Thursday, September 25, 2008


The other thing keeping me from blogging at the moment is my new toy. The shiny, expensive toy sitting out in the garage. I’ve been seizing on any excuse to drive across the city several times a day, just to experience that enthusiastic little engine, the exquisitely tight chassis (the Great Pyramid of Cheops has more body roll than an MX-5) and the panoramic sense of space that emerges as soon as you drop the roof.

It really is the spiritual successor to the MGB, only with less of a proclivity for breaking down. It’s tiny, it’s low to the ground, and it has the same sense of being a machine for driving rather than just a means of getting from A to B. The acceleration isn’t stunning, but that isn’t what a two-seat roadster is about – it’s about racing up and down the gears, pushed the revs up, and skipping nimbly through traffic that suddenly seems full of bloated, ungainly barges.

It does have its faults, of course. There’s a worn bearing in the front right wheel that causes a faint thudding sound and a very slight throb in the steering wheel, which doesn’t affect the car’s performance but gets very annoying once you notice it. The CD player, which the salesman boasted he’d installed to replace the original radio cassette, is a second hand Alpine with contacts so loose that when you turn up the volume it’s just as likely to go down as up. And that beautiful dark green duco is impossible to keep clean - it looks dusty within a few hours of being washed, and there’s no material on this planet that will prevent it from looking streaky.

And then there’s the eternal problem of gender identification. Put bluntly, the MX-5 is a girls’ car. ‘Top Gear’ may say that it’s the best affordable roadster in the world, but everyone knows it’s a girls’ car. Hollywood certainly knows it – I was watching ‘Entourage’ last night and was appalled to notice that Ari Gold’s blonde receptionist drives the same MX-5 as mine. Same make, same model, same freakin’ colour. Dammit!

Still, I can comfort myself with the knowledge that most cars are girls’ cars. No, it’s true. Ironic, given that men are the ones who obsess about them, but true. Do as I did today and appraise the other cars around you next time you’re on the freeway. I passed a VW Golf (upmarket career girl), a BMW X5 (trophy wife), a Mitsubishi Lancer coupe (slapper), a Hyundai Excel (female student), a Honda Jazz (Asian female student) and far too many Toyota Corollas (Mum’s Taxi).

This is why so many men drive utes. They don’t want to – they’re ridiculous, overpriced and impractical – but they’re the only vehicles that don’t have a feminine taint. They’re the only car you can show off to your mates without fearing that one of them will say, “Oh yeah, my wife has one of those.”


Blogger an9ie said...

I didn't realise the roadster was a purchase, I thought you'd gone out and hired one for the rest of your holiday. Oo-er. Very nice. Anyway, don't worry, when I see one of those I think of suave "Great Gatsby" type men and not the ladies.

P.S. The thing about utes is, that people who drive the "flashy" utes (you know, the ones with the slick covered tray colour-coordinated with the cab) tend to be wankers on the road. If I see someone tailgating or driving in an aggressive manner in the distance, I think, "Hmm ... I'll bet they're driving a -" and then get closer and go, "yup, wanky ute."

9:40 AM  
Blogger 2BarRiff said...


2Barriff's 1st Car: LJ Torana - MAN CAR
2BarRiff's 2nd Car: EA Falcon - MAN CAR
2BarRIff's 3rd Car: TL Magna - MAN CAR

Notwithstanding the fact that any car I drive is automatically a MAN CAR, the above were MAN CARs before I drove them.

That is all.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

LJ Torana - surf chick
EA Falcon - sensible mum
TL Magna - sensible mum who doesn't know any better :P

Few vehicles can escape the curse of girlcardom. It's the sad truth that, no matter what you drive, somewhere right now there's a bottle blonde checking her lipstick in its rear view mirror before backing it into a lamp post.

Unless it's a ute.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous TroyG said...

I think the XF and XY Fords were man cars because they were wide and square, especially the latter, so they made girls seem fat but they also made guys seem phat.

12:43 PM  

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