Like Mariah Carey’s ancestry, modern crossover vehicles have unusual roots. The award-winning American singer’s family tree is more varied than the flora of a rainforest understory. Her unique blend of nationalities includes African, Venezuelan and Irish. That’s more ingredients than Belorussian variety sausage. Who’s hungry for some lean, finely textured opossum?
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It takes a lot of guts to piss off the traffic police in Venezuela, apparently. Hang a couple people from the side of a bus, no problem. Drive erratically in a Soviet-era Lada belching blue smoke in front of the elementary school, sure. Your ride’s missing a wheel? Who cares? Why would you, when gas is 12 cents per gallon?
With gas that flows like bottled water in South America’s leading oil producer, the rights of drivers get a cushy priority—the land where driver testing is a sordid punch line, where 1970s American muscle cars weave in and out of speeding traffic at 100 miles per hour (no doubt helmed by Vin Diesel, presumably). So it finally took a speeding, overcrowded bus that was missing a wheel for Venezuelan officials to suspend the driver’s license: an historical first, and a milestone in Venezuela.
Ramon Parra, 41, had loaded his bus with more passengers than the legal limit. When police stopped him for excessive speeding, they found that one of the six rear wheels was actually shoved into the axle. ”It is important to emphasize that this is a totally new act; for the first time in Venezuela we are suspending a driving license, for 12 consecutive months,” said Luis Fernandez, national police chief.
The law to suspend licenses was only enacted in 2008, but this was the first time it had been used. The maximum suspension available is five years, and that’s only for killing someone. Glad to know that Venezuelan traffic police still have their priorities straight.
[Source: The Telegraph]
Desperate times call for whoring yourself out for money desperate measures, and with the Royal Bank of Scotland pulling their funding from the Williams Formula 1 team, the outfit had to come up with some money, and fast.
One group able to come up with the money was PDVSA, the Venezuelan owned state oil company, who managed to chip in $14 million dollars, and effectively force Williams to sign Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado. Maldonado is an avowed supporter of President Hugo Chavez, making his signing barely more palatable than the patronage that may have gone on if a Venezuelan minister’s child was given a Formula 1 seat.
Who would have thought there would be a less evil team than Ferrari?