August 07, 2003


Man, was I ever excited when I read this:

Yes, I'm crossing to the dark side: I've decided to finally get my car licence (which - being a motorcycle rider & buyer - I never bothered to do before) and actually purchase a car, hopefully before Xmas this year.

Wa-hay! Chris Textor buying a car! Because heís a fearless psycho-speedster mega motorbike guy, I couldnít wait to see what kind of vehicle he might be considering. Maybe it would be rocket powered, or some kind of street-legal Le Mans racer. Possibly he would be offended by the weak devices available in local dealerships and build his own multi-motor, nitro-fuelled Tex Car. At the very least I anticipated something that would eat a quarter-mile in less than eight seconds, and top out way north of 300 km/h.

And then I read the rest of his post. Tex isnít crossing to the dark side. Heís crossing to the lilac-with-lavender-highlights side. Some of those things donít even have engines. One of them is actually a toy. Buy the third one on his list and you get a free Dolly subscription.

Some aversion therapy is called for. Maybe this Hugh Mackay column will do the trick.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 7, 2003 03:16 AM

I know. I wondered if maybe those were the only cars he could afford, poor boy. Maybe they were the only new cars sold in Australia. If he buys the Echo I think I shall disavow him. It used to be advertised by disturbing images of people in animal masks. And then the commercials suggested that you were being wild and unconventional by buying this spawn of an unholy mating between Japanese and Eastern European putt-putt cars. shudder

Posted by: Angie Schultz at August 7, 2003 at 04:01 AM

What the hell are those vehicles? They look like the footstools you'd stand on so you could reach the running board of a real automobile. The names are preposterous as well - the Jazz Gli (pronounced Jaz-li, I assume) isn't sold here in the states, because people would stone the dealership, and the Barina sounds like the profession of the person who gives you your barium enema.

The color for the "Echo" is "Bishop Blue." Well, if bashed enough, I suppose that's the tint you'd see.

Tex! We're worried.

Posted by: lileks at August 7, 2003 at 04:33 AM

Wow! To paraphrase Lenny's life-partner Carl, "Gee, Tex, it ain't often you see a guy driving the 'F' Series!"

Posted by: James Morrow at August 7, 2003 at 06:41 AM

Hey! I drive an Echo. My Echo rocks. (Well, in a high wind. A stiff breeze. Oh shut up.)

Actually it's a good little car, despite the extremely dorky commercials. But I admit I was surprised to see the tameness of Chris's choices. I would think he'd go for something a little sportier. But all those cars do get good mileage, and you can squeeze a couple of grocery bags in them.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 7, 2003 at 11:27 AM

Has Tex started sitting down to piss? I would be seen dead in any of those motorised ski-boots.
Get a real car- something like a '68 GTO or a Dodge Charger- you can park one of these on top of one of those horrible buzz-boxes.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 7, 2003 at 11:37 AM

Why not go the whole hog and buy a Trabant?

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 7, 2003 at 11:40 AM

I'll make you a deal........

You guys start a "buy Tex a HSV!!" pledge drive, and I'll take down the pics of the perfumed shoe boxes.

Posted by: Tex at August 7, 2003 at 11:45 AM

I figure Tex will use The Flintstones Method of Propulsion.

His mighty thews will propel that tiny Echo like a Rocket Car.


Posted by: Nick at August 7, 2003 at 12:57 PM

We might be able to raise enough to buy a HSV hat.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 7, 2003 at 01:46 PM

I actually work in a factory that makes HSV bumpers, so in lieu of a pledge to Tex's HSV I will donate the front and rear bumper.

Else I could always give Tex the loan car I'm driving.

Posted by: Scott Wickstein at August 7, 2003 at 02:53 PM

At least it shouldn't be something everyone will mistake for his Mum's. It has to be a piss-take on Tex's part.

Posted by: Jake D at August 7, 2003 at 07:31 PM

Yes, his crush on Sasha Castel is making him behave in a most untexlike way.

Posted by: Alex Hidell at August 7, 2003 at 10:00 PM

Oh Alex, if you only knew...

Posted by: Sasha at August 7, 2003 at 10:50 PM

The cars Tex is considering are good economical and environmental choices. Yeah, he could buy a used "muscle" car with the money he'd spend on one of those models, but then he's stuck with something that is a gas hog, has no warranty, and that could be high maintenance.

That said, I've driven commercial lawn mowers with bigger enginges than some of those cars.

Posted by: A. Loots at August 7, 2003 at 11:01 PM

Not really interested Sasha. I just want him to start blogging again.

Posted by: Alex Hidell at August 8, 2003 at 03:17 PM

Bugger HSV and their overpriced pieces of slow crap.

What we really need to do is get Tex a shiny new, red (because red goes faster silly) Ford XR8, then send it away to South Australia to have a nice big supercharger bolted on the side of the engine, get the engine management remapped, the exhaust modified and some other minor things done, and then he'll have a 400-420kW road going monster capable of absolutely destroying a GTS, and with the 20K saved, he'll be even able to afford a whole tank of PULP.

Posted by: bailz at August 8, 2003 at 04:15 PM

Good one Bailz that is all we need; a Ford vs Holden flame war...

Posted by: Scott Wickstein at August 10, 2003 at 12:53 AM

I do what I can ;)

Posted by: bailz at August 11, 2003 at 01:07 AM

Being an old biker(BMW R80GS and leathers still in the shed)I can share Tex's predicament. Truth is to commute regularly on 2 wheels on today's roads is a death wish. So Tex, we faced your predicament at work, when we didn't need one of our aging utes any longer, but needed a cheap runabout to get out to the building sites. What we quickly found was small cars hold their value and it made sense to buy new. You could pick up a quickly depreciating 2nd hand ex-fleet Commodore, Falcon, Magna or Camry for the right price, but running costs were high(unless on gas)

As far as small cars go we settled on the Mitsubishi Mirage. Great car with 1.5 litre motor(exactly same internals and running gear as the small engined Lancer)We regularly get about 6.3L/100km around town rising to a max of 6.8 if pushed harder with air-con on in summer. Country running with 5th gear produces 5L/100km. With a 50l tank I drove from Adelaide to Melbourne on a tank.(apologies to country servo owners)What you don't always appreciate about small cars like the Mirage til you drive them is their power to weight comparable to big car performance. Compare the 1.5L engine pulling 750kg with the Commodore's 3.8L engine pulling twice the weight.That's where the miserly fuel consumption comes in, with little performance loss arond town.

The Mirage is more of a 'blokes car' cf the others on your list. Forget adults in the back seat though. If you want that choose something like the Missus' high backed Echo. Women luv em but she gets about 6.8l/100km out of hers although Toyota rate it at 6.2. Her girl-friends Barina can't get under 7.0, and lacks the power of the Mirage. A word of warning on automatics in small cars. They often require a rebuild anywhere between 90000-140000km (cost $1500-$2000) depending on how hard you ring their necks. Compare this with big cars where they can last 300000km plus as do their motors(the Commodore Ecotec is legendary already) Also their motors are generally finshed about 180000-200000 if properly serviced.

My recommendation- a red manual Mirage for $14990 drive away price and add the body kit and mags etc later if you can't help yourself Tex.

Posted by: Observa at August 16, 2003 at 12:11 PM