Cool Change - What do you reckon?

By: Glenn Torrens, Photography by: Nash Motor Division

As the temperature rises, Glenn Torrens’ mood drops … until a calming cool change arrives

Cool Change - What do you reckon?
Glenn Torrens had a mighty bad day

The forecast for Saturday was 42 degrees; an Aussie summer scorcher. To cope, my simple plan was to sleep-in, then cruise my retro-rig 1989 Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD to the coast for lunch, before catching-up with some blokes later in the day, for a few beers.

But I’d committed to helping a fella with his broken-down VW Bug on Friday arvo. We didn’t get it fixed by sunset, so instead of leaving early for the coast, by 9am Saturday I was back at the Bug, several suburbs away, dripping sweat. But my Pajero’s 12V fridge was stocked with food and bevvies, for a quick get-away, as soon as the Dak-dak, was dak-dakking again.

Then, in one of those ‘oh shit’ moments, the VW’s throttle cable touched the uninsulated alternator wire and dead-shorted, melting the cable.


So I drove the 14km home to collect a spare throttle cable. On the way, in that awful heat, the Pajero’s air-con stopped working. 


I parked the Pajero in my garage, grabbed the spare VW part and jumped in my daily-driver Commodore, to go the 14 kays back to the VW … which, with more damage diagnosed, I couldn’t fix.

Disappointed, hot and sweaty, and late, and with more hot ’n sweaty work ahead of me, I drove home, again, to diagnose/fix the Pajero air-con in my garage … that was now 48°C inside.

After finding the fuses fine, thankfully the Pajero air-con came to life again after a simple fiddle with the in-cabin blower wiring. Now sweat-soaked and streaked with dirt from working on the two cars, I thought I’d take a quick shower before – at last – seeking coastal cool. As a final check/confidence-boost that the Pajero’s air-con (and everything else on the Pajero!) would keep operating, I left its engine running (with the garage roller-door open of course!) so I had a nice cool cabin to step into, after my nice cool shower.

Ten minutes later – but several hours late – I began my chillaxing cruise to the coast, luxuriating in the cool air-conditioned comfort of my old Pajero, drawn by the ambition of a delicious fish ’n chips lunch, while overlooking calming blue waters.

All was good with the world! Ahhh!

Then, 10 minutes later as I changed out of fifth gear to approach traffic lights, the clutch pedal felt odd. Hmm … sure enough, as I changed down the gears the pedal stayed on the floor … stranding the Pajero in a right-turn lane, in traffic.


I turned the engine off, allowing me to jam the gear lever into first gear and start the Paj in-gear, to move it off the road.

Just great! My relaxing Saturday plans had become a disaster … so; turn around, limp the Paj home and miss lunch and the Xmas barbecue dinner …


Or … I could battle on! Once the Pajero was moving again with another in-gear start, changing gears without the clutch wasn’t too difficult (thanks to my dad’s lessons years ago!). It was mostly 100km/h zones to my mate’s place – so I didn’t get stuck again blocking traffic. I skipped the seaside fish ’n chips but enjoyed the evening barbecue and beers.

Later, in the relative cool of the evening while moving the Pajero to set-up my swag, I discovered the clutch had come back to life. I guess, with such scorching hot weather, the Pajero’s under-bonnet temps were so severe the clutch’s (probably very old) hydraulic fluid had boiled.

With the sweltering heat, a busted Bug and a miserable Mitsubishi … crikey, what a


What do you reckon? When has the weather wrecked your plans for the day?

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