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Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Featured

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This Is the Only Good Porsche Cayenne

The first-gen Cayenne is arguably the worst Porsche ever. Not that there isn't plenty of competition for this booby prize: The 924 is slow, the 914 is slow and has a gear linkage like shaking hands with a corpse, and the original Panamera resembles a whale schwanz. Yet for many Porsche fans, the original Cayenne marked the point at which Stuttgart pivoted from being a company where performance and heritage were utmost, to another mass manufacturer churning out crossovers and profits.
Road & Track Link to Story
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The end of the Dodge Viper

In the ever-shrinking distance, spires of glass mark the march of gentrification, a rolling tide of money to drown industrial areas in condos, townhouses, and apartments. Yet in the east end of the city, it still stinks of fish processing plants and welded sheet metal, of work done in steel-toed boots.
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The Hellcat and the Devil's Brigade: A transnational journey in a Challenger Widebody

Blasting through the borderlands in a supercharged testament to Canadian-American teamwork. In the spring of 1942, 700 Canadian volunteers marched south from here to Montana to join their American counterparts in forming a secret combined commando unit. At first, the allies fought it out in chaos, bruised knuckles and broken heads.
Autoweek Link to Story
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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.
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The Hakosuka Nissan Skyline GT-R was a legend well before it was named “Godzilla”

When the mighty twin-turbocharged R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R laid waste to a field of Fords and Holdens during its first foray into Australia, a local journalist dubbed the car Godzilla. The name stuck, and would become synonymous with the fire-breathing 2+2. But the car’s reputation was established more than two decades before with a small, almost nondescript coupe that looked a bit like a boxy Nissan 240-Z and went like hell.
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Wolf Countach: The global ambassador of prototype Lamborghinis

In Yokohama, a wolf roams free at midnight. It howls along the elevated highways, strobing between the streetlamps, crimson-hued from jaw to flank. It is the first of its kind. It is the rarest of the breed. It is a Lamborghini Countach, one born under the sign of the Wolf. Every Countach is special, but only three are this special.
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Rare Zanardi Edition NSX comes back from the brink, just like the legend himself

When Mitch Farner was a boy, he convinced his mother to drive him down to his local Acura dealership and shine her car's headlights into the showroom so he could see the NSXs parked there. Later, he would get a job working at that dealership to be closer to the car he loved. When Farner was 18, he bought a crash-damaged 1991 NSX and repaired it over the course of a year.
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This Mazda-restored Miata may be the most perfect example out there

Ikuchi Island, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan—Keiji Nishimoto is making tea. He measures out the green matcha with a bamboo spoon, adds hot water, then whisks it thoroughly and carefully before handing the bowl over to his guest. Ritual is important: lift and cup the bowl in the left hand, turning it clockwise with the right, once, twice, three times.
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American icon in a foreign land: Japan’s police-spec Tochigi Mustang Mach 1

With 10 million Ford Mustangs on the road, you’d expect to find them everywhere, but perhaps not here in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Tochigi is a couple of hours north of Tokyo, and its driver licensing center is a plain, officious-looking building. No one speaks English here; foreigners applying for a license must bring an interpreter if they do not speak Japanese.
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Canada’s Peel P50 was a little car for a big country

Donald “Windy” Erhardt was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to work in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, when he spotted something tiny and irresistible sitting in the window of a marine supply store. An auto body man by trade, Erhardt grew up in the Canadian prairies with a love for everything on wheels—but he'd never seen anything like this miniscule red car.
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The Ultimate Jensen Interceptor

Rain, a typical September feature of the British Midlands, soaks the tarmac of a decommissioned RAF airfield. Spitfires and Hurricanes once flew here; today the place is quiet, expectant, waiting on an interceptor of a different kind. A matte-white coupe sits on the runway, looking like a Mustang II but somehow wrong.
Autoweek Link to Story
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How a Vancouver auto shop refurbished the classic Alfa Romeo that won the Concours d’Elegance

Two thousand kilometres from the champagne and confetti canons, the workshop has something of a stunned hush about it, until the sound of hammer-on-metal breaks the silence, a TIG welder hums and cracks, an angle grinder emits a brief shower of sparks. The crew at RX Autoworks in North Vancouver, B.C., may be still absorbing the enormity of having their restored 1937 Alfa Romeo judged as best-in-show at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last month, but the lull won’t last for long.

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 Globe & Mail, Time's TheDrive, Autos.ca, 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.