The Best Video Ever.

Before I get into The Best Video Ever, a little background:

Nowadays most people I know probably think I’m all about photography and photo gear… which, I am and won’t deny.  It’s probably because it’s the “passion” I wear on my sleeve.  I obsess about gear for my camera (which I can’t afford to buy), I always take a camera where ever I go, and I stalk photo forums and blogs and actually participate in them (!) and unlike this blog, I regularly update my flickr site.

But there is something else I mildly obsess about: cars.  Which is weird, considering several things; I don’t have any desires to trick out or modify my car in any shape or form, My driving habits consists of always using cruise control, always using my turn signals, barely going 5 mph above the limit and heck I don’t think I’ve changed gears above 4000 rpm!  I don’t know the technical stuff or even come close to being called a gear head.  You won’t find auto mags lying around the house and I really don’t read car reviews or debate which which car is the best in which segment.   Heck, I take my Honda to a dealership for oil change (in my defense they offer a really good price).

But, I do know my cars, visually.  I love just looking at cars and despite my “boring/old man” driving style (that Beth lovingly describes… you know, where she says “Bless your heart” at the end of the sentence) I love driving them.  Any of them.  Busted old Jeeps, 3 cylinder Marutis, 5 series BMW wagons, vans, (love) trucks and heck even forklifts.  I’ve been driving since I was around 10, starting on a mini tractor (while my bro got to drive the big 4×4 John Deere tractor) then graduating to our pickups just on the dirt roads, eventually just driving at night, which usually meant from a dinner party where my Dad, rightfully so, wouldn’t drive cause he had some drinks for the road, to full fledged driving the family to Zimbabwe and to school regularly.  Heck, during college I was known as the willing DD, cause it meant I got to drive someone’s car!  But if you did roll in lame car, then sorry I’m drinking this Icehouse.

And during all this I knew my car models and could pick them out just from the tail lights.  Nowadays I might not know all the specifics, such as the full line up of the E-class Merc’s, or the actual factory technical names or how fast and how much horsepower a certain car has, but I can recognize them.  And still love looking at them.  Which is why during long distance trips I can drive in complete silence (Beth falls asleep, again thanks to my driving) and just look at the cars.  Ahead of me, next to me, in my mirrors, heck even the car I’m driving!  Is it doing anything funny?  Is my mileage off?  What’s my speed (which is redundant since I use cruise control)?  Beth still asleep?  So I love looking at cars; the details, the shapes, the form, the interiors and I read car magazines (esp. the Euro ones) the same way I read my National Geographics; just looking at the photos.  Why the European magazines specifically?  Their photography is awesome!

However, it’s usually just stock cars.  Again, I have no interest in souped-up rides, roadsters, rims, lowriders etc.  Just what the factory designed and put out.  And whether it looks hideous, sublime, boring, wild or omg-they-can’t-be-serious, and what all goodies they have.  I do like watching car tests, but not the tests that Car and Driver/Motor Trend puts out where it’s basically the driver just stating the facts and how well it rides on the bumps.  No, I love the tests Top Gear do cause they throw in bizarre adjectives, throw their cars wildly about, great camera work, neat locations and did I mention their creative use of the English language?  The best part of their segments is the “Stig” section.  Where they have their mythical creature, The Stig, test drive a particular car with unbelievable skill and b*lls.  And speaking of drivers with balls, and thanks to their website, I came across The Best Video Ever.

A video montage of Rally Cars.  Not just any Rally Cars, but Group B Rally Cars.  First, what are Rally cars or the sport of Rallying you ask?  Only one of the best motor-sports eva!  And somewhat against some of my car characteristics I stated above.  These cars are all modified, some to the point that they look ridiculous.  The speed is insane, the driving is counter intuitive (opposite lock, Swedish flick, left leg braking, 60 plus mph on ice) and it comes down to tiny details that affect the car’s handling characteristics.    But they were modified by the actual car manufacturers.  Audi put out their Quattro specifically for Rally.  So did Peugeot, Lancia, Toyota, etc!  And what these drivers can did with those cars just blew me away!  I got the Rally bug in Zambia, where it was popular and living on the farm we weren’t too far from some of the sections.  Seeing and hearing the cars was something else.   And these were just “regular” rally cars.  They were still loud, fast and modified with lights, fins and scoops.  And watching them on the same road that you have to drive on going 30 mph while they go much faster and lot of the times sideways, was just thrilling.

Now, being a Rally fan is different.  You don’t go to an assigned seat and get to see the same cars go around multiple times.  No, you go to some remote stretch of back country road, wait there for hours on end, just to see the car zip by in a few seconds.  And that’s it.  You wait some more for the next snarling growling screaming beast of a car to zip by again.  Usually leaving you covered in dust or mud.  And it’s either cold, hot or raining where you’re standing.  How is that any fun?  It’s the cars.  That whole visual thing.  And the sound.  Mind you, I’m still talking about regular Rally cars.  Just going to the service points, and seeing them standing still was just as cool!  Because now you can look at them for more than a few seconds!  So of course, with all this background, I came to know about the legendary Group B cars.  I never got to see an actual Group B rally car, cause they were banned when I was about 6, after only being around for 4 years.  My brother and I would rent videos about these cars or about specific championship years.  The cars were just incredible.  I mean, have you read that wikipedia link??

Now I am a general fan of motor sports, but I really don’t follow it like I used to.  It’s either become a tad too restrictive, a bit boring at times and honestly the coverage is lacking.  I really don’t follow the current Rally championship.  The cars currently are just amazing in their own ways, and just about unbelievable as the Group B cars but now there are no more night stages, Africa events, or long grueling hours of Rally.  Still thrilling to watch if I can catch it on TV, and honestly, if I had cable, I would watch it on Discovery Channel in HD!  But still…  I do however, love playing it.  Which is why lately I’ve been asking the Missus “I can playz video gamez?” and then plopping in front of my xbox playing Colin McRae 4.  A Rally game in which I am currently competing in a Group B championship with a Ford RS2000 and Peugeot 205 T16 Turbo.  I’m kicking ass.  Though Beth would say differently, because I kid you not, every time she walks in, I start crashing into trees, sliding into ditches, and pieces are falling off my car.  She’s got that whole “you really can’t handle speed can you?” look on her face.  But I swear I’m kicking butt!  But I digress…

So, there’s plenty of Group B rally videos of You Tube, so why this one in particular?  It’s mainly due to the fact there is no lame-ass music in the background and it isn’t only 2 – 3 minutes long.  In fact, it’s all just engine noise and 11 minutes long!  Which means there’s probably one other person who reads this blog that will watch the whole thing:  my brother!  And I “wasted” 22 minutes of my lunch today with this video.

Hope you enjoy it Bro!

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Best Video Ever.

  1. thekodavaviking

    Awesome video – awesome cars. They were banned for being too dangerous – i.e. too much power, not enough protection for the driver, and not to mention, the fans. Current cars are almost as fast due to technology with less power, but not as raw. Rallying is showing signs of getting some life after the FIA managed to eff it all up the past couple of years. Kime ‘the iceman’ is driving next year for Citroen, and hopefully Solberg has a decent car.

    Keep being grandpa in the car – there’s a time and place for crazy, and it’s not on public roads. Next time come over in the middle of winter and we’ll go Porsche driving in ice 😉

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