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Reader test: VW Golf 3 GTI

2010-09-29 07:39

Ryan Quirk

A year ago I had the extreme misfortune of having a car accident in the first new car I’d ever bought.

It was a Renault Clio 3 expression with two doors, 1.4i engine and the best interior in its class and price range. I loved that car, despite the lack of grunt low down and the resulting pointlessness of ever trying to dice anyone from robot to robot.
In any event, I ploughed my poor car into a stationary cab on an off-ramp at three AM.  It hurt.  But what hurt even more was the news that my poor, French car was no more and that only God almighty would be able to fix it for under a billion rand.  The insurance company sure wasn’t going to do it. So they settled up with the bank and there I sat, no car, and a brand spanking new national credit act to contend with.
After some searching and a declined finance application from the people who’d financed the Renault (I didn’t understand it either) I found what was to become my next car.  A 1995 Golf 3 GTI.
It came standard with ridiculously big alloy wheels and narrow strips of rubber that the manufacturers insist are tyres. I don’t believe them. I think they’re just big black rubber bands that have been stretched over the wheels. You realise this when you hit anything resembling a bump and intense pain envelopes your spleen. 
It also came standard with a big noisy exhaust pipe, which is great sometimes. Sure, it has its issues, it’s an old car. The air-conditioner doesn’t work, which is a big problem in Durban, the brake-light switch is faulty and it has turbo whine, which is quite concerning considering the fact that I have no turbo. The cubby-hole is also broken, but that’s my fault and it’s thirstier than an alcoholic Irish fisherman. 
I could have gotten all these issues fixed but I haven’t because I’m lazy and I can’t afford an assistant just yet.
Despite all that I love the car. It goes up hills and it goes around corners without too much complaint. It makes a cool noise and it’s not over the top.  “What do I need a new car for?”  I keep asking myself. “Why would I go through all that added expense, just for some nicer smelling real leather and heated seats?”
The answers to those questions are simple ones, new cars are better, and chicks dig guys with cool cars… 

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