News Issue 28

Stampede

On September 10th, Mustang owners from all over Europe gathered together at Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium to set a new world record for the most Ford Mustangs in a single parade. Examples of all years of Mustang were brought from all across the continent – including a large UK contingent – for the event, with a whopping 1,326 ponies joining the convoy around the site. This smashed the previous record of 960 Mustangs in Toluca, Mexico, back in 2017.

Boxing Day Blues

Romsey’s annual Pre-1976 Boxing Day Car and Bike Meet is sadly no more. Event organiser, Steve Biddlecombe, has asked us if we could make readers aware of this, as he doesn’t want anyone to have a wasted journey to Romsey this Boxing Day. He cited various issues with the site, and no available alternative – the full reasons behind the decision can be found on either his website (www.romsey-classiccarandbikemeet.co.uk) or the group’s Facebook page. Steve said, “It’s been a very tough and sad decision to make, but I want to ‘quit at the top’ rather than watch the event go downhill due to the problems it now faces. I’d like to thank each and every vehicle owner and spectator who visited over the last 17 years, especially all of those who kindly gave to our charity collections and helped us raise over £40,000!”

A Mini Celebration

Back at the tail end of August – Bank Holiday Monday, as it happens – the evergreen Mini celebrated its 60th birthday. The first properly transverse-engined mass-production car, the original Mini would enjoy a 41-year lifespan with more than five million copies sold. It also enjoys one of the most fanatical bunches of owners of any classic. One wonders if the ‘new’ BMW Mini will ever have such a devoted following.

Mopar’s Decade

There’s another birthday being marked right now at Mopar – they’re celebrating 10 years of turning out ‘factory customised’ Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models with a special tenth anniversary ’19MY Challenger. Based on the R/T Scat Pack model, the anniversary edition comes in either Pitch Black or White Knuckle, with a Shaker pinned hood, Shakedown exterior graphics and various other interior trim items. The production run will be just 100 units; 90 for America and 10 for Canada, and will be delivered late this year.

Three-Ton Bugatti

At the beginning of September, on a test track in Germany, a “near-production prototype” derivative of the Bugatti Chiron hypercar cracked the triple ton by recording a world record top speed of 304.77mph. The whole automotive world applauded, except for every Top Fuel driver, who all said, “Pfft… pansies.”

It’s Electrifyin’

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September, Ford announced that “the tipping point of electrified versus conventional petrol and diesel powertrains is expected by end of 2022, when more than 50 per cent of Ford passenger vehicle sales will be electrified.” They also announced that their “Mustang-inspired” all-electric performance SUV will arrive in 2020.

No Sh*t, Sherlock

This month’s most unsurprising press release comes from Motorpoint, who surveyed 181 motorists (wow) and found that 70% of respondents were against having “Big Brother-style” black-box tracking devices fitted to new cars. The news comes in the wake of EU proposals that could see all new cars made in Europe from 2022 fitted with black boxes that monitor a driver’s location, speed, driving behaviour and use of vehicle safety features. Mercedes-Benz recently hit the headlines after admitting that they were already fitting such devices to some of their new cars without informing buyers. What do you reckon to this idea?

Jessi Combs

July 27th, 1980 – August 27th, 2019

On Tuesday, August 27th, driver, fabricator, TV personality and accomplished racer, Jessi Combs, was killed in a crash while attempting to break her own land speed record in Oregon’s Alvord Desert. Combs earned the title of “the fastest woman on four wheels” in 2016, after her team’s 52,000hp car travelled at over 440mph. In 2018, she clocked over 483mph before mechanical failure cut the day short. On August 27th, she was piloting her North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger machine across the desert, aiming to eclipse Kitty O’Neill’s 512mph record, when the 56ft vehicle disintegrated. An inquiry hopes to discover the cause.

Ady Randle

The world of sportsman drag racing was stunned over the weekend of the FIA Euro Finals by the sudden death of Ady Randle, staunch Pro ETer and regular ‘colour’ commentator for the class. Colin Theobald, the voice of Santa Pod, gave this superb eulogy on social media, reproduced here with his permission.

“In our close world of drag racing, everyone involved somehow becomes your second family. We celebrate together, we commiserate each other, we laugh together, we are always there for each other; it’s what we do. Hey, we constantly take the p*ss out of each other, but that’s how it is. In commentary, we do have fun whenever we can, and a colour commentator that comes to join us to cover a class and help us out is always welcomed – it gives us someone else to have some great banter with. One guy in particular, who didn’t really have a clue at the start, though you couldn’t deny he had the sheer passion, was Ady Randle. My God, we laughed with him, and the six, yes, six years he joined in were memorable. He did get it right in the end, but that’s what made Ady ‘Ady’.

I found out today that, having been here all weekend, he became ill this morning and, despite everyone’s best efforts, unbelievably, Ady left this world so suddenly. You have one go at life and Ady did it well. Gone way too soon but, somehow, he picked the best place to exit stage right. It seems fitting that he entered the gates of his favourite place during the week and now his soul will now never leave Santa Pod. Rest in peace, mate. In fact, sod that, carry on as you were, you have every right to. Cheers mate.”