Racecar

By Vince – Written in 1994 – Dedicated to Aryton Senna

It’s a week since first they came to this place the circus claims.
Fired up passion growing strong. Now the climax won’t be long.
Tens of thousands take their place to cheer on their chosen ace.
With ad. men selling top rate places to advertise their companies graces.

Pole man sits on the front row. Cameras focus on the show.
Eight hundred horses singing loud to a tune to please the crowd.
Noise increases on the grid as final checks reach fever pitch.
Greens release two dozen steeds and the rubber feet do bleed.

A multi-million-power game guarantees the man his fame.
Progress verses nerves so hard in the world of racing cars.

The first corner is a squeeze. Only four escape the siege.
With the start again its all clear but the last ones pay so dear.
Fifteen straights without a change, then an oil seal makes a claim.
Gives a chance to two more aces, for three circuits changing places.

A multi-million-power game guarantees the man his fame.
Progress verses nerves so hard in the world of racing cars.

More back markers, slipstreamed straights. Tyres and fuel in ten point eight.
Fastest lap is a new crown as the times come tumbling down.
Carbon fibre body getting light. Black and white comes into sight.
The gathered crowds roar out his name and another takes his fame.

A multi-million-power game guarantees the man his fame.
Progress verses nerves so hard in the world of racing cars.

A multi-million-power game guarantees the man his fame.
Progress verses nerves so hard in the world of racing cars.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the songs section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.035 dated 11 Dec 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts the author’s two Formula 1 model racing cars. A 2002 season Jaguar Racing Team R3 and a BMW Williams FW24 photographed by the author in 2005. It was added to the web site in Version 5.035 dated 11 Dec 2017.

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LCD Car Windows

The new black in car windows

Maybe it’s because I wear glasses and so cannot instantly pick up the oh-so-fashionable Oakleys everytime the sun comes out.

Maybe because I hate it when all those pillocks keep their sunvisors down long into the evening, or later.  Or forever.

Or is it just that I hate that time in a winter’s evening when the sun is right in your face, just above the steering wheel rim.

I think we need to do something about sunny days.

Why not use LCD technology to automatically black out car windows on a summers day?

It’s a well-known science, relatively cheap and controllable. Look at the watch on your wrist (no, not you Mr. Breitling).  Control could be light sensitive, or switched by yet another button with a strange logo on the dashboard.

Just imagine you’ve been out cruising all night, so your windows are clear.  It’s early morning and you are thinking of an excuse to tell the boss that you need a day off.  You know, dead grannies, leaves on the line, working from home; that sort of thing.  When you pull up next to a car and it’s the man-boss himself, on his way to work.

Just flick the switch and your car becomes a haven of seclusion.  Or a Mafia staff car.  Yes, you too could look like a reclusive film star.  In your twenty-six year old Datsun Cherry.

There is only one problem as far as I can tell.  Legislation would prevent the technology being applied to front windscreens, so all the problems listed above would still irritate me.

I guess I’m gonna have to get that Laser Surgery done.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.025 dated 27 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image was added in Version 5.025 27 Nov 2017.  It depicts a blue Range Rover with blacked out windows, taken by the author in April 2012.  That is, the photo was taken, not the car.  That would be theft. And naughty.

Fuels

Oil be seeing you. Oilways

Do you consider yourself green?

I suppose the answer would be yes if you are either a resident of the planet Nerasis (sector 45AF.789 in the Zarciod Belt, turn right past Uranus and it’s only a block or two away) or a pedal cycling, anally retentive killjoy with a huge chip on your shoulder. Either way, you ain’t gonna like what I say.

Fossil fuels. Burn ’em.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a turbo charged V8 with nitrous injection.

I overtake people on the pavement (that’s the sidewalk to all you Yanks) in the same way that I pass them on the road. Life is for living and we today are fortunate to have been blessed with the black stuff.

Oil. Fantastic product, all that energy easily stored and able to take us on adrenaline fuelled trips that crack cocaine would struggle to produce. I’m a petrol junkie.

Hold it old chap, I hear you politely say. What about the resource issue?

If we all go around mindlessly using these decomposed dinosaur reservoirs then there won’t be any left for the next generation. Stuff them! It doesn’t matter. If we didn’t have oil we would invent some other way of getting our automotive kicks and so will the next generation.

Let’s pass on something useful – The ability to have fun.

Just one reservation about oil. Why did someone invent Diesel, then think it might be a good idea to use it in cars? Beats me.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.017 10 Nov 2017
Article first published in Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The unedited content represents a view held at the time, long before the adoption of powerful electric or hybrid vehicles and modern, clean diesel engines
The image depicts a toy Shell classic petrol pump, circa 1970, taken in December 2002 and was added on 10 Nov 2017

Pod 013 Alphacar

Welcome to another episode of the vinceunlimited podcast.

In this episode Vince tells a tale of all the cars he’s had using the medium of artistic dance. Only verbally.

This is a podcast from the vinceunlimited series of podcasts and can be had here or on iTunes. Lucky you.

This podcast was written and performed by Vince, recorded on an iPhone via the Mobile Podcaster App and uploaded direct to WordPress from within the App to vinceunlimited.wordpress.com

Pod 013 Alphacar

Pod 008 Slowped

Welcome to another episode of the vinceunlimited podcast.

In this episode Vince recounts his first vehicle, a bright red Italian moped that was actually his brothers.

He then compares it to his friends rides and describes a couple of ‘incidents’

This is a podcast from the vinceunlimited series of podcasts

This podcast was written and performed by Vince, recorded on an iPhone via the Mobile Podcaster App and uploaded direct to WordPress from within the App to vinceunlimited.wordpress.com The podcast can be subscribed to via iTunes, just search vinceunlimited

Pod 008 Slowped

Pod 006 Characters

Welcome to another episode of the vinceunlimited podcast.

In a change to the 10 minute narrative Vince brings you pieces from his friends Bob and Hans making up a convenient 10 minute narrative.

Each guest brings their special take on their specialist subject.

Just don’t update Wikipedia.

This is a podcast from the vinceunlimited series of podcasts. Nothing more. Nothing less.

This podcast was written and performed by Vince, recorded on an iPhone via the Mobile Podcaster App and uploaded direct to WordPress from within the App to vinceunlimited.wordpress.com. Feel free to subscribe via iTunes and leave feedback for others. Don’t be selfish and keep it all to yourself.

Pod 006 Characters

Pod 005 Lanserguided

Welcome to another episode of the vinceunlimited podcast.

In this episode Vince finds a feature not on the spec sheet of a new Mercedes-Benz S Class then attempts to find ways of going quicker safely before considering the implications of the self driving vehicles of the future

This is a podcast from the vinceunlimited series of podcasts. Which will come as no surprise to the regular listeners

This podcast was written and performed by Vince, recorded on an iPhone via the Mobile Podcaster App and uploaded direct to WordPress from within the App to vinceunlimited.wordpress.com

Pod 005 Lanserguided

Pod 002 Electrohead

Welcome to another episode of the vinceunlimited podcast. In this podcast Vince sets off on a journey with you telling amusing stories about the cars he likes and dislikes along the way

This is another podcast from the vinceunlimited series of podcasts. When it’s loaded click the little arrow on the left to set it off

This podcast was written and performed by Vince, recorded on an iPhone via the Mobile Podcaster App and uploaded direct to WordPress from within the App to vinceunlimited.wordpress.com

Pod 002 Electrohead

Minnie’s Mini’s Mini

The two subjects that most interest me at the moment are cars and computers and they do so for much the same reason.

Both technologies are full of shiny new things promising thrilling, interactive experiences barely limited by previous experience. And integration of the two is becoming closer. Or more specifically, the computery stuff is getting more and more wedged in the cars, as I’ve yet to see anyone promising actual reality travel on a mobile phone chassis.

The self-park, auto-cruise, blind-spot, iPod-connected, SatNav world of our auto-world is coming along nicely. However whilst a new phone, laptop or operating system is muted a few months ahead of release new cars take much longer to develop, possibly years. The cost of getting a chassis wrong is much greater than accidentally releasing a heavy, spiky edged laptop in purple that fails to attract an audience. If your latest hatchback is a dog the whole breed can suffer and we do not forgive easily [do we poor Lancia].

But cars are increasingly having to differentiate themselves by their included technology, perhaps because they find it so difficult to distinguish themselves in the homogenous world of exterior automotive design.

As an example, my car, a year 2000 Jaguar, could be an all time classic because the dials and gauges on display look like they developed glacially from a WWII Spitfire but the simple green-LED trip computer, inbuilt text only SatNav and multi-CD changer date it, by sheer coincidence, to around the year 2000. No Bluetoothing, WiFi enabled MP3s here. Electro-technology develops at a vastly different speed than mechanical stuff.

So my first thought was why not combine the two. It’s happening a little bit with iPod connections in almost every new car, allowing a feed of your latest downloaded beats into the built in car speakers. But this cable connector dangles the device on the seat next to you so when the new MapApp is opened it’s hardly conducive to safe viewing.

As I’ve said some now incorporate all that SatNavery, iPoddery and SeatAdjustery into their colourful, dash mounted, fingerprinty, widescreen displays but in a decade or less won’t they seem just a little bit, say, 2012ish.

The answer lies in an updatable colourful, dash mounted, fingerprinty, widescreen display that can move with the times. And the computer world is conveniently supplying these already.

Initially the iPad seemed the answer. A popular and current, ever customisable device that has secured a solid foothold in the market. But few cars could afford the dash space for a plug-in behemoth the size of a small plate of kippers. Then Apple released the Mini. All the adaptability of a full sized tablet almost designed to fit in a reasonable dash opening.

If you were currently launching your latest Sports Utility GTi 4 x 4 convertible Sportwagon hatch wouldn’t it make sense to let Apple or even others such as Samsung do the flatscreen bit for you so you can concentrate on the important things like finding ever more inventive ways to incorporate cup-holders.

Your new dash-tablet could be programmed to interact with your car in ever more cunning ways, such as service/sensor monitoring, lap timing and cheap fuel finding. And there are a host of third parties that will do the awkward development bit of this for you. Just charge a fee for your API integration. Simples.

OK you will have to allow some small flexibility over choice of device that will fit in, in case your Audi owner went for Android, your Mercedes customer wanted a Mac or your Westfield’s chap wanted a Windows device if they choose to. OK silly point, no one who buys a car with the intention of wearing a flat cap will want a screen that does more than show the oil pressure warning lamp.

Just one caveat. When I specified my Jaguar I could have been at the forefront of this technology/car interfacing. But right now my car would be fitted with a great plug in Motorola StarTAC flip-phone. And who wants one of those today?

Birth Of A Car

Birth of a car

A remarkable thing happened two days ago. I saw a TV advert for a car I had not previously seen. No, not an unforeseen TV advert. They happen frequently. Not frequently enough to make the programme intermissions tolerable but frequently enough to make my opening gambit a little more interesting. No, it was the car I couldn’t recall seeing before.

Now this may be relatively common to many of you. After all that is one of the three key objectives of advertisements, to introduce new things and you are forgiven for not being as interested in new cars as I am. Few are.

In case you were wondering what the other two main advertising objectives are, the second is the necessity to ingrain concepts, products and trademarks into our subconscious. After all we all know beans, hamburgers and replacement glazing products exist. But just as importantly you are already subconsciously thinking Cross & Blackwell, Wendy’s and that annoying, shouty man who knocks over the window panes. Weren’t you?

The third key element in advertising is the attempt to make you purchase that which you had no intention to do so. Chocolate, trips to the Isle of Wight and the unnecessary replacement of perfectly good settees fall into this category.

I too am subjected to many new things in advertising, be they two for ones, money squirrelling or feminine hygiene products only an engineering graduate could master. Although I think I’ve acquired all knowledge a man ever needs to know about comparing insurance rates. However it is rare that I ever see a TV advert for a car that I had not seen before.

I am a confirmed petrol head. In the past I have confessed more to worshipping at the feet of Clarkson than showing any affinity for God, Buddha, Ganesh or any of the other normal deities. And I use a diverse method of feeding my brain so consume much news, commentary and opinion from a wide range of sources. I really should have it all covered before an expensive TV advert is launched.

After all a car is not cracked out of an egg suddenly. It does not emerge from a birth canal. It isn’t dropped from an alien spacecraft. No, it is conceived, presented in an wildly, exaggerated form, discussed and touted long before spanner meets galvanised panel. And at each process the media is fed snippets and prose to both build the tension and test the theory. And my collated media covers all this with animated glory.

Yet yesterday I saw a vehicle I had never set eyes on before. And it wasn’t even one of those dreary, soulless, forgetful Korean products either. This was a curvaceous sports coupe. And not even from a tinpot niche maker. This was from one of Japan’s mega machine suppliers.

In truth the car was already in my radar scope. It was on the front page of TopGear magazine which was given to me the day before. I had not yet had a chance to read this so it had languished in the magazine rack. I suspect it was also in the car blog I follow but work has prevented much blog reading lately. So it got through my net.

By now you may be wondering what this magical beast was. That is if you’re not wondering when this diatribe will eventually end. But I have chosen not to do the final reveal as it isn’t really the point. The denouement should not weaken the preceding opinions and in this case the mystery will be more tantalising. Whether your head is made of petrol or not.

Apart from that I saw another one today.