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Home  /  June 2020  /  Comment

I suppose you’ve heard the rumour? You know, that the federal, state and territory governments are going to introduce random COVID-19 testing by highway patrols across Australia.

There you are driving along in your Maser Levante Launch Edition ($420k drive away, no more to pay) because you can’t afford a Fezzer or because you’re too up yourself to be seen in South Yarra in a Haval H2 ($22k drive away, no more to pay and a seven-year warranty compared to five on the Maser, so saving yourself $400k and getting 2 extra years of no worry motoring) even though it does the same stuff and comes with 8″ High Definition Touch Screen, genuine fabric seats, reversing camera with park assist and Bluetooth, when you hear the siren and see the flashing lights of the Fun Police in your rear view mirror.

Immediately you run through the checklist. Was the glass of Hellfire Limoncello ($80 but only because the greatest Limoncello in the world, Dolce Cilento, is not available here, but anyway my usual sip is the grappa the old Italian bloke next door makes and gives me in only slightly used Mount Franklin plastic bottles) followed by the mug of Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny port ($80) enough to put me over the limit this morning? Did she see me asking Siri directions despite having the phone hidden in my shirt pocket? Did I forget to pay the rego again? Did Ronnie put me in for nicking the serviette from his Citta Di Stasio restaurant at the Milan end of Melbourne? Then Constable Plod gets out of the cleverly disguised BMW 5 Series ($90k) walks over and says: “Good morning sir, I’m just doing a random COVID-19 test. I’m going to push this stick up your hooter to the back of your brain and wiggle it a bit and then yank it out. I’ve been told the pain you’ll experience is only slightly less than if you really had the pandemic and the intensive care doctor had inserted a breathing tube into your trachea for mechanical ventilation. OK then, pass me your nose.”

Talking of COVID-19, can I just bring up a nasty impact of the virus which has yet to be the subject of real scientific investigation. Of course, I am talking about the effect it has on materials. I got to thinking about this when I went to put my race suit for the first ever race day in the world since the coronavirus hit town. Yes, it was round four of Motor Racing Australia’s (the home of grassroots motorsport) 2020 series for reasonably priced cars like Excels, Pulsars, VK Commodores, Beemers and a special mention to Jac Cousin’s breathtakingly beautiful black V12 Jaguar E-Type. And your Weekend Australian Racing Team was competing on your behalf in the Shane’s Signs gaudily decorated, Phil Alexander-owned MX-5. Held at what was called Eastern Creek, which was next to the really smelly Eastern Creek tip, the track has been renamed Sydney Motorsport Park and the tip the Bingo Eastern Creek Recycling Ecology Park & Landfill. The tip still smells the same despite the new, flash name.

The Terry Denovan-organised socially distanced day is only of interest to those there, so skip this paragraph if you weren’t. Despite the reasonably priced cars there were a couple of very expensive drivers like Werribee South Supercars’ Anton De Pasquale and Gold Coast 17-year-old Super2 superstar Broc Feeney. In the first race of the day, the one-hour endurance race, Anton and Broc came first. The Pulsar Racing Series saw two closely-contested 30-minute races with Josh Craig, Tim Colombrita, Matt Boylan, Michael Osmond and William Foot, neck and neck (or foot and foot) all the way with Colombrita taking gold. In the most important event of the day, the MX-5 Cup, Andy Harris and Tim Herring each took a win, with your WART team boldly finishing both races. A special call out to race announcer and commentator Lachlan Mansell, who managed to squeeze in about one thousand mentions of the Weekend Australian despite our car being so far back it never appeared on the screen.

In the three months of COVID lockdown my race suit had shrunk. I checked with other clothes I hadn’t worn for a while and it was the same. I immediately rang the old bloke, who, as you know has been walking to and from work with a quick stop off at the Kensi for rehydration, and he has had the same problem. And we thought this was only about our physical and mental health? Readers and friends, have you had the same problem? The seats in both my Porker and Ute have shrunk as well. Where’s the CSIRO when you need it?

Tired of having a million dollar car in a $30k garage? Italian consultancy firm but UAE-based ASZarchitetti Group have answered your prayers with the Supercar Capsules or big glass boxes. The idea is to allow a customer’s supercar to have a “distinct aesthetic experience at home”. The ASZarchitetti team will come around and reno your garage into a showcase; put your car in a glass box out the front of the house in the manner of a sculpture; add a whole new wing to your joint or make mechanised towers of glass boxes.

Look I know there will always be luddites who stand in the way of any new idea. Think local councils, jealous neighbours, car thieves and old Italian blokes next door who will think it will only bring attention to the fact that they have illegal stills going full bore under their carports. (Don’t forget, Best Sheds is offering the first thousand readers who mention this column a 9x10.5x 2.7 Gable End Roof Design carport — also suitable for patios — for only $5.6k.) Ignore the naysayers and pick up the phone now to give your most important asset and friend the home it deserves.

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