Archive for March, 2012

Review: The New Chrysler 300C Has Arrived in the UK.

Just recently, a handful of the new Chrysler 300C demonstrators have been doing the rounds at dealers across the UK for potential customers to inspect.

Numerous journalists and previous Chrysler customers were invited to their local dealer to take a look. Somehow we got a look in, and being car enthusiasts, we went to take a look and pen a mini review.

The old 300C’s were famed for their sheer presence on the road. You were unlikely to be missed driving one. The new one has been toned down ever so slightly.

The back end is more reminiscent of the model it replaces.

The new car appears slightly larger then its predecessor, and it is offered in two versions, the better appointed one being called the “executive”.

For now, it is only available in a three litre diesel version in the UK. The salesman claimed that the new engine was a Mercedes/Fiat hybrid. I can’t say that the name “Fiat” filled me with eager anticipation, nor did it create mental images of wafting quietly from place to place with the Teutonic reliability that a wholly Mercedes engine might.

Although nowadays, with the Daimler-Chrysler union in the past, Fiat has control of Chrysler, and Fiat has big ideas to merge the two brands using the best that each group has to make better products; so lets give them a chance.

Having seen a few press photos of the new Chrysler 300C already, I already knew pretty much what it was going to look like in the metal. The outside was no tremendous surprise, but the inside certainly was!

Gone are the American-style acres of terrible grey plastic that plagued this cars predecessor. In their place is subtle dark colours, dark leather and soft blue backlit instruments.

At last, Chrysler have grasped the taste of European buyers. I guess we must give the Italians from Fiat the credit for that, because this interior certainly wasn’t designed by Hank and Chuck in Michigan. This interior has the fingerprints of Giuseppe and Antonio all over it. From the key-less entry through to the push button start, this car is oozing with gizmos and gadgets that you would usually expect to find on more expensive brands.

There is also a very impressive touch screen multi media centre to be found in the centre console.

This is not only the Sat Nav and the music centre, all kinds of other stuff can be done from here too. Raising and lowering the electric rear window blind for example. It all seems pretty intuitive to use without poring over the instruction book. It reminded me of an iPhone in that regard.

Better than the model it replaces? Almost certainly. What you have lost in Soprano’s style front end presence is more than made up for by the way better interior. Perhaps it is better to be a little more understated. When you pulled up in the old model, everyone assumed the drugs had arrived.

One of the most surprising things about this car is the price. Way more than the old one. An executive one will cost you an eye-watering £42,000. Lesser models start in the mid thirties. They are pitching it to rival the Mercedes E Class, Audi A6 and the BMW five series. Will it? Chrysler as a brand doesn’t have the same cachet as a Mercedes or an Audi, so my bet is prices will come down by late summer. In two or three years, used ones will likely represent a great value used buy.

In surveys from the US, where the car has been on sale for a while, overall reviews have indicated pretty good results. Even the Top Gear review gave it an overall 7/10, which isn’t bad for Clarkson & Co. Worth a look in our view but haggle with them a bit is my advice.

The car we photographed here was kindly made available for viewing by Kings Manchester. If you are in or around Manchester, and want to get a closer look at the 2012 300C, or book a test drive, get in touch with David Howell on 0161 432 6000.

+44 703 188 3026 Purchasing email Scam from Sharjah.

When one is flushing out an email scammer, and doesn’t have time to draw the scammer out, one turns to Google for help.

I received an attempted email scam recently, which only had scant hallmarks of a scam, but could have cost us a lot of cash in any event. As I only found the merest clue on Google, it looks as if nobody else has yet flushed this incarnation of this guy out – so I will.

At our business email, I received a fairly innocuous email that said this:


I need to know if you have the below items for sale and also the last asking price.

[list of our stock inserted here]

Do get back to me about this because we really need it urgently.

Thanks and i await your utmost response.



+44 703 188 3026

This email came from

We are in the UK, and that is a UK mobile number. However, something about that grammar didn’t smell right. (I wont spell out exactly what as I don’t want to train scammers).

So I checked the headers in his email, his IP address is which traces to an Emirates Telecommunications Corporation connection in Sharjah in the UAE. Maybe a British guy in the UAE you think? Innocent up to now you think? Lets keep digging…..

I replied our hopeful purchaser advising him we didn’t supply to his country. I got this reply:

Thanks for the reply and about the phone number am currently here to open a new branch and we would be operating from here also you would not be shipping here we would make the payment and after all is been settled our shipper will come over for pick up. My phone is roaming now Thats why.
If this is okay by you please do get back to me so we can conclude on this.


Yup. Definitely not British English grammar. I decided not to participate further with this one. However, thinking he might have one on the hook, he sent me a further email pestering for contact. Good luck with that…..

So here is the tell tale line before we investigate further: our shipper will come over for pick up

So here is how this would go: Scammer places large order, and wants to arrange his own couriers to pick up. Scammer then “pays” either by cheque/draft (which is fake) or using stolen credit card data. You release the goods to his courier, shortly thereafter you learn the cheque/draft is fake or the credit card payment gets reversed. You cannot halt the consignment delivery because it was picked up by people unknown. Slick huh?

However, I am not one to be judge, jury and executioner [before the event] without further evidence. So what does Google tell us? His email, email address and IP number Googles clean. But what of that +44 703 188 3026 phone number? Google yields one entry on that and it is here. On that link we get the information that this phone number is connected to another email address: Googling that new email address finds it in a list of published email addresses on this site.

Lo and behold, the trail leads us to modelling scams. Likely operated by Nigerians, or perhaps the UAE. Busted!

Naturally, if Craig emails you in his honky plonky non-British grammar, politely decline his polite offer to patronise your business or simply ignore his email. But don’t tell him how you found out, better not to teach these people.

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