How will mobility as regard your own vehicle look like in, for instance, 2050? Nobody will drive autonomously any longer. While some so-called “future-Gurus” are predicting that cars will be able to self-determinedly detect upcoming repair work and immediately contact the respective workshops in order to drive there “on their own”, some fundamentalists are even claiming that there won’t be any cars as we know them any longer. Your “Smart Home” will connect and control everything in your house via chips: from your air conditioner to your refrigerator. All items, which had a screen or monitor in the past, will have invisibly disappeared into the walls and exclusively controlled via voice command.
Imagine while you are sitting on your sofa enjoying all the computer animation in 3D, ythe idea comes to your mind that you would now like to get again a whiff of real Black Forrest air. So you’re talking to your wall and expressing your command that you and your partner intend to drive from Stuttgart to the well-known Hotel “Traube Tonbach” in the Black Forrest in order to spend a romantic evening there. 10 minutes later, a transport capsule, standardised by the EU, parks in front of your house, spits you out in Tonbach and dispassionetly brings you back to Stuttgart the next day. Or imagine an exciting trip to the Tuscany with such a capsule being autonomously navigated and controlled, optimised by time and route, and, which includes an extensive inboard entertainment and automatic seat reservation in verified restaurants and hotels agreed by EU standards. This guarantees a satisfaction rate of nearly 100 per cent. Does it get any better than that?!
However, in light of such technical blessings in 2050, I also picture myself several years earlier enjoying such a scenario of satisfaction when I think of calling a 280 SL, a Jaguar E-Type, a 112/300 SE Cabriolet, a Porsche 356 or maybe a 220 Cabriolet A my own. In magazines and commentaries, I often read articles about pleasant stories of “automotive driving enjoyment”, which such cars guaranteed, about adventurous short excursions or long-distance journeys, or about the enthusiasm about the vehicles’ design, technique and charisma. Every day, I am so pleased to see such a car (or even several of them) in my garage.
On an ordinary working day in 2030 (according to the plans of the Green Party, in this year, manufacturers will not be allowed to build cars having combustion engines any longer), I am already enthusiastic about my “Classic” while having breakfast. I go into the garage and admire the car’s perfect lines thanks to his century-design. After I unlock the door followed by the sound of a complacently mechanic clicking, I take a seat behind the steering wheel, turn the ignition key and the 6-cylinders-motor starts up accompanied by an inimitable sound effect. Oops! Reverse is not working, but this does not bother me at all since I have the solution. I shortly engage the first gear, I release the clutch pedal slowly while I move the gear level again towards right-back and there we go. While I drive it out of the garage’s serpentine way into the day’s glaring sunlight, my happiness increases when I think about the upcoming drive to work, even though it will only take me about half an hour to get there. Nevertheless, today, I do not head towards the motorway, but I rather decide to take the longer “pleasure-way” through the green areas.
It is a car which you literally have to drive. And you have to wait until the oil reaches its temperature while the engine has to remain at low-speed. Since driving this car does not include power steering, gear change requires a certain amount of sensitivity. The sound of the engine cannot be ignored, which fascinates with a uniquely virtuoso sound volume and the chassis does not illustrate much eternal kindness. You truly experience each metre; you consciously appreciate each kilometre and you perceive the landscape much more intensively. Each drive becomes an exhilarating experience. I could throw out the installed radio since I have never used it anyways.
After work, I drive through the wonderful regions of “Heckengäu” in order to drive back home during the “blue hour” at twilight after I had visited a friend. Finally, my “Classic” is back where it belongs in the garage and I enjoy the crackling sound while the engine cools down. An ordinary working day leaves its mark of moments of happiness and I experience emotions of complete satisfaction.
However, just a few weeks ago, an expert of the classic car market detected first signs of a dying world religion as regards the sacred tin. Is there anybody who truly believes that one day our old treasures will be forgotten because we had put them in a backwater? I sincerely disagree because I am absolutely convinced that all the vehicles up to the 1990s – being the time when chip-controlled electronic commenced – which no one will probably be longer able to restore in twenty or thirty years, will to keep its groups of enthusiasts and lovers. This will guarantee the ideal and material value of such vehicles.
I am certain that one day, we will long for the moment to turn the steering wheel of a vehicle, which does not feature power steering, and to be allowed to stir in a slightly choppy gearbox – I bet you will!