Blog: Dave LeggettThank God for diversity

Dave Leggett | 12 December 2005

I recently found myself, quite by chance, in a pub that was the kind of place sometimes referred to as 'spit and sawdust'. The patrons were a basic bunch and the carpet on the floor looked like it had perhaps seen the Queen's Coronation. But if you wanted to get involved in a debate about the footie, what's going on in Iraq or the price of duck, this was your place. There was no muzak, people could smoke tobacco and the locals were a gregarious bunch. Food? Don't be daft, this was a serious drinking establishment. Now, this place wouldn't always be my particular cup of tea, but it was a refreshing antedote to the all too typical blandsville pop-up pubs with their polished floorboards and long lunch menus that dominate Britain's High Streets these days.

The point is, I found myself saying that in this world run by accountants and megacorps with their fancy business models, I'm glad places like this exist. It somehow defied business convention with its mere presence. And it's the same with cars. There's a lot of blandness of design and poverty of creative thought out there, so when something strikingly different comes along it can be like a breath of fresh air. The business case for the Bugatti Veyron doesn't make a huge amount of sense. It's another of Piech's indulgences. But what an indulgence. Clarkson on Top Gear last night couldn't find enough fresh adjectives to describe the delights of the car and he must have been a naughty boy when crossing France in it. But it would be a dull world if cars that make your jaw drop didn't exist wouldn't it?

And all that's not to say that I disagree with Karl Ludvigsen's assessment that the Veyron is perhaps the ultimate example of motoring masturbation, which I think captures the spirit of what Jeremy Clarkson was saying last night.

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