May 3, 2012 11:06 AM |
Posted By: neil_g
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by 1 member
I've not lost the plot. I can say, in all honesty, that as lovers of automobiles served with a hefy side portion of Evo-ness, that we should stand firm against the pillorisation of footballers and their wives.
I'm drawing a line in the stand, and will take on the aged bigots who take issue with those who earn a small fortune to don a polyester shirt each weekend and here is why.
When I was a child my walls were adhorned with posters of automotive exotica, De Tomasa Pantera, Lamborghini, Countach, Porsche 911, Ferrari Testarossa, Aston Martin Vantage - you get the idea. The latter stood out for me, helped by an appearance in the "Living Daylights". It was everything a mid 80s supercar was about - it was laden down with leather, it had a venerable V8 that swallowed as much fuel as it produced power and it really looked quite ridiculous with the plastics skirts and spoilers. The Aston Martin was never a looker - it was too bloated, too heavy and a woeful replacement for the elegance that had come before, but the Vantage took it to another level.
This was the 80s remember, when hot-hatches and saloons were closing in on 120bhp - and the thought of 380bhp would make a small boy in unfeasibly small shorts rather excited. Aston Martins were owned by people with not only had the deep wallets to afford them but deeper wallets still to run them. Their owners dressed in tweed in the country and Saville Row tailored suits in the city. They had membership to a real gentleman's club. It was an image to aspire to.
And aspire they did. From council flats in East London, to semis in Bromsgrove. From terraced houses in Glasgow to detached residences in Tunbridge Wells a new generation aspired to being an Aston Martin owner. Unlike many of their peers though, they struck lucky, they entered into the world of football at a time when money was flowing. Young people, outside of the brace-wearing City of London suddenly had the money to buy the cars we aspired to. Young people from backgrounds like our very own. Young people who grew up on wet holidays in Wales, on 20 year old rusty bangers kept running by their dad's and on the dream they could succeed.
They have risen on wave of good fortune and have suitably profitted from their talents - and have rewarded themselves with the very things we all aspired to. A large house and the obligatory expensive car. On the back of this, those automotive companies have themselves profitted and have strived to deliver the holy grail for a supercar, reliability, well almost. Their cars are more usable on a day to day basis, they are more affordable than ever to run and they are more common on our roads than ever before.
And yet when we see one being driven by we pass scorn. The Bentley Continental is a "footballers wife" car, the Range Rover Sport is simply a Range Rooney. But we shouldn't. We should praise this rise, we should stand up against the old guard, we should take in pride in seeing younger buyers purchasing those evomotive dreams.
Because, in a few years, they'll move onto another dream car, leaving more, of the now, affordable dreams available for those whose aspirations are tempered by reality.