On the Subject of Cars

Jul 13, 2009 | Personal

I recently got my own car. This was somewhat of a revelation, to be honest – I came to motoring a little later than most, and I never expected that I would love it so much. There’s simply something powerful about traveling around in a machine that moves so much faster than you can, and whose motions are being directed by you alone.

It’s something that people across the world understand. There’s something about cars that just… attracts us, men and women alike – although it seems that women are not quite so prone to being petrolheads – and it’s certainly caught me. I’ve even started to learn about engines and cars, so that I can eventually fix the very battered Toyota I acquired last week.

And old and battered as it is, it is mine; my large, heavy, machine that happens to go much faster than I do. There are many like it, but this one is mine. I intend to drive it faster than I should, and go around corners on two wheels if I can manage it, and maybe replace the radio that can’t get any decent local station.

The only down side, as far as I can see, is that when you start talking about engines and power to weight ratios and the like, no one wants to listen except other car enthusiasts. It’s like being the only nerd in the room who’s into comic books. I know embarrassingly few car owners, and none of them like to talk about cars; they view them as things for getting about quickly, and seem to miss the simple joy of getting behind the wheel. If it wasn’t for the Internet, I’d be forced to actually go outside, and possibly meet new people who also like cars more than usual.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “but what about the expense? Cars don’t grow on trees, you know.” Of course, my dears, cars are not cheap and certainly not a suitable arable crop. I haven’t listed that here because if you really like cars, expense suddenly becomes distant. You buy whatever you can afford, and your priorities are different. Someone who buys a car may be looking for space, efficiency, and security, if they view them as a convenience; I was concerned with the feel of the car above everything else. All I thought about was how much pleasure could be gained from the act of actually driving, and therefore got a car that has a very dodgy radio.

I will write a story about cars some day. The only challenge will be to make it interesting to the non-vehicle-obsessed public.