The Beast, Day 1
For fuck’s sake…
So here is the story of my love affair with my rental car…to date, 45km…max speed 105km/h. Radio frequency, Hauraki.
I flew into Auckland today, a city I have no emotional connection to and as welcoming as a turd between the bed sheets, so it came as no surprise around the incident that led to my attachment with afore-mentioned motor vehicle.
In signing the paperwork I was asked to ‘accept’ responsibility of any speeding tickets incurred…it was here I first asked what car I would be driving, to which I was advised it was a Suzuki Alto…no real concern, as I had no problem with that, but first to paint the scene here are some basic facts before I proceed (from their website);
The least expensive new car on the New Zealand market is not only one of the most environmentally friendly motor vehicles but also one of the most fuel-efficient. Basically it’s as cheap as a $2 whore, with obvious benefits but still not enough that you would be happy to take it out to meet your mates or home to meet your parents.
“This is the most aerodynamic car ever produced by Suzuki and a more efficient shape than exotic sports cars such as the Ferrari F430,” OK, I’m guessing the Ferrari has the coefficient drag of a supertanker with the modern styling of the Beehive…believe it not though, that’s an actual quote from the manufacturer!
With a piston displacement of 996 cm3 (smaller than my radio-controlled car) , the Alto’s engine develops 50 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 90 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm (in short, piss all power unable to pull the dick off a chocolate mouse).
Alto sits on a 2,360 mm wheelbase, is 1,470 mm high, a trim 1,600 mm wide, and has 150 mm ground clearance. Too small for anyone but an Asian or ‘little person’. Note how they use the term Alto in the third person?
So, bearing the above in mind, and what I was signing for, I laughed that he thought that such a car was capable of breaking any speed land records let alone NZ road restrictions…he didn’t laugh so much when I threatened I would try for the world land speed record for its class.
I was walked to my car…and there she was…I use the term car in the loosest sense as all I saw was a Foodtown trolley with a body shell placed on it…not a concern really except it had the colour and complexion of an alcoholic’s liver spots. PINK?!?!?! For your information, the official colour is Fortune Rose Metallic Pearl.
I had been set up, and the bastards responsible who booked my car will, trust me, pay!
It first hit home that I was in the mechanical equivalent of Brokeback Mountain when a hot, young girl driving a boy-racer car (in pink) laughed at me as I ‘cruised’ past at a mere 25kph! I made a conscious decision then that I would not drive down K-Road or Queen St.
After this I called in a friend to drop off a present for their new-born. I pulled up at her place where the Plunket nurse was present – her Toyota Echo with baby piccies plastered over it even looked more manly…and she even laughed!
On calling in on a mate at a Volvo dealership (yes, the canvas-wearing, middle-income, leather-elbowed generation) called it ‘nipple pink’…it was at this point that my threat to the rental car company that this car would return in disrepair would be a real likelihood.
Even sitting at intersections I got ‘checked out’ and pitied by grandmas sitting in larger capacity cars while I worried that the heavy-rock of The Who and Metallica on the radio threatened to shake the car to pieces – I had an urge to play Vera Lynn and talkback radio to fit in. One guy on a bike out-sprinted me off the line at one time although he did have the obligatory bike shorts showing testicles to be bigger than a bull in tupping season! Embarrassing nonetheless…
For the next few days I will document my travels in the little liver-spot, detailing the cons and cons of driving a shit piece of engineering. and the heart-felt emotions of its driver, namely me. If this upsets grandmothers, greenies, or shopping-trolley attendants around the country, nay the world, I make no apolgies…it’s a piece of shit!!!