Petrolhead

Hello. You have driven yourself to the vinceunlimited Petrolhead page. I can almost smell the four star in the air.

The Petrolhead page is a new parking space in the vinceunlimited universe where I can collate all the relevant stuff from the site for a particular type of web traveller, in this case the petrolhead sort. Or the dieselhead sort. Or the electric drive sort. Or the Hydrogen sort. All sorts in fact.

In time this page will be fully populated with all the vehicular related content, such as bikes, driving, road tests and car technology found within the vinceunlimited site.

Plus this section won't be limited to cars and bikes. Trucks, vans, road and rail, ships, boats and aircraft. In fact anything with wheels, tracks, propellors or jet power whether it moves or not.

Rebuilding The Dream

Below is garaged the first of the articles originally written and published in October 2003 in the original version of the vinceunlimited web site and represents an opinion at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. They are reproduced below unedited.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017



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Bad Driving Habits - Fluorescent Roads - Fuels - Lanes - LCD Car Windows



Bad Driving Habits

Driving Me To Distraction

A photo of a motorway scene showing cars and vans approaching a junction on the M27

Is there anyone who has not got an opinion on driving?

Well this is one to get you all going - unless you are in London at 5.30 p.m. on a weekday. Speed limits, don't we all just hate them? Come on, admit it. If you like limits then you are beyond hope. Just go out and stand in the road now. Only you won't get hurt because all the cars are going so slow nowadays because of the restrictions, humps and hopeless drivers who couldn't drive a Scalextric car.

And it's our own fault. Limits are only put there because the general imbeciles driving around today can't control their vehicles or judge when it is safe. Speed does not kill - bad driving does. And the general driver, despite their own high opinion of their ability to match Schumacher, drives pretty poorly.

So to counter this threat to innocent passers by and other road users the authorities (i.e. our elected representatives) put up arbitrary tin plates suggesting a recommended maximum. Now that would be fine if that was all it was. Instead, our protectors (i.e. the police) do their best to catch people going a bit quick and then to fine and humiliate us.

Fines themselves are fine, one could say a fine deterrent. It's the points system that gets me riled. A few misdemeanours over a matter of years can lead to diabolical insurance premiums and possible incarceration with all the attendant bottom stretching. With possible loss of employment, status and respect. Ask yourself - Is that really fair punishment for going too fast?

Sure, I'd agree that bad driving deserves all the bottom expansion in the world but bad driving is difficult to measure. And all this makes for an increasingly stale road system. And for people like me with four star in their veins it isn't good enough. We need to fight back.

We should concentrate instead on bad driving and eliminate those poor habits. So, take a look at the few listed below and if it's you - shame...

  1. Hogging the outer lane. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Move over you pussy. I wanna go past and you ain't the police sunshine. Imbecile.

  2. Hogging the middle lane. See above. And stop worrying about filtering off the motorway. The junction is at least two miles away and its well signed. Nerd.

  3. Inappropriate speeding. I know, after all I said but 30 mph passing a school at 9 a.m. is much worse than 120 mph at night down an empty highway. Idiot.

  4. Using your hazards whilst stopped in town. There's always another car stopped behind you so all the passing cars can only see one of your indicators. Looks like you are about to pull out! Wombat.

  5. Parking on the 'other' side of the road with your lights on. The headlight dipping system blinds every passing car. And as you are stationary you hardly need to see. But we do. Dipstick

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a typical motorway scene and is not intended to be a comment on the vehicles involved It was taken by the author in Feb 2016. It was added in Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017



Fluorescent Roads

The long and shiny road

Image of a light blue Peugeot 406 coupe travelling on a road
The road could be blue. To match the car

The technology which brings us reflective white paint to help guide us on our roads at night is one of man's greatest achievements. Obviously not in the league of the wheel or Penicillin. Or even bicycle clips. But pretty much up there.

As you hare down a country lane at night a pair of brilliant white lines guide you from one curve to another. The experience is surreal.

But, as usual, there is a limitation. In many cases, whilst we enjoy the reflection from the central lines sub-dividing the carriageways there isn't always an edge marker. And let's face it, the less unnecessary white paint embellishment on our country lanes the better.

Now, we cannot just paint the whole road surface because then we wouldn't be able to see the central white dividing lines. Plus the grip (for those of us who go quick enough to need it) would be severely reduced, particularly in the wet, the cost of paint would be exorbitant and, quite frankly, it would be an eyesore.

Unless the paint could be made black. And reflective.

So, we need a solution. How about making the roads fluorescent.

Add a luminescent compound to the Tarmac* mix. That way all the light absorbed during the day will be magically converted to a bright ribbon of road at night.

Just think of all the gorgeous colours that could be generated. Plus, the motorways could be coloured blue, the main roads green, the minor roads red and the little lanes yellow. All to match my road atlas.

We'll never turn onto the wrong road at night again.

Admittedly, as far as I know, luminescent paint is slightly radioactive. So all our cars will need lead underpans (lead underpants for cyclists). Then the handling and performance will be affected. So we won't be able to go quick after all.

Come to think of it, it's a silly idea. I tell you what - let me take another look at that bicycle clip concept again.

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Author: Vince Poynter
*Little known fact: Tarmac is a registered name used in a generic way, much like Hoover
Version m5.024 24 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts a Peugeot 406 Coupe travelling on a typical British A-road, taken by the author in April 2016. The image was added in Version m5.024 24 Nov 2017



Fuels

Image of toy Shell classic petrol pump

Oil be seeing you. Oilways

Do you consider yourself green?

I suppose the answer would be yes if you are either a resident of the planet Nerasis (sector 45AF.789 in the Zarciod Belt, turn right past Uranus and it's only a block or two away) or a pedal cycling, anally retentive killjoy with a huge chip on your shoulder. Either way, you ain't gonna like what I say.

Fossil fuels. Burn 'em.

I make no secret of the fact that I'm a turbo charged V8 with nitrous injection.

I overtake people on the pavement (that's the sidewalk to all you Yanks) in the same way that I pass them on the road. Life is for living and we today are fortunate to have been blessed with the black stuff.

Oil. Fantastic product, all that energy easily stored and able to take us on adrenaline fuelled trips that crack cocaine would struggle to produce. I'm a petrol junkie.

Hold it old chap, I hear you politely say. What about the resource issue?

If we all go around mindlessly using these decomposed dinosaur reservoirs then there won't be any left for the next generation. Stuff them! It doesn't matter. If we didn't have oil we would invent some other way of getting our automotive kicks and so will the next generation.

Let's pass on something useful - The ability to have fun.

Just one reservation about oil. Why did someone invent Diesel, then think it might be a good idea to use it in cars? Beats me.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.017 10 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The unedited content represents a view held at the time, long before the adoption of powerful electric or hybrid vehicles and modern, clean diesel engines
The image depicts a toy Shell classic petrol pump, circa 1970, taken in December 2002 and was added in Version m5.017 on 10 Nov 2017



Lane Discipline

A motorway scene
Lane discipline is good here. Probably.

I'm a fan of driving. Sure there are many reasons why I shouldn't be. Take a peek at my opinion on driving habits if you need to see a few reasons why. But I am also an optimist, if things are bad they can be fixed.

All we need is the will and a bit of clever thinking. And that is a speciality of mine. I have worked out how we can reverse one of the worst habits of British motoring by changing some simple rules.

Why not let people who drive correctly, drive faster?

We all want to go quicker but need to do this responsibly. Here is the way.

Without changing the rules about only overtaking on the right, let us allow drivers to go quickest on the inside lane, then progressively slower in the outer lanes.

Sounds crazy? Well just think about it for a moment.

Imagine a three-lane motorway. When you are driving along with no other traffic (remember the seventies?) I propose that you should be able to charge along safely to your hearts content.

If you then come upon a slower vehicle ahead then you will need to move out a lane to pass. But you have to temper the speed a bit and go past carefully. If you again want to get going once past you will be encouraged to move back to lane 1 to be allowed to travel again at speed.

And when the traffic is so bad that all three lanes are needed then all the overtaking in lane 3 has to be so much slower, therefore safer. It is a self-restricting system. Slow when busy but with less restrictions when the roads empty.

And drivers will voluntarily move over to the left after overtaking. Simple. Like all great ideas.

Of course, the set limits would have to offer something if this is to be sold as a good system. If the government gets hold of this idea then some quango think tank will decide that on motorways the limits should be 70, 60 and 50 mph. Much easier to sell the idea to a sceptical public at 90, 70 and 60 mph.

Mind you it won't stop the arsehole cruising along at 60 in the centre lane, clogging up the whole system. For that I propose a simpler system. That I shall be legally allowed to carry a firearm and shoot him.

(Note: Americans and Europeans will have to read this page in a mirror to get the idea)

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.023 23 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts a typical British motorway scene and is used to illustrate lanes being used. There is no implication to suggest the vehicles are in the correct or incorrect lanes. The image was added in Version m5.023 23 Nov 2017 and updated in Version m5.024 24 Nov 2017



LCD Car Windows

The new black in car windows

Image of a blue Range Rover with black out side windows
Blacked out windows

Maybe it's because I wear glasses and so cannot instantly pick up the oh-so-fashionable Oakleys everytime the sun comes out.

Maybe because I hate it when all those pillocks keep their sunvisors down long into the evening, or later. Or forever.

Or is it just that I hate that time in a winter's evening when the sun is right in your face, just above the steering wheel rim.

I think we need to do something about sunny days.

Why not use LCD technology to automatically black out car windows on a summers day?

It's a well-known science, relatively cheap and controllable. Look at the watch on your wrist (no, not you Mr. Breitling). Control could be light sensitive, or switched by yet another button with a strange logo on the dashboard.

Just imagine you've been out cruising all night, so your windows are clear. It's early morning and you are thinking of an excuse to tell the boss that you need a day off. You know, dead grannies, leaves on the line, working from home; that sort of thing. When you pull up next to a car and it's the man-boss himself, on his way to work.

Just flick the switch and your car becomes a haven of seclusion. Or a Mafia staff car. Yes, you too could look like a reclusive film star. In your twenty-six year old Datsun Cherry.

There is only one problem as far as I can tell. Legislation would prevent the technology being applied to front windscreens, so all the problems listed above would still irritate me.

I guess I'm gonna have to get that Laser Surgery done.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.025 27 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image was added in Version m5.025 27 Nov 2017. It depicts a blue Range Rover with blacked out windows, taken by the author in April 2012. That is, the photo was taken, not the car. That would be theft. And naughty.