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GO A HEAD,TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

John Davis, Avalon Beach, NSW

But please, keep it tight (no more than 200 words) and do include your suburb if via email. You can also have your say on Facebook (search for Wheels Australia), Instagram or Twitter

WINNER, WINNER, SPORTSCAT DINNER

I wanted to thank Wheels and HSV for drawing me as the winner of the Colorado SportsCat+ in your recent subscriber competition. I have been reading Wheels for well over 45 years, and have been a subscriber for a lot of that time.

“WHAT A THRILL! THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I’VE HAD AN HSV REGISTERED IN MY NAME”

LETTER OF THE MONTH PRIZE

Just to show there’s no limit to our generosity (and to acknowledge his gratitude), we’ll fling a year’s worth of Wheels in John’s tray. Back up the truck, champion!

I grew up in a Holden family watching Colin Bond and Peter Brock race the very first Monaros and Torana GTR XU-1s against Allan Moffat in Ford GTHOs, and have owned numerous Holdens over the years. This is, however, the first time I have had an HSV registered in my name.

Damon Paull at HSV and Sebastian Raspass at Col Crawford HSV were brilliant to deal with.

What a thrill! Thanks again.

John Davis, Avalon Beach, NSW

Great to hear, John. We’re delighted such an awesome prize went to a thoroughly deserving winner. Take note, the rest of you lot; grab a subscription and get yourselves in the draw for the next big one. – Ed

TAKES THE 2CV; RAISES US BY 2

I’VE JUST received my copy of the Wheels Yearbook 2018 that features the Citroen 2CV in the Retro Series. The 2CV is no doubt a legendary vehicle, one that have always admired. There is, however, another French car that is at least as iconic as the 2CV, particularly for the role it played in Australian motoring history. That vehicle is also the first French car to sell over one million units worldwide; the Renault 4CV.

As the proud owner of a 1955 4CV, or as it was known by many Australians, the Renault 750, believe it would be a worthy subject for one of your Retro Series. It was a fairly common sight on Victorian roads in the late 1940s and 1950s, though there are believed to be only about 100 on the road in Australia now.

If you would like any further information on the 4CV, don’t hesitate to contact me; I’m also the editor of the Renault 4CV Register of Australia’s magazine Fourword.

Rob Toogood, Ballarat, Vic

A terrific offer, Rob, much appreciated. We’ll be beating your door down with a baguette should we feature a 4CV in a future issue. – Ed

“ THE 4CV WAS A FAIRLY COMMON SIGHT ON OZ ROADS IN THE LATE ’40s AND ’50s

HYDROGEN AND A LOT OF HOT AIR

ANDY ENRIGHT seems to miss the point about hydrogen cars (Wheels Yearbook 2018). While a lot of energy is required to produce the fuel, there are none of the mining and production costs (and emissions) from producing the batteries that EVs need.

He assumes that hydrogen production will always need base-load coal-fired power stations as they are the only energy sources currently capable of producing the energy needed. Couldn’t hydrogen be produced using the excess renewable energy that is often wasted? Couldn’t hydrogen be produced near a large solar farm which would also save the considerable energy transmission losses? It seems to me that EVs may be an interim technology with hydrogen the real future.

Peter Reed, Kenthurst, NSW

Your argument comes to the same conclusion as our feature, Peter. And the Nexo features an onboard li-ion battery pack as well. – AE

EVs IN THE BATTLE OF THE BUSH

ALEX INWOOD (Ed Start, Yearbook 2018) asks us how far we drive. My town gives the game away – do long hauls across Victoria for my job and monthly Melbourne and Adelaide commutes respectively. Like most of your readers, like a good drive. Whether in a jalopy or a modern car there’s something joyous in being away from the stresses of home and work life while enjoying your machine in a pleasant environment.

So I’ve two issues with electric cars. For those of us whose favourite chair is behind a steering wheel, who can honestly say our Australian government will ever install charging infrastructure on C-roads? (Think NBN on that!).

Secondly, understand the first smartphones appeared in about 2007. In early 2019 we still struggle with battery anxiety. know I’ve got wired and unwired charging gadgets and plugs all over the house and in all the cars, yet keeping a phone or tablet charged is a struggle during the working day.

It’s not only those of us who live or spend time in regional zones. Since my teens barely recall a week without a long drive in the three continents I’ve lived in. So I’m going to wear the label ‘Luddite’ with some pride as I am far too cynical to trust governments or corporations to not tax or charge the bejesus out of those of us who use those C-roads, or who just enjoy a seriously un-PC, old-fashioned drive. The joy of driving and the need to travel beyond A to B shall never meet.

Simon Inglis, Ararat, Vic

We understand your cynicism, Simon. The companies which provide charging infrastructure will go where the money is, and that could leave some regional areas lagging. – Ed

LOVING AN EASYSIPPING SWEDE

GREAT COVERAGE of the transition to hybrid and alternative-powered vehicles, including coverage of a vehicle we recently purchased; the XC60 T8. The transition from a powerful Porsche Macan Diesel to the XC60 has been simple and enjoyable.

The reality is that much of our local running around to shops and friends can be done without incurring any petrol consumption. Our longer runs (440km each way) sees consumption hover around 6.5 – 7.0L/100km, which is similar to the diesel consumption of the Porsche. So far, our real-world overall fuel consumption is 4.8L/100km. The question of interior and exterior design and cosmetics can be debated, but the Volvo is superbly built and of high quality inside, and my wife loves the silent running.

Nick Chipman, email

AMMONIA; IT’S A GAS, GAS, GAS

THANKS FOR a very good roundup of vehicles with alternate power sources. As you pointed out with the hydrogen-powered Nexo, the problems lie with the fuel sources and cost. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the University of Queensland’s work on this. They have developed membrane technology to convert ammonia into hydrogen. This means only shipping ammonia around the country as a liquid as opposed to hydrogen gas, which is a lot cheaper and easier. This is some months ago now, but as understand it they were claiming it to be a lot cheaper than making hydrogen the conventional way.

Jim Barnes, email

“Do red ones really go faster, dad?”

START EM EARLY

Let’ honest what two year old really wants be – to be reading Peppa Pig Pipi Longstockings when or they can get their hands copy Wheels’ Best on a of Drivers’ Cars? Proving the point here young Sophie is Deacon, who pinched her dad Mike’ copy brush to up on all of 2018’ hottest metal. You go, girl.