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Reader test: Chev Lumina SS

2009-01-07 14:38

Rahul Jayaram, Roodepoort

My ride is a 2007 Chevrolet Lumina SS. It’s a 6.0-litre V8 of Australian origin, except for the detuned engine which comes from the USA and is at the heart of one of the recent Corvettes.

Though detuned, this is a car that demands an enormous amount of respect on the roads. Even lunatic drivers think twice before cutting in front of it. With 270 kW of power under the hood and 530Nm of torque from the fourth generation V8, this goliath of a motor is really a force to be reckoned with.

The car's interior is comfortable by BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class levels of spaciousness, and the ride is comparable to that of the E-Class, too.

Standard equipment includes all you would expect of a nearly R400 000 motor vehicle, except that the satellite navigation software isn't available to SA.

Many moods, one car

It’s well endowed with a six-speed auto transmission that churns the 245/45/18" back wheels through whatever you ask of it: haul trains, smooth out a bumpy road, drive miss daisy, or grocery shopping with the family. That’s the beauty of this car - its practical in many a sense. I have a supercar when I want one and I have a day-to-day traffic manoeuvring car when I need one.

Most people fall over backwards when they hear V8 6.0-litre and it’s not meant to be an economical car in comparison to 4 or 6 cylinder cars, so one shouldn’t compare as they are not in the same class.

With my laid-back driving style, I get roughly 13.5 l/100 km, which is reasonable by many standards. It's cheaper than having an affair and yet you get all the same joy. You just need to adjust your mindset before you own one, or you might die when you see the range you get out of your first full tank!

To floor the SS's loud pedal is to imagine a storm suddenly rumbling through a mountain range, it will awaken an inner beast in you.

Attention seeker

The car turns heads everywhere it goes. I think it’s either the burnt orange colour of its titanic body blinding onlookers or the rumble from its quad exhausts. It gets people turning and pointing and secretively winding down their windows to hear the exhaust note as it passes by.

The car is a great family car since it has enough space for five adults and a boot big enough to swallow a buffalo (or your wife if she’s nagging you). Even then you may still have some space left over.

Talk Chevy V8 and it brings back those memories of the true muscle cars of an era gone by. I don’t know about you, but I wish to hold on to that era for dear life. As they say, there’s no replacement for displacement!


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