Brendan McAleer

Automotive Writer and Photographer

Vancouver, BC

Brendan McAleer

Likes cars, loves stories.



Oddball Mitsubishi Delica a perfect machine for adventure

Stout, Japan-only Mitsubishi mini-minivan gives one B.C. photographer an edge. “If you chase pros around the mountain long enough, you’ll pick up some proficiency of your own.”. If you want to be a top-tier outdoor sports photographer, it’s not enough to have the eye for a great shot. You’ve got to have the all-terrain skills to get there.

Test Drive: 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS

Dawn touches the mountain first, hurtling across space, howling and furious. We see it as quiet light gilding the pines, grey turning to gold, but a hundred and fifty million kilometres away atoms scream in their death throes, roiling and boiling and breaking apart into raw energy. Behind me, six miniature suns ignite, one after another, a staccato punctuation rising to a single wail.

The mystery behind Canada’s long-lost Tatra culture

That’s the legend, anyway, and just a rumour as no-one seems to have the facts to back the claim up. The Czech-built Tatra V8 was so fast, so beloved by the elites of the invading Nazi forces and so dangerous in the curves that it killed more jackbooted SS officers than the bombs of the Allies. Also read: This might just be the weirdest car collection in the world.

Riding against the wind with Dad in his red MGB

Brendan McAleer and his father, Aidan, made new memories and reminisced on old ones as they endured B.C.' s Classic Car Adventures Spring Thaw rally. My father is a fading photograph. The hands that grip the narrow rim of his MGB’s steering wheel are still broad and purposeful; the forearms revealed by rolled-up sleeves still flex with strength.

Final Drive: 1998 Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech

Dawn on the Pacific Rim. A sleeping city dozes past the sunrise, blissfully unaware of a subterranean rumbling. A monster awakens in a concrete basement, a beast of legendary ferocity, a kaiju of colossal power. Godzilla is coming. Oh hey, looks like he’s bringing his dog along for the ride too.

This just might be the weirdest car collection in the world

Jay Leno is excited to show off the latest obscure machine to grace his garage, a little-known 1948 Davis Divan belonging to the Petersen automotive museum. “You’ll like this,” he grins, pulling out an iPad to show off the video, figuring his audience will go bug-eyed at the sight of a three-wheeler straight out of the Jetsons.

Winning: A look back at Paul Newman’s life in cars

Besides being a silver screen legend, Newman was a successful race car driver in his own right. New documentary "Winning" looks at this side of the actor's career. Those eyes! They seem to pierce the screen, the page, the photograph, lasering out and right through us. Paul Newman was colour-blind — it’s what kept him from becoming a fighter pilot — but if he saw the world in black and white, the world saw him in one colour: icy blue.

Old ‘Big Red’ Ford van set to make cross-country trek home

Roberta Watt isn't afraid of any breakdowns as she and her one-ton family pet go west. Four people, three dogs, two snakes, and one red 1969 Ford Econoline Clubwagon. They call him Big Red, a hefty lump of steel with a three-on-the-tree manual shift transmission and a big-hearted 302 cubic inch V8.

Car Review: 2015 Lexus RC-F

This car has the face of a Cylon, but the heart of a labradoodle.

Pristine 1977 Honda Civic a cheerful little time machine

In the spring of 1977, a group of Japanese-Canadians planted a grove of Sakura cherry trees in Oppenheimer Park, right in the heart of Vancouver. It was a celebration of 100 years of pan-Pacific connection, a century since the first Japanese immigrant arrived on these shores. That immigrant was Nagano Manzo, and he arrived in New Westminister from Nagasaki, a stowaway on a British ship travelling from Yokohama.

The Quick and the Dad: 2015 Ford Fiesta ST

Four pm on a sunny Friday in the heart of Vancouver: chaos and madness, tarmac heat and clogged arterials. I’m in a bright red pinball that looks like a scanning electron microscope photograph of some kinda’ pest – a red bedbug with go-faster racing stripes. My trunk’s awash with umpteen litres of beer, all securely strapped down, bootlegger style.

Bizarre Aston Martin Lagonda was way ahead of its time

“Don’t be afraid – after all, what’s the worst that could happen?”. There is a fine line between bravery and foolhardiness, and sensing he might be edging a little close to that invisible boundary, Harjeet Kalsi suggests the rider, “touch wood.”. He knocks a knuckle against the hand-finished door trim of his 1982 Aston Martin Lagonda, work he redid himself.


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.