Reporter Martin Philippo has a secret love for the outcasts of the automotive world. He even became a member of the club Every Make Worthy. This is why!
When your name is Ferrari or Jaguar, you’ve got fans, people who worship you. Your sexiest of models decorate the walls of young peoples bedrooms. Above the headboard a flashy picture of the top model. Boyhood dreams of a future, of times when they get a little older and their wallets a little more beefy. This is the domain of the exclusive automobile, the top layer of the automotive world. Not every car has that kind of pedigree. A large group of automobiles risk to be neglected, forgotten.Cars that are part of our collective memory nevertheless, be it in the corner where no love is felt.These are the cars that always lived on the downside of society. Came from countries where form still followed function, because elegance was a depraved and symbol of the capitalist West. Some where considered ugly as f*ck at their very introduction and got the cold shoulder from the very beginning. ‘You wouldn’t want to be found dead in one of these.’ Others got the wrong image, got dedicated to purple haired ladies and nurses only. And then there are those who were so poorly put together that really nobody could care to buy them in the first place.
Don’t these cars deserve any love? Is there really nobody that will fight their case? Save these underdogs from anonymity and the inglorious one-way ticket to the crushers? No! In The Netherlands there is a club for these poor neglected automobiles. The club Elk Merk Waardig (Every Make Worthy) is the orphanage where these outcast vehicles can find a caring home. Here cars don’t need to be rare or fast. This is where every single car counts, despite origin or price tag. The club describes itself as the place for forgotten and disregarded cars. Celebrating the simple fact that its members aren’t the grey mass, but people that make well thought through choices for the extraordinary ordinary car. Not a choice they make to be special, but based on the unconditioned love for that certain special case. Often a love coming from nostalgia, always a love that is completely blind. Because one thing is absolutely sure, appearance is not a characteristic these cars are being judged upon.
I meet a delegation of the club at Circuit Zandvoort. Here they are trying to earn some new souls for their cause. Keeping a warm pledge for their ‘children’, the unloved cars of yesteryear. Their spot in the paddock is simple and humble, like their cars. Members are treated to ham and cheese sandwiches, lunch without any glamour. The only grand thing around here, are the love for the ‘orphans’ and the radiant pleasure of the people in this group. The cars are displayed in a circle. We see Lada’s and Skoda’s, but a CineCars diva as well in the form of Nico Hobma’s Volkswagen Passat. There are two humble Ford Escorts’, a Rover 3500 and a genuine AMC Pacer station wagon. Clubmembers proudly state that you won’t find them any uglier than this. Despite that, or probably because of it, the AMC is cherished even in the poor state it is in. No car deserves to end up in the gutter inconsiderately. That is what the members of EMW take care of every single day.