February 6, 2013 8:41 AM  |  Posted By: autodreamer
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Related Categories: Car obsession


I have a disease, but it's not one your Doctor will be familiar with. You won't find it in the latest edition of the DSM (the manual for psychiatrists, for those of you not familiar with that black art). And there are no local support groups like AA - I mean Alcoholics Anonymous, not the men in yellow vans who try to fix your broken motor before towing it to someone who can.

Yet it's a very common ailment, one which you probably suffer from if you're reading this.

Car fixation, addiction, obsession - call it what you want, it's an illness.

Really, is it so bad? Well, yesterday should have been a bad day. I had to leave work early and tear across London so I could take my son for a blood test while his Mum went to see another Doctor. I had to hold down a 3 month old baby while he had a needle in his arm. And yet ten minutes later I was thinking what a good evening it had turned out to be.

Why? Because we were in Harley Street - courtesy of our insurance company, not my battered wallet - which meant I got to see what the Doctors and plastic surgery patients drive. It was like being at a car show: DB7 Zagato, Porsche Boxster Spyder, V8 Vantage with a matt black wrap and huge, but tasteful rims. Jag XKR-S, Aston Rapide. A silver 911 SC - perhaps not exciting for some of you, but a car that I might be able to afford and one I dream of driving on a Sunday morning. Can't even remember the Ferraris I saw.

Oh don't worry, the baby recovered quicker than he would from having his hair washed. But I probably shouldn't have been enjoying myself quite so much.

Where does this insane level of automotive lust come from? Human evolution pretty much stopped when we were hunter-gatherers. We like green, open spaces because a few thousand years ago that would have meant plenty of food. Our body hair grows in a direction that reveals our water-based origins. And I can blame my primitive genes for the hypnotic effect that certain parts of the opposite sex seem to have, even at my age.

So why does something with a history not much longer than a hundred years hold such sway over us? Shouldn't we be reading Grow: The thrill of vegetable cultivation? Why does the sound of a Lexus LFA engine do something to me that only the words 'let's make a baby' should do?

Well, here's one clue. By my reckoning you're approximately one thousand times more likely to see an attractive blonde in the passenger seat of a Ferrari 355 than a Mazda 3. And it works both ways - if Mrs Autodreamer drove a Caterham it would have taken me 4 minutes, not 4 years to pop the question.

I imagine wrestling a Diablo on the limit is like wrestling a wildebeest to the ground before trussing it up and putting it on a spit. And who wouldn't want to travel faster - whether it's while chasing a rabbit for dinner or blasting down your favourite B road?

An appreciation of the right combination of curves and proportions will help you choose the right mate. And a powerful engine does the same job as a sturdy pair of thighs, doesn't it? Okay not sure about that last one, but I think I've made my case pretty well.

So the next time someone suggests that your addiction to all things automotive is a little unhealthy, you can tell them you're not sick, just human.

Follow me on Twitter @MrAutoDreamer

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