Split­ting lanes

Read­ers have their say about ev­ery­thing on wheels

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

TOUGH TORQUE

YOUR le­gends of mo­tor­ing ar­ti­cles should have in­cluded Peter Wher­rett. Peter’‘s hon­est and out­spo­ken opin­ions haven’t been matched un­til Jeremy Clark­son came on the scene. I can re­mem­ber the brak­ing tests be­tween the Holden of the day and, I think, an Alfa or Re­nault, with the Holden lock­ing the rear wheels in­stantly, cour­tesy of duo-servo rear brakes and the other car stop­ping in half the dis­tance. He then dared to openly say the Holden was no good. At the time, it was taken for granted they were ‘‘the best car in the world’’. Peo­ple used to say this dur­ing any car dis­cus­sion. Add to this the skinny crossply tyres, sloppy steer­ing, poor damp­ing and no sway bar and the crit­i­cism was jus­ti­fied. Peter’s views made him no friends at Holden, but it forced them to de­velop ra­dial tuned sus­pen­sion, a move that changed the pri­mary safety com­pletely and must have saved many lives.

Geoff Nel­son, Ko­rum­burra Wher­rett did great work, but his TV pro­gram Torque did not run for nearly long enough. He was also helped by the ABC, which had no ad­ver­tis­ing in­ter­ests to af­fect his forth­right views.

NOT CON­VERT­IBLE

I HAVE been in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try all my life so have a keen in­ter­est in cars, es­pe­cially older ones. One thing that’s al­ways puz­zled me is why, if back in the ‘80s Ford owned Mazda, did they go to the trou­ble of mak­ing the Capri? Mazda must have been work­ing on the MX5 then. Mazda was even mak­ing a 323 cabri­o­let at the time. That could have been re-badged a Ford quite sim­ply.

John Lins­dell, email The two pro­grams were very dif­fer­ent. The Capri was aimed at the US and cruisey driv­ers who wanted a back seat, and the MX-5 at more sporty driv­ers. The MX-5 was a mas­sive gam­ble but be­came a big suc­cess, while the Capri was re­ally killed by qual­ity prob­lems.

DIESEL DE­LAY

I OR­DERED a Hyundai ix35 on Oc­to­ber 12 and was told it would be ready in De­cem­ber. In Novem­ber the dealer told me they were sold out and I’d have to buy the 2011 model, avail­able in Jan­uary. I was OK with this be­cause the new model has a few more ex­tras. The next date was the start of Fe­bru­ary, and they now say def­i­nitely March 17. Do I look for an­other car? I re­ally liked this car when we took it for sev­eral test runs last year. They are apolo­getic, but that still doesn’t ease the frus­tra­tions.

Pa­trick Phillips, Gee­long There is a global short­age of diesel en­gines at Hyundai-Kia and that is the most likely rea­son for the de­lay. The ix35 and Kia Sportage diesel are both af­fected.

Mys­ti­fied: A reader has a query about the Capri.

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