FAST WHEELS AND WIN­DOWS

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - MAIL -

Af­ter re­cently read­ing the May is­sue of Leisure Wheels, I no­ticed a few of your con­trib­u­tor’s let­ters had al­ready brought the fol­low­ing sub­jects up: a few asked why so lit­tle Mis­tubishi con­tent is printed in Leisure Wheels. Is it be­cause, as a friend of mine and former fan of a you-know-what put it, “My Pa­jero is bor­ingly re­li­able”? It’s ob­vi­ous I am a Mit­subishi owner, too. I have been more than happy over the last 15 years, af­ter five ve­hi­cles (in­clud­ing my sons’ two) and half-a-mil­lion trou­ble-free kilo­me­tres.

An­other sub­ject in your let­ters col­umn was: why the need for speed? When trav­el­ling in the ve­hi­cles that Leisure Wheels con­cen­trates on, we are go­ing to places that we want to see, not race past. The driver might be hav­ing fun – I know there’s no greater ex­hil­a­ra­tion than pedal to the metal – but usu­ally there are at least an­other three peo­ple in the pas­sen­ger seats try­ing to look out the win­dow strug­gling to en­joy the beau­ti­ful SA scenery whizzing by. This brings me to an­other co­nun­drum: why are the rear win­dows of most SUVs and dou­ble cabs shrink­ing to such an ex­tent that the rear pas­sen­ger will get a crick in his neck look­ing out of them? The driver is busy keep­ing his eyes on the road ahead and re­lies on his guests to keep a look­out for beau­ti­ful views of moun­tains or val­leys, a lion skulk­ing be­hind a bush or a tu­raco up high in a tree. Was that a buf­falo or a wilde­beest? No won­der most South Africans don’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween a black and a white rhino: how will they no­tice whether it has a square or hooked lip while peep­ing out that tiny win­dow, at speeds that defy grav­ity on a bumpy road? Hey, I might be an old bug­ger tree hug­ger, but I’m not some green eco war­rior. Not yet. I come from an age when AJ Foyt said: “There’s no sub­sti­tute for cu­bic inches.” Other than the call of the African fish ea­gle, there’s still no sound that stirs the testos­terone in my veins (what’s left of it) than the rum­ble of a good ol’ Yan­kee V8 on full taps. I also re­mem­ber a re­cent quote from this very mag­a­zine that said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go to­gether”. I agree, but choose your win­dows and driver with great care, if you sin­cerely want to en­joy the great out­doors.

Thanks for a great mag­a­zine that not only con­cen­trates on the most se­ri­ous in­vest­ment of our lives, but makes sure we have fun us­ing it.

Paul van de Wall St Lu­cia

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