Category Archives: Rant

Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck(ed) the big one…

Another Update (November 20 2011):

It must be said that the responses to the blog that I originally wrote were mainly people having trouble with Max Emmerson-Fish. I don’t think anyone else had trouble with Glenbourne Motor Company apart from me. Both of these companies/people were operating under the umbrella of Farnham Carriage Company at the time, but have since moved on.

My last update (October 2011… below) was due to Martin Dawes from FCC contacting me. Within it I wrote that:

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back…

Well…. I received a call the other night from the owner, and he offered that very deal (or some other arrangement if we wanted). Now this does nod in Glenbournes favour, as even though this problem has gone on for a couple of years, they have not just brushed it under the table.

They have now followed it up to give me, the customer, the satisfaction I require. We have yet to discuss the finer points, but I want to get this blog updated to at least show they have stepped up to the mark, and to separate them from the Max Emmerson-Fish fiasco that a lot of my blog readers commented with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I will go back to a company time and again if they offer good service. If they make a mistake, or something goes wrong, I won’t automatically walk away and never use them again IF they deal with the situation calmly, honestly and politely. If they ignore me, or blank me… or tell me to piss off…. then sure, I’ll not recommend them and I’ll spread the word around…. but if they do all they can to help, then that’ll gain my favour.

Faulty products happen. Sometimes they can’t be helped, sometimes wires cross, sometimes a company might just try to get away with something and get caught out…. but as long as they front up and DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, then I’d rather go to them, than go to someone with a better product and NO customer service.

Windows offer sod all customer service – or at least a customer service that is near impossible to deal with… yet the pricier Apple have customer service that is second to none. Honestly, they bend over backwards to delight the customer – even if it is the customers stupid ass mistake if something went wrong in the first place. They KNOW that any money lost in this type of event will come back in multiples if they give a good follow up service. I know this first hand – See HERE for details.


UPDATE (October 11 2011):

Okay – A strange thing happened tonight. I step out of the shower, throw some clothes on and the doorbell chimes.

The man on the doorstep is Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company.

This is the company that in 2009 caused me a lot of problems (on going), and prompted me to write a blog entry. The blog entry gained momentum….

I was half expecting the visit at some point – and was in fact planning to call him up regarding this blog. I had a feeling that changes were in motion after receiving a response over the original write up (Aug 2009 – below). – THE RESPONSE

You see, this blog entry about his company has had so many hits that it ranked higher than the company itself.


This gave me a warm feeling inside – a victory for the man on the street…

…but as Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company now explained from my doorstep, not only has Max Emmerson-Fish left the Farnham Carriage Company site, but so has Glenbourne Motors.

This means that Farnham Carriage Company has removed these tumours from site – and Farnham Carriage Company themselves would like to distance themselves from the past problems caused by the other people they shared the site with.

The thing is, I don’t want to remove this blog entry, and explained to Martin that, seeing as I have been getting more hits than Farnham Carriage Company itself, that as a gesture of good faith I would write this new introduction. After all, people searching for FCC will still land here, and from here they can click the link below to Farnham Carriage Company itself, happy in the knowledge that things have moved on, and that the people who caused my problems have been removed…..

As Martin said in a comment response in September this year:

Farnham Carriage Company would like to thank Max Emmerson Fish and Glenbournes for leaving the Farnham site. Please feel free to use this blog if you have any complaints regarding FCC and we will try our best to resolve any issues you may have, or telephone us on 01252 711900 anytime.

… oh yeah, they’ve gone all right…. but just in case you want to contact them… Just in case you have outstanding issues with them… Martin included their company details too. After all, free advertising cuts both ways.

So… Click link for the Farnham Carriage Company (now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Glenbournes):

Now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Purdy

If you have outstanding questions (etc, etc….) with either Glenbournes or Max Emmerson-Fish (Auriga), then I am sure that they’d be more than happy to hear from you at their new sites…….

Glenbourne Motor Company – Twelve London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5HN

Glenbournes…. Just so you know

Max Emmerson-Fish can be found at Auriga Autos, Bowenhurst Golf Centre (apparently).

Oddly enough Auriga Autos only has a phone number, with no address. A car dealership who won’t say where they are? Am I the only one that thinks that is a bit odd…. It seems like someone is trying to stop their past catching up with them… but that’s probably just my strange way of thinking, and might not mean anything….

Address…. yeah…. erm….

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back for, lets say £995. It still drives poorly, the engine still misbehaves and we have to keep nursing it due to intermittent faults (which we are still trying to fix). Yes, that would be a turn around for the books – a phoenix from the ashes…. a fat chance of ever happening….

Hell…. whilst I’m dreaming… they could really get huge kudos from me if they gave me an old Discovery or Land Rover in exchange for the continuing nightmare of the purple Fiesta! As if….

That original blog:

Remember, Farnham Carriage Company are mentioned below in the original blog, but the group within FCC that caused all of the problems in the blog & the comments after the blog, have moved on (Glenbournes/Auriga). As far as I am aware, FCC are now a good company to deal with. Credit to Martin Dawes for coming over to see me to explain the recent history.

So… step back in time…

Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck the big one…


August 23rd, 2009

The Purple Fiesta died again…. due to a mistake that could only have been made by a mechanic used by a Farnham car dealership.

Lets start at the beginning…. Due to some unobservant idiot driving into our Citroen Berlingo and sending it to the car graveyard we were forced into buying a replacement car in a very limited time.

Death of a work horse

Death of a work horse

We found a Purple Ford Fiesta with low mileage and in superb condition at Farnham Carriage Company.

It was purchased with 3 months warranty and a service. I had looked over the car and found the handbrake a bit slack, and a spark plug hanging out. Not to worry, Farnham Carriage Company said it would be serviced before I picked it up.

I picked it up… got home… spark plug still loose… handbrake on end of adjustment.

Mechanic said spark plugs in Fiestas have a tendency to do that (can you smell that? can you?)

60 miles later it blew its guts out on the M3…. head gasket had blown…

Theyll do that...


Oh yeah, they’ll do that if the temp gauge doesn’t work – a known issue – Missed at service.

So they fix it – In the meantime I chuck money on top of the purchase price as I have to get a hire car for a week – which Farnham Carriage Company don’t pay for.

We get the car back and it doesn’t sound right. The sales ‘robot’ says I’m being over sensitive and just picking out faults. He says it sounds fine for a car of that age. I say it may sound fine for a car of that age, but it sounds bad compared to how it was when I brought it… 60 miles earlier.

Getting fed up of trying to get the smug numpty to even admit there may be a fault, I accepted to drive away and give it a go.

Less than 8 weeks pass and it blows its guts out again. It turns out that the mechanic hadn’t fixed a pipe back properly and it had worn through on a drive shaft. Water emptied everywhere. Car had to go back to the warranty garage at Farnham Carriage Company… and I had to get a hire car again…. yet more money!

The mechanic tries to use sticky tape to do a temporary repair… chucks water out again… funny that.

I tell him I’ll leave the car there until he gets the parts in.

We have to pay half of the bill under warranty conditions, even though it’s the fault of the repair THEY carried out last time. Bloody cowboy criminals. Half the £100 bill…. which doesn’t cover the £200 hire car…. Their £50 is no way half of the costs these repairs have cost me. Thieves, if you ask me.

Farnham car salesman yesterday

Farnham Carriage Company yesterday?

They even tried to say the pipe might have been like that all along! That’s a bunch of arse – No way a rubber pipe would last 60,000 miles bouncing on a drive shaft! Maybe 1000… which is what I had done since the head gasket repair was carried out…. what a coincidence… Yeeee haw!!! COWBOY! You don’t need to be ‘engineeringly minded’ to realise this doesn’t add up.

So they fix it… ahem. Chris drives it home. The thing is filthy orange from all the rusty water that has sprayed all over it… and they didn’t even bother cleaning it. Chris then notices a big scratch where something has rubbed hard against the wing whilst at the garage.. bloody shoddy workmanship, and no care for the customer vehicles.

Hoik spooot!


She then pops the bonnet up and sees…. NO WATER in the car again! She calls the garage and they say that sometimes after a repair like that, the water needs time to settle and get the air out of the system! Once more the flaming cowboy alarm goes off! I have done car and aircraft maintenance, and I know that after topping up reservoirs and systems you BLEED them.

You don’t give an unfinished job to the customer and try to fob them off with some half arsed lame tale, because according to other technicians I know, and general engineering common sense, that’s exactly what it was – an excuse.

I did double check with a couple of well trusted auto technicians I know…. and they said that you would never return a car like that. One even said that he would bleed the system fully, but also tell the customer to check the level once they got home just in case there had been an air block. The Farnham guy mentioned nothing.

There you go – If you are looking for a car or mechanic, then stay clear of Farnham Carriage Company if this is anything to go by. Seriously.

I am honestly thinking of legal action, as the car fails to meet SSG act limitations.

LATEST NEWS: Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL – It goes on – Still haunted by FCC

On the plus side, I was forced into getting a second car sooner than I had envisaged.

We always needed the two cars as I need one for work, and Chris needs one for here weekly tasks. I had a list of things to look for in a car, and number one was it had to have the VW TDi engine…. so that meant a VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat….

I had been looking for some time, but no cars matched my criteria – and if they did they were in Scotland or some other far flung location. The day the Fiesta blew its pipe I was desperate to find a car as I needed reliable transportation to do my 110 mile round trip to work each day.

My luck was in this day… Whilst waiting to pick up the hire car I carried out an search… and there was a ’96 Audi A4 only 7 miles away… in my price range…. with a service history that was so anal it was untrue! This car has been so well looked after! It appeared to be owned by a person who would replace a whole engine if an air filter needed changing! A quick test drive and a look through the records and I was off!

Mr Audi

Mr Audi

The only problem was a mismatched alloy wheel – but £30 later and eBay got me 5 second hand A3 alloys with good (nearly new) Pirelli P6000 tyres… only 5 miles from my place of work! A little bit of luck was due our way!

The fan belt was on the way out though – but one chat to my auto technician friend, a Haynes manual later, and a trip to Camberley Autofactors and I was elbow deep in the engine bay.

Haynes said remove the front bumper and associated parts, and jack the car up, use axle stands, two people etc….. I managed with opening the bonnet and cranking a 15mm spanner to swap the belt over! (with a third hand from Chris to keep tension on as I fed the new belt in). This was thanks to advice from the technician I use – and can’t rate highly enough!

I took the new Audi (or Mr Audi, as Alex calls it) to T.J Services – who I trust. I wanted to get a service done to make sure it is all up together. He looked over the history and was taken back by the work the previous owner had carried out. Most of the expensive bits that haunt any car… all of them had been replaced already! I had spotted a gem of a car! Trevor (T.J) simply said he’d see me at the next MoT, as no work was needed yet. Hurrah for honest tradesmen!

Doctor! Save us from the padding!!!

Question: How do you annoy a Dr.Who fan?
Answer: By not being one yourself.

I like Dr.Who, although I’m not blinded by it in such a way that I even like the crap episodes.

Each Dr.Who series has a plot start & end point. Actually it’s more like each regeneration of the Doctor has a plot start & end point. Like a jazz riff… You hit the first note & last note…. and in-between you just chuck in filler.

The episodes drip feed plot devices needed to reach the series end. Some episodes are just filler to enable a plot device to be mentioned, but are otherwise just long winded padding around a 5 minute key event.

For me, the best episodes are the ‘stand alone’ ones. Ones written for themselves, and not just because something HAS to be mentioned. The Neil Gaiman ‘Doctors Wife’ episode with the TARDIS in human form is one such ‘stand alone’ episode. It was fantastic – Best of the series.

Worst episode was the last one. Just a bringing together of all those plot devices (quite clumsy actually) just to reach the end point. It was so obvious though. We all knew the Dr was not being replaced, so he couldn’t die. As such we were all looking for how he was going to escape.

Little people in a morphing robot was a bit obvious. The episode they first appeared in was just crowbarred into the series to get a small plot device mentioned. You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this was going to come back.

It’s like bad movies that have the actor inexplicably talk about a seemingly random thing…. You just know it is because the plot needs it, and it’s a key element. What a lazy story that last one was. Just tidying up the pieces.

Mind you, some avid fans will be wearing the emperors new glasses, because no matter how poor an episode is, they’ll coo & cheer with glee at how absolutely wonderful it is. This makes me wonder if they fully appreciate the actual good episodes, or are too busy gushing over the fact it’s just Dr.Who…

A few good lines does not a good episode make.

Text & scones is all I got from that finale.

I’m going to get hate mail now!


I’ll take my chances…

So… I’ve been blogging for *cough* years now, and never really done religion. There is a very good reason for this… I just don’t care what you are, as long as you’re not a total bastard. With or without religion you can still be a total bastard. I’m anti-total bastard… not anti-religion. Any way, a recent read of GOD COLLAR (by Marcus Brigstocke) made me put finger to keyboard…

You should know me enough by now that this is not going to be a boring preachy blog….

Heck, I even drop Sometimespace’s first ‘C’ bomb…

For the sake of this blog, you have to take the stance that ‘God’ exists…

Before I start I should say that I am not so stupid as to completely say God does not exist… but I don’t believe God exists. You see, even scientists are still not sure of everything…

In fact one of the things that scientists always took to be a dead certainty… the speed of light being the fastest anything could be… has been found to be wrong…(for now…).

So where I don’t believe God exists, I am perfectly open to finding myself wrong. Much like scientists who thought the speed of light was the daddy of all speeds, they still had open minds that they might be wrong.

According to all I have seen and heard:

  • We are the creations of God.
  • God is supposedly perfect.
  • God gave us free will.
  • Disasters and such like are sent by God to test us.
  • If the disasters are not sent to test us, they are sent to punish us.
  • God knows everything.

So… let’s go back to the beginning….

God creates us. He is perfect and knows everything. He gives us free will.

He puts a tasty treat on a tree and says:

“Oi, Adam… Eve… Don’t touch that bloody tantalising piece of fruit… It’s gorgeous, succulent and you can’t touch it…or I’ll fuck you up”

I may have got the words slightly wrong, but it gives you the idea.

God created us… so knows EXACTLY what we are going to do when something like that is put in front of us. There’s no way he wouldn’t know this.

It’s like putting a fine crystal vase with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on it… on a low table… and telling a 3-year-old child to not touch it… and then leaving them alone in the room with that vase… AND THEN punishing that child AND ALL OF THEIR OFFSPRING FOR ETERNITY for going ahead and breaking that vase…

Any normal parent knows that leaving that pretty child attracting vase in easy reach is going to end in one way.

This means God was ALWAYS going to punish us… because God knew exactly what the outcome of the vase/apple would be….

The disasters, the floods, the diseases, the famines…. all punishments. All punishments for things that the all-knowing God KNEW we would do anyway.

What a wanker.

Feel my WRATH!!!!

No… wait… maybe he was ‘testing‘ us….

But again, if he is perfect he wouldn’t need to test us… He’s just throwing out debilitating illnesses to our children, giving our friends cancer and generally acting like a kid with a magnifying glass on a summer’s day…. next to an ant’s nest.

He’s doing it for fun and spite….

What a totally ass-hat of a wanker.

Maybe I shouldn’t write stuff like this… I could end up burning in Hell….. but then again, God would know I am going to write this… His bastardness knows no bounds.

Just going back to the ‘free will’ thing…. It doesn’t exist. I can go out and buy a burger when ever I want.

Some starving family in Africa can’t do that…. Sure, they have the free will to be able to do it, but they can’t. Your free will is limited to the physical things that you can actually do…. And seeing as God created everything, our ‘free will’ is TOTALLY DICTATED BY HIM…..

Free will my arse.

If God does exist, then I do not want to follow him. A God that knew all along what we’d do, and knew that we would do it… and then punishes us for doing it… A God that has taken some of my close friends and family (God created cancer, don’t you know… he created EVERYTHING)… A God that leaves my friends and family suffering… that threatens my child with damnation for doing exactly what God knew would happen…. You know what God, you can fuck off.

But wait…. Maybe God isn’t perfect….. Maybe the ‘tests‘ are to see if he’s done a good job making us….

YES! He’s not raining down destruction on us for fun… it’s all a test to make us better because he’s not prefect…. AND there you go…. I do not want to follow an imperfect God…. A God who couldn’t even make us correctly….

That would be like going to the hospital, putting your LIFE on the line and undergoing major surgery… and the surgeon doesn’t really know what they are doing, so is using you as a test subject… like a surgeon in the middle ages!!!

You’d be putting your life into the hands of a fuck-wit… You wouldn’t do that, would you?

This gives a few choices then….

  • Follow the Perfect God… who is a cunt (yes, I said it).
  • Follow the imperfect God… HA! Yes, Give your life up to someone who could be as wrong as you are…
  • Don’t follow God.

You could – and this is just throwing it out there – just try living your life in such a way that it doesn’t totally piss off your fellow human too much, and to accept that your fellow human will try to live the same way… AND that if you do end up pissing each other off, that you have the ability to not start a war and just accept that people are different.

You could – and once again, this is wild and mad – work WITH your fellow human to find cures for disease, find solutions for disasters, get together and work as one to overcome NATURAL problems….

Come on… you know this God is a tosser who just loves to see us fight and kill and rape and murder. You know that if our own hatred to each other doesn’t get his omnipotent rocks off, that he’ll send forth famine and disease to help him reach his holy vinegar strokes…

This God is just a prom queen.. and spoilt cheerleader… the girl at school who knows she is hot, and that the boys all fight over her… and yet she lets the fights carry on because she likes it… She won’t say which religion is right… sorry, I mean she won’t end the fighting by telling the boys which one she wants.

You know this because if he really existed, he’d give a definitive, non-fairy tale, not hearsay sign to us to say he exists, and that all the religious groups should all play nicely…

Maybe a HUGE sign in the sky…. something that could only be him… and not mistaken for a weather balloon… or an oddly burnt piece of Jesus toast… Something like…

There you go… Religion…. and one of the reasons I try not to touch upon it…

Peace to you all, whatever you believe. You have free will to believe what you want, and I have the acceptance to let you get on with it… and even discuss it with me.

I’m open to everything… but until then, I’m staying a non believer who accepts there might be a God, but doesn’t believe there is.

Anyway, to finish…. to cleanse your palette… this video from ‘College Humour‘…. and Religious Nerds!!!

A Balanced Plea to Land Rover

An appeal to the heads of Land Rover…. For their sakes and ours I hope they listen.

Regarding the Defender DC100 concept for release in 2015

(Please share this around).

Spanners & Hammers

We all use them. They are tools. They do what they have to do, and they do it well.

Time moves on… things change…. but besides the smallest of tweaks, the hammer & spanner remain the same. Sure, socket sets joined the party… but spanners & hammers stayed. Tools do what they do & that’s all we ask.

The Series is our vehicular spanner or hammer. The Defender is the socket set.

No alteration needed.

It already does the job.

Stand by your product

You (Land Rover) want to be brave & bold among car manufactures in 2015?

Then don’t change a thing and STAND OUT by standing next to a product that needs no introduction, no fanfare, no design guru and NO CHANGE, because it’s fine the way it is.

You notice the people who like the DC are few & far between, and young.

The people who USE Land Rovers & have EXPERIENCE have spoken out against it…. and I’d bet those young inexperienced DC ‘likers’ would sing out against it if they had a clue about how the Defenders really get used.

The DC100 sounds great on paper. Hell, it might even work really well (I’m sure it will)… and it does have a certain look to it that stands out… but I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that our blunt stick Defender is much preferred to the gaudy disco ball DC100.

Yes, you may have a market for it, and your research might have come up with a customer base for this new model… but it’s not the Defender customer base that need the Defender type of car. It’s the cool brigade. With sunglasses and fake tans.

Run the two together, but don’t lose the Defender work horse just to keep up with fashion & iPhone cool.

Very tough to replace

You say that coming up with a replacement for the Defender was one of the toughest things you’ve had to do….

…. but did you ask yourselves ‘why is it so tough to replace?’…

It’s because you’ve already got it right.

Back to the spanners and hammers…. You don’t need improve on something that ALREADY WORKS!

You are like kids in an all you can eat restaurant ~ Just because you have the ability to have everything, it doesn’t mean you should….

Now please, just say that you’ve heard our feedback, and that you weren’t so aware as to how much people really want to keep the current Defender, and that you are strong enough to see that you don’t need to change it after all.

Now THAT I’d respect.

Brand Identity

A Range Rover is a Range Rover.

A Discovery is a Discovery.

A Freelander is a Freelander.

They have variations, but they get lumped under their main name….

Yet say Land Rover & people relate to the classic box, covering Series, County, Defenders… These are Land Rovers.

The DC100 is not this Land Rover, let alone a Defender. It is different… new… not a continuation of a line.

The Friendly Wave

If the action man, tarts handbag, swatch watch DC100 is made, I don’t think it’ll receive the same friendly hand signal from other drivers as they pass.

They’ll probably still get a hand signal though….

Serious Flaw

The DC100 has a very serious flaw.

From it’s sloped bonnet, to the curved and angled roof… to the lack of a sticky out bumper… you have removed a primary function of the Defender & Series type Land Rovers.

There is nowhere to place your mug of tea, or park your backside when working on it…

Now this is bad for individuals, but Landies are also a good social vehicle, and that’s going to end up with a group of people standing around a scratched bonnet DC100 with broken mugs on the ground.

Aftermarket failings

The old Land Rover owners have a huge choice of aftermarket spares and add-on parts at their finger tips. They can raid the parts bin and find items that will fit almost the entire range of Series, County and Defender type vehicles.

This means parts are cheap and plentiful… and pretty easy to fit… and that means the Landies can be kept on the road at low cost and a chunk of the work can be done by the owner.

The DC100 has ‘Defender’ written on the side…. but that is where it ends (and also the only thing that links it to its heritage).

No longer will you have the parts interchangeability. This puts spares prices up… and means you’ll also probably have to go to a main dealer to get the thing fixed.

Be individual like everyone else

It’s almost as if Land Rover have decided that they want it all to themselves, and that if you want to personalise your DC100, then you can have it any way you want, as long as it is on their specification tick sheet…..

Yup… like all those individuals in their new Mini’s and Beetles with individual paint schemes… that look just like the other people who chose the same specification.

Help… I’ve broken down

Stuck in the middle of the jungle with nothing but the contents of your boot and a knife?

The older the Land Rover, the easier it is to get home safely. They will run and run even when things are failing and falling off…. Your Landy will get you home.

Okay… so the DC100 has some very cool gadgets which will mean idiots will have the ability to think they can go anywhere because they have a Land Rover (I see many of these idiots stuck in the snow because they have no clue how to drive, even with the right tools).

The gadgets all rely on computers… and in the name of safety you can pretty much be sure that if something goes wrong you will get a warning light come up and the engine will automatically cut out…. and you now need to get the AA or other breakdown service to take you to a Land Rover approved garage to be plugged into a computer to get reset and fault diagnosed.

You show me an approved Land Rover dealer in the middle of the bloody jungle…. let alone a vehicle recovery service who will come out and honour their ‘get you home’ policy from some deep dark uninhabited swamp land…

Even if you can override the computers you’ll be stuck…. After all, everything is computer controlled…

We want simplicity Land Rover… Even the current Defender is a bit too techy for our liking… but it works.


The DC100 is a great showcase of what you can do. Very much like the other companies who produce outlandish concept ideas to show various new bits of technology…. but never actually put the vehicle into production. It’s a proof of concept… It’s showing off your skills… It’s what you can do… not what you have to do…

You are geniuses! You’re styling department puts out some eye popping designs.

… but we still want our old Defender in that line up.

The big uproar is the future demise of the Defender as we know it. The DC100 being a death knoll on a line of OBVIOUS family heritage… The simple go anywhere vehicle.

I think had the new Land Rover been released as a stable mate, rather than replacement, then there would have been riotous support for it.

Yes…. Try this for size…

“The new Land Rover DC100 Overlander ~ The future of off roading…. (P.S… you can still have your Defenders folks….)”

New Land Rover ‘Defender’ revealed

It’s a sad day if this is how the Defender replacement is going to turn out.

Really glad that we brought a Series 3… and by Hell are we going to keep it if the DC 100 is the future….

According to

This is a preview of the vehicle which is planned for release, according to FT, in 2015. Land Rover’s Design Director, Gerry McGovern says that it’s not the finished vehicle, but rather, the start of a 4 year journey to design a ‘relevant Defender for the 21st-Century’…

I’m sorry, but the beauty of the box, from Series 1 to the latest Defender… a family line (and interchangeability) has made the Land Rover one of the very last true iconic cars on the UK roads… and one of, if not THE last true iconic UK car on foreign soil, so I hope you’ll forgive me when I say that the released photo of the DC 100 leaves me greatly saddened.

I seriously hope that this is a ‘way out’ concept, and that the final design is more in keeping with the REAL Land Rover shape – which to me, and to countless other people, is a huge part of the Land Rover heritage.

This new DC 100 is just a fat version of the Japanese Nissan Cube… and you don’t even have to squint to see the similarities.

DC 100 (top). Nissan Cube (bottom)... I think.

If you MUST go this way Land Rover, then can I suggest that you also bring out some simpler, more basic utilitarian models that still have interchangeability of parts, simple nut & bolt maintenance and retain the classic box shape. Maybe call it the Series 4, or to be cool, the SX, because X is cool, isn’t it?

This DC100 looks too curvy & aimed at a softer crowd than the current Defender and the older Counties and Series before. This new shape will just make people buy similar looking Japanese pick-ups, after all it looks like that’s where it’s from (design wise).

People put a lot of faith in the familiar Land Rover box shape, regardless of what is good or bad under the hood. By losing the old faithful image of a tough, established work horse, you’re going to loose followers. Other companies would give their off spring away to get such a visual branding as the old box…. I can’t see it as anything other than a bad move.

By all means, make the DC100, but badge it as Discovery X or something and keep the Defender simple, boxy & utilitarian.

We like to mess around with generic bolt on parts & make OUR Land Rovers that bit individual, to suit OUR purposes… and there’s a HUGE range of after market bolt ons & spares that we use across the Series ~ Defender range.

By coming out with a totally new design (which is only recognisable as a Defender because YOU told us…), you take ALL of that away from us.

On that matter… The new Beetle, Mini & Fiat 500… even Morgan & Citroën 2CV concept… are all recognisable as modern incarnations of their original models. The DC100 fails at even that. It looks more like a more focused Disco/Freelander clone with no hint of the heritage we’ve grown to trust.

Red Arrows Crash (bang, what a story)

I can’t stand watching the news when there has been an air accident.

Being brought up with air accidents made me hate the news reports on them as they all spout utter rubbish and speculations whilst the damned wreckage is still smouldering and the pilot has yet to be found.

Take in case the accident at Bournemouth Air Festival today  . Within minutes of it happening the TV news were all over it…

Not even 5 minutes after it had happened and…

  • The pilot can’t be found.
  • The pilot was killed.
  • The pilot was pulled out of the river after ejecting.
  • The aircraft were doing a display.
  • The display had finished.
  • The aircraft were landing.
  • The Red Arrow had power problems & dived into the ground.
  • There was an explosion & fire (my favourite –  Most false witnesses see explosions & fire… even if it’s a glider crash or failed parachute display…).
  • One news reporter actually fed the ‘witness’ lines during the interview (Sky).

RAF Red Arrows

I have the greatest respect for the crews, families and all directly involved. It’s a dangerous job, things can go wrong and yet they still do it. My hat is off to you and the rest of our armed services.

As for witnesses… they are near useless.

A witness (or even a group of witnesses) can go on for 20 minutes about an event that happened in a split second. You can’t take in and process all of that data that your eyes just saw, so your brain fills in the blanks with possible scenarios. If a witness adds anything to a scene it is usually confusion and speculation.

My dad put more faith in examining a hangar full of wreckage to find the cause, than he ever did a witness. So ‘witnesses’ and ‘News reporters’,  just shut up & let the investigators do their jobs. They are trained to do it and funnily enough, they know more about it than you…

If you do want to run around like headless chickens, then I suggest you go HERE for that particular information.


The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Red Arrows pilot killed on Saturday afternoon was Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging. He was 33. My sympathies to his family and friends.

This from the MOD Red Arrows site:

RIP Speedway Squad – Long Live Horsetrack Hooligans!

You may remember a few years back that I blogged about Speedway Squad, who had a podcast that really helped keep me smiling during my time out with a screwed back. These guys were funny, observational and never even saw the lines they crossed because they hit them too fast….

….and then this year the podcast vanished. A few disjointed final episodes dribbled out of the squad teats, but by then I think all of the loyal friends and fans knew that the Squads ‘Bob’ was off to new things. That was actually pretty obvious, as through all of the various episodes we got an insight into their lives, so you got an idea of what they were going through…. and you got an idea that the last few episodes were coming (sad for the listener, but you couldn’t help but feel happy for the guys…. or at least Bob…)

After Yoko came along, the band pretty much split up. It’s not me, it’s you…. Mid-life crisis over… Podcast urge gone…. Speedway Squad bit the bullet… But like a flaming retarded phoenix from the oddly sticky ashes… *ta dah!* HORSETRACK HOOLIGANS!!

Now from the burning wreck of Speedway Squad some hands grabbed in the dirt to pull tangled bodies free… and they had help from BAAAAAAANKS!!!!

Bob could not be seen…. Some say he got away from the carnage and will special guest on Horsetrack Hooligans…. Others say he has mutated into a normal person and now has a life…. The jury is out….

Some people put THEIR lives before my pleasure, dammit…. but that’s all changed again! Hurrah!!!Now dance for me, DANCE I SAY!!!!

I can’t recommend Speedway Squad enough – and also Caustic Soda. Here’s to Horsetrack Hooligans bringing some more top podding to the table!

I’m sorry, but I’m just not sorry.


I’m finding it very hard to care one bit about the ‘problems‘ that the looters and rioters use as an excuse for their disgusting behaviour.

Same goes to all the other ‘hangers on‘ that think they’ve got it hard. Job dodging, benefit scrounging low life scum.

You don’t have a bastard clue.

All you are doing is turning people against those that have genuine problems with genuine causes.

Not that you actually give a toss.

Are you starting something?

Ali (now 5 years old) thinks the local Halfords auto-parts ‘specialist‘ is a bit of an idiot. He’s not wrong….

Mind you, when it comes to cars, Alex is a total sponge for information (as mentioned in previous blog entries). He is very curious as to how things work, so when I had to swap the old ignition coil out and replace the leads he wanted to help.


One explanation to Alex as to how the ignition system works and we then drove off to get the parts. We visited a couple of places to get prices for parts before buying anything.

The first place we visited was Camberley Auto Factors, who are usually pretty good at understanding parts and cars, although sometimes they need a hand, but all in all, they know their general stuff.

The second place was Hellfords… sorry, I mean Halfords… the high-street seller of  overpriced parts to Joe Public and chavs/chavettes who want pink wheels and loud stereos. Once upon a time you could go there and get what you needed to keep your car on the road, but now all you can get are fluffy dice, fat penis compensating exhausts for poxy Citroen boy racer hatch backs and gaudy crap to sprinkle over your pimp mobile…. and the wrong windscreen wipers, regardless of what you ask for…

Generally Halfords (from my experience) is now staffed by people who couldn’t get into the fast food business because they didn’t have the required qualifications…. (Now and then you can get lucky and find a helpful member of staff… but they generally get better jobs and leave Halfords very quickly).

We got the prices from Camberley Auto Factors with no problem, then went to Halfords as a comparison.

I asked the PARTS COUNTER SPECIALIST  if they had an HT lead set for a Land Rover… to which the drone responded in a close approximation to English “Is dat summit to do wiv der stereo?

Alex just tutted and said loudly “Let’s go back to the other shop. THAT man knew what he was talking about…

Spanner? Errr... wassat?

Parts Specialists…? I should have known I was on to a loser with them, especially as last time I asked for a Series 3 Land Rover part, they responded with “Is that the Defender Rover or the Discovery Rover?“…. No, you arse-hats, it’s a SERIES 3…. just like I JUST SAID IT WAS!!!

So we went back to Camberley Auto Factors and picked up what we needed. Once we got home I put all the new parts in place with Ali’s help (and lots of questions about how THIS bit works, and WHY does THIS bit do THIS?). Next I needed to do a bit of tinkering with timing, so Alex ran around to the drivers seat and awaited my instructions….

Worried about safety? Well, he knows to check the car is in neutral before starting up…. but to be on the safe side I had selected neutral on the diff’ too, just in case he accidentally selected a drive gear (this way the car was never going to move with him in it). Ali started the engine up when I asked him, adjusted the choke and gave the engine some throttle when I asked for it. Yes, I could have done it on my own, but he wanted to help, and he made things easier for me.

Timing is nicely set now with the new coil and HT leads working well.

I’m one proud dad… although that’s mostly due to his slam down of the guy in Halfords…


Rallying to the call

The Help For Heroes 4×4 rally continues – and they are doing great!

Series Team are still powering on through Europe!

Please don’t forget the sponsorship page will remain open for the entire rally, and some time after.

We really want to raise all that we can for Help for Heroes 4×4 European Rally – So please, spread the word and give what you can.

Regardless of whether you think our troops should be out in the places that they are, the facts remain:  – They ARE out there, and they are getting killed and wounded.

Saying they shouldn’t be out there doesn’t help bring back the ones who have been killed, it doesn’t help the wounded…. So please, protest all you like about the politics of what is going on, if that’s how you feel, but don’t forget the men and women who have been sent out to do a job under our country’s flag.

Times may be tough, but these soldiers put their lives on the line for us, so let’s show them that we appreciate what they do.

Thanks! Lucas.

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