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Title: Taxi News Roundup April 2017

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Summary: Take a look at the latest taxi industry news in our April roundup post.

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Meta Description: Read the most important news stories from the taxi industry in our April taxi news roundup post.

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Taxi News - April 2017

Drivers in South Lanarkshire Threaten Strike Action

Earlier in April we reported that drivers in the South Lanarkshire towns of Rutherglen and Cambuslang had threatened strike action, in protest over increasingly tough working conditions in the area. Drivers were concerned with what they view as an over-saturation of the number of taxis operating in the region, which they say is severely affecting their ability to earn a decent wage on a day to day basis.

South Lanarkshire granted 142 licenses to new drivers in 2016 alone, with the increase in new drivers on the road not corresponding with an increase in business. One driver in the area, Charles Spiers, said . “I know of drivers having to work twenty-four hours over a Friday and Saturday, just to pay the mortgage. Older drivers in particular are pushing themselves too hard. You have the same amount of jobs, but twice the amount of drivers”.

In response to the treat of strike action, Geraldine McCann, a representative for South Lanarkshire Council said that the law “does not currently permit the limiting of private hire cars”. However, McCann also mentioned the introduction of a new provision that would give local authorities the ability to limit and refuse to hand out private hire licenses, which is due to come into force during 2017.

Cabbies Protest Evening Standard Offices

Back in March, London’s Evening Standard newspaper announced that former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was to become its new editor. It turns out that some weren’t too happy with the announcement, with London’s licensed taxi trade in particular finding issue.

In late April, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) announced that they were to protest outside the Evening Standard’s offices, over fears that Osborne’s appointment could lead to the paper losing its status as an independent “voice of London”. The LTDA cited recent allegations that suggest the former chancellor lobbied on behalf of ride-share company Uber during his time in office. The LTDA’s general secretary Steve McNamara also alleged that Osborne’s involvement with the firm BlackRock placed him as an indirect backer of Uber, stating that BlackRock had “invested millions of pounds in Uber – a £50bn company that paid just £400,000 in tax in the UK last year”.

Like drivers in South Lanarkshire, London drivers are operating in an increasingly saturated market, and as such the LTDA has had a longstanding issue with Uber. They view Osborne’s appointment to the Standard as something that could lead to a “lack of transparency” at the paper, and something that could potentially lead to editorials that favour the viewpoint of Uber over the LTDA. Whichever side of the argument you fall on, it’s safe to say that the discussion around Uber in the UK isn’t set to subside any time soon.

Mercedes on Track to Develop Self-Driving Taxis

The world of driverless taxis may not be too far off, as Mercedes and Bosch have announced they are set to work together to produce a market-leading “robo taxi”.

At the moment there isn’t too much of a market to lead in; as far as we’re able to tell, no company is successfully operating a driverless taxi service anywhere in the world. However, in terms of developing driverless taxis the market is saturated, with US rideshare giant Uber and China based taxi platform Didi Dache both independently working on such a service.

Mercedes’ parent group Daimler initially started development of a driverless vehicle alone, employing a team of around 500 engineers looking into hardware, software, and automotive development. However, the partnership with Bosch allows the two companies to ramp up their work, stating that they should have an autonomous vehicle ready by the beginning of the next decade.

For any drivers reading this worried that your job may be in peril within the next 3 years, don’t be too concerned. It’s highly unlikely that driverless cars will be made legal within such a short time-frame, and putting together such a landmark piece of legislation is likely to be a time consuming and lengthy task. Plus, with driverless vehicles currently making headlines for getting into scrapes and crashes around the globe, it’s unlikely that the public will be so quick to accept a ride from a taxi with no driver.

Author: Fusion

Title: Football’s Most Expensive Sackings

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Summary: We’ve all heard of the expression, “Get him a taxi,” when a football manager fails to cut the mustard. Now, come with us as we explore ten of the most expensive football sackings (and proverbial taxi fares) in recent memory.

Meta Title: Taxi For... | Football's Most Expensive Sackings

Meta Description: Come with us as we explore ten of football's most expensive sackings (and proverbial taxi fares) in recent memory.

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We’ve all heard of the expression “get him a taxi” when watching football on the telly. Every passing week seems to see another coach ingloriously given the boot, whether their team’s been too muted on the pitch or too raucous off it, with too few goals going in and too many coming the other way.

At the sport’s highest level, what’s always consistent are the enormous amounts of money involved when a football club decides that it’s ready to part ways with its manager. It’s safe to say that there’re few taxis that are more expensive than these!

We’ve laced up our boots, brushed up on our set-pieces and taken a look at ten of the most expensive managerial switches in recent years. We’ve explored the circumstances that led to each manager’s sacking and the highs and lows they enjoyed in their life at the club on the way! We’ve also shown how much money the club paid to get rid of the manager, portraying each separation fee as a fare!

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Football

Author: Fusion

Title: Best New Cars of 2017

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Summary: Every year a fleet of new vehicles arrives, from old favourites receiving refreshed leases of life to brand-new models being rolled out of the factory doors for the very first time. Join us as we take a look at the ones we can't wait to drive in 2017.

Meta Title: Best New Cars 2017 | Car Deals 2017

Meta Description: Take a look at our article bringing together the best new cars of 2017, and find a new car deal that suits you at Bristol Street Motors.

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Citroen C3

Every year a fleet of new vehicles arrives, from old favourites receiving refreshed leases of life to brand-new models being rolled out of the factory doors for the very first time. Join us as we take a look at the ones we can’t wait to drive in2017, and take a look at our new car deals.

Citroën C3 2017

The new Citroen C3 complements a playful aesthetic with seriously high-end mechanics. Citroën are well-known for the technology with which their vehicles are kitted out and the C3 looks set to continue the trend. There’ll also be improved shock absorption and sound suppression over the current model, leading to a more serene experience all-round.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

The new Ford Fiesta ranks as one of the most iconic and well-loved vehicles on the road. In the 2017 model, Ford look set to keep their already successful formula fairly intact, but there’ll no doubt be an array of enhancements. Expect a spread of customisation options, from Ford Active Stop and drive assists to heated seats and an expanded range of trims. The Fiesta has never been more personal!

Honda Civic Type R

Unlike the Fiesta, Honda’s 2017 Civic – the vehicle’s tenth generation – sees the range radically redesigned. Taking home a range of plaudits at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the new Civic expresses a daring aesthetic that sees the model revitalised, boasting bold and vibrant colours with spoilers and bodywork to match. Look out for this one on the roads this year, and check out our range of used Honda models here.

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

The 2017 new Nissan Micra promises a similar extent of revision to the Civic, with a range of alterations increasing the driving experience’s comfort. Nissan are overhauling the interior, providing a combination of dashboard technology and trim to bring the Micra in line with the best of its class.

SEAT Leon

SEAT Leon

Spanish designers SEAT are making several changes to the new SEAT Leon, which already ranks in our books as one of the nicest hatchbacks going. Adding new safety features and drive assists, fitting a new and more powerful engine and widening the available colour options, the Leon experience will become even more complete.

Renault Captur

Renault Captur

In the Captur, Renault promise a vehicle that embodies the exceptional standards of style for which they’re historically well-known. With loads of great colourways, few cars will prove a more fashionable mode of transport for navigating city life than the new Renault Captur!

Author: Fusion Unlimited

Title: The UK’s Favourite Driving Songs

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Summary: From the radios that set the scenes of our morning commutes to the soothing songs we play at night, music has never strayed too far from the steering wheel. To see if we could pin down a soundtrack to the UK’s roads, we took a look at polls, "Top Driving Song" CD's and turned on the radio to see which songs cropped up the most. Join us to take a look at ten of the most iconic songs that continue to reverberate in our vehicles.

Meta Title: The UK’s Favourite Driving Songs

Meta Description: Take a look at our list of the UK's favourite driving songs, and take a look at ten of the most iconic songs that continue to reverberate in the nations vehicles.

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From the radios that set the scenes of our morning commutes to the soothing songs we play at night, music has never strayed too far from the steering wheel. When it comes to music everyone has their favourites, and there are patterns to the songs we enjoy while driving; generally up tempo classic rock and pop, often with lyrics about the road.

To see if we could pin down a soundtrack to the UK’s roads, we took a look at polls, “Top Driving Song” CD’s and turned on the radio to see which songs cropped up the most. Join us to take a look at ten of the most iconic songs that continue to reverberate in our vehicles.

  1. Stronger – Kanye West

You either love him or hate him, but Kanye’s pleas of “I can’t wait much longer” are obviously striking a chord with UK drivers at rush hour, with the strong beat and catchy hooks keeping the brain ticking through the boredom. The Daft Punk tune that Kanye samples, “Harder Better Faster Stronger”, didn’t appear in our search, but is an equally good song, more suited for slightly lower tempo journeys.

  1. The Passenger – Iggy Pop

Coming in at number 9 is Iggy Pop’s 1977 hit The Passenger, one of those all-purpose songs that seems to fit any and every journey. It’s perfect early morning motivation to crack on with your day, while also a great companion for any late night cross-country haul.

  1. Dashboard – Modest Mouse

In their 2007 single “Dashboard”, Modest Mouse made one of the best songs about the experience of driving: with their refrain of “the dashboard melted but we still have the radio”, they symbolise how the music and rhythm of a car is often as important as the car itself.

  1. Hotel California – The Eagles

Forty years may have passed, but we’re all still driving to Hotel California. Be sure to check out Frank Ocean’s American Wedding, which uses the same music, but completely rewrites the lyrics.

  1. On The Road Again – Willie Nelson

“On the Road Again” is Willie Nelson’s famous love song to the open road and should be high on the playlist of any road trip. The song was given a new lease of life by Donkey in the original Shrek movie, perhaps explaining the reason it turns up on so many recent driving albums, although whether or not Donkey was able to replicate Nelson’s musicality is a different question.

  1. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

Journey’s reverb-rich ballad of the small-town girl and the city boy from South Detroit continues to keep us believing today. Reimagined afar from its power- pop roots in its performance on the American TV show Glee, “Don’t Stop Believin'” also enjoyed airtime in a slightly different television context, playing alongside the final scenes of HBO’s The Sopranos.

  1. Horse with No Name – America

Though the desert “plants and birds and rocks and things” of America’s “Horse with No Name” are quite the far-cry from the terrain we’re accustomed to driving through in the UK, the song’s love for the open road makes it a humble travelling companion in every part of the world that inspires our awe.

  1. Highway to Hell – AC/DC

For kicking off a long journey with some customary fire and brimstone, few do it better than AC/DC on “Highway to Hell”, something UK drivers seem to be unanimous on.

  1. Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna

Rihanna’s right: sometimes, we do just need to shut up and drive.

  1. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

No list of favourites from the driver’s seat would be complete with Springsteen’s “Born to Run”. To be honest, we’re unsure that any list of favourite songs would be, in general. One of the most hard-hitting, inspirational and resonating lyricists of recent times, Springsteen’s pursuit of his American dream inspires us all to carry on – through thick and thin, traffic jam and detour – and keep running for our own.

Author: Fusion

Title: The Most Expensive License Plates in the UK

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Summary: We see hundreds of license plates every single day, and to most of us they simply blend into the medley of the commute home. To the particularly car-proud, however, they are more than just license plates; they are status symbols, hilarious jokes, or expressions of individuality. For your reading pleasure, we have made a list of the most expensive license plates in the UK… ever.

Meta Title: Most Expensive License Plates in the UK | Rare Number Plates | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motors have made a list of the most expensive license plates in the UK… ever!

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License plates are one of those commodities in life that most of us don’t even notice. Did you spot, for example, that the license plate on Doc Brown’s De Lorean read ‘OUTATIME’? Did your eagle eyes hone in on the fact that Iron Man’s plates say ‘STARK’?

We see hundreds of license plates every single day, and to most of us they simply blend into the medley of the commute home. To the particularly car-proud, however, they are more than just license plates; they are status symbols, hilarious jokes, or expressions of individuality. Some motorists consider these endeavours to be so worth pursuing that they are willing to pay vast sums of money for a simple arrangement of numbers and letters.

Here are the most expensive license plates in the UK… ever.

’51 NGH’ – £254,000

Singh is a common name in the Sikh community, which could possibly explain the sky high price tag attached to this plate when it sold in 2006.

‘VIP 1′ – £285,000

This plate is currently owned by Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC’s billionaire owner. It has previously been fitted to the Popes private car for a visit to Ireland.

‘M 1′ – £331,000

This plate was purchased by a mobile phone entrepreneur in 2006, who claimed that the license plate was a gift to his 10 year old son.

‘1 D’ – £352,000

Long before the famous boyband of the same name, this license plate was purchased by businessman Nabil Bishara, living in Warwickshire.

‘S 1′ – £404,000

This was Scotland’s first ever pressed number plate, according to legend. In 2008, the mythology-shrouded plate was bought at an auction, with the anonymous bidder vowing to attach the plate to a second hand Skoda.

‘F 1′ – £440,000

For some time, this plate held the record as the UK’s most expensive. The coveted ‘F1′ number plate was bought by businessman Afzal Khan back in 2008, and since then have adorned his McLaren-Mercedes SLR.

 The UK’s Most Expensive Number Plate

’25 O’ – £518,000

Here it is, the UK’s most expensive number plate of all time. But why is it this particular selection of numbers and letters? What meaning could this combination possibly have that would warrant the spending of over half a million pounds? This highly desirable plate was bought by Ferrari dealer John Collins back in 2014, for his beloved Ferrari 250 SWB. It turns out that ’25 O’ is apparently considered the perfect number plate for the Ferrari 250, hence the bidding war that escalated into the heavens before Collins emerged victorious, holding the yellow plastic plank above his head like a wrestler’s belt.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Odd Car Accessories: Top 10

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Summary: As you would expect, people grow very attached to their cars. In many ways, the car you drive is an extension of yourself, from the skill with which you handle your vehicle to your temperament on the road. People are so fond of their cars, in fact, that they like to personalise them. Unfortunately, however, this usually has a similar effect to putting sunglasses on your pet dog: amusing for a short while, then awkward.

Meta Title: Strange Car Gadgets | Funny Car Gadgets | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motors present a list of the 10 strangest car accessories

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As you would expect, people grow very attached to their cars. In many ways, the car you drive is an extension of yourself, from the skill with which you handle your vehicle to your temperament on the road. People are so fond of their cars, in fact, that they like to personalise them. Unfortunately, however, this usually has a similar effect to putting sunglasses on your pet dog: amusing for a short while, then awkward.

We’ve put together a list of the top ten most head-scratchingly, eyebrow-raisingly peculiar car accessories that have circulated over the years. Feel free to tick off any you own along the way. If you get full marks… we like your style.

 

Fluffy Dice

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If you’re a character in a 1970’s TV show about cops screeching around San Francisco, you might be able to pull these off. If, however, you are an accountant stuck in traffic on the M25, a pair of dangling fluffy dice obstructing 25% of your view of the road is not the way to go.

 

Bear alloys

Of the many odd alloys available, wheel alloys shaped in the form of a child’s teddy bear are perhaps the most visually offensive. At the low price of just £100 per wheel though, can you really afford not to have them?

 

Neon

If drifting around Tokyo car parks is a hobby, then installing fifteen blinding neon rods around your car to give it a radioactive glow might be in your best interests. Otherwise, put the electric blue bulb down and back away from the Fiat Punto.

 

Spinning rims

Cleverly invented to make it look like you’re still driving even when you’re stopped, spinning rims are a favourite in music videos featuring swimming pools, gold teeth, and lyrics about how great it is to have a lot of money. For maximum effect, combine spinning rims with dollar-sign alloys.

 

Car stickers

Do you want to give people the impression that your car is driving so fast that it’s actually on fire? If so, you need to invest in car stickers. Car stickers range from anything from flames, to skulls and cobwebs, to bullet holes.

Lit cigarette dispensers

Yes, these really existed, way back in the middle of the 20th century when safety wasn’t invented yet. Simply load a packet of cigarettes into the dispenser, and marvel as it shoots out burning cigarettes at your command. Fool proof.

In-car microwave

Everyone hates the desperate drive home after work, stomach growling, fantasising about pulling open the fridge and being bathed in its golden glow. With the in-car microwave, you need never worry about rushing home again. Simply sit in the car park, pop in a burger, and enjoy a nutritious meal in the backseat of your car.

 

Whistle Tips

Young people go through a lot of crazes, whether its fashion, music, or language. In Oakland, California, in 2002, young drivers took up the craze of adding ‘whistle tips’ to their car exhausts. The process essentially involves welding a piece of metal inside the exhaust to cause it to emit a shrill scream when you accelerate. But why would young drivers want this? Well… no reason at all, apart from to annoy local residents. They were swiftly banned.

 

Carlashes

One of the most commonly seen offenders on this list, the practise of gluing huge novelty eyelashes onto your cars headlights is surprisingly frequent. Whether the desired affect is to make the car look pretty, we’re not sure. More often than not, though, ‘carlashes’ transform a car into a giant metal Mr Blobby lookalike.

 

Novelty siren

Waiting in heavy traffic can be boring. Rather than listen to the radio or make conversation with any passengers, instead break the monotony by having a whale of a time playing with a novelty in-car siren. Novelty sirens allow you to project a variety of bizarre noises from your car, with many sirens allowing you to produce high decibel animal noises, musical honks, and wailing klaxons. If you think of them as emojis for cars, they suddenly make much more sense. See a motorist who has left their indicator on? Let them know with a friendly ‘moo’ at a hundred decibels.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Formula One Record Breakers

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Summary: Among Formula One fans, the battle rages eternal to finally decide who the all-time greatest race driver is. Rather than wade into the debate, we've decided to present you with the facts; a handful of the many records held by Formula One drivers. We've cherry picked ten of these for you, in order to help you make your own mind up on who is the sport’s greatest ever driver. Oh, and we've also popped in the worst Formula One driver of all time, just for good measure.

Meta Title: Formula One Record Breakers | Greatest F1 Driver | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Who is the greatest F1 driver of all time? We're not sure at Bristol Street Motors, so we've put together a list of Formula One record breakers so you can decide for yourselves!

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shutterstock_243067945Among Formula One fans, the battle rages eternal to finally decide who the all-time greatest race driver is. Rather than wade into the debate, we’ve decided to present you with the facts; a handful of the many records held by Formula One drivers. We’ve cherry picked ten of these for you, in order to help you make your own mind up on who is the sport’s greatest ever driver.

Oh, and we’ve also popped in the worst Formula One driver of all time, just for good measure.

Total starts

Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello holds the record with 322 starts between 1993 and 2011. Rubens Barrichello also is one of the few people to beat the Stig’s lap time on Top Gear, by 0.1 seconds.

Youngest drivers to start a race

At just 17 years, 166 days old, the Dutch teen Max Verstappen has achieved more than some people will in their whole lives, by racing in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

Oldest drivers to start a race

In 1958, Louis Chiron entered the Monaco Grand Prix at an impressive 55 years, 292 days of age, making him the oldest driver to have ever started a race.  More impressive still is that he placed sixth in the competition despite his age, driving a Lancia D50.

Total wins

The Red Baron himself, Michael Schumacher takes the crown for the most Formula wins, having racked up a staggering 91 wins over his 308 entries between 1991 and 2012, meaning he comes in first place on average one in every three races.

Percentage wins

With 24 victories out of 52 entries, the laurel wreath for highest percentage of wins goes to Juan Manuel Fangio, with a whopping 46.15%. Fangio was an avid car collector, and two of his old Ferrari’s have made it onto our list of ’10 Most Expensive Cars Sold at Auction’ due to their jaw dropping price tags.

Most races before first win

Aussie Mark Webber must have either the patience of a saint or a will of steel to have powered through 130 races before finally taking his place at the top of the podium in the 2009 German Grand Prix.

Total fastest laps

Michael Schumacher has claimed the fastest lap time of 77 of his 306 races, which is a little over 1 in 4. Considering he wins one in three, it’s not too surprising.

Total podium finishes

He just can’t stay away. Michael Schumacher holds the record again, with 155 podium appearances over his 308 entries.

Career points

28 year old Sebastian Vettel has accumulated a huge 1992 points over his career. The title was held by rival Fernando Alonso until the 2015 Italian Grand Prix, when Vettel took the lead. Alonso is currently third, with 1796 points. Brit Lewis Hamilton is second with 1984, only 8 points behind.

Race leader for every lap

Ayrton Senna takes the record, having been pack leader for 19 entire races. According to our calculations, that’s around 3600 miles without ever being overtaken. There’s no wonder the Brazilian one of the sport’s most admired drivers.

So, has any of this helped to make your mind up? If you’re still unsure, don’t worry. We do have at least one conclusion for you.

Worst F1 Driver Ever (Self Nominated)

There are surely a few contenders for this title, however one driver has taken it upon himself to step forward and take the crown. In 2013, a motoring forum was ablaze with debate over who the worst ever driver was. Enter Taki Inoue, Japanese driver for Footwork. He ended the debate, nominating himself with the tweet:

“Hey, mister! You don’t need to consider who is the worst F1 driver forever!! It’s definitely me Taki Inoue.” (sic)

He has a point. Inoue is famed for his comedy accidents during his ramshackle 1995 season. He stalled at the Monaco Grand Prix in the first qualifying stage, and was then hit and flipped by a Renault Clio course car. He escaped with only a minor concussion. Later, at the Hungary Grand Prix, Inoue’s engine failed. He jogged off the track to grab a fire extinguisher, and when running back to his car he was knocked flying by a course car. Again, he escaped unharmed, and retired at the end of the season.

Have we missed one of your favourites? Let us know!

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: The 10 Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold at Auction

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Summary: The cars on this list are so eye-wateringly pricey that it's hard to imagine anyone ever being confident enough to drive them. May we present to you... the most expensive cars ever sold at auction... ever!

Meta Title: Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold At Auction | World's Most Expensive Cars | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: The Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold at Auction - Bristol Street Motors brings you the world's most expensive cars

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An alternative title for this article could be ‘A Nice List of Really Pretty Ferraris’. The ten most expensive cars ever sold at auction are, with two exceptions, Ferrari-produced. The cars on this list are so eye wateringly expensive that it’s hard to imagine anyone ever being confident enough to drive them.

Multiple factors can influence the price a car fetches at auction. The rarity and initial production volumes are a factor, obviously, as is the condition. Interestingly, however, the value of a car can be hugely influenced by its history and previous owners, as well as its motoring history. A car that has won Le Mans will fetch many times its original price. Similarly, a car owned by a notable character will hit the higher numbers when under the hammer. In 1973, a Mercedes-Benz 770 F-Cabriolet sold for over £557,000 thanks to claims it was once used to ferry around Adolf Hitler. A week after it sold, it emerged that it these claims were false.

So, adjusted for inflation and in reverse order (it’s more fun that way), here are the most expensive cars to have ever sold at auction… ever.

  1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM

Price: $17,600,000 / £12,035,669

The 23rd of 32 250 LM’s ever made, this particular ‘rarri fetched a princely sum at the RM Auctions New York Sale 2015. The car was commissioned by the Fry family, of J.S.Fry and Sons fame, a renowned confectionary company who merged with Cadbury’s.

  1. 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione

Price: $18,392,418 / £12,577,560

With a 4.9 litre, V12 engine up front, the 375 Plus Spider Competizione was built solely for use on the track, and finished in second place at the Mille Miglia in 1954. 60 years later, it sold at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for a cool £12.5 million.

  1. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

Price: $18,500,000 / £12,651,129

This 1961 Ferrari, which sold for over £12.6 million, was found… in a barn. Under a heap of newspapers. It turns out the car used to belong to French actor Alain Delon, and famous photographs exist of the car with Jane Fonda perched on the bonnet. Not a bad find.

  1. 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe

Price: $20,412,361 / £13,958,888

Only six of these exist in the world. Initially designed with the aim of transporting royalty, the Royale actually struggled to find buyers, thanks to its wallet-incinerating price tag and the fact it was unveiled smack in the middle of the Great Depression.

  1. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale

Price: $26,388,867 / £18,045,891

The 275 GTB/C Speciale was the first Ferrari to feature an independent rear suspension and a transaxle gearbox. The bodywork is lightweight aluminium, and the chassis is a Tipo 563. The bodywork’s stand-out features include three sizeable vent cuts in the nose, and a further three behind the rear wheels, which give the car its unique look. The previous owner of the car in question was one Colonel E.B. Wilson, celebrated British commander and moustache owner.

  1. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

Price: $27,936,071 / £18,930,789

In 2013, the NART Spider became the then-second highest selling car ever, going under the hammer for a total of nearly £19 million. The catchy-titled car had only one previous owner. The new buyer, a collector named Eddie Smith, was contacted especially by Ferrari with regard to buying the car.

  1. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM

Price: $28,050,000 / £19,007,993

Sold in New York in 2015, this 1956 Ferrari 290 MM has a gleaming racing history. Custom built for Formula One racing legend and five-time champion, Juan Manuel Fangio, the 290 MM was one of four ever to be built. The 3.5 litre, V12-engined 290 MM has never crashed, despite its comparatively lengthy 8 year career.

  1. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

Price: $30,069,371 / £20,376,413

We’re into serious cheddar now. The Mercedes Benz in question is a rare racing car which used to belong to Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio, in his second name-drop in this list. In this motor, Fangio won his second world title.

  1. 1957 Ferrari 335S

Price: $35,711,359 / £24,199,688

The Ferrari 335s is a racing veteran, competing in Le Mans, the Sebring 12 Hours, the Mille Miglia, and more. The press release issued after the auction states the bidding war for the car lasted a whopping eleven minutes.

  1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Price: $38,098,927 / £25,885,942

Here we have it, the most expensive car ever sold at auction in history. The car was originally owned by French F1 driver Jo Schlesser, and competed in a range of races, until a crash in 1962 proved fatal for the car’s then driver, popular skier Henri Oreiller.

The extensively repaired car was later owned by businessman and engineer Ernesto Prinoth, who had a keen interest in motoring. It seems Ernesto was a fairly impressive fellow, as despite racing being merely a weekend hobby, he competed in F1 for a two year stretch. He also crashed the car, non-fatally, rolling it into a track-side bush, and caving in the roof. The damage to the car was mostly cosmetic, and apparently didn’t affect the cars price tag too much as proven by its recent sale price.

Finally, the car was owned by Fabrizio Violati, who was a widely respected member of the racing community and general renegade behind the wheel. He was renowned for pushing the vehicle to its limits, with apparent disregard for depreciation.

Looks like he needn’t have worried, though.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Car Cultures of the World: United Arab Emirates

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Summary: This month’s Car Culture of the World is the United Arab Emirates; specifically, Dubai. In the 90's, it was little more than a ghost town, with a couple of dodgy hotels and swirling red sand covering the roads. Fast forward a decade or two, and Dubai has been reborn, like a Stars in their Eyes contestant emerging from sequined doors, wreathed in dry ice. And their tuner scene is insane.

Meta Title: Cars of Dubai| United Arab Emirates | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: This month, Bristol Street Motors takes a look at the tuner culture and extravagant supercars of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Let’s clamber aboard the Bristol Street Learjet and whiz off on another exploration of exotic countries and their car cultures. This month’s stop is the United Arab Emirates; specifically, Dubai. If you’d taken this trip in the 90’s, you’d have touched down in a ghost town with a couple of dodgy hotels and swirling red sand gradually reclaiming the roads. Fast forward a decade or two, and Dubai has been reborn, like a Stars in their Eyes contestant emerging from sequined doors, wreathed in dry ice. And their tuner scene is insane.

You know a city is mad for cars when the police force’s cruiser collection is worth upwards of $5 million. Get caught going 36mph in a 30 in Dubai, and it’s perfectly possible that the flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror will be mounted on a Bugatti Veyron. Try outrunning that. Actually, if you’re one of Dubai’s innumerable tycoon playboys, you probably could have a good shot at outrunning it, as Dubai is home to one of the most densely packed collections of supercars in the world.

Supercars are so common here, in fact, that they are often found abandoned. It’’ not uncommon to spot a dust-coated Porsche simply ditched out in the desert, or forgotten about in a car park. After Dubai’s economic mudslide back in 2009, many of the city’s fat cats and hot shots nearly had a heart attack. They jumped ship, abandoning their gleaming Lambos and Astons to the desert sands. Since their bankrupt billionaires hightailed it over the dunes, the deserted supercars have become a well-documented icon of the world in recession.

Goodnight, sweet prince

The popularity of custom cars in Dubai, and in the UAE in general, is enabled by several factors. For one, fuel is dirt cheap. A litre of petrol will cost you the princely sum of around 34 pence. Additionally, the expanses of open road are great for opening up a fast car. Throwing more fuel on the fire is the fact that having a supercar purring in the driveway is an obvious indicator to the world that you are a person of interest (regardless of whether or not you are in fact as dull as an anvil).

Custom cars are status symbols, and in Dubai the competition is intense. Around 2.2 million people inhabit the city, of which some 26,000 are millionaires (or billionaires). This means one in every hundred people in Dubai is sitting pretty on a fortune, and, essentially, being filthy rich isn’t that big of a deal. So, the rich and infamous have to get creative with their cars, in a game of constant one-upmanship.

Chop shops and car modders are bountiful in the city, and are well adjusted to handling ever more bizarre briefs. Want leopard print seats? They’ll sort you out. Stitched falcon motifs on the seats? Sure. Neon-coloured interiors? Consider it done. Middle Eastern style dictates loud colours and plenty of, for lack of a better word, bling. These high-end customisations are primarily done by the dealership mechanic at the time of purchase. Going to accessory shops after buying your car is a risk, as the skill of the mechanics there is hit and miss, and best avoided. After spending several hundred thousand on a Bugatti Chiron, it’d be a crying shame if the dragon you requested to be sewn into the headrests ended up looking more like a bloated Pikachu.

Automotive events take place regularly all over the city, such as the Dubai Motor Show, the Emirates Classic Car Festival, and the Dubai Motor Festival, which is held in the name of the good old Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.  The festival draws crowds from around the world, all chomping at the bit to stand for hours in 45 degree heat and watch outrageously priced cars tear past at 200 miles an hour. The festival features parades, drifting contests, car-themed light shows, and trouping columns of F1 cars.

The Dubai Autodrome is a Mecca for petrol heads, with the opportunity for punters to leap behind the wheel of a car of their choosing, anything from an Audi to a McLaren, and whiz around the purpose-built racetrack. The Autodrome is the beating heart of motoring in Dubai, and regularly hosts events throughout the year, even hosting track days, during which people can race their own cars around the course.

If you’re an oil tycoon or a billionaire media mogul, Dubai is the holy land. If not, don’t despair, there’s still a chance for you to get behind the wheel of that Gallardo; you can apply to be a valet at the Burj Khalifa.

 

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Car Safety through the Years

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Summary: Despite the common insistence of grandparents the world over that ‘they don’t make ‘em like they used to’, the statistics point to cars being safer than ever before. The road to automotive perfection hasn’t been without potholes, though. Let’s hop into the Bristol Street DeLorean, floor it to 88mph and visit some of the pioneering moments in the history of motoring safety.

Meta Title: Car Safety | History of Car Safety | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motors explore some of history's most important developments in car safety.

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Over the past hundred years or so, in-car technology has come a long way. Today’s vehicles are so advanced, in fact, that they don’t even need us inside them to function. Google’s driverless cars are well on the way to making humans redundant in the driving process, instead allowing us to slumber in our vehicles and watch repeats of Friends on infotainment systems while an efficient robot army whizzes us around our cities. It’s not always been such a utopia in the world of motoring, however.

Despite the common insistence of grandparents the world over that ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’, the statistics point to cars being safer, more economical, and more technically impressive than ever before. The road to automotive perfection hasn’t been without potholes, though. Let’s hop into the Bristol Street DeLorean, floor it to 88mph and visit some of the pioneering moments in the history of motoring safety.

1861 – Speed Limits

There were practically no cars on the road at this point, so when the ‘Locomotives on Highways Act’ was introduced, it mainly limited the speeds of agricultural vehicles such as tractors, which were presumably tearing around the countryside at breakneck speed prior to this law.

1898 – Electric Headlamp

Our next stop is at the turn of the twentieth century, when Queen Victoria was still scowling at us all from our banknotes. The electric headlamp was a welcome addition to car safety in this year, when finally motorists could actually see where they were going. Pretty rudimentary, that one.

1903 – Windscreen Wipers

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Rain on your windscreen? Hit one too many bugs/seagulls/deer and could do with clearing your field of vision? No problem, because in 1903, the first windscreen wipers were invented. Unfortunately, they were hand operated. Good luck cranking the handle while you steer. Ever tried patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time? Electric wipers were, thankfully, invented in 1926 by Bosch.

1921 – Headrests

After presumably getting bored of having to constantly wear neck braces due to receiving whiplash at every single traffic light, head rests were introduced in 1921 by Benjamin Katz. Useless trivia – Benjamin Katz is also the name of a side character on Desperate Housewives. Don’t ask how we know that.

1925 – Erm… Cigarette Lighters

Okay, after the previous two decades’ progress, this one’s kind of a step backwards. Yep, before air bags, seat belts, and shatter proof glass, our flat capped, chain smoking ancestors figured out how to fill their cabins with smoke while at the wheel. Priorities.

1930 –Safety Glass

As the Bristol Street DeLorean explodes out of thin air in 1930, a badly pitched cricket ball hurled by a scruffy street urchin rebounds off the windscreen. Shield your eyes! Oh wait, we needn’t worry, as safety glass was invented by Ford Motors in this decade. The first non-shatter glass was created by using two sheets of glass with a clear plastic laminate in between. Pretty cutting edge.

1949 – Crash Dummies and Disc Breaks

The crash test dummy was born in this year, and the first one was christened Sierra Sam. We don’t know why. These brave, selfless crash dummies have taken beatings innumerable over the years, so that we don’t have to. We salute you, Sierra Sam.

In the same year, disc brakes first became standard equipment on Chrysler’s Crown Imperial.

1959 – 3 Point Seat Belts

Flying from wall to wall every time you take a sharp turn must have got tiring after 60 years of motoring, as in 1959 the 3 point seat belt was invented. The first of these were made as standard issue, with Volvo taking credit as first manufacturer to see their life-saving potential. As soon as they were made mandatory, a 50% reduction in car-related injuries was reported.

1984 – Air Bags

Turns out George Orwell was a little off the mark. Rather than a dystopian, oppressive state and the horrors of Room 101, 1984 actually brought us the humble airbag. Airbags had been tested for the previous three decades, but were finally added in cars as standard features in this year.

1990 – Brake Assist

Brake assist reduces the pressure needed on the brake pedal, according to how quickly it has been pressed, meaning it’s easier for drivers to brake in emergency situations. Nice.

2016 – Driverless Cars

Google, Apple, and the rest; today, the automotive industry’s eyes are collectively swiveled towards the future, and perfecting the technology enabling autonomous driving. The tech being developed will allow cars to sense everything in the road ahead of them, as well as to instantaneously communicate information to other cars in the vicinity, enabling them to react far faster than human drivers when there is an incident.

Over the last ten decades, the car has evolved from a clanking health hazard to a marvel of engineering. While news of autonomous cars on our roads is certainly impressive, however, the crown of the most ingenious automotive revolution still rests with one invention that even after three decades has yet to be paralleled in terms of its ambition and vision:  the in-car microwave.

Author: Dan Hackett