TOPS NEWS July 2015

Police in Iran have confiscated 47 luxury cars in Tehran because of dangerous driving by the young rich.   


Officers caught a burglar in Birmingham, handcuffed him with his hands behind his back and placed him in the back of a police car.  He managed to steal the car and was later arrested still in the handcuffs.



Piech, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who was made chairman and CEO of the VW Group in 1993 has resigned.  He owns c 10% of Porsche which owns 50% of VW



The RNLI is due an estimated £8 million from the sale of a Ferrari 250GT SWB and a 275 GTB/4 left by Richard Colton, to be auctioned by H&H in October.


Teenager Grant Ferguson has become one of the first in the UK to pass his driving test using a satellite navigation system which is under trial.  



From 2018, under EU laws, all new cars will have to contain tracking devices which alert emergency services in the event of an accident.  


In Venezuela, motorcyclists are being murdered for their bikes which are sold off as spare parts. 

Apparently Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world.


Toyota and Nissan have recalled 6.5 m vehicles worldwide due to exploding air bags.


The cost of changing a car light bulb varies from nothing to £71.99 for a Mazda 3 bulb according to Auto Express magazine.



 Michelin has bought UK tyre retailer Blackcircles for £50 m.


GetTaxi is to rebrand to Gett and become a taxi delivery service which will Gett you what you order. It has 6000 black cabs in London and 2000 in other major cities.

Autosport changed its cover from the traditional red to green for one week to celebrate UK driver Kris Meeke’s win of a WRC round.  Some time ago MotorSport changed from its green to red but soon returned to the traditional colouring.

A Saudi wife, angry that her husband married again, took his pick-up truck on his wedding night and ran up £52,000 fines by jumping red lights, all shown on a video clip.



Goodyear is to close its only UK manufacturing plant,  in Wolverhampton.


The RAC has requested a formal debate in Parliament on the number of deaths and injuries resulting from drivers aged 17 – 19.


Weston-super-Mare has only 1 speed camera but it caught 2,000 motorists in 48 days resulting in £191,200 in fines and actually £4,000 in one day.  It is placed near the Worle Community school.




Elsa Harris was fined £100 for taking both hands off the steering wheel (momentarily) while stopped at a roundabout while eating a banana.


A group of 10 suspected illegal immigrants have been arrested after they were discovered hiding in the back of Maserati high-performance sports cars in Egham, Surrey.  



Ministers have launched an investigation after receiving a complaint that leaders of a Hasidic Jewish sect are trying to prevent women from driving to school.


Mayor Nikolay Grozev of Bulgaria ordered the sprinkling of 50 kilos of sugar on roads to ward off "evil omens" and fight a recent increase in crashes.  The initiative is based on an ancient legend according to which dusting roads with sugar will chase away evil omens.  


Five parking meters have been damaged in a new spate of vandalism in Lewes. Four were attacked with fireworks and a fifth had paint daubed on it. 


Sales of the luxury car made by McLaren rose 67% last year and are expected to increase as McLaren Automotive targets the Asian market.


There are now 39,469 hybrid vehicles on Britains’ roads.  Sales are encouraged by the £5,000 government grant for electric cars. 


Officials in Dublin are proposing to ban all traffic except bikes from the 3 main streets.


Volvo is considering removing the front passenger seat and replacing it with a “lounge console” desk and computer and storage boxes in a car for its Chinese market.  The car would need a chauffeur - only available to the elite.   Volvo is considered one of the safest cars on the road and Chinese motorists bought 81,221 in 2014 – 17.4% of their total sales. Volvo is owned by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Zejiang Geely Holding Group (which also owns the UK black taxi maker).  Volvo expect to sell 89 million vehicles this year with the Chinese taking 28% of them. 


The cost of residential parking permits vary from £750 (Birmingham and Manchester) to £434 (Islington) and 50p in South Ayrshire.


The French government is to ban ear pieces for mobile telephones used in cars—it will also ban all other types of ‘listeners’ which plug into the ear (music, books etc).



Uber taxi has begun a helicopter service from Nice to Cannes - £160 for the 7 minute flight.  A helicopter service already exists from Nice to Monaco.  Uber has suspended its taxi service, operational in 6 French cities, after violent demonstrations in Paris by French taxi drivers who claimed that Uber was cheaper than a licensed taxi.

Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members