Cramped style … Adam Goodes scored extra legroom up front. Team Vodafone has painted its car in Peter Brock’s colours for this weekend’s Bathurst 1000. (See bottom story)
On face value, a Toyota HiLux Crew Cab looks the perfect vehicle for an AFL grand final parade.
Chuck a couple of deckchairs in the back so players can wave to the crowd from an elevated position and everyone’s happy, especially AFL chief sponsor Toyota.
That didn’t happen this year because – astoundingly – Melbourne’s weather was atrocious on the day of the parade, with fierce winds, bucketing rain and low temperatures struggling to reach double digits.
So players were forced into the back seats of their HiLuxes, which may have posed more of a problem. Drive’s most recent test of Australia’s favourite vehicle noted ”rear knee and toe room could be better”, and none of our road testers quite matches the dimensions of Hawthorn ruckman David Hale (201 centimetres, 102 kilograms), or Sydney’s Shane Mumford (198 centimetres, 105 kilograms). Well, not in height, anyway.
Perhaps the blistering grand final performance of Adam Goodes (192 centimetres, 99 kilograms) – achieved, remarkably enough, despite rupturing a knee ligament during the game – can be put down to the fact he cannily chose to stretch his legs out a bit by sitting in the front passenger seat of his chauffeured HiLux.
Car manufacturers carefully monitor and manipulate what they call their ”brand” – basically, the buying public’s perception of the company rather than whether their cars are actually any good.
So it’s no surprise that when conservative shock jock Alan Jones made a snide joke at the expense of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s late father, their marketing departments weren’t too happy.
Take a look at the list of companies that have pulled ads from either the Jones radio show or from his broadcaster, Sydney’s 2GB, and it might seem the automotive world leads the way in his denouncement. Volvo, Mazda, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Honda have all stopped advertising, as have several Sydney dealerships, the Australian motor show and even the NRMA.
But what were the car companies doing on 2GB in the first place, given Jones isn’t exactly a stranger to controversy? Chasing the ratings, of course, and putting their message out to a vast chunk of the Australian population. As one advertising agency executive said, when the fuss dies down, ”media buyers need to follow big audiences, so they’ll be back”.
OK, so we’ve noted before that the in-car CD player looks set to follow the dodo and safari suit by becoming extinct in the not-too-distant future. Peugeot’s just-released 208 for instance, does without the laser-read spinning disc decoder and owners will have the much simpler option of connecting Bluetooth to a smartphone or MP3 player, scrolling through gigabytes worth of compressed audio files to find their favourite tune and (hopefully) avoid oncoming traffic.
But what was the first company to fit an in-car CD player as standard or even optional equipment? The record books give the gong of first in-dash CD player to the 1987 Lincoln Town Car, which had a JBL unit fitted by the factory.
Strangely though, Fast Lane distinctly remembers a variant of the Saab 9000 from about 1986 to come fitted with a compact disc player. Possibly the audio was an aftermarket job fitted by the importer (not factory-fitted), so if anyone knows more, please write.
This Sunday’s Bathurst enduro is the 50th running of the event at Mount Panorama and a few of the teams have got all misty-eyed and decided to go all retro.
No, they’re not reverting to XR Falcons and V8 Monaros, but some of the colour schemes will look familiar.
Up there with the best is Team Norton DJR (that’s Dick Johnson’s team) which has painted James Moffat’s Falcon a familiar shade of blue and slapped Tru-Blu sponsorship on it. The same livery that Dick’s XD Falcon was wearing when it famously ploughed into a rock in 1980.
More controversial is Team Vodafone’s revival of Peter Brock’s colours from the days of the Holden Dealer Team. Or should that be the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team. Despite cigarette sponsorship being banned, that red-and-white colour scheme on Craig Lowndes’ car looks awfully familiar.
Not that the “M” word appears anywhere on the car. Follow Drive南京夜网.au on Twitter @Drivecomau Like Drive南京夜网.au on Facebook
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.