I remember the first time I sat in front of the TV to watch Clarkson on the reformatted car show on a popular British channel, and seeing a Pagani Zonda and a Lamborghini Murciélago absolutely barrelled around a top secret airfield. Roaring engines, screeching tyres and above all, an enthusiastic love for cars are things I remember from that first episode. But, do you know what I remembered the most? Watching Harry Enfield try and coerce a Suzuki Liana around a track in as quickly a time as possible. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what driving is all about.
The wheel's aren't likely to come flying off a Ferrari are they? A Suzuki Liana however, that has it covered.
Admittedly no, this wasn't Enfield's attempt, but the wheels aren't likely to come flying off of a Ferrari are they? A Suzuki Liana however, that has it covered. And it's this kind of madness that comes from what should be a perfectly sane vehicle that has petrol running through the veins of people like us - the real car enthusiast's.
When I got my first car, a 2004 Fiat Punto Sporting Mk2b in Silver (Gavin I called him), I felt like the king of the world (as most young men with their first car would). Whilst no one around me seemed to share the same passion for my Italian import - I had the import documents to prove it too - it was a car that wasn't afraid to give bigger cars a go. It's 1.4l normally aspirated engine produced a sensible 95bhp and was capable of a very modest 0-62 in 9.3 seconds. But it's weight, or lack thereof, helped it stick within the corners and with the right manipulation of the gearbox, allowed it to accelerate out them with relative ease too. A friend of mine purchased a VXR Astra not long after I got Gavin, and naturally testosterone dictated we had to race each other. So, we picked a B road and got to it. On paper it should have been an embarrassing loss, but in reality it was... not so embarrassing at all. Gavin's rather dainty 960kg's of weight versus the VXR's podgy 1230kg meant that where I was unable to keep up on the straights, through the corners I could shorten the gap. In the meantime, the VXR was too busy trying not to dance in the hedge lines.
Now, for me, a real car enthusiast can see the beauty in anything from Gavin the Punto, to the non existent purr of a Toyota Prius. Why, you ask? Simply put, many of today's car enthusiasts can't afford to go out and spend quarter of a million on a brand new Ford GT. I know I'm one of these people. If I had that kind of money I'd surely be spending it on a house or something of the like, and not an expensive metal toy. For people like you and I who can take our BMW 1's and our VW Polo's, and take that frosty B road with slightly more balls than average, catch a short slide and still get to work with as much fuel as we started the journey with; this page is for you.
Let's start the Boring But Brilliant page and talk about how sometimes cloth seats are better than leather seats in the winter, or how the Ford SYNC system on your Mondeo makes our commute easier, or even how the SE 320d is a better family car than an M3. Let's talk about that time you took your MX5 onto the track and had to replace your front suspension because you messed up a corner. Let's not be bound by the typical convention that dictates we should lust after cars we'll never be able to afford, and instead appreciate what we've got.