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Driving with Dad

I am not usually someone to point out the obvious, but there are times where necessity overrides my nature. Driving is one of the great pleasures of the modern age. Nothing compares to the liberation and joy we feel behind the wheel of our very own dream machine. We may not realise it, but driving gives us all a surge of confidence. We have the control. We have the power. We own the road.

…well I thought I did. When I am behind the wheel, I am the Lord of my machine. Until of course, the form that materialises in the passenger seat is that of my dad.

It would only now seem fair that I provide some context to this seemingly confusing statement. At the end of the day, this is either a problem suffered by us all, or it may just be me living in my own world of eccentric dazzlement. First, it is time to take a holiday into the dark depths of the past.

When I was a young lad, my father defined what life was for me. As with any child, he was my dad, friend, hero, you know, all that classic cheesy stuff. One of the most important things however was the fact that he was my ticket to the rest of the world. Wherever I needed to go, he was my ride. He was my taxi driver, my fountain of driving knowledge, and of course my ride home. As much as I have always been an independent little so and so, there were times when a bus just would not cut it.

When the ripe old age of 17 came and slapped me in my confused little face, the time had come for me to learn to drive. But that is another story. A year later I had my own license and very quickly, my own car. And with that, my dad’s services were no longer needed. It was at this time that everything began to change. A deep grumble in the very fabric of my family. A power shift turned everything I once knew on its head.

The worst part was how it crept up on me. My innocence shattered forever. Suddenly he asked me for a lift. Everything I once knew had changed forever.

The only way I can attempt to explain just how terrifying this felt is by means of a comparison. Let us just take a second. Imagine if you will your ultimate music hero. Whether it is your Beatles, your Queen or your Rolling Stones does not matter. But imagine if you will performing for them. The very thought of that sends a pang of terror to my bones. And driving my dad absolutely anywhere is that exact same feeling.

I would like to think that 99.9% of the time that I am actually a very good driver. But as soon as my dad sits down next to me in my car, I turn into a pile of brain dead bone and tissue. There was one time where I literally forgot how to drive for a good few minutes. How he did not notice I will never quite know. But for that I am massively grateful.

…yet here I am writing this very blog with the full knowledge that he will get to reading this. I really did not think this through at all now did I?


I really wish I could explain it. But there is something about driving a man who I respect so much that does bring the nerves in the truck load. I have been having to do this now for around 4 years and even now I still struggle to keep my cool. There are times when my dad does actually compliment my driving, but even so I still feel that he is just being nice.

I really hope that it is not just me who has these feelings. Where better to share my thoughts than somewhere as great as Private Fleet.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts!

Follow me @lewisglynn69

Keep Driving People!

Peace and Love!

Private Fleet 2013 Driving Survey

2013 Private Fleet Driving Survey

Following on from the success of our previous driving surveys, Private Fleet has once again quizzed Australian drivers from across the country to get a real sense of the current issues motorists are experiencing.

Traffic Jam

Some 3500 respondents participated in the anonymous survey- which identifies participants by gender, state, income, car and driving history- and the results are enlightening; some adding strength to old adages, others shattering them into oblivion. For example:

Money doesn’t buy happiness: Respondents earning over $200,000 per year are 60 per cent more likely to get angry behind the wheel than those on under $40,000.

Texting and driving: 58 per cent of 26-40 year olds admit to texting while driving, making them more likely to offend than the 18-25 bracket (51 per cent). Only 2 per cent of those over 75 years of age text and drive.

At-fault accidents: While 35 per cent of respondents reported an accident in the last three years, only 17 per cent admitted fault for a minor incident…that number dropped to only 4 per cent when admitting fault in a serious accident where police were called.

Women Drivers: Sorry ladies, after carefully analysing 2403 responses from men and 988 responses from women, it appears that women are actually around 40% more likely to be involved in an accident per kilometre driven.

Additionally some 1980 respondents added commentary on the standards of driving in Australia and our worst offenders. From Holden drivers’ aggression through to ‘distracted’ P-Platers, through to the age-old argument of undertaking versus those hogging the right lane, the comments have sparked no end of debate.

The true beauty of the Private Fleet Driving Survey lies in its interactivity. We invite you to peruse the results yourself, combine them how you want and create your own conclusions…with around 55 million possible combinations, we are sure there are many intriguing results to be discovered, so make sure you share your findings!

The best Australian cars

Over the years, both in print and on-line, many a discussion has been generated around Australia’s worst cars. But with the Aussie car industry on its knees, I thought it was time to introduce some positivity to our home-grown motoring story, and ask our readers: What are your favourite Australian cars?

Xy Ford Falcon


From the advent of the first Holdens in the 1940s through to today, there have been some wonderful Aussie cars, designed locally for local conditions. There were hardships of course, particularly in those early years where the content was largely inspired by America; indeed, early Falcons were positively flimsy and could simply fall apart, until Ford got serious with the legendary XP’s Aussie development program.

Leyland P76

Personally, my list of solid Aussies includes what is generally perceived as a lemon: the Leyland P76. With its light, all-alloy V8, big body and nice ride, I think the concept was right; it’s just a pity the execution (and subsequent reliability jibes) hampered its sales.

Of course, the massively successful HQ-series Holden (485.650 produced) personifies what Aussies (used) to want in a car; space, robustness, power and a semblance of style.

I also love the American-influenced ‘muscle car’ era, back when racing at Bathurst in production-based cars was actually beneficial to sales. Think Ford Falcon XY GT-HO, Chrysler Charger R/T E49 and Holden Torana A9X.

Ford EcoBoost Falcon

Of later machinery, the Falcon EcoBoost was an on-trend alternative for modern times, retaining the sense of size, power and reliability that the best Aussie cars have but combining it with ultra-modern mechanicals which provide that power with economy. It’s a great drive, too…it’s just a pity that Ford didn’t have the marketing capability to really sell the product.

We could argue forever about why we no longer buy Australian (fuel costs affecting fleet sales, extra competitive market, lack of investment/’feel’ for the market…the list goes on) but let’s instead try and gain inspiration from the past: What are some of your favourites?

Targa: Showcasing Tasmania

I have just returned from Tasmania, host of what is billed as ‘The World’s Ultimate Tarmac Rally’- Targa Tasmania.

In its 22nd year, the ‘Targa’ takes in roads across the breadth of The Apple Isle, over six days of intense competition. There was an eclectic mix of cars, with around 220 entries in this year’s instalment ranging from $500,000-plus Lamborghinis to a 1938 Dodge, the oldest vehicle in the event.

White Lambo

As much as it’s about the cars, Targa Tasmania does something else very well: It involves remote communities. Driving into George Town, I could see kids rushing from their school playground to the fence line as the competitors drove past. There was smiling, cheering, waving…some had even made signs up to support their favourite car or driver.

After the George Town stage, cars and crews assembled in the coastal town’s centre, where spectators thronged, music played and food was served. The camaraderie, not only between crews and crowds, but between rival crews themselves, is what sets this event apart.

In recent years the route has taken competitors for a second day of stages on the remote west coast. The stunning sea-side town of Strahan hosts the crews, and is overflowed with personality. It’s wonderful tourism for Strahan and the surrounding regions, which struggle to sustain themselves given their vast distance from major town centres.

While in Strahan it was sad to hear news of the Wilderness Railway possibly being closed down, simply via a lack of profitability. Sad, because its route reveals scenery so breath-taking in parts that it could rival anything in New Zealand or Switzerland.

Heading out towards Lake St. Clair on Targa’s final day, I was awe-struck by the perfect tranquillity of the landscape between the old mining centre of Queenstown and Derwent Bridge (seriously, try the steak at the pub). The barrenness of Queenstown is quickly replaced by deep, clear lakes, imposing mountain ranges and thick, lush forest, with 360 degree views interrupted only by birdsong. It’s truly idyllic; I haven’t been so moved by Planet Earth since I saw Lake Como in Italy, and it’s lucky that the most beautiful sections are not part of the closed road sections of Targa…as I’d bet someone would end up driving clean into a lake.

It’s an epic undertaking but if you can manage the logistics and love the outdoors, the west coast of Tassie- indeed, pretty much Tassie in general- is a wonderful place for a driving holiday.