Mustangs & Milkshakes

Mustangs & Milkshakes

When was the last time you jumped in your car and drove? No plans, no map and no idea where you’re headed? Those “let’s see where the open road takes us” opportunities are rare, but when they happen, that’s when you find the best best kept secrets! I spent last week, just like that. Driving around in the new Ford Mustang, with no set plan and just seeing where the road leads. One of those roads (and there were many), led me to the coolest retro styled Roadhouse, where I found the best milkshakes in Jozi. Growing up in the 90’s, we didn’t have drive through fast food joints and Roadhouses were all the rage. They were also the place to go if you wanted a thick and delicious shake to wash down a seriously loaded burger, or an oozing toasted cheese. Ya know, the ones wrapped in paper with a little gherkin on top? I miss those days! So what an awesome throwback it was to find Kota Joe Roadhouse and get a blast from the past – but this time, in a true American Muscle Car. Back in the day, our parents (or grandparents for some of you) must’ve gotten quite…

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The “Joule” of Africa – Africa’s first battery electric engineering masterpiece

The “Joule” of Africa – Africa’s first battery electric engineering masterpiece

For most of us, climate change is not a priority in our lives. Yes, we constantly read about it in the newspapers and we’re bombarded by doomsday scientists on Discovery Channel babbling on about catastrophic worldwide repercussions if we, the ordinary folk on the street don’t drastically change the way we lead our lives.

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The bite to match the bark – Opel Corsa 1.6 Sport

The bite to match the bark – Opel Corsa 1.6 Sport

When it comes to describing cars, the word ‘sport’ seems to be thrown around with abandon. It’s used nowadays to describe anything from bakkies that wear a ‘sport’ emblem proudly on their flanks, “how exactly can a bakkie be sporty” I ask? Well it can’t. Then there’s the mammoth SUV, that also claims to be ‘sporty’; again I ask “how can a 2.5 ton behemoth be sporty?” – And again the answer is, it can’t. The fact of the matter is that car manufacturers will use any means possible to put bums in their cars and when it comes to buying cars most people want a ‘sporty’ touch, to brighten up a what is really a dull duty of commuting from A to B. Let’s be honest we all want a bit of ‘vooma’ under our right foot, instead of that feeling that your car is being propelled by little hamsters running at full tilt on those little cage wheels. For a lot of manufacturers ‘Sport’ models include nothing more than taking a standard, bottom of the range shoebox, adding some bigger wheels, fancy bumpers and a roof spoiler and then asking the earth for it. It’s like taking a…

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Is a great design enough to justify a premium price tag? Pro_cee’d to find out…

Is a great design enough to justify a premium price tag? Pro_cee’d to find out…

Kia doesn’t make memorable cars. In fact when I think of a car made by Kia, the only thing that springs to mind is the Picanto; good value for money, small car, blah, blah, blah…  Oh, and that drop-side bakkie thing from those adverts, you know “Hai’bo” (or is that Hyundai?) I don’t know, but Kia and Hyundai are joined at the hip anyway. Funnily enough another thing that pops into my head when I think of Kia is World Cup 2010. I know they have something to do with it, but I can’t remember what, probably official carrier to the players or something. Picture the opening ceremony of 2010, there will probably be drop-side Kia bakkies doing pirouettes and Hyundai Tucson’s doing fancy freestyle motocross maneuvers. Aah! Only in Africa. Imagine my shock when out and about on the roads, out of nowhere I was hurriedly grabbing at my indicator stalk, signaling my intent to move over because in my review mirror there was a black wedge shaped, two door coupe trying to get two minutes ahead of me. I moved over, and the low black profile sped past. I only had a second to get a glimpse of…

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You’ll go “Va-va-voom” in the Renault Clio sport

You’ll go “Va-va-voom” in the Renault Clio sport

I am a car addict. Being a car addict is much like being a fashion addict or a make-up addict for that matter and feeding your addiction is directly proportional to the size of your bank balance. I suppose being a car addict is much like any other addiction, you can only be addicted to it if you can afford to be That’s why most of the time I find being a car addict unreasonably depressing. Every day I am forced to witness the mess that is our national road network and more depressingly, the half-wits that use this network. Obnoxious taxi drivers wreaking havoc at every turn and driving slalom, except not rounding cones or flags like you might if you’re skiing, here it’s dodgems with potholes. These things are so common now that I hardly notice them anymore. You know, like knowing that South Africa is the murder capital of the world, we hear it about it on the radio and read it in the newspaper every day, but eventually it just becomes meaningless – part of everyday living. The new bane in my life is being subjected to people who have too much money. Top of my…

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(C)open top driving

(C)open top driving

What’s in a brand name? Well to most people a lot. Do you shop at Spar or Woolworths? Do you buy in-store bread or Albany bread? Are Pep jeans good enough for you or do you buy Levi’s instead? Coke or Pepsi? The answer to these questions is undoubtedly subjective. We all have our preferences and we usually stick to them no matter what. But let’s be honest, most of our answers are unreasonable and are totally unjustified. Granted, Woolies veggies are the best in the business and I confess to buying them regularly.  Why? Well, Woolies veggies just taste better and they last longer, at least that’s what I tell myself.  Spar veggies would more than suffice, but I’ve been conned into thinking that Woolies is that much better. Damn these marketing guru’s, Damn them! Similarly, a decent pair of jeans from Edgars will do just fine, but no, we have to fork out a small fortune on Guess, Levi’s and Diesel jeans and we justify the purchase with remarks like, “Levi’s just fit so well” or “that style is so unique”. What a load of bull.  They’re no better than anything else you could buy.  It’s just that…

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In Retro-spect: The Beetle, the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500

In Retro-spect: The Beetle, the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500

I’m no fashion guru, hence I’ ll stick to writing about cars. What I do know about fashion however,  is that it revolves rather than evolves, and wheels revolve and I know a bit about wheels, so hear me out. My Dad used to do a fair amount of partying when he was young.  Apparently getting dressed for Saturday night’s jol, started early on Saturday morning. He used get up, put on his favourite pair of Levi’s and then promptly get in the bath – with his jeans still on. You see the look back then was “the tighter the better”, and wearing your jeans in the bath solved the conundrum of getting into a pair of jeans, so tight they were, just like a second skin.  The bath water shrinks the jeans around your body, so you didn’t have to dislocate your ankle to put them on. That was the 60’s. Similarly once a week when I was a youngster, my mom would drag me along to Aerobics. I have vivid memories of big hair, baggy lumo tops, black tights and leg warmers nestling on what could only be called ballet shoes. That was the 80’s (or yesterday?). I…

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The “Ugly Betty” of the road

The “Ugly Betty” of the road

I love the TV show Ugly Betty. The idea that a somewhat frumpy, Latino girl can hack it in a job where the co-workers are as glossy as the pages that make up the Fashion Magazine they work for. Out of place and often thrown into the deep end, with no fashion savvy, and the “I don’t care what you think of me” attitude, Betty always manages to come through in the end – outdoing and upstaging her glitzy bimbo colleagues, who are always out to get the ‘Ugly Duckling’.  It’s that, “aah, what a happy ending!” feeling you get.  Just like in the movies, when the baddies are all locked up in jail and everyone lives happily ever after. The SsangYong Stavic (crikey! Sounds Eastern European, it’s actually Korean) is the Ugly Betty of the car world. What a tragic vehicle. I use the word vehicle, because I’m hesitant to call the Stavic a car.  It looks like the love child of a Prius and a bus. I would go so far as to say it is the ugliest car in the world, but I think that accolade is still reserved for the original Fiat Multipla, my goodness, those…

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Tickling your motoring tastebuds

Tickling your motoring tastebuds

Advertising is an amazing thing. It’s something that through a series of pictures, a message or even a lifestyle, we are inspired to look into another car that could potentially fit our lifestyle or in fact who we are better. Whether it’s a young, gorgeous girl who makes you think that this is the only car to possibly fit with your young, stylish image, or whether it’s the playful interaction between a couple that you recognise in yourselves or a picture of safety you want for your own family. I still remember the first time I saw the advert for the Volvo S40. It was just after the new shape came out. A woman was driving. She was driving through a tree lined road with the sun shining through in patches through yellow, orange and green covered trees. Messages about how great treasures of the world were protected, and how precious things are taken care of in armored vehicles and protected rooms. Then the view shifts to a child in the back, sitting in a car seat, the sun shining on to the beautiful little girl’s face … and a message about how your precious things in life deserve the…

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Junk in your trunk

Junk in your trunk

As a mom I find there are two kinds of “mom-cars”. Those who are pristine as the moms are desperate to retain their “pre-kids” car stature and then the moms who simply do not have the time and inclination to do anything about it. I find myself somewhat on the fence with this one, as I generally am a neat freak bordering on OCD. But sometimes I find the ability deep down (WAY way deep down), to go with the flow and even live with a few spilled strawberry pops and whatever else lands on the floor of my car, for a couple of days before it finally gets under my skin.  I am then forced to attack my car with cleaning liquids, a bunch of cloths and a mini vacuum cleaner. No, I am not kidding. But I believe it’s not just moms who have a problem with keeping their cars clean. A friend of mine once confessed

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