Summary: Over its 40 years of life the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the nation’s favourite cars, picking up a wealth of awards along the way. But how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy?
Meta Title: History of the Ford Fiesta | Bristol Street Motors
Meta Description: Over its 40 years of life the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the nation’s favourite cars, but how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy?
Over its 40 years of life the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the nation’s favourite cars, picking up a wealth of awards along the way. But how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy? Take a look at our illustrated history of the Ford Fiesta below to find out.
Summary: Today’s new cars come with a variety of financing options, from contract purchase, to leasing, to hire purchase, all of which allow you to split the cost of a car into affordable chunks. That means you’ve been thinking you can’t afford a brand new car, you might very well be wrong.
Meta Title: Buying a New Car | New Car Guide | Bristol Street Motors
Meta Description: Thinking of buying a new car but not sure where to start? Take a look at our top 5 things to consider when buying a new car here.
Is there any better feeling than driving home in a brand new car?
The beauty of buying new is the huge potential for customisation that’s available to you. As well as choosing the make and manufacturer, you have the opportunity to choose the colour, trim and which features you’d like added – everything from the finish to the on board tech.
As well as allowing you to choose a make and model that fits your exact needs, buying a new car can be more affordable than you might think too. Today’s new cars come with a variety of financing options, from contract purchase, to leasing, to hire purchase, all of which allow you to split the cost of a car into affordable chunks. That means that if you’ve been thinking you can’t afford a brand new car, you might very well be wrong.
With all that in mind, we’ve put together a few points it’s good to have a think about if you’re looking for a new car.
What will you be using the car for?
It may seem a silly question, but the car you need will depend entirely on your lifestyle, and your driving habits. Do you spend hours a day commuting to work down the motorway? Do you spend your mornings taking the kids to school? Do you navigate traffic packed city streets on a daily basis? The type of use the car will be getting can dictate everything you need, from the engine capacity to whether it’s a manual or automatic, to insurance and finance costs.
Luckily, buying new means having a huge range of vehicles to choose from, with options almost tailored to your exact needs. At Bristol Street Motors, we have a wide selection of new cars from 15 manufacturers each selling models to suit a range of lifestyle and needs, whether you’re a new buyer searching for low insurance and the latest tech, or a family wanting to upgrade to a roomier model.
Once you’ve decided your needs, you can begin to get an idea of the class of car you’ll be looking at. Which brings us to our next point…
How much space do you need?
Depending on your situation, you may need a car offering more of less space. A businessperson may be perfectly happy with a two seater roadster, however this car may not be the best choice for the school run. Similarly, if you are a constantly heading out of weekends away, a generous boot space should be high up your list of priorities.
Roof racks and folding seats can have a big impact on a car’s storage capabilities, too. Some cars may seem small at a glance, but a genius seating arrangement can mean that they appear much larger on the inside.
Manufacturers today recognise the range of space requirements that different customers are looking for, and accommodate for this in new models and trims. That’s why when looking at new cars on sale today, you’ll find a wider selection of space options on display than ever before.
Are you comfortable in the car?
Comfort is crucial, especially if you regularly drive long distances, and a large contributor to this is how well the car suits your driving style.
Even if you love the car’s exterior, it’s important to make sure that you’re happy with how your new feels to drive. This is especially true if you’re thinking of buying a class or manufacturer you’ve not previously driven, so when choosing a new car we’d recommend heading out for a test drive before making any final decisions. That way, you can make sure that you’re not just happy with how your new car looks, you’re happy with how it feels too.
Do you need the latest tech?
One of the main advantages of buying a new car is the host of innovative in car tech you’ll receive. A huge number of cars on the market today come with built in infotainment systems, Sat-Nav, and more, with tech designed to make the driving experience easier, more comfortable, safer, or just more interesting!
When looking for a new car, it’s worth getting to grips with new technology you might not be familiar with, and deciding exactly what kind of tech you need in your car. It’s likely that this will be dependent mostly on your personal driving tastes, but budget is also a factor to consider, as some models with the latest technology may come at a slightly higher price points.
Perhaps you prefer driving simplistic and stripped back, or maybe you’d rather enjoy the convenience of gadgets such as reversing cameras, power folding mirrors, and autonomous emergency braking systems. Some in-car tech can add a dash of luxury, too, such as heated steering wheels and memory seats, so think about what tech is important to you.
Does the car suit your style?
After spending so much time considering the practicalities of your new dream car, it’s worth remembering that you may be driving around in it for the next few years. With that in mind, it quickly becomes clear how important it is to purchase a car that you love the look of. The finish, the colour, the bodywork, the alloys and wheel arches: every car is different, and everyone has differing tastes.
You will be spending a large amount of time in your car once purchased, and therefore it’s well worth taking the extra time to find a car that has you brimming with pride when you see it. Whether that means looking for exec style leather interiors, hunting a model with the latest ’66 plates, or picking a colour that reflects your personality is up to you.
For the latest offers, and to start your search for new car that suits you today, check out the manufacturers and models we have on offer here.
Summary: 'The most outstanding small car the world had ever seen.' That was the aim when, back in 1972, Henry Ford II gave the green light to the car that would become the Fiesta.
Meta Title: History of Ford | Britain's Favorite Car | Bristol Street Motors
Meta Description: Over 40 years the Ford Fiesta has come to be one of the most recognisable cars on the road today. Find out about the history of the Fiesta here.
What’s in a name?
Well, in the case of the Ford Fiesta, quite a lot, actually. The Fiesta, meaning ‘Party’ in Spanish, has had a history as lively and euphoric as its name suggests. Over its 40 year run, the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the most instantly recognisable cars on the UK’s roads. It’s perhaps one of the nation’s favourites too, with car buyers young and old giving in to the Fiesta’s charms. The Fiesta picked up a wealth of awards ranging from the UK Design Council’s ‘Efficiency Award’ back in 1978, all the way to winning the 2016 Car of the Year award at WhatCar, with countless more in-between. But how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy?
‘The most outstanding small car the world had ever seen.’ That was the aim when, back in 1972, Henry Ford II gave the green light to the car that would become the Fiesta. The goal was to create a car with a longer wheelbase than the current offerings by competitors, while
staying shorter than the Ford Escort. Not one to rest on his laurels, Ford committed to producing 500,000 Fiestas every year, and opened new factories in Valencia, Spain; Bordeaux, France; and Dagenham, England.
At that point, the car was known as the ‘Bobcat’, as the Fiesta name was held by General Motors and the Oldsmobile Fiesta. Other names thrown around for the iconic hatchback including the fairly ill-suited ‘Bravo’, which was vetoed by Henry Ford II in favour of Fiesta, which was granted to Ford free of charge.
The Fiesta was unveiled to the world at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1976, and delighted drivers worldwide… with the exception of UK motorists, who were left chomping at the bit until 1977, when the car finally arrived on British shores with a right hand drive version.
The Ford Fiesta hit the UK’s roads to a chorus of applause, dove headfirst into bestseller lists, and has remained there ever since. Over the next 4 decades, the Fiesta would undergo an almost complete metamorphosis, while still retaining the characteristic flair and performance that made it such a runaway success.
Each new iteration of the Fiesta brought about new improvements, with Ford constantly refining their winning formula to grow the car’s appeal across the market. The Fiesta Mk2 introduced a diesel option, and the Fiesta soon became a byword for fuel economy. The Mk3 was the first Fiesta 5-door version of the model, winning over not just families but What Car? Magazine’s ‘Car of the Year’ 1989. The Mk4 was Britain’s best-selling car from 1996-98, thanks to its revolutionary new body style and now-iconic curves. In 2001, Britain’s best-selling supermini was the Fiesta Mk5, face lifted with crowd pleasing design cues taken from the much-loved Ford Focus.
The Fiesta Mk6 was sold and produced 2002 and 2008, retaking the crown as Britain’s favourite supermini in 2006-7. The Mk6’s new advanced on-board tech made it one of the most useful (and affordable!) cars around. The Mk6’s gadget wizardry consisted of tech including power folding mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers, trip computer, and voice controlled Bluetooth, to name but a few, attracting a new tech savvy set of drivers.
In 2008, the Mk7 was produced, arriving to resounding critical acclaim, and winning itself a bulging sack of awards in the process. In 2014, the Mk7 became Britain’s best-selling car of all time, having sold 4,115,000 in its then-38 year lifetime, appealing to generation after generation of car drivers.
At this point, you’ve probably read enough to realise that the Ford Fiesta is fairly popular. But what is it that drivers young and old, new and experienced, love about it?
Well, the Ford Fiesta Mk7’s design is a uniting factor for drivers from all walks of life. It’s sleek exteriors and eye catching styling means that the car suits every kind of driver, looking smart, bold and fresh all at once. The commitment to offering exteriors sleek enough to appeal to new drivers, whilst functional enough to fit new drivers, families and older drivers alike is perhaps one of the main reasons the Fiesta has remained such a common sight on the roads; it really is a car for the whole family to enjoy.
What’s more, no comfort or space is sacrificed to achieve this image. The Ford Fiesta is a revelation to drive, breathing new life into driving thanks to its steering wheel controls, in-car entertainment system, and much-loved economic engine options, especially the 1.6L Duratorq TDCi diesel. The ST trim has received much praise as well, named as Top Gear’s Car of the Year in 2013, with an engine capable of 0-62mph in a mere 6.9 seconds.
Of course, there’s perhaps an even bigger factor than the crowd pleasing styling, commitment to new tech, and fuel economy keeping the Fiesta a common sight on the road – its affordability. A Ford Fiesta is one of the most affordable new cars around, from the initial purchase price, to the economical running costs, to the crowd pleasing insurance costs; the Ford Fiesta ticks the boxes for a wide range of buyers. Plus, at Bristol Street Motors, we take pride in making one of the most affordable cars on UK roads even more affordable, with hassle free financing options, contract payment, and leasing deals.
With such a glittering history behind it, and with new trims and styling options regularly released, it looks like things are only going to get better for the plucky little subcompact. Ford Fiesta, we salute you.
Whether you’re looking for your first motor, a family car, or a vehicle with real history, why not take a look at the Ford Fiesta deals we can offer you at Bristol Street Motors, and let us help you on your new car journey today.
Summary: Electric cars are a contradiction: at the same time, they represent a futuristic vision of emissions free driving, yet electrically powered cars have been around for over one hundred and fifty years, and ruled all land speed records until the turn of the twentieth century. So, in light of the rebirth of the electric vehicle, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Electric cars: this is your life!
Meta Title: The Rise of Electric Cars | History of Electric Cars | Bristol Street Motors
Meta Description: Did you know the electric car was invented in the 1828 and was the century's top motor? No? Check out Bristol Street Motors' history of the electric car!
Electric cars are a contradiction: at the same time, they represent a futuristic vision of emissions free driving, yet electrically powered cars have been around for over one hundred and fifty years, and ruled all land speed records until the turn of the twentieth century. They may have been sidelined through the past century, however today EV’s are more popular than ever, and their popularity is growing year on year. So, in light of the rise of the electric vehicle, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Electric cars: this is your life!
The story of the development of electric transport starts in 1828, in Hungary, where Hungarian inventor Ányos Jedlik added an electric motor he’d designed to one of the earliest cars. At this point, a ‘car’ was essentially a horse drawn carriage, sans horses. 6 years later, in 1834, US blacksmith Thomas Davenport hammered together a similar vehicle which ran on a short electrified track. The next year, a Dutch professor figured out how to power a small scale car with a non-rechargeable cell.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the globe hopping story of the EV takes us to good old Blighty, where inventor Thomas Parker, credited with the electrification of the London Underground and overhead tramways, started tinkering with electric cars. He produced his first one in 1884, using specially designed high-capacity batteries, which were rechargeable. At least part of his motives for these endeavours is thought to be his concern about pollution in the capital city.
As well as the UK, France and Germany took a keen interest in developing electric transport systems, with the US not far behind. Leading up to the beginning of the twentieth century, all manner of locomotives, tramways and mine carts had been electrified. It was during this rush of enthusiasm that Belgian race driver Camille Jenatzy broke the 62mph (100km/h) speed barrier, maxing out at 65.79 miles per hour in his rocket-shaped vehicle. Incredibly, this was achieved in 1899, one hundred and seventeen years ago.
Throughout the 1890’s and 1900’s, passion for electric motors peaked, and this time is considered the technology’s golden era. Battery powered taxis took to the streets of London in 1897, nicknamed ‘hummingbirds’ due to the sound of their motors. While EV’s may have held the land speed record, the everyday models on the roads of the UK usually had a top speed in the 30pmh’s. This made them slower than their steam or petrol powered counterparts, however electric vehicles were largely preferable due to the fact they didn’t have the vibration, noise or smell which was so prevalent in their competitors. Additionally, electric motors didn’t require hand cranking to start, which petrol engines did. Nobody wants to stand outside for 5 minutes furiously cranking the engine before you can pop down to the shops.
Electric cars were especially popular as city cars, where their limited range wasn’t an issue. In the US, which eventually overtook Europe in production of electric cars, 38% of cars were electric, compared to 40% powered by steam and a mere 22% by gasoline. The cars themselves were huge and ornately designed, predominantly used by wealthy families and decorated with lavish interiors. Through the 1910’s, huge numbers were sold throughout the world, running on replaceable batteries.
In the 1920’s, due to the rapidly changing nature of driving, electric cars sales slowed, and went into decline. Reasons for this include improving road conditions meaning cars were travelling further, and EVs limited range became an issue. Additionally, discoveries of vast petroleum sources meant petrol was cheaply available, and gradually, petrol powered cars grew to travel faster and further than their eco-friendly counterparts. Further tinkering with petrol engines eliminated the need for the massive comedy hand crank at the front, and both the noise and smell was reduced by mufflers. Basically, driving got a lot nicer. Throw in the towering automotive figure of Henry Ford arriving on the scene heralding low priced petrol cars, and it looked as though the electric car had had its moment in the sun.
With the electric car virtually disappeared from the world’s roads by the early 1930’s, drivers at the time would be shocked to learn that today, EVs are more popular than they have ever been. In the second half of the motor-oil-stained tapestry of the electric car’s eclectic history, we’ll take a look at the 1990’s reigniting of interest, and the developments that has led the electric car, at one time the ghost of motors past, to the car of the future.
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!
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.
Summary: It's time once more to explore the mythology of one of history's most iconic vehicles. This month, it's a car that’s long overdue for discussion. This car consistently tops top ten lists the world over for its looks, its illustrious history, and its status as a bona fide legend. It is rare that a car can be classed as a celebrity, but the mere sight of this vehicle on the road is enough to send pedestrians flocking for a closer view, cameras at the ready. This month, we present to you the endlessly elegant, perpetually stylish Aston Martin DB5.
Meta Title: Iconic Car | Aston Martin DB5 | Bristol Street Motors
Meta Description: Bristol Street Motors presents this month's iconic car: the achingly cool Aston Martin DB5
It’s time once more to explore the mythology of one of history’s most iconic vehicles. This month, it’s a car that’s long overdue for discussion. This car consistently tops top ten lists the world over for its looks, its illustrious history, and its status as a bona fide legend. It is rare that a car can be classed as a celebrity, but the mere sight of this vehicle on the road is enough to send pedestrians flocking for a closer view, cameras at the ready. This month, we present to you the endlessly elegant, perpetually stylish Aston Martin DB5.
The DB5 is named for Sir David Brown, who headed Aston Martin between 1947 and 1972. The car is a British luxury grand tourer produced by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, an Italian coachbuilder with a long track record of making jaw-droppingly beautiful cars. The DB5 was released in 1963, as an overhaul of the popular DB4. The main differences between the DB4 and its successor are the enlarged engine, up to 4.0 litres from 3.7L, three SU carburettors, and a tough ZF five-speed manual gearbox. The engine produced a whopping 282bhp, and gave the car a top speed of 145mph, with a 0-62 of 8 seconds.
The car is certainly exceptional in its own right. It’s fair to say, however, that the Aston Martin DB5 owes the lion’s share of its fame its most famous driver: that sharp suited, serial supervillain-thwarter, James Bond. The DB5 first appeared in a Goldfinger in 1964, driven through airy mountain passes by a smirking Sean Connery. Despite its inclusion in the films, the DB5 wasn’t intended by the series’ creator, Ian Fleming, to be Bond’s wheels. Originally, the books has Bond behind the wheel of another of our Iconic Car of the Month winners: the Bentley Blower. However, by the time the films were produced, the international playboy super spy would have looked a little odd driving around in a car that was a couple of decades out of date.
The car seen in the films was specially altered by Oscar-winning SFX expert John Stears, who conceptualised the deadly DB5 seen tearing through mountain passes with ease. The film version of the car was weaponised, with all manner of gadgets added in true Bond fashion, including, famously, hidden machine guns on the front of the vehicle. Since its debut in Goldfinger, the DB5 has made several appearances throughout the franchise, showing up in films including Thunderball and GoldenEye. Most recently it appeared in Skyfall, in which Judi Dench complains it is uncomfortable and is eventually blown up in the course of saving the day (the car, not Judi Dench). A fitting send off for a silver screen legend.
The car’s use in the world famous franchise has catapulted the-already exceptional vehicle to international fame, which has lasted the five decades since it first graced our screens. The luxury tourer deeply ingrained in British culture, with everything from television series to video games lining up to pay homage. Down the decades, the DB5 has been revered in pop culture as the ultimate vehicle: exuding style, oozing charm and individuality.
Summary: Bristol Street Versa has forged a new international partnership, in a move that will see the specialist wheelchair accessible vehicle retailer export vehicles to New Zealand.
Meta Title: Bristol Street Versa Ship to New Zealand | Bristol Street Versa
Meta Description: Bristol Street Versa have entered into a new partnership, in a move that will see specialist mobility vehicles shipped around the world to New Zealand.
Bristol Street Versa has forged a new international partnership, in a move that will see the specialist wheelchair accessible vehicle retailer export vehicles to New Zealand.
Bristol Street Versa has joined forces with Auckland-based transport company Auto Brokers and Consultants Ltd, to help provide mobility solutions manufactured to a high quality European standard to the population of New Zealand.
The move towards the partnership began when Noel Fleet of Auto Brokers contacted Joanne Ellison, general manager of Bristol Street Versa, with the hope of finding a company to help fill the gap for high quality mobility solutions and vehicles in New Zealand.
Speaking about the move, Noel said: ““It was clear that the New Zealand market needed a more qualified vehicle. Before we began working with Bristol Street Versa, the market was dominated by vehicles which weren’t subjected to as many quality and safety checks as those sold in Europe. One of the main appeals of working with Bristol Street Versa is the high standard of vehicle that they supply.”
“Since we are one of the first companies in New Zealand to import wheelchair accessible vehicles from Europe, we have had to work closely with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), part of the New Zealand government, that deals with the country’s universal no-fault accidental injury scheme, to bring the approval processes up to European standards.”
Alongside providing a ready stock of vehicles to supply to the public sector, Auto Brokers is hoping that the partnership with will allow it to grow its presence in New Zealand’s private mobility vehicle market.
Since the partnership began in 2015, Bristol Street Versa has already successfully delivered four vehicles to Auto Brokers, and intends to deliver many more throughout 2016.
Bristol Street Versa’s general manager Joanne Ellison said: “At Bristol Street Versa, we pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding customer service to mobility customers. As a specialist retailer, we work closely with our customers to find out the best solution for them, ensuring every customer drives away happy.”
“We are thrilled to now be working internationally with Auto Brokers and delivering our products and services to customers in New Zealand. Our products make a huge difference to the lives of all our customers and it is a pleasure to make such an impact on an international level.”
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summary: For this month's Iconic Car feature, Bristol Street Motors will be stepping back in time to the glory days of British racing, that sepia-toned time of giant racing goggles, soot-covered faces, and an attitude towards safety that was blasé at best – and this month's Iconic Car is the epitome of the whole era. May we present to you the most British car you'll ever lay eyes on, the race winning, heart capturing, Bentley Blower.
Meta Title: Iconic Cars Bentley Blower | Bentley 4.5 Litre | Bristol Street Motors
Meta Description: This month Bristol Street Motors presents another iconic car: the Bentley 4.5 Litre or, more specifically, the supercharged version known as the Bentley Blower.
For this month’s Iconic Car feature, Bristol Street Motors will be stepping back in time to the glory days of British racing, that sepia-toned time of giant racing goggles, soot-covered faces, and an attitude towards safety that was blasé at best and often veered towards downright maniacal. This was an age of rugged vehicles and humankind’s unrelenting pursuit of automotive power and speed – and this month’s Iconic Car is the epitome of the whole era. May we present to you the most British car you’ll ever lay eyes on, the race winning, heart capturing, Bentley Blower.
To tell the story of the Bentley 4½ Blower, it’s also necessary to tell the story of its owner, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, hero of schoolboys everywhere and the sweetheart of the nation throughout the roaring twenties. Once described as “the greatest Briton of his time” by W.O. Bentley, the company’s chief engineer, Birkin was an aristocrat who had fought in the First World War and returned home with a thirst for adrenaline and a complete disregard for danger.
The public followed the news of his madcap exploits with reverence. In 1928, he completed Le Mans with a lap with an average speed of 85mph – despite the fact that one of his tyres had blown, and he was racing on three wheels. Another story goes that Sir Henry drove the Blower up the main staircase of the Savoy Hotel during a glamorous dinner. Rarely if ever in history has a person been so intrinsically linked to a vehicle. Pope Francis has the Popemobile, the Queen has her Land Rover Defender, and Birkin had the Blower.
The Bentley Blower is a supercharged version of the classic Bentley 4½ litre, which was first produced in 1927, with 720 being made before its discontinuation in 1931. The Bentley 4½ was, like other Bentleys, mainly purchased by buyers for use as personal transportation. It came in a variety of body styles; usually saloons or tourers. Before he ever got ejector seats installed in his Aston Martin, James Bond drove a Bentley, with the car appearing in the original Casino Royale novel.
Publicity for the car was most notably increased by its participation in high profile races such as Le Mans, competing against rivals including Bugatti and Lorraine-Dietrich. It was a widely acknowledged fact that a victory in such a race massively boosted a carmakers reputation. Throughout the 1920’s, a dedicated group arose, earning adoration from the British public. The ‘Bentley Boys’ were a group of well-to-do daredevils who rocketed Bentley to motoring fame and notoriety with their racing achievements. British financier Woolf Barnato was one such Bentley Boy, and when the brand faltered financially in the 1925, Barnato purchased the company. The purchasing of the car manufacturer by a fabulously wealthy speed demon was a key factor in the development of the supercharged Bentley 4½ – the Blower.
Out of the 720 4½ Litres produced, 55 of these were supercharged, with a Roots-type supercharger added by engineer Amherst Villiers. However, chief engineer and company founder W.O. Bentley refused to allow the engine to be modified, which meant they had to find a different way to incorporate the supercharger. The solution was to place the supercharger in front of the crank shaft and radiator grille – giving the car its completely unique, slightly-unfinished, mechanical appearance. This also influenced the cars handling, as the weight of the car was now distributed more toward the front. In a car as enormous as the Blower, 14ft and 4.4 inches long, the extra weight meant the car had a tendency to understeer.
Sir Henry Birkin and his Blower, named ‘No. 1′, raced together for several adventure packed years. In 1929, Sir Henry entered a 500 mile endurance race, continuing to race even after a cracked exhaust caused a fire on board. In the 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans, he famously overtook the Mercedes Benz SSK of formidable race driver Rudolf Caracciola, driving over grass at 125 mph despite throwing a tyre tread. The Blower’s finest hour came at the French Grand Prix when Sir Henry beat almost the entire Bugatti line up, in what is considered his greatest ever race, despite coming second place. The incident lead a red-face Ettore Bugatti to heckle Bentley as “the fastest trucks in the world”.
The Blower No.1 won Le Mans twice, in 1929 and 1931, with its faithful companion Sir Henry at the wheel. Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin passed away in 1933, and the Blower No.1 was auctioned to watchmaker George Daniels. In 2012, the car was sold to an unnamed bidder for £5,042,000, which makes it the most expensive British-built car ever sold. With such an illustrious history behind it, it’s not hard to see why.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!