the Tribe

WIN THIS NEXT MONTH! THE ULTIMATE PRIZE PACK

Paul Lowrey, via email

SEND US A RANT. OR SOMETHING NICE. MOTOR@BAUER-MEDIA.COM.

WIN THIS NEXT MONTH! THE ULTIMATE PRIZE PACK Letter of the Month winner, Paul, will feel like he’ in Maranello with a new Ferrari cap on his month, we’ upping the stakes with a new prize pack comprising $200 cash, a 12-month MOTOR and a Honda branded Monopoly board. We award ideas, opinions, prose and originality,

IN THE BLOOD

Hey MOTOR, I have been an avid reader of your excellent magazine since I immigrated from NZ in 2001. Even with options via various technology, I still look forward to receiving a monthly magazine that I can feel in my hands and read from cover to cover.

I have driven several different supercars, so I can relate to how well your writers describe an experience in the kind of machinery you get to test, for me it is the next best thing to being there, so keep it up.

I married exceptionally well, my wife was once Australian Women’ Motorkhana Champion, she even beat Jim Richards in her Mini Cooper S, and used to rally until she rolled it. She taught our two boys to drive, Brock and Kent (I couldn’ get away with Johnson for the second son).

We all drive manuals as we all feel that you are actually driving the car. My father-in-law was a senior CAMS Official, significantly contributing to the CAMS rule book, assisting with the running of Bathurst since the 1970s, and attending numerous International Formula One events as a Steward. So my wife grew up around motorsport.

My main passion, after my family, has been anything Ferrari related for over 30 years, I have collected and read many books and online articles about the history, as well as purchasing numerous merchandise items to show my red passion. I have had a sensational year attending two Supercars races, the Singapore Formula One GP, and when in Europe the Formula One races in Spain and Monaco, where our’ Daniel won, much to my wife’ delight.

I was speaking to a drag racing record holder last week about our motorsport passion, and I assumed his wife would be similar to mine. Alas, not in his case. He told me how lucky I was to have a wife who supports my passion, comes to events with me and can even have a conversation about the state of play. This really hit home at how lucky I am, indeed.

To all the women out there who follow motorsports, and support their partners, I salute you.

Paul Lowrey, via email

Your holidays and weekends must be easy to plan, Paul. And you mustn’t ever have a shortage of family time!

UNLOVED MUSTANG

Loving the new format, and having prepared myself for the inevitable derision and scorn my query will generate, I thought I’ take the plunge... so, here goes.

Having owned a Ford Falcon BFII XR6 turbo, as well as a Skoda Fabia RS (the twin charged 1.4-litre pocket-rocket version), I am facing a quandary. The option to buy a Mustang is fast approaching, but I’ m yet find a meaningful review of the EcoBoost.

Sure, buying a Stang has always been about the fury of the V8, but in 2018 when the four-pot turbo is cranking out 221kW and 441Nm, surely it’ time to really give it a shake?

I actually enjoyed the thrill of my zingy Skoda 1.4-litre over the heavy, but fast surge of the turbo XR6, so I’ m wondering if I’ feel the same about the half-sized Mustang donk?

Has there been, or will there be, a rational and balanced review of the EcoBoost Mustang for the 20 per cent of us who may prefer its character over the brutish V8?

Darcy Maynard, via email

It’ not a bad jigger, Darcy, some might even argue the handling is a little better with less weight over the nose. We’ have reviews on the new Mustang EcoBoost in the next issue or two.

MISSED THE M-ARK

While I agree with Jethro’ essential premise on the beauty of naturally aspirated engines in his October issue column, his conclusion(s) are, in my opinion, debatable.

Beyond that magical Honda S2000 your conclusive wrap is for the ordinarylooking four-door sedan, the BMW E60 M5 V10. Really? What about the 252kW 3.2-litre E46 M3, launched in 2001? Producing even more horsepower per litre than the M5 and some Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the time.

Mine, which I bought new 2003, now with 220,000km, still hits 8000rpm. The engine is superb. Talk about a race motor in a road car!

Gordon Batt, via email

But, but, 10 cylinders with four doors! The E46 M3 gets a huge amount of adoration and attention and deservedly so, but perhaps it’ time for the E60 M5’ time in the sun?

F1 THE FASTEST

It seems like every month there’ a new supercar on the way with the potential to hit 480km/h and having around 1500 horsepower. Koenigsegg, McLaren, Hennessy, SSC Tuatara (which sounds like an Indonesian food dish) and of course Bugatti are all chasing that speed. Electric power is now bringing huge power numbers, too.

HOW DID YOU END UP IN THIS? Before the E46 I mainly had Australian muscle cars. I had an SS-V Commodore, XR6 Turbo Falcon, and before that a homemade ZL Ford Fairlane with a big turbo hanging off the side of it.

THIS IS DIFFERENT. I did a few drag events with my Fairlane and it sort of got boring fairly quickly. You get in and try not to hit a wall and go in a straight line. I really wanted to learn circuit driving and actually handling a car. I always, as a teenager, thought [the M3] was a pretty cool car. And when the prices dropped to where they did I was in a position to buy one.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON TUNING IT? In the modification process I tried to enhance every aspect of the car to me. So you know, slightly quicker shifts, slightly better sound from it, better response, better braking, a little bit more power, see if I could improve it on the whole instead of making one thing awesome and screwing up everything else.

PERFECT FOR CIRCUIT STUFF. With the drag strip stuff there was enough to play around with on the power side. Whereas here you know you can constantly tinker on various bits and pieces like how to fix the handling or the feel. That’ the thing, one of the reasons I couldn’ get myself into a new car is I’ be tempted to start messing around with it.

WHAT ABOUT THE M4? The current cars are impressive and go like stink. But it doesn’ make you work for it, it’ an easy car to drive fast. Even with the gears, if you mis-shift [in my M3], you bog down, whereas with the turbo cars it doesn’ matter. They’ just pick you up and whoosh’

IS IT STREETABLE? [Our family] went to Snowy mountains for a few days. The first time around we actually strapped a roof box to it, so we could fit prams and similar stuff in there.

MODERN SUPERCARS SHOW HOW PHENOMENAL THE MCLAREN F1 WAS

But all this does, in my opinion, is focus on just how amazing the McLaren F1 was. It’ hard to fathom this incredible machine was launched 25 years ago and hit 386km/h back then. And remember, it had only’ 461kW.

Fast forward to now and it’ taken the Koenigsegg Agera RS an extra 540 odd kilowatts to maximise its top speed by an extra 61km/h. Now even though I’ m no physicist I know that even small increments in speed at over 350km/h will require huge gains in horsepower to overcome drag and other forces (I learnt that from your magazine), but I think it really does show how phenomenal and ahead of its time the F1 was.

If I’ m not mistaken it still has the record for the fastest naturally aspirated production car. It was the automobile industry’ Concorde moment; the huge leap forward; the Cindy Crawford of supermodels. It’ the best of the best, a level of excellence the Kardashians of today could never hope to reach.

We’ re very eager to see if the Aston Martin Valkyrie is the new’ McLaren F1. Hmm.

Nektis Parissis, via Facebook

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HUMOUR ME

Billionaire oligarchs, tech-gurus and Bitcoin speculators should get ready as you’ need to be quick.

Viciously stung, and physically hurt by the realisation their Italian competitors, Ferrari, have been able to ask $53,000 for grey paint on a 812 Superfast, Aston Martin now have an MY19 paint option for their halo model.

Its known as ‘Emperor’ New Clothes’ It’ completely invisible to the naked eye – you’ only see the base colour underneath. However it will be exclusive, only five will be done – the price, a paltry $300,000. You couldn’ make it up!

Jon Dymond, via email

DREAM TO REALITY

I had a life-long dream of owning a 911 (like most) until reality set in and I settled on a Boxster. So imagine my surprise when I found in the November issue of MOTOR nearly the exact spec of Boxster I bought four years ago.

Ours is a late 2003 model with a fivespeed manual. It has the optional S wheels like the featured car and is the same colour.

Since then we have done just on 40,000km in it with the majority of it being completed on trips to Tassie. While it may not be the fastest, the handling and corner speed is amazing.

I have put a set of extractors on with a muffler and the sound at near redline is amazing, especially with the roof down screaming around the hills in Tassie.

The past four years have been the best trouble-free driving.

Neville Staley, via email

YOUNG GUN

I love the new redesign and the “Buying a Modern Classic” section. My grandpa owns a supercharged Toyota 86 and 1989 MR2, my dad owns a blue Golf R32 two-door with a manual, and my other uncle owns about 10 Alfa Romeos. Could you maybe do an MX-5?

I’m 13 and have been a MOTOR subscriber since 2016 and really enjoy the magazine. I’ m nuts for drifting and JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars. I hope to buy an NA series Mazda MX-5 as my first car.

I would be stoked if my letter made it into MOTOR. While I’ m on it, could you guys do a ‘Department of Youth’ like Street Machine where readers under 18 could write in and send drawings, pictures, etc. m sure that younger readers like me would appreciate it.

Angus Blythe, via email

Thanks, Angus! Good to hear younger readers seeing the appeal in a car magazine rather than sending their eyes square in front of some gadget (which all members of the MOTOR team are very guilty of, mind). Great idea for that department, too, we’ include this in a future upgrade we’ ve got planned for MOTOR magazine.