Cars And The Media – Interest In Cars Gets Into Top Gear

Whether it is Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond, Vicki Butler-Henderson, or any other media car reviewer or online amateur, it seems as though everyone has an opinion on what the best cars to be driving (or seen to be driving) are.

Looking back, it seems as though just a couple of decades ago, there were only a few real mainstream magazines on the shelves, most notably Motor magazine which merged with AutoCar, and Performance Car which then became Car magazine; now it is difficult to escape the mass of car magazines which fill the shelves of the nation’s newsagents.

The current best selling car magazine, Top Gear was first published in 1993 as a spin off to the Top Gear TV series, which first came into being in 1977 as a 30 minute BBC Midlands TV programme, which reviewed new car models and covered other car-related issues such as road safety, classic cars and motorsport. Since this time, the two biggest mainstream UK Car programmes, Top Gear and Fifth Gear, have become important parts of media car culture in Britain.

Over recent years there has been a change in the way that cars have been dealt with by journalists in the media. As time has gone on, and following a major revamp in 2002, Top Gear has moved away from a standard journalistic show and focused on a more light hearted and quirky based entertainment style of programming. The actual motoring information provided on the show has been decreasing, as global ratings have been increasing.

It still remains one of the most entertaining shows on TV and provides essential viewing to both petrolheads and millions of non car enthusiasts alike. However, with the inclusion of celebrity challenges, outrageous stunts and challenges, and the regular destruction of caravans, the focus these days is very much on entertainment and personalities rather than cars.

Fifth Gear was originally intended as a replacement for Top Gear, which went into a period of lull around the start of the century following Clarkson’s departure before being cancelled. But the new programme on Five was launched just as the BBC announced they would bring back a new modified 60 minute version of Top Gear. Although achieving nowhere near the viewing figures that the Clarkson lead show has managed, Fifth Gear is generally less outrageous and more of a straightforward informative motoring show.

Now interest in motoring has also gone online, with Top Gear being the most pirated TV show in the world, beating programmes like Lost and Desperate Housewives. The BBC reported that one video of Clarkson achieved 938,000 downloads on YouTube before they asked for it to be removed. Even interested non-journalists are now able to find videos and offer advice through car forums, motoring blogs [http://www.motoraddicts.com/blogs], general car sites and the many online owners clubs.

With the future looking rosy for professional motoring journalists both on TV and in print, and as the public appetite becomes increasingly voracious to get involved in the action, and sites provide more interactivity, it is hopefully only a matter of time before we get fully immersive interactive super car test drives with a background commentary by Clarkson.

Household Tips – A Cornucopia of Car Tips, Part 1

A car that is clean, that smells good, and that drives well is not only safer and more enjoyable for you and your family; it will also retain more of its value. You will be able to get more car for your dollars when you next upgrade your vehicle, so it is important to keep your investment in good shape!

Here are a few, low-cost tips to help keep your car in the best shape possible.

A winning routine – Check the windshield washer level, the engine oil level and the tire pressure on a regular basis and before going out-of-town or on a long journey. Replace the blades of your windshield wipers every year before the start of winter.

One-step wash – No matter how dirty your car is, simply wash it with a solution made from one cup of kerosene dissolved in one bucket of plain water. Wipe it thoroughly with a soft cloth and voilĂ ! There is no need to rinse or wax. The treatment helps prevent rust and rainwater will actually bead off the car.

Kitchen aids – Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to remove dirt and grime from windows, headlights, chrome accessories and trims; rinse and dry. To remove dead insects from your windshield, rub it with a ball made from plastic net bags (the kind onions come in).

A cocktail of sticker removers – You have the choice of using nail polish remover, lighter fluid, lemon extract, salad oil or hot vinegar. Saturate, let set a while (if needed) and then gently scrape with a razor blade or a knife.

Speedy camouflage – Hide scratches and small nicks by delicately working a matching colour crayon into them. Remove tar spots by soaking them with raw linseed oil until soft; wipe with a soft cloth dampened with the oil.

Remember that as cars and trucks go, prevention is the key. An issue that could’ve cost $2 to fix may end up costing you $500 because you waited. So take the time to deal with little problems before they become big ones!

Cars and Their Urban Troubles

Purchasing a car has become an inevitable consideration to working people once they have achieved a certain measure of financial flexibility in their lives. Originally when the car, next to the television, was seen as a luxury item, many people could not help but resign their transport needs to mass transport especially in big cities. In contemporary times the case has a new face.

The urban setting has changed since then where large cities have seen an influx of personal vehicles on the thoroughfares and car ownership has plummeted to millions of vehicles in any given large city. In cities where interchange ways are not sufficiently developed, and the metro system is unaccommodating, the large number of personal vehicles on the streets on certain times of the day especially in the morning and the evening has continued to cause gridlocks and overlapping traffic situations on major streets.

It is inevitable then that city authorities have premiered many modern measures to curb the effects of this vehicular revolution by installing traffic laws that include parking rules and the creation of non motorized zones. The latter step has led to restrictions to car drivers from accessing certain districts of large urban centers where only pedestrians are allowed to use. In certain cities the drivers are advised to leave their vehicles in designated spots and access their working places by the electric train or the public metro system to minimize the traffic congestion in the busy commercial district. Car owners who find entry to the heart of the city are required to pay a daily parking fee.

Car ownership has risen partly due to the reduction of commodity prices and the permeation of many subsidiary motor companies manufacturing vehicles cheaply from spare parts obtained from world class car makers. This has made the car recede from the horizon of being a piece of luxury to becoming a city bug.