Tonight we meet the the man behind the logo, a man who I am fortunate enough to call a colleague in the ambassador program. From absolute attention to detail in building square miniatures out of Lego, to showing off the flair and irresistible attraction power of french cars, he can do it all. I mean, the guy has a logo! He is as cool as it gets.
1. Please state your name and any personal information you feel comfortable sharing with us
I’m Clemsie McKenzie (although that’s obviously not my real name!), I’m 24 and I’m a student in Paris!
2. Why did you join this mighty community and not some other car related-site?
I think it was the diversity of it all. It’s crazy how much different stuff people can post!2. Some people I knew from a car blog got invites to try Drivetribe out early, and a few weeks before the official launch they were able to send me one too. That's how I joined! I remember at the time that the team were pushing us to create unique and niche tribes, and so that's why I launched Square Cars. I thought that maybe there would be a chance people on here would care about that sort of things. And they do!
3. Do you have any tribes?
I have three tribes: Square Cars where I post all the Lego cars I build, Déjà Vu where I post longer articles and pictures about classic car events I go to, and In Theory, where I just ramble some theories about cars in general. Haven’t posted in that one in a while, but I recently promised I would get back to it!
4. You are a fan Lego cars. Should we at one point stop playing with Legos or are they fun for all age
Never! I think you can keep learning from Lego, at all ages. I learned basic construction as a kid, now I'm learning a bit more about design and, in some way, engineering. I think Lego is the best toy out there, because you can take from it exactly what you want, and your stuff reinvents itself when you do.
5. Are you a vintage nut or a vintage tool in terms of car knowledge?
Somewhere down the middle I think! I have some weirdly specific knowledge about some areas like French classics or old F1 cars, but I still have a lot to learn about American cars for example.
5. European vs. Japanese vs. American classics (f**k, marry, kill)
Man this is hard. I guess I’d marry European classics, f**k the Japanese ones, and I’d have to kill American ones. But if I really had a choice (and a big garage), I’d marry all three!
6. Are you working on any cars at the moment? What would you like to work on in the future?
I have to admit I’m not very good at working on cars. I try to learn though! I only have a Renault Clio 2 anyway, and it’s been very reliable so far so no need for me to get all dirty!
In the future I’d love to get a Lexus LS400. They’re very rare here in France, and I just love the idea of a big luxury cruiser with a sweet V8. We don’t get to see many V8s around here! Oh, and also a very early Renault 5, preferably orange! I just love these.
7. Tell us a bit about French car culture
French car culture is a complicated thing. As a whole, French people don't care much about cars. 90% of the cars you'll see in the wild are diesel econoboxes, all a different shade of grey or black. Wandering in the streets, you can really get the feeling that people here have given up on the automotive dream, and accepted that cars should just be another way of getting from A to B. It doesn't help that the only politically acceptable thing is to constantly bash on cars. But if you get the chance to get to a French car meet, or even things like Le Mans, you'll see that beneath that, there are still so many of us with a burning love for all things on wheels. And it's amazing to see!
Clemsie having a blast aroun the Nürburgring in his Clio
8. What is your favourite French car?
That's a really tough one. I'm a big fan of Alpine, and seeing a Bugatti Atlantic in the flesh made me cry a bit. But I think if I had to keep only one it would be the Matra MS670. It raced and won at Le Mans in the early 1970s, it looks awesome, and more importantly it's the best sounding car in the world, ever. I know people might disagree, but they're obviously very wrong!
9. What category will you be the ambassador for?
I’m ambassador for classics, art & design and also a French ambassador.
10. What are your expectations from this ambassador program regarding the specific area you will be in charge of?
From what I’ve seen so far, I think people will be blown away from the quality of the stuff that’s published every day on Drivetribe. Every day I read awesome articles on some classic cars from example, some on priceless icons or some on what it’s like to live daily with an older car. It’s amazing! The art & design community on Drivetribe is also fascinating. There’s so much talent around here!
11. Where will we see what you post?
Everything I write myself you can find on my three tribes, and for the stuff me and the other ambassador find from Drivetribe, you can see it on the various official Facebook pages the team has put up: for example, the “Classic cars on Drivetribe” for all the classic posts we spot. I’m also on Twitter.
12. What are your passions outside of Drivetribe?
Most of what I do when I’m not on Drivetribe or studying still revolves around cars: that can be designing a new Lego model car, or being at an event and learning to take better pictures. I also love simracing, but sadly at the moment I have neither the time nor the money to get properly into it.
Outside of cars, I love science fiction and regular science too!
13. If you were to change something about the site what would it be?
I think most of what I wanted to change on Drivetribe has either been changed already or is about to. I always wanted to put quality, original content at the top of Drivetribe, and that’s what the site has been pushing too with the arrival of ambassadors for example. I’m told there’s more to come, so I’m very excited for that!
In the past, Drivetribe could at times look like it was filled with quick posts and stuff like that, but this is changing quickly, and it’s just great to be involved in all that.
14. Any messages for the DT team and the fellow ambassadors?
Just to keep pushing and keep looking for amazing content! There’s so many gems around, I don’t think ambassadors will ever run out of good stuff to promote. And a big thank you to the Drivetribe team for the recent amazing effort they’ve put it recently. I’m actually worried for the health of some of them, they work too much!
15. Any messages for the whole DT community?
Stay awesome, keep doing what you’re doing. Drivetribe has a very distinct voice, and that’s thanks to everyone who keeps posting amazing content on here. I’d also like to thank everyone who works to help the small tribes get a footing, especially Ben everyone involved with the #smalltribesrule hashtag. Drivetribe wouldn’t be where it is today without them!