Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Likes cars, loves stories.



The Unimportance of Speed

I’d like to lend you a car for the weekend. It’s going to be sunny, and you can head off early before the crowds get out. Take a nice road-trip: maybe, as I just did, blast up the Sea-to-Sky and into the rolling foothills beyond the Pemberton Valley. Apologies for the heavy-handed and clunky approach, but A through E, the cars are: 2012 BMW X5 alphabet-soup-with-the-V8, 2012 Volkswagen Passat VR6, 1984 Ferrari Testarossa, 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, and a 2012 Ford V6 Mustang.
The Truth About Cars Link to Story

Book ‘em Danno: A ride in Hawaii Five-O’s Mercury Marquis

The drums, the image of a single curling wave, the brass coming in with a punch – I’ll bet you can play the theme song in your head without even thinking about it. Da-da-da-da da-daa! Time to tune in for another episode of Hawaii Five-O where Detective Steve McGarrett and his team of crime fighters sweep the islands clean of criminals like the nefarious Wo Fat: “Book ‘em, Danno.”.

The Quick and the Dad: 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar

The Ferrari F40: common. The Lamborghini Aventador: ubiquitous. The Bentley Continental: might as well buy a Volkswagen Golf. If exclusivity and rarity are your bag, then this is your baby: the Volvo V60 Polestar. With just 750 produced worldwide (and another 750 on the way) and only a dozen or so bound for Canada’s shores, it’s a rare beast, a sort of mythical unicorn-moose hybrid.

Final Drive: 2006 Audi S4 Avant 6-Speed

Some time ago, when on assignment for this publication covering the launch of the then-new Audi A3 sedan, I wandered away from the pack and happened upon a flock of unicorns. They were spectacular, each a wondrous sight to behold: a pugnacious little A1 hatchback, an even-more-pugnacious A1 Quattro (just 333 made and bearing the signature of Stig Blomqvist) and a Nogaro Blue RS4 Avant.

Requiem for Mr. K: Nissan rebel wanted more joy in cars

Yutaka Katayama, legendary Nissan maverick, has died at age 105, but his legend will live on. Blessed be the mavericks – they make all our lives interesting. Last Thursday, one such unlikely rebel finally received his own personal chequered flag at the age of 105. Yutaka Katayama, better known as Datsun’s Mr.

We ride with rally driver Max Riddle in a deranged Mercedes

Max Riddle makes his living racing everything from Aston Martins to rally-spec Fiestas. We go for a ride. NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – Back road. Rain-slicked. Cracked tarmac. Big trees. 355 hp. Rally driver. goes this deranged little crossover with its big boost, big wheels, and big-ass spoilers and canards.

Test Drive: 2015 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD

“And more,” comes the sneering, snarling, slurring line from thoroughly dead punk rocker Sid Vicious, “Much more than this: I did it myyyy way.”. Cue Acura TLX carving up a mountain road, people laughing, and the tagline, “It’s that kind of thrill.”. Thing is, Sid, I’m not so sure. Oh right, sorry.

Capsule Review: 1994 Audi RS2

Jeez guys, you could just head North a little ways. Nobody’s going to force you to cheer for the Leafs or listen to Celine Dion. Anyway, here’s what it’s like to drive something rare, obscure, fast, and practical. The Audi RS2 – she’s a beauty, eh? First, a little history about what makes this odd little Euro wagon so special.
The Truth About Cars Link to Story

Turbø! How Volvo became known for the ‘Turbobrick’

Never mind that whole safety-first image. This time, the Swedes are cranking up the bøøst. BURNABY, BC – The scene: a dimly-lit garage and a door opening slowly, revealing details as the light filters in. Rectangular headlights. A no-nonsense, bluff grille. A large rear badge that simply reads, “Turbo.”.

The Anglo-Indian: Jaguar XF drives trail of a famed author

We take a Jaguar XF to retrace the steps of famous Anglo-Indian author Rudyard Kipling. HARRISON, B.C. – This car seats five: myself, my young daughter, a likely lad named Mowgli, a wise old bear named Baloo, and a velvety, midnight-black panther called Bagheera. We are prowling alongside the steel rails which run deep into the ploughed lands of the Fraser Valley, listening to Baloo ladle out the Law of the Jungle.

Land Rover Defender’s last stand

“Pardon me, but do you have a fire extinguisher I can borrow?”. At any other gathering of car enthusiasts, one might see buffing cloths loaned, or perhaps a spritz of glass cleaner to remove those last few fingerprints. However, when Land Rover Defenders come together, final show preparations can be a jot more serious.
BBC News Link to Story

Quirky B.C. automobilia shop closing after decades of magic

VANCOUVER, B.C. – If Harry Potter‘s Diagon Alley had a model car shop, this is what it would look like. Welcome to Wilkinson’s Automobilia, a cozy little place just off Broadway that’s been dispensing magic for over a quarter-century. From shiny diecast reproductions, to the latest European automotive magazines, to ancient tomes filled with arcane knowledge about adjusting the carburetors on an old Jaguar, Wilkinson’s has it all.


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,, 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.