Horsepower over handkerchiefs

by Andy Bryenton

Father’s Day is coming and along with it, a chance to bestow love, affection and care on the most important thing in your world. No, we’re not talking about mum and the kids making breakfast in bed for the old man. We’re all about dad devoting some quality time to his car.

There’s a terrible, slanderous (and absolutely true) rumour that men tackle the existential angst of mid-life by taking refuge in powerful toys. If it wasn’t scientifically proven that the best cure for the 40-something blues is 300 frisky ponies or more wrapped up under the hood of something impractical, it would be quite a sexist thing to talk about. Here’s another scientific fact.

The wind in your hair caused by driving a powerful convertible with the top down can slow or even reverse male pattern baldness.

All right, that may be a little bit made up. However, it is true that one of the leading sectors of retail when it comes to gifts for dad is in the automotive realm.

From pieces of old cars made into furniture to automobilia and retro-chic for the man cave wall, through to the tools blokes use to tinker with their pride and joy, Father’s Day gifts have a strong whiff of high octane petrol.

When it means that dads are generous, selfless types indeed. Think about it.

While kids get toys to enjoy at Christmas, and Mother’s Day would not be the same without champagne and chocolates just for her, all dad wants (for those rare 24 hours out of 8,760 when it’s all about him) is to keep the car going.

So he can be a combo of Uber driver, delivery service and (when he’s alone in the car) Senna crossed with Brock and Fangio. Give dad a set of spark plugs and an oil filter on his special day, and he’ll be all smiles.

Give mum a vacuum cleaner, and they might end up removing it in the emergency room, very carefully, which leads to a final thought.

With dads being such saintly sorts, focussed on providing transport for all on their one day a year, doesn’t it make sense that they should get a new car for the family to enjoy? Something designed by Italians, powered by Germans and named after a dangerous animal, perhaps? No? Well, it was worth a try.