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Letter from the UK: lead our lives

nicad 13/05/2022 154

The UK is a mixed place; it's like the United States as I imagined it. Some privileged people live in fashionable places like Islington in London, and spend comfortable holidays in an organic yurt with their organic children Jocasta and Tristram. They eat foreign organic foods and drive the environmentally conscious Prius because they believe what they say and want to help save the planet. Lettre du Royaume-Uni : conduire nos vies

Sometimes they are right.

Other people in other places like powerful and brutal cars. They like to eat McJunk foods and usually can't make fun of the environment because they think everything told to them by an official is a lie. Surprisingly, they are sometimes right too.

Silent Majority


Do not worry Be Happy

Silence Majority Lettre du Royaume-Uni : conduire nos vies

The rest of us, the vast silent majority or "the plebs" as we are officially called here, can swing back and forth when it comes to the environment and many other things. We want to help because it makes us feel less guilty, but we can't know for sure how real the issues of climate change are and how much they're stoked by frenzied anti-car monomaniacs and special interests. . It's us, the huddled masses, the plebeians, who buy the everyday cars that keep the auto industry afloat.


I've been thinking about this because at the time of this writing, I'm driving the latest version of the harmless 2008 Peugeot crossover, which is every bit the engine for everyone. Also, I've just watched an old Top Gear DVD (UK version) where you see two aging men (looking more and more like an old bickering married couple) roaring over the beautiful Italian countryside in a selection of cars that few people can actually afford.

I've been lucky enough to have driven three of the cars featured and owned another, but these delights are routinely out of sight for the average driver as we plunge into the rain and darkness of Great Britain. Brittany; as storm clouds gather for another government general election next June. Meet the new boss; like the old boss.

If you think about it, without the mainstream cars we regularly drive, there would be no supercars or Top Gear or Grand Tour as we know them today. No automotive life at all. There wouldn't be exotic car posters on the walls of little boys' bedrooms (next to Cheryl Tiegs in my case); no car dreams, no wishful thinking. Cars, if they existed in a recognizable form, would be dull and uniform.

Peugeot 2008. Photo: DriveWrite Automotive. Lettre du Royaume-Uni : conduire nos vies

Do not worry Be Happy

That's why we should be grateful for the cars we can afford. The Peugeot 2008 I'm currently driving isn't particularly exciting, but it does at least look better than most SUV/Crossover vehicles we offer today. It has a lively and fuel-efficient three-cylinder (1.2-litre) turbo-petrol engine, is made up of many quality parts and has nice, thoughtful attributes. Just like, in fact, most cars within reach of normal household budgets today. It's reasonably good to drive and can be applied to a lot of things with its versatility.

That's the point. When watching car shows or glamorous motoring events from distant locations, it's important to remember that this isn't real life. That car outside your house, mundane as it may be, is your ticket up. It is the freedom of the open road; it's the pleasure of charging the family at short notice and going where you want when you want to go. Most modern cars are decent to drive and there is fun in doing a good, safe job behind the wheel. That's enough, isn't it?

Geoff Maxted is an automotive writer, photographer and the author of our Letter From The UK series. Follow his work on Twitter: @DriveWrite

Peugeot 2008 interior design. Photo: DriveWrite Automotive.

Cover photo: Peter H.

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