The Weekend Supplement: 11th May 2013

Hello and a warm welcome to the first edition of PetrolBlog’s Weekend Supplement. If, as is intended, you’re reading this at the weekend, we trust your orange juice is sweet, your coffee is strong, your croissants are light and the mood is chilled.

But just what is The Weekend Supplement? Well, truth be told, PetrolBlog HQ is a bit of a ghost town at the weekends. Save for a few wagtails the car park is pretty much empty and aside from the faint clicks of the server and the gentle hum of the air conditioning unit, it’s incredibly quiet. Heck, who are we trying to kid, PBHQ is nothing more than a lock-up garage with a small desk in the corner and a single lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. But it’s home and we like it.

So we thought we’d roll out a deeply fashionable and oh so trendy Weekend Supplement. A chance to recap on the week just gone and look forward to the week about to unfold. We don’t have Andrew Marr and sadly we don’t have access to the ladies on Sky Sports News, so you’ll have to make do with the usual waffle and bunk plus a few crumbs from your pan au chocolate.

Now with the mood nicely set, here’s the first (and probably the last) Weekend Supplement.

Tufty is back!

TuftyDid you know Tufty Fluffytail was 60 this year? It was back in 1953 when the diminutive squirrel was born to spend his entire working life keeping children safe on the roads. With his mummy, Mrs Fluffytail and friends such as Willy the Weasel, Harry Hare and Bobby Brown Rabbit, Tufty was probably responsible for saving more lives than any other squirrel known to man.

At one point there were 24,500 Tufty clubs in the UK and well over two million members. Books, talks and later on, videos all taught children how to avoid road accidents and keep safe when ordering an ice cream. Not that Willy the Weasel ever seemed to learn his lesson.

Watching the videos today presents a nostalgic and perhaps rose-tinted look back at our childhood. Simpler, more innocent times when the voice of Bernard Cribbins somehow managed to make things right in the world. We’re also pretty sure the filmmaker had an eye for the Ford Capri. Either that or the Capri was seen as a menace to society.

We miss Tufty – a true PetrolBlog hero. If only we could go back in time to 1984 when he made his stage debut in a pantomime alongside Ted ‘3-2-1’ Rogers. Clearly buoyed by his acting debut, Tufty even went on to appear in the cult TV series, Life on Mars.

If you’re anywhere near the British Library this summer it may be worth dropping in to view the exhibition entitled Propaganda: Power and Persuasion. It explores international state propaganda from the 20th and 21st centuries with Tufty making an unlikely but welcome appearance. Go Tufty!

If you do intend to visit, remember the Green Cross Code, look both ways before crossing the road and if possible, take your mummy with you.

Rodney! Three-wheeler car parade world record attempt

Reliant Three-Wheeler VanAward-winning blogger and all-round decent chap, Keith WR Jones is attempting to create a new Guinness World Record for the largest three-wheeler car parade in human history. No really, he is.

The plan is to utilise the playing field at the school where Keith teaches, with the aim of cramming as many three-wheelers through the entrance as possible. There’s even a prize on offer for the best-in-show. Sounds excellent, although I hear removing a rear wheel from your Citroën GS won’t class as an entry.

The clock is ticking with entries needing to be received by Monday 20th May for the event taking place on the 24th. So if you own a Reliant Robin, Morgan, Berkeley, Invacar or any other three-wheeler for that matter, don’t be a plonker – wander over to Petroleum Vitae for more information.

Motivational or not?

Sébastien Loeb and the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car

We’ve all seen those hideous motivational posters plastered on office walls. You know the ones – ‘believe and succeed’, ‘there’s no I in team’ and ‘teamwork is great work’ – the kind of nonsense that would make David Brent proud.

Well this week Peugeot released a photo showing Sébastien Loeb standing confidently alongside the epic Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car. We’re not quite sure what effect this will have on the other competitors at this year’s event – maybe the opposite of motivational. Which would be demotivating, clearly. If PetrolBlog was entering, we’d have already made our excuses by now and booked a week in southern Spain instead.

Nine-times WRC champion Loeb in a 208 that will reach 62mph in just 1.8 seconds? Job done, surely?

Weekend Wheels: Maserati Biturbo

Maserati Biturbo 425Buying a Maserati Biturbo would be insane, right? Critics have named it one of the worst cars of all time and whilst it certainly wasn’t one of the greatest hits of the 1980s, it’s still got a Maserati badge. And that makes it cool, right?

Yes it stemmed from a time when Maserati was – rather hastily – looking to increase its rate of production from a few hundred to few thousand cars a year. Yes, it was built using low-quality materials. Yes, the attention to detail was severely lacking. And yes, spending anything other than the price of two pints of lager and a packet of crisps would lead to financial ruin, but…

Still we find it an appealing motor car. Consider the facts – a) It’s a Maserati. b) It’s cheap. c) It’s unfashionable. It’s therefore the perfect PetrolBlog car.

We’ve spotted this 1987 Maserati Biturbo for sale on Car & Classic and yes, we’re rather attracted to it. Maybe it’s the brilliant interior or the fact that it has just returned from the TT circuit on the Isle of Man. Or maybe it’s the short MOT that could ensure some glorious summer months behind the wheel of a Maser. Could being the crucial word here.

Is it us? Does anyone else hanker after the unfashionable Maserati? Put it this way, if you’re going to have a broken car sat at home, saying you’ve got a Maserati sounds much more glamorous than saying you’ve got a Ford Orion.

Next week on PetrolBlog

2014 Jeep Grand CherokeeSo what’s coming up next week? Well we’re off to drive the new Jeep Grand Cherokee in Italy on Wednesday and the promise of some Sicilian sunshine and dusty off-road tracks is getting us quite excited.

That’s swiftly followed by our attendance at the International Mini Meet, also in Italy. The weekend involves a drive down from Munich in a new MINI, exact model to be confirmed. Naturally we’re hoping to storm across the border and return via Switzerland before the Italians could say ‘you’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’.

And looking at features on the site – take your pick from the Mitsubishi Galant, Proton Impian, BMW M3 CSL, Toyota Land Cruiser, Dacia Duster and much, much more. You never know, we may even finish making a silk purse out of the pig’s ear that is the very first PetrolPod.

Enjoy your weekend.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

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