TOPS NEWS July 2007

F1 Nico Rosberg is regarded as German as he lives there and does not speak his mother tongue.

Bonhams have opened an office in Dubai and HGPCA sponsors Arbuthnot Latham are to open a bank there and also in Hong Kong.

Bernie Ecclestone has said he wants the British Government to pay for the British Grand Prix.  Singapore and Valencia are new F1 races for 2008 and in 2009 India - at a newly built circuit in Delhi.

Elly Beinhorn Rosemeyer, celebrated aviatrix, and wife of Auto Union Grand Prix driver Bernd Rosemeyer, has celebrated her 100th birthday.

The authorities in Bahrain are still tracking down 700 people who are now living illegally inside the country, having entered the Gulf state on F1 visas. The same thing happened last year – they were all prostitutes.

When Porsche raised its stake in VW above 30% they were forced (by German law) to make a public takeover bid which they did but at £14 per share lower than market value.  As the bid was refused they may now acquire a further 20% without disclosing the amount they hold.

The four millionth Land Rover has been made in the W. Midlands. 

Property tycoon Frank Mountain has issued a High Court writ, claiming a reckless bus driver was to blame for the damage to his Enzo Ferrari.

George McDicken, a car clamper accused of intimidating motorists in Haworth, W. Yorkshire, is the first in Britain to get an ASBO.

A motorist wanting £500 to respray his Ford Capri applied for National Lottery funding but was actually turned down.

A German mistook a subway entrance for an underground car park and caused chaos when her VW Beetle got stuck on the stairs. 

The price of a license to operate a New York taxi cab hit a record $600,000 in May, according to a lending company which financed the purchase.  New York has about 13,000 yellow cabs.  

Iran is to begin making bicycles with a cabin for women, which will conceal half of the body.

A Slovenian man survived a fall from the 12th floor of a block of flats when he landed on a Smart car 120 ft below.

Tour Britannia, has been given permission to run part of its route through Windsor Great Park adjoining Windsor Castle which is the largest inhabited castle in the world, and the oldest in continuous occupation. 

Blundering contractors have been ordered to repaint wonky road markings which they painted in the dark on the A337 Lyndhurst to Cadnam road in the New Forest.  

A broken camera has been clocking drivers at 10 times their real speed.

After a passionate debate the Swiss parliament finally voted to allow motor racing, (banned after the ‘55 Le Mans crash), but there is still a long way to go. 

Clumsy police drivers have caused £2.3m in repairs for accidents when reversing their patrol cars. A total of 105 police staff were hurt in the prangs between 2004 and 2006.  

The Italian press reports that Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore is currently in dispute with magistrates in Milan who want to have a chat with him about David Mills, the English lawyer who is accused of having accepted a bribe of $600,000 from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Robin Naylor, a lorry driver, arrived home to find himself locked out after the Halifax Bank repossessed the wrong house, changed the locks, disconnected the water, unplugged all electrical items and put his clothes in bin bags out in the street with his car.  "We are very sorry. It was a human error.” 

An Islington Council clamping van was hoisted on to a Transport for London tow truck because it had been parked in a bus stop. But in revenge, a council traffic warden slapped a parking ticket on the tow truck which was parked on a double red line.  Onlookers clapped and cheered as the tit-for-tat debacle unfolded.  Last year Islington Council issued motorists with 210,685 parking tickets, 16,620 'moving traffic fines' for offences caught on camera, and 43,517 for bus lane offences. Transport for London issued 155,282 bus lane fines and 55,842 'moving traffic fines'. 

£33m was spent on filling 589,000 potholes last year but UK motorists spent c £320m repairing vehicles damaged by the potholes.  There is a new “anti-ageing” asphalt which the Highways Agency intend to use but it only stops things getting worse.

There is a move, backed by the RAC, to ‘name and shame’ drink drivers.

Kensington & Chelsea has set an annual minimum target of 306,000 parking tickets and 15,000 clampings.

A driver who was high on cocaine drove over and destroyed an entire cornfield (and 4 police cars) in an attempt to escape from the police in Holland.

A researcher has been given a speeding ticket in Somerset - despite living in Germany.  Christopher Reynolds, faces a £60 fine and penalty points unless he can prove he was not at the wheel.  The DVLA said "If a driver says he was out of the country he has to prove he was not driving."

An 11-year-old girl was charged with drunken driving after leading police on a chase at 100 mph.  She turned the car over in an Alabama seaside town.

Drivers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, one of Canada's worst cities for car thefts, will have to install electronic immobilizers on new or "high-risk" cars in order to qualify for insurance.

Jack Odell has died.  He started making Matchbox models when his daughter was only allowed to take toys to school which would fit into a matchbox.  His first was a miniature road roller.  He later made Lledo models (his name backwards).

The world's oldest working steam car La Marquise is expected to fetch c £1 million at auction.  It was built in 1884 for the Count De Dion.

Gordon Murray, designer of the Brabham and McLaren F1 cars, has launched his own car company with a plan to make a radical new small car that will repay its £5000 cost within 4 years. 

Derrick Thomas has just received a speeding ticket for a Mercedes he has never owned. The letter was postmarked December 1998. 

Drivers in Denmark can insure themselves against speeding fines and parking tickets under a new scheme launched by the Danish Automobile Association.

50 police drivers were fined for speeding in the Avon and Somerset force area last year. In 9 out of 10 cases the penalty was cancelled.

Donington Park has been severely criticized by the BTCC for its failure to promote the July event which is its biggest car meeting.    

F1 has failed to copyright ‘F1’ for its own exclusive use.

RM auctioneers are to sell over 50 cars from Bernie Ecclestone’s private collection in their London auction.

Britain’s motorway services are the most expensive and generally the dirtiest in Europe says the AA.

An engineering company which advises on sustainable transport projects has banned its staff from bicycling because it is too dangerous.

Motorcyclists in Plymouth are to be allowed to use the bus lanes.

National Tyres, the largest independent fast-fit specialist in the UK has been put up for sale at c £100m.

The Royal Mail is producing a series of six stamps to celebrate British success in F1.  Moss, Hill, Clark, Stewart, Hunt and Mansell.

The BRDC members have approved its Silverstone redevelopment plan. Silverstone offered free admission for spectators to the August BDC meeting.  There were 20 red flagged races/practices at the 750 Motor Club event at Brands Hatch (Classic Silverstone weekend).

Alicja Ziemowit, a Pole, came back from holiday to find the local council had built a traffic island and a new road in her back garden. She was told a change in the law meant local council officials could use private land for road building without consent and without paying compensation. "I don't know why she is complaining, it is not a busy road, and she can still get to the back of her garden quite easily."

Abridged version of newletter sent to members