By Steve Orme
On the radio this morning, a tape measure professional from a chartered surveyors organisation was lamenting a reduction in the number of houses sold last month.
This, he said, would hit sales of washing machines.
Not, of course,as much as it would hit the income of surveyors.
Remember them, the people building societies send to sex your house every time different person makes an offer you can’t stop laughing at?
Still, times must be bad if these chaps are throwing themselves off the Tallahatchie bridge.
And, of course they are. Hard, that is, not throwing themselves into the Mississippi River.
Oil speculators, they who should be boiled alive in the stuff, and then fatally killed, have talked up the price of crude to $126 a barrel. A petrol price hike follows, no doubt.
On top of that UK drivers pay the highest fuel duty in the known comos, the revenues from which go to encourage exciting initiatives like wardens to help breeding toads cross roads for safe sex, tandem bike pilots so the blind can enjoy cycling and lots of congestion-busting new roads. Actually I made that last one up.
As far as I can see it there are two options. The lemming reaction or Custer’s Last Stand.
It’s up to you but you can either jump for it up on Chocktaw Ridge and end any meaningful life by taking the train, or worse still a bicycle or face the circling Indians.
So, with a lusty cry of Geronimo, time to look at what may well be described as the daftest car launched this year, the new 6.2-litre V8 engine Vauxhall Australian Mad Man. Sorry, Monaro. Due out this summer, with even more power and improved performance the latest VXR8 is the fastest car to wear the Griffin badge.
And in the current climate about as sensible as cod.
Known as LS3, the new V8 engine’s capacity grows from 5967cc to 6162cc, thanks to men fiddling with the oily bits. There are high-flow cylinder heads, new pistons and an better valve train. Power is up by 14PS to 431PS at 6000rpm.
Which in the surreal super-saloon world where the heart rules the head means a reduced 0-60mph from 5.0 seconds to 4.9 for the automatic and in-gear acceleration for manual models dropped 2.8 to 2.6 seconds for 50-70mph while 30-50mph in 2nd gear drops from 2.0 to 1.9 seconds.
And if you fancy smoking your VXR8 at a track day, you’ll see 80-100mph times fall from 4.3 to just 4.0 seconds in 4th gear.
The new engine produces the same emissions and fuel consumption as the outgoing LS2 unit. In addition, the VXR8 automatic has a transmission oil cooler as standard.
The is also the option of factory-fit 20-inch rims for the first time.
Yes, a lot of sums but nobody buys a VXR8 for its looks. Or for its mansion house interior. Like most of the nether continent it is empty.
Prices for both manual and automatic versions of the LS3-powered VXR8, which are on sale now, rise by £485 to £35,695.
Well come on, what’s it to be? Give in to a mad, bad world or a rousing chorus of I Will Survive? Let me lead the way.
I am Spartacus.