The English Ruin Everything, Especially Cars
Just my opinion folks, please tell me I'm wrong...
**Please note: This is an attempt at humorous banter. My wife and two of my children were born in England and I lived there for 7 years. My father collects and restores exclusively British cars. If you're English and take offence, give yourself an upper cut.**
Every country has their trademarks and stereotypes and, despite being occasionally offensive, there is almost always a significant trace of truth in broad generalisations about any nation. For example, the American stereotype is of overweight and loud mass-consumers. While it’s not always true, there are certainly evidence based studies that confirm Americans are indeed statistically obese and into shopping. Australians on the other hand are seen as brash, unrefined, uncultured, attractive and very laid back. I happen to be an Australian, and I know so many intelligent, sophisticated, intense and ugly Australians, but they are in the minority. I now live in Scotland and yes, some of them are pretty frugal and enjoy a wee dram of single malt at unreasonable hours.
But it’s the English who most accurately live up to their reputation and trademarks. Set aside terrible teeth, worse fashion and a fear of soap for one second, to me, the trademark of the English involves coming up with great ideas and then proceeding to execute them really badly. Take football and cricket for instance. They were invented in England many years ago and ever since they have been embarrassing themselves on the world stage in both arenas. Okay, so they have the occasional win, but given their supposed wealth and high population, they should be crushing most other nations on a regular basis.
No caption could make this image more cringe-worthy or humorous.
In the 1960’s, England basically invented pop music as we know it today with the Beatles, Stones, Kinks etc… Have you heard English bands since 1978? With the odd exceptions, popular music in England is utter trash and could only be enjoyed by mad dogs and …. you know the rest.
This brings me to the crux of this article; England has tried it’s best to ruin the car. In fact I would like to raise the proposal that any car which has its roots in English heritage is a monumental waste of money and an atrocious car to own. Note that I say England, not Britain. Wales, Scotland and the entire island of Ireland are full of the most wonderful and amazing people who do everything well except weather.
The word ‘luxury’ has long been used by car manufacturers to enable them to sell mediocre cars at highly inflated prices and we are falling for it like a line of lemmings marching off a cliff. Think about any ‘luxury’ car you know; Range Rover, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar… the list is long and the names are full of self-importance and arrogance. Speaking of which, do you recognise how of these names originate in England? This comes from the hideously ingrained class system in England; everybody is desperate to climb the greasy pole of wealth. The English care deeply about appearances and they want nothing more than to park a Range Rover outside their house to let everyone know that they’re at least middle class.
Whilst we’re on the topic of Range Rover, has there ever been a more overrated, overpriced car in the history of motoring? How do people keep falling for the leather seats and gadgets? They’re ugly, they manage to be huge on the outside and have no room on the inside, they’re heavy, and they’re crap off road. What is the point? I’m sure they’re lovely to drive, but so is a bloody Dacia these days and they cost £100,000 less! To top this off, Range Rovers are being stolen at an alarming rate in the UK, so insurance premiums are through the roof and you have to sleep in it to ensure it doesn’t end up in Bosnia.
Difficult to tell if this was an electrical fault or a deliberate sacrifice... however, I note that no attempt is being made to extinguish the fire.
This brings us to performance cars… I’m not sure England has every actually produced a decent performance car. Aston Martin’s are for complete wankers who want to pretend they are James Bond and hide the fact they still live at home with Mummy and Daddy. Any man with an ounce of self-respect and that sort of money to burn would choose the Audi R8 or something Italian. Jaguars are equally as pompous and hateful.
Compare the motoring contributions of Japan, America and Germany. There is no pretence with any of these nations of automotive excellence. America is a prime example. It’s true that the U.S. has produced some truly woeful vehicles and they have a long history of poor build quality and getting unbelievably low horsepower out of massive capacity push rod engines. Do they care? No! Do they pretend their anything they’re not? No! American cars are unflinchingly honest. What you see is what you get and, in terms of everyday cars, they made the most stylish cars in the world until about 1976… then they apparently forgot how to design.
Japan, now these petrol-fed ninjas know how to make a car. Precision engineering and unflinching reliability are almost guaranteed. Japan has mastered making desirable daily drivers that do everything you could possibly want on a budget. I will admit that the styling is like playing darts after twenty beers (very hit and miss) but they make everything from ball-tearing performance cars, the best rugged 4x4s in the world, practical family cars and (perhaps best of all) brilliant tiny cars.
I’m sure those of you have read this far (hi Dad!) will now be screaming at your phone about Germany. I know they make cars almost exclusively for wankers, but let us just ponder on it for the moment. Do they pretend otherwise? No! Are they excellent wankers’ cars? Yes! So they make genuine luxury cars that are bloody brilliant and they don’t care what you think. They also invented the hot hatch and most modern performance Fords available in the UK.
I haven’t mentioned Australian cars as I don’t want to be accused of blind patriotism, but yeah, we have been the most underrated car making nation on the planet for the last 50 years… unfortunately we’ve stopped making cars now… shame!
Britain has basically stopped making cars now too. There are a few boutique manufacturers but they’re naff and tweed and frankly a bit shit. There is a reason why Britain doesn’t really make cars anymore and it’s not Brexit. It’s because the English spent so long making and buying terrible cars that no one else on earth would consider driving or even using as a chicken shed. Once again the English took a brilliant invention and managed to execute it appallingly. Tell me I’m wrong in the comments!
A perfect metaphor for English motoring
There Are Exceptions of Course! 6 Decent Cars With English DNA:
You’ll note they’re mostly Fords, so not really English at all: