Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Likes cars, loves stories.



Is this electric Porsche 912 heresy or prophecy?

On the eve of Luftgekühlt, a celebration of all things air-cooled, a silver teardrop courses down the mountain. The sight of it is like a watching period historical footage on mute: the speed is there, but not the sound. Past and present blend together in a way that might enrage purists, but you shouldn’t turn up your nose just because this 1966 Porsche 912 runs on electrons instead of gas.

British Car Enthusiasm Will Be Saved by Screaming Japanese Engine Swaps

To the casual observer, Japanese and British auto manufacturing is as different as chalk and cheese, sushi and spotted dick, driving your car to a location and arriving or having to push it there because several important bits have gone sproing. On one hand, there exists the same sort of joyless reliability you get from your toaster.
Road & Track Link to Story

4 sweet civilian-spec military vehicles not named Jeep

Those looking for a rugged vehicle with military roots need look no further than the venerable Jeep. With nearly 80 years of faithful service, the Jeep is the shovel of the off-road world, simple, durable, dependable, common. However, a Jeep is a pretty obvious choice; what if you want something with a little more élan, a little more character?

How Subaru transformed from a niche company to a major brand

This year, Subaru Canada is blowing the candles out on 40 years in business. Defined by the rugged, all-wheel-drive nature of their products, Subaru has expanded from a niche company to become an established marque. And to think it all sprang from an unusual customer request in northern Japan. You can trace the roots of Subaru success to a handful of hastily cobbled together station wagons, with parts borrowed from Datsuns, in a rural outpost in northern Japan.

Luftgekühlt: An automotive music festival where Porsches sing

“Quick” Vic Elford, retired legendary Porsche works driver and F1 racer, stepped into a 1968 Porsche 908K racing car and cranked over its 3.0-liter flat-eight engine. With a rasping, ear-battering blast of sound, the air-cooled eight snapped and snarled to life. A huge cloud filled the air, choking bystanders before wafting up to the high rafters.

2 Canadians, 14 months, 4 continents, and 60,000 km in a 1957 Land Rover

With a whine of protest, the hardy little 2.0-liter four-cylinder struggles against its burden, and a well-laden Land Rover goes bouncing down the forest track, accompanied by singing. There are more than 30 people crammed into and on top of this unusual machine, the majority of them the diminutive people of the Mbuti tribe, colloquially known as forest pygmies.

The first Ford Taurus SHO is the one history will remember

The Taurus is rightly credited as the car that saved Ford in the mid-1980s, but it has fallen on hard times these days. A massive sales success from its launch in 1985, the Taurus was futuristic enough to be the hero car in Robocop without much more than a black paint job. Today, though, large sedans are on the outs, drowning in the rising tide of crossover sales.

The fever dream of a Ferrari F40

In the summer of 1987, I turned nine and a man named Enzo Ferrari presented the F40 to a small group of journalists in Italy. Built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company that bore his name, Enzo’s final project was as uncompromising as the man himself. That’s because two years earlier, the Porsche 959, more powerful and faster than anything Ferrari then made, had debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

A Lotus Exige Is the Antidote to Distracted Driving

Road & Track Link to Story

The ultimate Camaro: Dan and RJ Gottlieb’s Big Red

At 50, the Camaro has fought its way into our hearts to become as much an American icon as its chief rival, the Ford Mustang. Camaros blitzed the dragstrip, hammered through the corners in Trans-Am racing, and were even reborn in 1/64th scale as the very first Hot Wheels ever made. Over the years, many hero Camaros have risen to the top, from the dark blue 1968 Z/28 lightweight fielded by Penske racing in the late 1960s to the yellow-and-black movie magic of Transformers.

American Samurai: The legend of Peter Brock’s unfulfilled racing masterpiece

Somewhere, tucked away beneath a dustcover in a remote garage in El Segundo, California, is likely one of history’s greatest forgotten racing cars. Designed by the man who created the Daytona Cobra and the Corvette Stingray Racer, the Samurai is a nexus of American can-do and Japanese engineering, one that ensured an unlikely legacy of speed.
Autoweek Link to Story

The cars in the high castle​: Behind the scenes with a picture car co-ordinator

The search for old vehicles for TV period productions can be particularly challenging. British Columbia's film industry is expected to spend a record $2.6-billion in the province this year. The demand for technicians and artists is at an all-time high; if a studio is going to be competitive, it's going to need top-notch set designers, makeup artists, riggers, camera crew and special-effects specialists.


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.