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September 15, 2008

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Jonathan B.

I saw the pictures of the peeled-open Mini yesterday and heard about the other 'offs' and am glad that everyone was okay.

There we were on Sunday afternoon, standing on a small grassy/rocky hill just past the apex of a much greater than 90º turn on a road in the middle of Torbay and we saw quite a treat. That historic Audi sounded as sweet as candy to our ears. We dropped into the Curling Club later in the evening and availed of some closer contact and took home a couple of hero-cards and some smiles. I'll be catching a few more stages throughout the week so smile as you pass by...

On behalf of everyone here in Newfoundland and Labrador, I feel the need to say a personal Thank You to you again for bringing this adventure literally directly to our doorstep for the past 7 years. The gleam in everyones eyes shows that those silly Europeans, South Americans and most of the rest of the world (with the exception of the US and Canada) are not actually mentally impaired to be standing alongside a small road for hours awaiting the noise and quick flash of a few dozen successive rally cars scooting along.

Drive safe but as near the edge as you can...

Jack MacDonnell

Always a honour Jim receiving a mention in a column of yours. If you're going to be recognized for something, might as well be for a 1" thick steel retaining wall that you hit while racing at Targa NFLD! Carson and I certainly left an impression (ba-da-buum)…

All the best to you & Brian and the rest of the competitors for a safe and fun event. Bring home some hardware again for the Halton Hills racing fraternity (ok, so I’m in the Caledon Hills – it makes us brethren at least).
Jack Mac

Jimmy

Hey, I really wish you would stop waving the American flag all of the time, and please stop knocking the Japanese. They build far superior cars to the American crap and I know you're doing it because of the economy and how close we're tied to the U.S. but come on...I thought you were an automotive journalist.

Isn't a journalist supposed to write about the facts and seek out the truth? I can't stand to listen to you and the rest of the guys at Motoring any longer...praising KIA...really? Great quality there right? Oh there's a word you don't mention when praising the American or Korean cars.

Jim Kenzie

Hi Jimmy:

Not sure why this comment came up under "Targa Newfoundland 2008 - Day One..."

Well, the Japanese think I'm against them, the domestics think I'm against them, the Koreans think I'm against them, the Europeans think I'm against them.

I must be doing something right.

Only the Chinese and Indians don't seem to think I'm against them, maybe because I have yet to drive a Chinese- or Indian-made car.

I have personally owned cars from all major car-making countries except Korea, and all of them have had their good points and their bad points. I try to keep my road test comments relevant to that model and/or that company without reference to where the company is headquartered or where the specific factory is located.

The state of any country's economy also has absolutely nothing to do with my comments on any car. I think I can speak for our team at Motoring too.

All independent analyses of quality, both initial and longer-term, suggest that the quality gap between cars from various countries is now so small as to be almost unmeasureable - certainly nowhere near what it was fifteen or twenty years ago.

Toyota's recent issues have clearly shown that even it isn't immune.

And if you think Korean cars aren't any good, you obviously haven't driven one in the past five years or so. They started figuring out mechanical reliability back in the mid-1990s when our racing team won various championships in various Hyundais. Interior colour matching, fit-and-finish and suspension refinement take a lot longer, but they're getting there too.

Their value-for-money is inarguable, and even their resale values are starting to firm up.

You might not think they're competitive, but car manufacturers from all those other car making nations, not to mention consumers world-wide, sure as hell do.

Jim Kenzie

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