Ready for takeoff

One of the neighbours down the street from me has one of those souped-up Commodores. Bright red, low to the ground, and with a rear spoiler (or “bum enhancement” as Marita calls them).

Unlike one of those stupid grunty cars, I can’t hear it from inside my house, but still makes a noticeable amount of noise if I’m walking past at the time.

In fact when I see him slowly moving down the street towards the main road, it reminds me a little of a jet taxiing for take-off, particularly as when he’s going to work he tends to wear a shirt and tie and a Bluetooth mobile device in his ear, so he looks a little like a pilot.

I wonder if he’s saying to his kids (when they’re in there with him) that they should ensure their seats are upright, and seatbelts on, and asking his wife in the passenger seat to point out the exits and “arm doors and cross-check“.

I’m sure he’s not the only one who chooses to drive markedly slower than the 50 speed limit in his own street. It seems to be a common side street thing — some kind of indefinable respect for one’s neighbours and neighbourhood. It’s not universal though; some people few doors up in the other direction regularly fire up their stupid grunty car and roar off somewhere at 10pm-ish.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Ready for takeoff”

What? GM pulled out of Japan – they reduced their stake in Isuzu from 49% to 12% in 2002. The Commodore would have an Australian body and an American engine. The only Japanese Holdens would be the Gemini, Rodeo and Jackaroo IIRC, unless you want to count “model-sharing” rebadges like the Nova (Toyota Corolla) and 1st-gen Barina (Suzuki Swift).


Most Australian GM products are actually sourced from GM’s Korea division, Daewoo:

Barina, aka Daewoo Kalos / Chevy Aveo, a truly horrendous hateful car. Replaced the awesome Opel Corsa, a great super mini. Low end car buyers went from NCAP five star to three star for the same money. Terrible, terrible car – one of Holden’s worst ever mistakes.
Cruze – aka Daewoo Lacetti / Chevy Cruze. Destined for rental car fleet mediocrity
Epica – aka Daewoo Tosca / Chevy Epica. I don’t see the point in this car. It’s supposed to replace the Vectra, a far superior car in every way.
Captiva – aka Daewoo Winstorm / Chevy Captiva. My sister in law has this car. It’s not too bad.

The Colorado is a re-badged Isuzu D-Max, which is built in Thailand for Australian consumption. (It’s also built in Latin America, but as we don’t have a free trade agreement with these countries, it’s cheaper to bring it from Thailand).

The only GM product made in Australia now is the Commodore and its related models (Berlina, Calais, Sportswagon, Ute, Statesman, Caprice, HSV derivatives of same).

I like Marita’a name for spoilers! Wish I knew it when I had a car with one attached… I would have frequently and proudly referred to my bum enhancement!

Interestingly, Emirates (atleast on Boeing 777s) don’t say the ‘cross check’ bit. I couldn’t see if they actually DO cross check, however.

I don’t usually notice Commodores being noisy. It is always falcons which are noisy, particularly at low speed, they have a very noisy fan.
Falcon fans have been about 5 times as noisy as any other car for about 15 years now, you would think they would have fixed it.

Enno, any car except a Prius at low speed is noisy in a quiet street, but obviously a 6 or 8 cylinder car is more noticeable than others.

It depends on the exhaust, too. Most souped up 6- and 8-cylinder cars have an exhaust that’s designed to give the car “presence” (or an aftermarket one that’s just designed to be inconsiderately loud). OTOH an Aston Martin DB9 with the stock exhaust is almost silent at low speed.

On a falcon, the fan noise is much louder than the engine noise and exhaust noise at low speed. There is a street sweeping machine they use in my area which has a roaring air noise, sounds just like a falcon.

I guess your all aware the Falcon (like other cars) uses electric fans that are only switched on when the engine overheats or is ideling with the air on, but maybe your talking about cars from the mid ninties or earlier?

This week I finally bought a sports exhaust for my V8 and as said of other drivers I keep it slow and quiet until I’m on the open road.

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