The Road show #34 – With Rigloo interview
This week jack speaks to Rigloo the amazing emergency inflatable refuge. plus the usual show formate from jack
Get your Rigloo today and become your family’s Superhero in the event of breakdown. Rigloo is a reusable, inflatable refuge conveniently packed away in a small rucksack with its own battery air pump which is easily inflated within 90 seconds to provide shelter and a place to muster the family in the event of a […]
The Show Notes
In the world of new cars this week, Citroen have unveiled a new saloon. The new model, which has yet to be named, is supposed to be the official replacement for the Citroen C6, a model we haven’t seen over here in Europe since 2012, but one that has continued to be a big hit in China. In fact, the whole idea of a Citroen saloon is one that hasn’t been around in Europe for a while, mostly because of the trend towards SUVs in the past ten or so years. What’s interesting about the new Citroen is that it will use the EMP2 platform that the Peugeot 508 uses but it will also use the Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension system that we’ve seen in the C4 Cactus and is reportedly very comfortable. Also up and coming from Citroen is the new electric C4, something the company are calling their ‘fourth weapon’ in their line-up. You can expect to see both cars in the dealerships at some point next year.
And whilst there’s some uncertainty about the future of Renault, something we covered in last week’s edition, we do have some new information on two new hybrids from the French company. The Clio and Captur E-Tech models are both parallel hybrids that are now available to order. The Clio E-Tech range starts at £19,595 and uses both a 1.6 petrol engine and a 1.2kWh battery pack that’s linked up to two electric motors. Impressively, where a lot of parallel hybrids are pretty heavy, the E-Tech weighs in at only 10kg more than the diesel model. It can run in it’s electric mode for up to 80% of the time and when doing so it can get 64.2mpg whilst emitting under 100g/km in the process. The Captur uses the same 1.6 engine but it’s linked to a substantially bigger 9.8kWh battery. As a result it can now output 158bhp and potentially get anywhere up to 188mpg, but it does cost more at £30,495.
In other news, classic car owners are showing concern for the new type of fuel which will be selling across the UK from next year. E10 fuel promises to be two percent cleaner than the current standard, E5, thanks to its use of ethanol which can absorb carbon dioxide. However the RAC have said that they don’t recommend putting this fuel into any vehicle made before 2002, vehicles which use carburettors rather than fuel injection or some turbocharged vehicles, fearing that it could damage the cars seals, plastics and metals. Others are concerned that E10 fuel has been proven to be less efficient than E5, particularly in city cars and small hatchbacks. I’d like to hear your opinion on this matter, do you think forecourts should still stock the slightly dirtier E5 after 2026 or change completely to E10 which is incompatible with around 350,000 cars? Let me know over on Facebook or Instagram.
And finally, in the midst of this lockdown, Kevin Nicks has been using his spare time to break a world record. What world record in particular? Well, Kevin has made what he’s called ‘The Barrow of Speed’, a motorized wheelbarrow that can do 40mph. The Barrow of Speed is made primarily from an old moped and various spare parts Kevin had in his possession. As such it was made on a zero budget, which is incredibly impressive. You use the Barrow of Speed as you would a real wheel barrow, by grasping the two handles at the back, however you’ll also find a small platform with wheels on which means you don’t have to run at 40mph to reach maximum speed!
First Car – DAF Cars:
So now it’s time for a first car and today I actually had quite a long think about what car I’d cover – sometimes there’s so many obvious choices that you’re sat there wondering what on earth to choose. So I thought, why not go for something a little more obscure, and so today we’re talking about not just one but all of the weird and definitely wonderful DAF cars.
Right, so you probably know the name DAF, not from cars but more as a manufacturer of trucks. The company was founded in Holland back in 1928 as ‘Commanditaire Vennootschap Hub van Doorne’s Michinefabriek’, the sort of name that would take me the rest of my life to pronounce correctly. Later on it became the slightly easier to say ‘Van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek’ or Van Doorne’s Trailer Factory, which (when eliminating the Van) is where we get the name DAF. You see, these are the sort of mispronunciations you simply don’t get with the competition. Anyway, as the name suggests DAF made trucks and trailers but in 1954, Hub van Doorne came up with the idea to use belt drive transmission in a small passenger car. What’s belt drive transmission? Well, let’s find out in another exciting edition of the Jack Mortimer Explainathon!
Naturally, we know that a belt is a flexible loop, a lot like a big elastic band. This means they can be put onto two pulleys to transmit power. Probably the most typical example of a belt driven device that we see regularly is a conveyer belt at your local supermarket or the one used for luggage at the airport. The great thing about these belts is that they can be used to change the speed they work at by using a series of pulleys. They can also be crossed to run in reverse too.
Anyway, that was the idea, and by 1958, DAF had a car ready for the Dutch car show. The design was a small and economical four seater, ideal for a small family car or even a family’s first car. The public loved it and so the following year, DAF began selling the 600 – the world’s only car at the time with continuously variable transmission (or CVT). The design of the 600 was rather… shall we say unique. Where other small family cars of the late 50s like the Mini, the 2CV, the Beetle and the Fiat 500s and 600s had a rounded back, the DAF imitated a bigger saloon by having what’s known as a three box shape (like the mid-50s Ford Anglia’s or the Trabant). It also has some quite dramatic lines and angular styling cues.
As the name suggests the car had a 600, well 590cc, engine, more specifically a flat twin which was fitted with a manifold vacuum which measures the amount of unused power in an engine by looking at the restriction of airflow, essentially working as an auxiliary power source. This means the little DAF was probably the only car that could go faster than its own top speed by gently releasing the accelerator. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t even begin to comprehend that but owners have reported getting to speeds of almost 70mph (that’s 110kph) doing this – a substantial increase from the 60mph (97kph) top speed DAF claimed.
Weird engine quirks aside, DAF’s little car was a hit, so much so that they released a more upmarket model for 1961. The DAF 750 (also known as the DAF Daffodil) was launched and fitted with an uprated 746cc engine for greater power. This was the first DAF car to be exported out of The Netherlands and, thanks to what DAF were now called Variomatic transmission, it was a huge success – with almost 150,000 selling over six years. When Autocar magazine tested the Daffodil in 1962, they managed to get it to 64mph and, at 30mph, average over 55mpg (an amazing figure for any car of the 60s, let alone an automatic).
Amazingly, the little DAF even managed to make it to America where the advertisements said ‘Shift to DAF and you’ll never shift again!’.
For 1966, a new DAF was added to the range – the ever so slightly bigger 44. Now, I’ll be honest, by bigger I still mean very small (3.8 metres or 150 inches long) but the 44 had a further uprated engine – 844cc! And thanks to the work of Michelotti, it also looked somewhat more conventional (quite like an NSU Prinz or Hillman Imp). With it’s grille hidden under the bumper and the chrome trim removed, the design looked incredibly clean. For the first time, you could get a DAF car that wasn’t a saloon as the 44 was also available as an estate (known as the Combi).
To bring the Daffodil up to speed, it was given a slight facelift the following year and was renamed to the 33. Again, an estate was now available but really there were no huge changes – probably the most exciting change in the 33’s life was the switch from 6 to 12 volt electrics in 1972.
There was also the DAF 55, which was a considerably more powerful machine. The 55 used a 1.1 straight 4 cylinder engine – a much more conventional choice for the time – taken from a Renault 10, but it was still connected to the belt driven transmission. It was also given such goodies as torsion bar suspension and dual circuit brakes. To mark the new high speed model, you could get a 55 not only in saloon and estate forms, but also as a coupe. With its lower roofline and luxurious fittings like full carpeting and reclining front seats, the coupe proved to be pretty popular.
Finally, in 1971 there was the DAF Marathon, the true sporty model – by which I mean it had slightly wider wheels and stripes on the side of it. In coupe form it’s believed that the Marathon is actually the first example of a hot hatch.
But, let’s just take a moment to appreciate something. Most car manufacturers would have one small car in their range – the Ford Escort for example. DAF only made small cars however, so there was the small small 33, the mid small 44 (and latterly the 46), and the big… small 55. Well, in 1972, DAF also released the 66. Now, before you run away screaming, the 66 actually worked out as a replacement for pretty much the entirety of the range.
The 66 was pretty much the DAF for the 70s, with styling very similar to the Volvo 140 series (something we’ll get onto very soon). Again, it was styled by Michelotti and again it used the 1.1 litre engine with the variomatic transmission. However, now there was also a 1.3 which, when fitted to the DAF Marathon became the company’s swansong before they were taken over by Volvo in 1975, a process that had been slowly occurring since the 66’s launch back in 1972.
And so, DAF went back to just building trucks. There was another car in the pipeline, something even bigger, and something you’ll probably know as the Volvo 340, a car which the Swedes made from 1976 all the way until 1991.
Anyway, back to my point right at the start of this segment, DAFs are certainly very oddball choices, but they were pretty popular back in the day because they were unique. You’ll find most DAFs for sale in Europe these days and a quick look on AutoScout24 shows you can pick a good example up for under 3000 euros. The original Daffodil models are rarer and as a result do go for more – up to and over 10,000 euros if the mileage is low and the condition is of a good standard.
Weird Car Names:
Alrighty then, so I’ve wanted to do an automotive oddity for a little while but, much like when trying to find a first car to cover, I hit a bit of a brick wall – not because I couldn’t think of any weird cars, but because there were simply too many. But sometimes the car itself isn’t what makes it weird – it’s the name that the manufacturer gives it. So in this segment of The Road Show, it’s time to take a look at some of the weirdest car names ever uttered.
Right then, so let’s start with some weird names for European cars. And what better place to start than the Peugeot Bipper Tepee Outdoor, a name that weighs in at a full eight syllables. Really, it’s just a minivan but for some reason there’s a lot of strange vans in the Peugeot range which all are a part of the Tepee family. The other two are the Partner Tepee and the Expert Tepee. But I’d love to know A: why on earth they chose the name Bipper and B: why they thought it wasn’t enough so slapped two more words after it?
And then there’s the Ferrari LaFerrari, and no I didn’t stutter at all there. Back in 2013 Ferrari thought that it would be fitting to dedicate their new car to the founder of the company – Enzo Ferrari. Now they actually did this way back when in 2005 with the Ferrari Enzo but rather than release a new model as a second generation, or even just stick with its prototype name – Ferrari F150, they called it their own name. Brilliant.
Anyway, let’s move on to the ironic names – most often names given by manufacturers to jazz up a dull model. And with that in mind, please welcome the 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity, a midsized family car that quite frankly no celebrity would be publically seen in. I’d never heard of the Celebrity before researching for this week’s show, which technically means we could call it a Z-lister but looking into it I think it could make it into the cars you love to hate segment as apparently it had a pretty high maintenance engine and various faults with the computerized engine control system.
Quite a few manufacturers have named cars after their supposed performance but sometimes these names can leave you scratching your head when you look at the car itself. So, let’s take a little quickfire round of fast names and slow cars. First, the Suzuki Swift which when it launched in 1983 was anything but swift with a 0-62 (100kph) time of almost 16 seconds. Or how about the Skoda Rapid, a true name for the original 1930s coupe, but not so much for the rear engined model of the 80s (I’d still happily own one though). The AMC Pacer also falls into this category – sounding like it can run at high speeds for a long period of time, but with fuel consumption figures as low as 14mpg it wouldn’t be long before it would need to stop at a petrol station. Finally, of course we have the Austin Allegro, allegro being the Italian for fast, not that BL’s plucky little family car would ever be able to compete against the likes of the Hillman Avenger Tiger or the Ford Escort Mexico.
But, hey, this isn’t about naming and shaming the car’s themselves, it’s about wondering why on earth huge companies call their cars such weird things. But there’s one continent which reigns supreme in the field of strange car names – Asia. You knew it was coming. There’s a lot of cars that are released in Asia but not elsewhere and I think that’s why we get some of the most confusing names known.
So as you know from the news segment, the Chinese car industry is always growing and it won’t be long before we see a lot more of their cars on European roads. But in their native country, some of these names do sound rather… odd. Take for example, Trumpchi – a company that has literally been forced to change its name for the American market because it sounds too similar to President Trump’s. Or, if you want a car that’s clearly of a high standard, how about a Brilliance? Clearly they’re good – the clue’s in the name, after all! Other honourable mentions go to Roewe (the Chinese name for Rover), LandWind (an SUV with no relation to the Land Rover) and a personal highlight, King Long.
But Japan has to really take the bad car name cake. And for this bit, I think the best way to tell you some of these names is with a chart rundown, which means this!
10. Honda Joy Machine
9. Toyota Noah
8. Honda Life Dunk
7. Toyota Deliboy
6. Mazda Proceed Marvie Wild Breeze
5. Honda LaGreat
4. Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce
3. Subaru Legacy Touring Bruce
2. Nissan Diesel Space Dream
1. Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
You know a list of stupid car names is good when something like the Isuzu Bighorn doesn’t make the grade. It’s amazing isn’t it? I think in real life I’ve only seen one of these – the Toyota Noah. I think I laughed for about 10 minutes straight at that…