Posts By: Brendan McAleer

By on May 10, 2012

Yesterday was my day off, and by “day off” I of course mean, “day in which I work my ass off sans remuneration”. No doubt this’ll strike a chord with those of you who also have older houses with plenty of, uh, character.

It was a day no thumbs would die by accidental hammer-blow: there was work to be done on the car, and they don’t call me “Spanner” McAleer just because I’m a bit of idiot. Actually, maybe they do – well anyway, to arms! (Read More…)

By on April 23, 2012

Both Derek and Steven have recently had a go at their worst new small cars (and if you haven’t already, Jack’s take on the Eclipse is as entertaining as that car is not).

I’ve had a few abysmal drives in the past few years, notably a Smart Fortwo and an auto-equipped Scion tC, but one car stood head and shoulders below the rest. I drove it immediately after spending a week with an Evolution GSR, and my first thought was, “Well, that’s the end of Mitsubishi then.” (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2012

Some of you may be confused as this video seems to depict a warm sunny day, a dearth of moose (mooses? meese?), and the miscreant in question isn’t wreaking havoc with a snowmobile. But trust me, this is Canada, and this is one of our normally polite citizens tearing it up on a blue Yamaha R1 at extra-legal speeds on a crowded highway. He probably drank some bad maple syrup or something. (Read More…)

By on April 17, 2012

Derek Kreindler is pondering selling his lovely BRG Miata and using the funds as “a down payment on a home of my own.” *Sigh.* Here on the West Coast of Canada, I’d have had to sell my (imaginary) Aventador to pull off the same trick. Spend half-a-million bucks: get half-a-bunkbed in some split-level commune. Pot to piss in, not included.

But that’s not his point, it’s whether or not to let the First One go. The first car you paid for with your own money. That first taste of wheeled freedom. Be it ever so humble, you’ll never walk away from your first without a twinge of regret and many backwards glances.

I remember when I did it. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2012


If you’d like, you can read about my father’s MGB here, or find my thoughts on our Land Rover Series III here. The first taught me of the unspoken bond a father and son can feel when working side-by-side on a restoration project. The second’s lessons were mostly about swearing.

Both cars are still in faithful-if-intermittent service, the Landie as a sort of farm tractor, the MG as the tinkerer’s delight. However, if you’ve the patience, I’d like to tell you about my dad’s real car.

These days, the oul grey fellah pilots one hell of a boulevard-strafer: a six-speed-manual E60 550i M-Sport. It’s his sechste Funfer, and marks a quarter-century of 5-series ownership. To my mind though, he only ever had one. (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2012

Even when on vacation, I can’t help tripping over interesting stuff. In this case, quite literally. Ouch. My toe’s still bleeding. (Read More…)

By on April 11, 2012

We have at least two dandies on staff who make Beau Brummel look like Christian Audiger, what with their Zegna blazers and tailored shirts and handmade shoes and watches that aren’t also calculators. In the ordinary course of things, I leave it in their capable, well-manicured hands to wax eloquent on the concept of style. […]

By on March 31, 2012


Recently, while praising the growly note produced by the VW GLI, I made an off-handed remark concerning the multitude of axle-backs I’ve bolted onto my WRX over the years. Unlike most of the hyperbole that is my métier, such statement was actually based in reality.

I really did swap out back-boxes like Jack cycles through guitars, desiring both an uncorking of the rumble produced by a flat-four with unequal-length headers, yet without the yobbish blatting of some angled oil-barrel. A straight STi swap? Nope, all the metallic unpleasantness of chomping tinfoil. The Borla Hush? Stealthy in looks only, but drones like Ben Stein playing the didgeridoo.

If you’re interested, I ended up with a 2.5” single-tip Maddad Whisper, a fine, US-made piece of engineering which I paid through the nose for. Worth every penny though: just enough bass at idle to flip my on-switch, crest 4K in the rev department and suddenly Nicky Grist is calling out the pace notes.

And here’s the thing, of all the facets of the motorcar that are constantly being refined and improved and modernized, it’s the sound I’ll miss the most.
(Read More…)

By on March 24, 2012


This previously published article appears courtesy of my local regular print publication, the North Shore News.

Some dear friends of ours have a pair of twin boys that are just entering their latter teens. I have seen them grow from precocious eleven-year-old scamps to lofty, sullen, intimidating goons. Actually, just joking, they’re both about as sullen and intimidating as a basket-full of labrador retriever puppies.

However, they’re allowed to drive now. Eeep! (Read More…)

By on March 21, 2012

LAGUNA SECA – It’s called the Corkscrew, and for good reason. Perhaps the single most famous piece of racetrack topography in North America, this left-right two-punch combo can unsettle an unsorted chassis just as fast as the steep 18% gradient can unsettle a novice driver’s stomach. Jack Baruth was here in the same car. I’ll […]

By on March 7, 2012


Glee (noun) [\glē\]:
(a.) exultant high-spirited joy; merriment

(b.) a television series in which smooth-skinned actors in their middle twenties attempt to portray teens navigating the tumultuous rapids of modern adolescence by the application of close-part harmony; immensely popular when it debuted, but trailed off in the second season when it began getting a little preachy and then there was that part where Rachel was all like, “Finn, I need to let you fly free,” and…

(b.) Some TV show which I have never seen.

(c.) The best car in the current Volkswagen Model range.

Whaddya mean it’s pronounced “Gee-El-Eye”?
(Read More…)

By on February 20, 2012


If you are unfamiliar with the type of car pictured above, then may I congratulate you on finally getting a WiFi connection all the way up there in your cave on the moon. Yes indeedy, this is the much-publicized Cadillac CTS-V wagon.

No, on the other hand, it is not a press car. Let me explain. (Read More…)

By on February 2, 2012


The Cayman R: lowered, lightened, loudened. A track-day special with carbon-fibre race buckets, featherweight alloy wheels and red seatbelts.

All right you hosers, here’s how we review a car like that in Canada. (Read More…)

By on December 28, 2011

One of the constant dangers for your humble TTAC correspondent is drifting away from gimlet-eyed and ruthless objectivity towards developing a soft spot for a particular manufacturer. Lord forbid you should ever start becoming an “advocate”. Should such tendencies emerge, one of our larger and hairier Senior Editors will show up on the front stoop […]

By on December 9, 2011

It’s the particularly unpleasant sort of weather that Vancouver does best: temperature hovering just above zero degrees socialist, wind whipping a smirr of fine rain up and around uselessly flapping umbrellas and directly into your unprotected earhole, an all-pervading dampness seeping up from the puddled sidewalk and penetrating to the very bone. “Beautiful BC” my […]

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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
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