Readers have their say about everything on wheels
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.
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.
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.