James Elliott · Blog
I’d had the R8 about a month when a neighbour sauntered over and asked if I had won the lottery. Sitting on his drive at the time was a new Renault Zoe with a list price that would comfortably see him into an R8. Not as nice as this one, but a decent R8. And that is the beauty of this generation of Audi: it went into production 15 years ago and has aged so well that people just assume it is still a new car. Why shouldn’t they?
In my last Carrera RS update, I voiced my distress at seeing most of the front end of the car in a rust-riddled and singed heap on the workshop floor. The situation rapidly improved as new panels were welded into place and front wings and doors temporarily attached to ensure that everything was aligned properly. With the Porsche once again looking like a more-or-less intact car, I was lulled into imagining that the job was almost there. Hmm. How foolish of me.
I’ve always wondered if the caveman that invented the wheel ever imagined we’d all be sitting in endless traffic jams. The romanticism of the journey is quickly dispelled by the sound of bass-driven rap music from the car next to me. I must admit, though, that the Audi has been pulling its weight in hauling me and my photo gear effortlessly from adventure to adventure - and I’m always looking for opportunities to place my car wherever I happen to be.
Can you imagine a cartoon like the one on the right appearing in an owner’s handbook today? Amazingly, the stiff-upper-lip marque that was 1940s Rover used this drawing – and many similarly witty illustrations – in its first handbook for the new Land-Rover. That’s one of the joys of the traditional handbook: they were as idiosyncratic as the people who wrote them.
After a 30-year career in the police in Scotland, the last 20 as a traffic cop, in 2010 I bought my dream car, a manual Ferrari F355 GTS. As soon as I had joined the police I knew I wanted to be in the traffic department, but I did ten years on the beat in Rosyth first. I joined Traffic in 1991, achieved a class one advanced pass in training and was named driver of the year. We drove SD1 Vitesses, Senator 24V 3.0-litres and Granada 2.9 Injection 4x4s – proper rear-wheel-drive power machines.
With modern vehicles becoming increasingly homogenised, Evans ponders on the need to preserve 20th century car culture so future generations can appreciate how distinctive it is. I was having a conversation with a friend and owner of a restoration shop the other day and the topic turned to new cars. He asked what I would buy if I was in the market for a car. In the past that wasn’t usually a difficult question, but this time I really had to think about it.