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A lament to the passing of the pipe

9 months ago

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Andrew English | Journalist


6 September 2023

The first car exhausts were barely there, yet the last exhaust snaps were an integral part of the car’s coachwork, and now we’re back where we started.

Electric cars have no need of exhaust pipes, their pollution is made elsewhere, in mines, in processing factories, in electricity-generating plants. Their super-wind-cheating bodies have no need of holes for exhaust pipes, their only perforation is for high-tech heat-exchanger vents. Modern transport design has no truck with toxic exhaust gases and no time for the music of a tuned exhaust system as cheeky as the lead trombone in a strip-club band.

The ‘pobble pobble’ of the Morris 1000, the bombastic boom of a vintage Bentley, the blue-collar sod-you growl of a hepped-up Ford Escort, the ‘potato potato’ of a vintage Harley-Davidson, the woofle of a cam-in-block V8, or the bark of its flat-plane crank sister, the scream of a V10 F1 engine, the wail of a twin-cam straight six, or the howl of a Honda four pot coming up on cam; this is machinery talking to us, singing its virtuoso…

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