How was your motoring year?
The biggest single event of the year involved a huge drive from the middle of Denmark to the north of Italy. I remember a lot about the drudgery of extended motorway travel and seeing 500 cars in a shiny metal herd edging towards 12 petrol pumps is not an uplifting experience.
I am quite surprised in retrospect how difficult it was to find the motivation to photograph the i40 we hired for the trip. There was no lack of photogenic places in the Sudtirol. The car simply didn’t generate much emotion either way. It really wasn’t bad and wasn’t that good either. I didn’t know anyone could afford to make cars that left one indifferent.
So, it’s the experience around the rental that stays with me: stressful high-speed mile-munching on Germany’s packed autobahns, some really horrible service stations and the hang-over of two speeding tickets garnered when I tried to escape the autobahns (both were awarded on the same day). I figured that traffic jams were destroying my average speed so why not travel at the average speed on local roads? Well, apparently getting nabbed by speed cameras is the counter-argument. I wasn’t even trying to go fast.
I’ve not driven so many rental cars this year either which means I am a little short on rental car experience. I suppose the Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.6 I sat in in Brixen, Italy, counts as part of my motoring year: the interiors are a lot nicer in the metal than they seem in photos. And you have to experience the seating. That leads me to the general insight that Alfa Romeo really knew how to do seating, as good as their engines but never subject to much commentary or praise. You won’t read that at Evo or Car or WhatCar, I reckon.
Next year I promise I will get out to test-drive some new cars. How about you all?