Social Media and Forums

Social media and car forums - a comedy

The online space proved to be annoying and frustrating, but ultimately amusing. What other conclusion can you reach when you review your data and find you have been battling people who bring up Morecombe and Wise and parts of the Tardis within their argument?

Over the years many attempts were made to engage with social media and car forums. Most ended up in failure and acrimony.

The Autosport Nostalgia and Scimitarweb forums had helpful posts. Facebook groups was good also.

Certain themes kept cropping up. In the end we decided to conduct a study of what was going on as the amount of data available was reasonably large. Over 3000 posts on various forums.

Therefore, we generally withdrew from online discussion and carried on our own research on the blue car (described elsewhere on this website) and on the facts surrounding comments and posts that is discussed here.

The research broadly broke down into these areas:

  • What posts were backed up by facts?
  • How many people had visited the site to research at ground zero?
  • What was the chronology and source of quality (factual) research surrounding the picture?
  • What were the worst and/or most amusing errors that aided to mislead the general forum herd.
  • Debunking the small car myth as proposed by a number of members, and one in particular, on a number of forums.
  • Examples of the quality of people and the role of anonymity in the online space.

As I type this in November 2022, the forum nonsense continues. My favourite comment in the last few days is from the appropriately named “Autoshite” forum. Some poster called Mr Pastry. Yes, I know… Why would you give any credence to a guy named after some long-forgotten children’s TV actor? That coupled with 1848 posts in three years suggests a person who casts his “knowledge” far and wide. To The Blue Car. Makes loads of statements here.

Now. The fun bit for “Mr Pastry” in the above link. He states he won’t be sharing his non-existent research. Fantastic tactic and so typical forum. Do nothing, show nothing, but imply you are some kind of historical research guru and all will be revealed at some point in the future. Can jump into the future now. He won’t be revealing anything.

Forum fact #1

Only one person - us - actually bought parts to assist in ascertaining the size of the blue car.

Forum fact #2

Only two known people actually visited the junction of Oxford Street and Vere Street to see the scene for themselves. ScimitarWeb poster, Roger Pennington, and us.

Forum Fact #3

The most prolific forum for posting about the blue car was the Pistonheads sub-forum Classic Cars and Yesterday's Heroes. Our spreadsheet on forum posts ended on 29th June 2021, but nothing of any consequence has been posted since. At that date there had been 2317 posts. Incredibly, not a single post, except ours, added anything that could not have been found by a simple Google search or had not been discovered elsewhere already. Guesses don't count as research or having validity. So 2000 plus posts of pub talk.

Forum fact #4

If the Pistonheads forum contained the most posts and had the highest level of failure achievable, it stands to reason that the most profilic posters are also the most useless. So the winner and runner up in the CAD Car Dolt Awards are Pistonheads usernames Borrani72 and Threespires with 196 and 175 posts respectively.

Forum fact #5

Car deemed most likely to be the mystery car on Pistonheads. Most likely as in offered up as a possibility. The most popular car offered up per post was "no car mentioned", as in the post was general conjecture regarding previous posts or new conjecture. "No car mentioned" occurred for 2082 Pistonheads posts. Sunbeam Alpine of various types - 29. Arnott - 10. Turner GT - 9.

Forum Fact #6

The next most prolific forum after Pistonheads was Retrorides being a distant number two with 339 posts.

Forum opinion

Before watching the video below, please remember, as just one example of a forum gadlfy/blowhard/coward, the anonymous Pistonheads member Borrani72 created 200 posts blinding everyone with “science” and talking his own book whilst disparaging other people. This discouraged others from coming forward with valid points, as the forum herd supported this Pied Piper of nonsense. As well as being annoying to me this was a disservice to every forum he touches.

Problems such as the mystery car are moved forward despite forums as opposed to forums helping. This is a shame, to put it mildly, as it should be the completely opposite way around.

It is difficult to distill all the 200 or so Borrani72 posts into a pithy conclusion. On 13th March 2019 he said his wheelbase conclusions “have been calculated using the dimensions of known partsthe aluminium wheel disc and the Hillman Minx sourced windscreen.” The last post I viewed from him said on 24th June 2021 “I’m confident that the wheelbase is 78 inches, or very close. The Minx ‘screen, Triumph overriders, headlamp size and, most significantly, the 15 inch Ace Mercury wheel discs all seem to agree.”

As you can see from viewing the video below, the statements above are blatantly incorrect.

Borrani72 has not measured any of the items. They are only “known” to him as pictures. In the case of the wheel discs he contacted an eBay seller to get some dimensions. Whether it was the correct disc or the correct dimensions is a guess.

His solution based on the windscreen he has guessed the size of is wrong when compared to an actual windscreen. It is around 9% too small. I gave him a free pass on his drawing in the video, but in all honesty a 5% too narrow body, when he deals in sub mm dimensions (in and of itself a nonsense), is terrible. It is terrible squared when you realise the errors are from dimensions and drawings he created and considered as his one overall solution.

Please refer to images below for evidence.

However, his defence mechanism to the above was genius. My 3D scan was wrong. Well he picked on the wrong person, as by speculating £30 a new old glass was bought, measured manually and once again I was proved correct. Learning a lesson, the lesson being you can’t get enough evidence when dealing with the sceptical, the manual measurements included photographs, as shown below of the tape measure across the whole part and a detailed image.

Borrani72 is a grade A forum fool, but he is not alone. Over 2000 posts guessing and no actual proper research on just one forum. Is the car or maker of the car known yet? No. The size is though and many interesting snippets of information have been discovered from my research that may possibly lead to this mystery being solved in the future.

Hillman Minx rear glass dimensions

Hillman-Minx-windscreen-glass-composition

Borrani72 windscreen "solution" around 9% too small

Borrani72-Windscreen-size-comparison

Borrani72 car width is around 3 inches/5% too narrow

Borrani72-Width-Disparity-Mystery-Car

Quick update on The Blue Car research

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