This week’s Car Half-Hour with 2OceansVibe Radio and OverdriveTV

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Updated: March 10, 2011

Another episode of the car half hour happened today with Rich Hardiman and OverdriveTV, only on 2OceansVibe Radio. Here’s what went on in case you were otherwise engaged. Stop that. Being otherwise engaged. There’s a well-researched gallery at the bottom of the page if you’re more visually stimulated.

We kicked off with the announcement that the 2011 SA Car of the Year is actually the cars of the year, as the BMW 530d and the Polo1.6Tdi shared the honours for the first time in the competition’s history. This was exceptionally convenient as the car Ciro was going to review was the BMW530d anyway. Which, he insists, is the best car he’s driven in a year.

Amazingly good car this. No picture of the Polo. Sorry.

It’s astonishing how far diesels have come, they’re not only on par with petrols in some cars but in the case of the 530d, they’re simply better. The 530d’s engine goes and sounds like a V8, while delivering better fuel economy than a 2.0litre petrol. Seriously.

At R645 000 for the Beemer and R210 000 for the VW Polo, the cars are worlds apart but obviously the best (according to the judges) in their own ways.

Moving on to Japanese car names, we had a massive laugh with some of them. Here we go:

Honda Life Dunk;
Daihatsu Naked;
Honda That’s; (not a typo, that’s the whole name)
Isuzu GIGA 20 Light Dump;
Isuzu Mysterious Utility;
Mazda Bongo;
Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear;
Mitsubishi Pistachio;
Nissan Fairlady Z
Nissan Prairie Joy;
Nissan Rickman Space Ranger;
Rinspeed X-Dream;
Suzuki Cappucino;
Toyota Deliboy;
Volkswagen Thing and lastly,
Volkswagen Volugrafo Bimbo.

Imagine being on the naming committee in 1946 and coming up with the Volugrafo Bimbo. Excellent work everyone.

All of those are actual car names for vehicles sold only in Japan. We promise, google them. Here’s a handy gallery from Forbes.com so you can actually see what they look like. You’ll have to scroll through some horrendously dull American cars to get the to loony Japanese ones:

http://www.forbes.com/2004/07/09/cx_dl_0712featslide.html

And lastly in Motorsport, Ferrari have released a brilliantly cheeky statement concerning a US court decision to force them to rename their Formula 1 car for the season. The Italians named their car this year the F150, in honour of 150 years of the unification of Italy. Let’s keep in mind that there are literally only two (2) Ferrari Formula 1 cars with that name at any one time on the whole of earth.

Ford was having none of that and immediately summoned their overpaid lawyers to sue for copyright infringement. Ford makes a cheap-as-chips pick up truck called the F150, which happens to be the best selling vehicle of all time. Yes, more than the Beetle. And the Mini. And the Toyota Corolla.

That's Luca Di Montezemolo, the head of Ferrari. Basically he ranks just under God and the Pope in Italy. And that is how he looked at Ford's lawyers.

Here’s what Ferrari had to say about all this. This is an official statement:

In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula 1 car with a pick-up truck, for their part, the men from Maranello have decided that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari, as it has done on numerous occasions when its come to giving a car a code name, be it for the race track or the road.

It appears that this could have caused so much confusion in the minds of the consumer across the Pond that, at the same time as losing the F, the name will be completely Italianised, replacing the English th with the equivalent Italian symbol.

Therefore the name will now read as the Ferrari 150 Italia, which should make it clear even to the thickest of people that the name of the car is a tribute to the anniversary of the unification of our country.

Lets hope the matter is now definitely closed and that we can concentrate on more serious matters, namely ensuring that our car that already seems to be pretty good out of the box, becomes a real winner.

Ford told the Detroit Free Press today that: We are pleased we were able resolve this issue amicably.

I’m so tempted to write “ha” repeatedly. Amicably indeed, Ford.

There’s a history here, in the ’60s Ford actually bought the ailing Ferrari company, and after all was signed, Enzo Ferrari himself just said bugger that and didn’t honour the agreement. Ford were so incensed that they created the GT40, which went onto destroy Ferrari for three years in a row at Le Mans, becoming one of the most iconic cars in history.

Catch us next Thursday at 8:30am, only on 2OceansVibe Radio.

Listen Live right here. Just click. Yes. That’s it.

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