What gives a car its soul? Do all cars even have souls? Do any? It’s a romantic kind of question that has been asked before, but it’s rarely answered so eloquently as in a new short film presented by true petrolhead Idris Elba.
As part of a movement called Grand Basel, aiming to promote the motor car as a ‘cultural asset,’ this enticing short film has been beautifully produced. Shot inside and on top of the iconic Lingotto building in Turin. You might recognise the old test track on top from the original The Italian Job.
Featuring the award-winning actor and one-time favourite to land a Top Gear role after the fracas that ended Clarkson, Hammond and May’s time on the show, it explores not just the ideas of style and noise, but the deep, artistic resonance that some cars achieve over and above their measurable statistics.
Four cars from the first Grand Basel exhibition star in the three-minute film. Starting with the dainty, lithe and entirely one-off 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato, Elba drives past the striking 2018 GFG Sybilla before reaching the roof, where the wedge-shaped 1978 Lancia Sibilo Bertone fires its once-futuristic arrows into 12-year-old you’s heart.
The piece closes as Elba drives away along the former rooftop test track in a flowing, graceful 2015 Zagato Mostro. The variety and rarity on show is even more impressive than the camerawork.
The first Grand Basel exhibition is scheduled for 6-9 September this year, in Basel itself. Curated by experts from automotive, arts, design and cultural backgrounds, the idea appears to be to identify those vehicles that have transcended the confines of transport to become something more – something that should be protected and preserved. We wish them every success!