TOPS NEWS March 2008


Less than 5% of vehicles are running on correctly inflated tyres according to a study. In cold weather the average tyre loses about 1 psi for every 10º drop in temperature.

Bentley had its best sales year with 2,097 sold in the UK.

Morgan has unveiled the Lifecar which is hydrogen powered giving 150 mpg.

A £75,000 BMW police car with high-tech surveillance equipment and sophisticated electronic locks and immobilisers was stolen in Berlin when officers left it unlocked with the key in the ignition.

Romanian traffic police are taking ballet classes to help them work more gracefully.

Porsche is to challenge the congestion charge tax increase in London on the grounds that the Mayor’s plans are ineffective and unfair. If he does not change his position, they will apply for judicial review. Further information is available on

Domenico Reviglio, owner of the Nardo track has bought the Italian coachbuilder Bertone.
Planning permission has been granted for Shell to re-build the original Shell Station at Woad Corner near Newport Pagnell.

Carroll Shelby has started his own club in Las Vegas, called Team Shelby and withdrawn his recognition of the Shelby American Automobile Club, requesting them to cease and desist using any of Shelby’s intellectual properties. The SAAC are unhappy.

Former Porsche engineer Peter Maskus has built The Acabion GTBO which has the power-to-weight ratio of a F1 car and can reach 300 mph in 30 seconds. Developed in Switzerland the Acabion is a road vehicle using jet fighter technology and a turbo charged engine, weighs 700 lb and is likely to be £1.5 million.

New regulations allow parking wardens to issue tickets without having to put them on the windscreen. They can be issued by post on the evidence of the warden who merely has to prove they observed an offence, and CCTV cameras are to be used to enforce parking restrictions with Councils allowed to use video footage to hand out fines where traffic wardens have failed to issue tickets in person.

Norwich City Council is to implement parking charges based on the length of a car.

Russia is expected to be Europe’s biggest car market within 4 years. Sales soared 57% last year to £25 billion.

A Swiss company says it has invented the world's first underwater car - and it's a convertible. The Rinspeed sQuba is a road-worthy vehicle that is capable of diving to a depth of 33 feet. The one-off concept car is not for sale, but it cost around £750,000 to build.

Drivers on the Orkney Islands have been told it is time to stop leaving their keys in parked cars as 60 cars have been stolen over the last seven years.

The BRDC has released the first pictures of what it hopes the new pit and paddock complex at Silverstone will look like if the club gets planning permission to push ahead with its redevelopment.

An Australian firm has invented a five-wheeled bicycle the StreetSurfer with a traditional frame and rear wheel - the four front wheels make trick jumps easier – price £399.

Italian police have broken up a ring selling fake Ferrari cars for a fraction of the real price. Cars were modified to look like Ferrari classics which went out of production in the late 1980s. They used body parts from various cars of other makes. 21 cars were confiscated in Sicilian garages.

40 of Rome’s top restaurants have complained that the car parking ban in the city center is preventing Romans from eating out. Milan is charging 10 euros for a vehicle to enter the city – 43 electric gates have been put in place around 3 square miles of the city center.

Hampshire County Council is to scrap 42 signs and move another 46 on the A32 where drivers complain that the 283 signs on a 10-mile stretch are confusing.

Transport for London now employs 33 officials to deal with the media costing £2,491,226 up from £858,900 in 2003/4.

Last year the EU has decreed that bus drivers must not do more than 31 miles before having a rest. This has resulted in chaos in urban country areas.

A German lorry driver escaped a fine for driving while using a mobile phone, claiming he was using it as an ear warmer. The court accepted his claim after he produced an itemised telephone bill proving he had not been using the phone at the time he was stopped.

Speed limits of 15 mph could be introduced on major roads in the new “eco-towns” according to the housing minister.

From April 2.5% of all fuel sold at British pumps must be derived from biofuels to reduce the impact of fossil fuel on climate change but scientists fear it could have the opposite effect.

A milkman had his electric float clamped while on his rounds in Bristol.

A1GP will demonstrate their cars in Regent Street and on to Waterloo Place on April 27th. (The roads will be closed).

Moses Rogers from Florida has been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after shouting an ‘obscene statement’ at a dog in a police car “causing the dog’s behaviour to become overloaded, tormenting the dog.”

The controversial Jean-Marie Balestre has died at the age of 86. For 13 years, until he was toppled by Max Mosley, he was the most powerful man in the motor sport world, as president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

Eleven million smart cards have been issued to give free bus travel for the over-60s - however many buses are not yet equipped to read them.

Joe Harmon, a US designer, is working on the world's first wooden supercar, The Splinthe. It is 15 ft long and made from maple, plywood and MDF with a 6-speed gearbox and a 4.6 litre petrol engine capable of 240 mph. Mr Harmon said: "Wood is a truly amazing material to work with. It has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminum or steel, and it possesses a versatility that makes many different types of construction techniques possible but I doubt it would ever be commercially viable."

A London belly dancer was let off after parking on a double yellow line with her engine running to keep her snakes warm. She said she had to keep them cosy so they would not fall asleep before she took them on stage for her act.

Saudi Arabia is planning to lift its ban on women drivers later this year.

According to the F1 press, Max Mosley has apologised after allegedly being caught embroiled in a Nazi-style sex orgy and insisted he has no intention of standing down as FIA president. According to Mosley, "a covert investigation of my private life and background has been undertaken, for reasons and clients as yet unknown"… Four of the main F1 teams have tried to distance themselves from the scandal and Mosley has been barred from visiting Bahrain for the GP this weekend.

An advertisement by BMW currently appearing in the National Press. ‘From the shark fin aerial to the aerodynamic wheels, a BMW is as pleasing to look at as it is to drive. And thanks to our Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system, it’s designed to stay that way long after leaving the forecourt… prevents any dog from relieving itself on the car by administering an immediate and relatively pain-free, electric shock………’

Antonio Boparan Singh, the son of one of Britain's richest couples has become the first person in Britain to be convicted of a motoring offence on the strength of his car's "black box" recorder. Technical information stored in the device fitted in the Range Rover Sport's air bag was downloaded and used to prosecute.

Edited by Trisha Pilkington