Who am I, and what is the point of this blog?
My name is Leslie Mabon. I am someone who is extremely enthusiastic about cars. Unfortunately, I don’t have the mechanical or engineering skill to maintain vehicles. I don’t have the ability to drive fast. Nor do I have the cold, hard cash to be able to afford most of the cars I like the most (believe me, there are a lot). So for me, the best way to indulge my passion for all things four-wheeled is to write about them. Whether it’s something as mundane as seeing a Vauxhall Belmont parked up even though they stopped making them twenty-odd years ago, or one of the more exiting treats that life sometimes throws one’s way, posting words and pictures up here is the best way to channel my energies.
I won the Daily Telegraph Young Motoring Writer Award in 2003, then was awarded the Guild of Motoring Writers Sir William Lyons Award the following year. I became involved with the Ecosse Challenge for budding rally drivers in 2005, and am hugely proud to have been part of the team that helped the Challenge blood some of the UK’s most exciting rally stars for a generation. Over an exciting few years treading the mud, stones and gravel, I found myself speaking to the whole of Scotland on prime-time radio, running the press office for a rally team on an international event, and had Colin McRae tell me not to urinate on my shoes.
So why don’t I do this full-time? Well, I’ve more recently been channeling my energies into exploring the environmental dimensions and impacts of enthusiasm for cars, which led to me obtaining a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2011. Since then, I have used some of the ideas and theories developed during my doctoral research to explore social perceptions of different energy technologies, and I’d like to think there’s some crossover somewhere between these two fields in terms of understanding how people respond to information and how best to engage with others. In my PhD I also tackled the issue of how enthusiasm for something environmentally destructive like the car sits with a realisation of the urgency of environmental issues our society is facing, and some day soon – when I have a little more time – I’ll talk through that on this blog.
I am also lucky to have an utterly fantastic wife, through whom I’ve come to develop another enthusiasm which I like to write about on occasion – Japan. And by running the blog I can keep passion for cars and writing going. If someone happens to stumble across the things I’ve written and read something that makes them smile even just a little – and the analytics for the site suggest this does happen from time to time – then I’ll be satisfied in the knowledge that I’ve conveyed my enthusiasm to others who feel similar.