Wednesday Rant: Will the joy of driving be lost forever?
When I passed my driving test the first thing I did was grab the keys to the old car my Dad had lovingly kept going for over 15 years. He reversed out of the garage the sixth member of our family - an orange Ford Escort estate mark 1. Itís been in the family so long that while my Mum was hours away from giving birth to me she had to bump start it in order to get to the hospital in time!
The excitement of being handed the keys, sliding into the fake leather seats and the smell of the inside will never leave me. I couldnít wait to turn the engine and crank through the gears until I reached top gear. The thrill of pulling off from the lights in first and seeing how quickly you could get up into fourth gear. Hearing the engine roar and get louder at every gear change. That is exactly what driving meant to me. Actually driving a car with a gearstick, handbrake and clicking the few switches you had on the dash.
Is this going to be a forgotten era? Most cars today are automatic, have touch screens and all smell the same. This has been accelerated with the popularity of electric vehicles (EV). They donít even have gears just one constant gear - the electric motor turning.
Are cars losing their soul? In the near future they will most likely talk to you like Knight Riderís ĎKITí. Is this really giving a car a soul or is it just a little creepy? I admit I love reading about the future of cars but I also wonder if I prefer having a one way conversation with my car and giving the top of the dashboard a pat like a dog when it didnít let me down.
The future of cars is coming and thatís cool. I can only think that being in this lockdown period has made me think about the past just as much as what the future will be. What great days I had in my massive orange estate - priceless.