TOPS NEWS November 2010


Stanley Mann lost the court case brought against him by Mrs Brewer who bought his 1930 Bentley for £425,000.  However when she tried to sell it, the suggested price was only £300,000.  According to Judge Anthony Thornton QC, the car should not have been described as a 1930 Bentley Speed Six car and Mann has been told to pay her £94,000 and the court costs of apx. £300,000.  Mann said “It's the first time I've been in court and I still don't know why.”

Emma Clark and David Winter-Bates had to pay a £114 fine after getting off a train two stops early.  A spokesperson for Stagecoach, which owns SW Trains, said the couple had been fined because they were using discounted tickets, costing £6, which do not allow passengers to break their journey.  AND university professor Martyn Evans was also charged an extra £155 for a train journey - because he got off one stop early. 

The British millionaire businessman Jimi Heselden who owned the firm Segway was found dead at the bottom of a cliff with one of the two-wheeled electric scooters near his body.


A road safety poster has been put on a 90º corner saying “Oiiiii eyes on the road” and continues in smaller test “What’s so important?  Concentrate on the road.”

Baroness Ashton’s European diplomatic corps plans to spend £32.8 million on 150 bullet-proof limousines for its staff.

A John Deere 6630 tractor has been given a police flashing blue light, to help tackle crime in rural areas.  NFU regional director Richard Hezlet said "Farm tractors and implements seem to be at the top of thieves' shopping lists at the moment, so NFU is delighted to support Lincolnshire Police in its drive to make farmers aware of how they can better protect their farms.”

Stuart Wallis spent 3 months turning a clapped-out 1976 Land Rover into a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  The vehicle features a 1,000 watt amplifier under the bonnet and loudspeakers as well as 8 sets of air horns to create animal noises and police sirens.

Bentley has recalled 1,436 Brooklands, Azure and Arnage models because of fears that the ‘Flying B’ mascot on the bonnet may fail to retract in a crash.

Michael Burn who recently died aged 97 was the ghost writer for the history of Brooklands book Wheels Take Wings published in 1933.   His obituary was published in The Times and Telegraph on September 7th – it is worth reading.

Bonhams' 2010 Revival sale grossed over £3 million.  RM’s London October sale grossed £19,417,790 with the James Bond Aston reaching £2,912,000. 

A cross between a skateboard and a tank is being touted as the transport of the future for soldiers in war zones.  The DTV Shredder's twin tank tracks and powerful 200 cc engine mean it can handle almost any terrain at high speeds.  BPG Werks say its low centre of gravity "makes it ideal for reconnaissance, rescue/recovery, mobile surveillance, and medical evacuation operations". It can be equipped with machine-guns and can be operated remotely.  

The diesel Passat Bluemotion broke the Guinness World Record by covering 1,531 miles without stopping to refuel.   Fuel consumption 90 mpg with a 1.6 litre engine.  A British driver covering 10,000 miles a year would need to refuel just 7 times a year, or once every 52 days. 

After a gap of almost 60 years Morgan, the last surviving British car manufacturer, is building a new three-wheeler in a recreation of the classic model.  The new cars are expected to be built in Malvern and feature a modern 1,100 cc or 1,000 cc v-twin version of the original JAP engine, generating 90 bhp.   Price apx. £46,000.

Car manufacturer BMW has announced that it will recall around 350,000 luxury cars worldwide, following the discovery of faults with the braking system. A total of 10,522 BMW and 905 Rolls Royce cars are affected in the UK.

To raise money for the Air Ambulance car dealer Chris Carey charged £15 for the chance to drive his Ferrari 360 Spider, but the car was driven into a tree, burst into flames and was written off.  Carey fraudulently claimed on his insurance saying he had been driving. He was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work.

Named the BOND (Built of Notorious Deterrents), this bike, was displayed at  the Cycle Show at Earls Court.  It has a caterpillar track for smooth riding over potholed roads.  The flame-thrower was included as cyclists named ''cars and lorries passing too close'' as their number one complaint.  For those worried about theft the bike is fitted with an ejector seat to catch out any thief that gets past a conventional lock. For cold weather conditions the bike carries a ski blade that can be interchanged with the front wheel. 

A Park & Ride site near a Tesco store in Barnsley has been empty and unused for a year because the roads are too congested for buses to reach it.


Lady Bowden whose late husband’s family started Raleigh Cycles has been jailed for 12 weeks for falsely claiming £50,000 in housing benefit.

John Massaro was fined £70 for using ‘camera-proof’ carbon graphite number-plates on his Jaguar.

Oxfordshire is to reactivate its speed cameras due to an 88% increase in drivers speeding past the defunct cameras.

Lancashire County Council has been encouraging residents to use bicycles whilst spending £10.2 million on travel for its staff.

The organisation which operates speed cameras in Devon & Cornwall is due to close in March 2011 due to lack of government funding.

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi's recently opened theme park, now has the fastest roller-coaster in the world, recreating the sensation of a F1 car generating 1.7 G’s.  It accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 2 secs and takes 90 secs to cover 2.07 km.

Midland Express has lost apx. £26m p.a. on the M6 Toll  since 2003 and is considering increasing the charge.

The number of penalty charge notices issued to motorists in London fell 11% last year.  However the 54 CCTV Smart cars now patrolling in London and Kent have generated £8,069,714 (yes, £8m) in fines and use of the cars is spreading to other councils.

Donington is to have its own Historic Festival which will be over 1  & 2 May (Bank Holiday) 2011.  Brands Hatch has 28 - 30 May (Bank Holiday) for its Festival and Silverstone remains in July.

A senior policewoman clocked speeding is claiming the speed gun used by her own force was not accurate.

40% of all drivers in the next 25 years will be over 50.

Sir Clive Sinclair who lost apx. £6m over his C5 has developed the X-1 where the user sits low with legs extended but is partly enclosed in an acrylic bubble with rollcage.

An abridged version of TOPS NEWS edited by Trisha Pilkington