Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My favourite car? That's a tricky one

This is just a good laugh!!!

He appeared to be completely normal, just an ordinary man with two eyes, a nose and a pair of trousers, tootling up the motorway at a reasonable 70mph. And yet he obviously wasn't normal at all because he was driving a Lexus SC convertible.

This means that at some point in the recent past he'd spent a not inconsiderable £54,778 on a car which has the ride quality of wood, the style of a burns victim and all the excitement of being dead. Plainly, then, he was a mentalist.

Further down the road I saw a fat woman who also carried an air of human-ness about her. But she too was obviously a certified window licker because she was driving, in public, in a three-cylinder Hyundai Accent diesel. She would no doubt argue that it's cheap. Absolutely. But so is self-immolation.

The Accent diesel performs with the gusto of a light breeze and corners with the relish of an oil rig. It is, I think, one of the three worst cars money can buy. And remember, it's made by people who think One Man and his Dog is a cookery programme.

I wanted to bang on her window and explain the error of her ways. I wanted to point out that today, more than ever, there is simply no excuse for buying a rubbish car because the marketplace is awash with stuff that's really good.

Normally, at any one time, there's only one car on sale that really gets its hook into the soft flesh of my brain's sillier bits. Sometimes there are none. I seem to recall that in the late Eighties things were so bad that I went for a couple of years without owning a car at all. And then along came the Escort Cosworth.

Now, however, there are probably 20 or 30 cars that I'd gladly buy, cars that I want to buy, cars that keep me awake at night as I toss and turn wondering which one would be best . . .

My current favourite is the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. Lamborghinis have always been 10 tons of style with no substance at all. But in recent years Audi has put a bit of Araldite in the mix and now you could nearly convince yourself that this noisy and shouty mid-engined drop top supercar with bright orange seats is a sensible exchange for 131,000 of your pounds. Plus another £600 if you want a cupholder.

It is expensive. Too expensive really for what you get in terms of technology, but when you first put your foot down, and those tail pipes start to trouble seismographs in faraway places, and the four-wheel-drive system starts to post power to whichever one of the fat tyres has the most grip and the whole thing starts to come alive, then all of a sudden £131,600 doesn't sound so bad any more.

Of course, each of us needs a slightly stupid excuse for buying a supercar that you can never use. Mine is: I keep banging on about what fun supercars are to own and drive. So it's only right and proper that I should put my money where my mouth is. My children agree with me on this.

But then the next night I come over all Maserati-ish. I loathe the flappy-paddle gearbox that comes as standard and ruins the Quattroporte, but I know a traditional automatic is in the pipeline and I'm sure that this will remove the bung that, to date, has stopped me buying one.

It may be a four-door saloon and it may have a few styling cues from the 1972 Vauxhall Cresta, but nevertheless I challenge you to park this outside your house and then walk to your front door without turning round for one last look before going inside. It has, what's the word . . . presence.

But then for a similar sort of outlay - £83,000 - you could have an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

In fact the only reason I do not have this car is that my wife has one, and it would look greedy, having two.

The only reason you might shy away is because you prefer the looks of the DB9. Tricky one, that. But tricky in a delicious can't-choose-between- the-summer-pudding-and-the-crème-brûlée sort of way.

The DB9 is £25,000 more expensive and it's hard when you drive the two back to back to see why that might be so. The V12 is creamier than the savage V8 but in terms of performance there's little to choose between the two. Of course the DB9 has back seats, but unless your children are conjoined in some way, or they came out of your wife as torsos, then they won't fit anyway.

And then there's the bigger, prettier car's Achilles heel. If you were to list the three top things you never hear people say, you'd have at number three "I wish I had a smaller p * nis", at two "On balance, Tony Blair's done a good job", and at number one "I bought a DB9 and I've had no trouble with it at all".

No, really. If you leave a DB9 alone while you pop into the shop for some biscuits, some electrical item on the car will burrow into the battery and eat all its amps. DB9s never start. Whereas my wife's V8 has been totally bulletproof.

So it's the Vantage, then, but hang on a minute, because what about the new Jaguar XKR. It's faster than the Aston, more powerful than the Aston, more practical than the Aston, considerably less expensive than the Aston, and while the Aston looks good and makes a tremendous noise, the Jag's not what you'd call a shy and retiring minger.

As I lie awake at night agonising over such things, I sometimes wonder if it isn't best to stick with the Mercedes SLK. Or what about the bigger, more practical SL, which is so perfect the only updates they've lavished on the 2007 model is a bit of chrome round the spot lamps and a bit more on the key ring.

Then there's the BMW M5. All that power, all that handling, all that comfort, all those doors, and all for the surprisingly low price of £63,500.

See what I mean. I passionately want all of the cars we've looked at so far and the list goes on and on. I also want a Volkswagen Phaeton, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Corvette C6, a Vauxhall Monaro, a Porsche Carrera GT, a Zonda F, an Alfa Romeo Brera and an Audi RS4 convertible, or a hard top, or an estate. I'm not bothered, just so long as it has that astonishing 414bhp V8 motor.

I'm also acutely aware that I have never owned a Range Rover and that now is the best time ever to take the plunge. Partly this is because the current model with the supercharged Jag engine is very good but mostly it's because in a Range Rover today, with all this eco-jingoism, you feel like a naughty schoolboy.

As I drive around in that lofty, leathery seat, I feel like I'm behind the bike sheds at school, having a cigarette.

You aren't actually hurting anyone or anything, except the fag a bit, but only at first, but you have that sense of swimming against the tide. It makes me feel all warm fuzzy.

It does not make me feel as warm fuzzy, however, as the king of the hill, the engineering summit, man's hobnail boot in the face of nature. The Bugatti Veyron. Like the Lamborghini it's little and feels well made but unlike the Lambo it does 252mph. This make it officially "very fast". Also it costs £830,000, which makes it officially "very expensive". That said it is also a bargain, since it costs VW £5m to make each one.

Would I give up a kidney to have one? Yes. Without a doubt. And I'd throw in my left leg as well.

Which of course is all very well, but none of the cars mentioned here is of much help to the fat woman in the Hyundai Accent diesel. She only has a budget of, say, £9,000 and that's not a tenth of what's needed for, say, a Maserati Quattroporte. No worries. If she wants faster, more comfortable and more economical transport than her Accent, then she should try a pogo stick, or a space hopper or an Oyster card. Or she could buy a Fiat Panda. Better still, she could get out there and rob a bank.


Blogger NMOTB said...

If I had a choice of a car it would def have to be the New Golf! My 8yr old is car mad and each month I spend a fortune bying him the latest car mags and bike books! Boys will be boys, it's only the toys that get a weeeeee bit more expensive! Lovely post Dude!

04 October, 2006 20:49  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

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05 October, 2006 00:14  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

I'm cracking up *L* All I can say is DON'T EVERY BUY AN AUDI!! Those are the biggest pieces of shit ever!!!

05 October, 2006 00:49  
Blogger Revolving Credit said...

If it ain't German, I ain't interested.

So Monster, how's your baby? Have you found your balls yet??

05 October, 2006 01:21  
Blogger Shortypam said...

mmmmm... BMW!!!! hehehe oh yes and u can give away ur kidneys and ur legs but dont give away ur "3rd leg" cos thats just wrong...

05 October, 2006 08:44  
Blogger Cookie Monster said...

Hey there NMOTB.......The new golf, but its an Audi, it has the same engine and the same seats.... no way... what about the Cooper S, now a woman in a Cooper S....

ASkinstoo... making money reading blogs... buddy i can bearly make time to see my mates never mind make 900USD. Business kepps me busy.

Miss 1999, noooooo how can you say that, please go read my blog "Cant find My testicles" then ye shall see the might of the all super RS4! In the past I agree Audi was rubbish but they have come up with a monster in the RS4.

Revolve... whats up buddy, hope the Cape is treating you well....Well I did order the RS4 and got stuffed around, so I have gone for the new Merc Coupe thats super charged... it hauls, problem is my patience gets the better of me.

Porno Pam....Well if I had to give away my middle leg it would have to be for the DB9, that said I would actually throw my testicles in for the new shape.

05 October, 2006 09:59  
Blogger angel said...

dude- did you get that from bbc's top gear? i friggin LOVE that program and this sounds just like them!!
the gallardo spyder and the vantage definitely get my vote...
gotta love a beautiful car...

05 October, 2006 23:15  
Blogger Dawn said...

I am going to risk these confessions only because I live on a different continent to you ... in my youth, my Renault 5 was my bestest thing in the world. The first brand new car out the box, I ever got was when I was living in the UK - I don't know if you get it in SA, it is not a model available in the USA ... possibly because it is so small we called it my ice-cube. However, it took me, my nanny and three kids in the back, one of which was still in a car seat comfortably. When we moved to the States I pined for my ice-cube. I would LOVE to hear your response to my ice-cube ... so much that I will be audacious enough to ask you to google it - HYUNDAI ATOZ ... and be kind on the strength that I am from the motherland, ok, china!

06 October, 2006 00:09  
Blogger Spy Gal said...

Damn !! You have much better dreams than I do....

It must be a guy thing to dream about cars...I figure as long as it gets me from point A to B, then it's good for me....Of course I have to look good behind the wheel though...that's a must! You never know who you might run over...i into...i !!

06 October, 2006 21:40  
Blogger NMOTB said...

Hope you are having a great relaxing weekend!

07 October, 2006 22:15  
Blogger Cookie Monster said...

Hey there gng, love the car world mmm I love cars!

Askinstoo...Come to think of it.... Please leave me out of your money making schemes and do an honoust days job, which means do some HARD work!!

Aaaah Angel of heaven... thats right its all the Top Gear... the way of the force!

Dawn... the Renault 5 was the bollocks... I mean that car could take abuse from all sides and some more.... The Atoz was called the Matiz here in SA... the only down side of the car was that it was so slow that if you delivered milk with that car it would turn to cheese on the way to the delivery point! Sorry Dawn... had to say that... I shall make it up to later.

Hello There Spy Gaaaaaal.... you have been amiss lately, where ya been? Well then you say that a car is from point A to B... well what if you spend sooo much time a car, should it not be an adventure and a thrill to drive, enjoy cars they say... oooooh I luv em! Put it this way, ever had that tosser hooting for you to move for his average car that just goes an average speed? Well what if you just changed a gear down and he was left getting teeeni weenie in your mirror?

Hey There NMOTB, Naaah had to hit the office and get stuff done... how was your weekend?

09 October, 2006 20:11  
Blogger Dawn said...

I'll let that one go simply on the strength that you are a cuzzie from the homeland, china! :o) Looking forward to the next post.

10 October, 2006 10:26  
Blogger Katt said...

I must have missed out on the "Need for Speed" gene. I want a Hummer.

11 October, 2006 11:50  
Blogger mcBlogger said...

ha! sounds like you have quite an agonizing decision to make. I'll give you my 2 cents and say, you should go for the range rover. I had one. I felt guilty for driving it, especially at the 12 miles per gallon I was getting in gas consumption. But everytime someone didn't pull far enough ahead at the red light so could turn right (I jumped the curb), or when I didn't feel like shovelling the hump of snow at the end of my driveway, or when I desperately wanted to go somewhere during a snow storm, or wanted to take the short cut through the woods to get to my parents house, or when I was driving in bad weather and I had my daughter in my car and I was thankful that I was safe in my giant Range Rover, I felt good about having it, all the while I had the 6 disc changer randomly surfing through the cd's, I had the heated seats on, and the heated front windsheild that melted the ice off just like that back window and the automatic de-icers in the handles, and the anti-glare on the rear view, and side mirrors, and how I could see absolutely everything in my path, I quietly rubbed the dashboard and said thank you to my Range Rover...until I had to get repairs done, then I sold it. LOL

11 October, 2006 15:08  
Blogger angel said...

rightyo- so who do you think "the stig" is?

12 October, 2006 19:51  
Blogger muddlepuddle said...

Ok so please by all means go ahead and call me arse hole.

COOKS - kids and a wife???Did I fall down Alice's rabbit hole?

Crikey - I'm hoping you pulled that out of what's his faces book? You know the Ebola guy???


13 October, 2006 11:40  
Blogger Cinderella said...

Awwwww cookie you gave me linkage!! Thank you...I will do the same when I get into my template...

Just saying hi...and I have to say Mint green beetle bugs rock!

15 October, 2006 17:10  
Blogger NMOTB said...

Hey there Cookie!!!! Why you so quiet?????

15 October, 2006 21:47  
Blogger Phats said...

This is not at all where I thought you were going with this post

15 October, 2006 23:41  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

Cookie... where did you go?

16 October, 2006 05:33  
Blogger Cookie Monster said...

Whooooo, yep ive gone and got lost... sorry guys just been a liddle hectic.

Hey there Kat... Hummers are good, but you have to make sure you get the super charged version, it has some serious balls when it gets off the mark!

Mcblogger... just gonna call you Macky from now on... so you had the royal salute of the Landies? Im totally impressed, now why did you have to pay and arm and a leg for te service, surely you guys have motor plans? I mean if one has to change the discs on you BMW today that could set you back 2000USD.

Aaaah angel, thats a good one... the stig has been studied and studied by the pro drivers and they have it down to either Hakkinen or Croft, both excellent touring car drvers, the ay he drives just stinks of touring car andf DTM racing... very aggressive that is!

Please change my boxers... Muddle came to visit! Thats one 100% right Muddle, Jeremy's best! Really missed you Muddle, when we getting together for the Sprinkle Pops? Look after girl, and hope all is good at the home front.

17 October, 2006 11:34  
Anonymous James said...

I get my cars from breaker yards it saves me a fortune, my latest car a Corsa cost a bit too repair needed a few Vauxhall engine parts after it had a head on collision but still got it for half the price of buying it new.

28 February, 2007 17:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NSU - 4ever, 5210 - rulez

16 March, 2007 18:04  

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