A View to a Car – Caterham 485 // Pure Roads

I rely on background noise when I’m working. Sometimes it’s music, mainly Jazz as there’s lots of energy but no words to distract me. If I’m working outside the office, I’ll go to a coffee shop just to have the bustle around me, without actually paying attention to it. Often though, I’ll just use car videos.

The best for my purposes tend to be track-day videos, especially from the Nürburgring. Videos from the Nordschleife tend to be long and without dictation or music. I’ll choose a particular car, and just have the noise of the motor revving out in between bits of subtle tire squeal and the occasional lull as the driver creeps by on-track incidents.

The other day I came across something a little better on the Pure Roads YouTube channel. In addition to the song of a Caterham 485 as background noise, I’ll occasionally take a break from whatever I’m working on to enjoy the driver working through the Swiss Alps.

The videos on this channel have everything I care about in driving vids. A view of the driver’s steering and shifting movements, decent audio from the external mic, and a view of the scenery. Which in this example takes advantage of the Caterham’s open cockpit.

The beautiful views and ‘just right’ pace make for a good watch. You’ll have a hard time choosing between taking in the expansive scenery, or the hairpins constantly challenging the driver. Happily, the videos are long enough for you to enjoy both. The only thing to look out for is the eventual tug you’ll feel to tackle those roads yourself.



A View to a Car – Ferrari 348 Challenge

On today’s episode of LOUD NOISES.

On my YouTube account I have a playlist titled “Noise”. There are so many facets to cars, but one of the most important ones is the noise they make. Like the voice of your favorite singer, it’s all good and well to know the lyrics of a song, but the way that one note gets under your skin is the reason no cover will ever come close.

But this is no cover. Remix sounds wrong, and tribute too narrow. Rather, this is Stacey Slead’s remastering. By adding the twin turbo track of the 288 GTO, he answers the question of what the 348 could have been if Ferrari themselves had continued the lineage.

Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire sums up the experience as, “…every single sound I love. Ferrari V8. Turbo wastegates. The click-click of a gated shifter…it’s an eargasm.”

Couldn’t say it better myself.


A View to a Car – BMW Films: The Escape

It’s been fifteen years since the debut of The Hire, a series of short films featuring BMW’s product line. On the surface it’s a group of shorts centered around a wheelman (played by Clive Owen) who happens to favor Bavarian sports-cars. But a closer look reveals twisting plots, well choreographed stunts, and production value not seen in many feature length films.

BMW’s product has changed quite a bit since 2001, but that doesn’t ruin this video’s focus on it. I didn’t quite have my license when the original series was released, but it certainly brought the brand to the front of my mind. And while I haven’t been taken with what’s on dealer lots lately, maybe BMW Films can rekindle that interest with this new set coming out. Be sure to set aside a good ten minutes for The Escape, and use fullscreen!

(If you somehow missed The Hire, you owe it to yourself to see all of them. You don’t have to be a BMW aficionado to appreciate a good car vid, of which these all are.)

A View to a Car – Dajibans at Ebisu

Say Van to someone in the U.S. and most folks would picture Stanley Steemer commercials, Chris Farley, or awkward church retreats. And while I love the idea of large vehicles being thrashed for fun, my imagination usually stops at big sedans.

As shared by NoriYaro, the Japanese have no such lack of imagination.

Tow rigs for track toys aren’t rare in the U.S., but it isn’t often you see them joining the grid for hot laps. Some of these Dodge vans (Dajiban to the locals) actually look pretty sweet with their slightly lowered stance, blacked out hoods, and oddly appropriate looking Watanabe wheels.

I doubt we’d be allowed to enjoy something like that on our tracks, but it sure does look fun!

A View to a Car – Office Tomitaku S30 Z

An oldie, but an absolute goody.

What I enjoy most from an engine is the last couple-thousand RPMs in its rev range, and the immediate application of the throttle after an upshift. Often I’ll find myself downshifting in traffic, or holding onto a gear a little longer just to experience it. It’s the induction noise that gets me, and there’s a lot of it here.

Image Courtesy: Mike Garrett via Speedhunters

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A View to a Car – ’16 Ford Mustang GT350

Growing up I never had brand allegiances. My taste in cars changed with the season, and without any justification beyond the automotive ADD that follows my ownership habits to this day.

Image Courtesy: Autoblog.com

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A View to a Car – Mark Higgins @ 2016 Isle of Man TT

If you’re reading this blog at all, you’re probably into cars. Which means you’ll likely have played and remember racing games like Need For Speed: Underground or the early renditions of the Burnout series.

Photo Courtesy: Electronic Arts

Enough Suspension of Disbelief allowed you to enjoy the ridiculousness of blur motion graphics, and the seeming ease of holding a triple-digit-speed drift through a city block. For some though, such fantasy isn’t necessary.

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