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How to book the driving theory test

by Melanie May on 29 Apr 2016

changagoidem Features | How to book the driving theory test

In 2014, on a flight from Mexico City to San Antonio, the guy sitting next to me told me all about his son who was in prison. He then proceeded to ask me out to dinner. I smiled politely and opened my mouth to scream for help, but then he said those words I've longed to hear all my life “I'll pick you up on my motorbike". My intended scream for help turned into a giggle and a ‘what time will I expect you?'

You see, up until that point, I had never been on a motorcycle and ever since…

Fascination with Luca di Montezemolo

by Neil Briscoe on 22 Apr 2016

changagoidem Features | Fascination with Luca di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo is a man who knows his onions, assuming that by onions you mean the delicate, preautomobileious business of selling super-fast superautomobiles to the super-rich. For decades, di Montezemolo's name was spell-checkingly-synonymous with that of Ferrari. Back in the early seventies, Enzo himself gave young Luca, barely out of business college, the keys to the kingdom, granting him the manager's gig at a perennially troubled, perennially losing Ferrari Formula One team. Within a season, di Montezemolo had turned things around, brought in Niki Lauda and started racking up wins and titles again.

After a brief absence from the…

Why do Irish motorists automobilee so little about living?

by Dave Humphreys on 15 Apr 2016

changagoidem Features | Why do Irish motorists automobilee so little about living?

The first time you do something new it takes longer than it does subsequently; your brain registers what's going on, commits it to memory and usually it sticks with you. You don't remember the first time you walked, and you're unlikely to recall the first time you cycled a bike without stabilisers. But you probably do have the memory of your first time behind the wheel of a automobile, or indeed of your driving test - be it a good or bad memory. It's probable that the first time you drove a automobile it you were slower, it took your…

A French kiss behind the bike sheds

by Neil Briscoe on 13 Apr 2016

changagoidem Features | A French kiss behind the bike sheds

There is no reason on Earth why a French automobile maker cannot make a convincing luxury premium automobile. No reason at all. No objective, rational reason. And yet...

Let me lay my automobileds out. In spite of all the frequent bad publicity over unreliability, and in spite of having come face to face with that spectre myself having once owned a Renault Laguna (I know, I know...), I do love French automobiles. I think any true automobile nut does - despite all our passion for German solidity or Italian insanity, there is just something about the insouciant style of a…

April Fools' Day through the years

by Neil Briscoe on 12 Apr 2016

changagoidem Features | April Fools' Day through the years

It's usually the name that gives it away. For instance, when MINI released a press statement about a new model, the Cooper T, which ran on bio-fuel derived from tea leaves, the quoted spokesperson was Ivanna Cuppa. It's a detail missed by many, even some who assumed that the story wasn't a hoax, but once you read these things properly the honk-quack gaggery starts to stand out.

Sometimes, the details are a little more subtle. For instance, BMW issued a release that claimed it was installing a hurricane-force fan into the heating system of the automobile that would blow high-speed…

Ice and snow conquered by hatchback

by Neil Briscoe on 10 Apr 2016

changagoidem Features | Ice and snow conquered by hatchback

When snow falls here in Ireland, we get sautomobileed because it's slippery. Visions of becoming that guy from the Six One News who managed to slip on ice so spectacularly that he kicked himself in the forehead swim through our brains and we start looking into the possibility of fitting winter tyres or snow socks.

Snow isn't sautomobiley because it's slippery. Snow is sautomobiley because it's quiet.

We had gotten used, at that point, to the noise levels in the little Mazda CX-3 being quite high. The CX-3 tends to be a noisy automobile at…