Well I was driving down the road the other day and this weird looking car passed me by as we both seeked (sought?) to turn right at the traffic lights. I won’t tell you now what it was but it had an impressive front end and the ugliest arse of any SUV I’ve any seen. In side-on profile it looked like a cross between a London taxi and a hearse. It’s named after a famous diamond I think (which seems like a huge stretch). I’ve never seen it before in my life. Any ideas?
Now I spent 20 years as a marketeer in the telecoms industry heading up numerous activities in sponsorship, PR, dealer and channel management, promotions, literature and PoS, digital activity, website development, corporate hospitality, events and exhibitions, and, not least, advertising. I say not least because advertising usually attracted the largest share of a company’s marketing budget and yet it happened to be the least likeable element of the marketing mix for me. Probably because my personal control was somewhat subjugated by the influence of the expensive advertising agency we usually employed. And they worked hard to keep the whole subject of advertising a dark art only capable of being understood by their extensive team of creatives, media planners, media buyers, client liaison people (bag men and mostly sassy women), talent negotiators, and senior exec’s who only surfaced when it was contract renewal time or when you were being critical of the agency’s work. And then they had a secret hotline to your MD.
Now I read a decent article today by Grace Dent in the i newspaper. She’s a good writer. And the point of her feature was that we should really applaud that knobhead Jeremy Clarkson, for opening up about his ‘issues’ which led him to punch his production minion. She didn’t really buy his explanation but she admired the fact he was so in tune with his inner feelings. Ah, that sensitivity. So Jezzer.
One of the things we noticed in France was the popularity of the Dacia range of vehicles. I guess it’s not too surprising given that Renault bought out the former Romanian state car brand a few years ago. The cars are famously affordable and very much aimed at the budget end of the market. Fair enough and by all accounts they’re doing good business in France, Bulgaria, Turkey and all sorts of places. The vehicles look a little like they’re designed by British Leyland’s Allegro stylists but I’ve nothing against them. Except the names they’ve come up with for the range. Now very old readers will know that I’ve written on the subject of car naming in the far-off past; it’s something of a thing of mine. I especially enjoy really crap vehicle names and the marketing men at Dacia (who must have been recruited from Bucharest’s top hardware and ironmongers store) have come up with some lulus.
Take a look at this beast. A classic Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz, it has become the most expensive car to be sold at public auction after fetching more than £19m. This was the racing car driven by five-times F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio when he clinched the second of his titles in 1954. At almost double the price paid previously for the most expensive car bought at auction, it was sold over the telephone to an undisclosed bidder. Continue reading
Now this is going to be interesting. He gets paid a fortune to drive lovely cars and write engagingly for the Sunday Times. Possibly the best job in the UK. Sigh. Millions of people think he’s great, to Noel Edmonds he’s a true hero but I have to agree with the T-shirt….. presumably given to Jeremy Clarkson by his wife, following the reports in this morning’s press of her husband’s affair. Ah Jezza one of those rare beasts – a Yorkshireman with a bigoted opinion on just about everything and an ego the size of Ilkley Moor. A public school bully who never grew up. A man who actually taunts his Top Gear colleagues with nicknames mocking their small stature and more restrained driving style. He’s a charmless cheating chump but I found myself absolutely in agreement with him earlier today. Surely some mistake?
Well this is the latest in an occasional series highlighting some very awkward red-faced moments in my life. I was reminded of it watching one of those blooper shows on tv earlier today and I promise you it’s absolutely true and very wet….
I was reading one of the travel supplements over the week-end (pretty sure it was in the Independent) about some of the world’s best car journies. I have to admit that I haven’t driven through Asia, the sub-continent, the bulk of Africa, Australia, Russia and Eastern Europe. Oh and South America. So many of the recommendations were a little beyond my personal experience. But I am pleased to say that we had driven a number of the routes and just loved each one of them. I could scratch them from my personal list of things to do before I die but would actually prefer to do them again if chance allowed.