Monday, May 27, 2019


WWSHD . . . what would Sherlock Holmes drive?

Yes, yes, there was that Model T Ford in "His Last Bow," but a.) Watson was driving, and b.) in 1914, the Model T Ford was the only Ford available in Britain. But it was an American car, not an Aston-Martin, a Rolls-Royce, a Vauxhall . . . or maybe something from his maternal ancestor's country, like a Renault or a Peugeot. But first, Sherlock Holmes would have to have a reason to have a car, like getting out of his usual major metropolis home. CBS's Elementary plopped him in New York City, as much as a non-personal-car metropolis as London . . . but what if he had been based in Los Angeles? Or Denver? Or any other one of the thousands of American cities that require a car?

Would he choose a car that blended in with traffic, for easy surveillance, tailing, that sort of thing? Or would he want a fast car, for racing to stop a crime or catch a fleeing criminal? Just how much would local law enforcement let him get away with?

When the idea of a modern Sherlock Holmes crossing over into the world of The Fast and the Furious movie franchise today, the idea did not seem all that strange. The crimes and plottings at the heart of most of those movies fits right into Holmes's area of expertise. But it definitely raises one question like a giant American flag over some retailer wanting attention -- Sherlock Holmes would then have to have a car, and a perfect car, with a racing engine that matched his racing engine of a mind.

When confronted with that problem in attempting the start of a little fan fiction, "The Fast and the Mysterious," I took the easy way out: I made up a car that doesn't exist. Sherlock was so original in every other aspect of his life, I saw him as driving something as unique and innovative as he was. Watson was the fellow who drove the Model T, and in disguise, at that. No, Sherlock Holmes would drive something both special and specifically chosen.

And I've no idea what that would be in the real world, chosen from existing cars. Not a car guy myself, driving the most non-descript common little sedan available, going for the "blending into traffic" option. As Sherlock Holmes moves out into the universe of stories beyond the Victorian era, however, writers are going to have to start giving him vehicle choices at some point. Or even motorcycle choices, if that's what his personality demands.

What would Sherlock Holmes drive? Well, I look forward to finding out.

1 comment:

  1. I deeply want modern Sherlock Holmes in Los Angeles now. Thanks a *lot*.