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Ten Things We Learned This Week

  1. Georgian dogs are now driving their owners (allegedly)

    When officers in Oconee County, Georgia, this week responded to a call about a dog locked in a hot car, they received an entirely plausible explanation from its owner upon arrival at the scene.

    With the temperature in the car passing 50*C, 60-year-old Mark Terrell calmly informed the cops that yes, of course the dog was still in the car… because the dog had driven him to the store. To buy some corn. Because, hey, who doesn’t need corn?

    Sheriff Sgt Partain reported that Terrell appeared to be highly intoxicated. Terrell was arrested and charged with offences of animal cruelty and driving under the influence.

    The dog has reportedly been offered a drive with Caterham F1.

    Picture above unrelated (sadly)

  2. Two Canadian inventors have built a 100mph Cadillac hot tub

    Steaming hot’n’wet car news: Speedo-wearing entrepreneurs Phillip Weicker and Duncan Forster have spent six years converting a 1969 Cadillac DeVille into a mobile hot tub.

    The ‘Carpool DeVille’ boasts a 7.7-litre V8 making about 375bhp, which, as well as driving the rear wheels, also heats water in the hot tub to a toasty 38 degrees. Quite what happens during heavy braking remains unclear, but we suspect it’s sloshy.

    And now Weicker and Forster are attempting to raise money to take their hot hot tub to the Bonneville Salt Flats next month, with the aim of setting a new record for the fastest jacuzzi on wheels.

    Which, if the Deville moves at all, they’ll succeed in achieving. Unbelievably, such a record doesn’t exist at present.

    Here’s hoping they fill out all the necessary paperwork. Or they could end up in hot water. Arf.

  3. JC's favourite aquatic thingummy now has room for two

    Remember the Gibbs Quadski that Clarkson raced across Lake Como against Hammond and an Alfa 4C? Well, now there’s a two-seat version, the Quadski XL. For the most sociable car-sailor.

    The Quadski XL is a foot longer in the wheelbase, and packs the same 1.3-litre Honda bike engine, making 140bhp. That’s good for a top speed of 45mph on land or water.

    Jeremy found the Quadski’s waterbound ride a trifle… choppy, but Gibbs says the longer XL will be more stable at speed, promising ‘a smoother more comfortable ride… and greater stability’.

    So the Quadski now has as many seats as the 4C, is – as JC proved – as fast around Northern Italy, and is possibly more relaxing to drive. Just a pity it doesn’t look quite so pretty.

  4. Mark Higgins's gentleman-fruits are made of carbotanium

  5. Dodge has built the muscle car equivalent of The Rock

    At the New York Auto Show in April, Dodge unveiled the Challenger SRT ‘Hellcat’. Once we’d stopped giggling over how excellent the name was, we realised there were no exact power figures, only that it’d have ‘over 600bhp’.

    This week, we learn this is true. The Challenger Hellcat has well over 600bhp. It has exactly 707bhp. Why? Because ‘Murica.

    And because records are there to be broken. Yes, this new 707bhp Hellcat now becomes the most powerful production muscle car in the history of muscle cars. We want a go 

  6. Robert Renning is an actual superhero

    Robert Renning is a man from Minnesota. Robert Renning was driving home on Monday evening when he noticed another car on fire.

    “I could see flames coming out from underneath the car on the way back,” Renning told CBS after.

    Trapped inside the smoke-filled car was Michael Johannes, unable to escape because the Chevy’s locks and power windows had shut down.

    Johannes tried to kick the windows out from the inside, but was overwhelmed by the smoke. Which is where Robert Renning stepped in.

    “He bent the door with his bare hands,” said Johannes. “That was him. It was no tool. It shattered the glass and they were able to pull me out.”

    Bent the door. With his bare hands. Robert Renning is a hero. Or a cyborg. A heroic, wonderful cyborg.

    Source: USA Today

  7. The old 'Vettes are coming home

    Heartwarming news from Michigan, where Detroit pensioner George Talley has been reunited with his stolen 1979 Chevrolet Corvette after 33 years.

    The Vette was pinched from Jefferson Avenue in Detroit in 1981, and, despite Talley’s best efforts to find it, disappeared off the grid for the next three decades.

    Until a couple of weeks ago, when Talley got a call from the American Automobile Association to let him know his car has resurfaced 950 miles away, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

    “It was a lucky day,” beamed Talley. “They told me it was running, had 47,000 miles on it, and was ready for me to pick up.”

    Better still, GM bosses got wind of Talley’s good news, and offered to ship the car home for him. Our hearts are full.

    On an unrelated matter, Top Gear lost a tenner in a pub on the Uxbridge Road in Shepherd’s Bush in 2009. If anyone finds one – papery, bit scuffed round the edges, Queen’s head – could they pop it in the post?

  8. Well done! Britain's roads are the safest since records began

    According to government statistics, 2013 saw fewer British road deaths than at any time since 1926, falling two per cent year on year.

    Last year, says the Department For Transport, 1,713 people died on Britain’s roads. Which is, of course 1,713 too many, but only half as many as died in the year 2000, and the lowest annual total since records began.

    Doubly impressive, considering that our roads are busier than ever before – traffic increased 0.4 per cent year on year in 2013. Personal injury road accidents were down five per cent since 2012, too. Keep driving safe, kids.

  9. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is now Britain's greatest motor show 

    The British Motor Show was shuttered for good a few years back, bad news for those who crave the company of outlandish concept cars, pretty but bored girls obscuring a new family hatchback and stressed middle-ranking motoring executives in pointy shoes. 

    But frankly, who cares, because the Goodwood Festival of Speed is better. And this year’s bash on Lord March’s front garden was the best yet, as you can see here in our vast gallery from the weekend. Features a Kermit-green LaFerrari.  

  10. Stig has a new pasta fetish

    Jeremy, Richard and James are currently in the middle of a European tour, taking the Top Gear Live show to adoring crowds in Italy, Croatia and the Czech Republic (follow all the action here on the Twitter feed). 

    Stig is there too. Some say that this week he single-handedly caused a linguine drought in Turin, and is refusing to leave this piazza until more is found. 

What do you think?

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