OVER THE UNDER
Todd and I are our own worst critics when it comes to this game of pages we play every month. We kinda have to be, because it’s the only way to keep ourselves honest — not just in what we’ve gotten right, but in what we consider to be f**k ups or things to fix. If every issue was a pat-ourselveson-the-back-and-say-everything’s-hunky-dory session, we’d be on the fast track to oblivion. The quest for perfection is a futile one, one that will never be achieved, but the best we can do is try. So, as I write this — yet again a few hours before this issue’s print deadline — I can quite honestly say that this is the first issue we’ve produced in a while where I am thoroughly pleased with the quality of the content we’ve managed to cobble together. The last few months have been a massive learning curve for us both, with Todd now being stationed permanently in Wellington, as most of you will know. It’s been extremely hard on the team, especially Mark, our long-suffering designer who has ended up slapping the whole thing together in just a week, single handedly. But I think we’ve finally found the groove that we need to be in to produce magazines at the level we expect, and that you, the reader, deserve. We’re planning pretty far ahead, and I’m really excited to see some of the cars and features that we have in the works come to fruition. One of those cars is the one we’re planning for next issue’s cover, and it’s one I’ve been super barred up about since first catching wind about it. Powered by a very special motor, the likes of which has never appeared in a feature car while I’ve worked here, it’s also proudly Blue Oval, which acts as a not-sosubtle segway into … The end of Australian manufacturing. With Ford having wrapped things up around this time last year, and Holden following suit as we put this issue together, it’s a bit of a dark day in the automotive scene down under. Whatever side of the fence you sit on — and it’s a fence that I understand, but have always found slightly silly — there is no denying that the cessation of these charismatic vehicles in pursuit of the big corporate coffers is a bit of a kick in the balls to the enthusiasts, especially those whose livelihoods will be affected. Sure, it may make economic sense, and in terms of consumer expenditure there is an undeniable trend of voting with wallets and not hearts, but time will tell whether the new ‘global’ models will possess the same sense of charisma that so endeared the Falcons and Commodores to us. I suspect not, and that we’ve taken an irreversible step towards the McDonald’s of the automotive industry — the same in every country, with a few surface-level tweaks to make their products slightly relevant to their market. In South-East Asia, you get sweet chilli sauce rather than tomato sauce, but the Big Mac is still the same. It may be the wrong place for it, but I think Honda got it right with their ‘ The power of dreams’ slogan — are today’s kids going to aspire to own a hottedup Opel Insignia or Ford Mondeo? I don’t know, but if I was a betting man … I’ll leave you with that to mull over, and will see you next issue — I feel confident in saying that it will be even better than this one!