ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

The proud owner of a high-kilometer 2008 Holden Captiva has made the classic error of taking his car to a mechanic in the nice part of town, one that occupies a cute building made of bricks and is capped with sandstone.

John Murray’s timeless Holden soft-roader is about to tick over to a hundred thousand kilometers – something he says is special because Captivas generally age in dog years.

The Advocate learned the Captiva is due for a major service and with it, a major cost. Rather than take it out to Betoota Heights and have some bloke named Larry or Christos do it in their un-air-conditioned Ranbuild castle, the 25-year-old has taken his whining can-of-Korean bolts to French Quarter Motors.

“I knew I’d made a mistake as soon as I drove in,” he said.

“There was a P38A Range Rover with its entire dash pulled out. Malcolm, the mechanic, drew my attention to it and just laughed. He said, ‘Lucky, you don’t own that! All that for a pair of blown blowers! [laughs]’ and I just sheepishly laughed along with him. There was a Rover 75 with the top taken off the engine. It was just pushed into the corner.”

“I might add that this place, it was a shitfight. Shit everywhere. Half-dismantled British cars everywhere and the owner’s Golf R wagon. Anyway, he asked me what he could do for me, and I said that I needed the major 100km service that you do on the Captiva. I’d get a new car, but the used car market is beyond crook at the moment,”

John said that Malcolm pursed his lips and nodded.

“I can do that for you, mate,” said Malcolm.

“It’s got a dreadful whine. Some of those pulleys might need replacing. Also, I heard the front end knocking when you pulled in here on full lock. I reckon the CV joints are messed up too. You’ve also been driving around with your wheels out of alignment, so these front tires have as much grip as an ugg boot on a frosty driveway. The wipers are messed up. The clear coat is coming off. Look at this oil; it’s got more carbon in it than Clive Palmer’s colon on Boxing Day.”

“I’ll do you up a quote, and we can go from there.”

John explained that when he received the quote, he ultimately decided not to go through with the service.

“It was going to be $11,050.45,” he said.

“And that didn’t even include the timing belts.”

More to come.


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