the Tribe

Tim Conway, via email


Our Letter of the Month winner receives this $399 Red Bull Holden Racing Team watch. Designed to celebrate the on-track efforts of 2017, TW Steel worked with the team to produce this 48mm timepiece. It’s powered by Miyota 6S21 chronograph movement and sports a racing-inspired blue leather strap.


SCOTT Newman’s article on the Ford Ranger Raptor in the latest MOTOR concludes by asking whether these types of vehicles “fit the MOTOR mould”. My response is an emphatic no. I need little further justification for this opinion than the magazine’s Ed’s Note in the same issue, which speaks of “our laser focus on the latest and hottest performance cars”. Or within the ‘About Us’ section found at (“... the Australian bible for lovers of performance cars and driving... We’re about fast cars”). Clearly this question has already been answered by you. My objection goes beyond mere philosophy. These vehicles are not to be encouraged. Aside from the environmental issues, which I’ll leave to others, they’re just not a good drive. This is especially so when they’re jacked-up and fitted with chunky off-road tyres and driven on sealed roads in cities, where 95 per cent spend 99 per cent of their time. They also handle poorly due to a centre of gravity much higher than any performance car and those tyres have appalling wet tarmac grip – something you might care to demonstrate. Yes, I know Supercars has introduced SuperUtes. But frankly, this series leaves me cold. It will encourage stupidity with a grid that looks like my local Bunnings on a Tuesday morning and a specification that bears no relationship to reality. That said, I’m a huge fan of off-road racing: the Finke Desert Classic is becoming one of Australia’s great races and the Dakar is a must-watch each January. However, let’s just leave it as ‘horses for courses’, shall we? The popularity of trucks is largely due to tax incentives. This is relatively minor in Australia, but in the US – which we seem hell-bent on copying – there is a huge, $USD25K tax deduction in the year of purchase for any SUV weighing 6000lbs or more. The reality is that it’s largely to protect the only motor vehicle the US makes that’s popular these days. That sort of incentive is addictive, no question, but back here in Australia, we should just say no. Well played, Tim. A sticker pack doesn’t make a performance variant, but dual cabs like the Ranger Raptor go much further than that. On-road prowess might be lacking, but it sure would be fun off it.


Australians have traditionally had a thirst for factory OEM performance. For decades both Ford and Holden have ignited the passion for driving with economically priced entry level XR/ SS type products, which lead to the purchase of aspirational products from the likes of FPV or HSV. With the demise of the local donor products enthusiasts have been left with seeking aftermarket solutions for Mustang. How HSV deals with that with Camaro, given the price hike for the RHD conversion, will be interesting, but if the GTSR project has taught us anything enthusiasts have deep pockets if the product is right. I wonder how the demonisation of the performance culture and evertightening law enforcement has altered consumer purchase decisions, though? Will Ford recognise the demand for a hotter Mustang and offer a solution? Will Holden take the lead when they eventually get a factory RHD Camaro allowing HSV to be the aspirational brand again? Interesting times. Norm Ackland, via Facebook Tuners of the Mustang here in Australia have already proven there is a massive appetite for aftermarket products. Ford has also already announced that the special edition Bullitt will be coming Down Under, which bodes well for more go-fast variants coming here in the future.


I enjoyed your story on the new Alpine A110. The only thing I would take issue with is the comments made on the nonavailability of a manual transmission. Perhaps you hadn’t noticed, but nearly all of the world’s hypercars and supercars are now only available with automatic transmissions – Ferrari, and your favourite, Porsche, to name a few. Let’s have none of this nonsense about them being dual-clutch only, etc. They are plain and simple an automatic with a manual override function. Lindsay Taylor, via email


David Morley, you misunderstand the intention of ‘free TV’ – the shows are filler between the ads, the commercials are the program. I, too, have noticed whenever I tune in that it’s all commercials – so I timed them. Surprise, surprise – 4m45s from show stop to restart during peak viewing times and 3m45s outside peak. However, we don’t need to worry as there are no regulators and they have self-regulation in TV land. They are responsible people after all and would never treat us like morons or lie to us… Keep up the good work. Mike, via email

George Diamataris RENAULT CLIO RS200 | ODO 9800KM | OWNED FOR 3 MONTHS 1.6-litre 4cyl turbo, 147kW/260Nm 600Nm

WHY’D YOU PICK THE CLIO? It’s something different, I’m sick of all the same vehicles that are out there. I wanted something zippy and unique. I looked at a Suzuki Swift, but I only like the new model. However, I think it’s priced a little too high for the features it gets. I also like the five-year warranty on this. And the way they look, obviously. I like the colour contrast and I like the white on black, for the Cup Premium variant, which gets the leather and the black roof. WHAT DO YOU LOATHE ABOUT IT? There’s no rear camera. So really it’s got everything else but that. HOW OFTEN DO YOU DRIVE IT? I drive it daily. Except for the weekends, when I get out my AMG C63 Coupe. BEST MOMENT? I just enjoy driving it. I travel a lot, especially into the city. It’s a good city driver, and it loves the highway, too. It’s an all round good car. PLANS FOR THE CLIO? None. I always keep my cars standard. DO CARS RUN IN THE FAMILY? My son’s got a Golf R MkVI which he loves. I’ve had four Subaru WRX STIs. My first one was a 1998 WRX, that was my favourite. It simply wanted to keep on going. I updated them as my daily and weekend car. DO YOU FEEL GUILTY THAT YOU LEFT THE SUBARU TRIBE BEHIND? I feel disappointed they haven’t kept up with the rest of the pack. They were a cult car back in 1998, early 2000s, and it just got left behind. In terms of reliability, they’re bulletproof. The latest STI, they claim 4.9sec to 100km/h but they don’t do it. They are in the mid 5s.



Editor Campbell is partly right in that it’s puzzling as to why the road toll is increasing when you consider the ever increasing speed restrictions, etc. However, how about the following being three of the greatest reasons. 1: The epidemic level of people – mostly young males and women of all ages – texting while driving. 2: The ever increasing number of SUVs on the roads. While some might be more stable than others, none are as stable as a well-designed passenger sedan/station wagon. Furthermore, because they might be comfortable and plush inside, drivers are fooled into thinking these are as safe as their previous normal car. 3: Because it’s easier, cheaper and yields the greatest return. About the only thing that gets policed to any great extent is speeding. When was the last time anyone got fined for tail-gating? Peter Tripoli, via email.


Here’s something quirky I thought I’d share with you all. DIY – how hard can it be, right? Okay, it’s an old car (1990 Toyota Celica ST184) with relatively simple technology that’s also easy to service. I’ll be saving money, I thought. But my current problem is a hot starting issue. Should be easy enough, I’ll just Google it. A mate says it’s always the crank sensor. No, it’s in the dizzy with this car. So I order one from Hong Kong from a ‘trusted’ seller... but then had to return the distributor due to the fact the part would not work in any car. I then spend more on a locally bought unit. The next port of call is the fuel lines. I also then replace the fuel pump, injector seals, fuel filter and even spray the injectors with carby cleaner. I check the timing, change plugs, coil, etc… and it’s still doing it. But no, it must be the injectors, I’ll just buy some. What does ‘re-manufactured’ mean anyway? “Honey, I need $300 for some injectors. I’m saving money by doing it myself”. Gotta love DIY. Nick Basiliou, via email


I’m just wondering if it is possible MOTOR can post more videos of the W1 at PCOTY on your website. Since it will be the last of that kind ever built in Australia and the fact that I have Buckley’s chance of ever seeing one on the road, it would be awesome if you could. Many thanks and I look forward to the next all-new edition. Tom Newham, via email Thanks for the words of support, Tom. If you’re after more HSV GTSR W1 content, keep an eye out on and motorofficial for a full PCOTY 2018 feature video coming soon. It will certainly satiate your desire for W1 content and more. Enjoy!


The comments by Dylan Campbell in his editorial (March 2018) reminds me of the advice in PLAYBOY… but I digress. Anyway, I would not want to be photographed standing next to a Honda Civic Type R let alone own one. And yes, I did go to a Honda dealership and take a closer look and it is all just tinsel. ‘What do I know’ was one question raised. Well, I have run a successful business in design and construction and I have owned myriad cars. They include an MG TC (very much modified), Austin Healy 6, Triumph GT6, Holden SL Calais Turbo, Mercedes SLC 450, Mercedes 300E, E280, CLK 430 (in between Nissan Patrol, two Ford Falcons and an Aurion) all of which are better looking cars in their respective eras. Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder as every day we see couples very much in love, neither of which we may find attractive or beautiful. I am a reader of Classic & Sports Cars and in those pages are many designs far worse than the Honda. And yet, like the Honda Civic Type R, they were all approved for production. Looking forward to the new format of MOTOR, but please remember that many of your readers are aging. So keep that in mind in regards to lingo. Looking forward to your next addition and a successful future. Walter Franz, via email


On The Wires Tag your pics with #motormag to get published here 1. Brendan Wilcox on Facebook “Erm, yeah, Holden? Well you see, I was on the freeway...” 2. Anonymous on Facebook When your new car comes with Michelins but Pirelli is life 3. Marius Beullens on Facebook Don’t mess with Marius and his Octavia vRS if you’re in a hurry 4. Michael Vinall on Facebook The ‘German RX-7’ does its reardrive thing at... Wakefield Park? 5. Ray Leathern, on Instagram From Seth Efrica, with love – the new 911 GT3 is marriage material GET INVOLVED Pick your channel, enjoy daily content YOUR MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA 1. Brendan Wilcox on Facebook “Erm, yeah, Holden? Well you see, I was on the freeway...” 2. Anonymous on Facebook When your new car comes with Michelins but Pirelli is life 3. Marius Beullens on Facebook Don’t mess with Marius and his Octavia vRS if you’re in a hurry 4. Michael Vinall on Facebook The ‘German RX-7’ does its reardrive thing at... Wakefield Park? 5. Ray Leathern, on Instagram From Seth Efrica, with love – the new 911 GT3 is marriage material On The Wires Tag your pics with #motormag to get published here ON FACEBOOK @motorofficial The tribe: 45,000 ON INSTAGRAM @motorofficial The voyeurs: 4000