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Holden :-( PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Colin Brassington (aka Brash)   
Friday, 20 October 2017 21:34

It's a sad day for Australia, as automotive manufacturing ends today. 

I wish we could blame something (or someone) specific for the demise of local production, but it was simply a death of a thousand cuts. And of course I'm part of the problem given that the only locally manufactured car that I've ever owned was built in 1978.

Maybe it was a silly idea that a country with as small a population as ours could build it's own cars for it's own people. But I'm very glad we did.

The people at the Holden factories over the years, along with those at Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Chrysler, even those who built Nissans, Volkswagens and Minis in the early days; they helped develop the character of this country. And I'm grateful for that.

Thank you one and all.

Holden48-215
Image credit: AustralianBroadcastingCorporation. Used without permission

 
The Curious Case of the Modern Classic PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Colin Brassington (aka Brash)   
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 21:23

There's a guy who parks his motorcycle across from my office almost every day. It's a relatively new Royal Enfield Classic 500, and at about five o'clock most days, he fires up the big bore single, lets it warm up for a minute or two on the fast idle, then pulls out onto our little one-way side street and opens it right up, passing through the traffic lights at wide open throttle.

We affectionately refer to him as '5 o'clock Motorcycle Man' but there's another word I could use to describe somebody who rides one of those things almost every day: Hero.

Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

 
GranTurismo in Real Life? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Colin Brassington (aka Brash)   
Thursday, 31 August 2017 18:17

If you grew up in Australia in the late 90s, you'll know that the original GranTurismo on the original Sony Play Station was the first that most of us saw of the plethora of Japanese sports cars that would flood the country over the next ten or so years. It was the first time that things like the Nissan GT-R, Mitsubishi 3000GT and Toyota Celica GT-FOUR really became known. Sure, we all remember the R32 dominating Bathurst in 1991 and 92, and the Celica was winning rounds of the World Rally Championship, but these were still outside what the mainstream would have seen. 

Anyway, check this out. This is Japanese magazine Best Motoring's 1996 shootout. And it looks a lot like GranTurismo but in live action...

 
Test Drive - Brash's 180SX PDF Print E-mail
Test Drive
Written by Colin Brassington (aka Brash)   
Thursday, 17 August 2017 18:08

You all know that I drive my 180SX everywhere, but what's it like to live with? Well I started this story last year just after I completed the suspension and brake upgrade; but decided I would focus more on the works than the finished product.

Victory

Now, with the car having been sold, I thought I'd finish this (read: edit it) to remind me what I loved about it in the first place. Enjoy!

This will be fun. You are about to take my Nissan for a test drive. Lucky you! Not many have driven this car, a KPS13 chassis 180SX powered by the legendary SR20DET and backed by a 5 speed manual transmission. This example is slightly warmed over but not massively so, retaining the stock turbo, ECU and boost levels. The focus of the build has been suspension and brakes first, power later. So what are you waiting for? Beep the damn thing unlocked and open the door!

The ambers flash all around the car, reflecting off the walls around. The door lock clicks open with a mechanical flunk, and you grab the door handle - a traditional top-swinging one - and pull open the door. The door creaks as it moves around its arc, the door hinges having sagged just a little bit in the 25 or so years the car has been on the road.

 
The Economy of Sales PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Colin Brassington (aka Brash)   
Monday, 26 June 2017 21:57

It's tough selling a car in this economy. Wait, is it really the economy's fault? Well people blame everything else on it so why not. (Fuck you, Rudd Gillard Swan Abbot Hockey ScoMo!) And while I didn't expect my 180SX to sell straight away, I did expect that I'd have a bit more interest than I have had. I also didn't expect the sheer number of time wasters that I've had to deal with.

Victory

The first person who came to look at it met me near home, took one walk around the car and decided he didn't want it. And that's fair enough. Yes my thing is a bit rough, but it's relative - describing the condition as being "good for a 180" means something completely different to "good condition". But the Evo V he turned up in was in better than mint condition, so I figure his standards were high.

 
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