Length IS Important, Apparently
All of us here
at dsc believe that length is important – in racing terms
of course - but with new blood covering his usual beat in the British
GT Championship this weekend, the Dep. Ed. was free to seek entertainment
Oddly enough Saturday’s distraction did come
at a racetrack – albeit one of the equine variety, the world
famous Sandown Park, and it also involved an event featuring Audi,
BMW, Porsche, Bentley, GM, Chrysler and Mercedes Benz (amongst others).
It was however as far from sportscar racing as it is automotively
possible to get!
Ladies and Gentlemen
welcome to the first ever UK International Limo Show!
you are greeted by the sight of a scissor-doored, black glass plated,
and altogether “kevved up” version of the Hummer H2.
Just to add to the visual impact however, the ‘car’
is somewhat stretched into a visual feast which cost its proud owner
more than £150,000, complete with Live 8 standard sound system
and a full-size, casino games table.
The Hummer sits very much at one end of the dsc-introduced
limo scoring range which goes
Large Executive Car
the * league were offerings from Bentley - the
new Flying Spur, a 4 door version of the spectacularly successful
Continental GT coupe (who says a marketing strategy based on sportscar
racing doesn’t work!) - the new long wheelbase Audi A8 (very
classy indeed, right), the extremely conservative long wheelbase
BMW 7 series, the Passat look-alike VW Phaeton, complete with self
closing boot (handy for trips to Asda) and the new (to Europe) gangstamobile
ground between * and ** was the Maybach: put simply a big, fat long-wheelbase
Mercedes S Class, with the world’s most tasteless two tone
colour scheme on a luxury car.
On the ** front
it was interesting to see not a single Cadillac, and relatively
few of the popular Lincoln Town Car ‘stretches’. Instead
the market has shifted sharply in favour of the stretched SUV, and
in particular the Hummer H2 and H3, almost a dozen of which were
I should say
at this point that I think the Hummer (in all its forms) is one
of the most pointless trinkets on the road today, a huge car with
a tiny interior – at least stretching it to up to 140 inches
addresses the latter criticism, changing the interior from one which
seats five in discomfort to one which can easily accommodate up
to a dozen, drunken 18 year olds.
is most definitely the thing, with neon-lit bars, zany
leather interiors, plasma screens, laser effects and the like welcoming
the lucky customers. A shame then that most of the passengers will
be so inebriated that they would probably be seeing flashing lights
for most of their evening out, with or without the extra expense
of fitting them to the car!
to the Hummers, the Ford Expedition and Chrysler 300C reign supreme
in this market with additional offerings from Infiniti (that’s
a posh Nissan for the benefit of our European readers) and, astonishingly,
a Porsche Cayenne, proving conclusively that making a car longer
doesn’t improve its looks!
Beyond the place
where ** are appropriate come a small number of REALLY pointless
offerings in the *** category. Firstly the bright pink Lincoln,
clearly designed for the booming Hen Night market.
Now at some
point there is going to be a problem for the limo company that operates
this machine. Sod’s Law surely dictates that sooner or later
there will be a logistics mix-up, and this thing will turn up for
a booking from some likely lads out for a good time ‘up West’.
There are (allegedly) some bars and clubs where major embarrassment
and confusion could result.
there was the utterly pointless, jacked-up, six wheel Hummer: the
finished article looks like nothing so much as a 1960s Saracen Armoured
proving once and for all that the aftermarket specialists can outdo
the mainstream manufacturers, there was the ‘modified’
Chrysler 300C (below).
This car featured
a paintjob that made the Maybach look classy: its proud owner might
well have chrome plated teeth for all I know!
In all seriousness though, as with all trade shows,
this was meant to provide ideas and inspiration, and with that in
mind, I’m going to suggest to the Ed that we embark on a close
season project with his Citroen Xsara Coupe. Glossy black paintwork
and a full-length glass roof, coupled with tasteful dsc graphics
down the side – look for it in the paddock of a sportscar
race next season (or perhaps not eh!).
Deputy Ed. I’ll happily stay in the real world of diesel-motoring
– plus the good old MGB of course. I’m so sad I didn’t
know what Bling was until recently, and I’m not sure I understand
now. But as long as the youngsters can have their lots of show,
spend lots of dough, puke a lot, shag a lot nights out…..
Just a thought – if one of these hits some other youngsters
on a more modest night out in a Fiat Punto, would anyone accept
the blame for the carnage? Probably not: “Well, like, it’s
not my fault, we were only, like, having a good time….”
add ‘like’ to every bloody sentence because? I’d,
like, like to crush every one of the sodding things…. Back
to my real (Victor Meldrew) world. Ed.