x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 August 2017

Three female motoring bloggers you need to know about

"Everything that a woman does is unique, but she is subjected to a more serious assessment"

Caroline Kidd with an Alfa Romeo Giulia Courtesy Caroline Kidd
Caroline Kidd with an Alfa Romeo Giulia Courtesy Caroline Kidd

“First of all, it should matter if you are a real petrolhead,” says ­Polish car blogger Agata ­Pietruszka (@petrolhead.girl). ­“[Gender] should not matter. ­Motoring is primarily a male hobby. Being a woman in the automotive ­industry has a great advantage, but also a big ­disadvantage. Everything that a woman does is unique, but she is subjected to a more serious assessment. Personally, I had a few situations in which I experienced some unpleasant moments.”
Sorry, gentlemen. As already proved by the Arabian Gazelles, the male motoring ­monopoly is long since over, so let’s quit any ­prehistoric ­patriarchal palaver. There are plenty of female car bloggers who are very much behind the wheel and, ­sometimes, under the bonnet of the cars they feature, from the latest superminis through to classics and supercars.
Pietruszka, who works as an interior designer but aspires to design cars, drives and races a Fiat 126p, a model nicknamed “Maluch” in Poland (a name that roughly translates to “little one”). The car, which she says she has upgraded “a lot”, features prominently on her Instagram page, alongside other Fiats and a variety of classics.
“Contemporary cars are very similar to each other in terms of driving and design,” she reasons. “Once, each car was different from the other – had its own character. This creates a kind of bond in which cars become our friends.
“I always preferred talking about cars, rather than writing about them. That’s why I decided to take photos of them – the best way to express emotions and share opinions. So I set up my Instagram and uploaded photos of cars that were interesting to me.”

 

 

Caroline Kidd, who for three years has run Irish car blog Changing Lanes, meanwhile, is from more of a journalistic background. Via her website and ­Instagram page @carolinekidd_, she showcases her regular road tests in both written and vlogging format, largely focusing on the kind of cars you will likely see in an everyday context. It provides a welcome antidote to a field filled with endless “regrammed” pictures of hypercars that the bloggers in question have seldom gone near in real life.
“I’ve loved cars since I was a young child and I’ve always been a keen writer, too,” Kidd says. “After leaving college, I wanted to break into motoring journalism, so setting up a car blog was a great way to start.
 “The biggest challenge is building an audience and authority on cars. The challenge to build an audience and post regular content never goes away, and in today’s world, it means spending a lot of time on social media.”

 

 

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Pietruszka agrees: “The biggest challenge is to develop automotive knowledge among readers; show interesting pictures and cars, and leave behind some message. Every country has its own automotive culture. In Poland, this is a relatively fresh field, but it is developing very quickly.
One blogger who would have had her place in automotive history forever enshrined regardless of her internet presence is Elisa Artioli 
(@iamlotuselise), granddaughter of former Lotus and Bugatti boss ­Romano Artioli. She was the inspiration for the Lotus Elise’s name, but was keen to show the world her personal relationship with cars, from her home base in Bolzano, northern Italy.
“I was born as the same time when the Elise was designed, and my grandfather decided to name the car after me,” she says. “When, in 1995, the car was presented at the Frankfurt auto show, I was sitting inside holding onto the steering wheel until it was unveiled.
“I started blogging at the 20th anniversary of the Lotus Elise,” she recalls. “I started posting photos from the past, because they are really nice memories of that time, and then I started posting about my adventures with my Elise. I also post about the Italian Bugatti period that is part of my family history.”

 

 

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When it comes to dream cars, the trio’s choices all make sense in the context of their blogging’s subject matter: a contemporary standard-­setter for Kidd (Bugatti Chiron), a 1950s cult classic from Pietruszka (Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta) and, well, you can probably guess Artioli’s favourite. Although she has a “really long” list of dream cars, she says: “I always feel amazingly happy to drive my Elise – I can’t ask for more.”

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