A tale from two different auto universes

Last week, I left the Automotive News Europe Congress in Cologne still mulling what Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell told the audience during his keynote speech June 30.

He said that European Commission policymakers are considering a 50 percent reduction in the number of cars with internal combustion engines that are allowed in urban areas by 2030 and a complete ban by 2050.

A couple days later, I was among the 181,000 car enthusiasts who gathered southwest of London to thoroughly enjoy the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the best classic car race and show in the world.

While taking a spin in a 450hp, 212,250 euro Alfa Romeo 8C Spider, I came to some conclusions.

1. If I live until 2030, which is possible, I might see a time when half of the cars in cities are powered by something other than an internal combustion engine. The hype and promises surrounding electric mobility would finally become a reality after decades of blah, blah, blah.

2. By 2050 I'll likely be gone so I won't have to witness a generation when commuters spend their workweeks driving in and out of the city in their boring, soulless battery-powered cars and are forced to keep their "real" cars in exile outside the city limits and only use the fuel-burners during weekends or special occasions.

3. Car enthusiasts are special breed who will never be driven into extinction, despite the more and more radical suggestions by elected officials.

Luckily, it is still 2011, so I floored the throttle and enjoyed the Ferrari-built 4.7-liter V-8 engine's beautiful roar. This is Goodwood. This is what we do.

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