Can you feel the love tonight?: Why a car is more than a piece of metal on four wheels


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“A way of transport that takes you from A to B”. I have heard a lot of people saying this about cars, including my dad. That is partly true, but I think there is way more to it. Jaguar co-founder, Sir William Lions, once said: “The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive.” Let me prove it to you by breaking the article down into three parts: voice, body and character.

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VOICE: I am 110% sure that you have listened to music at some point in life (if not, you need help). So you definitely have your favorite singer or band. Not just because of what is being played, but also the power of singer’s voice. And I am talking about music, not your Chris Wests or Kanye Browns, unless their favorite car noise is the one made by Toyota Prius. Everyone has their favorite that they love, and the one they don’t care about as it sounds like any other band. It’s the same with cars. Everyone loves a good noise of a car. Some might love their four-cylinder Fiesta engine noise, others – the bellow of a V8 Dodge Charger muscle car. Then there are those I understand the least – those who love Nissan Skyline engine noise. But that’s just my taste.

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BODY: girls go crazy over guys like Ryan Gosling, guys can’t get over how great Jennifer Lawrence looks like. And everyone has his or her favorite look of a car. Someone might love the perfect, human-like lines on a Lamborghini Miura. The opening scene in “The Italian Job” is to petrol heads what watching Gisele Bündchen on a catwalk is to the rest. It is so darn beautiful and sensual. A celebration of beauty.

Then there are others who like cars that have been designed with a ruler, like Lamborghini Countach. An angle has a beauty in an engineering sense. The whole car model culture (which, in my view, is pathetic. That shows you’ve made a car with such a bad design you actually need women to stand next to it and hoping it somehow is going to make it look better) started in the 1970s. The age of angles in the car industry. All those Lincolns, Italian wedge-shaped sportscars and boxy family cars. They all started in the 70s and progressed in the 80s. Then there are those who are un-traditional. Like me – I love the DeLorean DMC-12, but others just look at it and thing “ugh, ugly.”

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CHARACTER: there is always a car that has some sort of a character like a human being. You have your nerds, who are like Honda Jazz– they get a chemistry experiment perfectly right, but you will not jump up and down when it happens. You probably will be distracted by the guy next to you who in his hangover will make all things go horribly wrong – that’s a Russian car. You laugh about them and their faults amuse you.

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Then you have your temperamental lovers, which, stereotypically, are Italians and French. Same with cars: Italian and French cars have their culture of breakdowns and faults, but you don’t want to leave them. They kiss and woo you when they’re happy, but when they break down, they give you the biggest headache.

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Then there’s a car that always looks little and cute. Someone that always make you smile and waul out a little “awwww.” And every time you drive it, the car cheers you up and puts that endless smile on your face, which you cannot resist even in your dullest days. It’s a car that always smiles at you, always is happy. Like a little puppy labrador, that is waiting for you impatiently until you will take him out for a walk. That’s how a Mini is. Every time I see one and all the times I’ve been driven around in one I always cannot stop smiling. It is a happy machine. Probably that’s why the most careless, childish and most positive Englishman in the world was driving one.

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Then there is Aston Martin. Have you ever seen an Aston Martin with an aftermarket wing on the back? No. So it cannot be someone who wears gold chains, walking around, looking for attention, like a Bentley or a Ferrari. Also, it is elegant and smart. It always looks like it has to be parked near an opera. It whispers quietly, but when it speaks, you can’t forget its voice and you can hear it coming from miles away. It perfectly reflects James Bond. Thank God Ian Fleming swapped Bond’s car from Bentley to Aston Martin. It is just like him.

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Also, part of character is the bondage you get during some of your big events in life. Your first car, the fastest car you’ve driven, the car you drove to that successful interview. You will never forget those ones. See? A car is way more than a lump of metal with wheels that with some mechanics applied to it moves forwards. It is your friend, your pet, your favorite art, and your memory.

The Guy Near the Car

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About Veyron drivers and Bertone


My most sincere apologies, ladies and gentlemen, for a late post. My coursework took over my weekend, so I didn’t manage to post another article. But from this Sunday onwards it’s back to normal – article every Sunday.

So…let’s get down to business.

Bling Bling syndrome: Bugatti Veyron drivers

My, oh, my, oh, my. I just took a look at the list of 15 most famous Bugatti Veyron owners. This list proves my point – they are owned by the ones who think they’re better than they actually are AND they think they know a lot about cars…when, in truth, they know nothing.
Here are some of the owners who are on the list:

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SIMON COWELL – a crown jewel of the Veyron owners’ community. And he proved that on his second appearance at Top Gear. He blamed Clarkson for him choosing the wrong car – Audi R8 (another flashy car, but this is a much more down to earth) – because he bought it following Clarkson’s review of the thing. Well…ok…who did put a name on the order’s list? And who took the keys? Anyway, the Veyron also sort of fits Cowell’s personality – fake shine, not that good looking and expensive for no legitimate reason (if you think magnesium turn signal stalks are a good reason to make it cost £1m, then you should join Volkswagen, cos they do).

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CHRIS BROWN – I would be surprised if he didn’t own one. Another “superstar” who thinks he’s “brave” and has lipstick on his knuckles…and who’s bright by taking Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”, a lovely song, stripping out his vocal part and putting daft, un-melodic, heavily auto-tuned vocals in it and calling it his “masterpiece”. Also, like Veyron – so much technology that makes it to stay on the road.

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CRISTIANO RONALDO – by the rules of Clarkson, if a premiership footballer buys a car it automatically becomes seriously uncool…therefore Veyron is pathetically uncool cos a couple of footballers own them, Ronaldo being the most famous of the lot. If it was the 60s, when football was played for real, professionally, and was a real man’s game (with no bloody drama after receiving a small bruise on the knee and laying down in grass as if the guy’s about to give birth) then it wouldn’t be the case and it’d be cool. But it isn’t the 60s…and in 60s they had prettier cars – Ferrari Dino, Lamborghini Miura, E-Type Jag, Jensen Interceptor etc. Veyron’s sibling of the decade would be Ford Edsel, i.e. an Elephant’s car with genetals used for the grill.

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See what I mean?

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FLO RIDA – the one who loves to waste money. He, reportedly, owns three Veyrons. That’s 1% of total number of those bloody things. Once he was caught driving one of them while drunk (quite worrying to have a drunk driver behind the wheel of one of fastest cars in the world) after which he was banned from driving…but very soon after that he was seen again behind a wheel of a different Veyron. Bling bling.

…but there were two surprises on that list that just don’t fit in this company. One being TOM CRUISE.

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He arrived at the premiere of Mission Impossible III in a Veyron. A bit of a broken promise, if you remember the “Risky Business” quote: “Porsche: There is no substitute”. …but he has one of the iconic 928s…a bulletproof one 😛 Nice.

Another surprise was Jay-Z. A successful guy like him, being a producer to many successful acts, being active in Politics (trying to involve people to vote in 2008 US Presidential Elections) and a business entrepreneur in a Veyron?

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…but looking at Jay-Z and Beyonce’s garage – Maybach, Ferrari F430 Spyder, Rolls Phantom – the Veyron feels right at home.

I am not against Veyron because they are owned by ridiculously wealthy people. No. I’m not a communist. I am against it because it just isn’t cool and is a ridiculously overpriced, over-engineered car. In the end what it is is just a Volkswagen designed by a guy who’s the designer for VW Lupo and Škoda range (if you look closely, the pre-facelift Veyron’s headlights are just like ones Škoda have. Cost saving? On a £1m car??) And people are just going with the flow because they are afraid to think differently, therefore they say it’s awesome without justifying why. Guys, how about Pagani with their marvellous Huayra? Or Koenigsegg? There are plenty of better, more beautiful, more enjoyable cars than a Veyron. You just look outside the box.

Eulogy: Bertone

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I really didn’t want to believe this…but one of design greats, Bertone, after their financial troubles and not much activity in the mainstream car market is calling it quits. Such a pity after seeing their “greatest hits”. Here are some of them:

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You cannot think of Bertone without thinking of their (in my view) best creation – Lamborghini Miura. This car is the closest you can get to make looking like a woman; a very sensual, tender, slender woman who you would take for dinner at Savoy, after which you would assist her with putting on a thick fur coat and you would walk all night long around the city with “On Days Like These” sounding in your ears. I am not sure what would be better: that walk or a drive with this beauty through Stelvio Pass like on “The Italian Job”…without any bulldozers, obviously. I would say if that girl would be your girlfriend/wife, then both of them would be equally great.

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Alfa Romeo Montreal, the car which looks like George Clooney – a good looking bachelor who gets even better looking when he gets older. And the eyes always inviting you for a play. If not for Alfa’s well known “reliability”, this would’ve been one of best buys ever. Pity not many people remember cars like this…all because everyone’s going with the flow, liking ridiculous lumps of metal like Veyron and explosive (literally) Ferraris of today.

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Whenever I see a Lamborghini Countach my child’s gene wakes up and brings back childhood. This car is one of few cars that paid a big part in my childhood developing my passion for cars, because it was one of a dozen cars featured in the first PC game I ever owned – Need For Speed III. I was always blown away by its angles, by the style, those doors. However I am one of few who doesn’t like that huge rear wing, but that’s just a question of taste. Driving it is a completely different story and I am very cautious of meeting my childhood heroes as, so many people have said, it leaves you with a bitter disappointment. Like seeing the actual faces of Teletubies.

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Aston Martin Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2. Long name, but a simple concept – take a good looking car and improve it. And Bertone did it brilliantly. Pity Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, wasn’t moved enough to put this beauty into production…at least for a limited run.

Thank you, Bertone, for all what you’ve done. You may be gone but your legacy will continue to pleasure our eyes.