Grand tourin’ on the cheap
When I purchased my Mitsubishi GTO a few months back, it never crossed my mind that my new grand tourer would be somewhat affordable on fuel. The GTO has a very large-capacity petrol tank, and even so it doesn’t cost me over $100 to fill up. What mileage do I get to this $100, you ask? Well, that’s a sensitive subject, but at least the pain of fuelling the big-bodied, high-capacity turbocharged ’90s machine is far less painful than it was six months ago. Media have blamed the low fuel prices for many things, including the extremely high road toll, but from my point of view it has only increased the quantity of people enjoying their petrol-guzzling performance vehicles and hitting the open road, cruising to events, or getting down to their local circuits. Although I doubt the mainstream media will ever do a news piece on the happiness this cheaper fuel brings the performance-car culture.
Not only does it allow more enjoyment, it also makes for more pennies in your pocket at the end of the week, which as we all know equates to more performance upgrades and better maintenance for our pride and joys. I find myself getting the GTO out from under the covers more often. I even drove the Pohutukawa Coast Trail the other weekend to stretch her legs, and boy did the car perform well.
While on said drive, I had the opportunity to have my car reviewed by an American YouTube channel named The Smoking Tire, after it had finished filming Faizal Ramzan’s 600kW R34 GT-R. It was great meeting the team for many reasons, but most of all I wanted to know what they thought of the Kiwi car culture. From what I could gather, they think that every New Zealander has a welder in their shed, that we refuse to pay someone to work on our car unless we have to, and that we have very odd dream cars. Instead of dreaming about exotics such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris, we’d prefer a “Toyota Starlet with an RB”. I think they’ve hit the nail on the head, well at least for some of us.