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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

The Audi oil consumption odyssey

My Audi A4 suffers from a known problem with oil consumption, so I’ve had a stressful few weeks coming to an agreement with Audi Switzerland and the local dealership.

An Audi at last

In which I take delivery of my shiny new A4 Avant.

Farewell to the Four-Wheeled Tripod

Over 150,00km after buying it, we say goodbye to our “four-wheeled tripod”.

C is for Car

(This is one in a series of essays I’m writing about my life. A specific kind of autobiography, I guess. The rest of these essays are here.) “Man sits in car; dribes.” Judging by this early statement from my childhood, I’ve always been a driver.  Whether it was the little red plastic Beetle pedal car in… (Read More)

Porsche Zentrum, Stuttgart

Jo and I split our journey to Franconia in southern Germany with a stop-over in Stuttgart. As we’d time to kill whilst there, we looked up some of the sights in advance and decided to stop off briefly at one of the centres of German engineering: the Porsche district. Alongside the obligatorily huge showroom of… (Read More)

Four-wheeled tripod

VW Golf 1.9 TDI 2002

Jo and I take our new VW Golf for a test run in the Swiss alps, visiting the Diemtigtal valley for the first time.

Motor racing in the old city of Bern

I watched the trailer for the fifth version of driving simulation software Gran Turismo with great interest, when I saw that there are segments of the film containing computer-generated sections of the historic city of Bern.

Auto Cemetery, Kaufdorf, Switzerland

The Autofriedhof (car cemetery) is an extraordinary collection of rotting cars, dumped by a spare parts salesman on land behind his workshops since the 1930s in Kaufdorf, between Thun and Bern. The cars, in varying stages of decomposition, have remained untouched since they were abandoned in the woods and are now mainly collapsed hulks. The… (Read More)