The United States Postal Service has introduced a new stamp series featuring muscle cars.

Designed by artist Tom Fritz, the collection comprises five classics: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 1967 Shelby GT-500, 1966 Pontiac GTO and 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda.

Previous car-related stamps include 1950s sporty cars, released in 2005; and 1950s Fins and Chrome from 2008.

Hairy today, changed tomorrow


The lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary must have been worried when they were confronted by angry bikers.

According to the OED definition of the breed, they turn up in gangs with ''long hair'' and ''dirty denims''.

But the two-wheel community became fed up with the stereotype. They reasoned that the likes of Prince William, David Beckham and George Clooney rode motorcycles and they could hardly be described as shaggy and unkempt.

Two of Britain's most famous bikers, David Myers and Simon King of the Hairy Bikers cooking show, on Choice TV here, are so long-haired they frequently need ponytails.

Now the Oxford University Press has decided to alter its definition.

The online version previously defined a biker as: A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang; a long-haired biker in dirty denims.

It now reads: A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group; a biker was involved in a collision with a car.

Dictionary spokesman Nicola Burton said: ''This change reflects a shift in use of the word biker. Biker is now more closely aligned with ''motorcyclist'' than words such as Hell's Angel''.

Tyre boss sorts out French workers

Maurice Taylor, CEO of the American-based Titan International tyre company, has
written to the French Government saying he has no interest in buying a faltering
Goodyear factory there.

''The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours,'' growled Taylor,
who is known as the Grizz for his forthright and bear-like style.
''They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three.''

That's him pitching in at left in the photo.

Taylor added that his company plans to buy a Chinese or Indian tyre company, pay less
than one euro per hour and ship over every tyre France needs.

It's a boat, no it's a supercar; no, it's ... both

Swedish designer Eduard Gray (think Saab 92010 Sixten concept) is at the drawing board
penning boats, notably the Xhibitionist, a 75m superyacht with unmissable automotive cues.

It comes with a matching supercar as the ultimate accessory. Or is the boat the ultimate accessory for the car?

Xhibitionist is a multi-purpose watercraft whose inner spaces can be rearranged into a car showroom, a partitioned retail space or a luxury lounge for guests. The ''bonnet'' at the bow opens to release an array of solar panels that are sturdy enough to act as a platform for entertaining, or as a helipad. Beneath that is a viewing deck and guests can enjoy the hot tub on the fly deck.

Hybrid engines are in the ''powerplant gallery''.

We are the world
*A top student at the University of Cincinnati's prestigious college of music in the US went to court to protect herself from her mother and father, who, she said, had been paranoiacally meddling in her life. The parents had put tracking devices on their
daughter's computer and telephone and showed up unannounced on campus (nearly 1000km from their home), telling officials that she was promiscuous and mentally imbalanced. A judge ordered the parents to keep their distance.

*In a submission to India's Supreme Court, an association of the country's caste councils begged for greater sympathy for men who commit honour killings of wayward females. The Daily Telegraph said councils denied encouraging such killings, but emphasised that fathers or brothers who murder a daughter or sister are usually ''law-abiding, educated and respectable people'' who must protect their reputations after a female has had a
''forbidden'' relationship especially a female who intends to marry within her sub-caste, which the councils believe leads to deformed babies.

*Cornell University staff in the US installed a patch of grass inside a library, trucked in from nearby mountains, because, said an employee, the sight of it has a ''cognitive relaxing effect''.

*Jacob and Bonnie Richter's cat fled the couple's motor home at the Daytona International Speedway. Searches were futile, and the Richters drove home to Palm Beach Gardens, about 300km away. Two weeks later, Holly appeared, dishevelled and with paws rubbed raw, a couple of kilometres from the Richters' home. The finder returned her using info on the cat's microchip.

Number Crunching
15,000 Hatchbacks sold in NZ a year

864 Volkswagen hatches sold here last year

2018 Year in which VW Group aims to be world's No1 carmaker

9.1 MILLION VW Group cars sold last year