Episode 24 – Badge Engineering? Who Are You Kidding?

CAR NEWS – NOVEMBER 2017

What a month for car news! The new Tesla Roadster and Truck has caused so much butt-hurtery with fossil fuel fans, but traditionalists can be happy the new Jeep Wrangler is only 0.1% different than the old one. Corvette have gone from poor man’s Lamborghini to full on Lamborghini while Lamborghini themselves have gone old-skool Lamborghini. But then Konnegseg have gone an done 277mph done an old road in Nevada. We’re living in crazy times and perhaps the new new Discovery number plate position is a sign of that.

CAN WE GIVE ASIA ITS EV DUES?

While we’ve all been having a good laugh at the Toyota Prius over the years, it’s time to acknowledge it’s been fighting the EV fight now for two decades. Asia has led us into a new era kicking and screaming and it’s all too easy to fawn over Teslas and follow ze Germans. Toyota normalised the electric car and, if you’ve got a taxi in the last year, you’ve probably felt the benefit.

BADGE ENGINEERING? WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?

We’re going to stick our necks out here and dare to suggest there’s something a bit wrong with sticking Bentley badges on your 300C. We also think that putting M-badges on non M-Sport BMWs is a bit naff too. Badge engineering has spun so far out of control now even the manufacturers are in on it.

IS A CAR AN OBJECT OR AN EXPERIENCE?

You know we’re not scared of getting a bit philosophical and we ask the ultimate question here, should a car be a material possession or a form of theatre. The fact is driving and car ownership gives us something very special beyond the usual consumerism but we still easily lose our way. We also have to respect that the person we see driving an expensive sports car may be in it for the pleasure and not the ostentation.

Episode 23 – Are Concept Cars Just A C*cktease?

CAR NEWS – NOVEMBER 2017

Tesla aren’t looking so hot right now with their autonomous tech falling behind along with their production schedule and quality control. Worse still, they have come bottom of all electric car manufacturers in the 2017 UK Reliability Survey.

We have a good LOOL about the new London T-charge now that diesel vehicles are rightfully being targeted. It turns out Oxford wants to ban all fossil fuel cars, Honda have sold a ridiculous number of 50cc mopeds, and Nissan might be killing of the mighty Z.

BECAUSEJPN; TOKYO MOTORSHOW SPECIAL

It’s a BECAUSEJPN special this time round since the 2017 Tokyo Motorshow has happened. There’s lots to get excited about and some duds that need pointing out too. We’re particularly excited about a car designed for OAPs and a personal transportation vehicle that looks like a butt plug – stay wacky Japan! V(>_<)V

WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON WITH FRONT NUMBER PLATES?

We don’t appreciate it’s the law to have a clearly displayed front number plate, we respect it’s part of the design aesthetic of cars. So, why do some people seem to go to great lengths not to have one and, worse still, come up with solutions that look ten times worse?

IS CAR INSURANCE STUPID, JUST STUPID, FOR SHED?

Listen up, if you don’t drive a rare car, you need to know what the impact of crashing into one really is. Plus, if you are driving one, you need to think about how your insurance company is going to behave in response to even the most minor of dings.

ARE CONCEPT CARS JUST A C*CKTEASE?

You know the drill; motorshow takes place, manufacturers roll out some wobbly clay fantasies that tickle our pickles. Three years later we get some middle of the road abomination nobody wants. Just what the hell is going on? We try to work it all out and look toward what might be a less frustrating future.

 

Episode 22 – Is Tribalism Getting Worse For Cars?

The Swedes are in the lead. The Koenigsegg Agera RS has done a run from 0-400-0 faster than you can read this description. Meanwhile, there’s some weird changes coming to the UK driving test, we might all be driving around in vacuum cleaners soon, and Andrew gets far too excited about wool interiors. We also don’t get why people are squealing about the new UP Gti like One Direction Fans. We ask if something’s gone horribly wrong when you see a Rolls Royce Phantom and aren’t sure if it’s a Chinese knockoff or not. Plus, we ponder, with more and more people getting into cars, is bringing out just as much bad in human behaviour as good.

Episode 21 – Should We Stop Defending The Defender?

With the news about 40 year cut offs for tax and MOTs you would be forgiven for being a little excited. Sadly, not all is at it seems and life could be getting harder if you have a highly modified car. We confirm the latest dates governments want to stop selling fossil fuel cars by, woo at the new Honda Urban EV concept, wow at Subaru’s latest ring record, and commend the fact we’ve not had to burn any coal to brew a cuppa for at least one day this year. After that, we tell Defender fans to wipe their eyes and move on, question if we’ve lost legendary hot hatches and suped up saloons, and ask of all the things we want to important from the States, is brodozer culture one of them?

Episode 20 – Are All Middle Lane Drivers Pure Road Cancer?

We’re one year old! Put on a pointy hat, grab a luke warm sausage roll, and join us for a proper baller party in the podding shed. We’ve got plenty of car news to start, then Chris questions if stanced cars deserve the hate they get, Andrew points out how manufacturers with crap EV tech are throwing money at Formula E, and we mull over the issue of middle lane drivers. Is there a time sitting in the middle lane just makes sense, what’s the best way to deal with them? We also debate the leaked Jimmy photos and tackle accusations it appears rather too much like a little G-Wagon rip-off.

Review Not A Review – Tesmania – Toyota Land Cruiser BJ45

So, this little shed-venture all started a long time ago when Andrew was driving down a country road and saw a unicorn, his first in person sighting of a Toyota 40 Series. He nearly drove off the road in excitement. Well, by sheer chance, it transpired that the owner was a customer at the establishment Andrew’s wife manages.

Messages were exchanged, pleas were made, and we managed to get in touch with this FJ’s owner, Jonny. Better still, Jonny invited us up to see his FJ COLLECTION!

We hastily made our way up to visit, gathering whatever filming equipment we could lay our oily little mitts on, and were blown away by what he had to show us. This also meant, for the first time ever, Andrew got to lay his hands upon the vehicle he covets so deeply – but it got even better.

Jonny backed TES, the oldest in his collection, an old Tasmanian explosives truck from “down’t mines” that he’d had driven to Australian and shipped over, out his garage, pointed at his fields, and told us to get out there and have some fun.

And in fun we did partake.

The great news, we got it all on video, for you beautiful people, and thus we have the first of what we hope to be many Review Not A Reviews.

Episode 19 – Am I Entering The Motoring Menopause?

If you like hairy, middle-aged men ranting about stuff then you’re going to love this episode. In our continued stance of not getting political, we focus on two topics all about politics. Andrew also tries to console Chris through an extensional crisis regarding his love for cars and there’s a shocking confession during the the news segment.

Special Episode – Mustang Married ‘Murica

Do you fondly remember a time when you had to sit through a friend’s photo slideshow of their holiday while they rabbited on about every minute detail as if somehow you’re supposed to care? No. Well, here it is in modern form anyway. Here, Chris reflects on his travels in The States where he got to drive the new Mustang on a few road-trips and also got to take a Wrangler Rubicon out wheeling in the Arizona desert.

Episode 18 – Are We Peak VAG?

As we hit Episode 18 and Men In Sheds enters adulthood, we have changed up the format in a bid to border on being entertaining. We start off with the news, asking if we are peak VAG, questioning if the VTEC really does kick in, yo, and giving the lowdown on detailing for the lazy car owner. You may want to make your way down to the local bunker as some truth bombs are well and truly dropped.

Oh America, How Your Current Car Culture Confuses Me

Usually I go into writing an article with a clear idea of what it is I want to say. Often this comes about thanks to some deep reflection which has led one or two conclusions — this is one of those few times I’m completely at a loss. I simply don’t know how I feel about American car culture right now, having just spent a few weeks over there.

Like a lot of car fans my age, the United States had a huge affect on my upbringing and love of all things automotive. I grew up on a daily dose of Dukes of Hazard, A-Team, the Fall Guy, and Knight Rider with seasonal lashings of Battle of The Monster Trucks and weekend features of Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, Herbie, and more.

In fact, back then, it feels like everything out of America was sprinkled with car culture like it was the pop equivalent of cinnamon. The Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles had their van, the Munsters their kustom coach, and the Monkees rode around in their Monkeemobile. Barbie had a Ferrari, Ken had a Corvette, and each of Charlie’s Angels had car to help define their personality. It was like nobody could ever really feel actualised until they had a car to define their being — it helps explain a lot about my generation’s attitude to modified car culture now.

My first trip to The States was back in 2007 and, in those ten years since, I’ve been back three times. Each time I visit, it seems their car culture has taken another long step in the wrong direction.

We flew out to Phoenix, Arizona this time, via Atlanta. One of my favourite parts of flying to America is landing at the airport, not just because I hate flying but because you’re greeted with F-Series trucks and E-Series vans cruising around airside getting their jobs done. That never seems to change. Blue collar car culture remains as American as concealed carry and barely anymore progressive. When a white F150 eventually dies, it’s replaced with slightly curvier F150 which may or may not have a new generation of engine between the rails of what is in earnest a 70 year old chassis bordering on an institution. You could start a religion there around ladder frames and leaf springs and thousands upon thousands would come to hear you preach. And I like that. Commercial vehicles are the most organic of any country’s automotive portfolio, be it the Transit van of the UK or the Tuk Tuks of Indaa.

However, from the second you walk out those automatic doors and drag your luggage by the taxi rank, you quickly see what American cars have become. They are fat, they are ugly, and many of them are obese. They are a mishmash of vacuous European blandness and crass American hedonism. This is now a world of the have and have-land-yachts. Continue reading Oh America, How Your Current Car Culture Confuses Me