x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Week in Motoring: BMW celebrates 25,000 cars built at Chennai factory

Plus Nascar driver suspended just before race, 1942 Mercedes has Nazi roots, stolen car found on eBay decades later, and a Volvo nears the three million miles mark.

More than 25,000 BMW cars have now been produced at the company's plant in Chennai, India. Juergen Eder is the factory's managing director and he said it had taken less than six years to reach this figure. Sales so far in 2012 are approximately 4,500 cars and BMW India has 25 dealerships throughout the country, intending to increase that to 40 by the end of this year. Eder praised the workforce for "contributing to the enormous growth in production with the highest quality standards." BMW is India's biggest selling luxury car brand.

Nascar suspendeds driver after drug test

Just hours before last Saturday's race at Kentucky, Nascar driver AJ Allmendinger was suspended following a random drug test. The racer, who was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and fined $10,000 (Dh36,720) in 2009, will not be allowed to take part in the Daytona event scheduled for tomorrow. Penske Racing, who Allmendinger drives for, appeared to be fully supportive of the action. "Nascar has a strict drug testing programme that Penske Racing fully supports," it said in a statement. If he fails a further test he may find the suspension indefinite.

Classic Mercedes find not the Führer's motor

A 1942 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet D bought by a collector in New Jersey, USA, was initially believed to be Adolph Hitler's own transport but further investigations have revealed it to have more humble origins. According to The New York Times, the car's owner, Fred Daibes, was never under the impression he'd bought Hitler's car, but the restorer charged with working on it had been told "That's Hitler's car" by Mercedes-Benz when he quoted the vehicle identification number to order some spares. According to Daibes, eight of these cars were bought for Nazi generals but he's unsure who ended up with this one.

Car found on eBay 42 years after it was stolen

American Bob Russell, of Dallas, Texas, has been reunited with his 1967 Austin Healey 3000, which was stolen from outside his apartment in 1970. He bought the British sports car in 1968 and presumed it had been broken up for parts but never gave up hope of finding it again, scouring eBay for years. According to jalopnik.com, he got lucky a couple of months ago, seeing it for sale at the Beverly Hills Car Club. He still had the original keys and sworn affidavits from friends and the car's original owner, so the police waded in, impounded the car and let him have it for $1,500 (Dh5,508) - one sixteenth of the price it was on sale for.

Irv Gordon's Volvo nears 3 million mark

His Volvo P1800 is no stranger to these pages, having racked up a mind-boggling combined distance since Irv Gordon bought it new in 1966. The car, which he lets no one else drive, covers an average of 100,000 miles (160,934km) every year and had notched up 2.6 million miles by the year 2007. There has been no let-up since and now there are a scant 34,000 to go before the world's best-known Swedish car hits the magic 3,000,000. Gordon, who lives in New York, puts the car's longevity down to good design and strict maintenance schedules. Over the years, the pretty P1800 coupé has had its engine rebuilt only twice and the retired schoolteacher has no plans to hang up its keys.