Posts By: Brendan McAleer

By on June 25, 2013

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Central to the tone of Jack Baruth’s lovely father-and-son 911 vignette is the concept of the Forever Car. It’s a nice thought – the machine acting as fossilizing amber, perfectly capturing a fleeting memory such that it lasts an eternity.

This idea is, to me, an entirely rational way to explain the presence of a theoretical soul in something that is composed of nothing more than steel, glass, rubber and leather. Cars don’t have souls, they develop them through experience – the transference of an emotion felt behind the wheel. It doesn’t have to be a 911 either, even the humblest old Volvo shoebox absorbs a personality as it slots into the background in slide after slide of family vacation pictures.

And then, you find yourself browsing craigslist and seeing a well-preserved you-name-it and thinking, “I could make that mine. I could share that with my children, and they would understand, and when I am dead and gone, they would explain it to their kids, and they would know.”

It’s a nice thought, the Forever Car. It perfectly encapsulates the human need for lasting possessions, of the art scrawled on the cave wall that says, “I was here.” One’s all-too-brief lifetime becomes a link in a chain that’ll stretch out over the years; less an ownership cycle than the work of a custodian/curator.

Well hurry up then. The last Forever Cars have already been built. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2013

Heresy can be fun. Certainly it is so for an Irishman, what with Behan’s, “wonderful lack of respect for everything and everyone.” And so, it has to be said, I’ve developed a certain fondness for Porsche’s big fat trucks and sedans precisely because they get up the nose of the purists – folks who think […]

By on June 20, 2013

Audi first tossed us the keys to its S6 with the SuperBowl mega-ad “Prom”. Premise: dateless kid gets handed Dad’s super-sedan for the evening, kisses the prom queen, gets punched by the prom king, snorts around town with a big grin on his face. The message was clear: buy this car, put a little excitement […]

By on May 24, 2013

When the call came in, I had shit on my hands. I’m speaking literally here, standing atop Quarry Rock in North Vancouver, tomato-faced and lathered with sweat after a hurried hike. My sleeping infant daughter had somehow just managed to relieve herself on the outside of her diaper – real assassination-of-JFK stuff, a second pooper […]

By on October 25, 2012

Upon graduation from Belfast Teacher’s Training College in the late ’60s, my father found himself summoned into the headmaster’s office. A heavy oaken drawer was opened and an object placed upon the green baize of the blotting pad: “Ye’ll be needin’ this.” “This” was the strap, thick leather symbol of martial law in the classroom. […]

By on September 18, 2012

She is twenty-seven or perhaps thirty-one, long-limbed and lithe with clean blond hair pulled straight back – though not in a severe way – from a fine-boned, small-nosed face. That which is not honed by either Pilates or Bikram is flattered by the lycra of her Lululemon yoga capris, the fabric caressing as it flexes. As she bends over to soothe an adorable tow-headed toddler in a six-hundred-dollar ergonomic jogging stroller, I have just one thing on my mind.

Damn.

That is a really nice stroller. (Read More…)

By on September 4, 2012

Neil Armstrong died on August 25th of this year and the nation mourned, doubly so. First for the man, and second for what he stood for: hero, explorer, icon of a time when all that was best in America rose up on a pillar of smoke and flame to dance among the heavens. The astronauts, […]

By on August 14, 2012

Bribery! While TTAC has a Get Behind Me Satan approach to the buffet-table and the press junket, we’re still mostly susceptible to the kryptonite lure of interesting cars. So when Mazda called me up and asked if I’d like to sample a little of their driving heritage in a blatant PR move, I huffily told […]

By on August 13, 2012

  [Editor’s note: TTAC does not review cars, TTAC reviewers do. The reviews can be as different as the reviewers are, and they voice their opinions independently. Due to the high interest the FR-S has received, we put a whole squad of TTAC reviewers into the car, and we are not done yet.] Alex’s initial […]

By on August 3, 2012


Looking at this picture, carefully digitally massaged by my brother, it’s a bit hard to recall why I didn’t dig the 991. What a rich, full colour, shimmering and gleaming like the dowry bangles of an upper-caste Indian bride; love among the marigolds.

Trust me, in person this thing looked like a flicked booger. Put it another way: if the canary turns this colour, get the hell out of the mineshaft. But then, that’s just my opinion – and it sets me to wondering. As we writers are wont to praise or condemn based on the emotional intangibles of a car, how much of the review was due to the hue? (Read More…)

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