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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Till Death Do Us Part.

'Soul' is what you get when you've won the Formula One world championship and Le Mans 99 times. You can't design 'soul' or 'character'. You can earn it. -Jeremy Clarkson

I was watching Jay Leno's garage the other day and if there's anything the man doesn't get enough credit for, it's the fact that he doesn't really sell any of his cars. Leno just collects and collects and never tosses one after he's had enough. Moreover, none of the cars in his garage look neglected. Conan O'Brien is another one of these people too; how long has he owned his green Ford Taurus SHO?

Now I don't know if I can do that. Later in my life, when I start a family, will I actually find a family car I like so much that I'll keep until the very end? I really like the smart looking 2012 Ford Focus hatchback but what about three years from now? Unfortunately, I'm very fickle so I wouldn't be so sure...

Save for an exception. There are cars out there that disregard fads and trends (landau tops and pop-up headlights, anybody?) and are more than just the sum of its parts. Cars made thirty years ago that have a strong cult following today. Cars that are made today that will still be relevant thirty years later.

So, if there was ever one car I would choose to grow old with, to love more and more each day, to have each other in sickness and in health, to learn from and be a better person because of it, it would most likely be a sports car.

This can still be tricky, as buying a sports car is an art. James May made the classic mistake when he bought his Ferrari F430 Spider. He didn't have the foresight to consider the Ferrari 458. This extends to 360 Modena man, F355 Berlinetta man, 348TB man, 328GTB man... Shall I go on?

If a car wishes to be immortal, it cannot rely on its performance as the be-all and end-all of the equation. What it should do, instead, is forever be a benchmark of excellence. On the other hand, it may also be so extreme, so out of proportion, that it can never ever be compared to anything at all. But most importantly, it must possess soul. But the word "soul" has been, and still is, a point of eternal debate between car enthusiasts. Why do some cars have it, and some do not?

Recently, I read a passage from Jeremy Clarkson while he was discussing the Nissan GTR,
'Soul' is what you get when you've won the Formula One world championship and Le Mans 99 times. You can't design 'soul' or 'character'. You can earn it.
And if you really think about it, "soul" is a lot like the word "love". Ugh, now I'm only substituting a word with a very complicated definition with another that's even more complicated. In my efforts to find something tangible, I've come up with something a bit cliche but effective; a car that can't help but bring out "the orphan puppy factor". You would feel unexplainably awful if you must ever part with it. You would make sacrifices in other parts of your life just so that you can keep it. You'd go the extra mile to make sure it gets sent to a good home should you ever have to let it go.

Nothing too crazy, here are some of the cars that fit my bill.
Hopefully, there will be a day in the future when I can afford to pay for theirs.
Your turn: Tell us about your soulmate!

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