"I’ve been a Land Rover brand ambassador since 2008. But my fondness for the brand stretches back a bit further than that. My first ever driving lesson was in a field, as a fourteen-year-old, in my stepdad’s old Series "
Cars that take you places
Which car would you take?
For every car that’s been made there will be a story, or two, to tell. From rolling off the production line to the fifth or sixth owner collecting the keys for the very first time. For decades, cars have been our main and most trusted companion when it comes to exploration and adventure.
Okay, sometimes trusted.
Most owners will have fond memories of a certain trip or experience that was made ever more memorable because of the car they were in. It didn’t need to be the most expensive car in the world, or the most luxurious or even one that’s particularly popular. For whatever reason it added something to the family holiday or long road trip that has stayed with you ever since.
Car manufacturers rarely sell cars in the old fashioned way anymore, what they sell instead is the ideal lifestyle or potential for adventure. BMW’s blaring marketing campaign ‘Mini Adventure’ perhaps does this a little more obviously than others!
Walk into any new car dealership and there will be just as much emphasis on the mountain bike atop the roof rack, or the surfboard leaning up against the beach-effect background as there is on the cars themselves. They’re intending to sell you an idea: ‘Buy this wonderfully over-equipped 4×4 because it’s the key to unlocking your daring, adventurous side!’
Without it, you simply can’t go off road mountain biking, you can’t hike across country, you can’t surf in the freezing cold seas of Britain and you can’t take your date to a romantic restaurant because you just don’t have an 18 plate Audi RS3!
If you want an adventure and if you want to go exploring you don’t need a new car. You don’t even need a nearly-new car. All you need is a trusted mechanical steed and a sense of wonder… the memories will make themselves.
I remember five of us being squashed in my parent’s white MG Metro – it had the chunky looking sports kit fitted and early 90’s super minis had never looked so good! In hindsight, maybe it didn’t look that good. But the memories of those holidays are cemented because of vehicle that made it all possible.
I remember my first proper road trip with friends to Cornwall (several hours from our quiet corner of the country) in a 1.4 Vauxhall Corsa my dad bought me the day after passing my test. It was the first time I’d been on a motorway and the first time I’d hit the dizzy heights of 93 mph. Being a 1.4 it was deemed the fastest car me and my mates had ever seen.
The exhaust fell off just outside Taunton.
Every now and then a special car will take us somewhere which completely adds to the occasion. Which is exactly what happened when we made this latest Influx Magazine film.
We took a 1991 Volkswagen Corrado G60 on a 2,000 mile road trip to the Southern Highlands and back. None of us had properly explored any part of Scotland before and the little red G60 made for the perfect companion. We had to fit in all of the filming equipment, ourselves, and all of our luggage. No problem.
It would have been so much easier to have taken a brand new car with the space and creature comforts but our exploration was made so much more interesting because of the car we took, the character it had, the history it had and the smiles and thumbs-up we got from other little modern classic VWs we saw along the way.
Not to mention the beautiful winding roads of Scotland twisting and turning between lochs, lakes and mountains. The corrado didn’t miss a single beat as we captured all of the breathtaking scenery on offer. It became the fourth person on our trip and I couldn’t wait to open the curtains and see it sat outside our cabin every morning.
Since the beginning of history humans have roamed, wandered and explored. We’ve shone a light on every corner of the planet and even the dark corners of space. But exploration isn’t just something we do as a species, it’s something we can all do in our own lives. Cars are the perfect excuse to get out and experience new places, meet new people and see new things.
We have all had or should have cars that take us places. We’d love to hear your stories, experiences and memories of those cars and those moments.
I was supposed to sell the Corrado after our filming in Scotland, but how can you get rid of something you’ve shared such a great memory with?!
It remains on the driveway.
CLICK TO ENLARGE