Edric tells us that motoring journos are always being interrogated about cars.
At cocktails, the question motoring journos get asked the most by strangers who have just been told our vocation, is “What’s your favourite car?”.
Which is actually quite a tough one. Because what tickles your fancy at one moment may not be quite so appealing at another. The gorgeous, lightweight Lotus Elise that’s a dream to drive, roof off , on a deserted B-road, is an entirely different beast to use in rush-hourtraffic on your way to work.
I should know – I used an Elise as my daily drive for over two years and cursed its poor visibility, lack of stowage space and weak air-con on almost everyone of those days. those days.
I know that most of these interrogators are just making small talk and would rather be chatting up the PR hottie in the tight dress than being stuck with a nerdy journo.
But even so, it helps if the question is more narrowly framed – “What’s your favourite everyday sports car/luxury limo/hot hatch etc”. For the record, my answers would be Porsche 911, Mercedes S-Class and Audi RS3, respectively. Another typical question from new acquaintances is “What car should I buy?”.
That’s like asking me who you should marry. I know nothing about you – your budget, whether you’ve got a family to cart around, and whether you prioritise comfort or dynamics – so it’s impossible to provide an intelligible answer.
Perhaps next time I’m faced with this question, I should just blurt out the first car that comes to mind. And then let the guy go home and try explaining to his wife and three kids why he’s suddenly swopped their family Estima for a 718 Boxster S.
But without a doubt, the most perilous question of all is “What do you think of X (car make and model)?”
In my earlier days, engaging mouth before brain, I would have launched into a passionate reply, usually slagging off the car in question and wondering aloud which clueless twit would ever put money down on such an overpriced, over-hyped fourwheeled turd. At which point, my companion would quietly inform me that he’d just placed an order for one that afternoon…
These days, older and wiser, I first check why the chap is asking about this particular model. And if it’s because he has just bought one, I hold my tongue and just mumble some vague platitudes about how the car in question is quite practical and reliable.
WORDS OF MOTOR-JOURNO WISDOM FROM EDRIC: JUST AS YOU’D NEVER CRITICISE A GUY’S CHOICE OF WIFE, NEVER CRITICISE HIS CHOICE OF CAR.
“Okay, the car
buy is the one