Kyle’s Rant

February 19th, 2024Kyle’s Rant

I don’t need all the mod cons in my car. I have a little noise which comes from the passenger seat if I am about to run into danger, it normally squeaks “chout” an abbreviated “watch-out”.

I don’t need all the mod cons in my car. I have a little noise which comes from the passenger seat if I am about to run into danger, it normally squeaks “chout” an abbreviated “watch-out”.

Recently we have been looking at upgrading our ute and this is not a decision I take lightly as since the age of when I could afford it I have only procured new cars.

I never buy top of the range as I don’t see the value of something that I am going to flog to death once I drive it out of the showroom. And I only ever swap my cars after 10 plus years to get the most out of them. So now you can understand why it is such an important decision.

Since I was last in the market and settled on my Mitsubishi Triton, lots of things have changed in terms of cars’ technology and their shapes.

The market is teaming with SUVs which are a great invention for those of us who grunt when we get out of a low sedan, they ride well, don’t have the bounciness of a ute and we do like a good road trip.

The issue is that although they now come with air conditioning in the seats, (yes what an invention, no longer pulling your trousers out of your backside after a couple of hours on the road), they also come
with all the other whizzbangery.

There are lane wandering warnings, entertainment system controls that would have a professional film editor scratching their heads, and handling controls that change from sport to rough for those on the road that have the time to think about the road surface or even give a crap.

The roads around here would have you spinning that dial, hardening up the suspension to get through the potholes and back to sports mode for the odd bit of tarmac that hasn’t suffered the rigours of
the road trains.

But the one thing all the SUVs that I have looked at have in common are pretty homogenised bodies. My first car was a Morris 1100, it was a flat-looking thing that did its job.

In fact it was so flat the bigger 1800 version was nicknamed the “Land Crab”. Back in the eighties I would never have considered a new car, I always had the arse hanging out of my pants.

Besides, as a young seaman I spent a lot of my time on the water part of the earth, so a big investment didn’t make sense.

But back in those days we were spoilt for choice with the most vibrant cars to choose from including the American models, Australian Holdens and Fords and English cars like the Triumph and MG brands.

At one point in my life, once every week for around six months, I would go to the Auckland car auctions on a Wednesday night where my uncle and father divulged a few tricks and tips to buy the cars for a bargain.

Like crossing the spark plug leads to make the car run rough and putting off the other buyers. Or pouring a small spoonful of oil over the manifold so about the time the vehicle was presented for auction the manifold had heated up and smoke billowed from under the bonnet.

I would buy these cars for a bargain, quickly repair their newly discovered faults, drive the 200 kilometres to my hometown of Whangarei and make money at the Friday auctions.

A history I am not necessarily proud of, but it was colourful, and it was not like I was stealing things, it was just a way to get a bit more of a bargain.

Yes, on reflection it was bad behaviour.

Because of the boringness of the new car designs I have decided to hang on to my old ute, after all it runs nicely, has always been well maintained and I don’t need “whizzbangery” I have a Donna.

Without her observations and remarks, I would be running red lights, crashing into buildings and taking out the elderly. New car rant over…

(Ed’s note: Hmmm. Who has been in a car accident, or two? Kyle or me?)

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