Happy New Year.
It’s a long tradition of at least a year’s standing at Driven To Write to publish the Editor’s and Founder’s aspirations for the coming year. This year we are joined by our other Authors as well as some of our regular Commenters.
To any of our regulars who aren’t represented here, please accept my chastisement for not reacting to your copy deadline. Alternatively my apologies if my mail didn’t reach you. But in any case, to all who have contributed to DTW over the past year, our thanks for helping make it what it is, and our wishes that your wishes for the coming year are realised.
“As a resident of Turin, I hope to see many Alfa Giulias on the streets (not inside the workshops) by the end of the year. On a personal level, I hope to complete a second year designing cars (or parts of) and survive. I also hope to survive another year without accidents in Italian traffic with my personal mobility device aka the bicycle. For the people behind this website, I hope they will survive my occasional criticism!” Your Reader From Torino
“For the coming year I’d like to see more welcoming vehicle interiors. More subtle use of colour would be welcome too. Not one interior in production or as a concept stands out for marrying modernity with charm. The sports car aesthetic gets more and more pronounced to the extent that driving gets more dreary. I am awaiting a proper slew of green painted cars and probably in vain. Have the green mines been scraped bare?” Richard Herriott
” 1. I would like cars to become simpler and lighter; car manufacturers are so concerned with reducing weight that they no longer supply a spare wheel on the basis that they are rarely needed. Perhaps Boeing are going to tell Mr O’Leary that the latest 737 has no escape chutes because they are so rarely used. No, hang on that thought is bit scary . Seriously planes get lighter, bikes get lighter even my fishing rods get lighter but cars just get fatter. The complexity of car radios, to use an old fashioned term, is unfathomable. I recently hired a French car beginning with C that had about 20 buttons on the steering wheel to select entertainment functions. I never figured it out. Ditto heating and A/C. Colin Chapman was said to have a credo of ‘simplify and add lightness’.
2 . Automotive journalism to take on a role to explain. What type of 4WD system is used, what are the advantages of that suspension set up, are there aerodynamic gains from that design. Please move away from the emphasis on track times and test cars that have a 25% increase in cost because of extras. Pretend it’s your own money. Comfort, practicality and real world economy as well as swiftness on crowded roads would be nice to see discussed.
3. Please look hard in the Vicar files. Here was a man who knew the relevant importance of Hillman and Humber, of Singer and Sunbeam, that Wolseley trumped Austin and where Riley stood with MG. He belongs with the great writers such as Dennis Jefferson and LJK Stetson. Did he really finish his days writing for the Connacht Telegraph?
4. Finally a wish that DTW will continue to flourish.” Barry Mark
“My resolutions come in the form of wishes. In 2016, I’d like to see… Alfa Romeo actually launch something, for Jaguar to launch something that doesn’t disappoint me, and for Mercedes stop launching anything until they figure out what the hell is going on. In 2016, I’d like to see Lancia finally put out its misery, for Citroën to make a serious motor car and for Sergio Marchionne stop wittering and just bloody get on with it. In 2016, I’d like to see VW to get a grip, for European legislators make an intelligent decision on auto emissions for a change and most of all, for the mainstream press to stop viewing blogs such as ours as handy sources of anonymous plunder.” Eóin Doyle
“Again I have high hopes for the Lea Francis marque making a revival. Also that my local Tescos starts stocking a decent sherry, that Richard finds how to produce a proper apostrophe on his titles, that Sean could get round to saying something nice about a car produced in this Century and that Eóin returns the cycle clips he borrowed from me last year.” Simon A Kearne
“Fix the Fiat 124. I had one, now I have three and none of them work. Register the Ute. An inheritance which needs a small fix to pass registration (our version of the MOT), which I’ve started yet not completed. I am now 13 months behind schedule. Drive the Jaguar and fix the leaks. I need to fix my XJ6, it is beautiful (another inheritance) and I need to get it registered again and fix the things coming out of it that I want to stay in, and those without that I would prefer to remain thus. The air conditioning would be a welcome return, so I must get that done as well. Presently I will neither drive it in hot or inclement weather so my opportunities are limited. Also the poor collision repairs previously carried out need to be rectified. Build the garage. I have my collection scattered to many places and no place to keep them. I am building a new house so at last I should have somewhere to put at least one of them. Write for DTW if I can. An overarching ambition which never materialises- I need to be inspired. Stop trying to buy more cars. Picking through the online classifieds every day to see what other piece of off-cast I may “need”. (Although I saw a lovely Fiat 128 berlina this morning for sale). Buy more cars.” Battymark
“Apart from the need to divest myself of one car too many (which involves actually being able to get into it now that the battery is flat, the central locking inoperative and the lock broken), to finally trace down the wet weather starting problem on my SM and to visit Retromobile and/or Techno Classica Essen (these latter resolutions repeated and unfulfilled from last year), I’d quite like to drive a decent EV for a longish journey. And I’d love to see a manufacturer produce a car that excites me as much as cars as disparate as the Lamborghini Espada, Jaguar XJ6 and Fiat Multipla did in their times.” Sean Patrick
“For 2016 I want to see more fast Fords. And the time is right for a return of the Granada name. The Mondeo is a great car but it lacks the image of the Granada. Ford needs a V6 too and that could be used on the Mondeo and maybe even the Focus too. Even the Fiesta could manage a V6. I´d like to see Ghia come back as well. The Vignale name plate is good but lacks the image of the Ghia badge. I could easily see Ghia X labelling on the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo not to mention the S-Max and Galaxy. Also, what about ST badging for the Mondeo? Ideally there could be a range-topping Granada Ghia X ST35000 which would really set the cat in the pigeons. Come on, Ford, we are waiting!! Also, I would like someone to re-manufacturer chrome trim clips for the 1975 Granada/Consul.” Myles Gorfe
“Following a recent discussion with colleagues at work, my wish to join the electric drive community has been confirmed and reinforced once again. What is still missing are vehicles that bring ranges similar to those of a Tesla into more affordable regions, along with a charging infrastructure that is easy to use for everyone, everywhere. 2016 will not see this happen, but I think it’s time for a step towards it. If this comes with a newly found appreciation for comfort, that would be even more delectable. When mentioning comfort, I obviously think of soft, light-footed suspensions and matching seats, but not exclusively. A notion of space and light – uncluttered interiors, large windows, slim pillars, natural-looking materials, that would suit my taste. On the outside of a car, this is best complemented by simpler, more elegant shapes and a revived attention for proportions. A little futurism is also welcome in a conservative time like this. All this in 2016? Perhaps not, but as I said above… On a personal level, I would like to care well for my two cars. My daily driver, which has a quite unique configuration, is worth being preserved and shall keep my company for some more enjoyable years. My restoration project is due to show some progress this year. It’s not meant to be finished, but there should be a good plan for it in a year’s time. Other than that, I will keep on commuting electrically – by train, that is – and cycling as much as possible, both for my own health and that of my car. Thus, both of us may see the day when my first wish comes true. And of course, my last wish for 2016 is to see again a wealth of inspiring articles and lively discussions on this blog.” Simon Stahel