Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to make 280bhp in Two Different Ways and Which is Better.



Yes, yes, yes. This is one of the topics that I mentioned that I am going to write about and finally, it has been transferred from the incredibly complex and very car savvy mind of mine to this article.

Recently, 2 chaps are in their (early) 30s and the first person bought a 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX STi and the other a 2005 Nissan 350Z Fairlady. Both are grey imports and cost basically somewhat close to the RM150,000.00 figure (one slightly higher and one slightly lower). Now these two fellows are good friends of mine, thus they let me wring out their rides a little for me to make a comparo of things.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CHICKEN SOUP OF THE SOUL KIND OF EMAIL THAT DESERVES TO BE SHOT.

I recently received an email telling one of those 'CHICKEN SOUP OF THE SOUL' kind of stories. Yes these stories have a decent moral ending to it but this latest one really got on my nerves. Read the purported sad story first:

> Seorang Executive muda yang berjaya sedang memandu

> disebuahperkampungan di pinggir Bandar. Ia memandu

> agak lajudengan sebuah kereta WAJA yang berprestasi

> tinggi yangbaru sahaja dibelinya. Sambil ia memandu

> perlahan-lahan ia sedang memerhatikan seorang anak

> kecil dicelah-celah kereta yang diletakkan ditepi

> jalan, ia memperlahankan keretanya untuk melihat

> sesuatu yangdifikirkannya.

>

> Seelok-elok sahaja kereta Waja tersebut melintasi

> kawasan tersebut; anak kecil tidak kelihatan tetapi

> seketul batu dilontarkan tepat mengena pintu disebelah

> kanan kereta Waja tersebut.

>

> Apalagi Executive muda tersebut menekan brek sekuat

> hatinya dan berundur ke tempat dimana Anak kecil tadi

> berdiri. Dengan marahnya dia keluar dari kereta terus

> meluru ke arah Anak kecil, menarik tangan anak kecil

> dan menghempasnya ke kereta yang terletak ditepi jalan

> dan terus memarahi Anak kecil tadi :

>

> ' Apa ni ? Siapa awak ? dan apa ke jadahnya awak

> berada disini ? Itu kereta baru, mahal dan susah nak

> baiki ? Awak tau tak ? Kenapa awak buat ini semua ?

> jerit Executive tersebut.

> Anak kecil itu tunduk sedih, sayu dan memohon maaf ;

>

> ' Saya meminta maaf Pakcik, Saya tak tahu apa patut

> saya buat, ia merayu. Saya melontar batu kerana tak

> ada orang yang berhenti disini apabila saya panggil'.

>

> Dengan linangan air mata ia menunjukkan ke satu sudut

> yang tidak jauh dari situ. 'Itu abang saya , ia jatuh

> dari kerusi roda dari tebing disebelah dan tak ada

> orang yang dapat mengangkatnya kembali. Boleh tak

> Pakcik menolong saya, ia cedera dan ia terlalu berat

> untuk saya.

>

> Dengan rasa terharu,Executive muda tersebut melepaskan

> anak kecil tersebut dan terus mengangkat abangnya dan

> meletakkannya kembali ke kerusi roda.

> Terima kasih, pakcik. Saya doakan pakcik selamat

> dunia dan akhirat.

>

> Tak dapat digambarkan dengan perkataan, Executive

> muda hanya melihat dengan sayu, Anak kecil tersebut

> menyorong abangnya yang cacat dan cedera pulang menuju

> ke rumahnya. Anak sekecil itu boleh mendoakannya akan

> kesejahteraan hidupnya.

>

> Executive muda tersebut berjalan perlahan ke arah

> kereta, WAJA kemek teruk tetapi ia membiarkan saja

> tanpa dibaiki. Ia mengigatkannya bahawa kita tidak

> perlu berkejar-kejar dalam kehidupan ini sehinggakan

> seseorang melontar batu hanya kerana hendakkan

> perhatian .

>

> Pengajaran

>

> Allah tidak menjanjikan hidup ini tidak pernah susah,

> bersuka-ria tanpa kesedihan, Panas tanpa hujan tetapi

> ia memberi kita kekuatan, menenangkan kita semasa

> kesedihan dan menunjukkan jalan yang sebenar-benarnya.

> Janganlah kita sombong dengan kelebihan yang sementara.


Now I promptly shot off a reply to the person who sent it and cc'ed it to all that received it. Not because I am a mean and cruel person. But because I am right. This was my reply:

Hello,

First of all, yes it's good to hear such stories with a moral behind it. BUt please la...a PROTON WAJA? Berprestasi Tinggi? Which country did you come from? Malaysia? Even Malaysians know that the WAJA is already an 8 year old outdated chassis (as at 2008) developed from a late 1990s Mitsubishi Lancer/Charisma chassis (and claimed to be wholly designed in-house) and may not cease production till the year 2850. I say this because the Japanese change models every 5 years minimum and we buyers get the latest technology in our cars.

The WAJA is one of the most dullest family cars on the market. Look at it. It looks like a shopping trolley with steel panels placed on it. I've driven a few and never once did I come out of one telling myself that 'BOY, THAT'S ONE PRESTASI TINGGI CAR LA, I'M SO GLAD I PAID RM63,000.00 FOR THIS MAHAL WAJA'. I'd pay Muthu the garbage collector RM2.50 to take the car to the nearest steel recycling plant.

Everytime I stepped out of one I'd say that it as bad ergonomics, the steering is too fat to have decent grip, the seating/driving position is slightly wrong, the shape of the seats are like sofas without the side support, the engine coarse sounding and unexciting, the overall shape makes all its owners look like old uncles and aunties. The only thing good with the WAJA is the size. It is large enough to carry 5 fairly comfortably and lots of durians in the boot. Are you telling me that carrying 5 people and loads of boot space a car that's 'BERPRESTASI TINGGI?'

If I wanted to buy a PROTON that's 'berprestasi tinggi' I'd buy the PERSONA as its so much better looking and better value for money. If I told a story of a guy feeling self confident that he was driving a WAJA that story must be a lie. For God's Sake, please ask the person who wrote that story to change the car to a Mercedes or a BMW. It's more believable.

Maybe I just read this tale as it has been making its round since 2000, when the WAJA 'BERPRESTASI TINGGI' first came out. But the real moral that has to be said here is -

MAKE THE DARN STORIES BELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!

By the way, SELAMAT BERPUASA TO ALL.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Some Ramblings and On Future Topics

It has been about two years or so since I started this blog about motoring here where I live. I've raved about certain cars, rubbished a few more cars and made my hatred towards most MPVs and also towards the current Honda City. There are some who are bound to ask on what grounds do I have the authority to lambast a person who drives a certain sort of car or whether I have actually driven the cars I've written about. The answer to that is "Yes, you fools!". I basically write about what I've experienced or on what I have noticed.

I have basically enherited my passion for cars from my late Grandfather, who when he was around bought his first car in the late fifties after riding on British made motorcycles before that. He was a person who ended up buying a new car every few years just to try various cars and I remember he went through cars like the MG Magnette, a Volvo 122 Amazon, a Hilman Avenger, a Ford Escort 1.6 MKII, a Citroen GS pallas and lastly a 1980s Toyota Corona 1.8cc which he used uptill his passing in the mid 1990s. He kept his cars in immaculate condition. Some were second hand purchases, some were brand new. But he truly enjoyed motoring as a whole and going back to the kampung was slightly made better knowing that there were his old motoring magazines to read instead of listening to aunties gossip and pester younger relatives on this and that.

I started driving in 1990. I was basically humiliated/forced to take my driver's licence due to the fact that my friend sarcastically said that I should stop talking about cars until I got my driver's licence since I was already 18 years old! Now the reason why I didn't bother to take up driving was that during that period, I was a truly lazy human being. Even more lazy than now. I had the pleasure of living in Gombak exactly where the Bus Mini Wilayah Number 14 had its last stop. I mean, I could go to KL and back and not have a problem with seating. All I had to do was ensure I had 3 Ringgit in my pocket, of which .50 sen would take me to Central Market and another .50 sen would take me back. 1 Ringgit would be used as change for 5 20 sen arcade games and another Ringgit for a drink. Live was absolutely simple back then. So it did not make me realise until my pal rubbed it in that I should talk about driving when I had a licence infront of our Form 6 classmate, which was a girl. Now having your ego shot down in front of a girl would usually make most teenage boy suddenly change his mind about something.

So it was from this moment onwards, and lots of British car magazines that slowly evolved me into what I am today. Friends played a crucial part. I started driving my mum's 2nd generation Honda Civic which I still have till today and by the time I started working in 1997, it became a monster with Weber Carburettors, blueprinted engine and so forth. It is a superb sounding car which I think most people now haven't the chance to feel. Most now have no clue how it's like to drive a car with razor sharp throttle response uncorrupted by emmissions control and electronic throttle bodies and so forth.

I've also driven tons of metal. I've driven many British sports cars, from a 1950s Austin Healey, a 1960s MGBGT, a 1970s Triumph Stag and even a modified 1275gt mini which is scary yet amazingly cute and fast. I've driven Italian cars like the Fiat 131 (which my father once owned) and newer ones like the Alfa 147. I've driven mega saloons like the E31 BMW 750I with its 5 litre V12 engine. That experience will be told in a posting someday as it is a fabulous experience driving one of the first uber-saloons that led the way to current crop of uber-saloons like the current 750iL and the S600 or even AMG series of cars.

I've also driven tuned cars, like the 1990s Silverstone Proton Saga Cup cars and a few privately owned tuned Protons with every sort of turbo engine you can find. Lots of Audis, from 1980s Audi 100s to the current Q7 bungalow and pettite TT. I've driven Mitsubishi Evos, Subaru Imprezas, 2 generations of Forresters, Legacies, two or three generations of Toyota Celicas, lots of different Hondas from the 2nd and 3rd Gen Preludes to various Civics and Accords as well as the odd Mitsubishi GTO or Ford Ranger pickup to the Estima MPV. I have even managed to hitch rides in Jaguars, current model S classes, older S classes, 7 series, Volkswagen Beetles, Citroen CS pallas, etc.

I've driven good cars, bad cars (like the Datsun 120y), crappy cars (like the Nissan Sunny 130Y)and in doing so I believe it is my responsibility (whether you like to hear about it or not) to tell it to you people out there on what you should actually own or what you should not. I've not driven any Porsches or Ferraris as I do not have friends willing to loan them to me for fun but I think I will drive one or two eventually.

I also somehow end up on a nice B road once a month due to the fact that I make an outstation trip every month even though I don't expect to do so. I've done track time at Sepang and even have been lucky to have been at the Batu Tiga circuit before development tore it down.

So in short, expect some future write ups on the following:

1. 2003 Subaru Impreza vs 2005 350z - How 280ps is made differently and why we all need to be able to afford RM4,000.00 of roadtax per year.

2. The E31 BMW 750i - How to feel like the Brake pedal you're stomping on is the only safeguard against freeing up unlimitless amounts of power or that how a large car can feel like its a small Civic.

3. Reviews on earlier model cars like the Mercedes Benz W124 series models and the Honda Civic EG which is still fun to own according to some people.

4. Lots more critiques on stuff that I don't like and if you like it, you should stop liking it as I am right and you are wrong.

Links