Thursday Snippets – Love The Beast edition

I didn’t know Car and Driver were going to do this, so it’s a slight case of fortunate timing.
If you happened to read my reflective piece from last night about the joy of driving and that caused you to do a little reminiscing of your own, then you might want to put pen to paper (i.e. fingers to keys) and enter a competition over at C&D.
All you have to do is write about your first car:

What we want to know from you is a little about your first car: What it was, whether or not you loved it and why. If you’ve lost track of it over the years, would you like to find it again? Feel free to share any memories–good or bad–specific to your first ride.

The prizes will be given at random so everyone’s got a good chance of winning. In case it’s not going to be as random as they say, it’d probably help if your story’s a good one.
The prize pack includes a copy of the film, Love The Beast. This is an essential movie for any gearhead. It tells the story of Eric Bana’s love affair with the Ford Falcon he bought when he was a teenager and crashed twenty-something years later, not too far from where I’m sitting right now, during a leg of the Targa Tasmania tarmac rally. It explores the reasons why blokes get so obsessive about things they love and the bonds that are created through that shared interest. It’s also got some killer driving footage from Tasmania, too.
Click here to enter the competition. And even if you don’t, see if you can get hold of that movie. It really is worthwhile.
If you’ve got time, here’s some great automotive writing from one of my long-time favourites, PJ O’Rourke. He tackles the Jeep Wrangler.
Those of you who are affected by the whole Conan/Leno late night TV thing, please leave your prejudices at the door. Your comments on this post about that issue, should you make them, will be deleted because I don’t care.
What I do care about, however, is the Koenigsegg Trevita that Leno had in his garage. The following video will take you on a look around that car, with the tour guide being none other than Christian von Koenigsegg himself.

The car is absolutely amazing and CvK is heck of a dude.
Viggen owners out there might want to take note of these……
If I mentioned a group of red cars on a track, driving in various formations, around the cones and on two wheels, etc, you’d probably think immediately of the Saab Performance Team.
I know Saab have been doing those moves for over 20 years.
I’m not sure how long Cadillac have been doing it for.
hat tip to Andy Rupert.
I don’t have any sort of Satnav device as I live in a small city and don’t really need it.
But the idea of Darth Vader telling me my route to work has me thinking a TomTom might be a good idea.

Movie Review: Love The Beast

If you don’t feel like reading an overly long movie review on a car website, then just read this: SEE THIS MOVIE!
There are two categories of people in the world.
The first are those for whom a car is just an appliance. It gets them from A to B. Their car needs to be reliable, resonably comfortable, safe and economical. They know what their car looks like, they probably know the make and model, but will know little else about it.
The second are those for whom a car means either a little or a lot more than that. They range from those who appreciate some finer points (e.g. a car’s design) to those who love a particular brand, or brands, to those who build, paint, or even race their cars.
This movie is made primarily for the second category. If you’re reading this site, you most likely fit that second category, whether mild or wild, and I can’t commend the movie highly enough for you. If you’re in the first category, but you’ve got someone in your life who’s in the second category, then you should see it too. It’ll really help you understand them.
Love The Beast weaves together a quartet of inter-related stories.

  1. The story of Eric Bana and his car, a 1974 Ford Falcon Coupe – The Beast
  2. The story of Eric Bana and his mates, for whom The Beast is a kid of campfire that they all gather round over the course of 25 years.
  3. The story of Ivan Bana, Eric’s dad, and his car, a Ford Thunderbird. This is the car that started it all
  4. The building of, racing of, and destruction of The Beast

The story takes you right back, albeit briefly, to Bana’s school days and the Ford Thunderbird his Dad always wanted, finally got, and which was used as the daily driver during Bana’s school years. Bana got the bug young, and when he was nine years old he saw Mad Max, which cemented his desire for a Ford Falcon Coupe.
With his Dad’s consent, he bought one at age 15 – a full three years before he was licenced to drive it. It was pretty beat up, too, and required a fair bit of work – which is the essence of the whole story.
Over the years, Bana and his core group of best mates tore down and rebuilt the car three times. As they all grew a little older, fixing the car was the only time they saw each other. The love of this car and what they’d done with it was the glue that kept them all together.
In 1996, the group prepared the car and Bana entered one of the premiere tarmac rallies in the world – Targa Tasmania. They were a completely devoid of experience, but they did well and finished third in their class. More than that, the experience lit a fire for motorsport that Bana would pursue over the next 10 years whenever he wasn’t making movies.
Love The Beast closely follows the culmination of that journey: his entry in the 2007 Targa Tasmania. With the car completely rebuilt (again) and putting out around 600hp, the team comes to Tasmania again.

Read moreMovie Review: Love The Beast

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