Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clothes Make the Man, But So Does His Car

Last week, I talked about the racecar featured in DID NOT FINISH.  This week, I want to talk about the road car used in the book.  I could have easily come up with a throw away vehicle for the characters to drive and left it at that.  But these people are gear heads.  They'd drive something that goes hand in hand with their personality. 

The book’s protagonist is Aidy Westlake and he’s broke, so he doesn’t have a road car, but his grandfather does.  Steve Westlake is a retired Formula One mechanic and now runs a classic car restoration business.  I wanted to give Steve something a little different, but not something that’s so exotic that it wouldn’t ring true.  So Steve drives a 1972 Ford Capri RS2600.  For those that aren’t too au fait with British cars, the Capri is the European equivalent of the Mustang.   They were in production in from the late 60’s through to the late 80’s.  The RS incarnations refer to Rally Sport and the designation was usually used to establish homologation for a race series and usually equated to limited production numbers.    The RS was produced in such low numbers, it wasn’t even sold in the UK.  It was primarily for the German market and there’s only about a handful of right-hand drive examples in the UK. 

The Capri isn’t considered a classic car by many.  However, I enjoyed the one I got to drive and I always loved the one that my dad’s work friend owned.   It wasn’t the best handling car out there, but like the Mustang, it was affordable and accessible.  The performance wasn’t exactly earth shattering, although the RS2600 version was pretty swift for its day.   But it’s these elements that seem to suit Steve Westlake.  The car is recognizable and a little unusual and it’s those qualities that help flesh out the kind of person Steve is.

Clothes do make the man/women, but so does the car he/she drives.  So what does your car say about you?

1 comment:

  1. Well, I drive a 1993 Infiniti J30T (the touring model). Straight 6, 3.0 litre engine, around 200+ BHP in its prime. I used to drive a Jag XJ6, Vanden Plas, BRG. Why yes, I like a luxury sedan with power under the hood: a silk suit exterior covering up a black-belt-in-krav maga engine.

    Right now, my desktop wallpaper is a Bugatti Veyron S. I want one of these so bad, it hurts.