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Home  /  March 2021  /  Comment

I think it’s time we all stood up and were counted.

Remember the American Revolution when the soap dodgers tried to force Americans to drink tea instead of watery instant coffee? What about the French Revolution where Queen Mary Antoinette tried to force the frogs to eat gateau instead of baguettes? Then there were the Eel Pulling riots in clog land and the Melbourne Darts riot where, as that authoritative news source, Mental Floss reports: ‘‘Hundreds of spectators, many of them drunk and in costume as Oompa-Loompas, numerous superheroes and one in a ghillie suit (heavy camouflage meant to resemble foliage) began throwing plastic chairs in 2015.’’ Seventy members of Dan’s riot squad later attended and calmed things down.

We need to do the same. Not throw plastic chairs but march against the electric tyranny being forced on us. On Thursday The Daily Telegraph’s Anna Caldwsell (part of this company’s online multimedia offering) told us that not only is the humble fireplace in danger of being snuffed out, the NSW government (communists cleverly disguised as Liberal/Country Party members), will legislate to allow only emission-free (read electric or nuclear) cars.

Eighteen readers, including Arthur Fahy the cylinder-machining king (we can’t repeat his story here), one friend but not family, can we exclusively reveal hybrid and electric car makers have been fibbing to you, governments around the world, their shareholders, their families and whatever life there is on Mars or Uranus. Our favourite consumer organisation, Which? in the UK (they actually buy the cars they test) reports that: “Our own fuel economy tests which are more demanding than those conducted for official consumption figures show that real-world costs are on average an astronomical 252 per cent more expensive than manufacturer claims.” For example, the annual running costs of a BMW X5 plug-in hybrid tubby off roader is 429 per cent more expensive than the Beemer factory says. In fact, the annual running cost of a Volvo XC 60 hybrid is more expensive than the straight (not in a gender sense) diesel model.

And The Wall Street Journal’s (another part of our empire: isn’t cross-promotion great?) Nora Naughton tells us: “Electric vehicles are the US auto industry’s future — if dealers can figure out how to sell them. As auto executives and investors buzz about the coming age of the electric car, many dealers say they are struggling to square that enthusiasm with the reality today on new-car sales lots, where last year battery-powered vehicles made up fewer than 2 per cent of US auto sales.”

This year Lotus will roll out the Evija, an all-wheel drive, $3m, carbon fibre 1500kW hypercar. Yup. It’s all electric. So, you pay the price of a semi near Fountain Gate and get something that doesn’t shout: “I’m richer than you, faster than you, don’t have to wear a tie to work and drink my lattes with almond milk.” Knowing this is never going to get anyone into the showroom, Mr or Ms Lotus commissioned Welsh Morris dance-music producer, Patrick Patrikios, to compose a sound for it. (No, I haven’t had any Coopers with Bundy OP chasers yet). Pat has produced tunes for the non-male artistes Little Mix, Britney Spears, Giorgio Moroder and is known for his own hip hop music. For older readers (over 30) hip hop is a genre of popular music developed in the United States by inner city African Americans and Latino Americans as personified by Public Enemy’s tune Fight The Power. Naturally with lyrics like “while the Black band’s sweating, and the rhythm rhyme’s rolling, got to give us what we want, our freedom of speech is freedom or death, we got to fight the powers that be, lemme hear you say, fight the power”, this beat will become the anthem of our Fight The Electric movement.

But I digress.

Pat took the exhaust note from the 1967 V-8 Cosworth DFV engine, slowed the screaming sound of eight cylinders moving at 11,000rpm then calmed it down into the chopped and screwed music made famous by Houston’s Travis Scott with his hit Sicko Mode. Sicko Mode sampled Big Hawk, the South Side rapper who was shot and killed in 2006 when his was on his way to play dominoes with a friend. Not one for the mass market I would think.

Just before we leave Which? to discuss the crash of the century can I mention their cars-built-to-last list. Most reliable include Mazda MX-5 (2005 to 2015) and Honda Jazz. Most reliable brands are Lexus, Toyota and Suzuki. Least reliable cars are Citroen C4 Picasso, VW Golf estate 2007-13 and the wonderfully named Nissan Qashqai (2007 to 2013). Least reliable brands are Land Rover, SEAT, Subaru and Alfa (the newer the worse they are).

In equally bad news, F1 testing gets under way this weekend in Bahrain, while the real thing starts in two weeks without champagne! Yes, demonstrating Ferrari’s absolute off-track dominance of the Lewis Hamilton benefit races, the F1 bosses have given the French nectar the flick for an upmarket spumante called, wait for it, Ferrari Trento. Talking of crook drinks, our WART Adelaide Rally will be at the Kensi on Monday week. We’d love to see you but due to power (and budget) restrictions numbers are really limited. Please email me if for some unknown reason you want to join us. First in etc.

Finally, Briggsy’s 1961 Maserati 3500GT Vignale Spyder brought $733,225 at the AXA Concours last weekend.

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