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Longbridge’s long story ends with a whimper

by Neil Briscoe on 28 Sep 2016

changagoidem Features | Longbridge’s long story ends with a whimper

It is in perhaps a very small way a moment where those of us involved in the automobile industry should make a note of where we were when we heard it - the vote for Brexit has claimed, partially, its first casualty although it’s one that many will struggle to notice.

MG, the former Morris Garages and one-time MG Rover Group, has confirmed that production of automobiles will cease at the famous, infamous Longbridge site in Birmingham. Speaking to the media, the brand’s UK marketing and sales head confirmed that the recent fall in the value of the pound has…

E30 BMW M3 vs. Ford Sierra RS Cosworth!

by Maurice Malone on 26 Sep 2016

changagoidem Features | E30 BMW M3 vs. Ford Sierra RS Cosworth!

Two lightly-sanitised racing automobiles fight it out on Irish roads, but which one would Maurice Malone take home?

If you wanted to win in the hotbed that was Touring Automobile racing in the 1980s, converting a road automobile to race trim simply wouldn’t cut it. You needed to design your racing automobile with all the bits and bobs required to succeed, then toddle along to the nice people in Marketing and Finance and convince them that you wanted to build 5,000 road-eligible versions in order to qualify for homologation.

While this was a nightmare for product planners, accountants and insurance…

Happy birthday, Unimog

by Neil Briscoe on 14 Sep 2016

changagoidem Features | Happy birthday, Unimog

I have never driven a Unimog, and that, frankly, makes me less of a man. Just as with my inability to grow a decent beard and my unnatural fear of socket sets, my lack of Unimog experience renders me less of the MacGyver-esque ideal man than I should be. Because, and I apologise here for the surfeit of sexism, the Unimog is a truly manly machine.

Which is not to suggest for a moment that a woman could not drive, enjoy or desire a Unimog, but I use the phrase manly in its sense of endeavour or adventure. A shame…

Irish Icons: BMW E30 325i Sport

by Maurice Malone on 13 Sep 2016

changagoidem Features | Irish Icons: BMW E30 325i Sport

The faint wail of a tortured six-cylinder engine and the chirrup of shredded tyres can be heard around the parish. A fine film of rubber forms a scrappy circle, left as a mark of authority on the tarmac of an empty crossroads. Sound familiar? Up and down the land until very recently, BMW's E30 325i Sport had a reputation as a donut machine, a bun-maker, a slab wrecker. Cheap and nasty examples proliferated, and were driven into the ground by unautomobileing owners with rust sending many more to an early grave. Despite this, I reckon the E30 could be one…

Renault Megane vs Opel Astra vs Volkswagen Golf

by Dave Humphreys on 10 Sep 2016

changagoidem Features | Renault Megane vs Opel Astra vs Volkswagen Golf

The brand new Megane takes on the evergreen Golf and the understated Opel Astra.

The mid-size hatchback was once the family automobile of choice, but it has been coming under increasing competition from the burgeoning crossover and SUV segments of late, as evidenced by the rise of the Hyundai Tucson to the top of the sales chart this year. Nonetheless, the C-segment remains a highly competitive sector in its own right, with manufacturers increasing equipment and refinement to vie for buyers' attention. For this triple test we gathered together the brand new Renault Megane,…

Group B rallying: the monsters evolve

by Maurice Malone on 05 Sep 2016

changagoidem Features | Group B rallying: the monsters evolve

1985 saw the debut of more new challengers. Things were starting to get out of hand, and drivers found themselves at their limits just trying to keep the automobiles on the road.

This was going to be Ari’s year. The form shown by the Finnish maestro since the debut of the 205 T16 meant that the championship would surely be a foregone conclusion. Audi were still doggedly trying to extract pace out of the front-engined Sport Quattro at the behest of their marketing department. Lancia were biding time with the 037 until its all-wheel drive replacement arrived later in the…

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