Back in my day (sorry, but it had to be said), we would relish a game of Top Trumps. This was at a time when the latter word meant 'beats' instead of alluding to the world's 'most orange president'.
The game was simple, played amongst two people or more with cards denoting line items such as engine displacement, cylinders, power, torque and price – virtuous stats all. As a caveat each card would have an item such as 'number of doors', which meant a four door sedan like a VW Passat had a one in six chance of trumping a superior vehicle such as a Lamborghini Countach which, whilst around ten times more powerful, only possessed two doors.
Which meant super saloons such as the BMW M5 were in fact Jokers in their respective packs, if not Jacks of all trades thanks to having more seats and doors than anything with a traditional sportscar profile. This became a realm where the twelve cylindered 4x4 Lamborghini LM002 was untouchable, and the McLaren F1 the most coveted supercar in the deck.
Fast forward to now and based on the modern motorists buying habits and requirements, and indeed the gumpf being constantly spewed by motoring journalists like myself, a contemporary pack of trump cards would look very different.
"Airbags, yours only has two? Ha, mine has seven. But then, yours is Android Auto enabled and mine is merely Bluetooth. Fuel consumption? Beat 4.7l/100km, pal! And how many NCAP stars do you have?"
Carbon emissions, warranty and service plan, "What, yours only has one source of power? Mine's a hybridized diesel with energy recovery, you're trumped!"
I'm not cross, just disappointed.
I don’t have a point
This is merely the observations of a 41-year-old fuddy duddy who owns two old cars with twelve cylinders and seven litres of engine room between them, and so this is by no means a complaint.
There's an understanding that as motorists get younger and cars get newer, the need to own a vehicle grows less and less. You can add the rise of popular ride sharing apps such as Uber and Bolt, and improved public transport (although sadly not in South Africa) as factors contributing to this zeitgeist, as well as inhibitive congestion on our (less friendly) roads and the adoption of flexi hours.
Driving has become less of a privilege and more of a chore and so what we valued two or three decades has been relegated to several rungs below. Having wheels used to mean freedom! Now they're just a ticket to the rat race.
Again, I say this from the perspective of someone whose classic cars are covered in layers of dust, while their owner negotiates traffic in his comfy, air-conditioned Nissan X-Trail. You might laugh at my front wheel drive SUV but it has more doors, more airbags and more cell phone connectivity options than a Ferrari Enzo, and that makes it a Top Trump in 2020.