The All-New Jaguar F-Pace lights up Vivid Sydney

Jaguar New Sponsorship Vivid Sydney GAYCARBOYS

Jaguar announced today the launch of a new sponsorship with Vivid Sydney 2016 as a Vivid Supporter. In celebration of the luxury British carmaker’s 80th anniversary, Jaguar will light up Martin Place as part of the 23 day festival of light, music and ideas, the largest of its kind in the world.

A highlight of the Vivid Supporter sponsorship will be a creative light installation built around and inspired by the All-New Jaguar F-PACE, a car that Jaguar is calling ‘an SUV with the soul of a sports car’. From 6.00pm each night of the Festival, Jaguar’s light projection artwork, created in collaboration with the festival’s creative director Ignatius Jones, will illuminate the Vivid precinct on Martin Place.

Vivid Sydney (27 May to 18 June, 2016) is an initiative of Destination NSW, the Government’s tourism and major events agency, and each year transforms the city into a colourful canvas of light, music, and ideas, in a major celebration of the creative industries.

In 2016, it will run for an additional five nights, providing visitors with even more time to experience the spectacular light, music and ideas that illuminate the Harbour City each winter.

The Jaguar F-PACE, which will take centre stage at Vivid, is the ultimate practical sports car, blending exhilarating performance with intuitive technology and maximum efficiency. Underpinned by Jaguar’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, F-PACE holds Jaguar’s performance DNA at its core. The F-PACE first launched in Frankfurt in September 2015 with a gravity-defying performance on the eve of the Motor Show, showcasing its dynamic performance credentials by completing the world’s largest 360 degree loop, in celebration of Jaguar’s 80th anniversary.

Says Matthew Wiesner, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Australia: “We are excited about this Vivid Supporter sponsorship with Vivid Sydney, a festival which brings together art, technology and ideas. Jaguar is a car that is all about the art of performance and Vivid Sydney gives us a creative platform to present the latest expression of that DNA, the all-new Jaguar F-PACE.”

The Name’s 7, Q 7

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 200kW gaycarboys (2)

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 200kW gaycarboys (1)Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 200kW gaycarboys (3)

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Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 200kW gaycarboys (11)Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 200kW gaycarboys

Yes yes yes, Oh YES: superb engine, quiet cabin, feels expensive

Not so much: the VW scandal, possible resale issues

I can picture the Q7 in a Bond flick. It would be driven by a heavily tattooed muscle-for-hire thug. In the back seat, a rancid villain would be running his evil empire shielded from the law by the dark tinted privacy windows. There is no risk of accidently starting WWIII by pressing the wrong button on his tablet. He won’t be unceremoniously jostled by errant potholes, because he wouldn’t feel them. The ride is as smooth as a baby’s bum and the cabin as quiet as a church.

Of course, the Audi doesn’t need fettling by Q branch because the Quartermaster couldn’t come up with much more than is standard from the factory. If the evil villain wanted more, he could check all the options boxes costing many many farthings.

That’s a great shame because it is from the driver’s seat where the true joy lies.

The driver gets to choose what info he is looking at on the big centre LCD. It replaces conventional dials, or he can choose the pop-up screen in the centre stack. Some info, such as the Satnav, can be displayed in one or both locations. Like the fabulous TT, the driver’s panel completely replaces all of the awkward dials and gauges. You can minimize the speedo/tacho dials to favour other displays. If you’re really keen you can have most of the screen for the Satnav. Even in that mode you get all of the info you need to make the usual driving decisions. It makes even the most ham-fisted bogan seem capable and intelligent.

There is only 1 engine option, the 200kw V6 turbo-diesel with a stupefying 600Nm of torque. it can pull this 2060kg car up a 60% slope with 7 people on board. I can’t imagine why even the most desperate despot would want to do that, but it’s about options. The cargo hold has a couple of occasional seats operated by electric buttons located just inside the electric tailgate. If the despot decides on a bit of light gun-running, he can press another button in the cargo hold to lower the rear end of the Q7 (in the air suspension models). It’s much easier on the back as some of those crates hold quite a heavy load. It saves all the brouhaha and puffing trying to lift heavy things.

Q7 seems to be one of the few cars not affected by the fact that limo companies have bought them in droves. They ferry busy VIPs from their private jets to their deluxe suites in town. I wondered why so many movie stars seemed to prefer Q7 hire cars, until I drove one. On the highway the Q7 crouches slightly, as if that’s going to make any difference to the drag co-efficient on a car that size.

You might expect the Audi to wallow about the place like a grange-drinking politician, and it does, even if the sportier suspension mode is selected. This doesn’t overly concern me. If I wanted to go quicker to 100kph than 6.5 seconds, I’d probably buy something else. Even with body roll, you never feel like the tyres will let go.

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 200kW gaycarboys (5)You don’t often find a car that all passengers compliment without prompting. I had occasion to do an airport run. I’m not sure why all international flights arrive at Sydney Airport at 7am but this practice is one which should be abolished. Kingsford Smith International instigated a new practice where short term parking can be had in an organized way. You can drive into a parking spot then out the other side after you’ve collected your PAX (that’s airport talk for passengers innit). Of course, there was room for 4 beefy lads and some super-gay-sized luggage. You know what queens are like? Never pack one shirt when 50 will do. The chaps had been on a boozy Thai adventure and had come back complete with tchotchkes and hangovers. I was pleased with the universal praise heaped upon my humble people SUV.

There are a few things worth noting:

1: The Q7 takes up most of a parking spot. This is no problem as the reverse camera has many modes, one of which is a 360° aerial view. It’s a great idea but not so easy to use around posts and pillars. For some reason the posts are a bit hard to see. They’re much easier to navigate using the windows and a door mirror or two. There is an automated parking option if you’re completely useless.

2: The fuel consumption, which has been the subject of much talk, is excellent. This 2 tonne behemoth fairly whisks round town doing well under 10L/100k, more or less. On the highway it does even less and could do the Sydney/Melbourne run on a single tank.

3: The Q7 feels like a pucker limo

After doing the city thing for a few days we took a spin down into the gorge and along the switchbacks into Kangaroo valley. It’s a nice spot for a weekend getaway and has some brilliant roads, but a word of warning; they should be treated with respect. Those hairpins and seeping corners have magnificent views, which shouldn’t be enjoyed simultaneously. There is an ancient bridge leading into Kangaroo valley proper. In the tiny settlement is a small but tasteful collection of touristy shops, eateries and a quite decent pub. Surrounded by mountains on one side, and farming land on the other, it’s the embodiment of bucolic beauty Australian style. The roads are in various states of repair, but even the worst of the battle-scarred bitumen was smoothed out especially in comfort mode. We rolled into town in time for a quiet lunch and small shandy. It’s exactly the way I could imagine an Audi owner to be enjoying a few snatched moments of relaxation.

We also popped in to the HARS at Albion Park Rail (near Wollongong).

Kangaroo Valley (1)Kangaroo Valley (3)

Above Left: view from the Kangaroo Valley road. Above Right: bridge into Kangaroo Valley village

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Above: The Q7 in Kangaroo Valley pub carpark. Above right: Kangaroo Valley

Below: The pub at Kangaroo Valley

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Below:  Historic Aviation Restoration Society at Albion Park Rail

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Below: The City of Canberra (747-438) and the Q7 at HARS

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The different driving modes make little difference to the handling so you may as well be comfortable. The exception is the terrain selection and descent control. The may well come in handy and the air suspension gives up to 245mm of ground clearance. If you need to, it can wade into water 535mm deep. Think about that for a moment; the Q7 can be over half a metre deep in a creek. Why?

You have Quattro AWD which makes a huge difference to handling and grip. The smart system makes sure there is as little slippage as possible and is the same as is used in other Audi road cars. It imbues a sense of calm and confidence in every condition encountered. As well as that, the cabin was eerily quiet. Most of the time, the loudest noise was the air coming from the climate-control vents.

A few final words about the cabin;

It is beautiful. The leather feels soft, the metal highlights look tasteful, and the genuine fake imitation woodgrain looks classy. Normally, I loathe fake wood but here it looks completely in-keeping. Of course, like all but the very top uber-expensive luxury models, not everything you think is leather is actually leather. Hard wearing vinyl is perfectly matched and is used in places of high wear like the outside of seat bolsters, and in areas of low contact such as the rear surface of seats. If you can’t tell, does it make any difference?

The centre console houses Mission Control. There’s a nifty touch pad and an electronic gear selector. We were all frightened by the truly diabolical BMW Idrive in its first iteration. That 7 series made the simplest chores fiendishly difficult. No so for the Audi system. Nothing is more than a few clicks away and most things are where you expect them to be. You rarely have to go into the menu while driving but if you do it is best left to a passenger. There is voice control, but like most voice control, is like a naughty child being told it can’t have another lolly. It simply repeats “try again” or something equally annoying.

There only a few concerns and they are those relating to the trouble at Volkswagen HQ. Some idiot was fudging the emissions figures. This will be fixed, but at what cost to fuel consumption and reputation? If the engines could register those figures while using only a whisper of fuel and producing that much power, there would be no need for figure-fudging.

There is a further problem reported about some engines and their cam shaft lobes. Most cam shafts are milled from a single piece of metal, but VW uses lobes pressed into the shaft. Presumably they’re held in place by a dowel of some kind. The dowel has sheared off allowing the lobe to come away. The resulting damage could be substantial in engines where pistons and valves occupy the same space at different times. I haven’t yet had the chance to ask Audi about these issues but I’d recommend caution rather than panic. We’ve been reporting for years that fuel figures and manufacturer claims didn’t match, but buyers kept buying anyway. Since nothing has changed, the only thing that could be a problem is people running about the place with their hands in the air screaming “we’ll all be rooned”. This would make the resale value of all VW brands plummet. It won’t do the rest of the industry much good either. However, buyers have a right to expect the claims made regarding any of the specs to be honest and accurate. In fact, it is the law.

The revelations haven’t affected my view on VW and its sub brands. It hasn’t made their vehicles less worthy, but buyers will be the judges. If I could do one thing, it would be to bitchslap the bloke who thought faking figures was a good idea.

The Q7 is around $115 grand on the road and that’s no small potatoes, but considering what you get for the money, it isn’t too bad. If you want a cheaper SUV, buy one but it will not drive like the Q7 does. Nor will it make you feel special.

Would I buy one? Yes, with some trepidation, and only because I fear second-hand buyers will panic.

Price: from $114,260 (including $7,673 luxury car tax) on road NSW

Engine: V6 turbo diesel, common rail injection, Euro 6

Trans: 8 speed auto with lockup converter


Audi A5, Marie Bashir and Mardi Gras

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Yes Yes Yes oh YES: great looks, expensive cabin, Quattro AWD, open top

Oh dear me no: Options can be pricey

The A5 is my favourite Audi. It has perfect proportions with just the right mix of masculinity, class and X factor. It isn’t showy but it is definitely impressive. There is a certain aura which attracts comment and until the recent Lexus RC-F was the most commented-on car since the first drive of the Toyota 86. The black on black convertible looks a little menacing but in the nicest possible way.

You might think a 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder might have trouble hauling around such a big car but it is quite the opposite. In the city, the A5 feels as light and nimble as a playful kitten. On the highway the smooth ride is limo-like and you could easily imagine doing many hours in the saddle just for the joy of it. This means as well as being a perfect city car, you also have a grand tourer which is thrifty as a Scotsman’s wallet. The 3.0L petrol is available but doesn’t have quite the same economy.

One of the common myths about open top cars is that they are cold, or hot and your expensive coiffure would be decimated in seconds. It is true that in very hot weather you’ll need the roof up if you don’t want 3rd degree burns but other than rain, there is no reason not to experience the unadulterated pleasure of being at one with nature.

One of the duties on the Mardi Gras weekend was to drive the Chiefs of parade who this year were Prof The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, ex governor of NSW and her hubby Sir Nicholas Shehady, ex Lord Mayor of Sydney and Aussie rugby captain. Their extensive list of achievements makes them both much adored by New South Welsh-people. An A5 was perfect for such laudable and inspiring VIPs but more about them later.

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The A5 range has a coupe, convertible and fastback as family members and all have the same impeccable interiors. They have 1.8, 2.0 and 3.0 petrol and 2.0 and 3.0 diesel engines. For anything more powerful you’ll need to shop in the “S” models. For me, the fastback isn’t quite the success of the 2 door version but it is none the less popular. The cabriolet’s cabin has the same exclusive feel as its handsome exterior. The switch gear has the solid feel of quality and the leather comes from pampered cows who have never seen a barbed wire fence. And, there is lots of room too. The 2 VIP seats in the rear are deeply sculptured but like most big coupes wouldn’t be suitable for a really long journey, but for a circuit around town are just right. The front seats can also waft a cool breeze through the seat cushion on a hot day, and warm air at neck level on cool days.

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The Drive mode is selectable giving different ride and engine responses. In any mode it is a pleasure to drive. The roof can be lowered or raised at speeds of 50kph which means that should the weather turn unexpectedly septic, you can gently caress the control and raise the triple layer ragtop and in a thrice you’re cocooned. With the roof up the Audi is almost as quiet as the coupe version. We drove through some particularly nasty storms but we felt as cosy as if we’d been wrapped in our favourite doona. The story was the same on the highway. With the roof up, the atmosphere was that of a mid-century modern gentleman’s club but going topless at any speed didn’t ruin the hair-dos. As with any convertible, if you really want the full Monty you must leave the windows down. This is how we did the Royal National Park drive so we could smell the forest, and hear the birds. Imagine driving through some of Australia’s ancient growth but feeling like you’re still in your cosy lounge room. It is pleasure free of guilt or inconvenience. We stopped in a small clearing in the rain forest. We turned the engine off and there we were, sitting in leather lounge chairs with our feet buried in sumptuous carpet. We were surrounded by leather, chrome and aluminum and felt as if Jeeves had unrolled a carpet and laid out the club lounge on the forest floor. The smells and sounds completely uninterrupted by glass or steel and we felt part of the scenery, not just distant onlookers. This is how life must be experienced, not sealed inside a clinical capsule however luxurious it may be. I can’t help but feel we have become disconnected from our surroundings. The slightest hint of moisture or a half a degree temperature change sends us into panic stricken conniptions. Try sitting in a forest in a convertible and see how you feel.

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The roof is the most important ingredient of the convertible. This one has several layers of acoustic material and is a soft top. The advantage over folding steel is the amount of space it allows in the boot whether stowed or deployed. A neat feature is the roof cover which swings up towards the rear rather than being hinged at the rear edge. The complex mechanism opens much faster than a conventional hinged cover and the glass-windowed roof is then able to open or close with the whole process taking only about 20 seconds. If you change your mind after you’ve left the vehicle you can operate the roof from the door lock using the key. Now that is real genius.

The Bang and Olufsen sound system sounds great and is easy to use. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought it would sound better but perhaps that is because the more I drove it, the higher the bar was raised.

Once we hit the curves, the Quattro AWD hung on, and despite her size changed direction like a cat on carpet. The A5 has a way of making things feel like they are happening in slow motion. It has the excitement of a roller coaster, with posh seats and air conditioning. Everything feels calm, considered, and controlled.

Mardi Gras:

Marie Bashjir AUDI

When Audi heard Marie Bashir and Nick Shehady were chiefs of the Mardi Gras Parade they were thrilled and suggested the capacious A5 to add a sense of occasion.

We arrived early as the chiefs lead the parade and the vehicles line up in order of procession. I mustered the support of a dear old old old old friend for moral support. The scene was one of organized pandemonium. Slowly the marshaling zones began to fill with floats, frills and frothy costumes. There was a lot of bare skin and more buns than a Sunday morning bakery. We had gotten a bad case of nerves by the time the VIPs arrived. What do we call them? What will they think of a million queens throwing glitter with gay abandon? And, the buns!

Audi A5 in the marshalling areaThe Audi waiting for Dame Marie and Sir Nicholas gaycarboys

Several hours later, as the light began to fade, we found out.

Dame Marie and Sir Nick appeared through the chaos in an electric buggy. There were meeters and greeters shaking hands and taking selfies and not once did the couple complain or refuse. No sooner was the car door open and the octogenarians leapt into the back seats with the enthusiasm of spring lambs. I’m not sure which of them was looking forward to the event more. As Dame Marie is so petite, she asked that the seat back be lowered so she could perch on it for extra height. I suggested it might not be very comfortable but she was having none of it. What a trooper.

Marie Bashir nick shehady audi A5 mardi gras 2015She said she had wanted a rainbow flag but didn’t know where to get one. Luckily my hubby had bought her one for which she was most grateful. The first Australians also flooded us with flags to make a festive occasion feel even better.

The signal was given, and the parade began to move off. I said “OK kids, hang on, Off we go”. There is a lot of love out for both Dame Marie and Sir Nick. Dame Marie is our much loved Ex-governor who has worked in the community for tens of decades. Sir Nicholas is the ex-Lord Mayor of Sydney, Ex rugby captain and businessman and also much respected and loved.

Surprisingly you can hear everything said form the crowd. Many were heard shouting “we love you Marie” but there were also many comments about the car. Who’d have thought it? The DSG is a bit tricky to drive any distance at speeds of 5kph. The clutches grab and release making the ride feel like a series of mini surges but we coped. Dame Marie passed several gracious remarks about the Audi, and she should know what luxury feels like. She has been driven about in Jags and Rollers, and has greeted kings, queens and princes and entertained them at Government House.

dame marie and sir nick gaycarboys

Dame Marie told me to make sure she didn’t miss any well-wishers, even those on high balconies. We paused in Taylor Square for the raising of the Pride Flag then, sallied forth. As we turned in to Flinders St I heard “hey mum, mum, over here”. I asked Dame Marie if she had a daughter and pointed out a shouting lady. I presumed the shouts of “mum” she was not talking to any of the male passengers.

Towards the end of the route the crowd thinned we chatted more informally, as if any of the drive had been formal. That is not the Mardi Gras way. Sir Nick told us how the couple met and pointed out Marie’s school as we passed Girls High. He tapped my shoulder again pointing out the stand in his name at the football stadium. They couldn’t be prouder. Dame Marie said “you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Nowhere does a party like Sydney”, and she is right. As quickly as it had begun, the parade finished and we found ourselves at the end. I told the couple that I had been asked to drive them back to Taylor Square to view the rest of the parade. Once Dame Marie was seated properly We prepared to head back. I asked her if she preferred the roof up or down. “It is a beautiful night. Let’s have the roof down. I don’t want to miss a thing” said Dame Marie.

Marie Bashir nick shehady audi A5 mardi gras 2015 2 gaycarboys

We threaded our way through the atmospheric crowded streets of Surry Hills and arrived at a cordon. As if by magic, the constable waved us through. The couple thanked us but once again didn’t wait for the seats to fully slide back as they scampered from the back.

A few days later I found a package which had slid into the boot while the back seat was down. Dame Marie said she lost a package. Quick as a flash I put two and two together and had it returned to her. Within an hour my mobile rang. It was Dame Marie ringing to thank us for returning the package. I was chuffed.


The Audi A5 might just be my favourite ragtop ever. It was as economical and comfortable as it was smooth AUDI A5 convertible gaycarboys (16)and nippy. Sure it costs many shekels but if you don’t like the price don’t buy it. If you want the bigger engines you’ve going to need deeper pockets but for my money the 2.0L turbo is smooth and silent and the DSG is silky. For the record I’ll always prefer a manual. The package is a nice combination of form and function.

Would I buy one? Yes. It was sensational even if a trifle expensive.

Engine: 2.0L turbo petrol, 165kw/350Nm, 7.2secs 0-100 (also 1.8L and 3.0L petrol and 2.0L and 3.0L diesel)

Trans: 7 Speed S tronic (DSG dual clutch auto)



1.8 Multitronic $89,732

2.0 S tronic Quattro $100,022

3.0 S tronic Quattro $120,967


2.0 multitronic $91,938

3.0 Multitronic $117,557

New Ford Mustang Rises Aside Sydney Opera House for Ultimate New Year’s Eve View to Cap Historic 50th Anniversary

2015 Mustang is taking centre stage at Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations (3)

2015 Mustang is taking centre stage at Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations (4)2015 Mustang is taking centre stage at Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations (2)



FORD press release:

SYDNEY, Dec. 29, 2014 – The all-new 2015 Mustang is marking Ford’s transformation in Australia and leading a wave of stylish, innovative new products by taking centre stage at Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 Mustang is taking centre stage at Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations (1)celebrations.

This convertible Mustang is climbing a Sydney high-rise building next to the Opera House to prepare for a breath-taking view of one of the world’s most iconic New Year’s Eve events.

This caps a history-making year in which the Mustang also scaled the Empire State Building and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, to celebrate the iconic pony car’s 50th Anniversary.

As a new associate partner to the City of Sydney, Ford Australia also will host the event’s first-ever soundtrack by broadcasting music – including live performances featuring the music group Milky Chance – to key harbour-side locations.


Attendees' Toyota 86s on display at the Festival of 86 gaycarboys (3)

More than 800 fans of the Toyota 86 shared their passion for the cult sports car at the Festival of 86 held in Sydney at the weekend.
Attendees' Toyota 86s on display at the Festival of 86 gaycarboys (2)Enthusiasts flocked to the two-day club event from around Australia – by plane from as far away as Townsville while many drove their 86 from Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.
The car’s global chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, said he believed the Festival of 86 – held to celebrate the second anniversary of the car’s Australian launch – had attracted the biggest gathering for the 86 nameplate outside Japan.
“I am very excited to join Australian fans of the 86,” he said. “You have made this car a great success with more than 12,000 sold in this country, which is the third highest in the world after Japan and the United States. It’s amazing.”
Attendees' Toyota 86s on display at the Festival of 86 gaycarboys (1)Tada-san was mobbed by the car’s passionate fans, spending most of the two days signing autographs on everything from components, including the car’s dash panel and engine cover, to model cars, T-shirts, owner manuals and posters.
Leading the tally of those who registered to attend were close to 400 owners of the Toyota 86, a further 50 owners of the AE86 – the spiritual predecessor of the modern car – and a similar number of Subaru BRZ owners.
High-profile guests included four-times Australian rally champion and 86 owner Neal Bates and drift champion Beau Yates whose 86 drift monster was in hot demand.
Many of the owners at the event have embraced the spirit of the 86 by personalising their cars – including several who have spent tens of thousands of dollars on special body wraps, wheels, suspension and other components.
Toyota Australia supported the event and added to the excitement by revealing it is planning a one-make motorsport series for the popular car, which has been Australia’s best-selling sports car in 2013 and so far this year.
The company’s executive director sales and marketing, Tony Cramb, said Toyota expected to make a formal announcement of the 86 motorsport competition in the first half of next year and start the series in 2016.
“The concept is a pro-am with amateur drivers from across Australia competing against selected professional drivers,” Mr Cramb said.
Tada-san said the 86 was ideal as an entry into motorsport because it is compact, light-weight, affordable and, above all, fun to drive.

Collectible classics open for summer at Shannons Sydney Late Spring Auction

1958 Jaguar XK150 Roadster gaycarboys

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Body SpeedsterAustralian-delivered 1954 Austin-Healey 1004 BN1 roadster gaycarboys

• Rare wide-body Porsche 911 Speedster

• Exceptional restored Austin-Healey and MGB roadsters

• 16 rare British, American and Italian Classic motorcycles – many with ‘no reserve’

Collectible Classic roadsters and convertibles from Britain and Europe are dropping their tops for summer at Shannons Sydney Late Spring Auction on Monday November 17.

Top billing for the most desirable vehicle is shared by a 1989 Porsche 911 ‘Wide Body’ Speedster, a 1958 Jaguar XK150 Roadster and a 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1 Roadster.

The spectacular ‘black on black’ Speedster with its cut down, frameless windscreen, minimalist roof and twin aerodynamic body blisters behind the seats, is one of just 2,103 wide-body examples built by Porsche for the world market.

This rarity, combined with the raw driving experience afforded by its ‘less is more’ configuration, has kept Speedster values high and they remain one of the most collectible Porsche models of the 1980s.

The example being auctioned ticks all the boxes. It is Hamilton’s of Melbourne-delivered, rare as one of 139 right-hand drive examples and six wide-bodied cars sold in Australia and is believed to have had just four owners from new – the most recent in Sydney for the past eight years – and comes with a documented history.

It has been serviced regularly, but could do with a little cosmetic TLC making its expected selling price of $90,000-$105,000 conservative by current rising market values.

Similarly appealing from Britain is a 1958 Jaguar XK150 Roadster that has covered limited miles since its ground-up restoration in the 1980s. This very desirable Classic Jaguar is expected to be pursued by local and overseas buyers alike at its anticipated selling range of $105,000-$120,000.

Also very attractive to British sports car enthusiasts is a stunning, Australian-delivered 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1 roadster that was fully restored by marque specialists in the early 1990s, who also updated it mechanically with a four-speed BN2 gearbox, while its engine was uprated with a ‘Le Mans kit’ during its exhaustive rebuild.

The car’s last two owners – both enthusiasts well known in the Healey Club – continued to maintain and improve the car and it presents beautifully, with strong paint, while the trim and upholstery show just the right amount of patina, making it exceptionally good buying at its expected selling range of $52,000-$58,000.

Other appealing open sporting cars to go under the hammer include a 1999 TVR Chimera 4L V8 Convertible ($32,000-$38,000), a 1949 MGTC Roadster ($32,000-$38,000), a 1972 Jensen Healey Roadster ($14,000-$18,000) and a 1972 MGB MkII Roadster.

The MGB is an exceptional vehicle that was comprehensively restored in Sydney during 2003-2004 at a documented cost of around $50,000 and presents accordingly, with little use since.

Shannons believe it to be one of the finest MGBs on the market today and are quoting a conservative guiding range of $16,000-$20,000.

The Sydney November 17 Auction also features a great selection of motorcycles from private collections including MV Agusta, Benelli-Motobi, Moto Guzzi, Gilera, Matchless, Harley-Davidson, Bianchi, Ariel, AJS, Moto Morini, Velocette, Indian and Lambretta – eight with ‘no reserve’.

All up, 74 lots are on offer, including 26 cars, 16 motorcycles, 32 memorabilia lots, plus a selection of New South Wales numerical number plates highlighted by ‘165’, ‘220’, ‘229’, ‘241’ and ‘255’.

Thirty-three of the lots are being offered with ‘no reserve’, making the auction a potential treasure trove for classic bargain hunters.

For more information on all lots, visit
For more auction information contact: Stuart Roberts (02) 8019 4179, or Ian Clayton (02) 8019 4180
For media information and publication-quality photos, please contact:  Michael Browning 0418 324 328

Clever Clio RS: A Cute and Quick Renault

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YES YES YES oh YES: sexy inside and out, snappy performance, a brilliant drive

Oh dear me no: no manual, slightly slow EDC auto

What a cracker!

Once, Hot Hatches conjured images of fake Burberry set caps at jaunty angles, loud exhausts, and beards fashioned into faint outlines on a face. “Da Boyz” gathered like flocks of gulls in distant car parks comparing the sizes of their mods, and doing whatever “Da Boyz” do when they concentrate en masse . To make matters Clio R.S. 200 Sport gaycarboys (5)worse, their hatches were about as comfortable as riding a wooden toboggan over a cobbled street while being simultaneously whacked in the kidneys with both a cricket bat and a house brick. And, that was before “Da Boyz” got at them with their spanners. It was a hideous experience. Long trips necessitated frequent comfort stops, if only to allow a battered body short reprieves.

It is a different story now because the hot hatch went and got all posh and luxurious. As mad as it sounds, I see a touch of mid-century Italian in the Clio, and that’s not a bad thing by any means. If you don’t like a bit of Italian, there is something wrong with you.  I can imagine a short film clip with some 50’s music playing while the voice-over says “Just perfect”. There are blankets and baskets in the boot with a lightly chilled bottle of champers lovingly nestled on a lap. There are just 2 boys or 2 girls on board. All it needs is a huge sunshine roof.

The clever concealed rear door handles lend a coupe look to a 5 door hatch, and the black 18” wheels onClio R.S. 200 Sport gaycarboys (7) the Cup show the flashy racing style red brake callipers. There is no real need for the rear black diffuser and rectangular twin exhausts, but it lends a touch of “look at me” to the driving experience. Just the thing for driving up and down “the Strip”. The doors are deeply sculptured and deliciously curvaceous making the Clio look like a piece of artwork. The rump is pert and cheeky just the way I like them.

The Hot Hatch market is intensely completive and against the Clio, VW’s Polo GTi looks a little frumpy, and while Peugeot’s 208 GTi is drop-dead gorgeous, it is yet to prove itself. Clio RS has 147 kw as does the 208 with the Polo coming in at more conservative 132 kw. The Clio will take 95ron whereas the other two will have hissie fits if they aren’t given 98ron cocktails to sip. That’s a considerable saving at 20c a litre over the life of your ownership. Think how many rounds of drinks that is.

The Renault has a particularly clever Smart Key system. Like other brands, you secrete the key about your person and as you approach the car, the interior lights illuminate so you can check that nobody is hiding in the back seats (that you don’t want to be there). You can enter and start without having to use the key, but the clever part is when you leave. You simply walk away. The Clio knows you’re in a rush to get to happy hour, so she locks her doors for you with a reassuring “beep”. I like that feature very much and is common across the brand.

There is no hiding the bijou cabin’s diminutive dimensions. Still, if you don’t want a city car, don’t buy one. The rear seat is for short friends on short trips only. Some would argue that’s a good thing. It cuts down on free loaders.

Inside, everything is beautifully set out, but there are a few signs that she was originally a left hand drive. Clio R.S. 200 cup gaycarboysThe starter button is on the passenger side of the centre console and the blinkers are on the left hand side of the steering column. It doesn’t take long to get used to, and in the meanwhile you’ll have a smudged windscreen to enjoy. The bane of my life is French auxiliary control stalks mounted behind steering wheel. All 3 French car makers do it. They are impossible to use if you aren’t fully conversant with the functions. Unlike buttons mounted on the face of the steering wheel, those mounted on stalks are covered by the steering wheel itself. You could break a nail trying to get at them, and break your brain trying to remember what they buttons do. It’s not a total loass, there are still wheel mounted buttons to control the cruise control/speed limiter but there are not backlit. In a spasm of Frenchness, the on/off button for these functions in next to the hand brake. Why, just, why? The cup holders don’t hold man-sized cups either. They’re probably designed for nothing more than un espresso s’il vous plait.

I let out a “hallelujah” after jumping into the comfy driver’s seat. They were supportive without feeling like they were lovingly carved from granite, and finding the sweet spot was easy. It only took a jiff to get the driving position just right.

The infotainment system was brilliant, though I never managed to get the voice system to work. I’ve yet to meet a voice system that didn’t make me want to bang my head against the window. The touch screen is large enough, so is not to too fiddly. The system responds quickly to touch inputs except for the on/off button which needs a little think before performing either function. There were a few little quirks to get used to. The Frenchness only made me ranty-pants when, hopelessly lost, I tried to find a way to input an address into the Satnav. For the whole drive, the map had been proudly displaying our progress on the screen, but in order to get to the address screen, to first have to go back to the Home screen and select NAV. Why on earth couldn’t the little man in Paris put an “address” icon on the map screen?

Clio R.S. 200 Sport gaycarboysThere is a surprising amount of space in the boot and laying the split rear seats down is a one-touch process. Handy in some circumstances I would think. Unusually, I preferred the leather of the RS Cup but the “Sports Carbon” fabric in the base model was also very comfortable. If you like a bit of bling, you’ll probably bright red highlights and seatbelts, which is a particularly fun bit of campery.

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We spent 2 glorious weeks driving the RS and RS Cup back to back. When it comes to transmissions, I’m a “shift-em-yourself” kind of boy. It gives you the satisfaction selecting exactly the right gear for exactly the right occasion. All Clio RS models come exclusively with one of those 6 speed EDC double clutch jobbies. I didn’t like it at first. It felt slow and unresponsive, but like all things I got used to it. If a driver feels particularly aggrieved, there is the Paddle Shift option. If you’re feeling frisky you can select “sports” mode where the engine gets an extra kick. Pressing and holding the that same MODE button will select TRACK but this is only for the foolhardy of braindead. It deactivates your electronic nannies. Why on earth would you buy a new car then opt to relieve it of the burden of making your driving look good? I didn’t use the launch control as it tends to attract unwanted attention on public roads. I want to add that the manual paddles are attached to the steering column not the back of the wheel. This means the paddles are always where Clio R.S. 200 Sport gaycarboys (6)you left them, especially if you want to change gear mid corner. Unlike being on the steering wheel where you have to perform mental acrobatics when the paddles have swapped sides. Worse still, you have to quickly work out if the paddles have in fact switched sides.

Both cars come alive on tight bends. The ride feels sophisticated and subtle, but tenacious and surefooted. The Cup has a slightly tighter chassis but frankly I couldn’t tell the difference. Left in Sports Auto mode, the joy of changing direction can be your sole focus. There is very little torque steer so you are free to stick the boot in as you power out of a corner. Even nasty bumps mid corner fail to unsettle the Clio. The engine is as sweet as a nut and feels like it will happily rev on to destruction if you let it. Getting near redline elicits a loud beep and in manual mode is helpful and annoying in equal measure. It means it is time to hit a paddle.

The RS infotainment system has a veritable bevy of modes giving info only a bogan is going to want. It will tell you power, torque, turbo, steering geometry, gear selected and the gear preselected. Who, but a fake Burberry-cap-wearing “lad” is ever going to use it.

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As I said, the Cup has a racier chassis but most of us wouldn’t notice the difference. In fact both cars feel sharp as pins but importantly can be used as an everyday driver. You could comfortably drive 1,000 k’s on the Sydney Brisbane run and not feel like you’ve been on a torture rack. Enthusiastic driving has a dire effect on the fuel consumption but that’s to be expected, so save it for special occasions. The average driver is going to be very happy tootling about in Normal Auto mode. The front sensors and reversing cameras are not standard on all which Clios, is almost unforgivable. They should be standard on all cars, as should auto dimming rearview mirrors. However those few tiny misdemeanours didn’t blemish a fabulous drive.

Like it or not, people judge you by the car you drive. A classic car says class, a family car spells instant disaster, a convertible garners universal praise and a sports car says either “I love driving”. Sure there are knobs driving hot hatches, but who cares. Clio really is the perfect car during the week, and an amazing car on the weekend.

Clio is a car that warrants an extra long test drive. You simply can’t appreciate it on a 5 minute dawdle round the block. It doesn’t show her at her best. Find a corner, find a bump, find a hill and grab her by the scruff of the neck. Clio RS manages to sacred trinity of good looking, nippy and fun.

Would I buy one: Yes, without hesitation, they are perfection.

Engine/transmission: 4cyl turbo petrol, 147kw, 240Nm, sequential multi point injection, 6speed EDC

Fuel: 95/98ron, 45L tank, euro5, 6.3 L/100k

Performance: 6.7sec 0-100kph

Price: $33.240 – $41,990 drive away