Drifting, Racing & Reviewing. A Look At Chris Harris.
Today on Gearheads I wanted to take a different approach at what my subject matter would be. Instead of writing about a particular car, or truck, or throwing out some comments about how some new car is going to be the next big thing, I wanted to do something a little different. Today we’re going to look at an individual, a man who has been in, and a part of the automotive world for quite sometime now. His name is Chris Harris.
For a man who has been banned from driving Ferraris, to finding his way back inside of them, just so that he can drift the tires off of them, it’s funny how he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Well, what are you going to do? There are plenty of people in the world today who are moderately famous, and don’t have Wiki pages, and no, I’m not going to drop any names just to prove that point. Anyway, Chris Harris is the shooting star that has found his way onto internet television, aka YouTube, and has simply drifted his enthusiastic, yet prolific style into our hearts.
To be brief, Chris got his automotive start by working with a company called AutoCar, a European based magazine that covered what was hot in the world of automotive news, from a European perspective that is. His complete knowledge of cars, and how they work allowed him to write stunning articles, where he could let the average bloke know whether that Porsche 911 was really worth buying, or not. Kind of like myself, but with much more experience, and seat time under his belt. And speaking of seat time, Chris also was fortunate enough to be an inherit part of a racing team that took part in the 2010 24 Hours of the Nurburgring event which himself, and a couple of other drivers placed 13th in the overall standings. Which by any means is pretty damn good for driving a completely stock Porsche around one of the most brutally demanding tracks in the world. As we move forward, Chris’ way with cars, coupled with his semi arrogant British & knowledgeable accent began to infiltrate the minds of those people who not only enjoyed watching cars be put through their paces, but also didn’t mind having a laugh or two at his boyish antics.
Here we have a man who knows how to race, who knows how to perfectly apex a turn for the best line, but somehow always manages to turn a car review into a one man smoke show. Now, I myself have not seen Chris in an all out drift battle, so it’s safe to say that he might not stand a chance up against the likes of Ken Gushi, or Vaughn Gitten Jr.. Chris’ way of driving can be compared to that of a Frenchman cursing at you in his native tongue. Sure you might be able to gather that he doesn’t like you, and is probably damning you to the darkest depths of Hell, but the elegance of what he’s doing is keeping him from being knocked out just long enough so that you find some small way to appreciate his culture, right before you knock him out. You get what I’m saying? In other words, Chris’ drifts that are displayed in just about every one of his reviews are hardly ever brutal, or barbaric, they seem to have an air of exquisiteness about them. His drifts tend to be gentle, and guided by a hand covered in a silk glove. It sounds a little far fetched, but it’s true. Now with the gentility of his drifts, comes the intelligence of his words, and the ultimate humor of his character. What I can say to elaborate on this is simply this, like many men, Chris enjoys cars, and enjoys driving fast, but the difference is, he’s being paid to show it. In the episode of Chris Harris on Cars, where he drove the Ferrari F40, and F50, his grin could be compared to that of the Kool-Aid man on a summer day. I watched that episode twice, and not only did I wish I was there to share that overwhelming level of enthusiasm with him, but Hell, I wanted to drive too. To see him bouncing around in the driver’s seat with his eyes open wider than the doors of Lindsay Lohan’s last rehab center, was awe inspiring. I can say this simply, I’m a jealous bastard. Plain, and simple.
To a certain degree, Chris Harris has always been able to make a point in his reviews. Whether they’ve been good reviews, or bad, his honesty shows through brilliantly every time. I always say, you can’t knock a man for being honest about a car, because he will give it to you straight every single time. There have been times where I would hate to hear him down play a car because his personal preference didn’t allow him to enjoy the vehicular spoils of the day, but all I could do is appreciate what he said, and what he was doing. Between himself, Matt Farrah, and some of the other editors of the Motor Trend channel, getting a genuine feeling of what a car feels like with you not even being within 1,000 miles of the car at hand, is something a lot more than amazing.
With the automotive industry standing where it is right now, and more unknown auto makers popping up with cars that either don’t make a bit of sense, or are actually pretty spot on with what their main purpose is, it’s a great to know that we all have someone to look to for, for a bit automotive sport. Yes, we have Top Gear via the BBC, and Jeremy Clarkson is a funny old chap, who would be glad to pawn off his wife for an adulterous affair with a MP4-12C, but how much of that can we take nowadays? The Terrific Trio of BBC’s Top Gear is entering upon their 21st season now, and I seem to notice that these guys are a bit long in the tooth. Their funny and all, but if they were to do it like Chris Harris does it, there could be a much bigger following. Besides, what’s going to happen when either Clarkson, or May breaks a hip during another jaunt to Africa or something? That’s just my opinion, you don’t have to take it to seriously.
With all of that said, I need to wrap up this diverting, and under informative tribute about Chris Harris to a close. I’ve talked about his drifting, his way with words, (sort of) and what he does for the automotive community. (sort of) So let me close with this, for a man who doesn’t have a ton of information about himself online, I enjoy watching what he does with cars, every time he gets into one. Not many people impress me, and that goes for musicians, actors, and politicians, but when a guy, or man can hold my attention with some intelligent verbatim, all the while rounding corners like a thief in the night, I’m sold. Chris Harris, you’re the man. Kudos bro.