Keeping the foot in it in 2018

I think I must spend too much time updating other people’s sites… like this one… It’s the middle of 2018 already, it’s bloody cold and rainy here at 032media HQ, and I’m still got the pedal to the floor.

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It’s got a different feel to 2017, though. The car industry – after years and years and years of growth – feels as if it’s in a bit of a pause mode, as it resets in the wake of some pretty heavy decisions around future methods of propulsion.

Electric cars aren’t quite here yet, but fuels like diesel are definitely on the way out, and the seemingly insatiable appetite for SUVs – like the Hyundai I reviewed here – finally appears to be abating somewhat.

Of course, as an freelance automotive expert, a slowdown isn’t necessarily a great thing! Fortunately, my tenure with Mountain Biking Australia is still firing strongly – and it feels as if it’s moving forward, as well. I’ve even kicked off a little bike project of my own, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

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Travel-wise, I’ve added Croatia to the world map, with trips to New York, the UK, France and Germany all falling in the first half of the year. The second half looks more sane, thankfully, with more locally based stuff on the horizon.

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I’m right in the middle of the next issue of MBA, and I have to pack for… no wait, I don’t have to pack for this one! After almost 20 years, there’s a car launch happening literally 10km from my house tomorrow! Ace!

Oh, that reminds me – I’m really proud of the travel blog stuff I do for Volkswagen Australia – check it out here.

If you want to see what I get up to more regularly, I keep my Insta pretty stocked, I have a YouTube channel, and I also blog over here at theolcrank.com. Catch up soon!

 

2017 – what a ride!

I swear it was only a couple of months ago i was in Detroit for the first motor show of the year… 38 trips later and I’m having my first day off in three weeks on Christmas Eve!

From Hyundai i30s to 700bhp Jeeps, 24hr races, Korean BBQ, Mexican tacos and more besides, 2017 has been an amazingly busy whirlwind for 032media.

It’s not been without its challenges – and if not for mt beautiful wife amd awesome rugrats, it would have been a lot harder. Thanks guys.

My thanks, too, to the awesome teams at carsguide.com.au, goauto.com.au, Mountain Biking Australia, Motor magazine, Evo Australia and everyone who has helped this year, including Brendan Batty at Roam.

If you’re looking for me in January, try here…

Viva la Baja!

What an amazing, amazing week. I’ve wanted to see the Baja 1000 desert race up close ever since I saw the movie Dust To Glory about ten years ago – a raw, beautifully shot doco about one of the world’s lat great adventures…. and I wasn’t disappointed.

Over 1900km from Ensenada to La Paz, 420 racers from all walks of life tackle the almost impossible. The course is indescribable- hot, rocky, dusty, blindingly fast, agonisingly slow and every extreme in between.

The country, too, is one of startling contrasts. Million-dollar race trucks cruise streets where mothers seek change from strangers, children by her side, while real danger lies in the back blocks beyond the well lit city streets.

But Mexicans are warm, friendly and helpful on the whole – even though the young bloke waving a machete at us excitedly maybe didn’t think things all the way through…

We traipsed from Ensenada to La Paz to catch the finishers – and we caught a bit of drama, too!

It was an 0430 start after a 0200 finish, but it was worth every minute of lost kip.

I’ll tap out more soon – on our way to Coffs Harbour to drive the new Camry.

Old dog, new (vid) tricks

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In this brave new world of multimedia, having additional strings in your bow is a pretty important trait. Admittedly, most of these traits I’ve not so much acquired so much as they have been bodged up in a panicked moment of requirement, so improving them where opportunity presents is a given.

I’m a late starter in the world of video – I only recorded my first proper piece to camera four or five years ago. I’m here to tell you it ain’t easy! To wit; this caravan review from 2012. Cringe alert… it’s flatter than a flat thing that’s been flattened by something very heavy.

I’ve slowly improved over time, though, by recording more vids and by watching the great work of others. I’ve also dabbled in the black art of editing my own vision, which is time consuming but particularly rewarding.

Today, I was lucky enough to join a class with my new (slash old) colleagues at Carsguide at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School run by famed Australian journalist Tracey Spicer, learning the finer points of video composition and execution.

Intonation, hand positions, dramatic arcs… it was an eye-opening day for this vid rookie. With Carsguide really ramping up its video content output, I’m really looking forward to taking my new-found skills in a non-Ricky Bobby way…

 

MOTOR magazine PCOTY wrap

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Yeah, yeah, sure… it’s been a while. But I’ve been busy, okay?

The crew at MOTOR run Performance Car of the Year every… well, year, and it has always been one of the most fun things I ever did mit pants on. A guernsey to return to the fold for another crack? Yes please, where do I sign and so on.

In short, a hilarious week of smashing about in other people’s hot rods was had. The guys at MOTOR have chronicled it all here, and there’s lots of vids of me and the other judges talking complete wibble about fast cars.

I dragged the cameras down and got some footage from onboard some hot rigs, too…

I promise I will keep things more up to date here from now on. Pinky swears. Here are some more more cool pics to say soz.

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032Media in the news!

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And no, it’s not what you think… recently, ABC News 24 put out the call for an automotive expert for a quick chat on the 12pm news bulletin. That day. It was already 1030 and I was still in Wollongong…

One change of clothes that Superman would be proud of later, and I fire into ABC’s sprawling Ultimo studios for a live (ulp) interview with the lovely Ros Charles.

Apols for the sketchy quality of this vid – I’ll pop a better one up later.

The festive season…

Manic – that’s a way to describe the last few weeks. Jobs for a host of clients, including Outdoor, GoAuto, Top Gear, Motor, Evo and others in places as varied as Goulburn, Tasmania, Spain and Thredbo kept me absolutely on the limiter right up to the beginning of this week.

Corralling two awesome cars and one Stig for a Top Gear vid at Goulburn proved awesome fun; a huge thanks to my good friend John Boston at trackschool.com.au for his help with that one!

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Next was a quick dash to Tassie to drive a range of Renault Sports. Mmm, Sports… You’ll see that story in the next issue of Evo Australia magazine.

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Then a dash to Thredbo, NSW, to climb to the top of Australia – before riding back down! A great weekend with the crew from Thredbo Resort and ace shooter Mark Watson of Incite Images for Australian Geographic/Outdoor magazine.

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Finally, a mad-cap dash to Valencia, Spain, to drive Volkswagen’s new Polo GTI for a variety of Aussie auto outlets, including Top Gear and GoAuto. We were on the ground in Spain for exactly 25 hours…

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Then home, a quick day at the V8 Supercar races with Volvo, a dash to Melbourne to drive a Ford Kuga, and finally I’m looking down the barrel of my last official gig for 2014 – a drive of Mitsubishi’s Safari Rally Outlander PHEV.

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It’s been crazy, it’s been tough in spots, but it’s been rewarding and exciting. Ain’t no one else in charge of 032Media’s destiny, and I’m genuinely thrilled at the outcomes we’re achieving. There’s loads more to come, though – this game is all about the hustle!