Photography: a frustrating image of imperfection

A picture tells a thousand words, apparently. A bad picture tells many more, including ‘bland’, ‘amateur’ and ‘clueless’. This is the digital age: in 2016 media is consumed faster than beard wax and whichever frothily-topped, sweet-tinged latte is currently in vogue; snap judgements are made out of context; and striking images flash across social media…

How Tesla introduced an ‘autonomous’ car way ahead of its competitors

We are told by vehicle manufacturers to expect fully autonomous vehicles no sooner than 2025. To be fair, there is a lot to sort out before they can be introduced: governments need to debate legislation surrounding such vehicles, insurance companies need to decide who pays out in a crash not involving a driver, not to…

Raising the roof: a personal view

Passing comment on a person’s choice of car carries significant risk. Unless they have been clever – and wealthy – enough to go for an absolute hero machine, your well-intentioned conversation-starter may not have the intended positive effect. I know this because unless I am fully focused when somebody reveals their daily drive, I often…

NAIAS – Differentiation is Power

The 2015 Geneva show was a wake-up for anyone hoping for a rebirth of the great American luxury brands. Strolling past the grey Cadillacs with their uninspiring interiors, my attention was drawn to a curvy, elegant new premium saloon that whispered luxury and style. So I crossed the aisle to the Hyundai stand to take…

Automotive brand-defining events; coincidence or genius?

Capture the imagination, conjure enduring images then reap the benefits; it’s a marketeer’s dream. Strong associations have been formed between event and manufacturer ever since Henry Ford realised how much money could be made from selling motorcars, and that public aspiration was the key to success. There’s a chasm that separates quiet association and truly…

Part 2: Scrapyard investments; what next for the classic car market?

    Part 2: Supply and demand is an established dictator of worth, and thanks to 2009’s scrappage scheme, which led to the wanton destruction of ‘undesirable’ older cars, many of our once abundant vehicles are now reduced to single-figure survivors, and the banger-priced interesting classic has all but vanished. Values of cars from the 80s or…

The next generation have exciting used cars to look forward to – or do they?

The first car I bought was a red 1990 BMW E30 318is for £1800. It had done 170,000 miles, was a little scruffy round the edges and the sills had seen better days. Call it rose tinted glasses but I loved that car; retro 80s styling, perfect front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout and being utterly simplistic made it…

Part 1: Scrapyard investments; what next for the classic car market?

Part 1: My 1984 Ford Capri 2.8i goes away to undergo the beginnings of a restoration on September 22nd. Only a few years ago it would have been unthinkable for someone to spend real, hard-earned money ‘restoring’ a Capri; the car still tainted by the Dell Boy ‘pratmobile’ image and destined for scrapyard extinction. Now…

Do we need saving from ourselves?

At the end of last year, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer gave a wide-ranging interview to Cycle News covering a number of fascinating topics. The quote that stood out for me, however, was more alarming than intriguing: “If your Superbike is reaching 200 horsepower or more, it’s impossible to argue that it belongs on the street….

Do you buy the car or the badge – and does it matter?

Triggered by the arrival of the BMW 2-series GT and the ensuing debate over whether you can push a brand too far, you might wonder whether the badge on the bonnet (hood) has, for many people, become the most important criterion influencing the purchasing decision. While those of us who think we know about cars…