Hello, again. It’s been a while.
Because of how we planned and scheduled a lot of the content you may have seen over the holiday period, it’s actually been nearly a month since I last sat down in front of a screen, specifically to write for you. That’s meant that there has been a lot of free time to actually go out and do car stuff, without the obligation to write about it afterwards.
I love cars; they’re pretty much my only real vice. I love them all, regardless of power or vintage. Often, I find the most enjoyable drives come from the cars you least expect, slow cars especially. There’s a lot to be said about that age-old adage of it being better to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow. It’s always been this way; I can’t remember a time when cars weren’t a huge part of my life. Deciding to try and make a career out of this passion was pretty much the easiest decision I ever had to make.
While doing what you love might be the best job in the world, this doesn’t always equate to it being the easiest. Sure, it does makes the tough days and long hours that little bit easier to swallow. There are certainly enough of those to go around, anyways. There is one major risk you run though when you turn your passion into a career: souring what you love and losing the feeling that made it special in the first place. For anyone who has loved cars all their life, they should never feel ordinary.
I’ve always worked hard to ensure that this doesn’t happen to me, although I feel that I’ve gotten close on a couple of occasions. Typically, I try to ensure that I spend time either driving or working on my car for no other reason than I want to. Similarly, I try to spend time with my friends, hanging out and driving aimlessly. No ulterior motives, no cameras, no work, just cars. These are the solutions that work best for me. Another one, which I try not to rely on, is articulating how I feel about something in writing. This is why I’m here today.
To cut right to it, I can’t remember the last car or build that truly excited me. The sort of car that leaves you completely breathless and stays in your mind for days or even weeks upon end. A build which just gets under your skin and just makes you happy.
Growing up, in my teenage years in particular, was probably the peak of Max Power magazine. Sure, time hasn’t been kind to the cars we associate with this era, but some of those cars left an impression that still sticks with me. Carisma’s TVR Cerbera out of the UK is one example of a car I adored back in the day. It was wild, it was fast and it was the type of car that you could only dream about owning as a kid. I remember seeing it on the cover of Max Power for the first time and just being completely blown away. I must have read the feature a thousand times and poured over every photo twice as many times again. I kept a copy of the magazine in my backpack amongst my school books for what must have been a year. I never got to see the car in person – which might be for the best – but I can’t deny the impression it left on my 14-year-old self.
I think the last time I started to feel that level of excitement seeping through was when the first of the Rocket Bunny and Liberty Walk cars started to appear, but their novelty has long since worn off for me. I still think they’re cool, but constant exposure to them has ensured that they never reached that next level for me. More traditional builds, which might pay respect to a car’s heritage and follow well-worn paths more often than not deserve respect, but they’re nothing we haven’t seen before.
Indeed, some looks and styles are timeless, we can probably never have enough of them, but they just don’t inspire. It’s just the same recipe repeated again and again. Sometimes people will do something that’s unheard of in their locality, but it’s likely something that has been seen before elsewhere.
Maybe the internet and social media play a role in this, but they seem like the easy ones to blame. In saying that, I do think that I appreciated the sudden impact of a magazine cover every month with a brand new set of cars to look at, rather than seeing every nut and bolt being documented on Instagram months or even years before a car is finished. At the other end of the scale, you almost expect a car to have a wild engine or drivetrain swap. I like to call this the Gatebil Effect, where one must assume that the car has 2,000hp from a triple-charged, piston converted rotary unless proven otherwise. Have we just been exposed to too much of a good thing?
None of this takes away from the respect that I have for the aforementioned cars and those who build them. Truth be told, once a guy or girl somewhere is building a car for themselves and themselves alone, we’ve nothing to fear. Still, I am quietly hoping that someone, somewhere is going to do something that’s going to blow us all away.
The question is, will it happen in 2017?