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Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Likes cars, loves stories.

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Final Drive: 1979 AMC Spirit AMX

It never fails to amaze just how inexpensive a bad idea can be to get into. Here’s a great example, a hunchy, overpowered, pint-sized, all-neck-no-head hooligan; a 96-inch wheelbase with between four and five hundred horsepower at the rear wheels. It’s loud. It’s ludicrous. It’s dangerous. And for $6,500, it’s for sale.
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First Drive: 2016 Honda Pilot

Under a smothering Kentucky sun, our Honda heads West; smooth, glittering, reeking of turtle urine. But perhaps I should back up a little. Meet the new 2016 Honda Pilot, a vehicle that may be best thought of as an unboxing video of the previous model. Among the usual marketing-speak at the product presentation, a slide is shown demonstrating what folks thought of the old car, and what the new one should evoke: for the former, a picture of a tank and a tortoise; for the latter, an eagle, a horse and the open road.
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Berserk 740-hp VW Golf leaves supercars in the dust

The Porsche 911 might be a benchmark for sports cars, but the bench in question has on this day become a conical pile of gently smouldering ashes. See, I brought this 911, the 430-horsepower GTS variant, to a small Volkswagen tuning shop in Langley, B.C., expecting to get an easy David vs. Goliath story out of the experience.
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Mad Max’s Falcon emerges from the rubble in B.C.

It’s the duck’s guts, the last of the V8 interceptors, black and battered and brooding and brutal. Max Rockatansky lost his mind in 1979 and here he is hurtling, tumbling, battering his way into the 2015 summer blockbuster season in a carefully choreographed explosion of a movie. After a 30-year hiatus, Mad Max is back.
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The Quick and the Dad: 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet GTS

What would you do if you had a Porsche convertible for a single day – phone a friend and go out for a rip, right? Would you spend the time driving, or tweeting and Instagramming photos to make all your friends jealous? Is it more important to have the experience, or to capture and broadcast it? It all boils down to the question, “What is real?”.
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Road Trip: The Spring Thaw in My Father’s 1967 MGB

The road is perfection, a twisting ribbon that follows the path of the river, flowing along its bank with much the same jounce, wriggle, ripple, and run. Across the way, you can see the main road, the straight route, fast-moving traffic pulsing along it in bunches. Here though, we’re alone, and together.
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Sibling bonds endure on life’s rocky roads

The road of life can be a tough one, but luckily we don't have to drive it on our own. In the spring of 2007, I climbed into my little blue Ford Escort GT and drove West to destroy my wife’s heart. The day was bright and sunny, filled with the buzz and bustle of ordinary people going about their lives.
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First Drive: 2016 Mazda CX-3

Five minutes behind the wheel and I’m wishing the road was twistier. An hour later, I get my wish, and it’s bliss, joy, nirvana. But first, the usual gnashing of teeth and rending of garments: another crossover? Where’s our reborn RX-7? Where’s our turbo-nutter ‘Speed3? This is cowboy country, so where’s the beef, Mazda?
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Crowd-funding got these three ambitious car projects rolling

How many automotive dreams have fallen by the wayside for lack of money? You can read about them in any history book — the coulda-beens, the shoulda-happened. The modern age might seem determined to destroy the art of driving, whether through distraction, congestion or legislation; but it does have a hell of a silver lining.
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Mustang brings out my inner cowboy on beautiful B.C. drive

What’s the point of having 435 horsepower in the most traffic-congested city in North America? Short answer: none. So let’s leave town. Wake up early, pack a lunch, point this big V8 at a piece of road and pull the trigger. All that’s needed is a decent excuse to do so. Look at that: Canada’s oldest Ford dealership is celebrating its 100th year in business.
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Final Drive: 1977 Datsun 280Z

“Thirteen years this thing sat in our garage. But I just couldn’t let it go.”. This is Larry’s Z. It’s a Bimini Blue 1977 Datsun 280Z, delivered in September of 1976. It’s original, it’s immaculate, it’s beautiful – but babied? Kept indoors and polished? When the ultimatum came, Larry reached for his chequebook and bought the Z.
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The origin of the Off-Roller

To many, the idea of Rolls-Royce building an SUV is absurd, avaricious and heretical. What rough beast is this, slouching towards Crewe, England, to be born? Perish the thought and preserve the heritage, purists cry. Perhaps sensing a little pushback to its development of a de rigeur sport-utility vehicle with an eye-watering price tag, Rolls-Royce officially chooses to refer to its project as a “high-sided, all-terrain motor car”.
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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.