Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

That’s interesting

It pays to avoid becoming complacent.

There’s an industrial area at the end of my street, with various business working from the yards there.

They used to be fairly interesting to look at – until (I guess) somebody decided the whole place needed to be tidied some years ago.

There had been a load of industrial machinery lying there, some of it dating back to the early 1900s, something I only realised when I looked at some of the maker’s names, and spotted similar plant and machinery in historic pics.

It wasn’t I place I walked through very often, and it took a while for me to realise what had happened, but it did eventually dawn on me that all the old relics had gone, and the place had been cleared out. Pity I didn’t notice sooner, as there was probably some nice old gear lying there once, which would have made for some nice pics (had I been more alert).

There’s not much to be seen there nowadays, with most of the yard space given over to stock-holding for the newer businesses that have opened there, or just plain storage for the older ones.

But I do glance over, and spotted something I hadn’t seen before.

I think this place changed hands recently, as it had been home to a Bentley C, but that’s not been seen for months, much of the ground had been cleared, and then I saw this in the distance.

BMW 328i Odd Plate

BMW 328i Odd Plate

Since I could make any legit/legal sense of the plate when the various possible combinations of letters and numbers were checked with DVLA (there can be some odd formats that were allowed in the dim and distant past), I took a closer look, and it would just seem to be a manufactured plate, not for road use.

It could have been a mangled version of some legit. combination Some years ago I had a client (from Aberdeen of course), with the initial BB, who had the plate [BB OIL] on his car – which is an illegally spaced version of [BBO 1L].

Now, why would there be bonnet retaining clips fitted?

BMW 328i [OILS]

BMW 328i [OILS]


Oct 10, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Almost famous BMW

Now that the truth (no matter how hard the oiler’s fans shout ‘LIES! LIES!’) is finally out about diesel, I find it hard not to feel a wave of disappointment every time I see a nice car – and look around the back to find the depressingly common ‘D’ badge.

It’s a shame too, as I was genuinely impressed at the apparent improvements to the power/torque/silence improvements that seemed to be arriving with new diesel engines, and was wondering what further improvements and advances might arrive.

Then it was all spoiled when the truth over ‘Dieselgate’ spilled, and it seems that the only way to stop them spewing horrible particulates (forget even the atmospheric damage all fossil engines do) that head straight for our lungs with all sort of health issues, is to add more chemicals via injectors (complexity and chance of failure or deliberate disabling), and have filters – which can get clogged, need changing/maintenance, get forgotten, and again, can just be dumped if people don’t care, and neglecting them doesn’t appear to affect the running of the car.

Oh well, nothing’s perfect.

As I passed this one, my first thought was a famous visitor in Glasgow, then I looked again, and it was obvious this was close, but no prize, with KFL on the plate, and not KLF.

2016 BMW 435D Xdrive M Sport Auto [KFL3]

2016 BMW 435D Xdrive M Sport Auto [KFL3]

Why would KLF be significant.


How about…

One Million Pounds Burnt on Jura

Sep 9, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment


Assuming this is a hairdresser’s car, is it for a successful hairdresser that fixes this, or far a failed hairdresser that causes it?



(It’s been shuffled onto an Audi since being caught here).

Apr 21, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – R561 AWY

A little unfortunate, since I don’t really like speak ill of BMW, but it seems we have multiple naughties on offer with this one.

Illegal spacing of the numbers is easy with R56 61 AWY on show.

But it looks as if that is combined with an unapproved German flag on the left, and also some unauthorised badges between the 56 and the 61.

And there’s more…

Public records show this to be a 1997 BMW 5 Series 4.4 540i 4dr BUT black, not whatever that colour in the pic might be called.

And not recording colour changes, well…

I actually collected this pic some time ago, and had more or less forgotten about it, but while wandering through Carmyle, found it was causing it’s owner grief, and was being a naughty boy/girl and refusing to start.

While I’m reasonably up to speed on BMW’s 6-cylinder mechanical injection systems – I never managed to graduate to the fully electronic or 8-cylinder systems, so decided it was safer not to poke my nose in.

1997 BMW 540

1997 BMW 540

Feb 25, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

At last – Allison Drive charger caught in use!

It’s a massive FIVE YEARS (almost to the day) since I first searched for the nearest EV (electric vehicle) charging point to me.

That find was followed by a little walk to Allison Drive just behind Cambuslang’s main street to fetch a pic, back in 2013.

Ever since, I’ve wandered along there repeatedly to see if it was ever in use.

Finally, last night – I actually found it in use for the first time!

I really expected to find a Nissan Leaf there long before this (there’s a growing number of them around me), but it was a BMW i3 that broke dry spell here.

You can look up the details yourself if interested, but the i3 is reported to have become the third best-selling EV (at the time of writing), and with model variations, and different testing methods, I’m NOT going to give anything relating to range, other than note it is not massive – think around at least 100 miles give or take. But I say that not as criticism, as the 300+ miles demanded by EV naysayers is not needed for most daily journeys.

In fact, it’s quite sad trying to discuss EVs in the UK, as most ‘ordinary’ people (and much of the media) is something in the order of 5 years behind those who dropped the notion that EVs are just ‘milk floats’. Look to the US or Norway for accounts closer to reality.

Now, more local chargers have been added, but I’ve yet to catch them in use (but they are in much quieter places).

Cambuslang Allison Drive BMW Charging

Cambuslang Allison Drive BMW Charging

Feb 22, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is AGM 4 related to

Poking around the collection of unused pics I notice AGM 4 on this BMW X4 Xdrive20D SE Auto.

Not much one can really say about something as common as this, almost all SUVs look like little more than a 2-box brick to me (some more than others), although the previously noted Maserati Levante does at least manage to break that mould a little, being one of the few that manages to avoid having a front end that looks like a small garden wall. Sadly, a description I cannot exclude BMW’s offering from in this class.

I wonder if AGM 4, as seen below, is related to J9 AGM, as seen yesterday?

BMW X4 Xdrive20D SE Auto [AGM 4]

BMW X4 Xdrive20D SE Auto

Dec 2, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Not the plate this time, but the car

Some things are weird.

While my occasional wanders into Glasgow mean I’m getting used to seeing PHEVs (plug in hybrid electric vehicles) quietly charging on the city’s streets (yet never once to be seen on a charger in the burbs), I can only count one neighbour’s Leaf, and one Tesla Model S that took me by surprise as it passed me at Parkhead, as the only real EV (electric vehicle) sightings, until the past week or so.

Suddenly, it’s “i3s, i3s everywhere!”.

A week ago, one surprised me as it came out of a pub car park (full of football supporters).

And in the past couple of days, two walks into Glasgow netted at least another four more, usually moving, but the one below was parked.

I was a little surprised to see this was a 2015 plate. While I haven’t really been paying close attention (much as I might like one, an EV is not within current budget plans), most of the mentions I’ve come across for this car have been from the other side of the pond, and based on US buyers (they are way way ahead in this respect).

Interestingly, EVs come with ‘magic’ installed as standard. For example, one of the i3s I came across was stopped on one of our steeper hills, pointing uphill at traffic lights. While the ‘normal’ vehicles  generally did their usual ‘hill start’, EVs just don’t care, and the electric motor controller just holds them stationary with static motor torque, no real effort needed by the driver – who just presses the pedal to move off when desired. No drama, no throttle/brake/clutch juggling, no sliding backwards.



Oct 7, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Neeb’s wheels 11

Spotted hiding ‘In the wild’ a while ago, this may not be one of the possible super cars some of my neighbour’s try to intimidate me with, but I would have to say that I’m rather impressed by this one. Dating from 2006, this blue BMW 525D M Sport A baulks the usual trend of not keeping a car for more than a few years.

While I’ve been in the position of being obliged to change my car every few years, with no option to retain it as the company policy is frequent renewal, I prefer to keep one I like, and look after it.

The treatment some of those cars, only a year or two old at most, got from the drivers was pathetic, and the manufacturer usually carried the can and bore the cost of their neglect and abuse. Having seen this first hand, I often wonder at the accuracy of many negative reports about some makes.

This one has lived along the road from me for years, yet I have no idea just what the significance of 234 GFJ means to the owner.


2016BMW525[234 GFJ]

2016 BMW 525 [234 GFJ]

Sep 17, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Illegals – AB11 LTN

I have to confess I wasn’t really sure what this was supposed to be (and my original guess was wrong).

But as you’ll see in the comments, we got lucky this time, and it seems we don’t have to rely on my imagination. I wonder what the odds are that anyone who might actually own something featured in here might also happen to look in, or spot the relevant post?

(And now you also know why I keep my posts polite… unless you are an orange moron and your name is Trump).

I don’t normally allow identification online, but when someone adds the info, and we can thank Alan Bilton for the update.

I wish someone would come along with a ladder one day, and fix that PDSA sign on the lamppost. Sorry about the focus, but it was a grey and grimy day when I grabbed this one.

It’s been pointing the OPPOSITE way from the actual PDSA centre for years – I think it’s loose, as it sometime points in different directions when its windy.

BMW M135I  Auto [AB11 LTN]

Grey BMW M135I Auto [AB11 LTN]

Jun 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | 2 Comments

That’s clean – 1993 BMW convertible

While it doesn’t fall into my usual “Neeb’s Wheel” category, I don’t think I can leave this rather nicely looked after blue BMW 318i Lux A convertible I spotted during a wander around the local streets.

BMW 318i Convertible 1993

BMW 318i Convertible 1993

This really caught my eye because it is almost identical to the one my then boss at the time bought for his wife (just to give her a company car and a wage to justify the hour or two she spent in the office).  Notably, hers was tricked up with ‘M’ badges and matching trim, but I think this one looks better with those Alpina wheels and wide rubber filling the arches.

Hers also had a second ‘keyhole’ below the normal one under the door handle – while the car may not have been a real ‘M’ it was still fitted with most of the top of the range options, and cost a packet at the time, as BMW extras were never cheap.

That keyhole was a factory alarm/immobiliser which required and electronic key to be inserted and removed before the car was unlocked – I wouldn’t say it was unreliable, but it was overly keen, and I found myself having to fiddle with, and kill it on more than one occasion.

The other surprise, given the cost of the car, was the poor quality of that soft-top. It had no lining, so sitting in the car with it up felt more like sitting in a giant pram, with all the spokes etc exposed. Nor did it offer any insulation, and the car was as noisy with it up as with it down. But it was seldom down, and was a clunky manual thing.

By way of stunning contrast, I had a Saab 9-3 convertible a few years later – what a gem it was in comparison.

First, it was a completely automatic hydraulically operated roof, other than the manual front lock, it went up and down in a few seconds at the push (or pull) of a button.

And secondly, the quality was superb. From the inside, with the roof up, it looked just a normal hardtop, as there was a clever lining that pulled into place and hid all the works. In addition, it was also loaded with soundproofing, and this made it as quiet as a hardtop – and that Saab was an eerily quiet car too.

On the other hand, I recall meeting a 318is on the road in North Wales, and that extra little ‘s’ made a real difference, and I watched it squirt past me in short order, then disappear along the road.

I stand to be corrected, but from my own experience I think the engine BMW was using in x18 models of that era was a surprisingly potent lump. I had to use a colleague’s 518se for some cross-country jaunts along A and B roads, and soon became surprised by that large (and loaded) car’s acceleration. I had expected it to be a big lumbering snail – but it wasn’t.

Jun 2, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Illegals – EG06 ONE

Having seen the zeal with which the English Police Interceptors (seen on TV) seem to pull over illegally formed registrations/number plates, it seems very much to a casual observer that Police Scotland don’t see this as an offence worth dealing with on this side of the border.

I have a little collection of such plates, so might as well share.

BMW 640d M Sport Auto convertible.

Illegal spacing:

BMW 640d M Sport Auto Convertible [EG06 ONE]

BMW 640d M Sport Auto Convertible [EG06 ONE]

Feb 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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