12 Useless Facts About Australian Motoring

I’ve been busy this week working on next week’s article on the Holden Commodore, so this week I’m doing a much shorter post than usual.

1. Despite having a population of 23 million, Australians buy more Mazdas than any country outside Japan. Australia actually buys more Mazdas per capita than Japan does. As well as Mazdas, Australians love European performance cars. We are one of the world’s biggest AMG and Renaultsport markets, and one third of Golfs sold in Australia are GTIs.

2. Kangaroos may delay the introduction of autonomous vehicles in Australia. Their erratic and unpredictable behaviour, and their unique way of moving is making difficult to program autonomous drive systems for Australia.

3. Australia has more F1 engine manufacturers championships per capita than Germany. Australia has two. Repco-powered Brabhams won the world championship in 1966 and 67. Germany has four. One from Porsche and three from Mercedes.

4. Australia has a 25 year rule for registering left hand drive cars. This means that the holy trinity, almost any other hypercar you can name, the Alfa 8C, Ford GT, and every Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, every Dodge, and most Mustangs built after 1992 can’t be registered in Australia. Certain right hand drive cars not officially sold in Australia are allowed to be imported under the Special and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme. LHD cars can be imported and converted to RHD for registration under SEVS

5. Australia invented the ute, and a year later, the four seater coupe. Holden introduced “Sloper” of their Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile and Vauxhall models in 1935, the first examples of a coupes with four seats inside the cabin (as opposed to an external dickie seat).

6. The first generation Dodge Viper was sold in Australia as a Chrysler. It was imported to Australia and converted locally to right hand drive. This made it very expensive. The Chrysler Viper R/T 10 had a starting price of $254,830, making it more expensive than a Porsche 911 Carrera S. The 911 had much better build quality, and wasn’t a Chrysler.

7. Australia is one of only a few countries to measure engine power in kilowatts.

8. Melbourne was the first city in the world that uses the hook turn. It’s a means of turning right used at some intersections in the city centre. Instead of waiting in the right hand lane for a green light, right turning drivers line up on the left, drive forward to the left on a green light to park in front of cars going straight from their left, and wait for that approach’s green light. They then drive straight across the intersection. The right turn is essentially broken do into two straight manoeuvres.

9. The world’s first car comparison test was conducted in Australia by then Wheels editor, the late Bill Tuckey. Prior to this cars were only tested individually and always received rave reviews. The manufacturers didn’t appreciate having their cars ranked from best to worst but it’s now standard practice for car magazines.

10. Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Leyland/BMC, Nissan, Volkswagen, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Triumph, Rover, Jeep, AMC and Peugeot have all made cars in Australia.

11. Australia has the oldest continually running car of the year award. The Wheels Car of the Year was first awarded to the Renault 8 in 1963. It’s also one of the toughest motoring awards to win. On three occasions, 1972, 79 and 86, the award was withheld because judges believed no car was good enough.

12 Australian Ford Mustangs don’t have the line locker.It was omitted because Ford Australia was worried about falling foul of strict anti-hoon laws.



Sure am glad I don’t live in Melbourne . . .

10/13/2017 - 06:43 |
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Richard the edition 100

and people are forgetting australia when the word car is gonna be said

10/13/2017 - 06:48 |
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Noah Thorley Images

Nice Post!

10/13/2017 - 08:13 |
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We measure power by kilowatts here in Latvia too.

10/13/2017 - 20:38 |
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