The year 2017 was the one where we collectively waved good bye to Australian car manufacturing, with Holden and Toyota following Ford’s 2016 move and exiting local assembly plants for good. While it’s easy to get misty-eyed at the departure of Holden, our only truly indigenous brand, let’s not forget that Japanese car maker Toyota also had a long and rich history of bolting together cars on this soil.
Our retrospective Toyota timeline was a hit, covering the gamut of the Big T’s Aussie-assembled offerings. Clearly, there are still plenty of Australians who get a bit emotional about Toyota upping stumps – even though it’s a brand that’s known for being bland.
Wheels magazine has had a long relationship with Holden, and we’ve covered the brand exhaustively for more than half a century. Naturally, we’ve accumulated a wealth of imagery of Holdens through the ages, and our gallery story resonated with a lot of you.
This is bucket list stuff. The kind of challenge that motoring journalists savour. After all, what other profession besides “race driver” would give you the opportunity to broach the magic 300 in a supercar that you don’t own?
And that’s exactly what our scribe Stephen Corby sought to do, attempting to put 300km/h on the dial of a Ferrari 488 GTB at the Mecca of Aussie motorsport, Mount Panorama. Is the downhill slope of Conrod Straight long enough for a Fezza to hit that target? Have a read.
The four rubber hoops that connect your car to the ground may not be the most exciting components of a car, but they’re by far the most important. No other part has anywhere near as much impact on how comfortable, quiet, grippy and fast a car is than its tyres, yet often the temptation is to simply go with whatever’s cheapest when time comes to replace the factory-issued set.
But before you do that, have a read of our eight-way tyre comparo. Yes, it’s as dry and methodical as you’d expect, but if you value your car – and your life – they’re words that you need to read.
The SS badge has been a part of the Australian motoring landscape since the Kingswood era, and since then it’s become synonymous with honest, value-for-money bent-eight performance.
We tracked the evolution of the badge from its hairy-chested disco-era beginnings all the way through to the sophisticated VF SS-V Redline of 2017. The SS lineage ends with the arrival of the V8-less ZB Commodore and we’ll miss it greatly. Judging by the amount of traffic this feature generated, a great many of our readers will too.