the Tribe

WIN THIS NEXT MONTH! PORSCHE 918 SPYDER MODEL

Our Letter of the Month author, Doug, will be lugging around the coolest backpack in town from Renault’ Alpine range. Next month you could spruce your mantel with this official Porsche 918 Spyder model. It’ come with a genuine Porsche crest keyring, too, taking the total prize worth to more than $100!

TAKE HOLDEN BACK TO THE TOP

THIS YEAR marks 40 years since MOTOR magazine took the newly released VB Commodore and went to Cape York Peninsula. The drivers were Matt Whelan and Evan Green.

The VB was a reworked Opel Commodore to handle our bad roads and outback conditions. When Holden lobbed an unmodified German one Down Under and took it to the outback, it literally broke in two pieces.

You should revisit this idea and take a new Commodore, since it is now a German Commodore (very similar concept), to see if it can be driven to Cape York. It may have to be fitted with an outback pack (if Holden still has that option?), since today’ cars are much lower than 40 years ago.

If you do go ahead with the story, you would have to go in the next few months during the “dry season”, which would make it far more possible.

It also featured in GM People which was an internal Holden magazine of the time, which features the story on page five. I think this would make another memorable and great story for your magazine. What an adventure for those who go on it.

Doug Johnson, via email

An intriguing suggestion, Doug. Actually, Morley just returned from the peninsula and says it’s rough but wouldn’t be impossible to do in a ZB. Holden is certainly keen on all the positive publicity it can get at the moment, so don’t hold your breath, but we shall investigate.

DON’T MOCK THE 3!

After I pointed out the Model 3 wasn’ featured in your Pipeline’ section, you replied with: “we’ continue to keep an eye on the supposed M3-rivalling Performance”.

You’ re kidding, right? You know the Model 3 is real and starts from the equivalent of AUD$50K in the United States? It has sold more than 28,000 in months, and Tesla expects to sell 6000 every week in the future. It has 420,000 expressions of interest and plans an allwheel drive version. It’ also announced a Track’ variant.

I love Porsches and own a number of them, yet you manage to get to “the winding backroads in the hills above Malibu” to test a half completed Porsche concept car called the Taycan. It’ listed in your in Pipeline, but you can’ drive an actual Model 3 while you’ re there, a real car that actually is on sale now in the US and other left-hand drive markets.

Maybe the standard is too high for the Model 3. Yes, it can’ stack up against the stonking potential of the ground-breaking, much heralded, and breathlessly awaited Kia Cerato Turbo. I can see (much to my great relief) you have identified it as lobbing in 2019. Can’ wait to see the three-way comparison between M3, Model 3 and Cerato Turbo. Hot stuff indeed!

Mitchell Smith, via email

Lucky you mentioned the Porsches, Mitchell, otherwise we’ be accusing you of having an Elon Musk shrine hidden somewhere. Don’ get us wrong, we’ re very interested in Tesla and are keeping a close eye on the Track-focused Model 3 in particular. In fact, we’ have something for you next issue or the one after.

THE OTHER GP TRACK

MOTOR crew, great article on the Port Wakefield Australian Grand Prix track in the August issue. As you said the circuit is in the middle of nowhere.

Did you know that while you were in the hills you were very close to the notable Lobethal track, which in fact was the setting for the 1939 AGP? The whole circuit existed on everyday roads and can be easily traced.

After that a detour down to the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide, would put you on the 1937 track configuration which ran a loop on the roads between Port Elliot and Victor Harbor. Once again it’ all on public roads. The most impressive thing you notice with these two circuits is how long they are. You would have only seen the cars every 10 or so minutes.

John Balson, via email

“ALFA ROMEO, I DON’ WANT A BLOATED BMW RIVAL”

Thanks, John. We knew of the Lobethal circuit but were clueless that we drove very near to it on the way to Port Wakefield! Oops. Also we missed thanking the Sporting Car Club of South Australia for generously assisting our research with this story. And unfortunately a line fell off the bottom of the story when it went to print. Our apologies for that.

Peter Salera

Ford Mustang GT | 5.0-litre V8, 306kW/530Nm ODO 13,000KM | OWNED FOR 2 YEARS

YOU’RE A FORD GUY?

My grandfather worked at Ford for 35 years and I’ ve been a Ford boy my whole life. I had a Ford Mondeo GLI, then a BF XR6 brand new, an Audi, an FG XR6 Limited Edition, FG X XR8, a Ford Fiesta XR4, then the Mustang now with a daily BA XR6.

THE AUDI AND XR4 ARE ODD PICKS, AREN’T THEY?

If I could go back in time I wouldn’ have sold the XR4. It’ cheaper on fuel than the BA and a great driver’ car. I bought an Audi A4 S-Line because I was doing a stint in real estate and my boss said I look like a hoon in my Falcon. That’ the only car I regret owning because they don’ hold their value that well.

HOW DID IT FEEL SWAPPING A FALCON FOR THE MUSTANG?

When I heard that they were going to go, and being a part of my family – my dad’ always had them, my uncle’ always had them – it was just weird. Having the XR8 was an awesome car. I was in two minds when the Mustang came out. I didn’ want to get rid of it. The Mustang’ more fun and more visually appealing. But in terms of overall build you can’ go past the Falcon, it felt like a sturdier car. YOU’VE SUBTLY TWEAKED THE MUSTANG... Pretty much every car I’ ve had I’ ve changed the wheels. It’ an addiction. I’ ve never delved into superchargers – not yet. The wider tyres on the back has made it a little stickier. I find the rear-end’ a little leafy, especially the manuals, when you click it into second you can get a little slip.

WHAT’S THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH THE MUSTANG?

Just getting one in general. Growing up I’ ve always liked the Mustangs. I have that old-school mentality to work, work, work, and it’ nice to reward myself. It was fulfilling. It was nice to get one, they’ re a working class man’ hero car.

TASTEFUL NEW TACK

I have read MOTOR since 1985. Previously, I thought Ged Bulmer was the best editor of all time, I loved his funny photo captions and article choice. I then moved overseas and lost touch for a while, and belatedly started collecting MOTOR again on iPad (thanks for that access, by the way).

So, I got five years behind the publishing date, and now I’ m catching up. Reading each issue so quickly one after the other, it became very obvious when Dylan Campbell took over the Editor responsibilities, because MOTOR became the best ever! Particularly article choice and writing, I’ m loving those, and that’ the core of the mag, right? And the photo captions are funny again!

Of course, MOTOR photography has been the best the world has ever had and has never lost that status. Easton Chang’ work has been astounding and consistent simultaneously, and all the other photographers, too, amazing. I go over old copies every few years just to gaze at their work, like the world’ best art collection. Thanks to them.

It’ been a great experience to come back to my favourite magazine and find it better than ever!

Andrew Taylor, via email Editor Campbell would like to make clear that Andrew Taylor is (a) not one of his parents and (b) received no payment from him to submit this letter. However, it was forwarded to his boss, Ged Bulmer, with delight. Thanks for the kind words, Andrew!

ALFA’S WRONG VISION

Sorry, Alfa. I don’ want a Giulia coupe that’ a bloated BMW 6 Series rival. I want a 21st century take on the 105.

Richard Houlton, via email

It’ supposed to be a C63/M4/RS5 rival, isn’ it? But yes, a modern day 105 would be the duck’ s. You might like to google “Alfaholics GTA-R 290”.

SAME SAME, BUT...

In my personal opinion the Ford Focus RS is an amazing car when driven fast and how it turns in and shoots outs of corners is brilliant.

Recently, though, I was lucky enough to drive a Civic Type R. The Civic is much easier to drive fast around town and winding roads and maybe easier as a daily driver. They are so different, but I see they achieved equal fastest lap. It’ great to have two fast cars in the market delivering speed in different ways.

Andrew Snaidero, via Facebook

GRILL THE MUSTANG

Again the Mustang gets another lousy ANCAP rating. What a cynical, lazy company. It is about time MOTOR starts to ask the hard questions. At present this magazine is just a cheer squad for the Mustang. We expect better from Australian journalists and for a magazine that I started reading in 1964. Even the Chinese car companies have got their game together in this area.

Neil Brotherton, via Facebook

Let us know if Neil is not alone in wanting us to bang on about ANCAP ratings and we shall reconsider our current policy of doing otherwise.

CIVIC TYPE ARRRGH

Why did it win PCOTY? Price should not be a factor in the criteria! Isn’ that BFYB? This is the fi rst year ve stopped buying your magazine, and you want to charge European magazine prices. What’ happening to Australia? Bribery and profi teering! Kind of like a Hyundai Excel Cup Car entering the Supercar division and winning on aggregate. It’ a joke.

Regan Dyson, via Facebook Have you driven one?

DODGES OZ AGAIN

How stupid are these car makers? Ford Australia rolled the dice and gave us the legendary Mustang, and it’ been a mega hit. However, what we also need is a decent, hot, rear-drive four door like the Dodge Challenger. It’ almost like other companies don’ want to replicate the success of the Ford Mustang.

Michael Riseley, via Facebook