Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer



How an armored Camaro and a special forces officer kept civilians alive in war-torn Bosnia

Imagine that it’s 1993 in Yugoslavia. Night falls, and the indiscriminate shelling of a brutal civil war echoes in the distance. Amidst the remnants of battle, a flat black shape emerges from the shadows, tires crunching over rubble as it navigates a cratered road. It’s low, menacing, armored, and rumbling with V-8 thunder.

This 82-year-old drag racer isn’t slowing down

With its mild winters and ocean vistas, Victoria, B.C., is Canada’s retirement paradise. The traffic moves slower here, with silver-haired old folks behind the wheel, headed towards the ferry terminal for a trip over to the mainland. Here comes one now. And the guy is driving a 770-horsepower, manual-transmission 1965 Mercury Comet that runs the quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds at 140 mph.

Peel P50, the smallest car ever sold in Canada, is a tiny ride with big memories

The bay door rolled up, and Don Erhardt Jr. felt the years come flooding back. There, in front of him, was an impeccably restored piece of family history. This Peel P50, an incredibly rare and impossibly tiny car, had been owned by the Erhardts for more than four decades. Now, here it was again, his childhood reborn.

Subaru’s all-wheel drive obsession began with the pipsqueak FF-1

This is probably the rarest, most common car you’ll ever see. It’s a Subaru FF-1, sometimes called the Star in the U.S. market. Subaru sold thousands of them in the early 1970s as part of its expansion into the stateside market... and then they all just disappeared into neglected, rusty piles. This little coupe has been saved, however, and its story is the genesis of Subaru as we know it.

A little truck with a big heart: the Dodge Rampage

At the BC Vintage Truck Museum, located in the heart of the Fraser Valley, every truck has a story. There’s the WWI veteran 1914 FWD Model B that hauled coal and plowed tracks for Vancouver’s streetcar rails. The wooden box of a 1928 Graham held the worldly goods of dozens of new arrivals to the area during the Great Depression.

The Audacity of the First Hyundai in North America

The Veloster N's polarizing win as our Performance Car of the Year. The RM19's convincing, production-ready track performance. That twin-turbo, 402-horsepower drift bus. Hyundai seems to have come out of nowhere, emerging as one of the few automakers that still understands what enthusiasts want.
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Before their Le Mans glory days, Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby built the first Sunbeam Tigers

In the spring of 1963, two Englishmen met in a small back room at Shelby American. One was Ian Garrad, a rising star in the Rootes Group organization, recently appointed the manager of West Coast sales. The other was Ken Miles, one of the best-known racing drivers in southern California (played by Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari).

At 50, the Datsun 240Z is still making dreams come true

Dawn breaks on a clear Sunday morning in Yokohama, Japan, as Taketora Fukuchi rolls open his garage door. It has been a long week at work, plus evenings are busy caring for his elderly father. Today, though, he has time. Time to entertain a dream he's had since childhood. Fukuchi slots the key into the ignition and turns it.

The Legend of the World's Fastest Nissan 300ZX

Northwest of Hiroshima, a storm is building. Rolling into throttle in third gear, an almighty roaring surge fills the cabin, the sound, power, and fury of two Nissan GT-Rs slugging it out underhood. Two melon-sized turbochargers, each the same as found on a Group C Porsche 956, huff out city-flattening boost levels and and a four-figure power output.
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An Open Letter to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame: Admit Greg Moore

Today, October 31st, 2019, is the twentieth anniversary of the day we lost Greg Moore. His tragic death at Fontana, aged 24, still echos with sorrow for any fan of motorsport, Canadian or not. And yet, on this terrible anniversary, we do not only reflect on what Greg Moore could have been. We honor what he was, and still is.
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Chasing a Lamborghini Huracán Evo With a 200-MPH Ducati for 1200 Miles

IN APRIL 1966, Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace threw a duffel bag into a prototype Miura, topped off at the factory fuel pumps, and fired up the car’s mid-mounted V-12. It was the weekend of the Monaco Formula 1 race, and Ferruccio Lamborghini had made a few calls. Every tollbooth and border crossing on the way would be thrown open.
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The upcoming Purosangue won’t be the first Ferrari 4x4—or even the second

Ferrari has confirmed that its SUV project, the Purosangue, will arrive around 2022. If you are a Ferrari tifosi, this news is unlikely to make you break out the giant prancing horse flag, Ferrari win at Monaco or no. High-performance crossovers are certainly a great way to pad a manufacturer’s bank account, but even the idea of a fat Ferrari four-by-four would be enough for ol’ Enzo to take a flamethrower to his accounting department.


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.