Great day today. The weather is nice, the summer holidays have started and everyone’s in a great mood. I live and work in Northamptonshire, and as places go, things could be a lot worse. Yes, the roads are crowded – as is the case with everywhere in the south-central corner of the UK – but we have nice roads here, and a residual car enthusiast industry. In short, it’s classic car country. Or it should be.
This weekend sees Santa Pod’s Bug Jam. I think it’s probably the largest Volkswagen themed event in the UK, and as a result, we’re currently overrun by what a friend of mine describes as ‘VAG Shite’. Everywhere you look, there are Beetles (all lowered with roof racks, of course), Campers (all lowered with roof racks, of course), rat-look Polos (all lowered with roof racks, of course) and German-style-plated Golf Mk2s (all low… oh, you get the idea). It’s clear that the ‘VAG Shite’ scene is massive here judging by the sheer number of cars, and the queues heading into the great drag strip venue.
So, there’s a much higher than usual old car contingent on the road today. With that in mind, I thought I’d take the freshly refurbished (and looking magnificent) Polski-Rover SD1 for a quick spin today. It’s funny how when a car looks, feels and smells as good as this, you find excuses to drive it. So, duly jumped in and went for a brisk run around the lanes. Well, blow me, but I see a few old cars on their travels as I do so… so I thought it would be nice to exercise the old car brotherhood by giving a flash and a wave in the process.
And do you know what… every driver I did this to ignored me.
Hmm. Does this mean, it’s uncool to wave at your fellow old car person? And people don’t like it? Or are they not seeing my Rover SD1 as one of the old car crowd? Either way, it was disappointing and slightly depressing. I kinda thought that if we’re making a statement to the world by driving our old cars, we’d be happy that someone else recognised and shared it. But seemingly not.
But then I thought a little longer about this. The cars I’ve encountered today on my short trip are all ‘scene’ cars. Yes, plenty of Beetles and Campers (so nothing from them is understandable). But not being acknowledged by the owners of the Ford Capri Mk3, Morris Minor Traveller and Triumph Stag I saw on their travels was a little sad. But then, I guess – perhaps – these are ‘scene’ cars too, and I just happened upon blinkered owners. Or perhaps they just didn’t see the Rover SD1 as an old car at all? Maybe it looks a little too new to be considered one of the old car clique.
I need to be told.
I noticed something else, too… drivers of said cars all looked bloody miserable. Why?
What do you guys think?
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.