PLEASE RELEASE ME

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Our postman used to curse me as he staggered up the drive laden with hefty envelopes. These contained car-related press kits, news releases and photographs.‘Your mailbox isn’t big enough,’ he’d grumble.

Thanks to the Internet the post now mostly seems to be bills and pizza delivery flyers. All the carmaker stuff has migrated online, and I’m now getting more of it than ever. It’s through this medium that I’ve received teaser information about the next generation Fiat 500, and first saw the Jaguar XE saloon, but I also get material that is odd at best and occasionally bonkers.

Value my car

Once a press release arrived for a book written by a ‘motorcycle poet.’ Would I like to review it? Discovering this man’s efforts on line, the words ‘twist grip twaddle’ sprang to mind, so I declined.

A company called Emissions Analytics sent me a release containing an intriguing photo of a Lamborghini Huracan festooned with extra pipe work and what looked like a small AGA stove chimney. Apparently the company tests vehicles for efficiency and found that the Huracan was returning 21.2mpg, which was ‘comfortably ahead’ of official figures. Whether this knowledge will be a sales clincher for the car remains to be seen.

Motoring journalism isn’t an endless round of cars, food and exotic locations, but a release for an event called Cars & Coffee Redditch offered two of them on July 19th, in the form of complimentary coffee, bacon sandwiches and scenic Redditch, which is a fine place, but not exotic. Classic car auctioneers H&H got in touch to tell me that a 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost ‘shooting break’ (that’s a very posh estate car) with ‘wood effect’ bodywork sold for £161,280.

Meanwhile Nissan is claiming that the 41,100 Leaf electric cars it’s sold in Europe ‘have already prevented putting 50 million kg of C02 getting into the atmosphere,’ a thought provoking statistic, although the cynic in me wonders about the C02 produced by some of the power stations that generated the electricity in the first place.

Still, I’d rather read about that than the launch of a range of pong-tastic in car air fresheners, and there’s no guarantee that a press release on that very subject is heading towards my computer as you read this.

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