the Tribe

WIN THIS NEXT MONTH! MOTOR MAGAZINE PRIZE PACK

Winner Ryan will stuff some cash into sleeker pockets thanks to a carbon fibre Lexus a 12-month MOTOR subscription. Next month, our pack includes the same cash prize, Porsche hat and model 991 911 GT3. We award ideas, opinions, prose and originality.

V8 SUPER-FARCE

I’ll make it short, but sweet, after reading the news the Ford Supercars Mustang has been hit with tech penalties.

Do you wonder why other car manufacturers don’t join Supercars? I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, but to me it’s probably because, one, you have to build your car around a cage that makes the car look different from what you’re actually putting in showrooms.

Two, you spend money making a car, getting it approved by all teams, only that when it starts winning races your car needs to be pulled apart to make it slower. I wonder why nobody else wants in? Since the Car of the Future platform arrived Supercars lost the plot.

Michael Cleland, via Facebook

Supercars certainly does a good job of making itself look like its rules are drawn up, or at least enforced, by turkeys.

GOT ME A CLIO RS

SITTING AT my resort at Byron Bay poolside at Easter, reading your latest edition, enjoying the hot machinery I will never be able to afford, I thought I’d let you know about my latest purchase.

I bought myself a little Renault Clio RS220 Trophy, pre-facelift 2017 model, for three reasons. One, because it was a steal of a deal. Two, the RS280 Megane had not been released yet, and three, the budget and wife wouldn’t let me get a last-run SS-V Holden Commodore.

Greg H, via email

Get it on a track, put it in Race mode and you may have an ‘aha’ moment not possible on the road.

I’LL DRIVE, THANKS

Thanks, Editor Campbell, for the compliment in your last editorial (June, 2019) in your assessment there are two drivers and we’re the ones “who can take the wheel safely”.

As for autonomous tech, I’ve been in accidents and had fines but I’ve never been ‘saved’ by fitted driver aids other than a throttle, mirror and, at times, the brake (or, maybe, ABS).

In times past the distractions were from outside the car. Maybe a mini-skirt or the rumble of a GT-HO or a 327 GTS. Today the distractions are heads turned to talk to passengers, bloody phones and sitting in the wrong lane.

An early association with car clubs, coupled with a love of driving have made me the driver I am now. No accidents for a long time and eligible for a discount on my licence renewal because of full points.

Don’t get me wrong, every time I get behind the wheel it’s an adventure but unfortunately it’s to share the road with those ‘passengers’ behind the wheel who should be in an autonomous datalogged speed limited vehicle.

Peter Farquhar, via email

Glad to hear someone agrees. Last month’s editorial was - having learned of these new speed limiters - a bit, err, passionate and exasperated.

WHERE’S COBURN?

We’ve been getting all nostalgic with the Fast Falcons special, fantastic read. Do you still keep in contact with Paul Cockburn? Did he ever get his E-Type to 150 miles per hour?

I’ve enjoyed his writing and unique analysis of car design since 1996 when I started reading, even if I had to read some of his lines a few times to properly understand them, his words were always fun. Secondary question, is his last name pronounced ‘Coburn’?

Aaron Mattin, via Facebook

Silent ‘ck’, yes. He never saw 150mph in the E-Type, that he’ll tell us anyway. Cockburn is semi-retired these days but we could tempt him into writing another feature or two - should we?

Melissa Ong

2016 Kia ProCeed GT-Tech | 1.6-litre four-cylinder, turbo 150kW/265Nm | ODO 55,000KM | OWNED FOR 3 YEARS

A PROCEED! HOW DID YOU END UP WITH ONE? I had criteria to meet - the car must be white, and it must be manual, and have a sunroof. Obviously when I was first looking for a car, I never thought I’d own a Kia, now I love it. I was always into JDM cars. I wanted to get a Civic, the Type R had not come out yet, so a Civic RS. But that had a CVT auto. So I found a white GT-Tech with Sat Nav - eventually, because that was very rare.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO OWN? People who own them will walk up to you on the street, or wave at you as they drive past. The Stinger has brought the spotlight on Kia and the brand. I’m in an owners group and people that join say, ‘I had no idea that these cars exist!’. Even at MotorEx, people were stopping me going, ‘I’ve got a Cerato, I wanted to just see what it was.’

WHERE DO YOU DRIVE IT? I’ve taken it to Winton just for the Come-and-Try days, but I hadn’t had much track time [laughs] so I would have done something around two minute thirty [seconds]. At the beginning everyone was like ‘Mel, where’s your S2000? This isn’t you’, now these are the same guys who are buying i30 Ns. They were in Evos or their track cars. I just went along as a hobby day.

AND WHAT’S THIS ABOUT HOT WHEELS? I work for VPlates, by the way, and before I could drive I obviously couldn’t afford a car, so I put all my money into Hot Wheels cars. I’ve got about 2000, but I’m starting to downsize. I’m trying to off hand to other people.

PLANS FOR THE KIA? I am really reluctant to sell, but once it comes out of that Kia warranty, it will be hard to find parts. And so many get written off. Young P platers love them so you’re getting a young crowd, all the way up to 60-year-olds who drive them in the hills, so it certainly appeals to everyone. But what’s next for me? I’ll be looking at the i30 N.

MY VAG IS A BIT DULL

I’ve just read your review on the new Bentley Continental (May 2019) where you say that it feels less special.

I’ve never been a Volkswagen/Audi fan despite having owned two: a 1984 Audi 80 Quattro in Europe (1987-1992) and my son’s Volkswagen Tiguan TDI (2015-present). Both are good at what they do with AWD, but they feel soulless. Additionally I also felt with my Tiguan that Volkswagen is happy for the customer to carry out the last 10 per cent of product testing, and to charge the customer for the privilege. Beware the Volkswagen or Audi without a warranty!

“BEWARE THE VOLKSWAGEN OR AUDI WITHOUT A WARRANTY!”

Anyway, the purpose of this email is to offer you a new word for the week, namely “VAGGED” (pronounced with a hard double-G, rather than soft “dg”). VAGGED: “That car is being/has been vagged.” The process by which Volkswagen AG removes soul and character from a car in the pursuit of economy-of-scale-driven commonality. Thanks for the magazine and keeping cars interesting and enjoyable.

David Evans, via email

Would agree, but then we drove a VW Golf R and the updated GTI at Winton for next issue’s Bang For Your Bucks, and without spoiling anything VW has done to these cars whatever the opposite of “vagged is”. Encouraging.

GIMME MORE TECH

Hey MOTOR heads. Any chance of dedicating a section of the mag to articles on a car’s ‘modifications’ such as your recent article on ‘Rocket Science’ and the MG Metro 6R4 in April’s issue? As a design engineer, motorsport, track day goer and owner of a ‘reasonably’ tweaked Harrop supercharged BA XR8, I find the technical side of car performance almost as much fun as driving at the track!

I’m thinking of the technical genius over at Koenigsegg (eg, Regera), or what your article revealed about the development of the BMW M6 GT3, a track weapon driven by endurance race drivers like Steve Richards.

Justin Stockl, via email

Happy to get more techy-nerdy stories in the mag, sure. Noted.

YOUR MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA

On The Wires

Tag your pics with #motormag so we can find you

1. Paul Young on DriveMasters

Some of Bavaria’s finest getting out and about in NSW.

2. @vsp687 on Instagram

“Coffee and MOTOR mag are a recipe for a relaxing long weekend down at Barwon Heads [Victoria].”

3. @apparition100 on Instagram

“Early morning drive up to Marysville (Victoria).” Lotus Exige S.

4. Evan Kurt Schroter on DriveMasters

“Took the [Holden Insignia] VXR for its maiden strap up to O’Reillys in the Lamington National Park - 350km later and I’m a very happy camper.”

5. @willobrien268 on Instagram

“Where should be: Bells Line of Road.” Skoda Octavia RS wagon.

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V-MAX HOLIDAY

G’day MOTOR, I’m heading over to Germany in July and your mag has inspired me to hire a fast German set of wheels for a week and drive through parts of southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Any chance you could recommend the pick of the hire mobs and any roads I should definitely drive? Otherwise chuck me the keys to something you lot are supposed to test and I’ll take it for a spin, do some skids while the missus snaps a picture or two and write a review so you can take it easy for the next issue.

Alex Temperton, via Facebook

We normally get on the horn to our good mates in Stuttgart, Ingolstadt or Affalterbach whenever we need some stonking steed to rocket us to nosebleed figures on the autobahn (perks). In other words, we can’t recommend a hire car company in particular - can any other readers? As for roads, are there other roads in Germany than the autobahn? Honestly, get down to the mountains near the Austrian border. You’ll drive off the road looking at the scenery. But what a road! Head for the Rossfeld Panoramic Road. Lots of things to visit, too, if you love history. Just don’t mention the... nevermind. Also, Google ‘MOTOR 300km/h public road’, we did a guide on autobahn ‘tourism’ a few years ago, still worth a read.

DYING OF OLD AGE

I’m beginning to wonder if we will even still have petrol-powered vehicles by the time the first Toyota Supra touches down in Australia. I can’t recall a launch that has taken so long from concept to delivery since Henry Ford invented the production line. By the time it actually arrives here its demographic will be too busy shopping for mini vans, motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

Corey Dubbiya, via Facebook

It’s a Japanese thing; don’t buy sushi sold by a Japanese car company.

ISLAND MAGIC

Scott Newman’s article last issue about Phillip Island in his long term Subaru BRZ tS is spot on. I raced a BRZ in improved production last year to get third in the championship against some modified cars. Mine has suspension and brake upgrades and got down to a low 1min 49sec at the island!

Stephen Zourkas, via Facebook

FORD’S AVALANCHE

Holden with the Adventra, or HSV with the Avalanche (MOTOR, May 2019) weren’t the first to try a dual-cab, fourwheel drive performance version of their core product.

The ‘R5’ was based on the Falcon, it actually previewed quite a lot of features and design cues that ended up being in the BA, not that anyone in the general public would have known at the time anyway. Someone from the Holden team must have walked past the Ford display at the motor show that year and thought: “Not a bad idea”!

Michael Risely, via Facebook

Oh yeah, we completely forgot about that car. A perfect victim for our ‘Lost in Time’ section - stay tuned.