We live Hilux on the hog
IT WAS once a relatively easy matter to analyse the Australian population based on our most popular car choices. For 30 years or so, it basically went like this: Ford people bought Falcons, Holden people bought Commodores and subversive academic types bought things likeVWGolfs and Honda Accords.
Then free will was invented. Nowadays Australians buy all manner of vehicles, depending on their needs and budget rather than brand loyalty or genetic programming. Intriguingly, of the record 96,069 passenger cars sold in Australia during May, the most popular was Toyota’s sturdy yet impressively equipped HiLux ute.
What does this HiLux choice say about Australians as a people? Let’s put on our sociology hats and work it out:
Australians are increasingly concerned about global economic chaos, so the purchase of a HiLux represents a resolute defence against distressing international circumstances. Also, it’s really easy to just throw all your shopping in the back.
All of us crave high-paying West Australian mining jobs and want to create the right impression when we turn up at the Pilbara for our interviews. No mining boss will hire anybody with an MX-5. Plus, you can fit almost an entire Bunnings aisle back there.
Sensible Australians have observed the transport options taken by our least rational citizens and selected a vehicle that is most opposed to the fixie bicycles favoured by hipsters. As well, how cool is it to haul a whole month’s worth of groceries home in one load?
OF all places on Earth, you’d imagine that Detroit would be able to cope with cars. After all, this northern US city was for decades the global motor industry capital. Yet roads fell to bits last weekend when IndyCars raced on a Detroit street circuit, creating potholes due to downforce and grippy tyres and eventually leading to a two-hour race delay as organisers attempted to patch up the place. This wasn’t the first time that Detroit has crumbled under pressure. In 1985, when the Motor City hosted Formula One, streets also failed. As a metaphor for American automotive fortunes, Detroit is doing a bang-up job.
OFF THE RADAR
ARE there any radar detectors that are disguised as GPS units? Why, yes, as it happens. Electronics company Escort manufactures just such a device, called the Passport iQ. Actually, the Passport iQ is more of a combined GPS-radar detection device. But it’s illegal almost everywhere in Australia, so don’t buy one. Don’t even think about it.
Mother lode: The HiLux is a miners’ and family favourite