Wednesday, 6 November 2013

It's okay to be an anorak. Just not one who likes cars

THE press guru for the London to Brighton Veteran Run gave me a reflective glimpse.

He’d just regaled me with an impressive list of details about a 1903 De Dion Bouton, who owned it and what stage it was at in the world’s oldest motoring event, but it came with an observation.

“You just can’t be an anorak in this day and age.”
Au contraire, as Del Boy might say, and here’s why. I’ve long reckoned that it’s perfectly acceptable to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of something – in fact, it’ll even impress your mates – but it’s got to be the right subject. Unfortunately, that subject isn’t cars.

Anyone who remembers going to school with me will recall I was (and still am) a relentless automotive anorak. Even at the tender age of ten, I could bore my classmates rigid with the differences between a Land Rover Series I and a Series II, before cheering them up with some amusing anecdotes about how TVR employed the managing director’s dog as one of their chief stylists. If you’ve ever wondered why the Chimaera’s indicator surrounds have a touch of Pedigree Chum about them, that’s why.

Luckily, I’ve grown up among a nationwide fraternity of car nuts, and every weekend thousands of us, up and down the land, get together and talk shop. In the case of the Blackpool Classic Car Show, which I went to the other weekend, it was genuinely uplifting to trade facts and banter with hundreds of other enthusiasts.

But the truth about anoraks only hit me as I was leaving Blackpool, and encountered not hundreds, but thousands of people who took their anorak-ness to such levels that they wore white and blue shirts to commemorate it. Their passion was something called Blackburn Rovers.

All of these people, and their counterparts across the country, are anoraks. They can, to a lesser or greater extent, share with you an encyclopaedic knowledge of who a group of sportsmen are, who their opponents are, and how much they’re likely to be worth during a fevered period of activity known only to me as “the transfer window”.

It’s also absolutely fine to share every known fact about Britain’s biggest passion with your friends – whether they’re interested in it or not – in the pub, particularly if it’s one which insists on having Sky Sports News on in the background.

My point to my veteran car guru friend, a week later, was a simple one. It’s fine to be an anorak. It just helps if your specialist subject is football.


  1. You will have probably been at Blackpool when Rovers played them at Bloomfield Road that weekend :)

  2. Britain’s biggest passion with your friends – whether they’re interested in it or not

  3. If the Body failed to handle the. that's a tragic. But still very nice looking car.

  4. I hope this Cars Exist this days. To see the people what is transportation from the past.Best Custom Aluminum Fishing Boats by RogueJet

  5. that was cute ^.^ .
    thanks for sharing your photos .

  6. I am so amazed with this car. It seems old but so cool.

  7. I'd never seen that kind of car , hope i can ride to that , someday .