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Uber NHS free rides

Uber is offering free Christmas rides for NHS staff

Taxi app Uber will offer two free trips to NHS workers who are working shifts between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day

Dodge Redeye Express Hemi sleigh for Santa

What sleigh would Santa really choose? One with a supercharged V8, says Dodge

The Redeye Express ditches reindeer propulsion for 797 horsepower instead

British drivers break law for Christmas tree

British drivers willing to break the law to bring home a Christmas tree

Three quarters unaware of rules around for safely transporting loads

Christmas gift guide

The ultimate Christmas gift guide for car fans

If, like us, you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, this round-up of 20 car-related gifts should provide some inspiration.

The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

The best Christmas TV for petrolheadsFestive television isn’t what it used to be. Three decades ago, more than 30 million people sat down to watch Eastenders on Christmas Day: a record that still stands and is unlikely to be beaten. Instant access to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube means that many people choose to watch TV on demand.

But, feeling a bit old-school, we grabbed a copy of the Radio Times and highlighted some of the shows most likely to appeal to petrolheads over Christmas. But don’t worry if nothing takes your fancy: there’s plenty to stream and download whenever you want, and you’re never more than five minutes away from a repeat of Top Gear on Dave.

The Grand Tour, Amazon PrimeThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

22 December

In episode three of the second series, Jeremy Clarkson tests the Bugatti Chiron in what’s being billed as an epic cross-Europe dash. Meanwhile, James May is in Majorca to drive the new Kia Stinger, and Richard Hammond does a little car park racing. This episode will be available to stream from 22 December.

James May’s Toy Stories, BBC4The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

23 December, 9pm

If you’re still coming to terms with James May’s new hairstyle, here’s a chance to see him with his flowing locks still in place. In this programme, ‘Captain Slow’ argues that, aside from his eagle eyes and gripping hands, Action Man achieved very little. Here, he attempts to put that right, by sending Action Man through the sound barrier, using an experimental supersonic vehicle.

Casino Royale, ITV2The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

Christmas Eve, 9pm

Casino Royale sees Daniel Craig in his first outing as 007. Cars range from the very Bond Aston Martin DBS and DB5, to the more humble Ford Mondeo. Look out for 007’s pursuit of Le Chiffre, in which the DBS performed a dramatic tumble. The scene was filmed at the Millbrook Proving Ground, near Bedford.

The Love Bug, Sky DisneyThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

Christmas Day, 11.20pm

“It’s a Love in for Herbie… the incredible little car who shifts for himself,” says the movie poster. This is one of Herbie’s best outings, not least because it includes the ‘Thorndyke Special’, which was actually an Apollo GT: the limited run American-Italian sports car of the mid 60s.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, ITVThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

Boxing Day, 9.25am

A terrific film in its own right, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off includes the famous scenes featuring the Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” #SaveFerris

Back to the Future, C4The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

Boxing Day, 6pm

Is there anybody on the planet who hasn’t seen Back to the Future? Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is sent back in time by the mad scientist Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), with the DeLorean DMC-12 acting as the time machine. Thirty-two years on, the car remains as popular as ever, and it’s all thanks to this film.

Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart, YesterdayThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

28 December, from 9pm

Another chance to see these documentaries which shine a light on three of Britain’s finest F1 stars. The evening kicks off at 9pm with Jim Clark: the Quiet Champion, followed by Graham Hill: Driven, before concluding with Jackie Stewart: the Flying Scot.

The Grand Tour, Amazon PrimeThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

29 December

This should be interesting. In an episode entitled ‘Unscripted’, Clarkson, Hammond and May attempt to show what would happen if The Grand Tour made a completely unscripted film, with nothing prearranged aside from the location. The result: Clarkson turns up in Croatia with an Audi TT RS, Hammond arrives in an Ariel Nomad, while May shows up in an old Lada.

Bullitt, TCMThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

29 December, 6.40pm

Own up, how many of you have tuned in to watch Bullitt, only to fast forward to the famous car chase scene? It takes place on the streets of San Francisco, with Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) at the wheel of a Ford Mustang, on the tale of two bad guys in a Dodge Charger. For a bit of festive fun, count how many times you spot the same Volkswagen Beetle.

Rallying: the Killer Years, YesterdayThe best Christmas TV for petrolheads

30 December, 9pm

Rallying was, at the time, as popular as F1, thanks mainly to the madness of the Group B era. This documentary charts the rise of Group B and unregulated mayhem which led to the tragic events of 1986. This is a story of when fans, ambition, politics and cars collided.

Cars 2, BBC1The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

New Year’s Day, 9am

The original Cars movie was dripping in charm and originality, and while this follow-up isn’t quite the sentimental and nostalgic treat, it’s not without appeal. Lightning McQueen is challenged to race in the World Grand Prix, while Mater becomes tangled in some international espionage. Cars 3 hit the screens in 2017.

Made in Dagenham, BBC4The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

3 January, 9pm

It’s a slightly slower pace over on BBC4, with the excellent Made in Dagenham on at 9pm. This comedy drama is based on the events of 1968 at Ford’s huge plant in Dagenham, when workers went on strike, demanding equal rights for female staff.

Ford’s Dagenham Dream, BBC4The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

3 January, 10.45pm

The movie is followed by a documentary which tells the story of the Dagenham factory, which closed in 2002 after 71 years of production. First person testimonies and archive footage are used to chart the history of the rise and fall of this once massive plant.

Caravans: a British Love Affair, BBC4The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

3 January, 11.45pm

A documentary about the love affair between the British and their caravans, which explores how cars, leisure time and the road network have played a part in the rise in popularity of caravanning. We doubt Jeremy Clarkson will be tuning in.

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The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

The best Christmas TV for petrolheads

Festive television isn’t what it used to be. Thirty years ago, more than 30 million people sat down to watch Eastenders on Christmas Day – a record that still stands and is unlikely to be beaten. Instant access to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube means that many people choose to watch TV on demand.

But that didn’t stop us from grabbing a copy of the Radio Times and – armed with a red pen – circling the shows most likely to appeal to petrolheads over Christmas. Here are 25 shows you can watch during the seven days from Friday 23 December 2016.

The Grand Tour: Amazon Prime

23 December

The Grand Tour pitches its tent in the very festive surroundings of Kakslauttanen, Finland, as messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May wish us a very Happy Finnish Christmas. Stay tuned for a battle royale between the Ford Mustang and Ford Focus RS, while the boys also have some last minute Christmas shopping ideas. Expect anything but the conventional.

Casino Royale: ITV2

23 December, 9.00pm

From a battle royale to Casino Royale, which sees Daniel Craig in his first outing as 007. Cars range from the very Bond Aston Martin DBS and DB5, to the more humble Ford Mondeo. Look out for 007’s pursuit of Le Chiffre, in which the DBS performed a dramatic tumble. The scene was filmed at the Millbrook Proving Ground, near Bedford.

Quantum of Solace: ITV2

Quantum of Solace: ITV2

Christmas Eve, 9.00pm

Twenty-four hours later, James Bond returns in Quantum of Solace. The film is another ‘Ford fest’, including the unlikely debut of the second generation Ford Ka. Also look out for a fleet of hydrogen-powered Ford Edge SUVs and a Volvo S40. The movie opens with an epic tussle between a pair of Alfa Romeo 159s and Bond in a DBS. Oh, and a Land Rover Defender…

The Transporter: Film4

Christmas Eve, 11.10pm

If you’ve had your fill of Bond – not to mention mince pies and sherry – allow Jason Statham to offer a change of direction, if not pace. Sadly, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) doesn’t get behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Transporter, instead relying on a BMW 7 Series. One highlight is the chase scene through the streets of Nice.

Spectre: Sky Cinema Action & Adventure

Christmas Eve, 8.00pm

Yes, it’s another Bond movie, but in the case of Spectre there’s a chance you haven’t seen it since it hit the big screen in 2015. The Aston Martin DB10 is the star car, although the Jaguar C-X75 driven by henchman Mr Hinx runs it quite close. Quite literally, in fact.

Road: ITV4

Road: ITV4

Christmas Day, 12.50am

If you’re still awake at ten to one on Christmas morning, don’t be surprised if Santa doesn’t pay you a visit. But if you can’t sleep, this documentary promises to be a real treat. Narrated by Liam Neeson, it’s a profile of Joey Dunlop, the motorcycle racer who won 26 races at the Isle of Man TT between 1976 and 2000.

Mad Max: Fury Road, Sky Cinema Hits

Christmas Day, 1.20am

“Strap yourself into the rumble seat and explore the post-apocalyptic world of Max Mad: Fury Road, where the vehicles are not mere showpieces, but built and modified to perform live stunts on a massive scale.” If that doesn’t whet your appetite, nothing will.

Steve McQueen – The Motorbike Movie Star: ITV4

Christmas Day, 7.00am

If your presents aren’t doing it for you, tune into ITV4 on Christmas morning for some Steve McQueen action. This two-part documentary sees Henry Cole going on a road trip to California, charting the life and times of the legendary McQueen. Sure beats a pair of socks and a bottle of smellies.

Fast & Furious 7: Sky Cinema Hits

Fast & Furious 7: Sky Cinema Hits

Christmas Day, 11.20pm

By this point on Christmas Day, you will have eaten too much food and consumed far too many bottles of granny’s gin, so a couple of hours on the sofa might be most welcome. Fast & Furious 7 is a fitting tribute to the late Paul Walker and one of the best films in the franchise.

Harley and the Davidsons: Discovery

Boxing Day, 8.00pm

Based on a true story, Harley and the Davidsons charts the birth of Harley-Davidson during a time of great social and technological change. How far will founders Walter and Arthur Davidson and their friend Bill Harley go to reach the ultimate American dream? This is the first of a three-part drama.

Gran Torino: Sky Cinema Select

Boxing Day, 10.00pm

In box office terms, this is Clint Eastwood’s most successful movie, grossing more than $148m since its release in 2008. When somebody tries to steal Walt Kowalski’s immaculate Gran Torino, he sets out on a mission to reform the local youth. It’s all set to the backdrop of Detroit’s crumbling automotive industry. A terrific film.

Back to the Future: Sky Cinema Greats

Back to the Future: Sky Cinema Greats

Boxing Day, 10.10pm

Is there anybody on the planet who hasn’t seen Back to the Future? Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is sent back in time by the mad scientist Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), with the DeLorean DMC-12 acting as the time machine. Three decades on, the car remains as popular as ever, and it’s all thanks to this film.

The Italian Job: Sky Cinema Action & Adventure

Boxing Day, 10.20am

The quintessentially British ‘comedy caper’ sees three Minis escaping from Turin following an ambitious gold robbery. The film is filled with famous one-liners, not to mention a brilliant opening scene involving a Lamborghini Miura and a bulldozer. But the stars of the show are the red, white and blue Minis. Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea…

Herbie Rides Again: BBC2

Bank Holiday Tuesday, 7.50am

The sequel to the 1968 film Herbie The Love Bug finds the oh-so-cute Beetle involved in a battle to save the home of Mrs Steinmetz from a corrupt developer. Keenan Wynn is excellent as Alonzo Hawk, but Herbie is the undoubted star of the show.

Cars 2: BBC1

Cars 2: BBC1

Bank Holiday Tuesday, 10.50am

The original Cars movie was dripping in charm and originality, and while this follow-up isn’t quite the sentimental and nostalgic treat, it’s not without appeal. Lightning McQueen is challenged to race in the World Grand Prix, while Mater becomes tangled in some international espionage. Cars 3 is set to hit the big screen in 2017.

Skyfall: ITV2

Bank Holiday Tuesday, 8.00pm

To some, Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies of all-time. Director Sam Mendes – making his 007 debut – manages to find a terrific balance between realism and standard Bond overindulgence. The Aston Martin DB5 makes a surprise and welcome return, although it meets an explosive end in Scotland.

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo: BBC2

28 December, 7.40am

Herbie is rolled out once again, this time in order to race in the Monte Carlo Rally. As you’d expect, things don’t go according to plan, and the loveable Bug tangles with some jewel thieves.

James May – the Christmas Reassembler: BBC4

James May – the Christmas Reassembler: BBC4

28 December, 9.00pm

It’s not a car programme as such, but anything involving James May normally turns out to be rather good. In 1972, May was given a Hornby Flying Scotsman train set for Christmas. Now, 44 years later, he rebuilds the train in his workshop. According to the Radio Times, the nostalgia becomes a little too much for ‘Captain Slow’, as he sheds a tear upon completion.

Herbie Goes Bananas: BBC2

29 December, 7.45am

Had enough of Herbie for one Christmas? Herbie Goes Bananas is arguably the weakest film in the franchise, and the final movie before the Beetle returned in 1997 with a remake of The Love Bug.

Turbo: BBC1

29 December, 9.00am

We’ll stick our hands up here – this is a film we haven’t seen. According to the IMDb website, “a freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500.” Sounds implausible, but rather fun. The Radio Times gives it four stars.

Cannonball Run II: ITV4

Cannonball Run II: ITV4

29 December, 7.45pm

A guilty pleasure if ever there was one. In his review, Roger Ebert labelled this film as “one of the laziest insults to the intelligence of moviegoers that I can remember,” before claiming that “sheer arrogance made this picture.” It’s not great, but the cars are good and there’s a star-studded cast including Burt Reynolds and Catherine ‘Daisy Duke’ Bach.

Guy Martin – Cycling Home for Christmas: C4

29 December, 9.00pm

At the time of writing, news was reaching us that injury has forced Guy Martin to pull out of his latest world record attempt. Martin was hoping to complete a 4,802-mile pedal-powered ride of the British coast in just 20 days. In a statement, he said: “Well, it’s not gone quite to plan.” Will this TV show be canned?

The World’s Most Expensive Toys: More4

29 December, 10.05pm

We can’t promise you a truck-load of Ford Transit models, but this show will reveal some of the world’s most extravagant toys. According to the Radio Times, this includes a £30,000 electric toy car. Wow.

The Grand Tour: Amazon Prime

30 December

In the first of two special shows, The Grand Tour abandons its tent for a road trip across Namibia in a trio of beach buggies. Reading between the lines, this has all the hallmarks of a Top Gear festive special, so we have high hopes that this will be a Christmas cracker.

Gone in Sixty Seconds: Sky Cinema Action & Adventure

Gone in Sixty Seconds: Sky Cinema Action & Adventure

30 December, 12.55am

No, not the original Gone in 60 Seconds, but the 2000 remake Gone in Sixty Seconds. It’s all rather simple: 50 exotic cars must be stolen and loaded onto a container ship within a short period of time. Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie star, while Vinnie Jones makes his second screen appearance since making his debut in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

 

Credits: 1 – Amazon Prime , 2 – Ford,  3 – Newspress, 4 – Universal Pictures, 5 – Autogas, 6 & 7 – Newspress, 8 Autogas, 9 – Silverstone Classic

The best Christmas presents for you and your car

The best Christmas presents for you and your car

The best Christmas presents for you and your car

Looking for the perfect gift for your car-obsessed friend or significant other? You search ends here. We’ve rounded up the best motoring presents, including car accessories to make driving that little bit more enjoyable in 2017. From T-shirts to TomToms, this is your one-stop Christmas car shop.

Big Mac, small price

Big Mac, small price

Price: £375

Wouldn’t we all like a McLaren P1? The British carmaker has launched a ride-on, pure-electric version of its hypercar in time for Christmas. With a top speed of a mighty 3mph, the mini-P1 features dihedral doors and a central driving position (just like, er… a McLaren F1). There’s even an MP3 player fitted as standard.

With a price tag of £375, it’s about 0.02% the cost of a real one…

Pocket rockets

Pocket rockets

Price: from £3,995

If you have a bigger budget and want to encourage your child to appreciate classic cars, Pocket Classics creates miniature ride-on motors for the discerning youngster. Prices start at £3,995 for self-build army truck, rising to £14,995 for a Porsche 904 Carrera GTS.

Do it yourself

Do it yourself

Price: from £16,995

We all need something to occupy our time over Christmas (aside from eating mince pies and watching comedy re-runs, obviously). If you have a spare ‘80-100 hours’, a self-build Caterham Seven could be the answer. The entry-level Seven 160 starts at £16,995 – £2,500 cheaper than the factory-built car. It should be ready just in time for spring, right?

Out of the blocks

Out of the blocks

Price: £69.99

If you can’t afford a real Caterham, this Lego kit offers a cheaper – and almost as time-consuming – alternative for £69.99. The super-cool 620R is made up of more than 770 pieces and features a removable nose cone and functioning axle stands.

Want chips with that?

Want chips with that?

Price: from £300

Give your car a boost this Christmas by having it ‘chipped’. This quick and relatively cheap tuning method involves tweaks to the car’s electronic brain to unlock more power and performance. Some companies claim fuel economy gains, too. The BBR-tuned Mazda MX-5 seen here produces 193hp, up 33hp from the standard car.

Excel yourself this Christmas

Excel yourself this Christmas

Price: from £24

There’s a shortage of car events at this time of year, so why not give your loved ones something to look forward to in 2017? Running from 23-27 February, the London Classic Car Show is now in its third year. Held at the Excel, adult tickets start at £24 and include access to the Historic Motorsport International exhibition, which runs alongside the main show.

VIP Premium tickets start at £55, with perks including fast-track entry and free drinks.

Flat-six appeal

Flat-six appeal

Price: £2,400

The latest Porsche 911s may not howl like the old ones (thank turbocharging for that), but we’re confident this soundbar will make a great noise. As indeed it should for £2,400. The Porsche-branded audio system boasts an integrated subwoofer made from a 911 GT3 rear silencer and exhaust pipes, and can be connected via Bluetooth to mobile music devices. For the Porsche fan who has everything.

Christmas: wrapped

Christmas: wrapped

Price: around £750

Can’t afford a new car for Christmas? Why not give your existing motor a makeover? Vinyl wraps allow you to change the car’s colour and are much cheaper than a respray. They also protect the paintwork underneath, so they can be removed when you sell. Probably a good idea if you’ve turned your Nissan Micra into a mobile Union Jack.

Gator aid

Gator aid

Price: £60 (set of four)

Large alloy wheels and low-profile tyres look great, but are all too easy to kerb when you park – leaving the wheels covered in unsightly scratches. The subtle solution comes from Alloy Gator: tough nylon protectors that fit between the wheel and tyre. They’re available in 15 colours and the company has a network of approved fitters nationwide.

Give it the beans

Give it the beans

Price: £133

For some drivers, this could be the ultimate in-car accessory. The Handpresso Auto Hybrid connects to a 12-volt socket and sits neatly in a cupholder, turning your car into a mobile espresso machine. It uses either ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods or ground coffee to prepare a fresh espresso in a little over two minutes. If £133 seems like a lot of cash, just think how much you spend on takeaway coffees over the course of a year.

A taste of Italy

A taste of Italy

Price: from £195

Looking to buy a special present for that Maserati enthusiast in your life? This book has to be the most thorough history of the Italian car manufacturer ever. It’s not cheap, starting at £195 for the Tifosi edition (two volumes and 872 pages). Alternatively, splash out on the collector’s edition for £595. It’s limited to just 101 copies and comes with its own ‘chassis plate’.

Dial 911

Dial 911

Price: £99.99

Sorry to break it to you, but unless you’re incredibly fortunate, you’re unlikely to receive a real Porsche 911 for Christmas. Could this be the next best thing? The set lets you build a fully-functional 1:4 model of a flat-six engine from a 1960s Porsche 911. The set, which is suitable for ages 10 and over, contains 280 components and features authentic engine sounds. We want one.

Have nav, will travel

Have nav, will travel

Price: from £50

Buying for someone who still relies on paper maps? A sat-nav could be a great gift, with new models available for as little as £50. The unit pictured here is a fully-loaded £209.99 TomTom GO 520. It features smartphone notifications, is compatible with Siri and Google Now, and can even read out your messages.

Geek and you shall find

Geek and you shall find

Price: £59.99

Buying for a data-obsessed petrolhead, or just someone who wants to improve their driving and save money? The TomTom Curfer plugs into your car and connects to your phone, providing information on acceleration, G-force, cornering and braking. The trip to Tesco’s will never be the same again…

You booze, you lose

You booze, you lose

Price: £99.99

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can land you with an unlimited fine – and have even more severe consequences if you’re involved in a crash. While we wouldn’t recommend relying on a breathalyser to decide if you’re fit to drive, it could be a useful tool for those ‘mornings after the night before’. This AlcoSense Excel uses a smaller version of the same sensor used in many police breathalysers, so should be highly accurate.

Time for T?

Time for T?

Price: £16.95

Forget Christmas jumpers, the car T-shirt is this year’s must-have fashion accessory. Whatever your motoring allegiance, from Aston Martins to Austin Allegros, Petrolthreads has a T-shirt for you. This Fiat 126-themed tee is priced at a very reasonable £16.95. About the same as an actual 126, then.

Powered up

Powered up

Price: £33.34

Great Scott! If you know somebody whose electrical items are constantly OUTTAJUICE, this might be the perfect present. It’s a USB car charger designed to look like a Flux Capacitor from the Back to the Future series and features two USB ports.

Smells like damp asphalt

Smells like damp asphalt

Price: £28.00 – £40.00

“The man in your life will be thrilled to see the iconic Jaguar logo emerge from his Christmas stocking,” says the PR blurb. We hate to break it to you, Jaguar, but said man might prefer to find a Jaguar logo attached to an actual car. But hey, if your man likes “the fragrance of warm, damp asphalt after light summer rain,” this is the ideal present.

Brother, sister, a sledge?

Brother, sister, a sledge?

Price: £35.00

Believe it or not, this Audi snow sledge pays homage to the legendary Streamliner models of the 1930s and features two handles and a comfortable. We’ll have to take your word for the ‘comfortable’ bit, Audi. Suitable for children aged six and up, the sledge can withstand temperatures as low as -20ºC. Other sledges are available, but we can’t guarantee they’ll feature four-wheel drive…

MRAdvent 2 Dec: When Father Christmas had a wash

Santa-wash

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir. And photoshopped images doing the rounds.

OK, so they weren’t the exact words sung by Nat King Cole. Heck, rounds doesn’t even rhyme with nose. But you get the picture. And if you’re anything like us, you’re probably wishing you hadn’t.

It’s beginning to look like the time of year when press offices send out weird photoshopped images, sprinkling some Christmas magic on some otherwise festive-free products and services. You know, like car washes. What could be less festive than a car wash? Aside from the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge enjoying a BBQ in mid July.

Two years ago, the IMO Car Wash Group did its best to convince us “even the busiest person in December has time to wash his sleigh”, which isn’t strictly true. Everybody knows Yodel and DPD drivers are far busier. Father Christmas only has to go to work once a year. Although, to be fair to Santa, at least he’s guaranteed to find your house…

[bctt tweet=”What could be less festive than a car wash? Aside from the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge enjoying a BBQ in mid July.”]

According to IMO, Father Christmas was “spotted on a stop off at an IMO car wash”, no doubt taking advantage of the scratch-free wash in under three minutes. Well excuse us for being cynical, but we’re not sure Santa really paid IMO a visit. And it’s not because the company is on the naughty list.

For a start, that Star of Bethlehem is generating some unnatural levels of light. And wait, what’s going on with the shadows? We look at shadows cast by the fence and reindeer and begin to smell the distinct whiff of rat in the air.

But wait, there’s more. We’ll gloss over the fact that Father Christmas seems to be touring around with two Mrs Christmases, both of whom look far too young for him, but there’s something weird going on with that IMO operative. Comedy holly aside, we can’t help but think he isn’t attached to his legs. Perhaps he had an unfortunate run-in with the car wash.

Santa-wash-too

We wonder where Father Christmas will be ‘spotted’ this year? Maybe he’ll be stocking up on some much needed sleigh polish. Or checking out some Magic Tree air fresheners for his sleigh. We’ve heard he’s rather partial to Forest Fresh.

MRAdvent 1 Dec: Minis have feelings too

Minis have feelings too

This year, Sainsbury’s might just top the tree when it comes to the nation’s favourite Christmas ad, although John Lewis, Lidl and Aldi may have something to say about that.

But back in 1986, there was no such debate, because the Rover Group delivered what was not only the best Christmas advert of the year, but one of the best ads of all time. If ‘Minis have feelings too’ doesn’t make you go all gooey and full of Christmas spirit, you have a heart of stone.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and enjoy a few seconds of nostalgia from Christmas past.

The timing was perfect, with the Mini seemingly on borrowed time. Now under the control of Rover Group plc, the Mini was facing the axe in 1987. To say the decision to give the much-loved Mini a stay of execution was entirely based on the success of the advert would be wrong, but it must have played a part.

The feelgood factor associated with the kissing Minis is so high, not even an inch of snow falling on Christmas day, Mariah Carey in a Santa outfit and a dozen chestnuts roasting on an open fire could make you feel any more festive.

The ad is superb, right down to the ‘The First Noel’ soundtrack, which puts us in mind of the music used to accompany the scenes featuring Noel Coward in The Italian Job, which – given the Mini’s starring role – is rather apt. In short, no amount of CGI nonsense or inflated marketing budgets will ever top this Mini ad.

[bctt tweet=”‘In short, no amount of CGI nonsense or inflated marketing budgets will ever top this Mini ad'”]

But without wishing to play the role of party-pooper, amid screams of ‘humbug’, we bring you news that the two lovestruck Minis are no more. At least, we don’t think they are.

According to DVLA records, D748 DAC was last taxed in January 2003, with D401 MOJ disappearing in May 1993. But all isn’t quite what it seems, because the DVLA records also show that D401 MOJ was powered by a 2257cc engine. As for D748 DAC, well that featured a 1598cc engine and weighed in at a rather portly 1700kg.

Either D748 DAC had eaten far too many mince pies, or the D-reg plates were half-inched from other cars within the Rover stable.

We bring you more bad tidings with the news that MINI – that’s the new uppercase version – decided it was time for an updated version. Only it wasn’t. There’s never a good time for an updated video. Some things are best left in the past. Bah humbug.