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 elsewhere.

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!

Upon arrival, you are greeted by the sight of a scissor-doored, black glass plated, and altogether “kevved up” version of the Hummer H2.

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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

** - Blingmobile

*** - BLIIIIINNGGGGMOBILE

dailysportscar.comIn 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 Chrysler 300C.

Covering the 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 on show.

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.

Bling 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!

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In addition 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!

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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.

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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.

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dailysportscar.comThen there was the utterly pointless, jacked-up, six wheel Hummer: the finished article looks like nothing so much as a 1960s Saracen Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Finally, and 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!

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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!).
GG

Thank you 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….”

And you 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.

 

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