(Mildly) interesting sight on the M1 this afternoon.

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MB Enthusiast
May 2, 2008
Living in error with Maude at Cap Ferrat
Just returned from a trip up to Leeds. On the way back, just north of the M18 intersection, a convoy of five identical BMW 3-series estates trundled past (in the middle lane, naturally, just like all the rest of the motorway's inhabitants bar one - me).

Nothing too special about that, granted, but what was interesting was that they were all absolutely identical, apart from the non-consecutive reg numbers (some were 60-reg, others 10-reg), but all were the same model and colour, and all had just the one occupant. They even wore exactly the same grime and dirt patterns. Clearly they have been undergoing some road tests and have piled on some considerable mileage, but they all had absolutely the same black road dirt deposits all across their bodywork.
Tyre testing?

Once upon a time a similar convoy of Chrysler 300's pulled into Charnock Richard services and I got chatting to the drivers and what they were doing was just "flip flopping" up and down the motorway piling on the miles in the interest of tyre research.
Definitely testing of some sort.

I didn't see any extraneous equipment attached to the cars. I was more impressed with the way the camouflage effect of the muck had applied itself in identical fashion to all of them. No surprise really, as being the same body shape, the air and muck would pass over or attach in the same way on all of them...

Many years ago, a neighbour of mine worked for Laycock's in Sheffield - I think they were part of GKN. They were well known as manufacturers of overdrive and gearbox units. Occasionally, he would be given a test car and be told to bugger off with his wife for a week or two up to Scotland and put several thousand miles on it. All expenses paid, of course. Not bad work of you can get it!
My father used to work the night shift at Woodall services many many years ago.

You would be surprised just how many groups of cars are driving around just to put on the miles. Some were for the cars themselves, others (as pointed out here) for parts or tyres etc.

Must be a mind numbing job though.
This sounds really familiar, I'm now wracking my brain trying to work where I saw something similar. From where I've been lately probably on the M5 but I put them down as undercover police/security services maybe.

Come to think of it tyre testing sounds more realistic but possibly less exciting!

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