The G4 Challenge and other ways to commit GBH on your motor
LAST week, fifty strapping gung-ho guys of the sort that make women faint were put through a punishing exercise that makes American special forces look about as hard as a box of kittens.
In the end, one man will have won through to represent Britain in the Land Rover G4 Challenge. It used to be called the Camel Trophy and is basically a world tour featuring car torture, near death experiences and interesting dietary opportunities which render Gaviscon about as effective at stopping the Tex Ritters as Ex-lax. To emphasise this, the press release came complete with – and this is absolutely true – a packet of barbecue flavour, meal worms.
The eventual winners of this event will have battled across three continents and taken the Solihull off-roader to its very limits. They will then pick up the G4 trophy but only if they have managed to retain all their limbs.
G4, I have to say, is pure FHM meets Practical Guerilla Warfare and, for sheer excitement, can only be matched by electrocution.
However, I have to admit to having had a rare moment of excitement myself when an Internet site sent me something called Car Abusers Identified.
I mean, come on, motorists take more of a hammering than a blacksmith’s thumb but surely now they weren’t going to be accused of drinking above the recommended number of petrol units or chain smoking oil filters?
Are there people out there who shouted insults at their motors or gave them a severe beating with a rubber truncheon?
Well, yes. What would you do if you had a shunt in a Mini? Well, obviously ponder the wisdom of your clothing choice but after that I’m sure a quick trip to the body shop might be on the cards. You wouldn’t try to fix it yourself would you? With a sledge hammer?
Believe it or not, one woman did: “Sorry dear but I’ve bumped the car, but don’t worry it’s now a lovely ornamental rockery feature.”
There are so many examples of crass stupidity it’s a wonder MOT stations don’t offer the services of a psychiatrist. And I don’t include builders who turn estate cars into contemporary plaster art workshops or the aftermath of a Peruvian landslide.
Frankly we can also nod through those confused and bewildered enough to think you can go off-roading in a Corsa or run around on tyres with so little pressure in them every speed hump becomes an emergency landing by the Women’s Royal Auxiliary Lead Balloon corps.
But we should bid happy motoring to owners who discovered their dog was partial to velour upholstery or even impatient drivers who rev their engines every morning until they melt. I do worry about those drivers who have put petrol in diesel cars. This is the equivalent of forcing beagles to smoke. Look, diesel is a noxious poison that brings about knocking noises in your ears and gasses floral displays. Petrol smells of roses and makes you strong like a lion, inquisitve like the stickleback.
What will not make you more attractive to anyone is supergluing pictures of Cliff Richard to your windows. The woman who did that to her Rover needed all the glass replaced and, to be honest, it’s probably lucky she didn’t know the Mini owner with the big sledgehammer. Perhaps not.
At least there’s nothing inherently dangerous about driving around displaying pin-ups of Gareth Gates. But picture this.
It’s a bright Sunday morning and here comes Mr Back to Front Head who has decided that this is just the right time to overhaul his brakes – the automotive equivalent of repairing your own hernia. With boxing gloves on. It is especially dangerous if, as one man did, you joint all the pipework with domestic plumbing fittings. Try an emergency stop in Luton and your central heating comes on back home in Dudley.
And I would love to know what gave one driver the idea of cleaning his engine with Windolene. Or what clean air benefits there are in putting detergent in the oil filler.
Home decorating of cars has always been a favourite. Interesting stick-on Noddy compasses are one thing but there are those drivers who think the cure for rusty sills is underseal which invariably creeps further and further up the side of the car until they’re driving around in a radar invisible stealth hatchback.
Then there was the angler who found his Golf overrun with maggots after a fishing trip . So what? As someone who is about to tuck into a tasty fried meal worm snack I can honestly say maggots are for wimps. Ask the lads on the G4 Challenge.
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