|Posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:45 AM|
Programs such as Ferrari Classiche, the Mercedes Classic centers and BMW Mobile Tradition live to support a company’s heritage. They speak to the idea that each car built by a manufacture is a thing of pride, an engineering “moment in time”. Cars such as the original 328 and 507 are cornerstones, which our vision of BMW ownership is laid upon. When built, these cars were only to define one role – the best driving car available. Cars were lithe and sporty because they only had to transport you from one place to another with as many thrills as possible – they were a mechanical replacement for the horse. The same could be said of modern cars, but we would be lying to ourselves. The modern car does not have to replace the horse, it must replace the house. Modern day commuters have high expectations, and expect heated and cooled seats, navigation, the ability to play various forms of media and so on. Now before you feel that I am an automotive troglodyte, allow me to explain myself.
When cell phones first came out, I remember people asking me if I was going to put one in my car (remember car phones ?). My answer was always that I would rather talk to people when I had nothing to do, and that when I was driving I was busy enjoying my car. I now carry two cell phones and have a hands free device in my daily driver – seems I have lost my way. Do all of the supporting systems truly help you enjoy the car? Do they make you more productive, or do they take away from the driving experience. Recently, I had a customer bring in his Porsche 944 for service. I noticed that he had no stereo and I asked him why – he said the car made all the music he wanted. His comment brought me back to my first day of 911 ownership when I gleefully removed my stereo so that I could hear that amazing flat six rev. Maybe the “moment in time” that our vehicles now refer to is that of multitasking and endless media consumption.
So, should we move away from all the comforts and go back to basic sporting transportation? I think we can all agree that it’s a little too late for that. What we can do is see what these things do for us. This season try a drive with the windows down and the stereo off or, if you are truly brave leave the cell phone in the trunk and pull the radio fuse. If you are looking for a toy car try something a little more focused, and less refined maybe a nice E30 M3 or a 2002ti. The classic cars we celebrate and hold in high esteem are not those that were the most comfortable or had the most gadgets, they were the ones that were embodiment of adrenaline and were seen as outrageous. Remember, no teenage boy hangs posters of cupholders on his wall....