The Thinker's Garage Pondering Automotive History, Design and Culture

The Thinker's Garage
An overview of the top Chinese brands
An overview of the top Chinese brands

Over the next few days we’ll be looking at the ranges of the ten biggest domestic manufacturers in China’s rapidly growing car industry. Be sure to check back every day this week as new sections are added. Click the links below to access the stories.   Part 1 – SAIC Current owners of MG and LDV Maxus, as well as manufacturer of […]

Looking to the future for Fiat Chrysler
Looking to the future for Fiat Chrysler

On Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), held a 12 hour long investor conference outlining plans for the future directions of the brands in the company’s portfolio. Led by Sergio Marchionne and featuring presentations from key personnel at the top of each nameplate, the conference promised increased sales, reduced debt and billions of dollars in new […]

Remember – stay open minded
Remember - stay open minded

I recently had the opportunity to drive a Nissan Leaf, the first electric car I’ve actually driven and the first I’ve had a ride in since the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. I came away from the i-MiEV thoroughly unimpressed. Yes it was silent and seemed to move acceptably but the basic city car appearance and terrible interior […]

Looking back at the Alfa Romeo 156
Looking back at the Alfa Romeo 156

“The Alfa Romeo 156 – my very first significant project – will always take a special place in my heart. Every time I see one, I realise it’s a masterpiece that doesn’t age” – Walter de’ Silva, 2012 When we look back upon the turn of the millennium and early 21st century, it is doubtless […]

Best wishes to Bertone
Best wishes to Bertone

With a no-show at the recent Geneva motor show, news of employees having not worked for weeks and media reports about the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings, it seems like we might tragically be nearing the end of the road for one of the most famous influential design houses, Bertone. Bertone has been a family based […]

Small cars – Simple pleasures
Small cars - Simple pleasures

As nice as it is to have all the modern comforts in a car, sometimes the sheer number of features found in so many new cars does seem to be overkill. Although this kind of technology is very impressive in the showroom, in the real world, when longevity and ease of use become more important […]

Fast & Frugal – the synergies between performance and efficiency
Fast & Frugal - the synergies between performance and efficiency

There seem to be a large number of ‘car enthusiasts’ who rubbish the idea of embracing clean technology and improving the efficiency of cars. From drivers who lament the rise and rise of hybrids and forced induction to motorsport fans who bemoan the quietness of some modern racing cars, it seems to be an oft […]

Motorsport – Sporting regulations won’t fix the show
Motorsport - Sporting regulations won't fix the show

As the motorsport year commences, a number of the world’s major racing categories have caused controversy by announcing rule changes aimed at ‘improving the show’. It starts at the top – Formula 1’s double point finale rule has caused outcry amongst the sport’s followers, and I still don’t fully understand the new knockout format of […]

Subaru – Substance over style
Subaru - Substance over style

It’s difficult not to respect Subaru. In an era where cars seem to become more generic by the generation, Subaru’s steadfast adherence to its engineering principles is not only admirable, but one of the reasons behind its success. The marque’s unique DNA has earned its vehicles a reputation for safety, quality and ruggedness. Indeed, building a range […]

Tesla – Bold, brave and here to stay
Tesla - Bold, brave and here to stay

The greatest cars have a person with a vision behind them. I have mentioned this theory before on this website, and am still a firm believer that while a vehicle designed by committee might be perfectly acceptable, it will always be too conservative, its intent too distilled to reach greatness. It’s a shame then, that […]

Portfolio – Lifester
Portfolio - Lifester

My honours project at university, Lifester was the outcome of imagining what a car would be like if it was primarily designed for weekend use. Hand Sketch coloured in Photoshop My aim for this project was to reconnect drivers with the unique environment of the open road. Frustrated by the constant use of modern technology […]

Garage – smart Roadster
Garage - smart Roadster

I often wonder what the future of enthusiast motoring will look like. For years, we have associated sports cars with power, and witnessed Nürburgring lap times become the ultimate in bragging rights. You have to wonder though, how relevant are these things moving forward. Increasingly nanny state laws, a pressing need for our society to […]