I may have mentioned (once or twice before) that I entered my fifth decade on this earth last year, and Rory is now hurtling towards that milestone himself. I don’t know if it’s this impending sense of mortality, or the Jetta destroying crash we were in on New Year’s Day (Happy 2019!) but I have seen the signs in him of a regression to childhood dreams with regards cars.
Maybe the latent desire was always there within him but, while looking for a new car I could sense the dreamy stares at the facts and figures of the latest ‘supercars’ rather than the more sensible assessment of how much we could fit in the boot and the MPG in “Eco” mode of the latest SUV on the market. There’s a chance the track day I bought him didn’t help either…
As a non-driver I have always been more drawn to the aesthetics (and I’ll admit it, colour) of cars rather than the practical design innovations introduced by the world’s car makers so, for similar reasons we are both sucked into the beautiful ‘what if?’ worlds of Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, it seemed the (grey, red and black geometrically patterned) bedroom wall of every boy (not that I saw many, honest mum) was adorned with posters of the other-worldly Lamborghini Diablo or Countach or the Ferrari Testarossa. These space-age delights were, back then, there to be dreamed about and yearned after rather than to sell by the bucketload, and that just made them more desirable.
It’s all in the name…
Forgive me while I digress – one fact that amuses me is around the naming of these types of fancy cars. Ferrari have generally kept it simple and provided their stallions with simple combinations of numbers and letters (usually an F) aside from their homages such as the Enzo, or the more self-explanatory LaFerrari or Superfast.
Lamborghini on the other hand have gone down a more ‘exotic’ route with most of their model names linked to bulls, bullfighting or matadors (which is not cool kids). The exception to this is the Countach which, legend has it, was named after the Italian expletive allegedly uttered by the designer of the car when he first saw the prototype. I won’t be so crude as to elaborate further on the direct translation, but I’d hope you appreciate that not only am I sat here sniggering – I just added a new word to my dictionary.
The wonders of product placement in TV and films cemented the allure of these brands even further. Think Magnum PI and I would imagine that, after the moustache and chest wig obviously, his red Ferrari 308 would be the first thing that springs to mind.
Move into the 1990s and there is the yellow F355 that Nicholas Cage uses to chase Sean Connery through the streets of San Francisco in The Rock, and then (Rory’s personal favourite) the grey 550 Maranello that Will Smith weaves past various Floridian obstacles in Bad Boys II.
I must confess, there is little that is more desirable than Christian Bale driving a Lamborghini in each of the Dark Knight films – he is Batman for crying out loud!
Anyway, back to the present day and Rory’s wistful poring over both new and used car magazines and comments like: “Did you know Lamborghini make an SUV now?” (the Urus) or “Ferrari have a four-door grand tourer (the Portofino), we could get the kids and the supermarket shopping in there now, no?” or even “Look what we could pick up a fourth hand Gallardo for, I don’t need two kidneys really, do I?”
We know these are currently just pipe dreams, particularly whilst we are still stuck in the traffic jam that is Leeds, but just imagine driving through Northern Italy and into France hearing the engine exhaust noise as you blast through those legendary tunnels. You could even get that experience enhanced further by specialists such as Scuderia car parts who can upgrade the exhaust to really blow the hats off the locals and make us popular expats!
You won’t be surprised to discover that after much soul-searching we went for something a little more practical and purse-friendly (though still easy on the eye), with our replacement car choice. The kids are still a consideration and we don’t want to be like our neighbour who bought an Aston Martin only to realise he couldn’t fit the kids in the back. It now spends 99% of the time locked in his garage whilst he gets around in a 13 year old Vectra (no offence Vauxhall but that must sting!)
I think, in Rory’s own unique logic, as Ferrari were borne out of Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini are now owned by VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group, shame on you with the dirty minds over there), and his previous two cars have been an Alfa and a VW, he has contributed in his own small way to the enduring success of those brands and will one day be rewarded with one.