even-numbered plates will be allowed to travel on Tuesday ..." -- [bbc].

17 March 2014: "Ex-Tropical Cyclone Gillian was located at 4&nbp;pm CST near 10.2S&nbp;135.3E, that is 275km NW of Nhulunbuy and 260km NE of Goulburn Island ..." -- [bom].

16 March 2014 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.43); oil us$99/b
14 Mar 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.54, €0.65, ¥92
16 March 2014 (1/19): Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne (start 5pm local, 6am GMT) [www]. This was the first race for the new 1.6-litre V6, turbo, hybrid cars.
Team (engine) and drivers: Caterham (Renault), Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi [www]; Ferrari (Ferrari), Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen [www]; Force India (Mercedes), Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg [www]; Lotus (Renault), Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado [www]; Marussia (Ferrari), Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi [www]; McLaren (Mercedes), Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen [www]; Mercedes (Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg [www]; Red Bull (Renault), Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo [www]; Sauber (Ferrari), Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil [www]; Toro Rosso (Renault), Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat [www]; Williams (Mercedes), Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas [www].
In a rainy qualifying, 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull); 3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); [abc].
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 2. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren), 3. Jenson Button (McLaren). Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham) had brake failure and crashed into Felipe Massa (Williams) at the first corner. Lewis Hamilton retired with engine trouble on lap three and Sebastian Vettel similarly on lap six. Rosberg had an easy win. The race finished in the order Rosberg, Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, but Ricciardo was later disqualified because his "car had exceeded the required fuel mass flow of 100kg/h governed by Article 5.1.4", FIA [www] & [www]. Magnusson, in his first F1 race, inherited 2nd place and Button third. The fastest lap was 1:32.478 (Rosberg) compared to 1:29.274 (Raikkonen, Lotus, 2.4 V8) in 2013, and the outright record of 1:24.125 (M. Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, 3 litre V10) in 2004. (Also see [bbc] & [2].)

13 March 2014: "Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected a controversial recommendation in a key Productivity Commission report that suggests drivers be charged for every kilometre of road use. ..." -- [abc].

11 March 2014: "A US congressional committee ... investigating General Motors' recall of nearly 1.6 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches. ... [GM] admitted employees knew about the defect as early as 2004. ..." -- [bbc], [14/3]. NHTSA campaign number 14V047000 -- dot [www]. (Also see 31 March above.)

10-16 March 2014: 35th Corowa Swim In, Vic., .au, the year of WW I and of the Ford, [www].

11 March 2014 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.53/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.44); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.54, €0.65, ¥93

March 2014: More VW woes, recall 2014/14013, "2013 model Skoda Fabia, Yeti and Superb ... Due to electrolysis in the gearbox, the sulphur constituents in the synthetic oil can separate. ... [can] cause an electrical short circuit and the gearbox fuse could blow ... causing the vehicle to roll to a stop if in motion." -- .gov.au [www].

10 March 2014: Tropical Cyclone Gillian ~90km W of Weipa, and Tropical Cyclone Hadi 380km ENE of Ayr Qld -- [abc], [bom].

10 March 2014, .au: "Firefighters say a fire which has been burning at the Hazelwood open cut coal mine in the La Trobe Valley for more than a month is now under control. ..." -- [abc].

10 March 2013 (Mon.): Labour Day, Vic., .au.
9-10 March 2014 (Sun-Mon): Steamrail Victoria workshop open days, Newport [www].
8-10 March 2013 (Sat-Mon): Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club annual rally, Scoresby, Melbourne, Vic., [www].
7-10 March 2013 (Fri-Mon): Port Fairy Folk Festival, Vic., .au [www], including Antonio Serrano [www], Archie Roach [www], Beccy Cole [www], Mama Kin [www], Sammy J [www], and many others.
7-9 March 2013 (Fri-Sun): Phillip Island Classic [www].
6-11 March 2014 (Thu-Tue): Camping and Caravan Show, Caulfield racecourse [www].

7-9 March 2014: Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, Florida [www]. At the RM Auctions auction, lot 152 a 1958 BMW 507 series-II roadster, chassis #70156, engine #40024, sold for us$2,420,000; lot 167 a 1939 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo roadster by Figoni et Falaschi, chassis #48667, engine #48667, sold for us$6,600,000 -- [www].
6 March 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.61/l; min $1.49 ([Perth] avg $1.60/l, min $1.43); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.54, €0.66, ¥93

6-16 March 2014: 84th Geneva Motor Show [www]. Including Alfa Romeo 'Disco Volante'; Audi 'S1', next 'TT' & sport concept [www]; BMW 2-series 'Active Tourer'; Ford 2015 'Focus' [www]; GM Opel revised 'Adam' [www], & Vauxhall 'Astra VXE' [www]; Gumpert 'Explosion' (front engined, 1984cc, AWD, €105K) [www]; Hyundai 'PassoCorto' sports car concept; Jaguar 'XFR-S' shooting brake (station wagon) £82.5K; Lamborghini 'Huracan' [www]; Land Rover 'Evoque Autobiography' [www]; Mazda 'HAZUMI' (~Mazda2) mini concept [www]; Peugeot new '108' mini, '308 SW', and '308 R' concept [www]; Renault 'Twingo'; Subaru next 'WRX STi', and 'VIZIV 2' concept [www]; Toyota 'Aygo' mini; Volvo Estate concept, & V70 & XC70 'Edition' [www]; and sub 95g/km CO2 cars [www];

6 January 2014: "The Federal Government has given environmental approval for Victoria to start a fresh trial of cattle grazing in the Wonnangatta Valley ..." -- [abc].

4 March 2014, long term trends in Australia's climate: "... temperatures across Australia were, on average, almost 1°C warmer than they were a century ago, with most of the warming having occurred since 1950. ... Seven of the ten warmest years on record in Australia have occurred since 1998. ..." -- Climate 2014, [bom] & [csiro].

1 March 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.43); oil us$103/b
28 Feb 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.54, €0.65, ¥91
 

27 February - 2 March 2014: Third F1 test, Bahrain -- FIA [1], [2], [3], [4]. Mercedes and Williams did well but Red Bull gave a good impression of being in trouble.

27 February: The Climate Change Authority recommended that "Australia target a minimum reduction of 15% in greenhouse gas emissions - compared with 2000 levels - by 2020. This would represent a significant tightening of Australia's existing commitment to reduce emissions in 2020 by a minimum of 5%." -- [www] [www].

26 February 2014: The EU voted for CO2 limits, from 2020, of "95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g/km) as an average across all new cars sold [v. existing] 130g/km" -- the G.[www].

24 February 2014 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.54/l; min $1.48 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.43); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.54, €0.65, ¥92

24 February 2014, Qld: "Bowen's 10-metre high iconic Big Mango has gone missing ..." -- [abc] ... hoax [abc] and it's not even 1 April.

23 February 2014, great headline: "Grocery truck fire ... firefighters dodge exploding baked bean tins" -- [abc].

20 February 2014, .uk: "Winter wettest on record ..." -- [bbc].

19-22 February 2014: Second F1 test, Bahrain -- FIA [www], [2], [3], [4]. Mercedes and McLaren seemed to do best in the test.

19 February 2014 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.59/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.42); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.54, €0.66, ¥92

19 February 2014: "Struggling French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has sealed a long-awaited rescue deal ... China's Dongfeng Motors and the French government will each invest about €800m (£660m) in return for 14% stakes. ..." -- [bbc].

16 February 2014: Speaking to students in Indonesia, United States secretary of state John Kerry 'warned them that man-made climate change could threaten their entire way of life, deriding those who doubted the existence of "perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction".' -- [abc].

16 February 2014 (Sun.): The Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin, Vic (Melways 119 G7) -- LROCV [www].

14 February 2014 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.43); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.54, €0.66, ¥92

14 February 2014, Fire up the Quattro: "Gene Hunt's Actual Audi Quattro from BBC's 'Ashes to Ashes'" apparently on ebay (.uk) "complete with bullet holes" from the final -- [www]. 16/2: The winning bid was listed as £15,100.

13 February 2014: "A winter storm is bearing down on the densely populated US north-east ... described by the National Weather Service as an event of 'historical proportions' ..." -- [bbc].

12 February 2014, .uk: "Wind gusts of over 100mph were recorded ... Fourteen severe flood warnings were in place in Berkshire and Surrey, and two remained in place in Somerset ... The Met Office issued its most severe red warning - for wind posing a 'risk to life' ..." -- [bbc], [13/2].

10 February 2014: "Toyota has announced it will stop making cars in Australia in 2017 ... About 2,500 workers will lose their jobs. ... cited increased competitiveness due to current and future free trade agreements as factors ..." -- [abc] & [11/2], [bbc] and the G. [www]. Also see Toyota [www] [pdf].
12/2: "Toyota has rejected a claim that it told Treasurer Joe Hockey the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) was behind its decision to cease manufacturing in Australia. ..." -- [abc].

10 February 2014, .au: "... The Ethanol Production Grants program [$100m/y] was introduced by the Howard Government [Lib.] in 2002 ... [a] report by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics ... estimates the three ethanol producers employ about 200 workers combined, costing taxpayers between $545,000 and $680,000 per job. ..." -- [abc].

9 February 2014: "Victoria faces its most severe fire threat since Black Saturday in 2009. ... Several fires have been burning out of control overnight, including two huge fires in East Gippsland ..." -- [abc]. Also see [cfa], and [cfs] SA.

9 February 2014: "In the last seven days 1.2 metres of rain has been recorded in Kowanyama [Cape York]. ... the highest monthly total since 1918. ..." -- [abc].

9 February 2014 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.43); oil us$100/b
7 Feb 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.55, €0.66, ¥91

9 February 2014: A tropical low "is expected to move steadily towards the west southwest across the Kimberley ... flooding, which is already occurring in the Kimberley and is likely to extend into the Pilbara from late Monday" -- [bom].

8 February 2014: "... South Australia and Victoria enter a weekend of extreme weather conditions. ..." -- [abc].

6 February 2014: "Ford has announced it will cut 300 jobs at ... Geelong and Broadmeadows beginning in June. ..." -- [abc]. Will Ford fold before 2016?

6 February 2014: "Aston Martin is recalling more than 17,000 cars ... built since late 2007. ... a Chinese sub-supplier was allegedly using counterfeit plastic material in part of the accelerator pedal. ..." -- [bbc].

6 February 2014: Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais auction, including lot 385 a 1929 Bugatti Type 35B GP deux places, chassis #37371 (sold €1,610,000); lot 396 a 1989 Porsche 962C Group-C Prototype, chassis #962-006BM; lot 408 a 1984 Ferrari 126 C4 M2 F1, chassis #072 (sold €483,000) [www].

5 February 2014: RM Auctions, Paris, including lot 29 a 1982 Porsche 956 Group-C, chassis #956-004 (sold €2,352,000); lot 30 a 1955 Jaguar D-Type, chassis #XKD 520 (sold €3,696,000) [www].

5-9 February 2014: Retromobile, Paris [www]. And 7 Feb., Auction by Artcurial [www].

4 February 2014 Tues Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.50 ([Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.43); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.55, €0.66, ¥90

4 February 2014: "... NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden ... Wind your mind back to December 2009, when world leaders converged on Copenhagen to cook up a global climate deal ... According to documents released to a Danish newspaper by Snowden, the NSA was ready, willing and able to provide 'unique, timely and valuable' insights into the negotiating positions of the countries that attended ..." -- [www].

4 February 2014: "... Ex-tropical cyclone Fletcher crossed the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast between Karumba and Gilbert River mouth about 7:30pm (AEST) ..." -- [abc].

3 February 2014: "Over 10 million Australians make their way to work every day, with almost 2 in 3 doing so by private car. ..." -- McCrindle Res. [www], [abc].

3 February 2014: Seven hedge funds are suing chairman Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand Piech over Porsche's failed 2008 takeover bid for VW -- [bbc].
"Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE) believes that the suit filed by seven hedge funds ... is without merit. ..." -- Porsche [www].

3 February 2014: "Residents urged to leave as Goongerah bushfire burns out-of-control in East Gippsland ... near Errinundra National Park ..." -- [abc]. (Also see [cfa].)

1 February 2014 .au: "The first day of a trial of open speeds on a section of the NT's Stuart Highway has already attracted motoring enthusiasts in high-powered cars. ..." -- [abc]. Road trains, caravans and Ferraris, what could possibly go wrong?

 

31 January 2014: "The Productivity Commission says all financial support for Australia's struggling car industry should be phased out. ..." -- [abc].

30 January 2014 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.59/l, min $1.43); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$0.87, £0.53, €0.64, ¥89

30 January 2014: "... Tropical Cyclone Dylan has formed off the N Queensland coast and is expected to continue moving in a general SW direction ..." -- [bom] & [abc][31/1].

29 January 2014: "... A cyclone warning is now in place between Port Douglas and Mackay [Qld], with the system 590km ENE of Cairns in the Coral Sea. ..." -- [abc].

28-31 January 2014: First pre-season F1 test of 2014, Jerez, Spain, first for the new turbo cars. Rule changes include 1.6 litre turbo V6, max 15,000rpm, single central exhaust, ERS-K (similar to KERS in 2013 but delivering 120kW for 33secs) & ERS-H turbo charger connected to a motor/generator, 100kg fuel limit per race (v. a typical 150kg in 2013) & 100kg/hr max flow rate, 8-speed gearbox with fixed ratios (1 free ratio change allowed for 2014 only), front wings ≤1650mm wide (was 1800mm), less rear-wing flap depth & no rear "beam wing" but wider DRS opening, lower front chassis height of 525mm (was 625mm) & nose of 185mm (was 550mm), min weight 691kg (was 642kg in 2013). The nose regulation led to some interesting shapes.
The Mercedes (Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, Force India) and Ferrari (Ferrari, Sauber, Marussia) powered cars had some good running, but those with Renault power (Caterham, Toro Rosso & esp. Red Bull) generally had a torrid time. Also see the FIA [www] and, on gearboxes, Xtrac at SAE [www].

28 January 2014: "Residents across much of southern Australia are bracing for another heatwave, with temperatures forecast to reach into the 40s in some areas ..." -- [abc]. Also see [bom].

27 January 2014: "In 1898, Ferdinand Porsche presented the 'Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model' (known as the 'P1' for short) - the world's first Porsche design. After 116 years, the original and unrestored vehicle has been recovered and is set to enrich the Porsche Museum's collection ..." -- [www].

26 January 2014: Australia Day.

25 January 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.43); oil us$97/b
24 Jan 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.87, £0.52, €0.64, ¥90

23 January 2014: "... Toyota sold 9.98 million vehicles during 2013 ... 270,000 more than its closest rival ... General Motors. ..." -- [bbc].

22 January 2014, WA: "Flooding closes ... The Goldfields Highway between Wiluna and Meekatharra has been closed, as well as the Great Northern Highway from Meekatharra to Newman. ..." -- [abc].

22 January 2014: "The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for December 2013 was the 3rd highest for December since records began in 1880 ... The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for January - December 2013 tied with 2003 as the fourth warmest [year] on record ..." -- NOAA [www], [abc].

20 January 2014 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.45); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.88, £0.53, €0.65, ¥91

January 2014, .uk: What Car's awards for 2014 included: car of the year and small SUV Nissan Qashqai SUV 1.5 diesel (£16K-22K); family car Skoda Octavia 1.2 petrol (£15K-18K); large SUV Range Rover Sport SDV6 HSE (£60K) -- [www].

20 January 2014: "Several people ... stranded by rising floodwaters, in WA's central Kimberley. Heavy rain in the Fitzroy Crossing River catchment has caused the Great Northern Highway to flood just east of the town. ..." -- [abc].

18 January 2014: The Dakar finished; cars 1. Nani Roma & Michel Perin (Mini), trucks 1. Andrey Karginov, Andrey Mokeev & Igor Devyatkin (Kamaz), bikes 1. Mark Coma (KTM), quads 1. Ignacio Casale (Yamaha) [www], [stage 13].

17, 18 January 2014: Gooding's Scottsdale auction, including lot 14 a 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica ser.I coupe, chassis #0475 SA, engine #0475 SA (sold us$3,300,000); lot 39 a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT ser.1 cabriolet, chassis #0791 GT, engine #0791 GT (sold us$6,160,000); lot 117 a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, chassis #B24S-1077 , engine #B24-1098 (sold us$1,815,000); lot 137 a 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail, chassis #21R (sold us$5,280,000) -- [www].

17 January 2014: "... For full year 2013, [global] passenger vehicle registrations were [75,713,933] up 3.75 million or 5.2% on 2012 ..." -- SMMT [www].

16 January 2014, Vic.: "A total of 1,000 fires have been reported in the past 24 hours and 40 are still burning out of control. ... Melbourne is facing its longest run of 40°C days since 1908 ... 43.9°C at 3:14pm." -- [abc], [17/1], [18/1], [19/1].

15 January 2014 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.43); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.54, €0.65, ¥93

15 January 2014: "Fire crews battle blazes as south-east Australia sizzles in heatwave ..." -- [abc].

13-26 January 2014: North American Int. Auto Show (NAIAS), press 13-14, trade 15-16, charity 17, public 18-26 Detroit [www]. Including Ford next 'F150' (lighter, much Al) [www], SAE [www]; GM 'Canyon' pickup, 2015 'Corvette Z06' [www], SAE [www]; Honda 2015 'Fit'; Kia 'GT4 Stinger' concept; Nissan Infinit 'Q50 Eau Rouge' concept sedan [www]; Subaru 2015 'WRX STi'; Toyota 'FT-1' sports car concept [www] SAE [www], Lexus 'RC-F' V8 coupe, SAE [www]; Volvo 'XC' coupe concept [www].

13 January 2014: "The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting prolonged severe to extreme heatwave conditions for large parts of southern Australia throughout this week. ... mid-40s in many inland areas ..." -- [bom].

9-12 January 2014: Racing Car Show, NEC, Birmingham, .uk, trade 9&10, public 11 12 [www].

8 January 2014 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.45 ([Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.45); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.54, €0.66, ¥94

7 January 2014, .uk: "2013 new car market records best performance in five years ... 2,264,737 cars registered in 2013 ..." -- SMMT [www].

7 January 2014, .au: "... the sharpest new year petrol price rise in at least nine years, and analysts say further increases are likely this month. ..." -- [abc].

7 January 2014: "Huge waves have battered southern and western coasts of the UK ..." -- [bbc].

6 January 2014: "Polar vortex set to bring record low temperatures across much of US ... startling forecast: -25°F (-31°C) in Fargo, North Dakota, -31°F (-35°C) in International Falls, Minnesota, ..." -- the G. [www].

6 January 2014: "Toyota tops nation's 2013 car sales ... says it will know by the middle of this year whether it will keep its Australian manufacturing base beyond 2018 ..." -- [abc].

6 January 2014: "Police in NSW have expressed alarm over the number of drivers being caught under the influence of illicit drugs. ... One in 46 drivers tested for drugs returned a positive result, [v.] one in every 208 breathalysed motorists who were over the blood alcohol limit. ..." -- [abc].

4 January 2014 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.58/l, min $1.45); oil us$94/b
3 Jan 2014 Fri au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.55, €0.66, ¥94

4-18 January 2014: The Dakar, Argentina (Rosario), Bolivia, Chile (Valparaiso) [www].

3 January 2014: "Australia has just sweltered through its hottest year on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology ... 1.20°C above the long-term average of 21.8°C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17°C ..." -- [bom] & [2], [abc] [2].

2-7 January 2014, Melb., Vic.: "Burnley tunnel closure 10pm-5am, 10pm 2nd to 5am 7th, Westgate Outbound closure 11pm-7am, 11pm 2nd to 7am 3rd, and 11pm 3rd to 7am 4th," for resurfacing -- [www], [www].

2-5 January 2014: Summernats, Canberra [www].

1 January 2014: "Fiat S.p.A. ("Fiat") today announced an agreement with the VEBA Trust [for] Fiat North America LLC ("FNA") [to] acquire all of the VEBA Trust's 41.4616% of Chrysler Group not currently held by FNA. ... expected to close on or before January 20, 2014. ..." -- [www].

1 January 2014, .au: "... There was a total of 1,193 deaths on the roads last year, a decrease of more than 8% when compared to the previous year. ..." -- [abc].

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