DriveBy - November 10th, 2011

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Nov 10, 2011 ... 2006 Honda Civic 2.0s Auto ... 2008 Honda Accord Euro L ... auto', Current shape , 6 Air Bags, Stability control, Honda's ..... small grip tabs.

TE AWAMUTU’S MONTHLY MOTORING FEATURE, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011

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18 TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011

The motoring world — what I did in my holidays BY DEAN TAYLOR ravelling overseas is a great opportunity for motoring enthusiasts such as myself to see what is happening around the world and get up close to some models rarely seen in this neck of the woods. This was exactly the case on a recent family trip which took in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Vancouver, London and a flying (train actually) trip to Paris. America is definitely the home of the big car — and the truck. At just $3.50 a gallon for petrol it is easy to see why Americans haven’t really caught on to the concept of

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fuel economising, or the benefits of diesel power. Nor is public transport very user friendly, hence we hired a driver and Lincoln Town Car to deliver us to our Anaheim home after a concert in downtown LA as the trains don’t run that late — and we were warned against being in the stations at night. We also splashed out and took a limo home from a Vegas casino one evening. We weren’t celebrating a lucky night on the machines — it must have been a quiet night because the driver offered us the ride for just $5 a head and it seemed a better idea than walking. In some parts the truck still rules and I was amazed that the Japanese makers have taken the Americans head on in this field.

In one shopping carpark we spotted the Dodge Ram and Toyota Tundra near each other. You would need to workout to be able to lift anything into the tray without lowering the tailgate every time. Both are powered by 5.7 litre V8s. Last year my wife and I were also in London and I reported that we saw a Bugatti Veyron on the road. This is the fastest legal road car made and only 300 of the multimillion dollar vehicles have been sold. This trip we saw, and photographed, another Veyron parked on Rodeo Drive in LA. Heading to Europe and it is obvious smaller cars and diesel power, with its fuel saving abilities and environmentally friendly emission levels, rule. Continued page 24.

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LARGEST urban shopping centre in Europe, Shepherd’s Bush’s Westfield, can afford to raffle a car such as this Aston Martin V8 Vantage every month.

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EVEN in Paris a Ferrari and Lamborghini attracts a crowd.

MY second Bugatti Veyron — according to our tour guide this one belongs to a Rodeo Drive storeowner carrying on a family tradition of driving the sportscar to work.

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TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011 19

Ford’s Ranger tough - and safest in class BY DEAN TAYLOR ord has raised the bar for workhorse vehicles with a completely new Ranger that merges the safety and electronic control features of a car with the ability to work hard and carry or tow heavy loads. I drove the XLT Double Cab in 2WD form from Te Awamutu’s Fairview Motors — a big utility vehicle with a huge list of creature comforts and, in a first for a full sized ute, a maximum five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP. The new Ranger comes in XL, higher-level XLT and a loaded Wildtrak version. Power comes from a 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder turbodiesel, which produces 147kW of power and 470Nm of torque, matched to either a sixspeed automatic or manual transmission. The manual version I drove was quiet and reasonably car-like considering the size of the vehicle. The manual transmission is used in a number of Ford variants, ranging from Mustang to Transit, and is known for being a crisp and sportscar like performer. I have to say a manual transmission is generally expected on such a vehicle, and it proved ideal. However, the ZF automatic, which is also used in the Falcon, is the other option and I am assured it is excellent. Ford figures rate combined fuel consumption is between 8.4 litres per 100km from a 2WD manual to 9.6 on the Wildtrak 4WD — which is more than acceptable.

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Ranger is possibly the most high-tech ute yet seen in New Zealand, incorporating such diverse features as Bluetooth with voice control to rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera on some models. It’s the result of a worldwide development programme, in which New Zealand played a small role when disguised examples were flown in for cold-weather testing at the Snow Farm facility near Queenstown. The Ranger is larger where it counts — and the extra dimensions have been put to good use in the cabin. Ford believe double cab rearpassenger area is the roomiest and most comfortable in the class. Braked towing rating is 3350kg, one of the best for a ute and only a little short of the 3500kg holy grail of some 4WDs like Land Rover’s Defender. Front and rear suspension has been upgraded and steering has been improved from recirculating ball to rack and pinion. The Ranger’s traction control is part of a Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) package that helped it achieve such a high safety rating. In 4WD models the DSC can be fine-tuned to assist in various conditions, such as driving in mud, sand, snow and ice. Ford adds extra traction punch

in the form of a mechanical rear differential lock, standard on some models and an option on the rest. The Dynamic Stability Control also includes a swag of other clever electronic aids, including: • Hill Descent Control;

• • • • •

Hill Launch Assist; Trailer Sway Control; Adaptive Load Control; Roll-Over Mitigation; and, Emergency Brake Assist. Ford has also taken storage into consideration and in Double Cab form the Ranger has more

than 20 spaces to stow stuff. Door pockets take 1.5-litre bottles and the glovebox holds a 38cm laptop computer. A separate driver’s glovebox provides useful storage and there are places for mobile phones and the like in the console and other

areas reached easily by the driver. This completely new design of Ford ute has numerous other features impossible to mention here — the best way to find out is to book a test drive and check them for yourself.

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20 TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011

TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011 21

Targa spectacle hitts the region ucklander Andy Mygind has a love affair with his Datsun 240Z — a family love affair. Mr Mygind, his wife Marlene, daughters Abbie and Kate and son Ari all played an active role keeping the vehicle in tiptop shape throughout the 2011 New Zealand Targa Rally held at the end of October. During a stop over at Pirongia for a service park, Mr Mygind took time out to talk to DriveBy. His 1972 BuildLink Datsun 240Z has gradually evolved from a road car to a rally car. ‘‘We’re now running a later model 280Z motor, putting out 300 horse power — twice that it originally had. ‘‘The car still runs a standard Nissan gearbox and we’ve upgraded the brakes, suspension, induction, exhaust and rear end over time.’’ Mr Mygind and co-driver/daughter Debbie placed third in category on debut in Targa Rotorua 2008. They did not fare as well in this year’s Targa Rotorua back in June, but Mr Mygind says his crew and car were better prepared for the New Zealand rally and subsequently finished sixth in category and 66th overall. The Mygind crew comprises Kate, Ari and Marlene, along with nephew and Ferrari technician Nick Marevic the crew chief, and technician, Jared House. The car is a favourite with Targa fans.

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ROTORUA driver Mike Lowe was in good humour during the NZ Targa Rally service park at Pirongia, despite his Fiat Abarth 1000 experiencing a wiring problem. Mr Lowe was leading his historic class going into the Kawhia Harbour special stage after the stop over in Pirongia — and held on for the class win and 58th overall.

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BUILDLINK Datsun 240Z driver Andy Mygind and family at the service stop at Pirongia.

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SUPERQUICK 2007 Nissan GTR of Harry Dobson crew refuelling at Pirongia. The 998 car finished fifth overall behind two other GTRs and two Mitsubishi Evos.

VINTAGE Triumph lines of Euen and Simon Burke’s car on the roads near Kawhia were deceptive — the car is a 2007 T Car TG Sports which finished fourth in its modern class and 61st overall.

CAR 860 — John Glaister’s 2006 VW Golf GTI Mk V, in starter Jake Tony’s hands at Kawhia Harbour 23.7km special stage in Harbour road, 6km out of Hauturu. Glaister finished 45th overall.

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TE AWAMUTU’S Blair Thomson (23) was co-driver for Nelson Marshall in a factory built Ferrari 355 Challenge race car. The engine is a ‘little’ V8, producing 350hp. He is pictured at the Pirongia service stop with his dad Maurice refuelling the car. Blair served his ‘apprenticeship’ winning his Targa class four years ago in a Fiat Uno and had a crack at the production car racing championship in 2008, finishing third in the overall series in a Fiat Pinto. Blair’s major roles co-driving for Marshall were calling all intersections, cautions, hazards, blind brows etc during special stages — exactly the same as navigators do in the likes of the World Rally. He also has to keep track of time at service parks, ensuring his driver arrives at the next stage start on time. The Marshall Ferrari was running second in modern class seven going into the Kawhia Harbour special stage, despite breaking some bolts on the axle shaft just north of Whangarei on the Tuesday evening — losing time accordingly. Blair commented that the car was going great on arrival at Pirongia and they were hunting down rivals Paul Halford and Andy Booth in their 2003 Maserati Trofeo, but an engine failure later that day, possibly caused by a shredded tyre damaging the cam belt, took them out of the event.

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22 TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011

Plan ahead for summer motorway driving number of major roading projects affecting the upper North Island will swing into top gear now that better weather is on the way according to NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker. ‘‘When these projects are complete they will help to boost economic growth, reduce congestion and travel times, and improve driver safety in Auckland — but the support and understanding of drivers will be critical for the successful completion of these major projects. ‘‘These are big projects and as we enter the final push to complete them there will be periods of severe disruption on some sections of Auckland’s motorway network. We’ll do everything we can to minimise the disruptions, but we also need drivers to work with us, plan their travel well ahead and allow more time for their journeys,’’ Mr Parker adds. To minimise disruption to drivers as much as possible, the NZTA is timing its full and partial closures at night, during the weekend, or in the summer holidays to take advantage of lower traffic volumes. The closures will occur as far south as the Bombay hills, and will also include the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the NZTA’s big projects at the Newmarket Viaduct and the Victoria Park Tunnel.

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■ To keep abreast of the work check www.nzta.govt.nz/ aklsummerseason

Holden Barina a stylish performer BY DEAN TAYLOR olden has released its all new Barina — a small car with a lot to offer. I drove the automatic version of the Barina from Rosetown Holden — but even before getting into the car was impressed by the new lines, more purposeful stance and design features — such as the light clusters and integrated rear door handles. Designers have worked hard to maximise interior space and immediately it was evident that even though this is a small car, there is good room for driver and front passenger and reasonable room in the rear. Powering the Barina is Holden’s thirdgeneration 1.6-litre four-cylinder double overhead camshaft petrol engine producing 85kW of power and 155Nm of torque. Matched to a five speed manual transmission, official fuel consumption is 6.8l/100km, while the six-speed automatic version uses 7.3l/100km. Performance is very good and driving is easy and pleasurable. The suspension is apparently sportier that the outgoing version, without compromising ride comfort. It certainly felt comfortable during my test driver and handled very well. According to reviews of both models, it is the automatic version that delivers the best performance. There is a manual option on the automatic transmission, although its switch selection isn’t quite as sexy as the usual shifter type selector. The instrument cluster is new and different from the competition, a motorcycle inspired design featuring analogue tacho and digital speedo. The rest of the interior is quite simple — but very stylish and well thought through. Controls are easy to master and there is a good array of storage options, such as dual glove boxes, featuring an iPhone

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holder and an area for sunglasses. There are also a number of other pockets and holders and an impressive cargo capacity with either rear seats in use or folded. Standard equipment is impressive — USB and auxiliary input connectivity allows for connection of MP3 portable devices and iPods, Bluetooth telephone connectivity

extends to Bluetooth streaming, allowing music to be played wirelessly from an MP3 device. There’s a single disc CD player that comes with MP3 compatibility and fourspeakers. The audio and cruise control is managed via steering wheel controls with small grip tabs. Air conditioning, and electric windows and mirrors also make the

standard features list. The Barina has a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and features six airbags and electronic stability control (ESC). Pricing for the all new Barina starts at under $23,000 and comes with a three year/100,000km New vehicle warranty and three year Holden Roadside Assistance.

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TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011 23

Stragglers charity display a fun day out

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CAMBRIDGE’S Stragglers Rod and Custom Club Charity Kustom and Classic Car Display and Family Fun Day 2010 — Lake Te Ko Utu Domain provides a wonderful setting for the annual event. ne of the friendliest and most relaxed car events returns this month — Stragglers Rod and Custom Club’s annual Charity Kustom and Classic Car Display and Family Fun Day at Lake Te Ko Utu Domain in Cambridge. The event takes place on Sunday, November 27 and is open to hot rods, muscle cars, customs and classics — plus members of the public. It will also feature displays of special interest machines such as American fire trucks and drag and ski boats. The event was first held in 2006 and attracted 175 cars. It has grown each year to about 800 cars from every era, including last year a steam car, early English, Australian Holdens and Fords and hot rods from as far away as Auckland, New Plymouth and the Hawkes Bay. Organisers say te idea of the day is for enthusiasts just to park their cars in the excellent surroundings of the lake domain, have a picnic, listen to the music, let the kids play on the amusement rides and just soak up the atmosphere. The purpose of the day though, is to raise money for charity and this year proceeds go to local families with children who have Duchenne, which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy. This money is raised through a percentage of profit from each of the food vendors and a gold coin donation from the public, plus each vehicle driver and their passengers also donate a coin for entry. Over the five years that the event has been run a total of $38,300 has been donated by the club to various worthwhile causes. Gates open at 8am for cars to start assembling - best times for viewing from 10am until 3pm.

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AA announce fuel saving programme rom this month AA Smartfuel is offering a nationwide fuel saving programme for cardholders, as well as exclusive fuel saving benefits for AA Members. AA Smartfuel general manager Ian Sutcliffe says motorists across New Zealand will be able to earn cents per litre discounts at a number of retail partners. The AA will also be offering cents per litre discounts for motorists using their services, such as AA Driver Training, AA Battery Service, AA Vehicle Testing, AA Vehicle Inspections, AA Centres, AA Mechanical Breakdown Insurance, AA Auto Service & Repair, AA Licensed Repairers, AA Travel Insurance, AA Car Loans, AA Auto Glass, AA Bookabach and aatravel.co.nz. ‘‘We already have over 1,000 retail outlets across New Zealand where motorists can earn and combine fuel discounts, before redeeming their total value when they next fill up at either BP or Caltex,’’ says Mr Sutcliffe. ‘‘We are excited by the retail partners we have announced and expect our partner village to expand rapidly now that the programme is live and motorists show their support for businesses that help reduce the cost of fuel. For more information about the programme check www.aa.co.nz

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24 TE AWAMUTU COURIER, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011

The wide world HOG Poker Run fun of motoring T From page 18. In England both petrol and diesel retail for about £1.50 per litre. We had one day driving a seven speed automatic VW Golf diesel and covered London, Windsor, Eton, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Brighton, London — including accidentally driving into London central and attracting a £12 congestion fee — on half a tank of diesel (£40). The other exciting aspect that I have reported before is seeing what we would consider supercars on the streets. Paris was best last year for the exotic cars, and again this year we saw Ferarris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis and Porsches

here was no mistaking the sound of over 70 Harley Davidsons cruising into town Sunday morning for the first stop on the annual Waikato/Bay of Plenty Harley Owners Group Poker Run. Te Awamutu’s Mark McMillan, a director of the group, says the run is one of the biggest events on the HOG calendar and was once again well supported. While the fine start to the day didn’t last, Mr McMillan says it didn’t deter the group’s enjoyment of the event. The Harleys headed to Putaruru after Te Awamutu, then onto Matamata and finished at Hamilton without incident or accident — and despite some heavy rain riders didn’t get too wet.

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ANAHEIM cop car — in stark contrast to most American vehicles. amongst the usual Citroens, Peugeots, Fords, VWs and BMWs. Having said that, in

Vegas — where anything goes — you could hire a Ferarri or Porsche and cruise the strip for an hour for $79.

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HOG riders pull into and park at Waipa Workingman’s Club for the morning tea stop of Sunday’s Waikato/Bay of Plenty Harley Owners Group Poker Run.

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Business owner Les has to spend some time recovering from back surgery. This means his business will close from 15th November and re-open on 5th December, 2011. REMEMBER: all vehicles for sale can be viewed at www.townandcountrymotors.co.nz

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