Simon Goes South
You will have gathered that I am a firm believer in rules and formality, so it is with the greatest reluctance that I agreed to break my own rule about Theme titles. Our new theme originally consisted of two words in English, albeit hyphenated in a bogus effort at expediency. However, such was the outcry from our demanding readership that it was changed to the Spanish language name of the continent which is, fortunately, a single word.
Whatever the case, such is the depth and scope of the topic that I felt it necessary to find a way around my rule. South America is, quite obviously, a continent of car enthusiasts. Thirteen Formula 1 Championships alone have been won by South American drivers. Five countries have motor industries, and Brazil is the seventh largest manufacturer in the World.
And yet we, in Europe, know relatively little about the South American motoring scene, and what we do is sometimes filtered through the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, dressed as a pastiche gaucho, making tired and inappropriate jokes. So, although we have no intention of doing that, the DTW editorial team comes to this subject fully aware that its members are as well prepared as Scott visiting the Antarctic, or Britain facing Brexit. Nevertheless we trust that our venture will produce something worthwhile.
The Ford Corcel, the FNM Furia and, even, the cult IKA Torino are unknown to many European enthusiasts. If nothing else, we shall find out more about some of these. Did you know that the sick-men of motoring, General Motors and Renault-Nissan are the dominant players in the South American market? Or were you aware that Peru´s most popular cars wear Kia badges?
It has been many years since I last motored in South America, taking a Simca Chambord from Paramaribo in Suriname to Antofagasta in Chile. At the time I was involved with an ill-fated enterprise to source a South American ‘Sherry’ and I had little opportunity for in-depth investigation of the motor industry.
It will be interesting to have this opportunity to unleash our writers on this fascinating continent and to see how their views compare with what little I picked up. We are fortunate to have members of this site who hail from South America. As with our members in the United States, we hope that they will be tolerant of any errors we Europeans make, yet not fearful of correcting us and, should they feel the impulse, of contributing an article or two.
We enter into the near unknown. We might be some time …..