The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Underlining, bold, and color emphasis are mine. rotfl

SRC: http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/driving/jeremy_clarkson/article3553152.ece

Jeremy Clarkson said:
Last weekend, I was driving through one of those junior executive, Tory stronghold housing estates – the sort where they have wife-swapping parties every Thursday at No 22 and everyone has baggy-knicker curtains. And I was staggered because just about every single man was out on his drive washing the car.

What a meaningless way of passing the time. You don’t wash your vacuum cleaner or your television set, you have a machine to wash the dishes and you employ a man to clean your windows. So how much do you have to hate the sight of your wife and children before you think, “I’d rather go outside into the cold and spend a couple of hours burnishing my wheel nuts”?

I am aware, of course, that many men do hate the sight of their wife and children. Doctors even have a name for these people: “anglers”. But even the concept of sitting in the drizzle by a canal for six hours and then throwing everything you catch back into the water is not as daft as washing a car.

First of all, it’s very hard work. You have to do all the exercises favoured by homosexuals in gyms. Bending over, stretching, rubbing. But at least when homosexuals finish, they have glistening, toned bodies that make them look good. You? You’re just going to put your back out. And the more you clean, the more you’ll notice is dirty. If you’re not careful you’ll end up polishing the inside of the tyre valves and then not wanting to use your car if it’s raining.

This behaviour is called “being a concours enthusiast” and it’s very dangerous. Many “concours enthusiasts” go on to be murderers.


And have you ever actually tried those cleaning products that are available in supermarkets? There are any number of sprays, creams, waxes, shampoos. It’s like being in Richard Hammond’s bathroom cabinet. Except, so far as I can tell, they don’t actually do anything. “Simply spray onto the glass,” it says on the tin, “then, after two minutes, wipe down with a clean cloth.” Rubbish. You can never trust any instruction that begins with the word “simply”.

I’ll give you a little hint here. When your windscreen is completely covered in dead flies, the best way of seeing where you are going is to buy a new car.

Why are you washing the car in the first place? A car will not get smelly armpits or a cheesy groin. Bathing it will not increase its life expectancy or decrease the chances of a breakdown. All it does really is demonstrate to others that you have a tiny mind and an empty life. I want you to think carefully about this. Can you picture in your mind George Clooney washing a car? Quite.

The Germans have realised that it rots the mind and that’s why it is illegal in most towns to wash your car on a Sunday. There is simply no place for such useless nonsense in an industrial powerhouse.

Oh, and here’s another thing. Washing a car is the only time you ever get up close and personal with all of its panels. Which means you will find a million depressing little dings and scratches that you would never have spotted had you left it caked in grime.

Mind you, cleaning out the interior is even more silly because I can absolutely guarantee you will remove something that next week you will need. Everything I have ever bought is in my car. People say it’s a skip, and disgusting and refuse to get in there. That’s one advantage. Another is that last week, I needed a headache pill and it was simply a case of rummaging under the seat until I found one. Because it’s so full of junk, I always have everything I could conceivably need. A Biro, a refreshing drink, lots of loose change, all sorts of maps, an iron lung and so on. I kid you not. There’s even a wetsuit in there.

Finally, we must discuss the chamois leather. And here, I have a two more tips. Number one: if it is imitation chamois or a leather made from another sort of animal, it will not work. And number two: if it is a real chamois hide that has been crafted by walnut-faced men of the mountains, it will not work either.

You have to feel very sorry for the goat antelopes whose skin is used to make these things. No really. Had they been native to Africa, they’d have been eaten by lions. Had they been horses or cows, they’d have been turned into burgers. And had they been native to Spain, the locals would have dreamt up some bizarre torture that would have involved them being flung off a tower, by a man in pink satin trousers.

But no. They had everything going for them. They were cute and tasteless and they lived in Alpine meadows with nothing to disturb them except nuns singing. They even had a kindly Swiss man who came into their field once a day to play with their tits. Life was blissful. And then one day, the world got it into its head that their skin could be used to clean cars. And that was it for Johnny Chamois. Now, and for no reason, the poor buggers are on the endangered list in some places.

Only the other day, I set off in my car on one of those crisp winter mornings when the sun is low in the sky and, because I never wash my car, I really and truly could not see where I was going. The inside of the windscreen was caked in gunk and, for reasons I couldn’t fully understand, iced over just as thoroughly as the outside.

So, breaking with the tradition of a lifetime, I went to a petrol station and bought a scraper. Sadly, because it had been made in China, it was about as good at getting ice off a windscreen as the back of a dog. So, having made the situation much worse, I bought a chamois leather. What this did was remove all the moisture, mix it with the dirt . . . and put it back again. Honestly, I may as well have tried to clean the windscreen with a muddy stone.

I’m running out of space so I’d better move on to the car I’ve been driving this past week. It is a mainstay of the car-washing classes. A Tory stronghold car. A car designed for the Barratt junior executive who dreams one day of going on his own. “The bank’s with me. John’s with me . . .” In my mind, everyone who has a Renault Laguna is a wife swapper.

I liked the old model very much for reasons that are now lost in the mists of time and I wish I could say the same of the new one. I tried the hatch version a few months ago, and honestly, when I sat down to write the road test I couldn’t remember anything about it. Except perhaps that it might have been brown. Fearing that you might need more information than this, I’ve just tried the Sport Tourer estate and that was definitely brown, and quite ugly.

Ooh. I’ve just remembered why I liked the old one. It was the first car ever to be awarded a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating, and of course the new model is similarly blessed. But most cars are, these days. That’s no reason for choosing the Renault over anything else.

In fact, I struggle to think why you might even want to buy a five-seat estate like this. For the same money every month you could have an Audi or a BMW. Or, if you are mad, you could have one of the smaller four-wheel-drive cars. The list of other things that would be better is long and includes rickets.

If, however, you are determined to have something boring and brown, buy a Vauxhall Zafira or a Ford S-Max. At least that way you get two extra seats thrown into the mix. But if you absolutely insist on a boring brown car with only five seats, I’d go for the Ford Mondeo. It’s more spacious and though I doubt you’ll care, nicer to drive. Certainly, I found the new Laguna’s steering a bit clattery. I also felt the trim was rubbish and that some of the softness I usually like in French cars had been replaced by an unnecessary German firmness.

To conclude, then, this is a car I’d rather wash than drive. And it doesn’t get worse than that.

Vital statistics

Model Renault Laguna Sport Tourer Dynamique 2.0

Engine 1997cc, four cylinders

Power 140bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 144 lb ft @ 3750rpm

Transmission Six-speed manual

Fuel/CO2 35.3mpg (combined) / 189g/km

Acceleration 0-62mph: 9.3sec

Top speed 126mph

Price £17,690

Road tax band F (£205 a year)

On sale Now
Lesson learned: Drive your car in the rain. Don't be a "concours enthusiast" or as we like to call 'em here in Chicago... "a waxer" BAHAHAHAHAH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
So that's why I don't like washing my car? I thought it was just because I hate all forms of manual labor... rotfl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
i must admit i drove my car in the rain today.
it was raining when i started and also when i came back up the dirt (mud) road to my home.
since the dirt, flies and crud was well wetted, i got out the hose and sprayed off the worst of the gunk....BLUSH!
is there a group that i could join like AA or alanon?
i MUST kick this idea of carwashing!!
HELP!! :wallbang:
sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
The Elise Saved Me...

I used to be someone who spent more time washing, waxing, and primping my car than driving it.

Then I got the Elise.

Arguably, it's the best-looking car I've ever owned, and certainly has, by far, the sexiest curves, so washing and waxing it is a joy, but it's just so much fun to drive that it has really "reformed" me.

I wash the car, have waxed it, but I certainly don't spend even 1/10th as much time detailing it as I did the sports car I owned previously. Every time I think about washing it, I think, "wouldn't it be more fun to spend the time driving somewhere?". Usually the answer's yes.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
^^^ Bingo!

I will definitely wash my car. I will not wax or detail it though.

If I need those services there are people who's entire livelihood is made that way, so I'll let them do it so I can spend what time I do have on this earth driving another car or actually having fun :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
i must admit i drove my car in the rain today.
it was raining when i started and also when i came back up the dirt (mud) road to my home.
since the dirt, flies and crud was well wetted, i got out the hose and sprayed off the worst of the gunk....BLUSH!
is there a group that i could join like AA or alanon?
i MUST kick this idea of carwashing!!
HELP!! :wallbang:
sam
Sam:

What you did is basic cleaning, not the "concours enthusiast" level of fruitiness mentioned by Clarkson :D

I think any "harm" you did by washing your car was more than cancelled out by actually DRIVING your car in the rain. Good for you.

While sweet, these cars aren't made of sugar :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top