As a seasoned automotive journalist, Marc Lachapelle has always been creative when it comes to testing a new vehicle.
Full of nostalgia, his colleagues Antoine Joubert and Germain Goyer invited him to the show “Guide de l’auto” on QUB Radio. They used it to commemorate the beginnings of the Auto Guide 24 Hours, which took place three times around thirty years ago.
The desire to “push the machine”
Along with Denis Duquet, Marc Lachapelle conducted extensive testing to really see what the cars had in store. The aim was to test quality, durability and reliability.
“For three years in a row we drove 10,000 kilometers in ten days with new cars from 1987, including a Ford Taurus. It wasn’t a speed test, it was an endurance test,” recalls Marc Lachapelle.
“After conducting these tests, we wondered how we could take the exercise even further. That’s how we came up with the idea of driving a production car for 24 hours on the Sanair race track,” reveals one of the doyens of our profession.
A first success with a Nissan Stanza
“For Le Guide de l’auto 1990 we started with a Nissan Stanza GXE. It was a wise choice as it featured a self-locking differential. It proved surprisingly stable and, despite the body rolls, was quite fun. This story was a great success. The only victims were the tires and the brake pads,” recalls Marc Lachapelle.
Repeat the experience with a Corrado and a Civic
“1991 was the 25th anniversary of the Car Guide. I had offered to drive the 25 hours of the Guide de l’auto in Sanair,” says Marc Lachapelle. The exercise was conducted with a 1991 Volkswagen Corrado G60.
This type of test is very demanding for a vehicle. Although the Corrado ran well, a small error occurred. “One of the drivers hit a curb in the middle of the night in the Sanair chicane and we dented one of the steel rims,” he adds.
A report with motorsport flair was published for the 1992 edition. The following year we were treated to the third and final edition of the 24 Hours of the Guide de l’auto. For the occasion, Marc Lachapelle and his colleagues borrowed a Honda Civic VX. With no superfluous accessories, it was the first Honda to use Vtec technology.
news of the week
During this Car Guide program, the number of electric vehicles on Quebec’s roads and the Ram 1500 REV were also discussed.
Antoine Joubert shares his impressions of the recently tested 2023 Chevrolet Colorado.
Le Guide de l’auto is on QUB Radio every Saturday at 10am and is repeated Sundays at 6pm.