There are good, bad, not-so-great conversations… And then there are those that arise in the car, a wonderful space for communication. Perhaps the optimal place to share anecdotes, confidences, banalities, or thoughtful reflections here and halfway around the world. Because the important thing —let’s quote Kavafis, yes!— is not the destination but the journey. And who has not enjoyed those trips in good company, conversing without haste, in confidence, transforming the seat into the best divan and even a stage on wheels? It could be a talent show…We’ve all done it once and we’ve seen it on shows and movies everywhere. And the rhythm must not stop.

And while Netflix gives us the legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld having a laugh with other comedians and celebrities aboard dream vehicles, in Spain we have Jorge Todolí, a journalist and the creator of Autoentrevistas. Caffeine-free, but just as sharp as the American comedian.

Mara Barros sings to David Trueba.

A Seiscientos and a GoPro, to start with

The Autoentrevistas, which is what the show is called, started by chance. “It came naturally. One of my best friends from school had a Seiscientos in the garage and for his birthday we gave him a GoPro. One lazy afternoon I thought we’d try out what things would look like from this camera mounted in the car,” says Jorge Todolí.

“It must be said that years ago I had seen the interview between Seinfeld and David Letterman also in a classic car; and I must have had it on my mind somewhere.” So, off they went. It got dark as they drove around the neighborhood with the Seiscientos, recording at odd hours with a flashlight. “Then, we played it on his TV and we thought the quality was quite acceptable, so I told the comedian Juan Luis Cano about it and, in 2015, he became the first guest of the Autoentrevistas. And then the idea began to roll by itself. Like when you take off the handbrake on a hill.”

Thus was born “a unique set”, as defined by the international filmmaker José Luis Cuerda. “And he was absolutely right,” Todolí concedes. “It’s a unique set. If I could get the right budget to turn it into a TV or professional format, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it like Jerry Seinfeld with the classics. They’re beautiful and become a real part of the conversation.” A secluded space with a special charm, where you can contemplate the landscape, perhaps with background music, and the unusual opportunity in these liquid times to focus on dialogue. On the here and now. No distractions. Not surprisingly, the maker of the show says that “Many friendships and unique moments emerge behind the wheel.”

“Confessions in a Seiscientos“, on TV

The success of the audiovisual initiative gave rise to the print version. Confessions in a Seiscientos is the book where the author chooses, among all the Autoentrevistas, “more than 50 great anecdotes with celebrities.” An arduous task, of course. “I had to make a selection that took me a long time,” acknowledges the driver —and never better said— of this media adventure. A trip with memorable and spontaneous stories aboard an icon of the automotive, social and emotional culture of Spain. A vehicle so charismatic as to unite an entire country.

Personalities such as the comedian Juan Luis Cano, the impersonator Leonor Lavado, the singer Miguel Ríos and El Gran Wyoming loved the plan and the legendary car. “It’s just that the Seiscientos is very much from a period, it has a lot to do with ordinary people. Miguel Ríos, when he saw it parked on the street, put his hands to his head saying: ‘What a mythical car, man!’ When he is the myth, really,” exclaims Jorge Todolí. And like the rocker, other names from culture and entertainment celebrated the project. Because on the road, just chatting, many moments for posterity arise. A musical alter ego of the idea also emerged: Music Car Talents.

Who has not sung their heart out in the middle of the highway or on a secondary road as if there were no tomorrow? Global stars know this well, beyond James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, where artists like Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga and Adele have performed, to name just a few.

Carmen Lomana

Movies and TV series set to the rhythm of music and cars

Surely you have sung the great Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody emulated in a scene from Wayne’s World, aboard the 1976 AMC Pacer. Not only was it parodied on film, but everyone has imitated that hilarious gang on some getaway. Or, if you are a fan of the series How I Met Your Mother, for example, you probably remember the trip taken by the characters Ted and Marshall, singing in the Fiero along with the broken tape of I’m gonna be (500 miles) by The Proclaimers?

Or, back on the big screen, who wouldn’t want to share the euphoria of Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan on their way to Mexico in The Heartbreak Kid or the Road Trip of four university friends on their bus journey, accompanied by Twisted Sister’s I wanna rock? The road offers many moments, without a doubt. Even conversations as iconic as that of Pulp Fiction about beer mugs, hamburgers —”Do you know what they call the quarter pounder with cheese?”— and other topics that may not be reproduced in this forum. And if we do zap around more channels, we will find more. A unique set, as the master of cinema would say.

Guillermo Fesser

Going back to the rideshare reward

Everything has its reward. And someone said that what is not shared is lost. The format of Autoentrevistas, according to Jorge Todolí, has allowed him to have “the experience of interviewing brilliant people. A true apprenticeship covering the entire creative process, although with a budget that is somewhat unequal to that of Seinfeld: I think he spends $100,000 per episode. And for all these intermediate steps that go up to the recording and broadcast, he’s not even there. All the worse for him! Because it’s a wonderful and cool experience,” he jokes.

This Seiscientos, like any trip, provides a wealth of wisdom, secrets, revelations and laughter. Despite the slowdown in his cathodic progression as a result of the pandemic, Todolí’s idea remains for posterity and the journalist continues to seek sponsorships, destinations, and people with whom to use the car as a couch. That Seat 600 would dazzle Jerry Seinfeld himself. A local example for a global reality that works both with the passengers of Carpool Karaoke, with the stars of a global sitcom and with your family, on the way to the beach, to the sound of AC/DC or Rosalía.

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