I BLAME my ranga cousin Sir Tugalot. He hails from the Newest region of Southern Wales, and last month he came up and parked his fishing boat upon my Northern lawn and got on the piss with his Townsville mates (while telling his family and friends in NSW he is up the Top End reeling in Bieber-sized barramundi).
After a particularly enthusiastic drinking and fishing-story session, he obtained a lift with Mrs Redmond to avoid the booze bus. Mrs Redmond, otherwise known as Queen Debra, has a Toyota Yaris, which she got new in 2006. It has lots of kays on it, due in part to her driving it between Townsville and Alice Springs for work. On this occasion, designated drinker Sir Tugalot ended up having to push-start said Yaris due to a mechanical failure.
So I pushed the dead Yaris off into the long grass and dragged out my semi-retired SS ute. I jammed in some fresh parts and paid a king’s ransom for some new number plates and 365 days of rego. All was good in the Kingdom of Redmond, and I was able to claim the smug satisfaction of only having V8 Holdens inside the walls of our castle.
But shortly afterwards we were sitting outside our larder on the western rampart wall, enjoying a late breakfast in the sunshine, when Queen Debra casually said: “I would like a new car.”
My heart pounded. “Brand new?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Deb replied. “I like the new Mazda 6.”
Her words hit me like a battle axe and I started to sway. I questioned her: “I thought you liked the ute?”
“Not really,” she replied sharply. “It is your ute.”
It felt like a mace to my head. I screamed silently inside and urged myself to think before I spoke for fear of walking into a $50K fark-up of Mazda proportions.
“What about getting that genuine Brocky we like,” I ventured. “You could drive it to work every day.”
Deb’s nose started to screw up and she let me know: “The genuine Brocky ‘you’ like.”
This was going badly. I needed to get out. Against all good sense I started firing gibberish in a scattergun method, hoping one bullet found the mark. “How about an HR wagon like the one you liked at the car show? We could pinstripe it and put a big stereo in it. Or how about a little four-door LJ with an EFI 304, good a/c and really fat tyres? Or maybe an older Clubsport with huge thunderous pipes?”
I was drowning, each bullet I fired only adding to the screwed-up nose of my Queen. Then she adopted The Pose, hands on hips and eyes locked on mine. “We need a normal car,” she said with steely resolve.
“Well I don’t want some Jap nugget worth more than an astronaut’s underwear!” I declared. “It will be snowing in Cloncurry before I drive a shitbox $50K goddamn Mazda!”
My Queen grabbed her Jack Russell and shot me an ice-cold glare. “Well tell Hartley and Rat to buy some frigging Ugg boots, because it is going to be cold in the ’Curry soon!” she roared, then stormed off along the rampart toward the citadel with a bag of loot to distribute amongst the poor (Lorna Jane and JB Hi-Fi). The Jack Russell in her arms glared back at me as if he wanted me hung, drawn and quartered. “Usurper!” I yelled at him.
I grabbed the other Jack Russell, Sir Rastus, my sergeant-at-arms, and we poured a jar each of Tennessee’s finest anaesthetic and grabbed a few strips of salted pork from the pantry. We then stumbled along the turret and down to the ground floor to top up the crocodiles in the moat. Still in a Mazda-fuelled rage, we visited the stockade and pushed ‘repeat’ on the Kardashians DVD we were using as torture on our prisoners. Rastus kicked Mark Bernhard in the balls and added fresh leeches and a handful of salt to his eyes, and barked: “No bloody SS you philistine!” We had captured Bernhard at the release of the 2016 1200cc diesel Colorado ute (rumoured to have 65GB of Wi-Fi and 65hp).
I admitted to myself that the day was rooted and no amount of Tennessee fluid was going to wash this Mazda stain off my shirt. So I headed down to the treasury and got some ink and a quill in order to form a financial war plan of what this damn Hiroshima screamer may bleed from our anorexic coffers. I got to thinking: What is the difference between an everyday vanilla Johnny Punchcard car and a car of street machine cred? Here is what I came up with:
Q: How do you catch a Ford?
A: With Fordbait.
Q: How do you catch a Holden?
A: With Holdenbait.
Q: And how do you catch a Mazda?
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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