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YOUR SAY

Joel T, my mum’s email address

GO AHEAD, TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

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

LETTER OF THE MONTH

‘I want to share with you how I would go about building the fastest race car’ “

GIVE THEM WINGS

WE ALL DREAM sometimes; it’s an essential part of life. I’m 13, and I dream a lot about how I would go about doing something. Today I want to share with you how I would go about building the fastest race car.

Firstly, the engine, a V6 hybrid. Two water cooled e-turbos working sequentially and lots of lightweight alloys. Essentially an F1 engine, upgraded to 2.2-litres with much the same semi-automatic gearbox.

Now, the all-important aero. The closest thing to my concept was the Red Bull x2014 (look it up), with large adjustable front and rear wings and a mighty fan diffuser at the rear (like Gordon Murray’s utterly amazing T.50). Unlike the F1, it would have an electrohydraulic canopy.

To top it all off, conrods, pistons, crankshaft and all structural components would be made from graphene, 200 times stronger than steel.

Enjoy and keep up the great work!

Joel T, my mum’s email address

It’s good to dream. Everyone who has made anything of themselves was where you are now, Joel, their formative years spent answering one question: how can we do things better?

It’s a question that has clearly preoccupied Gordon Murray himself, and the T.50 (as featured on page 12 of this issue) was born from a realisation that now was the time to revisit the ethos of the McLaren F1, fixing its shortcomings. So keep dreaming. And, when you’re not, here’s a subscription to Wheels to keep you on a solid factual footing 

– Ed

TO THE VICTA...

THANKS FOR for the July issue of Wheels, especially the cover and the tech stuff on turbos. My mate Dave Hall and I didn’t need any convincing on the value of forced induction, though. Way back when we were in our early teens (circa 1953) we started to find out how good superchargers were.

Dave’s Dad wasn’t home so we got his almost new 125cc Victa mower and wheeled it into his garage. He had a homemade electric air compressor that got up to about 85psi.

We maxed the Victa and the air compressor and shoved the air hose into the carby. The Victa shrieked, we freaked and we took off out of the garage so fast we left our shadows behind. We hid behind a mulberry tree in Dave’s backyard and waited for the air pressure to run down and the screaming racket to subside. We crept back in and put everything away and closed up the garage, still shaking.

A few weeks later Dave’s Dad was mystified as to why he found the ailing Victa had a bent crankshaft. The things we do.

David Parr, via email

You’d have leaned the mix out pretty well and made it run super-hot! 

– Ed

WYCHE AINT DEAD

OUR CURRENT vehicle is an HSV GTSR, 435KW of Aussie muscle. So, you might wonder, why would I be interested in Cameron Kirby’s ‘A Mounting Challenge’ long-term report in August’s issue of Wheels. Mount Wycheproof is a mountain we‘ve climbed and driven up many times, although unfortunately not in our GTSR, as its front spoiler is much too low for the very steep entry point!

You might say, it’s “in the middle of nowhere”, and yes, you could say that. But we consider it “in the middle of everywhere”, as towns like Bendigo, Horsham, Echuca, Swan Hill, and even the iconic Dimboola, are all being within easy reach, as is the magnificent Silo Trail, currently doing wonders for tourism.

There are some magnificent driving roads surrounding Wycheproof, and indeed in most parts of the Mallee. It gives one a wonderful sense of freedom, heading out of Wycheproof in the morning, enjoying that lovely Aussie V8 power, no traffic lights, minimum traffic and the prospect of a day’s driving in the magnificent Mallee.

And at the end of a day of enjoyable cruising, you end up back in “Wyche” as we call it, and there’s the choice of two ripper Aussie pubs, where you can enjoy some great tucker ... and do the same the next day, if you’ve got the time. It’s pretty hard to beat!

Martin Hayden, Aspendale, Vic

Got to admit we were all scratching our heads when Kirbs told us where he was headed, but now my curiosity is certainly piqued 

– Ed

“ WE MAXED THE VICTA AND SHOVED THE AIR HOSE INTO THE CARBY

STICKER SHOCK

WHILST CONTEMPLATING the possibility of a new vehicle for me, the wife and the kids (one with frugality as well as the ‘go’ factor), I checked out Databank in the May edition.

Two issues were:

1. The listed RRP for a Skoda Kodiaq Sportline is $52,990 in the guide, $72,990 at the dealer. Also, $76,990 for a Volvo D5 R-Design in the guide, $92K+ at the dealer. Please explain?

2. EV fuel consumption - Tesla Model S consumption rated at 17.5KWh/100km.

Is there a grams of CO2 per km equivalent so it can be compared with a fossil-fuel vehicle? Based on average percentage of renewably sourced electricity in EV charging, in Oz / NSW? I’d love to hear your thoughts – and which car you’d choose? Love the mag; can’t find enough time to read every edition!

Tim Bailey, Bowral, NSW

We quote manufacturer recommended retail prices in Databank, Tim, because that’s the most accurate ‘level playing field’ pricing structure. The dealers are quoting you ‘driveaway’ pricing which also includes things like stamp duty, registration, compulsory thirdparty insurance and dealer delivery fees – and probably options, based on those prices you quote. As for EV g/km – that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms! 

– Ed

LAST STAND?

BEFORE COVID stood the world on its head, I paid my first visit to Germany to visit some relatives. Upon stepping out of the bomber in Munich, I was amazed to see about a hundred different car magazines in stock in one of the airport’s shops.

Everything from generalist titles to the most obscure single-make mags were on display and I spent so much time reading them (okay, looking at the pictures) that I eventually felt I ought to buy something.

English language copies of CAR, Top Gear, Evo, Octane and Autocar were all available, so I bought these. Shame there was no Wheels in stock.

Upon arrival back at Tulla, there was nothing like the array of motoring titles available. Cookery, yes, crossword puzzles, sure, but I counted just five motoring titles on offer. That’s shocking for a country that prides itself on its petrolhead status. What has happened to us? We might not make cars any longer in Australia, but it’ll be a sad day if it ever gets to the stage where we don’t make car magazines either.

M Koening, Castlemaine, Vic

Our German owners were a little perplexed at how the Australian print sector differed from their home market, that’s for sure. We agree with you on these points, though. You were going to buy Wheels? Well, have we got a subscription offer for you... 

– Ed

WIN!

LETTER OF THE MONTH PRIZE

We can’t promise a job designing race cars for Red Bull, but we can give Joel something to tide him over until he starts sending his CV to Herr Mateschitz

The question

IS THE 523kW RAM 1500 TRX OBNOXIOUS OR INCREDIBLE?

FOR

It’s fundamentally un-Australian to oppose something with a supercharged V8. There’s a time and a place for a Prius and a time and a place for a T-Rex 

Allan Bickerstaff

AGAINST

Just when you thought the Americans had plumbed the depths of crassness, this happens. We have truly peaked as a species

Liam Killeen