Any colour as long as it shines

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

I read with in­ter­est about the pref­er­ence for white cars and have to agree that in our cli­mate this seems to be the most prac­ti­cal colour. It is also in­ter­est­ing to note that on any given day on the road, the pre­dom­i­nant colours are white, sil­ver, black and red. The main rea­son I sus­pect this is so is the lack of al­ter­na­tives avail­able to mak­ers. Va­ri­eties, in­clud­ing pas­tels, would give buy­ers more choice and make driv­ing a less sober ex­pe­ri­ence, if noth­ing else. Some mak­ers — take Audi — do make these colours but they are ‘‘not avail­able in Aus­tralia’’. I’ve al­ways mainly bought white but would love a light blue or green just for a change. But if it’s not a Ford, I go with­out.

DonPage, email

Many car com­pa­nies have un­usual colours and Holden has a long his­tory of a ‘‘ hero’’ colour each year for the Com­modore, from gold to green, pale blue and pur­ple. Re­strict­ing your­self to Fords prob­a­bly isn’t help­ing but the bold black-and-red look on the lat­est FPV GT shows even the blue oval can go wild.

ELEC­TRIC SHOCKS

I tested the Toy­ota Prius C last week and it’s bril­liant but for the lack of some form of sus­pen­sion. Surely with to­day’s tech­nol­ogy a ride some­thing bet­ter than solid could be achieved. What sort of feed­back do other read­ers have? Do other coun­tries have roads so much bet­ter that they only need that sort of set-up? Also, with a hy­brid, why can’t we have a so­lar panel on the bon­net or roof? It could charge when your car sits all day at work, as most do. Per­haps we need to jump up and down more about what we want in Aus­tralia.

James Scott, email

Hy­brids of­ten ride firmly be­cause they have low-rollingre­sis­tance tyres, which have very hard side­walls and trans­mit a lot of shocks into the sus­pen­sion. There have been so­lar pan­els on cars in the past but buy­ers weren’t pre­pared to pay for them, and the trend now is for plug-in hy­brids with bat­ter­ies boosted from a socket.

COROLLA THE PICK

I drive an ’89 Camry — but don’t laugh be­cause it’s been a good car. You re­cently gave the Corolla hatch a great re­port and I won­der if the im­prove­ments were made to the sedan as well? I think there is a new Corolla hatch due this year, so will there be a new sedan as well? Would you rec­om­mend a Corolla man­ual sedan or should I look at some­thing else? I will also look at the cur­rent Camry and su­per­seded Au­rion (both au­tos and pos­si­bly too big for what I need) so which would you rec­om­mend?

Pat Pit­son, email

There will be a Corolla sedan, prob­a­bly about the same time as the hatch. The Corolla is still rec­om­mended as a man­ual sedan and the new Camry is def­i­nitely prefer­able to the older Au­rion.

DRIVEN SPARE

Last month I or­dered a new Toy­ota 86 with an an­tic­i­pated build date of Oc­to­ber 2012. Then I had a phone call from the dealer ad­vis­ing that, as of Septem­ber pro­duc­tion, a spare tyre was no longer be­ing pro­vided, with a re­pair kit sup­plied in lieu. The dealer also con­firmed there was no op­tion of a spare tyre and jack. As a coun­try mo­torist, I find this un­ac­cept­able. The last two punc­tures I had re­sulted in the tyre be­ing ir­repara­ble, so a tyre re­pair kit is no way of re­solv­ing the prob­lem. I voiced my con­cern to the dealer, con­tacted my lo­cal mo­tor­ing as­so­ci­a­tion and have also writ­ten to Toy­ota Aus­tralia to see if the boot space mod­i­fi­ca­tion pre­cludes car­ry­ing a spare else­where. I con­tacted a Subaru deal­er­ship about the BRZ, and they con­firmed that it is pro­vided with a full-size spare and are more than will­ing to take my money — but the wait­ing list is nine months. I would love Toy­ota to re­verse this de­ci­sion.

Reg Jones, email

Looks as if you’ll be buy­ing a BRZ be­cause Toy­ota will not re­verse the spare tyre de­ci­sion. It’s ap­par­ently be­ing dropped be­cause of com­plaints about in­suf­fi­cient boot space with the full-sized spare in place.

MU­SEUM CLOSES

I re­cently called in to the Ford Mu­seum at Gee­long. It was the last day open. Staffed by vol­un­teers, not prop­erly sup­ported by Ford, not sup­ported at all by the Gee­long coun­cil, it was re­ally a shame. It was in a Deakin Univer­sity build­ing and the uni wanted the premises back. Lots of long faces and peo­ple are re­ally wor­ried Ford will sell some very col­lectable cars.

John Austin, email

Seems like yet more bad news on the Ford front.

Per­fect Blue: Holden isn’t colour-shy — this is last year’s cool trib­ute to

Peter Brock

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