I’ve been asked to write a blog featuring a definitive guide to GDPR and its implications in the automotive retail space. But enough is enough - most of us were GDPR’d-out weeks ago. How ironic that regulatory changes designed to reduce the number of unwanted emails we receive somehow seems to have achieved the opposite.

So instead, as a much-needed break, I headed to Google and found 10 fascinating facts from the automotive world with which to impress your friends in the pub.

Elon Musk is not the founder of Tesla Motors. The company was founded in 2003 by Silicon Valley engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk joined in 2004, took over investments, played a big part in design and soon became the company chairman. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you were ever lucky enough to buy a Pagani Zonda, you would also have received a free pair of soft suede driving loafers hand-made by the Pope's cobbler. Unfortunately, production of this model ended earlier this year so now you’ll have to go to Clarks for your driving footwear.

The TVR Chimaera's distinctive front-end styling was a product of NED. No, not some sophisticated piece of CAD software, but the dog of the late Peter Wheeler, TVR’s chairman at the time. NED took a bite out of the clay styling buck for the new car and the team liked his work so much they decided to go with it.

If you press a car's key fob more than 256 times while out of range of the car, it will require re-encryption to work again. I sense the same pedant who developed this security measure might also have had a hand in GDPR.

In Magnum PI (look it up kids, this is what passed for top-drawer entertainment in the mid 80s), Ferrari initially demanded payment for the right to use the 308 GTS in the show. They quietly dropped this demand when the production team suggested they'd use a Porsche 911 instead.

Ford was Henry Ford's second eponymous car company. His first, the Henry Ford Motor Company, was sold and later morphed into Cadillac. Not bad for a farmer’s son from Wayne County, Michigan.

The stylish Jaguar XK120 roadster, launched in 1948, was designed on the roof of the Jaguar factory in Coventry during a World War 2 air raid. The team crafted their design while they were up there taking their turn on fire-watch duty.

Talking of roofs - during building work at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg factory, a very early Beetle was found on the roof. No one seems quite sure how it got there or whether this is just another apocryphal story. All information on this fascinating matter will be gratefully received by this blog’s author.

Designed by engineer Nils Bohlin in 1959, Volvo owns the patent on the 3-point seat belt but has never enforced its rights of ownership. This public-spirited generosity has resulted in the saving of over 35,000 lives.


It is still legal to urinate on the back wheel of a hackney carriage as long as a bale of hay is being carried. The internet appears to be unsure if the hay needs to be carried by the cabbie or the person wishing to relieve him or herself.


Now it’s time to get back to the hundreds of new emails, pleading with you to opt in to continue to receive marketing communications from the sender, that will have amassed in your inbox in the last three and a half minutes.





Associate Director and all round Petrolhead

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