YouTube videos by youngsters modifying cars reminds our passion for driving

I have the habit of watching YouTube videos quite a lot and more often than not the films I choose will be about cars. Well, you might roll your eyes thinking, ‘Aah, the person who writes a column on automobiles watches car videos! Boo’. Exercise patience and hear me out on this one.

A lot of videos nowadays are made on old cars. Cars that do not have lane departure warning or automatic braking system or blind spot warning or auto headlamps. The people who make the videos are those who say, ‘We know how to park a car without any aids, thank you’. There are thousands and thousands of footages that see people, mostly youngsters who’ve had it with the nanny limiters, taking up old cars wantedly because they are simpler and turn the wick up to eleven.

You see this is a causality of people constantly telling youngsters that driving is bad and that driving without safety features that are pretty much unnecessary, is dangerous. So many videos are being uploaded on the Internet that see people pick up a wrecked or not cared for old cars and meticulously work on it. It is also a means of making some money for them, for all they need is a camera or a good mobile phone to make those videos.

These youngsters go after air-cooled Porsche’s or for age-old Mustangs. Heck, even small hatchbacks that were made twenty years ago are getting a new leash of life nowadays. These cars are light, because they do not have too many electronic mish-mash onboard, are nimble, relatively small and as these videos portray, are easier to work on.

Modern cars are moving ever so closer to being unworkable with all those complicated systems. There is no simple mechanical solution to anything nowadays, for a module run by chips have overtaken them. For example, a mechanical limited slip differential has been replaced in recent times with an electronic one that is susceptible to overheating more often than not.

Yes, one might argue that progress is being made on that front. But replacing a mechanical part is simpler and cost-effective than changing an electronic part. Why? A mechanical part can be worked on that is why. You can cut, grind, skim, trim, weld and do all sorts of things as per your wish. It’s that simple.

As far as I can see, such videos come to the same conclusion at all times – driving in the early days was fun. Because the cars are light, it won’t burn a hole in the pocket to repair, or to run or to insure. Even the fuel bills are not that bad, if not better, than current crop of cars. Then there is the satisfaction of men being men and getting their hands dirty. Taking up the unimaginable and getting the best out of it within a set time frame.

A channel named ‘B is for build’ saw the person take a 1970’s Japanese sports car, tear it to its shell and then build it back with the running gear and internals of a BMW M5 of this decade. It was mad and something that nobody would have thought about. But he did it and the reception he got was amazing.

Similarly, the young blokes at Goonzsquad took a bare chassis and built it into a go-kart. They are currently working on many other projects as well. There is Tavarish who buys cheap cars, burnt cars and wrecked cars and makes them super cool and then there are numerous car shops that divulge into the practice of restoring old cars and finding driving nirvana in them. Alfaholics are now a brand, having started as any other body shop that modifies old Alfa Romeos. Now, their works are most sought after, even selling for Ferrari money.

It is very interesting to see humans take on a completely different approach when they are forced to do something else. After all, authorities do not understand that order and chaos are nothing but the same, right? In the language of an YouTuber then, peace out.

Praveen Kumar S