Watching the Olympic Sevens rugby live from Rio recently, and sadly a quarter way around the Blue Planet in Joburg, I noticed that the better teams had a more volatile, extremely mobile and hungry look about them as they motored up and down the rugby field, which made me appreciate even more how important motoring has become in our modern world! The Fijians, who won a Gold Medal, were untouchable as they motored down the field with a pace that made every one of their opponents look woefully inadequate!
1 Motoring Fijian. Catch me if you can!
From those early days when the wheel was used more to motor into battle than to taxi the Romans to the Colliseum, the World has rolled it’s way forward to what we have today: Vehicles that are built from the wheels to the roof with high technological designs that ensure your comfort, safety, economy, (except for a certain manufacturer whose design team tweaked the fuel consumption figures to sneak into the acceptability level using a bullshit baffles brains train of thought!), and speedy travel to your destination.
2 Egyptian chariot with steed rearing to do battle!
All of this comes at a price though and what monies might be spared from slipping out of your wallet with excellent fuel economy, is often taken anyway when your hi-tech chariot is serviced or repaired! But who cares so long as you’re having fun behind the wheel or handlebars!
3 Adventure on two wheels!
The most exhilarating vehicle has to be the motorcycle, a steed on which, if you shrewdly select the correct mount, extreme amounts of fun can had at a reasonable cost! The jet ski is the next value for money steed, although there will be many sun bleached and bronzed surfers out there who reckon that their glass fibre boards are all that is needed for maximum fun, and to motor down the Ocean’s waves!
4 Spectacular shot of seven surfers motoring down a wave!
My chosen profession was in the four wheel motoring world, which is the vehicle Mummys prefer to keep their kids away from motorcycles! Speaking of Mummys and motoring in Joburg! Here in the crime ridden City of Gold, you never get on the wrong side of them Mamas in their 4×4 Landrovers, Pajeros, Mercs, Prados and Porsche Cayennes! Even the English Mums have learnt how to express themselves fluently in Afrikaans, and when her hand comes out the window, it is to tell you to choose a finger!
5 You don’t even get to choose with this Golden Girl!
In repairing many types of motor cars over the years, I have developed my own theory: If it pushes easy it’s a good motor car! Hilter’s revenge, the VW Beetle, we mechanics reckoned the führer planned all along, knowing he would lose the war and wanted to make sure he was remembered for something good! The Beetle certainly pushes easily across the workshop floor, such a pity it’s safety and fuel consumption figures were questionable!
6 Hitler’s revenge!
The Rolls Royce, the gauge by which to measure classy motoring, although the bosses at RR might not like to hear it, also pushes easily across the workshop floor as do many of the Aussie and Yank tanks, but most of them are unfortunately gas guzzlers! Old generation Mercedes were guaranteed gas guzzlers, push easily across the workshop floor and are the perfect non 4×4 vehicle for Africa’s dirt roads due to their well-designed suspension systems! Toyota? What can we say?..!
Being one to want to scratch around corners rather that wallow in the comfort of a Harley Davidson, my two wheeled favourite has to be Kawasaki, but in all honesty whether Italian, German, British, (today without oil leaks!), or anything from the Land of The Rising Sun, on two wheels you’re guaranteed an immense amount of fun!
7 Fun on two wheels!
Renault’s Formula One successes are legendary and linking up with Nissan, we have an Alliance that produces easily pushed and classy motor cars all in one! South Korea’s excursion into modern motoring has also been an unquestionable success! Until BMW got involved with Landrover, and those Landys that had always been an oil-leaking hobby became a classy 4×4, I had always regarded the Pajero as the best 4×4 by far!
8 Pajero – The best 4×4 by far!
Electronic Ignition and charging systems started off the hi tech inroads into modern motoring, and from there we have become used to every electronic gadget to control the wheels that cause us to have pleasure on the highways and byways. The anti-skid brake systems, onboard GPS and Speedocruise are absolute necessities in today’s vehicles. Then all new new-fangled stuff like keyless ignition, windows that close or open when you push your remote, boots that close themselves at the push of another button and hellish expensive Xenon headlights that pierce the darkest of nights!
9 Xenon headlights must be hands down favourite vs halogen!
We are not too many years away from robot cars that will drive us, as we read a book, buy high sell low on the stock exchange, or watch a movie with safety from New York to L.A., from John o Groats to Land’s End, Perth to Sydney or Joburg to Cape Town!
10 Into the future!
Generally speaking, with today’s regulations regarding safety and economy, it is almost impossible to manufacturer a bad motor car, but some manufacturers do manage to sneak them past the regulators. Finances force our hands when purchasing, and an easy pusher just might pull the wool over our eyes! So in selecting your next chariot, and Dan’s easy push theory seems far-fetched, study the bike and car magazine’s road tests, scan the internet for excessive complaints about your prospective coach, consider repayments, insurance and also very important, will your vehicle be a target for the free loading criminal element! (Volvos are not target cars and their insurance premiums reflect this, whereas your Toyota Fortuner has a handy engine that can be popped into the Quantum taxis once that engine has expired!)
11 Toyota Fortuner engine fits into the infamous Joburg taxi Toyota Quantums!
Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer, will have you stomping your feet as you motor:
St Vincent School For The Deaf helping the hard of hearing to listen:
Down Durban way The Fulton School for The Deaf:
Abraham Kriel Childcare group, caring while we work:
The Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped was opened in 1970, and for the amazing work they do for the less fortunate they deserve great accolades: