So here it is then, my little Drive Tribe channel. Tyred Format is actually a blog I set up a couple of years back, and have since barely touched. Okay, the name may be a terrible pun, but hopefully the content will make up for that. I can't promise quality, but variety I certainly can. The idea for the original blog was to get myself and friends to use it as a ranting spot for all things cars. Their loves, hates and general musings of all things automotive.
So, fast forward a couple of years, and it seems the Drive Tribe team have created an entire format based around this very idea. A place for all us PetrolHeads to just be PetrolHeads, and I'm excited to be a part of it.
So who am I? My name is Jason, I'm 24 and before I start making this sound like a dating profile... I've had a lifelong affliction for cars. And if we are being honest, it is an affliction. I'm sure if you're reading this, you'll understand what I'm blathering on about here. You'll also be known by your friends as "The one who likes cars", you'll also find people awkwardly trying to talk to you about cars in social situations as they think thats all you can talk about. Yep, that's me too. Constantly being moaned at by elder relatives about all the money "wasted" on cars? Yep, I'm with you.
The thing is though, I think they're all a little bit jealous. As hobbies go, it's pretty far up there. I seriously doubt there are such social media sites directly aimed at knitting, for example. The "Car community" is quite a close one, and although there are often divisions within that we all have one thing in common. It doesn't matter where you're from, what religion you are or what you do for a living: If you like cars, we speak the same language. All of us.
I hope to use this platform to engage with more car-saddos like myself, and I hope my write ups and rants give you some form of entertainment. What I like about something like this is I can be as random as I like, much like my tastes in cars. If I want to follow up a picture of a McLaren P1 with one of an Alfa 164, then I shall. And you know what? I may even make a rant about some arse I was stuck behind on my way home, just because I felt like it that day. The beauty of this? I can do whatever the hell I want.
I guess the best way to prove my theory of "Cars as a language" would be to give you my car history, so you can see if you can understand me a little more. It's a history littered with bad mistakes, broken dreams and empty bank accounts. My first car was a rather dreary Renault Clio, it was new and had the "GT" kit on it which gave it a bit more sporting presence than most of my peers cars at the time. In fact, I imagine its little revvy engine and chuckable chassis is why I love similarly engineered cars now. However, the VW Bora I had second was much more interesting. Why? Well, that is the car that truly engaged me into the "VW Scene", and with it, car culture.
What this car did was allow me to be me, express myself in the form of a car. For years I was too young to drive and therefore could only dream, destined to sit playing Gran Turismo for hours or doodling cars (usually with spoilers and big exhausts) on school books. When I got the Bora however, it became that back page of my Science book. I could do what I want with it! So I did, I made it incredibly uncomfortable to drive and spent a lot of time burning the paint off my arches. And I loved it, even the unwanted attention from the police didn't deter me from making it more "me". The VW scene was great, it got me out to shows and out with my camera. I met a lot of friends that can all be attributed to that ugly green Volkswagen, and improved my camera skills along the way. Not bad for the only car I could afford to insure at 17.
And then I sold it for this. A 1983 MK1 Golf "Driver", and what a colossal shed it was. But I couldn't see that (nor smell it), because it made me smile so much. It was the closest I could get to a Go-Kart for the road, with its low ride height and chunky wheels. Which, I spent all my money on, so couldn't afford to repaint. Hence why I had a faded Gold car, with Green bloody wheels. Top work.
A few cars later, and finally a moment of clarity. The MK5 Golf GTI, the car my friends are sick to death of hearing about. In all honestly, it's the best car I've owned. It just does everything so well, and with so much character. It doesn't matter who, or what you're transporting. It doesn't even matter where you're going, you are going to arrive with a smile. Your passengers may be covered in sick, however.
I was surfing eBay one day, window shopping for cars, as you do. I then suddenly and entirely by accident fell into the purchase of my next car. This Mazda Roadster RS (Named so as it was an import model with lots of nice bits) just happened to be way down in Devon too, woops. Either way, a random stroke of luck meant someone on my Facebook was driving to the very same place the next day, and the Mazda was mine. This was a much more successful purchase than my drunken BMW 3 Series, but thats a story for another time.
Another story for a different time was the purchase of this Alfa. I ended up buying this for £330, and totally fell in love with it. However, my Dad didn't quite understand why I needed two cars leaking oil on his driveway, and alas the love affair was brief. However, I need another.
I'll skip over the BMW 330ci, as much as I loved it, it also bled me completely dry due to its horrendous reliability. And anyway, this thing was much more fun. The Skoda Octavia VRS, in yellow. I mainly love this car because it took me and my better half on a road trip around Europe, about 4,000 miles of it. The 'Ring, Munich, Italian Lakes, Rome, Sicily and all the way back again.
When will he shut up? Well okay, this is now the current steed. The Toyota GT86 ticks a lot of boxes for me, being that its totally flawed in many ways but marvellous in one: the way it makes you feel when you drive it. I'll do a full write up on this at some point, I know you're all dying to hear it.
So thats me, really. I'm not just "the one who likes cars", but also the one that "goes on a bit". Sorry, but if there's one language I'm fluent in - its cars.