I need to have a personal talk with you.
Send the kiddies (those under 25) out of the room.
You see, I’ve just read a book by a serious person that seems to suggest we could not only fall in love with our cars (nothing new there), but, well how can I put this, we could indulge in a bit of horizontal folk dancing with them.
Rob Brooks is the Professor of Evolution at the University of NSW and he writes: “A human could think they love a machine. Could a machine love a human?” His book is called Artificial Intimacy: Virtual Friends, Digital Lovers and Algorithmic Matchmakers and he describes a future in which (and I am taking a few liberties here) you and your car could be more than just friends. Cars “that engage our human needs for connection, intimacy, and sexual satisfaction”. Nineteen readers, one friend but no family, you and your Honda Accord could be the love that dare not speak its name.
I don’t want to in any way denigrate the relationship you have with your Camry, Commodore, Captiva, Carnival or Calais, but can I subtly suggest if you are thinking about moving past first base with the beauty under the car port, why not consider something with a bit more passion.
Something like the very pretty red, 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Coupe, with sensual beige leather upholstery for around $600k at Shannons online auction starting on Tuesday.
If your heart is set on an Italian romance but you want something less mature, then head to the 95- year-old coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring, whose factory is just outside the city of fashion love Milano. The fashionistas there build low-volume bespoke motor cars and one-off commissions, each one displaying elegance, high style and sophistication. Like their new Arese RH95 with 500KW of throbbing V8 dressed in carbon with the bright aluminium side-slash briskly interrupted by the front wheel arch, then continued elegantly along the waistline, inspired by the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, to the grille and front air nostril treatment. The sleek rear body contours are otherwise simple and quite voluptuous, with not even a trunk opening to mar the fluid shape of the rear aspect.
Shockingly, my choice of fantasy motoring partner is electric! And it’s from Croatia. And the owner’s name sounds Australian. Mate Rimac is about 12 years old (well 33 and that could be 12 from where I’m looking).
At 21, he founded Rimac Automobili to build electric supercars. Today he has more than 1000 employees and supplies evil electric bits to Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Koenigsegg. Now he’s launched a 1400KW hypercar that gets to 100km/h in less time than it takes you to say one-two. It gets to 300km/h in the time it takes you to say devet sekundi is Croatian for nine seconds. And it’s good for 412km/h.
As Road & Track’s Alex Goy says, an electric car “proving it’s very quick isn’t new, but the step up in performance between ‘quite fast’ and ‘so fast it makes breathing difficult’ is quite something. Much faster could well feel rather unpleasant.”
Of course, the body is all carbon fibre but restrained. The inside fits two well-built persons and their luggage. And the price? Well, who can put a price on true love? Mate can – $3.6 million drive away no more to pay.
Talking of fast cars: the Monaco GP procession, where it’s hard to lose from the front of the grid, saw the first eight on the grid basically fill the first eight positions.
Mad Max won, Hamo came seventh from seventh on the grid and Dan Ricciardo came 12th from 12th. This weekend the circus is at the Baku City Circuit in the unitary semi-presidential republic of Azerbaijan. Now Dan won here in 2017 but I would be putting my money on Hamo and Maxie.
If you are experiencing the delights of Baku, head straight to Sumakh restaurant for a big feed of Kufta bozbash (only 12 manat), Dovgacold or hot soup with sour milk or cream greens, peas, eggs and rice (6 manat) washed down with those traditional Azerbaijan bevvys, Hardy’s VR Chardy (50 manat) and Coopers Beerbasa Dark, a steal at 7 manat.
In other news, the Mercedes team is getting in early swooping on 13-year-old Chinese karting star Yuanpu Cui and 13-year-old American prodigy Ugo Ugochukwu. Not many Irish drivers there.
Can’t make it to Baku? Then head up to South Yarra by the Sea, Noosa, for 1500m of sensuous driving ecstasy up the picturesque Gyndier Drive in the 24th annual Noosa winter hill climb. While the old bloke and I promised Hillclimb boss Mike Rider we would be there, we are focused on getting the first episode of our podcast, News From The Kensi And Beyond, out on cassette and eight track to bring joy to dozens. Episode one features an impassioned plea from the Sultan to bring back the casual vomit.
Talking of love, reader Des Hutchens from the city that houses the Taj Mahal of Coopers, wrote a beautiful letter, complete with pics just back from the chemist, in tribute to his British Racing Green Jaguar XKR 1998.
“As you will probably know it’s a super charged 4-litre V8, gets to 100km/h in just over 5 seconds and is capable of more than 300km/h but is governed at 280km/h. I like the design better than any other Jaguar made for mass production and being 83 (a younger reader) I intend to keep it as my last car. It still looks and goes pretty much like new and it is a pleasure to drive with lounge-type comfortable seats (certainly better than any E Type which is my second favourite design).” Best of all Des it doesn’t catch fire like the newer models.