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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Wanting More on Magna Sports

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I’m writing in regard to your article New Car Test - Mitsubishi Magna Sport 3.5 Sports Model... I know it was a long time ago (1999) but I was wondering if you could please answer a few questions...

I’m looking to buy a manual Mitsubishi Magna Sports from around this time. Could you please tell me the difference between the TF, TH and TJ versions? Was the follow up article mentioned at the end of your test ever published? If so, what was it called and where can I find it? Did you ever try the manual version? If so, how does it compare? Are there any specific things I should be looking at when inspecting these cars (other than the usual things)? Any other information would be much appreciated.

Daniel Hyde

We did not end up receiving another TH Magna Sports for test so there was no follow-up. As far as we’re aware, there are no specific problems related to these cars. You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve decided to put together an article dedicated to the second-hand Magna Sports range – so stick around!

Elise Experts?

Got any suggestions where I might get work done on a Rover K-series engine from a Lotus Elise (I’m in Canberra)? I’m specifically after cylinder head porting, but also general tuning, parts and just people that know about this engine.


We don’t know of any local workshops to suggest – can any readers help?

Spacer Search

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Re the article on Phenolic intake manifold spacers - Cool Stuff - Manifold Insulators

The guy’s website and email (given at the bottom of the article) are no longer valid. I tried to reach him. You may want to mark this in the article. Any idea how to contact him? I'm trying to track down a good source of the phenolic sheets.

Jim Tapp

Sean Morgan (author of the article) can now be contacted at and check out his new site at These details have now been updated in our original article.

Move the AFM?

I just have a quick question that I hope you, or one of your readers, can help me with... I have a Holden VL Turbo that is stock apart from a small front-mount intercooler and I have been given advice to move my airflow meter from its stock location (before the turbo) and plumb it between the intercooler and throttle body. I would have thought it doesn't matter where it was as the amount (or, more specifically, mass) of air passing the meter would be the same. Do you have an opinion on this?

Steven Colverd

We can’t see any reason for moving the airflow meter.

Looking for a Replacement

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Great mag. I actually purchased my last car (a 3.5 litre manual Mitsubishi Magna) after doing a lot of research - mainly on your site. So keep up the good work! Now I'm in the market for a new vehicle. I have done a bit of research but I haven’t been able to find, let alone think of, a car that would suit my needs. I'm after something with the practicality of four doors (I do a bit of country driving as well) and also something that can shovel it on track days, hill climbs and motorkhanas. The Magna has served me well with practicality and performance, however there is only so much you can get out of a large FWD before you have to spend an arm and a leg on handling mods. I have considered the AWD Magna (relatively new and in my price range at about AUD$20,000) but, unfortunately, they only were made in auto. It would be much appreciated if you can point me in the right direction.


Hmm, a late-model car with four doors that goes well at track days... The first car that springs to mind is the Subaru WRX. This car really has dominated its market and killed the opposition. You might also want to consider the Liberty B4 twin-turbo, LS1 Commodore (we assume BA XR6Ts are a bit out of the price range). Note that Ralliart Magnas are also starting to drop in price – you can get one for around 25 grand. The LSD/manual gearbox version might be worth a look if you’re happy to put up with its low-speed torque-steer...

Import Car Regs?

With the recent change in rules governing ‘grey’ imports are you contemplating writing an article to help guide the uninitiated through the new rules? Is it more practical to go to a registered importer and pay a little more for the import? Your answer to these questions and many more not covered here would be greatly appreciated.

Steve Tait

All is answered at There is less risk involved in buying a car with registration direct from the importer. This avoids any unforeseen problems with the car and/or its associated paperwork. But, yes, you will generally pay more taking this approach.

Good Reading

I am chasing a second copy of a book “ZOOM - EFI Tech Special" that I got a few years ago. It was advertised in Silicon Chip magazine. I'm not sure whether you can help.

Additionally, I recently purchased a copy of Julian Edgar’s “21st Century Performance” book and find that it suits me to the ground. I found the book well written and presented. Being of an engineering background, I found the myriad of coloured diagrams, illustrations and photos essential for the learning experience. It has always been disappointing in the past to find technical books of this nature filled with reams of text and only the imagination of the reader left to work out what was meant. This is a reference book and will live on bookshelves for a long time.

I also have the new book "Performance Electronics for Cars" .

I wonder if you might consider producing an article or series of articles along the lines of "Preparing the BIG ones" with reference to V8 Supercars - they must be some kind of car and the technology implemented fascinating. The guy in the street (us common folk) would find it intriguing.

Bill Kelson

Try Silicon Chip Publications - the Tech Special was produced under their auspices. Re a technical series on Supercars - when we have previously covered race car technology, we have found the articles have been poorly read.

Pic Permission

AutoSpeed – and Julian in particular - I am wondering if I can have permission to use some of your photos in my club magazine? From MX-5 to the Max I would like to use three photos. They would be published in MX-Tra - the magazine of the Mazda MX-5 Club of Victoria. Credit would naturally be given.

Matt King

As long as credit is given, that's fine in a club magazine

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