I bought a car in Japan, drove it around there for 18 months and then shipped it back to the UK. I didn't arrange to have the assistance of a Japanese person to do the de-registering and delivery to the port, so I got in touch with a Kiwi guy called Mick. The first time I met him was at a railway station, where I gave… » 2/18/15 4:52pm 2/18/15 4:52pm

The GT Academy graduates are going to be busy this year. They're not just wheeled out for promotional duties, they are at the core of Nissan's racing activities around the world. Lucas Ordonez is racing in the top echelon of Japanese GTs (Super GT GT500) as well as Japanese F3 and one-off appearances at epic races… » 2/13/15 6:08pm 2/13/15 6:08pm

About 15 years ago, I worked on a compact hatchback car which had a test mule running around England disguised as a ugly van. It had flat panels shoddily attached over the curvy body and looked like a bit of a mess. The genius touch, however, was to add full-body livery for a fake locksmith company, complete with a… » 2/13/15 4:57pm 2/13/15 4:57pm

I had some amazing taxi rides on a trip to Togliatti, Russia, a couple of years ago. The spatial awareness of these guys was amazing. They seemed to understand exactly how little space there was to all the traffic around them, and use every inch of it. » 2/06/15 12:51pm 2/06/15 12:51pm

Torch, you NEED to go to the VAZ factory in Togliatti to see where they make these things. It's astonishing, dated and a bit decrepid, just like the cars. The floor is even made of millions of little wooden bricks. All apart from the new Renault-Nissan production line, which exists in a parallel dimension/century.… » 2/02/15 6:07pm 2/02/15 6:07pm

Some jingoism in the comments, unsurprisingly. The US forces based themselves in Europe because it served US interests to do so. Facing down the Soviet threat during the Cold War was not just about babysitting the European countries. Had this consolidation occured 12 years ago, it wouldn't have been that surprising,… » 1/08/15 4:29pm 1/08/15 4:29pm

My first car was a 1989 Mini. I blew the engine up the first time I drove it, replaced or repaired almost every panel other than the roof, had it resprayed and modified in a retro 60's Cooper style, bought a gear knob from John Cooper himself and generally had a great time for a few years. I sold it to a 17-year old… » 11/28/14 6:14pm 11/28/14 6:14pm