What’s that smell? (Hint: a lithium battery in a Tesla burning for four hours.) What’s that snoring sound? (Hint: a Tesla driver having a kip while motoring from Sydney to the Goldie on the still unfinished Pacific Highway.) Got some JobKeeper cash and need a lift? (Hint: buy a Black Hawk helicopter.) All that and your chance to own your own porcupine.
Ever harboured the desire to start your own air force, invade some tinpot country (New Zealand?) and become a benevolent despot? You’ve come to the right place baby!
Our friends at Australian Frontline Machinery have 27 slightly used, 1989 build, 1447KW Sikorsky S-70A-9 Black Hawk helicopters and $120m of spares to go to one lucky owner. From its global HQ in Thurgoona, NSW, AFM say: “Our genuine ex-military gear is sold via online auction. All items start at $1 … but these prices do not include on-road costs.” Twenty-seven bucks (plus on road costs) to start your own air force?
If you are just about to head up to Thurgoona can you keep in mind you need a pilot’s licence to fly a Black Hawk. Or in this case 26 pilot licences plus you. Remember the difference between a helicopter and its pilot? The helicopter stops whining when it finishes work.
Helicopters not your go? Too uplifting? What about a porcupine?
At July’s Bonhams motor bike Summer Sale, the ex-Ted Frend, AJS 500cc E90 Porcupine Racing Motorcycle, yours for around $500k. These were the real winning things and while Bonhams got $700k for a later-model E95 10 years ago, this is a better and more authentic buy.
Better still is the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB at RM Sothebys Palazzo Serbelloni auction. Bought new by French film legend, serial marrier and philanderer Roger Vadim and later given to wife Jane Fonda, this is a steal at $3m. Times have changed. His 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider became one of the top 100 cars ever sold when it brought $6.5m in 2012. Now it wouldn’t get near the list.
OK last Sunday at The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Hamo made a rare mistake allowing Mad Max Verstappen to win. Eighteen readers, one friend but no family (why would they read today when their sister/daughter/aunt Sophie is getting married?) you know what happened. The Autodromo is one of the few top tracks that runs anti-clockwise just like the water goes down the toilet bowl in Australia as opposed to Italy where it flushes clockwise. This is of course due to the Coriolis force. If it can do this to poo water, imagine what it does to a Mercedes F1 car.
No Coriolis effect on Teslas. But to be fair and balanced, lithium batteries of the type installed in electric cars take more than four hours to put out if they catch fire and, even when they are put out, they have a bad habit of catching fire again and they can emit a toxic gas that can kill you.
Now this week two people died in Houston when a self-driving Tesla slammed into a tree at high speed, burst into flames, took four hours to put out using 121,000 litres of water and the fireys had to ring Tesla to ask what to do.
Local Constable Mark Herman, told the Wall Street Journal: “Our preliminary investigation is determining that there was no one at the wheel of that vehicle.” One of the two victims was sitting in the front passenger seat and the other was in the back.
Anzac Day on the weekend and important to mention that our own Curley Brydon (DFC and Bar) would have been 100 last week. Highly decorated (“He has convincingly demonstrated his eagerness under all conditions to destroy the enemy by individual attacks with complete disregard for his own safety. Squadron Leader has at all times displayed outstanding courage and coolness and intrepid leadership has proven a source of inspiration to all pilots of the squadron”), youngest squadron leader in the RAAF, loved fast cars and fast planes. Two Australian GP podiums in his Patterson Brydon MG TC Special, set up Diners Club in Australia, joined News Limited in the 1960s to work with his good friend Rupert Murdoch and was appointed the general manager of the Herald & Weekly Times in Melbourne. Appointed general manager and a director of News Limited in Sydney and became vice-president (operations) of the New York Post. I don’t think they make people like Curley any more.