Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 2 February 2008


Yesterday I attended the BIM (Brisbane International Motor Show). This is an annual ritual that I must complete in order to maintain my petrol head status. It’s a bit like the Haj for a Muslim.

I had another excuse. Two of my offspring were in Brisbane sussing out bus routes to their college from their respective accommodations, and I needed a place to be in Brisbane whilst waiting to return them to Toowoomba. (Actually getting the keys to their respective accommodations is another story – reflecting very poorly on the Real Estate industry – but I’ll discuss that in a different post).

There was a different atmosphere (excuse the pun) inside the exhibition hall this year, which can only be put down to anxiety over global warming.

The vehicles claiming the most attention were those promoted with green credentials, hybrids, diesels etc. There was one Hummer which sat lonely and forlorn on the periphery – no one seemed interested.

I guess it shows the power of fear. I’m not coming into the argument of how real the threat is – I’m not qualified, and depend on the scientists, but note the effect it’s having on the average punter’s view of what’s good for him/her in the automotive scene.

Besides, these vehicles are technically fascinating. My experience with Hybrids is gleaned from a number of journeys out west – some of them very extensive – in a number of fleet Toyota Prius*. This is an impressive piece of engineering, and whilst not engaging to drive, very refined, roomy and comfortable.

The Citroen C4 Diesel is another technically fascinating set of wheels that returns about the same fuel consumption as the Prius.

The highlight for me was the 1953 Volkswagen Beetle in the Shannon’s display. It brought about an attack of nostalgia – reminding me of my first car (see left).

Given the VW's tendency towards terminal oversteer, and my driving skills at the time, I wonder how I survived.

*Does anyone know the plural of Prius?

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