The raspiness of carbs. The pops out of the exhaust. The smells. The raw mechanical feeling that echoes off the cliffs as you drive along Cape Town’s best roads.
Those of you who have followed my petrolhead journey on Carbs and Coffee will have correctly guessed that I’m talking about my 1969 Alfa Romeo GT Junior Stepnose. I drove the car from Cape Town to Joburg in December to have the engine changed to a hot Nord 2000, but I’ve decided to embrace the future instead.
Does all that noise coming out the carbs and exhaust sound good? Nah.
Do I enjoy the mechanical sensation of old-school power delivery right through the rev range? Not in the slightest.
What my heart really yearns for is something quiet. Instead of opening the bonnet to find a gleaming set of carbs and a row of spark plugs, I just want to see batteries.
That’s it. Nothing more.
I’m taking a leaf out of Tim Noakes’ book and cutting carbs altogether. I’m choosing a health-conscious hipster life of kale and other strange vegetables, just in automotive form.
At most, I’m willing to consider going for performance batteries, which would presumably have racing stripes and an even more powerful bunny in all the adverts.
To keep the purists happy, I suppose the batteries could be painted in a classic racing livery. If people insist, I could do a throw-back to that despicable time of noisy racecars like that horrible GT40-what-what that once beat the Italians at some race in France that is supposedly quite important.
The best way to spend 24 hours in France is obviously to drive your electric car around Paris, snacking on baguettes (with kale) and other culinary delights that South Africans cannot afford in Europe. Why on earth would you want to watch GT cars and prototypes go round and round a racetrack for 24 hours, making a noise?!?
Twin overhead cams? I see you and raise you twin batteries. Boom. Well, hopefully not literally…I’m closing my eyes to the reports of electric cars catching on fire, or the fact that the entire MotoE series was incinerated before it could even begin, after a short circuit (not the racing type) at Jerez ignited the high-density battery that is part of the charging infrastructure.
At this point, you may be wondering if I’ve thought about the battery range and whether it could be an issue. The reality is that I hate going on long drives through the South African countryside on a Sunday morning, soaking in the sights and sounds over a 200km round trip with a stop for breakfast in the middle. Instead, I would prefer to only do urban trips, preferably in busy traffic so that I can maximise the benefits of electric power and think about how clever I am to be avoiding the use of petrol.
Perhaps those kind folk at Volkswagen Germany will even release a report on how green these batteries are. After all, they are a highly credible source of information when it comes to carbon footprint.
While I think about it, manual gearboxes are totally overrated too. The point of a car isn’t to drive it, but purely to get you from A to B. The easiest way would naturally be to marry a fancy new automatic ‘box to my electric powertrain, taking the Alfa right into the future.
Doesn’t that all sound absolutely fantastic?
(before you panic and never come back to Carbs and Coffee, Happy April Fool’s!)