Category Archives: Cars

Great New Zealand Archetypes: The Used Car Salesman

I recently visited one of those great New Zealand institutions: the Greenlane car yard. This one was intimate and very close to the interchange. A small Gottage with a sliding door, an electric kettle and a clunky desktop computer formed the annex of this operation. It was raining. The water beaded off the cars, and the Greenlane roads roared with… Read more »

Compliance Hell: Saturday Sport

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Have you been at Saturday sports? Of course, it’s all about the kids. The children are our future. Let them play Saturday sport, and they will become rounded citizens. But what of the parents? What about them? They’ve been at work all week — working for The Man.  What they really want is a Saturday morning lie-in, optional-extra ‘knee trembler’,… Read more »

Urban Drift

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Your first tyres were cheap and skinny, and long sessions slicing champagne ham in the delicatessens of Countdown would barely cover one decent fat alloy. Once upon a time, the barely warranted ’89 Laurel (automatic, 2.5-litre non-turbo straight six) craved a really decent set of rims fitted with some low-profile slicks, for street-legal nirvana. Later, when the money allowed, a three-puck… Read more »

The Sane Companion’s Guide to: Bucket Lists

Jeep UK have established the ultimate mid-life crisis challenge, also known as a bucket list. In this campaign, #RenegadesWanted, with the subtext “Cheat on Fear: Have an Affair with Your Dream”, it seems the heart of the campaign is for punters to take part in one of 10 challenges set up by successful people in that field. Parkour, anyone? Obviously… Read more »

Great Tourist Destinations of the Western World: Drury

    Like you, I’ve been on a road trip these summer holidays and experienced the wonders of road travel, overtaking, vomiting, and appalling food breaks. Each year, I vow to pack a chilly bin full of cut fruits, healthy sandwiches, and heroin to make the travel a little easier. I’m thinking of packing a portaloo and perhaps even a… Read more »

When Trades go bad

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We’ve all had a bad experience or three on Trade Me. It’s not the company per se, it’s the people who use it.  A bit like hand guns. You’ve wrapped the six sets of Merino wool, never-worn socks.  The money has just gone in your account.  You decide to post the item right away, because you are magnanimous.  Your Trade… Read more »

Rumble in the Car Park Jungle

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    I’ve had it with Auckland people and car park rumbling. Who knew that aside from a single bedroom apartment in Dannemora for $890,000, a car park could be such a precious piece of real estate? Let me set the scene: it’s 2.40pm.  It’s school run time. How I love it!  I always look forward to lugging two tired,… Read more »

People Movers : Rectangular Contraceptives

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Here at The Sane Companion, we still startle when we see words (or terms) like ‘Kiwi Saver’, ‘lunch-box fillers’, ‘David Seymour’s massive majority’ or the like. But one of the biggest scares ever, for me, is the horror of The People Mover. I know I should have bought one long ago.  There are times when I need to shift five… Read more »

The Worst of Cars, the Best of cars

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Once upon a time, I was given a red Honda Accord automatic coupe with a rusty sunroof and not much else by way of mod cons. I named her ‘Rhonda’. I know it was free, I know I was between cars, but Rhonda was the worst car I ever drove.  It had a transmission problem which felt like when it… Read more »

Shop for Toys

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For a while, I worked at a car repair workshop. It wasn’t just any old car repair workshop.  We dealt with mainly European cars and there were a few Japanese but they were relevant Japanese cars like Ford Sierra Cosworths. I’ve been thinking lately about the cars in that workplace.  It’s hard to separate out the cars from their owners… Read more »

Cars

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For a while, I worked at a car repair workshop. It wasn’t just any old car repair workshop.  We dealt with mainly European cars and there were a few Japanese but they were relevant Japanese cars like Ford Sierra Cosworths. I’ve written about this place before as “a workplace” in the union sense of the word. But I’ve been thinking… Read more »