YW chauffeurs Trafalgar “plinther” – episode 1

In YW’s bizarrest story yet, we bring you a Halloween Special story in three episodes: What do you get if you mix a JCB, a monk, and a vampire? Answer: an hour’s worth of 4th Plinth material. We think an explanation is in order… See: Episode 2 , Episode 3 Location: Trafalgar Square London, UK […]

Is it a bird, is it a plane? no it's Adam Lyal (deceased) and his JCB

Is it a bird, is it a plane? no it's Adam Lyal (deceased) and his JCB


In YW’s bizarrest story yet, we bring you a Halloween Special story in three episodes:

What do you get if you mix a JCB, a monk, and a vampire? Answer: an hour’s worth of 4th Plinth material. We think an explanation is in order…

See: Episode 2 , Episode 3
Location: Trafalgar Square London, UK
Date: 21st August 2009, 9am
Problem: Three of four plinths in Trafalgar Square have large statues devoted to the great and good of Britain’s past. The fourth has always been empty.
Solution: Artist Anthony Gormely dreams up the idea of letting anyone fill the vacant spot for an hour. One hundred days long, this experiment in free expression, means 2400 people get to expose their talents (and some exposed more than the organisers bargained for!), and they can do almost anything.

Places were allocated by a lottery to online registered visitors to the www.oneandother.co.uk website. Given the popularity of the event, there was only a one in twelve chance of being selected. Our friends at www.witcherytours.com were drawn, and partly because Yellowwheels wasn’t, but mostly because the whole idea is totally barmey, we offered to chauffeur our ghostly ghouls to the Square, for their 60 minutes of fame.

We chauffeured them in our stately yellowmobile from Paddington station to the Trafalgar Hotel for a breakfast bite. If you think it’s a bit bright outside for a vampire, let us explain that this is Adam Lyal (deceased) and not some fanged Transylvanian. Highwayman Adam Lyal terrified the Scottish suburbs many moons ago, relieving traveling folk of their trinkets, and leaving them a bit frazzled, or even plain dead.

See photo story in this gallery:
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Renault unleashes Megane Renaultsport 250 specs

Renault just spouted out full specs for their forthcoming über-hot-hatch-coupé the Megane Renaultsport 250. This beast threatens to unleash it’s 250 horses with big torque across the powerband. How it hooves the tarmac is up to you, the buyer, as you can choose the Sport chassis, or the more track orientated Cup chassis. When the […]

Megane Renaultsport 250

Megane Renaultsport 250

Renault just spouted out full specs for their forthcoming über-hot-hatch-coupé the Megane Renaultsport 250. This beast threatens to unleash it’s 250 horses with big torque across the powerband. How it hooves the tarmac is up to you, the buyer, as you can choose the Sport chassis, or the more track orientated Cup chassis. When the going is good, 340Nm of torque will muscle the Megane to 60mph from rest in 6.1 seconds. The Cup chassis promises an LSD (Limited Slip Differential) to help you get there without troweling too much turf. Your efforts are more than fleeting though, as the onboard “Renaultsport Monitor” records and displays all sorts of parameters such as g-force, engine power and delivery; even giving you the option to record laptimes. Order yours from November 1st here in the UK from 21,995 UKPounds upwards, with deliveries kicking off in January.

Megane Renaultsport with Trophy racer behind

Megane Renaultsport with Trophy racer behind

There’s been a growing gulf between the 5 door hatches and their 3 door coupe brothers of late. This example taking the breed further: just compare the 250 to a boggo 5 door Megane – They could almost be separate models, with only passing styling addenda to keep the model link. Take this further still and you have the Megane Trophy racer: a spaceframe silhouette mid-engined racecar with barely a Megane standard part.

Megane Trophy racer

Megane Trophy racer

Come back shortly as we will be featuring a fly-on-the-wall docudrool of a Megane Trophy racecar. We followed a “Gentleman” driver strutting his stuff on his raceday at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany. How does a mild-mannered, middle-aged privateer get on in the mad environment of testosterone-adrenaline-motorsport?

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Scooter with a history

We’re not big on scooter’s here at yellowwheels, but this little yellow beastie, caught our attention, lurking menacingly in the paddock at a recent visit to the Nürburgring – and not just because it’s yellow! Look carefully at the rather battle scarred fiberglass and there’s a big marker pen signature scrawled across the nose: we […]

Jean Ragnotti signed scooter

Jean Ragnotti signed scooter

We’re not big on scooter’s here at yellowwheels, but this little yellow beastie, caught our attention, lurking menacingly in the paddock at a recent visit to the Nürburgring – and not just because it’s yellow! Look carefully at the rather battle scarred fiberglass and there’s a big marker pen signature scrawled across the nose: we just had to take a closer look and find out who penned it.
Scooter makes a perfect perch

Scooter makes a perfect perch


ex-Felipe Massa scooter

ex-Felipe Massa scooter


Turns out the scooter belongs to Oregon Racing’s team manager. We cornered him later in the day after spotting him using it as a perch for some internetting. He explained it once belonged to F1 Ace Felipe Massa, wow! The signature though is Jean Ragnotti; totally bigman of rallying. He’s the Star in Renault’s 1980’s rally lineup and still races. So here’s a plea: how about a bit of TLC for well-used but neglected two-wheeler?

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Tomtom Satellite navigation for iPhone – Western Europe review

Tomtom satnav app for iPhone – a practical test of Western European version (version 1.0 on iPhone 3G running OS 3.0) Yellowwheels’s car for the long journey to the Frankfurt Motor Show, via Spa, Nurburgring, and back via Zurich and the Swiss Alps, didn’t have a satnav fitted. The Mercedes E-220 proved to be an […]

Tomtom, iPhone, Merc in Zurich

Tomtom, iPhone, Merc in Zurich

Tomtom satnav app for iPhone – a practical test of Western European version
(version 1.0 on iPhone 3G running OS 3.0)
Yellowwheels’s car for the long journey to the Frankfurt Motor Show, via Spa, Nurburgring, and back via Zurich and the Swiss Alps, didn’t have a satnav fitted. The Mercedes E-220 proved to be an ideal car for the trip, but also a good chance to test the practicality of using a phone based satellite system rather than an OEM built-in or dedicated, stand-alone unit.

The journey:
Our journey started well, with a smooth trip down to Eurotunnel for the short train shuttle to France. The Tomtom had already suggested that the fastest route to Frankfurt was via the motorways of southern Belgium. We followed it’s route feeling confident but, as reported in our initial test of the UK edition of the Tomtom app, the lack of satellite accuracy built into the iPhone can be a problem (now addressed by the availability of the Tomtom car kit).

Tomtom satnav for iPhone – Western Europe test from yellowwheels on Vimeo.

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Smart Hillclimb Special

It takes a bit of commitment and determination to create what no-one has done before. Usually it means that either it’s a dumb idea, or it’s really tricky. So when Jim Gazey decided he’d turn his Smart ForTwo (or ForOne if you like) into a hillclimb car, he had to do some very careful plotting […]

Jim Gazey in his Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Jim Gazey in his Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Smart ForOne hillclimb car

It takes a bit of commitment and determination to create what no-one has done before. Usually it means that either it’s a dumb idea, or it’s really tricky. So when Jim Gazey decided he’d turn his Smart ForTwo (or ForOne if you like) into a hillclimb car, he had to do some very careful plotting and measuring. to squeeze an ex-Toyota MR2 engine into the nano-space where a humble 3-pot normally resides takes some doing. Gut the interior and fit a roll cage, and it doesn’t look, on the face of it, there’ll be much room to squeeze in Jim’s not insubstantial frame. Makes you wonder what happens to the centre of gravity of it all…Reportedly, some heavy right foot at the start line raises the nose dragster-like a full 12 inches off the black stuff. Brave indeed.

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Click Continue to listen to Jim talk about his hillclimb rocket
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Flower Power Smart at Festival

We wonder what jungle juice Silvia Flower is on ? To turn up and decorate your car with a zillion bees, cuddly cuties, and foam flowers, takes some guts! Now factor in her near 70 age and you just know there’s buckets of joie de vivre bubbling up from within this cuddly pre-septuagenarian; you can’t […]

xxxx with her class winning flower-power Smart

Silvia Flower with her class winning flower-power Smart


We wonder what jungle juice Silvia Flower is on ? To turn up and decorate your car with a zillion bees, cuddly cuties, and foam flowers, takes some guts! Now factor in her near 70 age and you just know there’s buckets of joie de vivre bubbling up from within this cuddly pre-septuagenarian; you can’t help wondering if her house, garage and garden are similarly adorned.

click on arrows to listen to sound clips

YW: Go on then Silvia, we think we need an insight – fire away !

YW: Bonkers then, and a tiger in her tank…But maybe it’s all worth it if you come home with a first prize. What category did you win?

Reassuringly, she promises that she actually puts her bike on the bike rack, and decorates the car at the show. So maybe it takes special events such as the Smart Festival to let inhibitions dissolve and creativity rise to the surface. Bring on Smart-Fest 2010….!
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Portsmouth to Brooklands – a Smart convoy

How do you get from Portsmouth to Brooklands in 40 seconds ? Answer you can’t but you can watch it. Firstly you need 100 Smarts, a time-lapse camera, and some video editing software (in this case Final Cut Express) Portsmouth to Brooklands Smartly in 40 seconds from yellowwheels on Vimeo. We met for bacon butties […]

How do you get from Portsmouth to Brooklands in 40 seconds ? Answer you can’t but you can watch it. Firstly you need 100 Smarts, a time-lapse camera, and some video editing software (in this case Final Cut Express)

Portsmouth to Brooklands Smartly in 40 seconds from yellowwheels on Vimeo.

Smart Crossblade leads the convoy

Smart Crossblade leads the convoy

We met for bacon butties at some un-godly hour down at Smart of Portsmouth. After a drivers briefing, which was basically “head north on the A3, keep to speed limits, and no balloons hanging out of cars”, we arranged to fix a camera on the roll bar of a demonstrator driven by Emma. Photo gear sorted and the queue for butties was dwindling, but already it was time to mount our chariots. No matter, we rush breakfast-less for some starting grid pix and hop aboard for the convoy to Mercedes World, where the 2009 Smart Festival is underway. 10-4 rubber ducky.

Read on for more piccies and story
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Electric E-Wolf e-1 racer

Oooh, this looks interesting ! An electric single seater racer with road legal options. We hope this isn’t vaporware, and certainly, the acceleration of the Tesla Roadster proves that blistering performance is possible in an electrocar. With a lightweight carbon/aluminum chassis it’s gonna be quick, although e-Wolf only claim a sub 5 second sub 0-100kph. […]

e-Wolf electric racer E1

e-Wolf electric racer E1


Oooh, this looks interesting ! An electric single seater racer with road legal options. We hope this isn’t vaporware, and certainly, the acceleration of the Tesla Roadster proves that blistering performance is possible in an electrocar. With a lightweight carbon/aluminum chassis it’s gonna be quick, although e-Wolf only claim a sub 5 second sub 0-100kph. Top speed is claimed to be limited to 250kph suggesting that there would be more to come.

E-Wolf E-2 electric sportscar

e-Wolf e2 electric sportscar

The idea is that e-Wolf launch the E-1 single seater, and follow it up with the E-2 sportscar/supercar. Li-Tec batteries appear to be the key to their performance and range. Read on for more details

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Smart ForTwo Highstyle

It must be Smart week, as no sooner had we published the Brabus Tailor Made story, they released news of a plush high-end model, deliciously flavoured in chocolate brown metallic paint. The Highstyle edition is limited to a run of 215 cars for the UK, with top of the range features and engine. Check out […]

It

Smart ForTwo Highlife

Smart ForTwo Highstyle

must be Smart week, as no sooner had we published the Brabus Tailor Made story, they released news of a plush high-end model, deliciously flavoured in chocolate brown metallic paint. The Highstyle edition is limited to a run of 215 cars for the UK, with top of the range features and engine. Check out the interior: the seats are covered in metallic leather (!) with appropriate bands of chocolate (eclair?). Chocoholics well catered for then, but better have a large latte to wash all that down. Just don’t leave it the sun: is that why there’s no convertible version ?!

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Smart add Brabus “Tailor Made” bespoke styling

Fancy ordering a wild Smart this Autumn? Brabus has a new range of styling and customer options for you to order. There’s something special about Smarts: they appear to transcend normal car buying patterns, and instill a loyalty and pride beyond their price. If you need evidence of this, come back here shortly when we’ll […]

Brabus Smarts from the Tailor Made range

Brabus Smarts from the Tailor Made range


Cambell Blue Brabus Smart sporting British flag

Campbell Blue Brabus Smart sporting British flag


Balloon race at Smart Festival 2009

Balloon race at Smart Festival 2009

Fancy ordering a wild Smart this Autumn? Brabus has a new range of styling and customer options for you to order. There’s something special about Smarts: they appear to transcend normal car buying patterns, and instill a loyalty and pride beyond their price.
If you need evidence of this, come back here shortly when we’ll have a flowery report of our day at the 2009 Smart Festival. Smart used the occasion to launch it’s “Tailor Made” range of Brabus themed specials. These are not just trim upgrades, but full panel colour choices and interior finishes with themed options, such as the “Campbell Blue” shown here, celebrating the iconic blue of the land speed record cars built and tested at the Brooklands workshops right next to Mercedes World; venue of the Smart Festival. Choose your wheels and spoilers, (full screen) satnav, exterior downlighters, daylight running lights, you name it. You can even have a union jack embroidered in your leather seats to go with your German British car. Lastly spec your gear knob. These must be extra special, as someone swiped one off the green display car, right during the Festival !

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