Wednesday, 24 August 2011 07:39

Slip Angle | When Automatic Isn’t

Words by Andre Palma
My first encounter with an automatic gearbox was back in college. Somehow, as the proctoring professor arrived at the examination room, I found myself separated from my exam permit during finals week. With my usual dumb luck, the said permit was a kilometer away and it was raining. A set of keys was tossed in my direction and off I went, down four flights of stairs with my academic life hanging in the balance. A sense of hope filled me. I could still make finals.
After fiddling with a Solex lock for what seemed to be an eternity, I jumped into the driver’s seat of the Ford Laser hatch, and in a single motion, kicked the clutch and tried to fumble the gear stick into neutral. To my horror, there wasn’t a clutch pedal in the car. Add to that the fact that the usual H-pattern gear change was missing as well. In its place were the mocking letters P, R, N, and D

It was then when I panicked.
Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:20

Slip Angle | Beginnings

Words by Andre Palma
Everything began with a phone call. It must have been 1999, and I was looking for go faster parts for a B16A. You know, the kind of engine a punk sticks into a tiny, made-for-grocery-runs Honda to turn it into a street fighter. The guy I was talking to seemed to know what he was talking about but sounded surprised I knew what I was talking about. His suspicion was that obvious. Why the wariness, you may ask?
Difficult as it may seem, talking cars is easy. Anyone can do it. Heck, monkeys can be trained to talk via flashcards, right? Speaking about cars with a hint of passion is a little more difficult but not impossible. Actually being devoted (and I don’t use that word loosely) to the automobile, savoring every nuance of that sickness, well that is quite rare. 
Suffice it to say; I think Ferman picked that up from the first time we talked. I was, have been, and will always be sick in the head with cars. Apparently, so is he.
Published in Editorials