By on September 7, 2016


Anything that happens in Australia is already sort of funny, because we all remember the Simpsons episode where the Aussie locals play knifey-spoony and Homer salutes the toilet.

Well, from the land of Midnight Oil, Nicole Kidman and the defunct Ford Falcon Ute comes this story, thanks to Jalopnik, the South Australia Police, and a man who wouldn’t let a missing steering wheel end his motoring dreams.

According to a South Australia police report, cops were called to an Adelaide street on September 4 after a resident reported a suspicious red Mazda sedan and a strange man loitering nearby.

When they arrived, officers spied the red Mazda leaving the scene. Naturally, they followed the driver to a nearby parking lot, where they found that his vehicle’s standard equipment was somewhat lacking.

Instead of a boring steering wheel, this Mazda came equipped with a rare aftermarket accessory — a frying pan bolted to the steering hub, sans handle.

Police didn’t describe the man’s lifestyle, but the frying pan reads “17-7-14-14-5 Uncontrollable & driven to love only a beating HEART R.I.P. (unintelligible squiggles).” It appears that the heartfelt message was scrawled in Whiteout correction fluid, which is the ink of poets.

It turns out that the frying pan was the least of the driver’s concerns. Police booked the 32-year-old for driving unregistered and uninsured in a defective vehicle with the defect label removed. Also, the Mazda’s front license plate was altered (naughty…) and the driver was in violation of his bail conditions.

So, the cops impounded Adelaide Andy’s Mazda for 28 days. Hopefully, when it returns to the streets of sunny Australia, the new (or current) owner installs a wheel that provides some crash protection. We suggest this:

Jiffy Pop (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

[Images: South Australia Police; Mike Mozart/Flickr]

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25 Comments on “Australian Driver’s Kitchenware Joyride Doesn’t Pan Out...”

  • avatar

    Mazda Protege. I recognized the switchgear. Admittedly, mine had a different steering wheel.

    I assume rust doesn’t kill them in Australia like it does here?

  • avatar

    Hey, Big Al, what’s a defect label?

    The Jiffy Pop would provide some crash protection in case of engine fires.

    • 0 avatar

      Not to mention a handy snack as you await the ambulance.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      A vehicle defect sticker is a sticker placed on a vehicle by either the police or transport official. Transport officials tend to target trucks.

      A defect is issued when a vehicle has been modified beyond regulatory requirements and have exceeded minimum conformance and compliance.

      Simple things such as too much lift on a 4×4 (4″ lift is only allowed) or wheel protrucing beyond the mudguards (fenders), missing mudflaps, excessive noise or the emission of to much smoke from the exhaust, ie, chipped and modified diesels, oil burning engines, etc.

      If a vehicle has been defected it is a horses’ass to then have the transport department go over your vehicle with a fine tooth comb. They will check every aspect from tyre tread, freeplay in suspension components, park brake, etc.

      They even check acceleration as measured in g’s when braking.

      It is easy to get a defect then spend a massive amount of money making your vehicle legal again, even if there is a simple issue like a tyre that is too wide.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks, I knew I could count on you! Sounds like Australia is as tough as the UK. I marvel when watching Wheeler Dealers how tough an MOT inspection is. Seems like if applied in the USA, 50% of cars would be ordered off the road.

        • 0 avatar

          The bogan was given the equivalent of a fix-it ticket. That happens in the US, too.

          South Australia doesn’t have annual inspections. The notice was probably issued by a cop, who may not be an expert on cars but who can tell the difference between kitchenware and a steering wheel.

  • avatar

    That alternate steering wheel is only useful if the car catches fire. Then it’s tasty.

    • 0 avatar

      The ironic thing is that there’s heaps of auto accessories stores that will supply and fit a generic steering wheel for the price of a few pizzas delivered…

      I believe this car is pre airbags. Its certain pre airbags now.

  • avatar

    “scrawled in Whiteout correction fluid”

    Hey, don’t diss.. I’ve used Whiteout squeezy pens for umpties to label dark textured plastics like the transformer end of charger cords and to ID my meters. Gets into the texturing and lasts long time.

    For anything similar but larger like tool boxes: white fridge touch-up enamel!

  • avatar

    And yet still preferable to the original Saturn Ion steering wheel.

  • avatar

    Feh, amateur. Friend of mine back in ’74 drove an MGBGT ragtop for months using a vise-grip on the steering column’s turny bits. I rode with him many times, and yet, I live. ;)

  • avatar

    Jiffy Pop safer than Takata. Just don’t smell the fake butter!

  • avatar

    “Police booked the 32-year-old for driving unregistered and uninsured in a defective vehicle with the defect label removed.”

    Wait, he took the Mazda badge off the front as well?

  • avatar

    Must be Canadian Jiffypop, cause Americans ain’t paying no $4.29 for some damn Doritos.

  • avatar

    Out of the frying pan into the…jail?

  • avatar

    Chronic industrial exposure to diacetyl fumes, such as in the microwave popcorn production industry, has been associated with bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and life-threatening form of non-reversible obstructive lung disease in which the bronchioles (small airway branches) are compressed and narrowed by fibrosis (scar tissue) and/or inflammation.

    Bon Apetite! This stuff is the main ingredient in fake butter. Don’t smell it if u want to keep breathing. People who make several servings a day have had lung damage, not just those who work in manufacturing it.

  • avatar

    As so often ;

    A good article followed by even better comments ! =8-) .

    Greetings from Ganado, Az.


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