Posts tagged ‘Aston Martin’


Secret “Asian” man (with apologies to Tak Toyoshima)

11.10.2017


Matt Clark

Above: Driving a silver Aston Martin. I’m citing the Official Secrets Act when I say I may or may not be on the tail of Auric Goldfinger.

Oh dear, I’ve been outed. I’m a spy. Actually, Walter Matthau and I prefer ‘agent’.
   You can read between the lines in this New York Times piece about Dr Jian Yang, MP.
   I’ve already gone into what I think of the Yang situation on Twitter but if you scroll down, you’ll see Raymond Huo, MP is tarred with the same brush.
   It’s the sort of reporting that makes me wonder, especially since people like me contribute to Duncan Garner’s ‘nightmarish glimpse’ of Aotearoa.

[Prof Anne-Marie Brady of the University of Canterbury] said the Chinese-language media in New Zealand was subject to extreme censorship, and accused both Mr. Yang and Raymond Huo, an ethnic Chinese lawmaker from the center-left Labour Party, of being subject to influence by the Chinese Embassy and community organizations it used as front groups to push the country’s agenda.
   Mr. Huo strongly denied any “insinuations against his character,” saying his connections with Chinese groups and appearances at their events were just part of being an effective lawmaker.

And:

Despite the criticism, Mr. Yang has continued to appear alongside Wang Lutong, China’s ambassador to New Zealand, at public events, including for China’s National Day celebrations this week, when he posed for photos with the ambassador and a Chinese military attaché.

   I wound up at three events where the Chinese ambassador, HE Wang Lutong, was also invited. This makes me a spy, I mean, agent.
   I even shook hands with him. This means my loyalty to New Zealand should be questioned.
   I ran for mayor twice, which must be a sure sign that Beijing is making a power-play at the local level.
   You all should have seen it coming.
   My Omega watch, the ease with which I can test-drive Aston Martins, and the fact I know how to tie a bow tie to match my dinner suit.
   The faux Edinburgh accent that I can bring out at any time with the words, ‘There can be only one,’ and ‘We shail into hishtory!’
   Helming a fashion magazine and printing on Matt paper, that’s another clue. We had a stylist whose name was Illya K. I don’t always work Solo. Sometimes I call on Ms Gale or Ms Purdy.
   Jian Yang and I have the same initials, which should really ring alarm bells.
   Clearly this all makes me a spy. I mean, agent.
   Never mind I grew up in a household where my paternal grandfather served under General Chiang Kai-shek and he and my Dad were Kuomintang members. Dad was ready to 反工 and fight back the communists if called up.
   Never mind that I was extremely critical when New Zealanders were roughed up by our cops when a Chinese bigwig came out from Beijing in the 1990s.
   Never mind that I have been schooled here, contributed to New Zealand society, and flown our flag high in the industries I’ve worked in.
   All Chinese New Zealanders, it seems, are still subject to suspicion and fears of the yellow peril in 2017, no matter how much you put in to the country you love.
   We might think, ‘That’s not as bad as the White Australia policy,’ and it isn’t. We don’t risk deportation. But we do read these stories where there’s plenty of nudge-nudge wink-wink going on and you wonder if there’s the same underlying motive.
   All you need to do is have a particular skin colour and support your community, risking that the host has invited Communist Party bigwigs.
   Those of us who are here now don’t really bear grudges against what happened in the 1940s. We have our views, but that doesn’t stop us from getting on with life. And that means we will be seen with people whose political opinions differ from ours.
   Sound familiar? That’s no different to anyone else here. It’s not exactly difficult to be in the same room as a German New Zealander or a Japanese New Zealander in 2017. A leftie won’t find it hard to be in the same room as a rightie.
   So I’ll keep turning up to community events, thank you, without that casting any shadow over my character or my loyalty.
   A person in this country is innocent till proved guilty. We should hold all New Zealanders to the same standard, regardless of ethnicity. This is part of what being a Kiwi is about, and this is ideal is one of the many reasons I love this country. If the outcry in the wake of Garner’s Fairfax Press opinion is any indication, most of us adhere to this, and exhibit it.
   Therefore, I don’t have a problem with Prof Brady or anyone interviewed for the piece—it’s the way their quotes were used to make me question where race relations in our neck of the woods is heading.
   But until he’s proved guilty, I’m going to reserve making any judgement of Dr Yang. The New York Times and any foreign media reporting on or operating here should know better, too.

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Posted in China, culture, humour, media, New Zealand, politics, publishing | 2 Comments »


Some more rare cars hit Autocade

01.01.2010

Tim Cottingham of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust kindly gave me permission to use one of his photographs on Autocade, for a very rare Aston. The 1972 Vantage was a six-cylinder model, of which only 70 were made. The Autocade entry gives a credit to Tim, and we can begin tracing the lineage of some of the old DB models.
   That, and several other rare cars for which there’s very little information online, went on last week.
 

Image:Aston_Martin_Vantage.jpg

Aston Martin Vantage. 1972–3 (prod. 70). 2-door saloon. F/R, 3995 cm³ (6 cyl. DOHC). Last of the six-cylinder DBs till DB7 débuted in the 1990s, and post-David Brown (released when Aston Martin was under Company Developments’ ownership). Odd amalgam of the new two-headlamp front end and the outgoing DBS, complete with wire wheels. Engine essentially identical to that of DB5 in Vantage tune. Despite the name, less powerful than the other Aston Martin on offer at the time, the V8, and was, in fact, the entry-level model in the range at the time. Very rare.
 

Image:BMW_1804.jpg

BMW 1804/BMW 2004. 1973–4 (prod. 1,404). 4-door saloon. F/R, 1767, 1990 cm³ (4 cyl. OHC). Successor to Glas 1700-based SA saloons, but with a more modern design, styled again by Frua. Essentially a major facelift done for budgetary reasons, with the BMW corporate grille and naming to bring the cars into line with the 1602 and 2002 (the 4 was for four doors, in this case). Improved trim and dashboard. Rear lights from the BMW 5er-Reihe, which later succeeded the range in South Africa.
 

Image:Ford_Meteor_GL.jpg

Ford Meteor (GA/GB). 1981–5 (prod. unknown). 4-door sedan. F/F, 1490 cm³ (4 cyl. OHC). Australian name for booted first-generation Ford Laser, with slightly different grille, which could be found on some Japanese-market Mazda Familias. Intended as a temporary Cortina replacement before the Ford Telstar (GC) was launched. Never really filled the niche as two 1·5-litre engine options were offered (standard and twin carburettor), rather than the two-litre starting point of the Australian Cortina. Identical to Laser mechanically.
 

Image:Ranger_B.jpg

Ranger B. 1972–6 (prod. unknown). 2- and 4-door saloon, 2-door coupé. F/R, 1698, 1897 cm³ (4 cyl. CIH), 2490, 2784 cm³ (6 cyl. CIH). GM Continental continues its exercise in building Opel Rekords, this time updated to the D model. Small engine (1·7) added, but with the exception of the quad round headlamps (shared with South African Chevrolet 3800 and 4100), a facsimile of the Opel. Production ended in 1976, as tariffs ended within the EEC, and there was no point maintaining a separate marque.

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Posted in cars, internet, media, technology | No Comments »