How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

The Stig to wow crowds at MPH

2009-01-23 08:23
Joining presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and MC Sasha Martinengo at MPH 2009, Powered by BP Ultimate, will be another Top Gear presenter - none other than the iconic anonymous test driver The Stig. Lead precision driver Paul Swift completes the bill.

But who is the current Stig and what does he have for breakfast?

Although the identity of the original Stig is known, very little is known about the current Stig, other than the fact that he enjoys strong black coffee and cigarettes for breakfast. Although how he manages to eat and drink while wearing his helmet remains a mystery.

The original Stig, who wore a black racing overall and helmet, was racing driver Perry McCarthy, who let this fact slip in his book "Flat
out, Flat broke".  This resulted in The Stig being "killed off" at the end of the 3rd season of Top Gear.  

Richard Hammond is quoted as saying "They hired the mouthiest racing driver there was - and then shut him up."

Originally the anonymous driver was going to be called "The Gimp". Eventually the name was changed to The Stig, the name coming from Jeremy Clarkson's days at Repton School, where new students were referred to as Stig and the new version boasted a white racing overall and helmet.

Does McCarthy know the identity of the current Stig?  "Yes I do. But I'm not going to spoil it. There's a few of them, I think…"

The identity of the Stig is one of the best-kept secrets in the television industry. His sole mission on Top Gear is to produce the fastest lap times in exotic supercars.

Odds on favourite for the title of The Stig is ex-British F1 driver Damon Hill.  When asked at a recent event if he was The Stig, Hill added fuel to this rumour by replying; "I am not the Stig. But then, only the true Messiah denies his divinity."  Hill is seen as being too busy being the President of the British Racing Drivers Club to fulfil the role of "The Stig".

Keeping the wheels spinning and the crowds enthralled is the job of stunt driver Paul Swift and his team of precision drivers returns to South Africa for MPH 2009.

Swift is one of the few people who can claim to have driven circles around both Top Gear presenters. At last year's show,
Paul broke the world record for the J-turn; Guinness World Records defines a J-turn as turning a car through 180º from reversing in a
straight line to driving forwards in a straight line.

His job is seen as being so dangerous that no insurance companies are prepared to offer him cover.
Paul Swift is quoted as saying: "Because of my job, insurance men imagine that danger follows me around. The irony is that I have never
had an accident, I don't even have points on my license and the only time I have been to hospital is because of my nut allergy".

At the MPH show this year, which takes place from 29 January to 1 February at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, it will be Paul Swift who will lead a team of stunt drivers as they execute high-speed precision powerslides, J-turns, donuts, two-wheel balancing and handbrake manoeuvres. 

Paul commented, "We are very excited about returning to South Africa this year, the crowds were amazing last year so we really want to go one better and give them something special to remember in 2009".

The Stig together with Paul Swift and his team, will have the audience on the edge of their seats with their "don't try this at home"
stunts. Joining the Stig and Paul Swift is GT3 and precision driver Neil Cunningham.


Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.