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At Flannels: The Car Meet

At Flannels: The Car Meet

Flannels blog article
At Flannels: THE CAR MEET

The car industry has long been deemed out of reach for many. Associated with money, wealth and the upper layers of society. Considered technical, risky and something of a boy's club. In 2021, things are changing. 

Meet Becky Evans, aka Queen B, and Nathaniel Warth. Rewriting the rules, each one is working to change their corner of the car industry, from becoming a female role model in a male-dominated world to challenging the stereotype of what a vintage care collector looks like. 

At a car meet in their hometown of Coventry, we spoke to the duo about what cars mean to them, how fashion and motors collide and how they're breaking down barriers in the industry.

Welcome to the latest series of AT FLANNELS – a series dedicated to shining a light on creativity and culture across the UK.

'Cars to me are a journey. They're an extension of my personality, first and foremost. They're part of my image and my aesthetic, they complement everything that I try to do in life,' explains Becky Evans. 

Everyone has a relationship with cars. Whether it's a serious love affair with your first, a long-term longing for that flash motor you saw on the street; the status your chosen ride gives you; or the sense of freedom that comes with getting behind the wheel. 

But few have such intense relationships as Evans, aka Queen B, content creator and presenter, and Nathaniel Warth, the owner and founder of vintage car garage and boutique space Old Beginnings.

'I'd grown up around cars and motorsports and all these things, but I just knew that from the minute I could drive, I wanted to be part of this community,' explains Evans. 'It was part of having a friendship group and a support network and just likeminded people. When you're that age everybody's kind of looking for their tribe and cars was just most definitely mine.'

An industry famous for its creation of tribes - from the Mods and Rockers of the '60s to the Greased Lightening effect of the '70s - its long connected likeminded enthusiasts. Warth agrees. 'The reason why the car community is quite special is because it's your first way of escaping... It's that feeling of getting into the car, turning the key and being able to do whatever you want.'

CARS TO ME ARE A JOURNEY. THEY'RE AN EXTENSION OF MY PERSONALITY, FIRST AND FOREMOST - BECKY EVANS

A literal escape, yes. But growing up in a council estate in Coventry, cars also represented a chance to dream and aspire for Nathaniel. While his weeks were spent with his mum in Coventry, his weekends saw him being driven down to London in his dad's Lancia Integrale HF Turbo. Cars were ingrained into his childhood, going to see car specialists with his dad and exploring garages. 'It's those early memories that I remember, even just the smell of the fuel and just being out on the road,' he says.

A childhood built around cars is something the duo have in common. 'My earliest memory as a kid was being at Santa Pod, the racetrack, my dad was there. I've been going there since I was a bump in my mum's tummy,' says Evans. Both her parents were car fanatics, with Evans following in her dad's footsteps and getting into drag racing as a teen. 

Despite cars forming a huge part of her childhood, Evans has had to forge her own path in the industry. As a woman operating in the worlds of cars from a young age, there weren't many people like her she could see. 'We had loads of male role models, but we didn't have many cool girls that looked like me or talked like me or even remotely came from a background like me, doing something in that industry.'

'l remember looking at the YouTube space within the car world in the UK and I was like 'wow, hold on, there is not a single female here doing anything'. I really jumped at a time when I think there was a need for a female voice.'

She makes it sound easy.  But how much has it been a fight to secure her place in a male-dominated area? 'I guess it's the subtleties. You know, it's not being part of 'the boys', it's not being invited to the events or it's not being invited to be part of the videos,' she explains. 'My whole mission was to just be like right, f**k this. I'm doing it regardless, no matter what, you know? This is what I want to do, and this is the career path I've chosen.' 

MY PERSONAL STYLE IS A BIT STREETWEAR, TOM BOY, WITH A KIND OF SPORTS LUXE ELEMENT - NATHANIEL WARTH

And it's working. With over 140k followers on Instagram, 121k subscribers on YouTube and a presenter role on a new BBC series on the horizon, Evans is providing a strong voice for the next gen of girls. 'I feel very privileged to be in the position that I'm in but at the same time I know that I grafted over the last five years, and what I would say to anybody who ever wanted to get into this industry, is just to put yourself out there because people respond to someone who is just doing what they love. That always rings true.' 

Even for those of us who haven't had such strong childhood memories, everyone remembers their first car. For Warth, it was a Subaru blue colored Ford Escort XR3i which he got in a swap for a petrol-powered remote-control car. 'I never actually drove the car because it didn't run but it was the first car that I actually had where I could kind of start to imagine and dream about how I'd want to make it,' he says. 'Cars can be a very big status symbol to everyone and that's why we see them in all of the music videos, and people want luxury cars as they're an extension of themselves. 

MY PERSONAL STYLE IS A BIT STREETWEAR, WITH A KIND OF SPORTS LUXE ELEMENT - BECKY EVANS 
And for Becky, it all began with her - now signature - 1983 E21 BMW. The car that kicked it all off. 'That was my first car, that was, Red, that was the real beginner. This is where it all started, with Red when social media and the car thing was growing,' she explains. 'These cars become part of your tapestry and they become part of what makes you, you.'

Does she see a relationship between her choice of cars and her threads? Cars are definitely an extension of your style. They're part of what you're saying about yourself to the outside world,' agrees Evans. 'My personal style is a bit streetwear, tom boy, with a kind of sports luxe element. I've always liked fitted bodies, big gold earrings and cargo-type pants or camouflage. Just mixing up different prints and things.'

The common thread for Warth 'The appreciation of quality,' he says. 'I think that itsw attention to detail and the way that things hang, the way things are worn. It's not all about what you wear - it's about how the clothes fit.' 
So how does this look for him? 'I try to keep a very fresh trainer. I've often got my Obey hoodie on and my little beanie rolled up and I think that's a good reflection of the workshop. I like to throw different colours and different things together'.

Old Beginnings was born out of Warth's love for aesthetics. Collecting vintage items he tracked down online, his home was filling up fast. So, he transferred the pieces into a working garage. Here he can be found tinkering with classic cars one day, hosting a music video the next. Going against the grain of what a stereotypical car collector looks or sounds like, he has fun with his rides. 'You can get some people which are a little bit stuck up and they call them Garage Queens, where the cars will just stay in a heated garage,' he explains. Warth, however, likes to keep his on the road. 

So what advice does he have for those who want to follow in his footsteps? 'If you want to go and do something, just enjoy it,' says Warth. 'Do it, fail at it, bounce back at it and just be comfortable in who you are'. 
From providing physical escapes to building careers and becoming status symbols, cars are a whole lot more than just a ride. 

'They encompass a lot of different things for me. But I guess if I had to really distil it down, it's just for me they are the journey. They are the journey of my life'. - Becky Evans.

Talent: Becky Evans and Nathaniel Warth, Words and interview: Hannah Dunn, Concept and comission: Platform 13Director: Terry Paul, Producer: Megan Willcox, Production Assistant: Rafael Ramirez, Production Company: Rage Films, 1st AD: Ayokunle Delano, DOP: Fola Abatan, Steadicam OP: Ben Eely, 1st AC: Ethan Lewis, 1st AC: Chelsea Bernard, 2nd AC: Harry Coleman, Gaffer: Joe Nkadi, Spark: Misha Panov, Sound Recordist: Tom Giffin & Benja Schweimler, Drone Operator: Barney, Stylist: Gemma Baguley, Hair & MUA: Hanna, Editor: Ollie PaxtonMusic: Luke Davidson, Photographer: Dom Fleming, Photographer Assistant: Shidi