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Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Likes cars, loves stories.

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Iconic Terry Fox van endures long after Marathon of Hope

The homely Ford E250 Econoline provided shelter for Terry Fox as he inspired a nation. Now, it serves as a reminder of his legacy. Somewhere in a lonely lay-by in rural Canada, Terry Fox reads these words before climbing into his sleeping bag and falling, exhausted, into a dreamless sleep. A poem handed to him by a woman in New Brunswick, he has its simple homespun wisdom stuck to the inside of his cramped sanctuary – a brown Ford Econoline van.
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Speed is a way of life for Olympic champ Kaillie Humphries

Two-time bobsledding gold-medalist is a natural behind the wheel. Adrenaline in the veins. Breath loud in the helmet. Cheers of the crowd fade to a far-off roar. Flags from a hundred nations create a riot of colour, but her eyes see nothing but the river of white, her mind already running through the banked corners, the six Gs and more than 150 km/h to come.
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Nondescript B.C. shop restores world’s finest classic cars

It might look like a standard industrial building, but inside these doors, classic cars are restored for the world's most prestigious car shows. It is five o’clock in the morning on a small industrial side road in North Vancouver. The pre-dawn light is grey and thin, the businesses are closed and the street is empty.
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The Bugatti Veyron’s legacy is as immense as its price tag

It is unlikely we’ll ever see anything like it again. At this year’s Geneva auto show, Bugatti rolled out the last Veyron, the bookend of a 450-car production run. Dubbed La Finale – just to make sure everyone gets the point – this final Veyron is a Grand Sport Vitesse, the open-topped, slightly more powerful version of an already incredible car.
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Seven modern car features that secretly drive us crazy

At this year’s Geneva auto show, attendants to Volkswagen’s jam-packed Group Night were treated to a truly farcical display of modern music. Live DJs tweaked and twiddled knobs seemingly at random, a different track of mmm-tiss mmm-tiss electronica for each product unveiling. It was perhaps the silliest thing I’ve seen all year, especially when there were two artistes working the same board: DJ Johnjon and DJ Chapstick.
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Test Drive: 2015 Nissan Rogue SL

She was a high-spirited noble, heir to a vast fortune, yet imprisoned by the bonds of propriety. He was a swashbuckling swashbuckler with an inability to button his shirt properly and a sea-chest filled with a suspiciously large array of hair-care products. Their fiery love would rage across the world, boil the seas, set society alight, and overcook the thanksgiving turkey.
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Tasty Porsche GTS lineup is like Neapolitan ice cream

MALAGA, SPAIN – Consider the GTS badge to be Stuttgart’s version of crowd-pleasing Neapolitan ice cream. You got your everyday vanilla, your luxo-strawberry, and that sweet, sweet track-day chocolate. Like many things Porsche, there’s a racing icon to fill out the backstory – in this case, it’s the 904 GTS, a purpose-built mid-engined racing car from the 1960s.
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Car Review: 2015 Scion FR-S

Overview Scion’s entry-level sports car gets some suspension tweaks. How would I spec it? As cheaply as possible to save money for a set of aftermarket rims and tires. “In the old days, you’d simply remove everything,” says Andreas Preuninger, manager of Porsche’s motorsports and high-performance car program, speaking to me at the launch of the Cayman GT4.
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Lunatic, beautiful McLaren 650s will bring out the devil in you

The swoopy McLaren 650s should be terrifying, but the supercar actually inspires confidence behind the wheel. The rampant stallion, the raging bull, the small, plump, flightless bird. Wait, what’s that thing doing here? Two quick clicks of the paddle-shifter, and the kiwi leaps forward and annihilates the muscular Italians in the manner of the rabbit from Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.
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Test Drive: 2015 Nissan Murano Platinum

Four a.m. on a Monday is an in-between time. The debauched have ended the weekend passed out on somebody’s sofa, their hangovers still hours away; the obsessively healthy sleep on, yet to rise and don running shoes and Lycra. The city is a lonely wasteland, lit by the orange glow of sodium arc lamps.
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Final Drive: 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle

Out back, there’s a professionally built 2.1L flat-four making something like 150 hp, more than twice what 1600cc Bugs made over here. It makes a noise like whackata-whackata-blat-blat-blat-blat-hrrrnnk-hrrrnnk-rrrrrrrr-RRRRRRR-YAAAAAAA! Or wait – that might be me.
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Legendary Acura NSX was equal parts weapon and art

Over the years, Marc Millman has owned a series of icons. When he was 18, he had a Triumph TR6. After that, he drove a Datsun 240Z. He once took delivery of a ’78 911 right at the gates of Porsche‘s factory in Stuttgart. But more than two decades ago, he came across a car that just clicked – one that put an end to the sports cars rotating through his driveway.

About

Brendan McAleer

Brendan McAleer first drove a stick-shift at the age of eight, and it's been pretty much downhill from there.

He has written stories on everything from a mint-condition Hyundai Pony to a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead. His work appears in the National Post and Vancouver Sun, BBC Autos, Autos.ca, the Glacier newspaper group, The Truth About Cars, Road & Track, and elsewhere.

His inbox is always open to hearing about the machines that move us, physically and emotionally. He currently resides in North Vancouver, British Columbia.