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Overdrive: Muscle Cars and Al Turner; VW Tiguan; Nissan GTR; Chrysler leaves Australia; Harley Davison parodies cyclists

Hello and welcome to Overdrive, a program that pushes the parameters in discussing motoring and transport.

I’m David Brown

The times each story appears in the program are noted (mm:ss)

News

  • The final fling for the Nissan GT-R (1:21)
  • Chrysler brand bids farewell to Australia (2:24)
  • UK to mandate EV chargers (3:23)
  • Harley Davison takes a shot at pushbike purists (4:27)

Feature Story

  • With the passing of Al Turner from the Australian Muscle car era we reflect on that period with motoring broadcaster and author John Smailes (5:35)

Interview

  • With the passing of Al Turner from the Australian Muscle car era, we reflect on that period with motoring author John Smailes (5:35)

Motoring Minute

  • Range Rover Velar (16:05)

Interview

We discuss two subjects with motoring journalist Paul Murrell

  • The Volkswagen Tiguan (21:21)
  • And the Nissan GT-R (23:25)

Motoring Minute

Ford Everest Base Camp (32:06)

Detailed News Stories

The final fling for the current Nissan GT-R

The last of the current generation of Nissan’s giant-killing GT-R sports car has been launched in Australia.

The GT-R with a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V6 was first unveiled in 2007 and has not changed significantly in overall looks or basic power train.

In Australia, its biggest success was winning the 2015 Bathurst 12 hour race ahead of an Audi R8, an Aston Martin Vantage, a Bentley continental, a Mercedes Benz SLS. a Ferrari, and a Lamborghini Gallardo.

The latest T-Spec model produces 419kW and 632Nm of torque but it does not come cheap. Prices range from just under $194,000 to nearly $394,000 plus on-road costs.

Its exterior looks are distinctive rather than stylish as motoring journalist Paul Murrell noted.

PM: Yeah, I described it as looking like a very unhappy bulldog at the front. It’s got that sort of downturned mouth exploit. It doesn’t look very happy.

Chrysler brand bids farewell to Australia

Fiat Chrysler Australia has confirmed that they will no longer sell Chryslers in this country.

This is not surprising as the only vehicle they market here is the 300 sedan, a large passenger car with a certain gangster look and Australia is the sole remaining right-hand-drive market selling Chrysler vehicles.

Chrysler Australia opened the Tonsley Park Assembly Plant in the suburbs of Adelaide in 1964, and with their Valiant models become one of the big three along with Holden and Ford. But it never reached the heights of the other two.

The HEMI six-cylinder engine, made exclusively for Australia, became the most powerful six-cylinder produced domestically. Though it was based on a U.S. design, it was never produced for North America.

The 1970s saw the arrival of the Valiant Charger, which became Chrysler Australia’s “muscle car,” and is still considered one of the brand’s most collectible vehicles.

UK to mandate EV chargers

In Australia, the provision of electric vehicle infrastructure has focused on creating “Electric Highways” – charging points along our major regional motorways and roads. The difficulty in charging at your place of residence has also been highlighted as a stumbling block.

Now the British government has outlined new legislation that will require the installation of electric vehicle charging points on all new buildings in England.

This includes both residential properties and offices and one charging point will have to be provided for every five parking spaces and all charge points will have to be capable of smart charging.

Last year the UK Government said it would inject the equivalent of $2.4 billion AUD into increasing the rollout of charge points for EVs in homes, streets, and motorways.

About a third of households in Britain have no off-street parking, meaning charging points installed at workplaces or on the street will be increasingly important.

Harley Davison takes a shot at pushbike purists

One stumbling block to achieving public acceptance of more cycleways and greater use of push bikes has been the overzealous attitudes of some bike advocates often delivered in a self-righteous tone.

Harley Davison, who has started building e-bikes under the model name Serial 1, has produced a light-hearted promotional video that highlights some common ideas about the problems of extreme bike riding.

They describe the video by saying “Everyone knows the “roadie,” racing around the neighbourhood in a Spandex skinsuit and shaved legs, shouting “on your left!” at anyone who crosses his path. No one likes a roadie. Let Serial 1’s eBike Guru show you how to resist the evil roadie ways and just enjoy the ride instead”.

The 8-minute 40 second video strives to be humorous but could probably make the same points in less than 3 minutes rather than looking like a poor Saturday Night Live sketch.

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So, let’s start with the news

Originally broadcast 27 November 2021

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