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Drive Life : January 28th 2011
1HERSA1 0009 These laws will improve vehicle safety and consumer protection, and reduce the risk of vehicle theft and re-birthing. NSW light vehicles including cars, trailers, caravans and motorcycles written-off from 31 January 2011 cannot be registered in Australia and can only be used for parts or scrap metal. Some vehicles may be eligible to be repaired based on category and ownership. For more information visit www.rta.nsw.gov.au/wov or call 13 22 13 From 31 Januar y 2011 NEW written-off vehicle laws will apply in NSW The Sydney Morning Herald Friday, January 28, 2011 9 DriveLIFE cover story Attention-grabbers . . . (clockwise from main) Thomas Richards with his Hummer; Tony File and his Ferrari 512M; Robert Annette with his Porsche 911 GT3 RS; HSV man Joe Garzaniti; Volvo driver John Grist. Photos: Paul Harris, Fiona Morris, Quentin Jones, Tamara Dean, Danielle Smith That means a scratch along just one door on an Aston Martin can cost between $8000 and $12,000 to repair. A similar scratch on a Bentley will be anything from $12,000 to $15,000. Barbanera has been in the business 20 years and says he's seen an increase in the incidences of damage caused by people who disapprove of particular cars. ''We had a Bentley come in here after somebody had thrown a beer bottle at it and caused $8000 worth of damage,'' he says. ''And I'm noticing a big increase in the incidence of top-end cars being keyed. BMWs are a very common target for keying.'' BMW owner Allan Haywood took delivery of a 330Ci with a special-order paint job from BMW. ''It was one of those mica finishes that looks different from every angle,'' Haywood says. ''At the time it was the only one in Australia.'' Two months later, he parked his BMW out the front of his daughter's school while he went inside to pick her up. When he returned after five minutes, the car had been completely keyed down both sides, back to the metal. ''I was in complete shock,'' Haywood says. ''I thought, how can it happen here, of all places? The car had been parked legally, the only reason I can see for this sort of vandalism is jealousy.'' It's not only prestige cars that are the focus of aggression. Muscle cars such those from HSV seem to rub some folks up the wrong way. Joe Garzaniti is president of the HSV owners club of NSW. He says he is often on the receiving end of abuse when he's driving his black 2003 VY Clubsport, 5.7-litre V8. ''Yeah, you'll get the odd bod who will scream out, 'you think you own the bloody road','' he says. ''Another bloke in our club had a full bottle of water thrown at his car.'' Some might say the abuse could be a tad well deserved. ''To be honest, when you've got the power of a V8 under the bonnet you're not going to treat the car like a little baby,'' Garzaniti says. ''When you give it a bit of stick it upsets people. Sometimes I'll gun it at the lights and someone will wag their little pinkie at me.'' But of all the cars to reap unwanted attention, the Hummer has to take the prize. The gargantuan 4WD has become a veritable symbol of the-car-as-evil- planet-destroyer. Greenies hate them with the same fervour reserved for whale killers. There is a multitude of websites devoted to Hummer abuse, such as FUH2.com, whereby Hummer haters are invited to submit photographs of themselves giving the ''H2 salute'' (raising the middle finger) to a Hummer. Or you can buy a bumper sticker to whack on somebody's Hummer in a carpark. There are plenty to choose from. Such as: Nice Hummer, sorry about your little pee pee. Or: I like to waste gas and run over children. ''My experience with driving a Hummer has been completely positive,'' the founder of the Sunshine Coast Hummer Club, Sam Sheppard, says. ''One time I came back to my H3 and somebody had applied fresh lipstick and kissed the bonnet all over,'' she says. ''That's how much they loved my car.'' Thomas Richards, of the Facebook-based Hummer Club Australia, hasn't been so lucky. He's had people swearing at him as he's driven past. His bright-red 2008 Hummer Luxury Edition has been spat on and somebody threw eggs at it. ''And I'm given the middle finger a lot,'' he says. ''But I'm passionate about the car and I'm keeping it.'' Stopped to cop an eyeful FITTING an exhaust pipe the width of a soft drink can to your car won't just attract the attention of the neighbours and passers by, it's likely to get the cops on your tail. A former senior highway patrol officer says heavily modified Japanese imports garner the most attention from the boys in blue. ''The cars with the big drainpipe exhausts --- the Subaru WRXs and the [Nissan] Skylines and [Toyota] Supras --- you look pretty hard at because they've usually been heavily modified and the modifications can be illegal,'' he says. Prestige rides such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis typically don't raise an eyebrow. ''A lot of people who drive those types of cars don't flog them, probably because of the price of the things. The only place you see those things smoking the tyres is on To p Gear, ' 'hesays. A V8 Commodore or Falcon is more likely to attract admiration than scrutiny, unless the driver's doing something wrong. ''Most highway patrol officers appreciate a nice V8. If you get pulled over in one of those, it's more likely to be because they want to have a closer look at it,'' he says.
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