The old bloke and I were test-driving an Orange Fury Ford Mustang GT that we had hired from Hertz at Brisbane airport, since, sensibly, the car manufacturers don’t talk to me. We were trying to answer the question we posed last week: why has Kelly Racing moved from Nissans to Ford Mustangs for next year’s Supercar season?
Now, of course, we could have just rung Kelly boss Nick Ryan and asked him but what’s the fun in that?
And Michael McMichael (so good they named him twice) has a soft spot for Nissan despite his last experience with the brand being a 1962 Datsun Bluebird although he says the Nissan Homy Super Long was more his go. (Cue schoolboy humour with other weird car names like the Great Wall Wingle, Ford Probe, Isuzu GIGA 20 Light Dump, Mitsubishi Lettuce, Daihatsu Naked, Daihatsu Scat and the Mazda Bongo Friendee.)
Anyway, we were burbling along the aptly named Bruce Highway listening to a few beats from the Dead Kennedys’ debut album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. We had been singing along to the wonderful tune Kill the Poor (you know that great part where the lyrics go, “So let’s get dressed and dance away the night, while they kill kill kill kill kill the poor”).
Mick, who has a birthday coming up during our attempt to take line honours at the Adelaide Rally in December (I promised I wouldn’t tell his age but I know the three of you won’t tell anyone that he turns the big 70), sat bolt upright (well as upright as a bloke of his age can) and slowly muttered “online brain surgery”.
Friends and readers, it was like when that old Greek friend of Mick’s, Archimedes (in those days poor people couldn’t afford second names) screamed “eureka!” after stepping into a bath. Look I don’t know what’s so special about stepping into a Greek bath but maybe Arcko was the first to break the long-standing soap-dodging caper common to the ancients. Anyway, Mick’s pronouncement was as important as the time, three years ago, when he decided to take up royal nude portrait painting in the inviting and contemporary Kensi corner bar while singing the Dead Kennedys’ soulful tune Let’s Lynch the Landlord.
Mick has just come back from LA where he was doing a PhD in BMW electric cars with other independent service geniuses such as the oracle of Osborne Park, David Dye, and the hustler of Hornsby, Rob McBrien. As a result of not being on the tools for two weeks and being on a self-funded research project to taste every alcoholic beverage available along the hot concrete streets of the darkly romantic City of Angels, the Sultan of Stepney is also a bit light on.
So we have been thinking about getting into the IPO tech caper where you come up with an idea like rebranding laybuy, sending puppies and kittens by mail and clearing office floors of everything, stacking the space with little desks and playing loud funky music thus creating a vibe where younger persons are happy to pay 20 times the normal rent for something the live cattle trade would condemn as inhumane. Evidently when you do this some smarties from the Wolf of Wall Street come along and deposit a hundred million big ones in your bank account.
The King of Kensi reckons we’re on a winner with online brain surgery. Here’s the pitch: Tired of going to a hospital to have the lid lifted off your noggin so the neuroquacks can have a poke around? With Brain Surgery at Home we deliver, by drone, all the instruments you need to do any brain procedure in the comfort of your own joint. Once you have all the gear, you just sit in front of the tele while one of our online specialists from Botswana instructs your partner, mate from the pub or one of your kiddies in opening, fiddling and closing. And Mick will throw in a free service for your Beemer or a Weekend Australian Racing/Rally Team polo shirt complete with not one but two Weekend Australian pens that don’t work. All our work is guaranteed. If you’re not happy with any aspect of the service on your car, Mick will shout you the Coopers of your choice.
Could it get any better than that? We’re still ironing out a few details but when the prospectus is ready, you’ll be the first to get the inside running on this once-in-a-lifetime occasion including, as usual in the stockbroking business, any insider-trading opportunities.
Getting back to the question of the day. Look, it’s clear for about $67k the Mustang GT is a super buy. It’s worth it for the exhaust note alone, as long as you don’t go all wussy and choose to go to neighbourhood mode so the people next door don’t know you have a V8 under the bonnet and that you’re an immature hoon at heart. The car handles really well. Sports mode makes you feel like you’re sitting inside a lion waiting to pounce.
So, easy to see why Kelly Racing shifted. Key thing for them is to keep Swiss superstar Simona de Silvestro in supercars. A big shout out to Katie Page from Harvey Norman for sponsoring the only woman in the series.
And if you’re thinking of American muscle (the choices were well reviewed by our own Phil King in The Australian last Tuesday), I would save $100k and buy the GT or a Bullitt if there are any left rather than the locally available Chev Camaro ZL1 ($US64k in America, $180k in Australia) or the upcoming mid-engined Chev Corvette ($US71k there, $160k here).
Talking of Corvettes my friend Jim Osterman put a small part of his collection of Corvettes up for auction at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction a couple of weeks back. Jim sold 10 C1 Corvettes, the first-generation Chevrolet sports cars produced from 1953 to 1962 and one C2 Corvette, a Sebring Silver 1963 split-window coupe with fuel injection.
We talk a lot here about the importance of history and condition. Five of Jim’s 11 cars at the auction have been honoured by the National Corvette Restorers Society with their Top Flight award, which is only given to the finest original cars and that was why most went for up to $350k.
Sorry, out of space. Next week the full Mazda story; Sam Hill from the BP Woolgoolga Service Centre takes on WRC; Briggsy’s imitation Feezer and a drink in Adelaide with the old bloke and me when the boss lets the moths out and puts $5 on the bar.