You know there’s a lot of conspiracy theories around at the moment, particularly in Trumpyville.
Some US persons believe the prince of evil spirits and adversary of God in the Abrahamic religions and a coterie of other mates such as movie stars, billionaire Democrats, Michael McMichael and the mainstream media are running the world and the only thing between us and damnation or, worse, being forced to drive electric cars is the Trumpster himself.
By the way, the FT reported this week that Tesla, a company that sold just 360,000 (electric) cars last year, now has a $633bn equity value. GM, a company that sold about three million cars last year, has a $60bn equity value
Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but I have found a similar conspiracy right here in this newspaper, multimedia, digital, mobile and other platforms that reach 7.3 million Australians and others.
Yes, there is a small group of elites who want to force those 7.3 million punters to forgo our four-wheel cocoons of comfort, give up our sensual, sometime sexual relationship with cars to become two-wheel drive temporary citizens of this once borderless country. While you my not have experienced “feelings” for your VW, Edward Smith, now 69, who claims to have had sex with 1000 cars and defends his “romantic” feelings towards vehicles, has.
Ed told the makers of the doco on mechaphilia, My Car is My Lover, “I appreciate beauty and I go a little bit beyond appreciating the beauty of a car only to the point of what I feel is an expression of love,” he said. “I’m not sick and I don’t want to hurt anyone, cars are just my preference.”
Smithy, you’re not on your Pat Malone there, son. We are huge on diversity here. Some of the people on this floor (two) actually catch public transport.
As Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist Mohandas Gandhi said: “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.” Yup, we don’t want anyone to feel they are the odd sock in the laundromat of life. Despite walking 18km a day, Gandho as we used to call him when he first got out of the slammer in ’44, was quite partial to the Ford Model T, the Packard One-Twenty and the Studebaker President.
He (Ed not Gandho) first had sex with a car at the age of 15 and claims he has never been attracted to women or men. His squeeze at the time of the doco was a white VW Beetle named Vanilla.
But his wandering eye spread beyond cars to other vehicles. He says his most intense sexual experience was “making love” to the helicopter from 1980s TV hit Airwolf. Before Vanilla, he had a five-year relationship with Victoria, a 1969 VW Beetle he bought from a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But he confesses that many of the cars he has had sex with have belonged to strangers or car showrooms.
Talking of strange love, this week’s Shannons auction had 13 (spooky eh?) two-wheelers, selling 12. The 1989 Yamaha FZR750R-R OW01 bringing $42k and the 1974 Norton Commando John Player 850cc fetching $35k.
Now before you get too excited, it is a long way off from the $1.3m another Australian paid late last year to buy the 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that held the Australian speed record in 1953. Back at Shannons, a 1972 Porsche 911E 2.4 coupe brought $308,500 while the 28 number plates brought big money with NSW 2020 bringing $262k.
Today I’m (virtually) at the Gooding Hampton Court sale for the extraordinary 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, which should go for $20m. It was part of the Bugatti works Grand Prix team during the 1934-35 seasons. Primarily driven by the equally extraordinary Rene Dreyfus, winning the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. In 1938 it was repainted black and sold to King Leopold III of Belgium. Leo wasn’t a fav in Belgium after he surrendered his country to the Germans in the second big one. On the other hand, Rene was on the nose with the Nazis.
As The Spectator’s Stephen Bayley writes: “A suave, rich, non-observant Nicois Jew, Dreyfus existed in a cascade of Jazz Age brilliance, with plenty of champagne and casino visit. Dreyfus formed the Ecurie Bleue racing team, so called because blue was the designated colour of France in international motor racing.
“This part of Dreyfus’s career culminated in 1938 at the Pau Grand Prix when, in an underpowered car managed by a nicely amateurish team, he beat the German Silver Arrows. These were the pitilessly organised technocrats, with their Porsche-designed Mercedes-Benzes and Auto-Unions, that were mandated by Hitler to demonstrate to the world that the Ubermensch concept applied to cars as well as people, so when Hitler invaded Paris in 1940 his goons were instructed to find and destroy Dreyfus’s car and redact the official record of the Pau GP.”
And talking of cars stopping by themselves, the class action against Toyota for an intake problem with its turbo diesel in the Hilux, Prado and Fortuner ranges sold between October 1, 2015, and April 23 this year (or about 250,000 cars) seems to be nearing some solution. Toyota says it has fixed the problem in its new models, at the same time sending letters to owners offering compensation or replacement cars.
The problem, which I’m sure dealers said they have never seen before, causes the engine to stop, go into limp mode and turn off safety features.