I’ve never been a petrol-head of any note, and I don’t envisage this changing at any time in my life. It’s not that I don’t care about cars, or don’t see the value in them. It’s just that they aren’t a preoccupation, and I don’t have passion for them.
What becomes almost an obsession for teenage boys passed me by without a shrug. I took my first driving lessons, aged 17, got back into the driving seat a few years later but not until my late 20s did I finally decide enough was enough and I signed up for the third time, did 6 weeks or so of lessons, then passed my test. On the 2nd time of trying. So, now I drive, and it’s boring.
Cars are, as far as I can tell, only good at the extreme either end of the spectrum. A cheap run-around, that has benefits that far outstretch its price-tag, and moves it beyond its failings is a great thing. At the other end of that spectrum are those £100k plus monsters that are so astonishing that they’re really just car-shaped bits of brilliant.
Cars that cost £500-£1500 and pretty much work all the time are great. They usually look rubbish, have no style and very few mod-cons. The heating won’t quite work and the stereo will be properly shit. Except, it will have a tape deck, and this is great for picking up albums for 10p each in charity shops. Bonus! They’re often gas-guzzlers, or brilliant efficient, so it’s dicey there. Mainly though, you don’t have to look after it too much, worry about washing it, or worry about it getting knicked.
Really expensive cars are, I feel, great. They are unnatainable to 99% of the world, and the people who’ve got them are generally too stupid to appreciate them, so I see it that no-one really owns them. That way I place them up there as iconic, or maybe just inspirational things. They’re well designed, and engineered of course, but really just nice looking.
People who save up £5k, £10k, £35k to buy a mid-range saloon, executive tourer, hot-hatch or whatever else, are WASTING THEIR MONEY. It’s a total bloody waste of money, trying to emulate something they can’t reach, settling for something that’ll soak up all of their cash, or credit more likely. Bloody barking mad. Fleet cars, company cars, or very rich people driving mid-range cars, is all just fine. There are three examples, the only examples, of where this is not a total waste of money. It’s also embarrassing for the people driving them, because they are what they believe they are not: pretenders.
It could be argued that any dream will do, but I don’t buy it. Why aspire to own a £12k car you can’t really afford, when you could instead aspire to own a £112k car you can equally not afford? Why long for a brand new TypeR or Golf or A-class or 318 or anything else? They might be comfy and quiet, but you can’t live in it, your family won’t care for more than 10 minutes and only other men, who you will think are a bit sad, will be impressed. Their attention won’t satisfy you. They’ll dislike you, and you them.