Driving Gloves – Fuel Your Imagination.
Many moons ago one had to insert their finger into a chosen circular cut out and push that finger in a clock wise motion until they could move it no further. At that point, they would release their finger. And practice the art of patience for five seconds or so. And then choose another circular cut out and repeat the above.
I am of course talking about the old telephones with rotary dials, a telephone that was unforgiving if you made a mistake whilst dialling. It forced you to start all over again. And once talking to your chosen telephone call recipient, you were confined to the areas that the receiver cord, combined with the length of the supply line protruding from British Telecom’s little black box on your wall, could reach. You had to be careful, you were restrained.
Modern technology stepped in with push button, cordless, ‘redial happy’ telephones. More forgiving, less restrained. Then along came the mobile phone, that was even more forgiving…if you pressed ‘2’ instead of ‘4’ when dialling, you simply deleted it and re-keyed it. No need to start over. And of course it did not restrain you to the confines of your home like a cordless phone, you could roam the length of the country. Then the almighty smartphone was born. Forgiving, to the point you can even back up your address book to something that was only ever for Boeing 747’s, birds and the heads of those known as dreamers – the cloud. Helpful even, with voice recognition removing the need to physically dial. And one can roam. Roam the world. There are no more restrictions.
But…the old unforgiving rotary telephone is now fashionable, collectable, sought after and satisfying to look at and use. Ironically? No. Why? Perhaps we are bored of forgiving. And perhaps, just perhaps, there was a certain challenge in being restricted…how far could you go whilst still keeping the cord plugged in? Maybe, just maybe, somebody should have tweaked the old rotary telephone to have a circular cut out called ‘C’. C for ‘Cancel’. To avoid starting all over again. I like to think the graceful old telephone could have lived on a lot longer in daily use with this simple solution to improve the experience.
Thankfully, in the motoring world, there has been one simple solution in existence for years to enhance ones driving experience.
Enter the right driving glove. And its life partner, the left driving glove. Together known as driving gloves.
From an era where cars had flexible, thin, yet precious and prized wooden steering wheels, driving gloves offered enhanced grip to wrestle your pride and joy along whilst keeping the steering wheel protected. A pride and joy, that coming from a similar era to our rotary telephone, also threw restrain upon its master. It was unforgiving. One wrong move and you may well have to start all over again too. You had to ensure you gripped the steering wheel and gear-lever and told them both exactly what to do to keep your motor car on the black stuff. Electronic stability control and its co-workers were not even born yet.
Motor cars of this era were know to break down regularly and struggle with long journeys half way across the country and thus you had to keep an eye on the oily bits along the way to tickle it onwards. Driving gloves gifted you the protection from the dirty mechanicals to do so. Of course your pride and joy was a drop top and in car heating had not been finely tuned yet, so the good old driving gloves kept you warm too.
And they looked good. Driving gloves are an awesome accessory. A cracking motoring themed present for yourself or a petrol headed loved one. There is an exact science behind driving gloves, from how they fit in the fingers, to the materials used dependent upon intended use, right down to which ones are suitable for the look you sport. I know of two great firms that can help you with acquiring your very own pair, because I have pairs from both.
First up, Dents. Established in 1777. Need I say more? Have a little look here http://www.dents.co.uk/ to find your perfect pair now. For me, Dents craftsmanship is beautiful and luxurious, and when gripping, pressing and holding furniture found in a handmade interior of a classic car such an E Type, they are perfectly at home.
Leather Gloves and Small Leather Goods – Dents
Since 1777 Dents has been handcrafting the world’s finest leather gloves. Our leather goods and accessories complement our gloves and demonstrate the same commitment …
The second masters of the driving glove are Autodrome. Newcomers in comparison to Dents, but they offer a great contemporary twist, as you will see for yourself here at http://www.autodromo.com/. I absolutely love the wording “instruments for driving” on their website. As a writer, occasionally you come across a series of words so nicely gelled together that you wish you had thought of it first. Autodromo’s wording made me think exactly that.
Autodromo | Instruments for Motoring
The Story. The world of Autodromo is the creative vision of founder Bradley Price, an industrial designer who set out to craft unique products that express the spirit …
So, driving gloves, just like the rotary telephone, strictly speaking are not really required for modern day life, but who cares? The epitome of this showed itself to me in traffic the other day. I happened to glance over at the driver of a Mercedes GL, a brand new one in opalescent white. This model clearly had all the toys such as digital climate control, heated seats and heated steering wheel, garnished with all the stability controls under the sun. A sun that was in fact out to play, producing 25 degrees and mesmerising reflections from the special paint on this GL.
And yet this chap had on a pair of black leather driving gloves. Completely unnecessary. But so right.
I smiled a little. Then I smiled even more as I gripped the steering wheel on my car, and threw it into first gear. Both actions entertaining the nerves in my fingertips more than they should, because I too had my driving gloves on. The pair from Dents that matches my favourite black leather jacket. I like to think of them as a catalyst for my sensory nerves.
And my imagination.
Why? Because I had thrown a muddy, rattly, battered Saab 9-3 Tdi into first gear in true reality. But in my reality, delivered to me by my driving gloves, I had just stirred the dog-leg gearbox of a Porsche 928S. And left that GL for dust.
So whether you have a classic car that does warrant the use of driving gloves, or you have a more modern car, that in reality does not really need them, it is irrelevant. Buy a pair. And get a firm grip on your imagination. Even better, tickle a certain someone into buying them for you. Just send them this article as a hint.
Beats getting a pair of socks for your birthday.
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Tags: Autodromo Driving Gloves, Dents Driving Gloves, Driving Gloves
This article was written and published by Mike Atwal. Mike works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years’ experience in the classic car sector – for over 8 years he was the General Manager of the Classic Car Club in London and responsible for a fleet of over 100 cars worth multi-million pounds. So there’s not much Mike doesn’t know about makes, models, maintenance and idiosyncrasies of these old cars. Mike’s a true petrol head with a deep passion for the classics and he loves to talk cars all day, so why not write a reply on this article below.
Categories: Classic Car Blog, Driving Gloves, Mike Atwal