My Life in Cars

by BTM

Mon, 04 February 2019

My Life in Cars

I know I’m a little late but I wish you all a very Happy New Year – and that extends to your cars too, whatever you may drive. 

Now, you quite possibly drive a practical, everyday car. At times, however, you may just find yourself daydreaming about owning a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a McLaren or a Bugatti, those thoroughbreds of the automobile world. And why not, they go very fast, attract plenty of attention in traffic – and there’s the forelock tugging of the valet when pulling up at some swanky hotel. But are they really all that? Well, they are. Yet they can also be total nightmares. Here's why. It depends if you are ‘A Polisher’ of your supercar or ‘A Driver’. Let me explain. 

Back in Blighty at Christmas, as well as seeing family, Shirl and I also had the pleasure of catching up with old friends. One couple that we stayed with had recently moved into a stunningly revamped pile in the countryside. This lovely home lies at the bottom of a lane. A seriously pot-holed lane, I may add. Since it’s a public lane/road, the onus is not on our friends to repair it. So, not a problem then. Except, the couple own a Ferrari – a rather envy-inducing 1992 348ts it is too.

Now, you are very likely aware that ground clearance isn't a supercar forte. It can't be – the aerodynamics of these high-performance machines are designed to keep them glued to the road and not bouncing up pot-holed lanes. It somewhat takes from the pleasure of driving your supercar if you have to constantly navigate the potholes dotted in your own driveway. But not if you’re our friend Trent-Trent who owns the Ferrari. 

Trent is, I decided, A driver and I am A Polisher. He very kindly took me for a spin in his lovely car and expertly navigated those potholes, clearly enjoying carousing the country roads in it. I did say it was December, that means country roads liberally coated with rain and mud. A Polisher, such as I, does not consider that supercars are allowed to be dirty or even smudged. Trent, being A Driver, is clearly not of that school of thought. The implicit requirement that such cars must be maintained in showroom-new condition does not cross the mind of A Driver. Every single time A Polisher cleans his supercar, the task demands great detailing including a vast array of cloths and buckets – no nipping down to the car wash for A Polisher then. When it rains, A Polisher will consider it best to keep his supercar inside. 

Being A Driver, Trent happily parked his beautiful car in the tiny parking lot of a country pub for our lunch. A Polisher, such as I, considers the safest place to park your precious thoroughbred is your own garage surely? A public car park? How could A Polisher possibly relax while it's parked, what about the inevitable dings and scratches? That is not to say, I hasten to add, that Trent does not care about his car. He does. Immensely so, but he also enjoys driving it like a normal car. As we bid our friends goodbye the next morning, I gave a last glance at Trent’s beautiful car and vowed to be more of A Driver this year. That is not to say I won’t continue to be A Polisher also, but, thanks to Trent, I have more appreciation that there is no art without struggle.

Happy 2019 driving all.

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