Car manufacturers have, for years, mirrored the pain suffered by rock groups when faced with the challenge of the Difficult Second Album. When Stone Roses released The Second Coming a huge number of Manchester rock aficionados cradled their heads in despair, crying “What have you done!?” into their Joseph Holt. How do you top a release which became an instant legend? To my eyes, the Bugatti Chiron looks like an old prototype which was abandoned halfway through the Veyron development programme, but I suppose it’s a good thing that the headlamps no longer look like they’re from a Passat. In replacing the Veyron Bugatti had carte blanche to do absolutely anything, literally whatever they wanted with the new car. So, just as the EB110 looked nothing like the Veyron, could the Chiron not have taken a wild leap into the esoteric? I mean, I know brand identity is protected with military force if necessary, but when it’s a marque as definitive as Bugatti, why shackle your cars into a corporate uniform at all? Thanks goodness it’s been proven that this can be done. So let’s take a moment to look at the good times, examples of cars which shone brightly and became iconic on launch, yet whose successors still managed to equal them. If you disagree with my sentiment above, you’ll probably disagree with this, too. I believe that the latest Ford GT was about as well judged a follow-up from the beloved previous car as we could have possibly asked for. Rather than heading back down retro road while carrying the added weight of today’s on-trend accessories, the new GT nods sagely at the past while maintaining a huge degree of momentum. This is a design which exudes confidence and modernity, while still paying respect to its noble roots. So it’s not as pretty as the GT40, nor even its re-imagining as a concept in 2002, but it certainly wears its evolution on its sleeve. What more could we want? So, just as T2 was better (IMO) than The Terminator, what other sequels have managed to achieve the impossible and equal, or better, the original? Or, if you’re feeling cynical, lets remind ourselves of the big let downs. (Lede image from Amazon, second image stolen from www.carscoops.com. All opinions those of the author, who’s wrong a lot)
That Difficult Second Album
RoadworkUK is the online persona of Gianni Hirsch, a tall, awkward gentleman with a home office full of gently decomposing paper and a garage full of worthless scrap metal. He lives in the village of Moistly, which is a safe distance from London and is surrounded by enough water and scenery to be interesting. In another life, he has designed, sold, worked on and written about cars in exchange for small quantities of money.