An amazing Academic Driving ride by drivetribers
How to begin a review on the first book of a trilogy, which sums up the life and the hobby of a drivetriber? If you are here for a long time, you know their names and their tribe. Ost Neer has begun to think smartly about the motoring, and gives us the keys to understand his world. Like James May, he is talented to write and explain some boring and interesting things in an amazing way. Matthew Parsons has illustrated the book with many sketches. The duo will continue to make our happiness in the future with the second and the third parts of their Academic Driving saga.
James May has his own book (©Instagram/Ost Neer)
His first book, released a few months ago, introduced his experiences and interesting points of view about the cars in general. You hate your philisophy courses and think only driving instead of learning social things about automotive stuff at school? Don't worry, Ost managed to mix both using Clarkson's humour!
Once upon a Lada, leather seats and a cow...
The famous Lada Riva (©Wikipedia/Eveshamsteve~commonswiki).
More than a simple book on the motoring, you discover how was the life of a little boy who grew up behind the Iron Curtain. After the fall of the Soviet era in Ukraine, the very "famous" Ladas have continued to be popular without any real occidental competitive brands until the late '90. The Ladas were the queens of a lost automotive time before Mercedes-Benz or Audi met a successful introduction in the European Eastern side. You want to know a secret about the Ladas? The seats looked terrible as Ost confessed at the beginning of the book. If James May believed he was the only to hate the leather seats, our author shares the same opinion as him. Even cows didn't appreciate the Ladas as the author told us ironically.
An Audi 80 B3 in the 1990s (©Wikipedia/Rudolf Stricker).
The Lada Riva known as the 21053 was the first car he ever known in his childhood. If you lived in the former Soviet era, you should probably remember of the CK-5 Niva or the GAZ-24 Volga, which were popularized in the URSS. In many chapters, Ost tells us how the red Tovarish [the lada Riva] became a member of his family until the late '90s. He learned how to hate and to love that car so much before meeting his first "occidental" car, an Audi 80 B3 he mentions like a "pink fluffy dream". Later they were replaced by his beloved Eve and Christine. By reading the book, you'll understand what they mean for him. At least, Ost gives us the keys to understand how and why he became a petrolhead. How to fix a soviet car is not a secret for him. He says it very well by remembering the cars could be precious in a post Soviet world.
A motoring world crossed with some enlightment and popular references...
Sketch from Matt Parsons on the homepage of Academic Driving Tribe (©DriveTribe/Ost Neer/Matt Parsons)
You may read his articles on his tribe, Academic Driving, you've guessed our author compare two different and complementary worlds. The philosophy looks so boring with unreal concepts, which don't work with the motoring. On the contrary, Ost has showed us how the motoring is inspired by social basic concepts. Before Henry Ford stepped foward the automotive "democratization", many writers explained how our society works using similar and simple human ideas in many engineering areas.
Socrates or René Descartes did not create the world, but they contributed to understand what were these abstract concepts to describe them precisely. The motoring was created by men, so they were inspired by a philosophy logically. Ost explains it to us very well taking the example of "the last men", a concept of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). In this chapter, he makes a simple essay on how the last men could use driverless vehicles in a future invented in many movies from the 1990s . He also concentrates about subsidary issues on the Machines and the human affections with references from his childhood, which is made of American movies (Terminator, Demolition Man). Believe me, you shouldn't be afraid of the enlightment of the automotive science in this book.
The beginning of new automotive explorations...
More than a book on comparisons between classics or the social rise of the motoring, he opens new perspectives on the attempts and the possible modern issues about cars. Before the internal combustion became the rule, the sorts of transportation were built and moved thanks to the help of complex and heavy steam machines. The diesel engines wasn't seen like a common thing until the first electric cars were replaced by the internal combustion in the early 1900s.
Ost doesn't stop his reflexion about the past and the present, but tries to explain what will be the future of the motoring. Over the decades, the craziest attempts to develop the nuclear or solar powered car were made by enthusiasts who believed they could change the world. Some of them failed being too self-confident or being forgotten after motor shows. Some of them managed to continue their experiences quietly. If the nuclear cars don't still use for some obvious and non eco friendly reasons in spite of some scientific advantages, the solar cars could have better chances to be more popular. By taking the Solar Impulse 2, a solar plane, the SION or again the Fresco Reverie, two European solar-powered cars as relevant successes, the author gives some hopes in an electric motoring revolution.
Ost and Matthew have offered a tribute for DriveTribe and to our favorite trio of petrolheads, CHM, by writing a genuinely book. What it makes the originality of that first book, it's the fact he uses philosophical concepts to explain how the motoring is working for more a century. Behind the eyes of a child from a former time, you discover a new automotive dimension. It can be seen differently by millions of petrolheads who grew up in different places on the planet. That is the magical dimension of DriveTribe.
The first part of the second book is available on Amazon :