ONE LITTLE HATCH

Walter Matusch, via email

New cars are rubbish Ė theyíre better than ever at the A to B, but as far as fun and soul go, theyíve gone downhill. Iíve had numerous cars over the years and, as a car-junkie, Iím always looking for my next fix. A car has to be exciting and practical.

Unfortunately, after all my cars (15 or so) my favourite ever was a little hatchback made by Holden in the late í70s that just happened to win Bathurst and the Australian touring car championship. I wrote to Holden two years ago explaining that I again was in the market for a rear-drive V8 two-door hatchback with around 350kW, weighing around 1300kg, in a six-speed manual.

I said I would like the styling to be like the original, but modernised like the Mustangs.

I thought this a reasonable request. I also asked for some other niceties, like double wishbone suspension and big brakes Ė weaknesses on the original in my opinion.

They told me to look forward to Holdenís exciting models in the future. Iím still waiting. Surely itís not that hard. Am I alone on this?

And while Iím still ranting, whatís the deal with automatic gearboxes in manual mode changing gears without my input? If I want to change gears, let me do it.

Plenty of exciting new cars about, Walter, though your new-age Torana sounds pretty good. Sadly the volumes wouldnít even come close to justifying a business case. As for autos over-riding gearshifts, no arguments here, itís irritating!