Well all of this story’s beginning was centered around our initiator of this gathering of passions for cars less ordinary , our Mr. Bob Morris, acknowledging that he had , indeed , placed an order for the BMW i8 hybrid. All I could come back with upon learning this was that it would be the only medicinal event to help me get over my post-Veyron blues having missed the Saudi Prince’s arrival with his pearlescent white Grand Sport a year ago August 4th. Now I had been handed advanced notice with which I harbored every intent to lay claim upon with video camera at the ready. Then a few weeks came and went and I was left wondering when the arrival would finally be realized . I just did *not* want to miss out on this as there was a very definite provision imposed upon its debut at the Brogue in that he was only going to bring it round *once* and then goldbrick it for a predetermined 5 years as an investment in the future.
Turned out that the ship transporting this BMW hybrid was still at sea. Finally I could contain myself no longer and asked the always very approachable Mr. Morris point blank if he had any date certain confirmation when he could take possession. He said by next weekend. Now there was no way that I was going to miss this one time arrival even with my car being out of commission for that weekend and I was graciously picked up by my good friend from these Brogue weekends , Josh Darrin , whom from our first meeting evolved into a fast friendship as I described in the article concerning my introducing Josh to Mr. Morris turning into our private visiting of Bob Morris’ twin Kaiser -Darrins Rogues Gallery Journal » Blog Archive » It was the Kaiser Darrins
So we arrive on that first Saturday of October bristling with the anticipation of staring at the future right in the face. But , upon arrival , I saw no sign of the BMW i8 which I would have expected to identify its presence in the form of the photographer’s and videographer’s nightmare, namely a dense flock of on-lookers that just never seems to cease surrounding one of these rare beasts until nothing short of a teargas grenade would serve to disperse. So I desperately continued the ritual of the craning of the neck and the hawking of the eye. No BMW i8 to be spotted anywhere. At this point I was as creast-fallen as the kid who looked under the Christmas tree and realizing that there was just no pony as promised that morning. Head hung low enough to convey that message I turned my head to cast a clearly disappointed eye over my left shoulder when ,what was this , but another privately owned BMW i8 making its silently sauntering path down the catwalk dramatic entrance as if conjured by some pitying spirit whom had witnessed my dismay & answered my call and , with enthusiasm instantly restored , I was heard to exclaim , “Yes, Virginia, there *is* a Santa Claus!”.
I immediately ripped into my leather video rucksack the way a kid tears into one’s wished-for gift , with a full measure of that joyful abandon on any Christmas morning , and harvesting a fistful of video camera at the ready to capture this feast for my eyes. And there it finally was at last for all to see. This was , for me anyway , a truer representation of what the 21st century was supposed to be all about since I was kid if there ever was one. The only thing that would’ve made it even more so , in that overactive Mind’s Eye Theater of mine ,would have been to see one all clad in the dark brooding charcoal gray of raw woven carbon fiber flaunting its signature hi-tech herringbone weave . Perhaps one day someone will agree with that designer look and commission one to be custom built. But for now I was more than satisfied that one had finally shown up at all. As you hear on the embedded video I was only too happy to thank this new owner as he had indeed , made my day.
Then , on the Saturday of October 26th , it appeared as if word had apparently made its rounds because there were to be discovered two more BMW i8’s. This was more than I could’ve ever expected so soon upon its first appearance some three weeks previous . I immediately had mistakenly assumed that one may well have been Bob Morris’, but he had said that he had ordered the silver version and these were both white, one with temporary license plate reading Maryland & the other declared itself as property of the people’s republic of Alexandria, Virginia. It was an instant World’s Fair moment for me as they both stood there declaring themselves no longer a nebulous designer concept , but road running realities in their own right.
Then , one weekend later , on the same type of overcast morning that caused me to toss off and thus miss the pearlescent white Grand Sport Veyron on a particular August 4th morning , our Bob Morris finally brought round his newly minted and delivered silver BMW i8 never to be seen again on public display until 2019 and he has just the custom constructed thoroughbred stable to keep it warm & snug in its designated state of suspended animation.
Now I celebrate America’s Silicon Valley-born and bred Tesla , but it just does not resonate with the sheer presence of the wind-tunnel swept and the slip-streamed curvilinear elegance of the BMw i8’s . Every designed line informing you , no instructing you , that you are in the presence of the 21st century like no other supercar that I’ve video-captured over these past 4 1/2 years. I mean even VW’s Bugatti Veyron took 16 cylinder 20th century technology and drove it into the 21st century to make the point that it can , but it’s still the old century internal controlled explosion engine blowing exhaust you couldn’t possibly breathe and live for very long after into the air at 257 MPH , faster than any other road-going sports car could before it . Now how thoroughly 20th century industrial revolutionary is that? This is the 21st century after all.
And we are all witnessing this transition from gas-fueled to electrified conveyance happening right before our very eyes and I find it exciting , especially when happening on the heels of the first of several Formula-E races scheduled all around the world over the next 7 months, the first of which occurred in Beijing , China ( who can use all the emission-free car technology that they can possibly steal ) and this Formula-E race will conclude their run this June 27 in London itself. Now these FIA approved race cars may graphically say Spark-Renault , but their electric power plants were developed by McLaren and the battery system created by Williams F1 so London is a very appropriate finishing ground for all of this very British 21st century technology to strut its stuff upon this world stage. Nothing will fire the imagination more about automotive technology like competitive racing that’s global box office. All the while we have an entire generation raised on video game racing , with the over-evolved opposing thumbs to show for it , and they’ve seemed to have already substituted the oh so very 20th century *Days of Thunder* experience for the song of that most 21st century elegance of the wind-swept whine of Star Wars’ land-speaders. That’s their videogame-fed mag-lev future that they’re now expecting and , like or not , ours as well.
At this point I find that I am reminded of the Victor Hugo quote ( author of “Les Miserables”, the original book & not the musical ),”Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. Speaking of which, message to Elon Musk, pay attention. With due credit to the young South African CG artist/designer , Furia Tedeschi , this , too , can one day be a Tesla.
C’mon, Elon , I double dare ya!