Back to basics

Blog by Cas Heuvelmans

Some time ago I bought myself a new car. In fact it is my fourth one. But I didn’t own one like this yet and somehow it seemed I needed it badly at the time. So I’m the proud owner of a big lump of a car. Rear-wheel drive, a frugal Italian 2.8 litre engine in the front, plenty of room, huge amounts of torque. A real man’s car (sorry, ladies). Yes, you guessed it – or maybe not – I am officially a man with a van….

Owning this fine piece of machinery has once again pointed out to me that the joy of driving cars can come from the simplest things. There is something very satisfying about driving a car that has absolutely nothing but the bare necessities: no air conditioning, only a tornado-inducing fan. An agricultural sounding turbodiesel that could pull a coal train. The comfort of that same coal train. Rear-wheel drive, giving it a relatively small turning-circle in spite of its size. More booty than Niki Minaj. No airbags but 2,000 kilos of steel to keep you safe. Okay, granted, that last one might not be its strongest suit, but you get the picture.

Car enthusiasts and media alike tend to focus on the all the latest gizmo’s that modern-era cars come with. Or on the star qualities of the unreachable classic exotics. I’m not saying that a magazine on twenty-year-old vans would make for excellent reading or for a viable business. My point is that everyone with a love of cars should, once in a while, climb into a bare basics van like mine. And rediscover the joy of really working a machine. Trying to make it do what you want it to, instead of it beeping you back in line. Isn’t that what driving is about?

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