The Good Oil: Rare Bentley silver bullet back home

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A rare Bentley that raced at Le Mans in 1939 has been returned home to the carmaker's heritage showroom at Crewe.
A rare Bentley that raced at Le Mans in 1939 has been returned home to the carmaker's heritage showroom at Crewe.

A rare Bentley that raced at Le Mans in 1939 has been returned home to the carmaker's heritage showroom at Crewe.

The 4-litre "Embiricos" Special, was built in the 1930s for Greek racing driver Andre Embiricos and clothed in aluminium by French designer Georges Paulin.

The aerodynamic sheetmetal was a departure from Bentley tourers of the time and more akin to the lines of the streamlined French Talbot-Lago or a Delahaye.

Embiricos used it daily before selling it in 1939.

Riders in a storm

A survey in Britain reveals cyclists are much more badly behaved than motorists. Auto Express said it witnessed more than 1000 breaches of road rules in a two-hour period in London's Islington. Seven out of 10 cyclists broke the rules compared to one in 10 drivers.

Illegal antics included jumping the lights - committed by 6 per cent of cyclists compared to 0.4 per cent of cars. Some 719 out of 976 cyclists committed offences, compared to 380 out of 3140 drivers.

Fuel recall

Car recalls are quite common but those for contaminated fuel are not.

Oil company BP has recalled regular grade petrol in some parts of the US that has caused "driveability" issues in cars. BP isn't saying what the exact problem was but it has set up a hotline to deal with complaints.

One motorist said the contaminated fuel shut down his car and he paid US$1200 to drain the gas tank, flush the fuel lines and replace the spark plugs.

Holden on to US ute

The Holden Commodore sedan is on its way back to the US, badged as the Chevrolet SS. GM dealers were also keen to have the Commodore Ute (above) rebadged as the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck, but it falls under the US light commercial tariff rate of 35 per cent, three times that of car imports. Holden executive Richard Phillips said: "We were hopeful at one stage, we thought we might be able to duck in under it, but it was ruled out. With the [Australian] dollar where it is, exports can only be pursued that are niche ... and profitable."

Now it's Miimo the robot lawnmower

Honda has a new lawnmower called Miimo - a robot of sorts that runs on power from its lithium-ion battery pack. Like "human" robot Asimo and Roomba the robotic vacuum cleaner, it returns to its charging station when the pack runs low on power.

Owners have to set up a boundary wire so that Miimo doesn't take off across the street, but it can mow in a random pattern or in lines. It has bump sensors so it won't break potted plants, and if lifted off the ground its blades will automatically stop. Starting it again requires a unique PIN number. Honda says Miimo can mow up to 3000 square meters on a full charge.

Sports mag insisting VW will be on F1 start line in 2015

Germany's Sport Bild magazine continues to report that Volkswagen will enter Formula One in 2015 with partner Sauber, despite VW's new head of motorsport, Jost Capito, saying it won't happen. Peter Sauber is said to have admitted meeting VW CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Geneva motor show in March, but Sauber F1 team CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said that's where the story ends. Not so, says Sport Bild. It says that not only is VW looking to partner with Sauber, but it could be planning its own chassis designed with the aid of Porsche. VW's interest piqued with new regulations requiring 1.6-litre turbocharged V6s by 2014. Capito led the Sauber Red Bull Racing F1 team for five years from 1996-2001.

We are the world

*The Suck Bang Blow bar in Horry County, South Carolina, has filed a lawsuit challenging the county's new law prohibiting motorcyclists doing "burnouts". The bar claims that burnouts are important expressions of its customers' "manliness and macho" and as such are protected by the US First Amendment.

*In sheds belonging to the local government in Miami-Dade County, Florida, are 298 new vehicles - bought in 2007 but never used.

*A man in Chicago used a Bobcar front-end loader to crash through the window of a shop and steal two cans of deodorant and a handful of gift cards - and nothing else. He walked casually out of the shop and into the arms of the law.

*Rodney Valentine, 37, was released from jail in Wentworth, North Carolina, at 8am, but refused to leave until wardens agreed to drive him to a local motel. They would not budge, nor would Valentine.

At noon he was arrested for trespassing on jail property.

- NZ Herald

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