Well, looking back at it, my 2011 was, well, terrific. I was blessed with good health for the most part, suffered no major financial heartache and head into the new year as a grown up; a real person with a postal address. I'm not just a lodger in my parents house any more. I no longer have to bow down and say “yes Dad”. I got to drive some awesome cars, and some truly diabolical ones, to. I couldn't summon up the courage to post my review of the Mercedes G350 CDI lest I get immediately fired, so damning was my condemnation of it.
But never mind all that now. Let me divert your attention back to that lead image; taken from the brilliant official calendar of the Autoshite website. Autoshite is a haven for those who appreciate those unloved, neglected or pitied cars of recent history. The membership also share a love of motoring for as little money as possible. In many ways it's the direct opposite of CAR, Top Gear et al. Of course, everybody who reads Roadwork or Hooniverse already loves the wheeled world in all its forms, but it's worth going into 2012 with the ethos fresh in our minds.
Perfection in a car isn't easy to achieve, and if it was, well, you wouldn't really enjoy it anyway. The Nissan GT-R is virtually faultless in the way it drives, but is consequently pretty hard for the average driver to relate to. By contrast The Official Car Of Roadwork Rover 825 does virtually everything quite badly, but I don't care. It's because it has so many flaws that it seems so characterful compared to the meticulously assembled Teutons I drive every day. The cars owned by the members of Autoshite typically have resale values that hover somewhere around their scrap value; yet they can still provide laughter, instil pride and engender fondness.
In the new year I look forward to paying equal attention to cars from both sides of the tracks. If the keys to a supercar land on my desk, it's fun to write about lateral grip and snarling exhaust notes. If a first-generation Kia Rio shows up, a car for which I can think of not a single redeeming characteristic, I will enjoy lambasting it with vigour and thoroughness. But there will be no cheap shots. The Rios myriad failings will be discussed fairly; the car will not be castigated on the basis of how shit it is, but celebrated for how its utter incompetence makes the driver feel.
I have many ideas for new features in 2012, some of which will probably disappear without trace but others of which I feel could be worth the effort. In theory my relocation should lead to more free evening writing time, which means more content on Roadwork. And Boss, if you're reading; a couple of Mercedes-Benz Model Launch trips wouldn't go amiss, thanks.
So, whatever you're driving, and regardless of what it's worth, I wish you all the very best of everything in Two-Thousand and Twelve. See you on the other side.