According to Black Steelies, “there hasn’t been a car built that can’t be improved by a set of black steel wheels.” I’m beginning to wonder if the same rule can be applied to the humble roof box.
The subtext for this slice of waffle is an admittance that I have strange and irrational feelings of desire when I see a car with a plastic box perched on its roof. While others ogle supercars and members of the opposite sex, my head is turned by a Thule or a Kamei.
I’m not entirely sure where this perverse fascination comes from. I certainly wouldn’t spend an hour or two lusting over storage boxes in Ikea or crates in B&Q. But stick the equivalent of an upturned turtle on the roof of a hatchback or an estate, and I go weak at the knees.
Yes, it’s a problem and, yes, I ought to keep these feelings to myself, but a problem shared is a problem laughed at and ridiculed on social media.
I realised I had issues when I caught sight of a Dacia Logan MCV Stepway with a black box on its roof. Aside from the fact that the Logan Stepway is one of the most desirable new cars on the market, the Exodus roof box served to give it the look of a Geneva or Paris show car.
Thanks to my new fascination, I can tell you that Exodus is a Halfords sub-brand and prices range from £300 to £400, depending on size. This is the kind of knowledge you pick up when you develop a thing for plastic boxes.
Next, I’ll be subscribing to Auto Express to ensure I don’t miss out on the next roof box group-test. The Kamei 510 is the current champion, in case you were wondering.
Having drooled over the Logan Stepway and Exodus combo, I stumbled across a Citroën C4 Cactus with a Halfords own-brand roof box, before salivating over an Alfa Romeo Stelvio with a grey Thule.
Marvellous, isn’t it? Turns out a roof box can work miracles by making a crossover look almost appealing. Who’d have thought it?
I’ll leave you with eight more examples of cars rocking the roof box look, with a request not to send in the men in white coats.
You’ll find me parked on a bridge across the A30, watching the roof boxes head home from their summer holiday in Cornwall, condemned to a winter spent gathering dust in the attic or garage. Roof box spotting is a cheap obsession – simply head to the main road and watch the cars go by, as Otis Redding so nearly sang.