“So,” said the boss, “if you want to be here next year you’ve got to get more clicks.” That’s when I made my first mistake. “What are clicks?”
Well it turns out in the media caper now, it’s all about clicks. You need to write catchy headlines and use phrases that are so irresistible that more than 18 readers and one friend (but no family) click and read the column.
Today “7 Xmas Gifts Only People Who Genuinely Love Their Car, Koalas and Australia Will Give”, “The Only Car Brand and Dealer to Buy It From If You Don’t Want to Be A Complete Loser, Dope and Embarrassment To Your Family, Australia and Yourself” and, if we have time, “Three Scientifically Proven Techniques To Make You Look Ten Years Younger and Irresistibly Attractive to the Opposite, Same Sex or All Three”.
Yes, it’s bah humbug time again and what better way to mark the upcoming arrival of the old bloke with the big white beard and then Santa than with a Porker office chair. Yup, get back in the office culture vibe going by showing the serfs — sorry, the team — the boss zooming into the new year with an “original 4-way-plus sports seat as featured in the current Porsche 911”. “Continuous seat height adjustment. Electrical backrest adjuster powered by rechargeable battery. Adjustable armrests. Porsche crest emblazoned on the head section. Seat surface and armrests made of Porsche original black vehicle interior leather. Shell made of grey-silver composite. Five castors for optimum comfort on both hard and soft floors.” All this for $8132 push away no more to pay. Or you could pay $6k more and get a brand new Kia Picanto S manual.
Then again you could go all out and buy a 2010 BMW X5 for $499k. Yes, as one of our three Queensland readers, Stu Scott, points out, the pre-owned page of Ferrari Brisbane’s website has the Beemer at only 10 times the price you could buy one from your local BMW dealer. To get the extra money out of the wood ducks they have cleverly advertised it as a 2018 Feezer 488 GTB. What a way to say ostentation is so pre-COVID at this time of the year or that you can’t tell the difference.
The best yuletide gift you can give your car is a new set of good tyres and brakes. It’s also the best thing you could do to keep the ankle biters safe if you stupidly let them use your motor. Honestly, it will feel and handle like a new car. For you voyeurs, a boxed set of Volumes 1-4 or Volumes 5-8 of our favourite car mag Retromotive. Inside Hub says it’s “one of the world’s 100 best magazines you’ve probably never heard of”. Buy both for $220. Retromotive.com.au
Here’s a sneak way to reward yourself for the year’s effort in a masked pandemic lockdown without your clients or shareholders knowing you’ve spent close to $400k for a four-wheeler. Yes, it’s the Nissan GT-R Nismo, the dominant supercar of our time (that’s what the factory says). Unlike other loud, red euro rockets, the Nismo looks like your grandmother’s car (if Granny had an eye for an unique high-downforce body kit). It has four seats, a big boot and its hand-built engine with twin turbos make it nearly as quick to 100km/h as an F1 car. Best of all, unlike the others, it won’t make a fool of you on the road or track. It’s actually smarter than you are when it comes to pushing the thing hard. Really, the computers have your back.
Two books to consider: 66 on 66: A Photographer’s Journey by Terry Moore was published in 2018, which means you can buy it second hand, give to your bestie and he or she will never know what a Scrooge you are. Terry has travelled and photographed the mother road for nearly 60 years and it’s all here. About $20.
Christine by Stephen King ($18.50) is from 1983 but I promise you will never look at your car in the same way again. In fact, Christine sounds like a lot of readers’ Hondas and Mazdas. She is a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury who seduces young Arne Cunningham and kills anyone who threatens their relationship. “I sat there behind the wheel of my car, not sure what I should do, wishing I was someplace else, anyplace else, trying on shoes at Thom McAn’s, filling out a credit application in a discount store, standing in front of a pay toilet stall with diarrhoea and no dime. Anyplace, man. It didn’t have to be Monte Carlo. Mostly I sat there wishing I was older.”
You know as well as I do the team here don’t give many raps to carmakers or dealers but because it’s our pre-Xmas post-COVID bumper goodwill to all (not quite all) edition here’s our first ever The Only Car Brand and Dealer to Buy It From If You Don’t Want to Be A Complete Loser, Dope and Embarrassment To Your Family, Australia and Yourself award. Wocka Evans from Laguna Real Estate in Noosa (or South Yarra by the sea) is a surfer and the proud owner of a 1964 EH Holden but Ms Wocka has had three Nissan X-Trails.
Her 2016 X-Trail developed auto bearing noises at 70,000km. “As the car was out of warranty by 12 months I took it to our local automatic transmission specialist,” Wocka writes. “After a short drive they mentioned that the main bearings appear to have gone which would be a $5000 exercise to repair.” At their suggestion Wocka went to local Nissan dealer Garry Crick. Garry said he would approach Nissan Australia. “Considering the vehicle was well and truly out of warranty I thought I had no chance of replacement,” Wocka admitted. “After Gazza’s negotiations with Nissan the transmission was replaced at no cost.” Gazza and Nissan boss, Steve Lester, congratulations — the trophies should be with you one day. Probably the same time as we run Three Scientifically Proven Techniques To Make You Look Ten Years Younger and Irresistibly Attractive to the Opposite, Same Sex or All Three”.