A sermon about why car museums are to be avoided if you like old cars.
Originally published on 31st January 2014, the editor has selected to re-issue this piece, partially because it carries a fine profile shot of a Ford Sierra (making it vaguely topical) but primarily because it is an amusing, well crafted article – even if the author’s principle argument is somewhat debatable.
Every car museum I have visited in the last 2.25 decades has been a disappointment. Cars are inherently space-consuming selfish monsters and even when they are caught, killed and pinned to plinths this quality does not diminish. They need plenty of room, alive or dead. Alive, the car needs sufficient space for portly passengers to open the doors and affect egress without having to close the door behind them, at a minimum. And dead, in a museum without sufficient space, the car can’t be assessed properly. You need to stand back, fold your arms (essential) and try to Continue reading “Not For Sale: Car Museums”
As our December theme chokes on the very last mince pie, we celebrate four decades of disappointment, brought to you by Jaguar.
It’s an emotion depressingly familiar to Jaguar enthusiasts from Burbank to Burnley. From the troubled post-Lyons era, the catastrophic BL years, the Egan Miracle, the Ford débâcle, to the current underwhelming JLR era. The big cat’s roaring again, the UK press delight in telling us, but is it really? Continue reading “Theme: Disappointment – Feline Gloomy”
As is traditional after Christmas Day, we get reflective. So much time. So few cars. About five years ago, before my memory began to fail me too much, I started a list of vehicles I had driven. By vehicles I meant cars, vans and motorcycles. I didn’t count more than one of any identifiable model (for instance I have driven dozens of Cortinas alone), though I used some discretion with vehicles that were substantially different by having, say, a smooth V6 instead of a wheezy inline 4. Since then, with various acquisitions and hire cars, I have now totalled 106 vehicles.
Is the search for Autoerotica doomed? We revive a post from DTW’s early days to find out.
My father was an old-school Freudian in his outlook. He wouldn’t miss a chance to make an association, and my obsession with cars was fertile ground. He pronounced that many cars were just phallic compensation symbols and I, in what I thought was a witty response, said that a phallus was just a compensation for not having a decent car – it sounded better when I was sixteen. Cars and Sex, Sex and Cars, they’re an old pairing, but I’ve never been entirely convinced.Continue reading “Theme : Disappointment – Cars & Sex”
Recent correspondence has hinted at the genre of car analogous to a band’s difficult second album.
Every one knows Kula Shaker’s second album was going to be a disappointment. It happens to a lot of bands. The musicians have a lifetime (say, 23 years) to work on the first album. Then they have about eight months to work on the second album, once the tour is done and the alcohol has been washed out of the system and the papers are signed on the Chiswick house they will have to sell a year or two later.
I think that society in general has a romantic notion about how nice it is to be driven – by a chauffeur in particular. Recent experiences have led me to feel that it’s rather a disappointment.
Forgive me if this comes across as just a ruse to write about a problem I have been dealing with recently, but I feel it is worth a few lines. Six weeks ago, I ruptured by Achilles tendon (proof, if anyone reading needs it, that exercise is potentially harmful to you!), and I face another 5 weeks at least with my left lower leg in an Air Cast boot (a rather marvellous innovation, if not one you ever really want to have to experience). Continue reading “Theme: Disappointment – Being Driven”
We look at a literal piece of Sixties vapourware – The Lear steam car
One person’s disappointment is always another person’s gratification. We have seen this over the past few years as various electrical vehicle projects have been announced. Many people have been open-minded about their feasibility, but many more have allowed other agendas to make them either blindly enthusiastic, whatever the scheme, or similarly antagonistic.
In the late 60s, the extra-urban EV was not a practical proposition in any way, unless it was followed by a trailer full of lead-acid batteries or a very long extension cord. The once-mooted gas turbine had come to nothing. However, the need to do something about the environmental effects of the internal combustion engine was on the agenda, so there was an impetus to look at other types of propulsion. Continue reading “Theme : Disappointment – All Steam & Mirrors”
This month’s theme is somewhat in the nature of a BBC Radio quiz. The subject itself is quite straightforward, and has overtones of both last month’s theme as well as the actualities of the so-called Season of Goodwill. It is ‘Disappointment’. The motor industry has always offered us high expectations, even more so now, when just changing the position of the rear view mirror will elicit two gushingly incoherent paragraphs from the PR department. Yet, on innumerable occasions, the industry fails to deliver on its promises. Continue reading “Theme : Disappointment – An Introduction”