Category Archives: Cars

Car-laborative Effort

Classic cars: what’s not to love? Each one is a work of art in its own right, a symphony of form, feel and character. Plus, when you’re driving one of these things, it’s just you and the machine – no distractions. The experience is a far cry from what you get with the car models that are coming out nowadays, which are so loaded with screens, alerts and sensors it’s all you can do not to give in and let the technology do the driving for you.

I will admit that maintaining vintage cars is becoming more and more of a challenge, especially when it comes to things like roadworthy certificates and RACV inspections. Near Ringwood, it’s still possible to get on with driving an old beauty like mine, but even here the people willing to service it are becoming few and far between.

I get that there’s a bit more of a risk involved for all concerned, as the parts take on an increasing amount of wear and tear over time and it becomes more difficult to find good quality replacements. That said, these parts were made to last, unlike today’s shoddy components. I often find myself arguing about this with mechanics. Some of them agree with me, some don’t.

To give you an example, take getting a brake replacement. Around Ringwood, I’ve been able to do this without too much fuss, and that’s most likely because I’ve only ever had to do it once. My brother Stevey, on the other hand, has had it done three times – that’s in a car from 1999, mind you – not new, nor of the old school variety that’s built to last (although, being over 20 years old, I guess it technically qualifies as vintage). It beats me why he’s gone with that option.

I suppose it comes down to what you want your car to do for you, and for me that’s to help me get myself from A to B – as opposed to getting me there without any input on my part. A drive should be a collaborative effort, I always say.


Pirate Holiday

You know, sometimes even the captain of an immortal pirate fleet needs to get away and take a break. Given my several hundred years of service, I’ve decided to give myself a few months leave. My first mate, Johnson, should be able to take care of our land raiding for a while.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to come down to Victoria and see the sights. Of course, it’s no real surprise that I’d have car troubles while on holiday, because isn’t that just typical? As a result, today I got to meet the best mechanic in the Frankston area. Well, technically it was just one of his employees, but we had an interesting discussion anyway.

“G’day matie,” I said, trying out the local lingo. “I’m Cap’n Large, leader of the infamous pirate band Large’s Bigs. No doubt ye’ve heard of me?”

The boy, who stood behind a nearby counter, shook his head. “Are you one of those cosplayers I’ve heard so much about? Think my cousin’s in a cosplay group.”

“Arr, nay, I am no cosplayer! I’m a real pirate. Anyway, my car needs repairs, do you accept gold doubloons? Otherwise I can pay in credit.”

“Credit will be fine,” said the boy. “The boss is out at the moment. He’ll be back soon, but as the finest auto electrician around, he’s in high demand.”

I tapped my fingers rhythmically on the counter. “Aye, that’ll be fine. I can wait.”

We were both silent, standing awkwardly for a few moments. Eventually, the boy looked across the workshop and said, “So, what brings you to Frankston, Mr Large, was it?”

“That’s Cap’n Large to you. I didn’t go to pirate school for eight years just to be referred to as ‘mister’. I’m on holiday, leaving my driving fleet in the hands of my first mate. After hundreds of years without a break, you get kind of tired of the constant raiding and pillaging, you know? Even the vikings went on holiday from time to time.”

“Oh. Right.”

The boy didn’t say anything else, the whole time we waited for the mechanic. Eventually the boss arrived, fixed up my car, and now I can get on my way. Holiday, here I come.