Peter Bromhead: Driven to agitation by snarling cars

1 comment
Cartoon / Peter Bromhead
Cartoon / Peter Bromhead

One of the disadvantages of residing in "up-market" Parnell is that public events occasionally occur in the adjacent Domain, resulting in a cacophony that tests sweet reason for those living close by.

This week it's been rally cars snarling around the Museum.

I appreciate that viewing the reigning international champion driving flat out in his diminutive Citroen is intoxicating for petrol-heads, but why are today's rally cars so damn noisy?

It wasn't always so. In my own rally-driving days (hard to believe folks, but sadly true) variations to specifications for competitive purposes consisted of a few extra spotlights on the front bumper, plus a shovel tied to the roof to dig one's way out of snowdrifts and mud on mountain roads.

I don't recall my genteel Sunbeam-Talbot ever waking up the neighbourhood as we sped through the night on time trials - and before you laugh your head off at the thought of this sedate, granny limousine having any sporting inclinations, check what won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1955.

However I concede that in today's competitive world my Sunbeam wouldn't stand a chance, even immobile for a tyre change.

Before one could jack up a Sunbeam with the ghastly tool that came with the car, today's Citroen's team would have swapped the gearbox, fitted a new rear axle and sent Monsieur Loeb on his way again.

So, what's it like to be the coolest avatar in the world of rallying?

Well, I tried chatting to Loeb last time he was here, but he turned out to be predictably arrogant and non-commutative in the best traditions of someone who knows he's a Gallic prodigy, so I left him to consume his baguette.

During this week's event, when Parnell's streets were briefly filled with enthusiastic fans bedecked in chequered flags and logo-covered racing clothing, all eagerly waiting to watch their heroes roar past, I noted a demurely dressed middle-aged lady carrying a cello case.

"You don't look like you're here to watch Loeb strut his stuff," I said, acknowledging her musical instrument.

"Quite right, dear," she responded with a smile as she picked her way through the crowd. "It's Bach and coffee that turn me on. "

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 29 May 2017 00:09:27 Processing Time: 206ms