Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Likes cars, loves stories.



Punk, passion and the darling dune buggy

Punk’s not dead; it just needs a jump-start. Luckily, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the bizarre career of Nardwuar the Human Serviette, madcap interviewer and punk-rock legend, it’s that you always show up prepared. A quick bit of work with a screwdriver, attach the leads and the air-cooled glory of the Evaporator’s VW dune buggy bursts to clattery life.

Review: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a Nürburgring record-setting sedan ready to take on BMW

Alfa Romeo is back. The 8C of several years ago was an expensive rarity. The two-seater, mid-engined 4C is an interesting weekend toy. The Giulia sport sedan, on the other hand, marks the proper return of the brand to North America. Good news: it’s a monster. Leading the charge is the twin-turbo, 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio version, an Italian riposte to the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C63S.

A tribute to the German internal combustion engine as the country moves to ban it

It’s fitting, somehow, that a jet fighter should show which way the wind is blowing. The Canadair CT-133 Silver Star sitting atop a post just north of the small town of Princeton is mounted on bearings, allowing it to act as a an enormous weather vane. Below it, a mighty piston-powered Audi R8 sits at rest.

Fifty years of the Corolla: Bland and generic, but there when we needed you

If ever a car was an appliance, it’s the Toyota Corolla. It is reasonably priced. It has four doors and four wheels. It goes from A to B without costing you too much in the way of C. If Kirkland, Costco’s in-house brand, ever starts offering automobiles, the Corolla is what you’d get. I’ll take a case of toilet paper, a giant tub of mayonnaise and one generic sedan, please.

A day with the Mercedes-Benz Metris: We get into the beer business

What would you call a gaggle of brewery vehicles crammed together into an alley, all trying to make deliveries at the same time? A beer jam? A keg stand-off? Wait, I’ve got it: It’s a bottleneck. It’s a sunny Thursday and, with the prospect of a thirsty weekend on the horizon, local liquor stores and restaurants are restocking their wares in preparation for the coming hordes.

The drive of dreams: 28 Lamborghinis roar 2,000 kilometres through B.C.


Canada's royal car: It carried other royals, but not Will and Kate

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of British Columbia has included rides on float planes, hovercrafts, boats, and jet aircraft. Regrettably, William and Kate didn’t ride aboard the true Canadian royal carriage: a 1939 McLaughlin-Buick. It carried Prince Charles and Diana. It carried Queen Elizabeth II.

Inside the de facto home for Canadian rally - Squamish, B.C.

In the gathering dusk, Patrick (Rocket) Richard removes his close-fitting dark sunglasses, and palms a handful of pills. “I’ve got to take my daily bread,” he jokes. It takes a few moments for one of Canada’s greatest rally drivers to swallow the bitter mass down. All around us, dust stirred up by Richard’s latest creation settles back over the empty log-sorting yard.

If all Porsches are turbos, then what's a Porsche Turbo?

The boost comes on in a hissing surge, the red needle swings to the right, and one turbocharged Porsche chases another up a mountain. It’s the wild and woolly whale-tailed past and the glossy white future together in a chain, both fast, only one furious. Both are 911 turbos, but only one is a 911 Turbo.

Laughing Around Town in a Fiat Jolly

Pure, delighted laughter rings out all around me, echoing as I pass. There's misery enough in this world, so it's a joy on this sunny day to spread a little cheer around—courtesy of an insanely dangerous, canary-yellow deckchair on wheels. This is a 1958 Fiat Jolly. It's nearly a half-century old, it was coachbuilt to be used as a land-tender for the yachts of the very wealthy, and it's utterly, completely ridiculous.

Rescuing the Renegade's reputation with a climb up Mount Strachan

One of the lasting mysteries in the Jeep legend is where the icon got its name. One camp has it that “Jeep” is soldier slang for GP, the General Purpose appellation the U.S. Army bestowed upon the original stout mechanical donkey. Another suggests that the name came from Eugene the Jeep, a cute, yellow, fun-loving cartoon character from 1930s Popeye comics, halfway between a wallaby and a leopard.

Happy Birthday Paul Walker, Signed, Nissan Skyline


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 Globe & Mail, Time's TheDrive,, 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.