Blog: Chav motors


So Come on, admit it. You’ve been walking through town, you’ve seen something like the car above and thought to yourself, ‘what kind of a prat owns something like that?.

We’ve all done it – and I know I certainly have.

I take a look at that car, and wonder why it is that someone would take a perfectly good Tomcat, add add a load of plastic/glass fibre tat to it, and then parade it in the local McDonalds/Showcase/Burger King car park after dark. I wonder at the wisdom of a driver who cruises through the local town centre, windows down, stereo blaring at 145 beats per minute, telling the whole world to take a good look.

Admit it – there are times when you think people who drive cars like this are ‘chavs’ (the ‘c’ word), and have no idea whatsoever about taste and style.

I’ve found myself mentally uttering the ‘c’ word on many occasion, but is this blatent labelling from me the right thing to do? Because after all, I’m 35 years old, and therefore, can now be officially considered an ‘old fart’. Heck, I couldn’t even tell you what the current number one single in the charts is – and I don’t have a clue about what Posh and Becks are up to right now. Just because I don’t understand this car or its owner, and don’t immediately plug in to the cruising (or is that ‘cruizin’) scene, does that mean it’s a bad thing? I’m now a whole generation removed from the kids passing their driving tests now, so should I sit there looking down my nose at someone who chooses to express their individuality by dressing up their cars in such a way?

Of course not.

Yes, we can look at the car in the picture above and wonder at why someone would chose to bastardise the pretty Tomcat in such a way – but is it not their car to do with what they want? Should I not let them get on with their lives – and turn away without comment when I see a car like this drive past me?

…I’m 35 years old, and therefore,
can now be officially considered
an ‘old fart’…

I guess, I should really – because kids who choose to spend thousands on their cars obviously have some attachment to driving. It might not be the same kind of car love that you or I might share, but I guess you have to be some kind of petrolhead to do the Ripspeed/Mynheer thing to your car – it takes time and money. And that’s automotive love, isn’t it?

We might also scoff at people who weight their cars up with plastic, and leave their standard engines in place as is? If I were to spend £2000 on my car, I’d use every last penny available to make the thing go faster – not look better. But in the age of GATSOs and VASCAR, is this constant pursuit of extra speed a wise way to go? Of course not…

Nope, I used to be offended these ‘Barryboy’ motors, but now I just admire someone who loves their cars enough to spend such large amounts on them. In a way, I’m probably jealous, too – when I was 17 years old, I drove a brown Austin Allegro 1500. And I was too skint to spend anything on it that didn’t involve oil or petrol. I think if I had the levels of disposal income that these kids seem to have, I’d probably have ended up driving something a damned sight more individual.

Mind you, had that been the case, there probably would have been no

So, the next time you see a ‘Halfrauds special’ rasping and booming up your local high street, consider this – it’s being driven by a classic car enthusiast of the future…

And is a Mynheer’ed Rover R3 any worse today than a Kat-Kitted White Rover SD1 in 1987?

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

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.
Keith Adams

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