Retired nurse wins ‘lucky’ Ford Fiesta

Home / Auto Blog / Retired nurse wins ‘lucky’ Ford Fiesta

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
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Helen Bartz, from Caerphilly in South Wales, has won her dream car worth £14,000 in Motorpoint’s national ‘Win A Car’ competition.

The retired nurse entered the competition back in late 2021. It ran for seven weeks and was timed to roll out during Motorpoint’s sponsorship of ITV’s popular Sunday night game show, Sitting On A Fortune.

“It was a complete surprise and a bit of shock,” said Helen. “I could not quite believe it when the Motorpoint lady rang me!

“I’ve really enjoyed picking my winning car down at the Newport Motorpoint branch – it’s a Fiesta in Moondust Silver which I love, and I’ve already given the car a name – Lucky!”

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Review of the Best Roof Top Tents for Aussie 4x4s

Guest Blogger

3 days ago
Auto Blog

Camping is among the favourite pastimes for many people in Australia today. This is why it is no longer too strange to see individuals or families sitting outside or inside a camp tent somewhere in the open. But then, as much as Australians like to camp in the open, many people are still scared of having reptiles and other crawling wildlife interrupt their fun adventure.

Thankfully, though, there is a solution to this problem. With roof top tents, you do not have to worry about crawling wildlife anymore when you go out to camp. Moreover, we will review some of the best roof top tents for your 4×4 in this article. Read on for more information.

Best Roof Tops for Aussie 4×4s

The Grand Tourer MKII

This particular roof top tent offers a roomy, comfortable, and easy to set up space for lovers of adventure who wish to sit out and have a good time in nature. It also comes with a lightweight aluminium cover and sturdy walls made of rip-stop fabric and watertight seals around its entrances and roof. Getting the tent for your 4×4 adventure is something you will not regret.

The Dacha Panorama 2

If what you are looking out for is a Darche roof top tent, then Panorama 2 is an excellent option to go for. This tent provides ample space for campers when spread out on top of your truck. However, it is merely 29 cm when the cover is on. This reduces the drag and makes it better suited for harsh terrain.

The Canyon Off-Road Rooftop Tent Series

It is no longer news that the Canyon Off-Road brand has made a name in the off-road camping industry. With several top-quality camping equipment and products in the market today, the brand has become one to reckon with in the industry. It offers a series of hard shell roof top tents to suit various off-road situations, especially in Australia. The best choice you might make today is to select from these comfortable and durable tent options for your 4×4 truck.

Conclusion

Finding a perfect roof top tent for your 4×4 can be a tricky task. Thankfully, though, this article has reviewed some of the best available options to make it easier for you.

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7 Interesting Facts About Slot Machines

Slot machines have been entertaining players for decades. Aside from slots’ attention-grabbing music, bright and shiny symbols, and fun animations, they also don’t require expert skills, making them available to anyone, even those with no gambling experience.

If you’re curious and want to learn random facts about these trendy games, Konstantin Terekhin, an online casino expert, has listed them down for you. Feel free to check his other posts here.

Exciting Facts About Slot Games

Every country has its own legislation on gambling, so it’s important to know the laws your country follows to avoid unintentional mistakes that can lead to penalties. 

In the United Kingdom, the primary legislation that governs gambling (gaming, betting, and participating in a lottery) is the Gambling Act 2005. A study concludes that 17% of the country’s population gamble online, proving Brits’ penchant for virtual gambling. 

If you’re new to virtual gambling, online slot games are the easiest ones to try out first. Here are some fun facts that can get you more invested in slots:

1.   The Fascinating History of Slot Machines

Sittman and Pitt developed the first slot machine in 1891 that closely resembled what we have today. The machine contained five printed drums, each with ten cards. 

Gamblers have to insert coins and pull the reel. If the player won, they could get a free beer or cigarettes from the bar. The machine became extremely popular across New York, and it became the precursor to what Wilhelm Schultze created in 1893. 

In 1894, a mechanic from San Francisco named Charles August Fey invented new features for Wilhelm’s machine and built the first coin-operated gambling machine with three reels. Each reel contained five symbols: a horseshoe, spade, diamond, heart, and a Liberty Bell.

Slots development in the modern-day brought us online video slot games. Slot providers offer online slots that allow players to play without the need to step outside their homes.

2.   The Biggest-Ever Slot Jackpot Was $38.7 Million

A 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles won the biggest slot machine payout ever, at $38.7 million. After putting three $1 bills in a slot machine at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino, he won. 

Other big jackpots on slot machines offered over the years include:

●     $15,491,103.27 in Nevada

●     $13.1 million at the Sunset Casino, Henderson

●     $34.9 million at the Desert Inn 

According to Rick Sorensen, spokesman for International Game Technology (a slot machine maker), the progressive Megabucks jackpot is generally paid out in instalments over 25 years. However, winners can negotiate other payout options.

3.   They Are Called by Many Names

In the United Kingdom, slot machines are also called “fruit machines” because machines with fruit themes are the most popular for offline and online slots. In New Zealand and Australia, people call slots “pokies.” 

Throughout their history, slot games were also named the “one-armed bandits” because, in some areas, unreliable people tricked people into losing money while gambling.

4.   It’s A Game of Chance

There are many ways to win at slot games, but luck will always impact your winnings. Whether you play slots in physical machines or online, there’s no definite strategy to consistently win prizes. 

This is because the bet is randomly selected using a computerised random number generator. Although, you can still incorporate a machine’s RTP (Return To Player) and know the slot machine’s payout percentage to get better chances of winning slots.

5.   They Work Even If No One Plays

Symbols on slot machines move even if no one presses the play button. The reason behind this is to ensure random and fair results. The random generator systems work nonstop to guarantee that no one can trick players when playing slots.

6.   The Random Number Generators Determine Results

The first slot machines in history worked with the help of mechanical levers and reels. Today, online slots and other modern machines feature a random number generator. 

Random number generators simulate arbitrary numbers to provide thousands of sequences every second. This will prevent third parties from interfering with the game. The latest number combination will determine players’ results when they press the spin button.

7.   Pro Slot Gamers Exist

Although slot games are based on luck and are labelled games of chance, some professionals specialise in this area for a living. A great way to know how you can increase your chances of winning slots is to check out best online slots reviews to gain information from experts.

Conclusion

There are many reasons to play slots. Whether it’s for the opportunity to win big or to simply have fun, slots can always pique an individual’s interest. If you play slots, just make sure that you do so responsibly.

James Bond’s DB5 – the book that’s licensed to thrill

Daniel Craig and the Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall

It’s fairly safe to say that this article requires no spoiler alert because all self-respecting Bond fans will have seen No Time to Die by now.

James Bond’s DB5 is the first official in-depth history of 007’s iconic Aston Martin and it was published to coincide with the late 2021 release of the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, which features the car prominently.

It’s the first time EON Productions, the makers of the James Bond films, have authorised a book about the DB5, which made its debut in 1964’s Goldfinger and went on to appear in another eight 007 films.

Sean Connery and his Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger

The book has been carefully researched in close collaboration with EON and Aston Martin and draws on both their archives. It includes storyboards, diagrams, design materials, and many rare and beautiful photographs that cover every detail of the car, from the over-riders to the exhaust.

There are also forewords by 007 star Daniel Craig, James Bond producer Michael G. Wilson, and Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.

The book, which is packed with 320 photographs across 280 pages, covers the entire story, starting with the Bond producers’ initial letters to Aston Martin before detailing the modifications made to the car for the filming of Goldfinger, including EON’s original drawings and rare pictures of the cast and crew on location in Switzerland.

It goes on to explore the fascinating history of the DB5s that went out on tour and covers every subsequent appearance of the model in the Bond movies, including the inside story of how it was seemingly destroyed in Skyfall before returning in triumph for No Time To Die.

Aston Martin DB5, No Time to Die

In short, this sumptuous coffee table book leaves no stone unturned. Who would have thought the executives at Aston Martin would have needed to be persuaded to loan out a car for the filming? Apparently they even thought it would cost them “more than it was worth” because they suspected that the car would be returned with scratches and dents.

The book is also packed with fascinating facts. For instance, the same DB5 (also bearing the identical BMT 216A number plate as 007’s car in Goldfinger) also appeared in a January 1964 episode of The Saint on ITV (starring the third James Bond, Roger Moore).

James Bond’s DB5 also chronicles in meticulous detail the lengths Production Designer Ken Adam went to in order to create the gadgets, including ejector seat, revolving number plates and machine guns built into the indicator lights, that would propel the car to superstar status.

Who knew the DB5’s retractable wheels blades that could shred tyres were inspired by the famous chariot race in the 1959 Ben-Hur Hollywood epic?

The car returned in the next film, Thunderball, while replica 007 DB5s set off on a world tour to promote the Bond movies. The spy would drive other vehicles, but the DB5 was always the definitive Bond car.

Pierce Brosnan and the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldeneye

After a 30-year absence, the DB5 returned to the screen in 1995’s Goldeneye and has gone on to feature in another five Bond movies, culminating in its appearance in No Time to Die.

It’s amazing to think that the most famous far in the world was only in production for less than two years (1963-5), just 887 were built and barely a handful were converted into Bond movie cars (for filming and publicity).

Which brings us back to the beginning because the book also details the DB5’s starring role in No Time to Die with exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs.

And if that wasn’t enough for Aston Martin fans, later in the film, Daniel Craig retrieves “his” old V8 from a lock-up – the car last seen in The Living Daylights (1987) with Timothy Dalton in the title role.

Dip in or read it from cover to cover, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with James Bond’s DB5, which is published by Hero Collector Books (RRP £40).

James Bond's DB5 book

Tow and Go – everything you need to know

Toyota Prius - towing a caravan

Staycations are set to become more popular than ever in 2022, so Toyota has created these top tips for anyone planning to tow a caravan or trailer…

Is your vehicle legally permitted to tow? Your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity can be calculated by deducting the gross vehicle weight (found on the data sticker inside the door frame) from the weight of your caravan or trailer weight. As a guideline, if the weight of the caravan is up to 85 per cent of the kerb weight of the car, it can be towed easily. If it is between 85 and 100 per cent of the kerb weight, it’s recommended the driver has good experience of towing.

Are you legally qualified to tow? It is also vital to know whether you are qualified to tow. This depends on when you passed your driving test, the weight of your car and what you are towing. Find the current UK rules and restrictions here.

Is your trailer or caravan roadworthy? You should carry out regular checks on your caravan or trailer’s brakes, tyres and lights, just as you would check your car. This is particularly important as these vehicles often sit unused for long periods of time. It’s a good idea to make regular short journeys with your trailer to check everything is running smoothly, to prevent brakes from seizing and to ensure the weight of the towed vehicle isn’t placed on the same section of the tyres when parked up.

Nose weight The nose weight is the maximum vertical load that can be exerted on the tow bar by the attached trailer or caravan (it also applies to tow bar-mounted cycle carriers). You can use a nose weight gauge to check the figure for your caravan or trailer, available from most caravan dealers or online websites.

Routine It’s good practice to follow a set routine when hitching and unhitching a trailer or caravan, for example: attach tow bar, connect safety cable, connect electric cable, release trailer hand brake. This reduces the chances of you forgetting a step in the process.

Cable checks Before setting off, check the electric cable and ask another person to stand by the trailer to check the brake lights, indicators and hazard lights are all working properly. The breakaway safety cable should also be checked and re-checked, because in the event of the tow bar becoming unhitched, it will prevent the towed vehicle from potentially rolling and causing an accident.

Additional number plate It is a legal requirement to have a registration plate attached to your trailer that matches the one on the vehicle towing it.

Toyota Prius - tow bar

Key documents It is important to know whether your breakdown cover includes any vehicles being towed. Keep the relevant documents to hand when making your journey.

Extended Door mirrors Towing anything behind your vehicle will increase rear-view blind spots. Using extended door mirrors can help improve visibility.

It is not all plain trailing Towing is not a simple driving skill, you need to be able to handle the extra weight and longer length involved, particularly when turning or reversing. If you are new to towing, or want to brush up your skills, seek advice and training from experts.

Just in case Carry spare water, feed and roughage in case of a breakdown or delays. Be careful if you load this in the front of the trailer that you don’t exceed the nose weight.

Keeping your horse safe When on a motorway or a major A road, don’t unload your horse unless the police or agencies have granted permission. If you’re towing trailers with live animals, such as horses, here are few tips from the British Horse Society (BHS).

Loading If you are travelling with one horse, load it on the right-hand side of the trailer; with two horses, the heavier one should be on the right.