It’s something which I find has started coming up more and more in recent conversations.
Just last weekend at Players Classic, I had a couple of unprompted conversations with different people who are concerned that we as car enthusiasts might have already reached our peak, and are now facing into a future of uncertainty and turmoil. It’s a conversation we’ve had before, but it’s still worth talking about.
Between the rapid advancement and introduction of electric vehicles, and the slow but steady improvements in autonomous driving assistance systems, we’re slowly but surely witnessing the purposeful destruction of what we love about cars.
Here’s a really scary thought, but what if we’ve already seen the greatest internal-combustion engined cars that will ever exist? Will there ever be another car that will light a fire inside of us like the Porsche 917 or the Group B era Audi Sport quattro?
Yes, there’s still the likes of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Gordon Murray’s new T.50 supercar to come, but these aren’t cars that will exist for us mere mortals.
When I try to think of what exciting but affordable cars are coming for us, the ordinary enthusiasts, I start to draw blanks. Is there even anything on the horizon for us?
There’s a quote that’s often attributed to the king of triple denim, Mr. Jay Leno, that states the best thing that’s ever happened for horse enthusiasts was the introduction of the motor car. Can the same be said for the introduction of autonomy & EVs for the car enthusiast?
When the masses of commuters migrate to their BEV-powered autonomous pods, will we be left with the roads to ourselves? Will we even be allowed to share the roads with them? It is hugely concerning, and if you think that it won’t affect you, then you haven’t been paying attention.
The big question for me is what can we do about it? At the end of the day, we all share a responsibility to take care of this planet which we inhabit. Our enjoyment of motor vehicles can’t come at the expense of other people’s health and well being. So, it’s not an easy question to answer but we have to find a compromise or solution.
I love cars, so I think it’s imperative that we start talking and working together now to protect what we all clearly love. There’s no locking yourself away from it and pretending it’s not happening, and there’s no ignoring your responsibility as an enthusiast to do something. Inactivity makes you as guilty as those who are legislating against us.
We might all have our differences, but if there’s one thing I love more than the cars, it’s the community and people around them. We’re a special breed of people who — regardless of our differences which often divide so much of the rest of society — are unified by a common interest.
It’s often been said that if the whole world was occupied by car people, we wouldn’t have half the problems we have today, and there’s a lot of truth in that. But it’s time that we really stick together and figure out this whole mess before it can’t be undone.
Right now, things are pretty good and we should make sure it stays that way, because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.