Dear Ego

I read a lot of car magazines which happily combines the great pleasure I get from reading with the thirst for knowledge of all things four-wheeled. But there is one section of the magazines that are beginning to infuriate me to the extent that I now just ignore them or skim read them at best, I’m talking about the letters pages.

I’ve got nothing against letters, they are an established route of reply and I like to think that some people even still put pen to paper and not just finger to keyboard, however they arrive at the intended publication, I would hate to see them disappear altogether.

What does turn me off is the incessant amount of automotive willy waving, that almost always spoils what would have otherwise been a perfectly reasonable letter. A typical example might go something like this:

Dear XXX,

I loved so and so’s drive of the new super-duper thingy in issue 123. I must point out though that I disagree with so and so’s assessment of its on limit handling. I drive a generic reasonably powerful german saloon for my daily commute and have a lovely Italian Stalion that I keep for weekend use. For the track I’ve got some steel tubing wrapped around a Japanese hot hatch V-tec lump, so you see I too know something about on limit handling. Of course my wife has a tiny european thingy, I can’t even remember the name, but sometimes I love ragging the nuts off that too.

By the way I thing your mags great.

yours of small appendage and crushing social status anxiety,


And so they go on and on and on. I love cars and I love talking to people about cars and I especially love meeting owners of Super cars but I do not want to hear about people’s cars especially when they bear absolutely no relation to the point they are trying to make. What makes me chuckle is the stuff they trot out and name drop just to try to prove their point, it’s like people who name drop…”oh of course when we had the M3″. You can literally read between the lines and see how they’ve just had to get in what they own, have owned or have driven just so they come across as a particular type of person, or rather the type of person they believe the people who write for the magazine would be pals with.

So please keep the letters coming but drop the compulsion to justify and glorify your entire car history, I won’t think anymore or less of you and neither will the magazine you are writing to.

Oh, and you can bet that tiny european thingy is actually their car, not the wifes.


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