I’m standing under one of the big trees in front of the TNB building in Taipan, USJ Subang Jaya…beginning the first few lines of this essay.

The weather is cool, with a constant light breeze blowing.  The traffic along the road is heavy as usual, synonymous with Taipan. A couple of crows are cawing nearby above, in the trees. I have to admit, I am a bit apprehensive standing right under the tree for fear of being “white bombed”. There are quite a lot of flies, here; too.

So, why am I here, soaking in nature’s beauty and all that it has to offer? The “blastid” (as Popeye the Sailor Man would say) car broke down…something about a defective fuel pump, according to Affendi, my regular mechanic, over the phone. The car starts and the engine dies off soon after.

I called the motor insurance assist to arrange for a tow truck to the workshop nearby. It has been 50 minutes. The tow-truck operator called me nearly 1/2 hour ago for my location. In case you are wondering,  his name is not Mater, Tow Mater or Sir Mater.


When he arrived, he certainly was not Mater from “The Cars”. This guy was rougher than the corsest sand paper. He shouted something like, “Your luck kereta (car)”. “Say what?” I  asked. He shouted even louder,  “your luck kereta”, while motioning me to push the car. Ooohhh…”tolak kereta” (Malay for “push car”).

This guy certainly looked prosperous. He had an overhung belly 2.0. He seemed the type to always get up on the wrong side of the bed, no matter which side it was. I think he was cheesed off when earlier on, I asked him where he was, since he had not showed up after half hour.

Popeye The Sailor Man

He took a bunch of pictures and made me fill up a form and sign it before he even proceeded to hook up and crane my car to his truck. His truck was a Mitsudiesel.

I think he may not have liked the idea that I was going to ride navigator, to the workshop. No way was I going to leave the car alone with Friar Tuck, here.

The ride to the workshop was a short one. Thank goodness my regular workshop was nearby. Was I glad to see the last of F.T. (Friar Tuck).

Now, in the workshop, being intoxicated with the fumes of petrol. An initial diagnosis of the problem was right – the fuel pump which is slightly less than 2 years old when I replaced it last; was faulty.

Working on the Samsung Galaxy Z-Fold 3. Off and on, in between writing, ok ok, tapping on the screen keyboard, dozing off 💤💤💤 for a much needed shuteye. Few minutes at a time. When I wake up, I feel so refreshed. Then, a while later, I slip into a lull, back to my sleep mode💤💤💤. Must be the petrol fumes for sure, as I am sitting…dozing off, wake up, dozing off again in the car.

I get tired when I sit too l long. I prefer to move around and keep busy. I decided to take a stroll around the surrounding area to looksie looksie to see if there was anything interesting in a predominantly motor workshop area. There is a Speedmart grocery, three, four or five restaurants all looking rather quiet – no customers.

There is an interesting restaurant there that serves Italian food. But it is only opened from 11.00am to 7.00pm on weekdays. It is closed on weekends. From the pictures on the menu which was stuck on one of the glass panels, the offerings look good but it is pricey especially when you look at the location where this restaurant is situated. This is a restaurant started up by 3 college students. That explains their business operating hours. I am guessing that these students are hands on with this business.

The replacement fuel pump accessory was delivered to the workshop by the parts shop’s runner. In no time at all, the part was fitted to the car. Now, the car is as good as new…figurative speaking. almost. I am happy that Affendi and his younger brothers are professionals in what they do, and are very reasonable in their charges. That is why my late brother, Nigel; and I, have been using Affendi’s services for over 10 years now. We have become very good friends, too.

Should I trade in the Green Hornet (my trusty steed) for one of those new vehicles that have a “Hybrid” badge stuck to it? Will the replacement make financial sense?

Have you noticed that almost every brand of “Hybrid” vehicle, no matter how high on the price or status the spectrum range they maybe, has exactly the same “Hybrid” badge affixed to it. The vehicle can come from the Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, Maserati stables – if that model is a hybrid model, it will almost certainly sport the same “Hybrid” badge as all other vehicles.

I believe in times of economic uncertainty, where the central bank here in Malaysia has raised interest rates for the third time with the theme, “There’s no stopping us now”, it would be more prudent to hang on to the “old burner” since it is fully paid for. Monthly installments with interest charge, will not make much financial sense.


So, I will continue to flog…er use the Green Hornet. It may have a bit of the bumper sticking out at one end, a scratch or two on most parts of the car and make various sounds that put a good fusion jazz band to shame. It does almost the same thing as a Rolls Royce, Lambo, Toyota, Mahindra, Kia, Geely, Bugatti, Dongfeng – transport me from A to B.

By spending less, we will be able to keep our exposure to loans and interest at its minimum. Happy weekend!😁🎉


It’s 11.00am on a bright, sunny Sunday morning. This was the Sunday that I was going to give Tom Cruise a run for his money – him and his P-51 Mustang against the hotter than “wild fire red” Mustang 5.0 GT I was in.

The Ford Mustang 5.0l (5.0 litre) GT

The Mustang was waiting to be let loose from it’s domicile home in PJ. Its owner and I were going to view some land off Karak (1) town; which was over an hour away. D.D. said I was driving.

This was not just any old wannabe sports car. It is big. At 188.5 inches in length, 81.9 inches wide (including mirrors) and standing at 54.3 inches high; this machine’s 5.0L (302 cu.in.) pumps out 450 horses, that pushes the pointer to 160mph. 0-60mph in 4.3sec.

This machine Screamed, “Look at me at every angle. I’m sexy! You will not be disappointed”. It was already fast, just being stationary. It was in my favourite colour – race red.

The car with it’s wide door opened, makes it easy to get in and out of it. This is quite unlike some of its European competitors, which requires some amount of learning to get in and out of them.

The steering wheel on this car was carbon-fibre equipped. The seats were leather standard, with electronic adjustment. All accept the backrest. A chrome lever at the side of the seat at its axis, needs to be pulled to adjust it leaning forward or laying back. It does make sense that this is manually adjustable. Think about it. Eeeeeennnnhhhh(sound)…the backrest is adjusted electronically. Or, brrrttt(sound)…the backrest is adjusted near instantly.

There is a row of buttons on the centre dash, with believe it or not, red square caps covering them – fighter jet style. This is just below the screen with the Ford logo displayed when the system is not in use.

Flick open the red cover on the right, press the engine start/stop button; and all silence from miles around, is broken. The roar of the engine is so loud that it make the sound of thunder sound meek. I simply loved it! What Ford has done with the Mustang 5.0 GT is made the v-8 cylinder engine sound almost exactly to that of the P-51 Mustang’s 12 cylinder engine. Turn up the volume whole watching the videos of Listen to the sound (1) & (2).

The dashboard is in leather-stitched black, with easy-to-use aircon and radio controls.
This badge sits on the left side of the dash – the first Mustangs were produced in 1964.

Tom Cruise with his Mustang ride. Here is Tom Cruise wondering what he has got himself up against this time, taking on that guy Al Atkinson in the other Mustang.

One happy dude! I get to play with this toy. The look on my face says it all.

Driving this badass machine is exhilarating! This is definitely not the feather-lights of European cars. The steering is heavy though it is power-assisted; which is good because you have full control of the car on the road. Though the engine sound is loud in the cabin, we could still hold conversations without having to raise our voices.

The engine sound was sweet, pure growl. You betcha that everyone on the highway / freeway (American) was looking at us. We could be seen from miles around and before long, we were filling up the wing rear-view mirrors and the centre one of vehicles ahead of us as, as we approached them faster than a blink of an eye. At almost 7ft wide from the tip of one wing mirror to the other; the vehicles in front of us will not be able to see anything else but this menacing red fury on the road. That’s putting it mildly.

On our way back from Karak, I put this mean machine through its paces. Thump the gas pedal and the 450 horses pulls this red carriage at 10Gs, similar to that of TopGun Maverick’s 10Gs test flight😉. It stayed glued to the road. Immense!

The growl of its engine was excitement hardly containable. If you think the roar of this supercar’s engine is fierce when the car is stationary; the growl as it eats up miles of road when picking up speed is definitely an OMG!!!😲😲😲

I’ve driven the BMW M3 through its paces. Its an amazing car, on top of the charts when compared to other European cars in its league and higher. While the M3 has a bit of head knowledge and driving excitement, the Mustang just blows it away – from head knowledge to sight to deafening sound to sheer go from 0 to its top of 160mph to driving in town to attraction to deafening sound (did I mention deafening sound?) in almost every category. I’ve included a video “F80 BMW M3 vs Ford Mustang 5.0 I ROLL RACE” for you to get an idea of my experience with both these cars.

Many good things has to come to an end. I had to reluctantly detach myself from this Mustang to head for home. A massive “Thank You” to D.D. for letting me get into the cockpit and drive this Mustang off its wheels.

My Sunday drive: The growling fury of the Ford Mustang 5.0L Listen to the sound(1)

Stewart S 51 D * N1944 SD 480p Listen to the sound (2)

F80 BMW M3 vs Ford Mustang 5.0 I ROLL RACE, Two Wheel Turban

A little background on Mustang horses:

Club Cavallo Italia

The mustang is a free-roaming horse of the Western United States, descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Mustangs are often referred to as wild horses.
Etymology and usage
According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the English word mustang was likely borrowed from two essentially synonymous Spanish words, mestengo (or mesteño) and mostrenco. English lexicographer John Minsheu glossed both words together as ‘strayer’ in his dictionary of 1599. Both words referred to livestock defined as ‘wild, having no master’.


Hot Wheels
1) The first Hot Wheels car that was produced was a dark blue custom Camaro in 1968.
2) Mattel has sold more than 6 billion Hot Wheels cars since then.
3) The most anyone has ever paid for a Hot Wheels car was more than $150,000. One wealthy fan paid that price at auction for a pink Beach Bomb model that is extremely rare because only two were produced.

58 Thunderbird. Red, chrome base, gray int., tinted windows, maroon and silver design w/Hot Wheels logo on sides, Malaysia (2004)

Nitro Scorcher, Malaysia
Formul8r, Malaysia
’56 Ford, Malaysia (1999)
1186 MJ, 1, NL; Malaysia (2014)

Suzuki SSX/R-4, Malaysia (2003)

Cool One, China (2004)

Robo Zoo, 1983 (Malaysia)

Boulevard Bucaneers, China

Pony-Up, Malaysia (2001)

Corvette Stingray, Malaysia (1979)

Notice the blue roll cage?

Chrysler 300C, Malaysia (2005)

Dodge Pan Pick-up, Malaysia

Rivited, Malaysia

’57 Chevy, white, red tinted windows, bonnet (hood opens), chrome base, red rims, Malaysia (2003)

The case closed

This set of 15 vehicles is for sale: US$48.00 (excluding shipping)
RM160.00 (excluding shipping)


Hot Wheels: The Collector’s Case

HOT WHEELS: The Collectors Case Includes, ’58 Thunderbird, Rivited, Boulevard Bucanners and more. 15 vehicles


Price in Malaysia, RM160.00 (excluding shipping)
You can choose to make payment via:
Alan Ian Atkinson
Account Number: 114299048159
email to: alan@leatherpotato.com
1) payment receipt
2) name
3) address
4) contact telephone #

BMW 507 (1956) scale1:18 : FOR SALE

Sold: June 01, 2022

A car that definitely won’t go un-noticed if you were seen in one today – BMW 507.

This beautiful, beautiful example of motor sporting luxury, started it’s very short career (1956 -1959) with the hopes of reviving BMW’s sporting image. BMW had the intention of pricing it at $5,000, much lower than the Mercedes Benz 300SL.

By the time it got off the production lines and into sales showrooms; it’s sales prices was too expensive – far more expensive than the 300SL. It almost bankrupted BMW.

Though it was considered a sports car, this 3.2l engine was supposed to deliver a top speed of 135mph but could only muster up 125mph.

Only 256 were built. Among the famous celebrities that owned one of these fine desirables was Elvis Presley.


It looks like the 507 aged with grace. It has become more sexier and desirable. It was reported that one of these from the 256 that were built, auctioned off for $5 million. (4)

This scale 1:18 diecast model is for sale.
Still in its box on its platform mount. Comes with its rooftop (in the box).
I purchased this in Perth, Western Australia in 2005. Condition is 10/10.
Colour: Blue
Price: US$130.00 (excluding shipping)
RM400.00 (excluding shipping) Malaysia

BMW 507 (1956) 1:18

This scale 1:18 diecast model is for sale. Still in its box on its platform mount. Comes with its rooftop (in the box). Color: Blue Condition 10/10 Mounted on stand. In the box.


Price in Malaysia, RM400.00 (excluding shipping)
You can choose to make payment via:
Alan Ian Atkinson
Account Number: 114299048159
email to: alan@leatherpotato.com your
1) payment receipt
2) name
3) address
4) contact telephone #


Reminiscent of the past…

It was a late afternoon on June 30th 1995, I think. Keith Ganesan’s Agency was already up at Selesa Homes, just past Genting Highlands; for a team retreat after closing the year. It was to be a sales production roundup of the year that had gone by and plan for the new year. But most of all, it was chillout time at the pool, relax, have fun , with a free flow of good food and drinks.

Me, I was still in Sime Axa Assurance Berhad’s head office, leaving nothing to chance…

Gosh! I am either too tired or am in “super procrastination” mode. My eyelids are happy – no actually, they are heavy. Maybe, they are happily, heavy… and I am yawning quite a bit. My bed beckons. I think I will “put on my thinking cap” and get into my “let’s think about it” position – lie on the wooden floor, to relax a bit. Just a bit. I will be back… For now, Alan’s left the building…not really; just his workstation.😉


Back to me still being in the Sime Axa Assurance Berhad head office… I was there, making sure that all my sales production was accounted for in the year-end closing. I had worked right to the end, registering as much insurance production as possible.

By the time I had things settled, it was about 3.30pm to 4.00pm in the afternoon. When I left the office in downtown Kuala Lumpur; it was raining quite heavily. So, I took it slow and easy; driving, that is. Seem to be missing out letters from words when typing them in – must be the keyboard; not me. 🤪 I saw a nice, flashy, typewriter key movement and sound keyboard at the IT store a few days ago…. thinking… just thinking.✨🎅

Focus Alan, focus!

Having packed for the trip before going to the head office; my plan was after having dealt with the office matters; to drive straight to Serendah Homes which was about an hour and a half away, including having to maneuver the KL traffic on the way up.

Everything seemed fine along the way until just after the Gombak district; where the rain began to pour. The rain was belting down at its hardest, causing poor to no visibility at all on the highway as I reached the fork on the road; the left going up towards Genting Highlands. A few metres after the fork on the road, all traffic was at a standstill.

For about a kilometre up to where I was, there were massive waterfalls on the left where the mountains were. These waterfalls were not there before that day. They were spewing brown water and large rocks / boulders which were falling onto the highway. I was worried that one or more of these rocks and boulders would hit me. Why the traffic stopped was because people were out of their vehicles in the pouring rain, physically moving and clearing these rocks and boulders off the highway.

By this time, the water level was half way my car door height, about 12 inches below the window. I was driving my 1993 Ford Laser TX-3: 1840cc, fuel injection – latest model; 16V DOHC, 92 kW (123 hp), two-door, boy-racer car. It was a manual transmission or “stick shift” as the Americans call it. I knew the only way to keep the water from getting into the engine was by keeping the gear in 1st or 2nd and high revving the engine, causing a strong “blowing out” effect from the exhaust.

My TX-3 looked exactly like this, with the “T-spoiler”. It was a boy-racer – fast. Sounded great. Awesome car to drive.

My TX-3 was a similar white one like this, with the red stripe running all round the car’s waistline, the red decal and the red badges. The spoiler was the “T” shape spoiler as per the black TX-3 above.

Some men helped clear the path for me to drive on to the Genting Sempah tunnel slightly further ahead.

When I got to the tunnel, I thought I was safe, away from danger, as there wasn’t much water in the tunnel as it was slightly higher than the rest of the highway. But within minutes, the water level started rising and soon was half the car’s height, just below the window.

I pulled the handbrake up with my foot firmly on the brake pedal and my right foot on the accelerator pedal. I had to coordinate my movements – left foot on the clutch pedal, right foot on the brake or accelerator pedals while shifting gear between neutral, one or two.

I could not move to the other end of the 900 metre long tunnel as people on the other end panicked and were blocking the exit. Road plastic dividers were floating and banging the car. I could feel the car moving backwards, slowly because of the waters pushing against it. I panicked when I saw a Volvo floating near out-of-control, coming towards me. I was shouting on top of my voice (like as though anyone could hear me), trying to attract the Volvo driver to bring his car under control.

Luckily, the men who helped push my car in the tunnel, indicated to me to put the gear in neutral but at the same time, keep revving the engine at high revs. After sometime, I and other cars behind me, got out of the tunnel, and made our way to Genting Sempah, which was on high ground. Safe.

After an hour and a half, the rain had stopped, water levels subsided slowly. I headed on to Serendah Homes and told the team of my harrowing experience. They all thought I was exaggerating and did not believe the level of danger I had experienced.

My father called me up just after I reached Serendah Homes, to find out if I was ok after seeing the news on tv, initially stating that 1 life had perished. An update of the news later stated that 20 lives were lost, including those in a bus on the way up to Genting Highlands. The road collapsed and many of those in the bus lost their lives.

For a long time after that day, whenever I saw a rainstorm forming especially in K.L. (Kuala Lumpur); I would drive into a building and park on the top level of its carpark; until the rain stopped. K.L. tends to easily flood, especially the Jalan Ampang and Jalan Sultan Ismail interchange.

The Star

When the rain belted down on many parts of Selangor with no mercy last Friday and Saturday; it wreaked havoc, especially in areas of Klang and Shah Alam. Kuala Lumpur was not spared, too. It brought back memories of that last day of June in 1995.

By Saturday evening; the authorities blocked all traffic from getting into Klang, at least via the Federal Highway.

People walk past cars partially submerged in floodwaters in Shah Alam, Selangor on December 21, 2021, as Malaysia faces massive floods that have left at least 14 dead and more than 70,000 displaced. (Photo by Arif KARTONO / AFP)

We were concerned for my aged parents who are living in Klang. This was a post I put in social media on Sunday evening: “Just to let you know, Jeannie and I just reached my parents’ house in Tmn Chi Liung, Klang. Coming onto the Federal Highway from Subang Jaya, it is like a war torn massive disaster area. Damaged Cars, at least 6 of them left strewn all over the road, vehicle parts, a lot of destruction – had to drive slowly to avoid all of this.”

With the experience I went through which was only for a few hours; I can only imagine what the people living in these areas are facing now. The general Malaysian public went full swing into action with donation of food, aid, money… whatever help they could render. This is what Malaysia is all about.

The sun has been blazing the whole of today (Tuesday, Dec 21st). The weather bureau has awoken from its slumber and has issued a warning to expect heavy downpours right up til he end of the year.

In the meantime, skiing on the mountains of the middle east…


I have to admit that it has been very difficult for me while writing this article and having to relive the experience that I went through, even though it is over 26 years ago. I give strong mention of my Ford Laser TX-3 because it did not fail me and endured the harshness of the flood waters.


BODY: integrated body/chassis three-door hatch
ENGINE: 1840cc four cylinder with fuel injection & turbocharger
POWER & TORQUE: 92kW @ 6500rpm 123hp (DIN), 155Nm @ 3000rpm
PERFORMANCE: Yop Speed: 190km/h (118mph)
0-100km/h:|9.7 seconds,
0-400 metres: 16.6seconds
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual
SUSPENSION: Independent with struts, coil springs and anti-roll bar (f) Independent with struts, coil springs and anti-roll bar (r)
BRAKES: Disc (f) disc (r) with power assistance
TYRES: 195/60/14 radial
1990-94 Ford Laser TX3 https://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/ford_australia/laser_australia_3gen/kh_laser_hatchback_tx3/1993.html

  • Pictures of the Ford Laser TX-3: tradeuniquecars.com, wikipedia
  • Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang are cities in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia.


So, all this boo hoo hoo about Lewis being robbed, stolen, cheated… and the list goes on… of an 8th title.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, 7 time Formula 1 World Champion 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017 -2020; Steve Etherington, Goodwood

We still have yet to see / read concrete evidence that Mercedes stomped the floor and insisted that the marshals insist Lewis gave back the lead he gained by going off the track in the first half dozen turns of Lap 1. Neither did they insist of Lewis getting a 5 second penalty for doing so.

If you watched just before the last lap shoot out – Mercedes did not object to it before the lap started, nor during the lap. Why was that? Was it because Lewis was in the lead of that lap? And they expected him to win?

Whatever controversial decisions may have been made by the race director, both teams accepted whatever the outcome that was to come from that said final lap before it started. Would the same boo hoo hoo guys be boo hoo hooing, hoping if Lewis won the last lap under the given circumstances?

Whatever remnants of the so-called sportsmanship that Lewis appears to have displayed after the race, is fast being washed down the drain by his and his team’s actions.

Max Verstappen achieves new milestone in 2021 season
Max Verstappen – Formula 1 World Champion 2021. Image AP (1)

It is a message that carries forward to anyone buying a Mercedes Benz vehicle – expect to accept all flaws with it and not make a noise about it… warranty or otherwise… because Mercedes Benz will then say, “it is unfair…” Even though there is a warranty, they won just by selling you a vehicle with all its flaws. And you should accept it.

And the team and their fans demand a change! Now, there is a new FIA committee, and Lewis did not attend the gala, and (another “and”) there is a penalty for not doing so; are they going to accept it based on the fact that the new committee will strictly follow the rules? Or is there going to be a “I don’t care” and not bother.

What is not good for the goose is good for the gander?

Chill guys! Lewis did not have to go for the 8th. But he did. He should enjoy whatever results he got out of it. This season proved that Max out won him in almost every area. Give that guy credit.

Mercedes team PR campaign that is going on now, “Lewis may not come back again” to play on the feelings of his fans, is nothing more than just a publicity stunt. He already did that last year, delaying signing the 2021 contract, until a few short days, just to stoke anxiety feelings of his fans. So, second time round now, is crying wolf! (pun intended)

If ever, Sir Lewis had even an ounce of chivalry on him, he would declare “let’s race 2022 for the 8th!”. Otherwise, just quit and “Next!”.

No way, am I belittling Lewis or ignoring his accomplishments. I think his fans and his team should do the same. He has to start behaving like a 7-times World Champion.

Sebastian Vettel – 4 times – Formula 1 World Champion 2010 – 2013; Twitter
Kimi Raikonnen – Formula 1 World Champion 2007; Car.Scoop

In fact, he should work with Max, the new World Champion; towards some off-track community work to give credibility to the titles they, including Seb, Fernando and Kimi have earned. They all have earned their rightful place as World Champions. Congratulations to all!

Fernando Alonso – Formula 1 World Champion 2005 & 2006, Autosport


  1. Kartnik Nair, ‘Max Vs The World’: Verstappen Has Led More Laps This F1 Season Than All Drivers Combined; republicworld.com

My next car will be a Merc when I am in the market for a new car. It would be refreshing.


What a race it was! Who would have guessed that Formula 1 2021 would go down the wire, with the winner being decided in the last lap of the last race.

Mercedes protest dismissed and Verstappen remains 2021 F1 World Champion -  Total Motorsport
Max Verstappen – Formula 1 World Champion, 2021; Total Motorsport

Let’s get some things in perspective. Mercedes was a “straight line demon”. Red Bull, let alone the rest of the competitors (yes, there were more than two drivers in Formula 1 this season; for some of you who were wondering) could not match this.

Lewis Hamilton’s experience kept the championship title chase – his eighth; alive. He filled in the gaps at the corners and other places. One could immediately tell that Lewis’ talent shone in these areas.

While Lewis had 7 world titles under his belt; he was under tremendous pressure to up the ante and take the title again to notch it up to “8” and become the supremo of Formula 1 World champions. He had to prove to his team and fans. He could have retired at 7 World Champion titles. But he decided to gamble with a “double or nothing” and go for the 8th, which seemed to have proved elusive to him from almost the very beginning of the season. But he is an athlete and racing on the track is in his blood. There seemed to have been more racing off the track with Mercedes throwing their whole financial might behind Lewis.

Red Bull was a team of strategists. They displayed their brilliant “chess” moves, always a couple of moves ahead of Mercedes, and every other team that cared to challenge it. Max Verstappen had to rely on car setup and this team strategy.

Max, was a rookie at actually chasing after the World Championship; not just winning a couple of races here and there. This is not to belittle individual races nor the rest of the drivers on the grid. All these drivers on the grid represent the “crème of the crop” of world drivers. They are at the pinnacle of formula 1. But there is only 1 champion each year.

Max had almost no pressure whatsoever – just to enjoy racing, go for the world championship when it became evident he was in the real running for it.

The season showed that Red Bull had the edge overall. Their pit calls were most times, brilliant maneuvers.

Both drivers went into Abu Dhabi with equal points. Max was one race win ahead of Lewis. This meant that Lewis had to win outright on points to take the championship.

Lewis overtook Max who was on pole at the start of the race. He was ahead in many parts of the race. Max soaking in all the fun, was still in the hunt.

Williams driver, Nicholas Latifi, crashed into the wall; six laps from the finish, bringing out the safety car.

Racing director, Masi; announced that it would be a final lap shootout; without the lapped back-markers in the way. Here is when the so-called controversies started.

No where, did it seem to suggest that Mercedes at this point; made any objection to that decision made by Masi. Why? Was it because Lewis was ahead already before the slingshot lap started? During the final lap shootout, did they announce, shout, scream any form of protest while Lewis was in the lead, or even right to the chequered flag?

The last lap was a slingshot for both Max and Lewis. All gloves were off. It was a driver vs driver race. Both were excellent in the last lap. The better driver won. That is a fact!

Why make not one, but two protests after the race was over?

Again, protests should have been made when the lap shootout was announced. Now, it seems some crying over spilt milk and being a spoilt sport is being worn on the sleeves of the Mercedes team.

I would have rather the announcement made by them, “We will come back stronger with Lewis next season!”

Now, all praise, joy, shouts of happiness – the limelight is on Max Verstrappen – Formula 1 2021 World Champion. Congratulations! Max! 🏆🏆👏👏

Max Verstappen's Formula One world title in numbers
Red Bull
Picture by the talented David Tremayne: Honda’s F1 rebirth, December 12, 2021; Augustman


We have removed the video showing the last lap shootout because it was blocked due to copyright issues. We gave mention that the video was from TRL Limitless. So, we think they may have breached the copyright issue. We respect the ownership of that footage. If you would like to view that last lap footage; go to YouTube “Verstappen Wins Title With Final Lap Overtake! | 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”, Formula 1.


After years of chasing that elusive state of contentment by surrounding myself with things the world has to offer; I have come to realise that “happiness” in this aspect is artificial intelligence – fast to decrease, a continuous work-in-progress to stay happy, with more new things.

The things we acquire rapidly lose their shine and value because a new model, a new improved model to that one you just purchased but barely moments after you having left the store becomes an old model, one that is nearing obsolete; even though you were enticed to buy it because it was the latest.

Now, the ultimate has been launched, with many products adding the term “ultra” to them to give the air of exclusivity. Or the idea of the more you pay for the item; it must be good and will last forever. (1)

What about “Limited Edition”? You rush to buy it because there is that tag, “Limited Edition” tied with a product coupled with a meaningless number of limited to 10,000 pieces, etc? Just as you think and believe you have outsmarted, raced and beat nearly everyone else to get this priceless, limited edition item; the brand tweaks the product or launches it with a slight variant to the colour, and woohoo! Limited Edition 2 comes out! After that Limited Edition 3, 4, etc… So, how limited is “Limited Edition”?

Brands are in the business to sell and will not be limited to just a certain specified number if the product is selling well. It is a marketing angle.

Be warned: “Limited edition” is a way to entice you to part with more money for this item that you would otherwise wait for it to be on a discount sale. The final decision to part money from your wallet or bank account, including the use of credit cards; or otherwise (the reduction of your cash flow), is yours.

Can we put an expensive “price tag” or “Limited Edition” to friendship? True friendship? One that does not look at your status or the financial standing in high society or the number of properties, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, BMWs that you own, or the expensive restaurants that attract your palette.

If friendship has a price tag or “Limited Edition” to it; it’s value then lasts as long you are in a position to maintain your status. And this friendship comes with an attachment – it lasts as long as these friends can get something from you and vice versa. Barter trade friendship.

I would like to think of friendship as an acceptance of who you are as a person – no strings attached. Someone whom you can be comfortable with by just being yourself; someone who will be your friend even if it may chance a separation by time or distance….

While writing an article (2) for it to be included in the memoir of an old friend – the late Fr. John Gnanapiragasam (Fr John G.) (3); I kept thinking of a girl that I spent quite a lot of time with at a retreat for the CHOICE (4) team in the mid-1980s, with Fr. John G. as our spiritual adviser. She was the “baby” of the group, being the youngest. After 35 / 36 years, I had forgotten her name. But not her face. Not her full of life and smiles. Nor her simplicity and her innocence.

Then, I remembered seeing a name “Loraine” in a Whatsapp chat group – one gathering all the CHOICE graduates from CHOICE #1 onwards. Loraine looked somewhat like this person at the CHOICE retreat. Coincidentally. Loraine is also the cousin of my brother-in-law, Raymond Arnold.

I contacted Loraine and she told me that it was her sister, Sharon; that I was referring to. The floodgate of good memories opened wide open. Sharon resides in Germany. I am now in touch with Sharon. I think it was wonderful that we reconnected after all this time. Lasting impressions! Interesting to note that she met with my late sister, Jennifer; a few years ago.

Sharon on the right. Mid-1980s
Sharon in white, my late sister, Jennifer, Ray and Loraine. This was taken a few years back.

In one of the posts on my Facebook page, I came across someone with the “Wambeck” surname. I had a classmate by the name of “Anselm Wambeck” when I was in La Salle Petaling Jaya (5) from Standard 1 (Year 1) to Standard 3. It turned out that this person who posted on my Facebook page is Anselm’s cousin and put me in touch with him. We reconnected again after over 50 years. Below, is a picture that Anselm sent me – it was a picture taken at a tea party in Assunta Primary School Hall, Petaling Jaya in 1966. We had just received the sacrament of First Holy Communion.

No photo description available.
I am on the left, holding up my First Holy Communion certificate. Anselm is on my right.

When I moved to La Salle Klang, I made new friends in Walter James Danker, Duncan La Brooy, Eddie Lim Swee Huat, Mak Weng Kit, Michael Lee Pillai and many more in the first few days. Walter was a prefect. On the first day (Monday) of school, I got 2 strokes of the rotan (6) from the headmaster, Bro Michael; because Walter reported me for not wearing a tie. No one told me that I was supposed to wear a tie on a Monday. Funnily, it didn’t occur to me why all the other boys were wearing a tie. Duh!

Martin Wong, and his younger brother, Jerome; became our neighbours when they move into a house just opposite ours. We used to play cowboys and Indians so often.

When we moved house to Jalan Ladang, Klang (7) (which was 300 metres away from school), Eddie Lim, Weng Kit & his brother, Weng Hoon; and a whole bunch of other schoolmates; were in our house almost everyday, playing badminton, hockey, football, table-tennis, etc. We also used to catch fighting spiders and keep them in matchboxes.

Years after we left school, something like around 50 years or so; we had a gathering of our batch of guys. Many of our teachers attended, too. All our teachers knew us by name. They were and still are sharp. It was an incredible turnout.

The incredible turnout of schoolmates and teachers. The teachers are in the front row. Everyone had awesome stories of their lives over the 50 years. I’d have to write a series of books to capture everyone’s stories.

Our best friends include family. Irreplaceable!

The Atkinson family, 1981
This picture was taken 3 years ago. We had cousins from Australia with us.

We are family


  1. The Rolls Royce and Bentley graveyard in Bandar Sunway
  2. “Fr John Gnanapiragasam – As I know him”, Roman Catholic priest, https://leatherpotato.com/2021/11/26/fr-john-gnanapiragasam-as-i-know-him/
  3. Passed away November 19, 2021
  4. CHOICE is a Catholic programme for single adults.
  5. Petaling Jaya, a town in Selangor, Ma;aysia.
  6. “Rotan” is cane in Malay.
  7. Klang, a town in Selangor, Malaysia.
  8. Luisa Salva is a very talented singer. Please help make this video of her and her other works viral.

♫ All of Me ♪ – Luisa Salva (8)


I have always loved cars for as long as I can remember. I remember one day when I was six years old and in Standard (Today’s equivalent of “year”) 1 at La Salle primary school, Petaling Jaya, it was during recess (break) time. I walked out of school to the shops nearby on Jalan Gasing and came across a newspaper vendor displaying little cars for sale. They could have been Dinky and Corgi brands. I saw an Austin Cambridge or Morris Oxford model that caught my eye.

I asked the shop guy to let me see the car. It had a little knob (reminded me of the little round pencil sharpener) on the roof of the car. By turning the knob left or right; it ingeniously turned the front wheels of the car in the direction the knob was turned. This car reminded me of my father’s real Austin Cambridge that he had at that time.

Fast forward today and my interest for cars has not diminished, even a little bit.

My friend, DD; has an interest in cars and motorcycles. It is more than just an interest, DD is an avid enthusiast in restoring vehicles of yesteryear. He has “brought back to life” several vehicles including a Volvo 123.

He recently brought an old Volvo, the 240GLE; to pristine, showroom condition – literally. It’s colour “angelic white”. Everything about the car is worthy of a premium executive vehicle.

DD wanted a Volvo 242 next. It is 2 doors (hence the number denominator: 24(2). After searching many parts of Malaysia; he managed to find one which was in reasonably good condition, without the need for major restoration. It was in one of Volvo’s traditional stock-standard colours: light blue.

This 242 was going to see a different remake. Instead of just restoring it to showroom condition; DD’s plan was to fashion it after Volvo’s BTCC model – “The Flying Brick”. – He bought a model kit of the Flying Brick… yes, you read right… a model kit car. His brother-in-law helped build the car, complete with full decals. The Volvo was fondly nicknamed “The Flying Brick” because of its squarish shape.

One of the first things he did with the car was to have it repainted white, as per the model display unit he has. Then, get this: he replicated the decals which are on the model car and custom made them to scale to fit the real thing. Pictures of the model are below, too:

The Volvo 242 in front. The Volvo 240 in the back.

The model kit of which the real car above is being based on. Photo by DD

More plans for this car include removing the rear seat and adding a roll cage. With an eye for detail, DD will bring this car up to specifications as close to the original racer as possible. Yet, this vehicle will still meet all requirements to be a street car. Keep a lookout for it.

Photo by DD

The original 242 driven by Strom and Codocco. Pinterest.

VOLVO 242 (1974-1984)

In August 1974, Volvo presented a new generation of cars called the 240 and 260 Series.

These new models had been developed from the 140 series and were very similar to their predecessors, and with influences from the VESC safety concept car. The changes included a new protruding front, large bumpers and a further-developed chassis, featuring McPherson front-wheel suspension. At the same time, a new 4-cylinder engine series with single overhead camshaft was introduced. The previous B20 4-cylinder was still offered in basic versions for some time.

Two-door cars were still very much in demand, particularly on the Nordic markets, and it was therefore only natural to include a 2-door in the programme. However, as the trend was moving towards 4-door cars, the 242 was taken out of production long before the 244 and 245.

Over the years, the Volvo 242 was produced with many different engines and gearboxes.

The most interesting versions were the 242GT of the late 1970s and the 240 Turbo of the 1980s marketed in North America. Both cars offered spectacular performance and answering in full to the classical proverb ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’. The same goes for the 242 racing car which won the European Touring Car Championship in 1985.

For model year 1983, the emblem at the rear of all 240 models was changed. No longer did it say 242, 244 or 245. The badge just said 240, as part of a new designation strategy. In reality, however, most people continued to refer to their cars as a 244 or 245. Nevertheless, this change did not mean any large-scale modification to the cars.


Model: 242

Variants: 242 GT

Produced: 242,621

Body: 2-door saloon

Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line OHV, 4-cylinder, in-line SOHC, 4-cylinder, in-line SOHC with turbocharging.

Transmission: 4-speed manual or 4-speed with el. overdrive, with floor-mounted gear lever. 3-speed automatic.

Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes on all four wheels.

Dimensions: Overall length 490 cm, wheelbase 264 cm.

Misc: In 1985, the Volvo 242 won the European Touring Car Championship. (1)

Photo by DD

Photo by DD

The 242 seen here, was amongst the earliest Volvo models to be fitted with big bumpers. Pinterest

The Volvo 242 , in its earlies of beginnings. Pinterest

Teaser: Look what’s coming up soon

BMW and Mercedes Benz – Photo by DD


  1. Volvo Cars Global Newsroom

Volvo 242 v. ETCC Round 2 at Donnington | 1986