It’s natural that people tend to be comfortable with what they know if it’s functional and does what they need it to do. There’s rarely a need to explore the finest quality product available unless you’re deeply interested in that certain something.
I’d be quite happy with a $50 watch, for example, but some people won’t settle for anything less than a Rolex or a TAG Heuer.
I used to think that companies like Ford and Toyota built generic cars, companies like BMW and Mercedes built real quality and further down the road, Ferrari and Lamborghini built real exotic quality. To a large extent, that’s mostly true.
Then I visited Koenigsegg, whose in-house capability and dedication to building the best product possible makes everyone look generic.
It’s all about what matters to you. You seek out the quality that you desire, whether it be as a potential owner of something or just as an interested party and an admirer.
It’s only in the last few years that I’ve gained a real appreciation of how hard it is to engineer something that is bespoke for a particular creation. Mass production has us all used to the idea that we can only change or customise a small part of anything we are looking to buy.
There are people who don’t work that way, however. People who don’t just build things. They create things. People who can take the familiar and make it special.
Petrolicious has a new video this week looking at a company in the USA called Ringbrothers. They make parts, mostly for American muscle cars. They also take cars that are quite generic within their niche and make them special, using the parts that they design and mill in the company’s workshop.
I know they’re just one of a large number of custom shops, but their work struck me as not only being top quality, but pretty tasteful as well (which is not something you can say of some of the more well known custom shops that end up with their own reality TV shows).
I wish Petrolicious had got a few more customer cars into this video for a larger exhibition of Ringbrothers’ work. The small sample you see in this video is enough to whet the appetite but I’d really love to see more of what they can do.
Well done, Ringbrothers. The more I see stuff like this, the more I love the idea of a car as a piece of art. This is craftsmanship.