A record was broken this week. No, Usain Bolt did not limbo under 9.58 seconds. No one has beaten Aaron Caissie’s record of 19 spoons balanced on one’s face at one time, either. This record is much more impressive.
A Glaswegian learner driver has smashed the record for driving theory tests taken after failing his theory test for the 36th time. Champagne and caviar all round, I think.
This monumental moment in motoring got us thinking about other bizarre driving facts that we had squirreled away in the backs of our heads. Here are the best ones that we could think of.
First speeding ticket
Nothing is certain but death, taxes and speeding. This (slightly amended) quote from Daniel Defoe sums up our exact thoughts when we heard about the world’s first speeding ticket.
In the United States, one city defined the development of the automobile. No, it wasn’t Detroit. It was, in fact, Cleveland. If you’re sitting at the cutting edge of an industry, you want to find a way to cash in on it. In 1904, Ohio police are recorded as issuing a ticket to motorist Harry Myers for travelling at twelve miles per hour on West Third Street.
Most expensive auctioned car
Last summer, a 50-year-old Mercedes Benz Formula One car was sold at auction. When hammer met table, the highest bid was $29.6 million.
(Marussia, an actual Formula One team, only has a budget of $74 million for the whole season!)
But last year’s $29.6 million bid is small change compared to the current record. In August, Bonhams presented a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for auction. When the hammer fell, the bid had reached $34.65 million. That’s only $6 million short of the entire GDP of Tuvalu. For one car.
Most people in a Mini
The Mini is famous for being, well, mini. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to see how many people they could squeeze into one.
The current record, as verified by Guinness, stands at 27 and was set earlier this year on 18th May.
Steve Jobs’ Unlicensed Car
Apple’s motto urges us to “Think Different”. Unsurprisingly, Steve Jobs did just that. That’s why his trademark Mercedes SL55 AMG was never spotted with a licence plate.
Jobs had found a loophole in California licence plate laws that stated cars younger than six months could be used plateless. Being obscenely wealthy and inclined to the obscure, Jobs decided he would swap his car twice a year and abandon the world of licence plates entirely.
Upside Down Formula One Cars
Formula One cars have huge wings that push them down onto the track. This enormous downforce allows drivers to carry huge amounts of speed into corners and not skid off into a wall in a horrific fireball.
Interesting, this process still works if the car is upside down. While opinions differ, the general consensus is that an F1 car driving 150 miles per hour would generate enough downforce (or upforce) to stick to the roof.
Has anyone tried it? Of course not. That would mean driving upside down at 150 miles per hour!
Unlock a Car With Your Head
Next time you go to unlock your car, walk backwards until you are out of range. Then hold your wireless remote to your head and try it again. For some reason the inner workings of the head actually boosts the unlock signal and gives you a few extra metres range on your bleeper.
Venture onto the internet and you’ll discover full websites devoted to this phenomenon. We’re not entirely sure which explanation to believe so we’re putting it down to wizardry.
Bad Driving is Genetic
Five years ago, a team at the University of California set out to test the effect of genetics on driving. Researchers found that people with a certain gene variant performed driving tasks 20 percent worse than people without it.
Will your insurance company accept bad genetics as an excuse the next time you clip a wing mirror? Probably not.
Most Expensive Toll Road
Most people claim the most expensive toll road is the (in)famous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. The public toll road slash racing circuit costs an eye watering €26 (~£21) per 13-mile lap. At £1.61 per mile, it’s pretty costly.
However, at Caledonian Couriers, we know roads. So we know that the Nürburgring pales in comparison to world’s actual most expensive toll road.
Back in August we brought you the story of Mike Watts, the man who built a private toll road through his field. It allowed drivers to cut out a 17-mile diversion with a 365 meter jaunt across cow pasture. At a cost of £2 per car, Mike Watts’ road averages out at an astonishing £9 per mile.
We admit that it might not be a proper road but it’s a good story nonetheless.
One Horse’s Power
The horsepower unit owes its existence to famed Scottish engineer James Watt. Watt originally developed the term to compare the output of steam engines with the power of draft horses. So, one horsepower is the power of one horse? No.
Watt used particularly strong dray horses in his experiments and purposefully overestimated the figure. In reality, one horsepower is actually about 50 percent more than the power of an average horse.