Monday, 9 March 2009

Deprivation

For the last six months, or thereabouts, I have not driven a car. I have been driving at least every other day. But it has either been in a Volkswagen Transporter, which has a poor turning circle but a great engine, or a Toyota Hiace, with a fantastic turning circle but an increasingly dodgy engine. Neither is a car, much less a driver’s car. I can’t say I’ve felt deprived. For one, the speed limits here are so slow I imagine driving a car with any kind of performance capability must be intensely frustrating. (Something English readers have to look forward to if plans to lower the National Speed Limit go ahead!)

Our car before we left the UK was a Mini Cooper Clubman, our car of six years before that: a yellow Mini One! I like the go-kart motoring, corners-on-rail, fun motoring of Britain’s most ubiquitous quirky car. So imagine my surprise when this weekend I find myself quite enjoying being behind the wheel of a Hyundai Matrix. Sure this maroon monstrosity has a Pininfarina badge on the side but one look at it tells you it has to be there by mistake. Everything about the vehicle is atheistically wrong. A driver’s car it is not. And yet this driver has appreciated the comparatively smooth and silent driving experience. Signs that perhaps I am more deprived than I thought!

2 comments:

David said...

My wife is very fond of Minis. They do look like a lot of fun. I drive a Dodge SRT4, which is an extremely fun car, despite the fact that it gets no respect from most of the auto world. It has a creditable claim, though, as the fastest FWD production car ever made, and with a small amount of suspension setup, it handles really well.

Did you ever have your Mini on the track? I've done several track days, as well as a few drag strip runs. The first time I drove my car on a road course, it was actually with a Mini club here.

WeDoAdventure said...

I never get my Mini on a track, but I did get the manufacturers top speed out of it while on holiday in Europe - and that was with four people and a week's luggage in it!