There was a time when my ears would robotically tune out at the mention of cars. Engines, power, torque, gears, fast, slow, loud, quiet, sporty, big – ugh, you may as well have asked me to sit in a paddock and count how many blades of grass the cows ate.
Even now, the boys I work with will tell you I have the attention span of Nemo’s mate Dori when the outside-of-work conversations turn to cars, as it always does. These days, however, my apathetic attitude toward their conversations is less about not caring, and more about the type of cars ruling the discussions – loud, powerful, expensive cars!
That was until I sat behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Aventador. But let me come back to that…
Conversations with the boys usually go something like this:
Car-loving work colleague 1: Hi how was your weekend?
Me: Good thanks Colleague 1, I went to this theatrical restaurant that served some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten.
Colleague 1: Oh, tell me more…
Me: It’s called [insert name of restaurant] and serves this modern Japanese food. It’s located in…
*Car-loving work colleague 2 enters conversations and interrupts*
Car-loving work colleague 2: Hi guys. What did you get up to on the weekend?
Me: I went to this really cool restaurant that had acrobats flying around inside while we ate and…
Colleague 1: Hey mate. How did you go driving [insert name of insanely-expensive-car-that-makes-lots-of-noise-and-has-a-weird-name-that-you-can-never-remember]?
Colleague 2: It was awesome. It’s a beast. Those things are super powerful.
Colleague 1: That’s sick man. How did it sound?
Me [using inside voice]: How did it sound? Sound? It ‘sounded’ like a car. You know, broom broom!?
Colleague 2: Like nothing I’ve ever heard before. It was so unbelievably loud and beautiful.
Me [inside voice]: Did he just say the ‘really loud’ sound a car makes is ‘beautiful’? Flowers are beautiful, people are beautiful, and violin music is beautiful. But the grunt of an engine?
Colleague 1: Oh man, that makes me tingle inside. I’m so jealous. What about the transmission?
Me [inside voice]: Seriously guys, I was talking about acrobats flying around me while I ate dinner served on a platter licked clean by the Queen, and handed to me by Elvis Presley’s cousin’s daughter, and you want to talk about a car making ‘broom broom’ noises and it’s transmission? *stares blankly*
Me: AHEM! What car are you talking about? *turns to Google*.
Me [inside voice]: Unless it was driven by Elvis Presley and is 9ct gold plated and can do more fancy things than a Bond car, then I’m only asking this question so I can pretend to be interested in this conversation that is definitely nowhere near as interesting as the amazing restaurant I went to…
Colleague 2: [Insert name of car]. It’s got a naturally aspirated 12-cylinder engine, and the transmission is flawless. And it’s so light, you barely feel like you’re driving anything, and yet it’s got so much power you only need to touch the accelerator and [insert more words].
Me [Dori fish brain kicks in] [inside voice]: Hmmm, I wonder what I’m going to have for lunch today. It’s 10am already, well past coffee o’clock!
Me: Keep it in your pants boys. *walks off*
Maybe I’m exaggerating a little here – I do actually take more of an interest than I’m letting on. But, my point is, in this world I live in, sometimes it can feel like cars rule every…single…conversation. Particularly when you’re surrounded by a bunch of car-nuts. Sometimes I feel like I’m jumping up and down just for some attention. I live and breathe automotive, it’s my job and I love it, but my perspective and the way I look at these machines is very different to some of my office buddies.
For example, cars that are really loud annoy me. Some guy who lives in my neighbourhood drives around in his sports car that’s louder than metal grinder on a hangover, and probably cost more than my house. It’s annoying and it’s impractical – I mean, how are you meant to have a conversation without losing your voice, or sing along to your road-trip playlist? Impossible. Ridiculous.
And don’t even get me started on the line ‘it looks sporty’ because that basically means it’s so low to the ground I need to duck-and-roll just to get out every time we park near a sidewalk. It may look cool in Mad Max, but trust me, you look like you should be constrained by a straitjacket when you summersault from a Ferrari in the middle of Toorak.
That’s just how I feel about them. It’s how I’ve always felt about them. At least, that was until I drove (read: sat inside) a Lamborghini Aventador. Suddenly I switched from cursing my neighbourhood cruiser to jumping out of bed to see what of car he drives. I’ve even started shoving my phone in people’s faces to show them footage of the Lamborg driving out of the work garage, and going as far to claim I was the driver (I wasn’t). Occasionally, I catch myself listing off facts about the Aventador. The softness of the leather steering wheel, the curves of its face, the futuristic silhouette, the gadgets, the gizmos, the smell.
It carries a $1mil on-road price tag and it’s much wider than you’d expect. Don’t even get me started about how powerful that V12 engine is; you just need to touch the accelerator and you’ll end up on the other side of the country. And boy, that sound. It’s like music to my ears. Forget this broom broom stuff, this thing is exactly how a car should sound. But the Aventador is utterly impractical – like, you wouldn’t believe how low to the ground it is, and there’s nowhere to store anything… Holy moly, who am I!?
It’s like I’ve caught the bug. I mean, it’s not like I could pass up the opportunity to experience it – how could I judge it otherwise? I just didn’t expect it to be as exciting as it was.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think these beasts are totally impractical and if you gave me the keys to one, I’d probably run for the hills. I don’t like them at all. Seriously. I don’t. Not even one little bit. Just don’t ask me where the keys are, okay?