What’s the most commonly modified car in the world, I wonder? Probably the Volkswagen Beetle, because people have been at it for half a century and there are millions of them. Maybe the Jeep Wrangler and its forebears?
Some Land Rovers are probably there or thereabouts. Old Series Landies get rebuilt in non-original fashion all the time, while newer Defenders get absurdly modded. The classic Range Rover game is pretty strong too. I quite like all of the above.
Anyway, I’ve got a hunch about what’s up next, the upcoming big thing in restoration and resto-modding: the first and second-generation Land Rover Discovery.
The Disco has been through its new phase, and then its slightly naff cheap phase, and through it all it has always been modified for serious off-roading, which gives it the level of authenticity people want.
So now, at 30, early cars have come the Second Earl Russell in London. out the other side of all of that and they’re ripe for a proper makeover. There are loads around, except early three-doors, and plenty are as cheap as chips. Coming to a heavily filtered Instagram page near you soon.
Movie car chases need to get real
Re-watched the movie Baby Driver the other day, because it’s a terrific yarn and, better still, a film with cars in that doesn’t make me want to smack my head against a steering wheel.
The first time I watched it I did worry for a moment (this isn’t a spoiler, by the way, it’s the opening scene). Our eponymous hero, Baby, who’s a getaway driver, puts his Subaru WRX into gear while waiting for a bank raid to take place. He slams the gearlever to the right, and backwards, and then waits for his compadres to get back into the car.
“But that’s not first gear,” you and I will think, because we know about this sort of thing.
Anyway, then the robbers climb aboard, Baby gives the WRX the beans and drops the clutch, and to the surprise of his passengers… the car sets off backwards, exactly like it should do. Lord love you writer/director Edgar Wright. Should never have doubted you for a second.
The problem is that films which include car chases so often don’t get it right. They don’t care about you or me, so they’ll have somebody changing down a gear, or putting their foot fully on the gas pedal halfway through a drag race, as if these drivers wouldn’t have thought about that already. “Oh no wonder he’s getting away. I set off in fourth!” There are so many bad car chases that it’s a shock to watch a good one.