The world can always use ideas for bringing people together while celebrating differences. Back in 2009, Classic Velocity offered an idea which gained zero traction then, so it is clearly worth revisiting… 😉
Turns out that those who are passionate about things with a motor and some wheels are as diverse as humanity itself. It also seems that the variations within a nation tend to take on the flavor of the nation itself. It seems to me that the Monster truck could only come from a place of relative affluence, as would the Rolls Royce, and the ingenious super-laden Honda 50 step through could only come from a place where improvisation, innovation, and maximum utility rule. The innovative spirit of the east created cars that go sideways, because forward and backward had already been conquered. The Ferrari hails from a passionate and fashionate nation, KTMs are meant to conquer the Alps. The Bugatti could only come from a nation who gave birth to motorsport and avant garde design, the BMW GS from a nation of teutonic efficiency, the muscle car from a young muscular nation, etc, etc etc.
It seems to me that there is a universal language that could form the basis for a peaceful planet. Automotive writers the world over have often touted the universal smiles of children and admiration of adults for vehicles they are test driving in areas of the world where animals are still the predominant conveyance. Heads of state all maintain a fleet of vehicles, and the business of all nations would cease without the commercial vehicles that sustain it. I believe that beginning a new global dialogue based on the similarities and differences of motorized transport would allow us to develop a new appreciation for our fellow man. It would also be useful to have an exchange program which puts the Rolls Royce owner in an old Trabant, or puts the loaded moped rider on a Hayabusa without so much as a tank bag. Once you have transported 60 chickens and 3 kids to market on a Honda 50, can you really harbor any malice toward the people that do this daily? Once you climb the ladder into the cabin of a monster truck and realize that it was built just for fun, would you not have a deep and piercing gaze into the heart of the culture that gave birth to it ?
I say that this new diplomatic initiative will cause hardened despots to melt and make the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd worlds (who exactly is in the 2nd anyway?) to merge into a single world where everyone wins. War and aggression could be replaced by a sort of Top Gear producer’s challenge which equalizes the competitors over a series of events to declare a winner. Let’s see how that Veyron does on this glorified mountain goat track, or how the moped tuk tuk does on the autobahn. When is the next U.N. meeting?