Welcome to this weeks instalment of Wheel Nuts, our weekly high octane injection from the inner sanctum of the motor industry. The aim is introduce you to the people who make all of the motoring content you love happen. Last week we were very humbled to have Ian Callum as a guest. This week it is a bit of a step down. It’s actually my turn.
My name is Tyler Heatley and I am the Editor-in-Chief of this site. We have had some great guests and, quite simply, I wanted in on the fun!
Name: Tyler Heatley
Occupation: Editor-in-Chief, Inside Lane
What is it about cars that gets you fired up?
I think they are fascinating. Not only do they come in just about every flavour imaginable, but each machine has its own character. I think they are one of the few things made from nuts and bolts that come close to being human. They have a piston driven heart, fuel runs through their veins, they have a voice, and they behave differently to one another. It is intriguing that something like a washing machine is taken for granted but after a great drive in a sports car, also a thing of function ultimately, you find yourself being glad that you bought it. I love cars that create this connection.
What is your earlier car related memory?
My old next-door neighbour was an ex-Ferrari mechanic who set up his own business in a garage behind his house. I’d always go with my Dad to see what was in the workshop and one day there was a blue Jaguar XJ. I was allowed to sit in it and I will never forget the smell of the oil, leather, and wood. I must have been about 3 or 4 years old.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SXI. I originally wanted an Alfa Romeo 147 but the insurance companies shattered that dream. The Corsa was just about cheap enough to insure. Whilst it was a Corsa B, it actually had the engine from a newer Corsa C. Net result was slightly better performance, but a loud transmission whine. I had a lot of adventures in that little car, that was before it met its untimely end. No! I didn’t crash it… It was parked outside my house, all in one piece, before someone decided to crash into it at about 35 MPH. As you can imagine, the car was written off.
What is your current set of wheels?
I currently drive a 1992 MK1 Mazda MX-5, white with Martini stripes. I should be saying a black MK3 Toyota MR2, but someone wrote that off whilst it was parked too! Needless to say the MX-5 now lives in a garage. The Mazda was actually my second car but I garaged it when I impulse bought the MR2. It didn’t see much driving sadly over the year I owned the Toyota, but it came to my rescue when I found my fleet of cars dropping to just one. I love its purity, its excellent handling, and those pop-up headlights! I have now owned the car for 4 years.
What would be your perfect road trip?
I have been fortunate enough to do quite a few road trips over the years, most recently one with a Civic Type R across Europe. However, my dream road trip would involve a Lamborghini Miura and the Swiss Alps. Calving up those delicious roads with a soundtrack so orchestral from that V12. Sunglasses on, maybe even a bit of Matt Monro on the radio. No bulldozer though!
What would be in your dream 3 car garage?
As just about every guest on Wheel Nuts has said, picking just three cars is very difficult. Hmmm… I have always loved the Alfa Romeo 8C, yes I know it has its flaws, but it is just so beautiful. That Italian styling, its 4.7 litre V8 heart, and an exhaust note to die for. I must own an Aston Martin as I really like what the brand stands for. Power, beauty, and soul are certainly three words to define their products. The DBS has always captured my attention and it does have a mighty V12. My last choice is a bit bonkers and a big departure from those refined GT cars. The Ariel Atom is such fun, but the new Nomad looks like such a hoot with the ability to go off road. If there was space for a hot hatch here I’d add one as I think the ethos behind them is just brilliant, but there isn’t, so I can’t.
A big thanks to Tyler Heatley for… Oh, wait! That’s me.