27 December 2021

2021 Year in Review: Check out what revved us up in motoring

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Canberra kept on motoring in 2021, despite the fact we didn’t always get to drive very far.

From electric vehicles to Australia’s most regal taxi, and the Queanbeyan model who turned her hand to driving big rigs, there were loads of stories to keep us entertained.

Here’s the top motoring stories that you enjoyed this year.

10. Oh, what a feeling! Daryl’s still going strong after 40 years at Toyota’s Fyshwick dealership

Daryl Kirklands

Daryl Kirkland, alongside the new LandCruiser 300. Photo: Janrule.

Daryl Kirkland knows Toyotas inside and out.

He has been around them, driving them, tinkering with them, and sorting parts for them since 1978.

He started at Toyota in Fyshwick at the age of 16, but says there are still a few useful years in him yet.

9. A ride in Australia’s most majestic taxi: the Governor-General’s Rolls-Royce

Governor-General's Rolls-Royce outside Government House

The 1970 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI and Government House – never has a car suited its surroundings more. Photo: Supplied.

The Governor-General’s Rolls-Royce came out of hiding for the Queen’s Birthday.

It’s normally used for ceremonial occasions, like the swearing in of a new Governor-General, the opening of parliament, or chauffeuring foreign diplomats.

But this year, James Coleman was invited to Government House for a private tour.

8. Say ‘hej’ to the electric Volvo that solves the SUV’s biggest problem

Volvo SUV

Thanks to IKEA Canberra who closed the store so we could get these shots (probably). Photo: James Coleman.

Forget the dull boxes of yesteryear – today’s Volvo is on the cutting edge.

Ask any car boffin and they’ll tell you: the single biggest issue with the design of the ever-rampant sports utility vehicle (SUV) is the high centre of gravity.

Well, it turns out going electric with a slab of batteries solves this problem.

7. Meet the photographer who captures Canberra’s cars

Michael Briguglio taking photo of car

Canberra car photographer Michael Briguglio in action. Photo: James Coleman.

Selling your car and think any old blurry photo will do the job?

Not so, according to photographer Michael Briguglio.

He shared his tips on how to make your car look its best.

6. Canberra’s electric vehicle champion

Rob Ogilvie

Rob Ogilvie in an electric car at Ion DNA. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

A Canberra EV expert says there is much to like about electric cars – ‘plug and play’ is just the start.

But how did committed rally driver and petrol head Rob Ogilvie become Canberra’s champion of electric vehicles?

In one word: excitement.

5. The story of the Toyota LandCruiser, the car that built Australia’s engineering wonder

Toyota Landcruiser

The Toyota LandCruiser was instrumental in the building of the Bass Strait-Melbourne gas pipeline (pictured) and Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme. Photo: Toyota Australia.

The Snowy Hydro is one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world – but something had to carry the workers around the site.

That job fell to the first Toyota in Australia, the trusty LandCruiser.

4. It’s official, Canberra needs a race track

Cars in pit lane at Wakefield Park Raceway

Rearing to go in pit lane at Wakefield Park Raceway, near Goulburn. Photo: James Coleman.

The people of Canberra have spoken – we want our own motorsport track.

According to a Region Media poll earlier this year, nearly 70 per cent of Canberrans agree that local motorsport should receive a dedicated venue.

Two things are confirmed: it’s in the works, and it will be hilariously good fun.

3. The Subaru Outback might just be the perfect car for Canberra

Subaru Outback and the Mandalay Bus

It turns out the new Outback is nearly as long as the Mandalay Bus in Braddon. Photo: James Coleman.

Combining the ruggedness of an SUV and the gizmos of a car, could the all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback be the perfect choice for Canberra?

The Subaru Outback has to be the most rugged wagon out there, and it has only become more so with this year’s all-new model.

James Coleman explains that it also happens to be a rather fitting car for the centre of the city.

2. Does a massive American pick-up truck work in Canberra?

The Ram 1500 Laramie

The Ram 1500 Laramie can be yours for $114,950 plus on-road costs. Photos: James Coleman.

Sales of American pick-up trucks boomed in Australia this year, but are they suitable for city driving?

See how 5.8 metres and 2.5 tonnes of Dodge Ram works in Canberra.

1. How Proud Mary keeps the big wheels turning

Mary Kovacevic

“I’ve had no choice except to survive,” says Drive To Survive driving academy owner Mary Kovacevic with the pride and joy of her fleet. Photo: Michael Weaver.

Mary Kovacevic left modelling for life behind the wheel of big rigs.

She’s known as ‘Mumma Mary’, the queen of the road, or even the truck driving instructor in the tennis skirt.

Now she’s training the next generation of drivers and breaking more barriers in the process.

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