Since I learned to drive aged 25, I’ve been obsessed with a passion for cars. Whilst I was perfectly happy to push bike everywhere until the age of 25, once my little brother and one of my little sisters learned to drive I thought I should take the plunge.
I’d driven tractors on farms and dumpers on building sites and revelled in the experience of both but obviously that would never be the same as legally driving on a road.
After taking multiple lessons per week in secret and with a “natural aptitude for driving” I passed first time and embarked on an automotive journey which has become nothing short of a passion.
Years back I remember reflecting on how many cars is had in my driving “career” and it was 22. For the life of me I can’t remember every one I’ve ever had but this list is a pretty good start at pulling that list together.
Cars haven’t been an expensive passion (until lately) because they were costly to buy, but because they were expensive to get rid of. My problem has always been I wanted to move the next thing that sparked my interest far too quickly which inevitably had me stung by finance agreements and early settlement fees.
My passion began here with my first car, a B reg Vauxhall Nova:-
It was £500, the petrol gauge was stuck on 1/4 tank with an orange interior and it cost me £30 for a parcel shelf bought from a scrap yard and it truly was the BEST CAR I’VE EVER HAD! The sense of freedom was a whole new world for me and I loved it. The day I picked it up I collected my little sister and we razzed it round the motorway for hours…I’ve never looked back!
Next came a Ford Escort and a newer model soon after. H reg and R reg respectively:-
I remember selling this because it kept cutting out for no reason and holding £3k in my hand the day I sold it felt like it was all the money in the world. I never got to the bottom of what was wrong with it, but saw it for years later being driven by the lad who bought it so he must have got to the bottom of it.
The next step was a brand new car, a Peugeot 106, possibly the smallest car I’ve ever driven and one of the worst mistakes I made. Six months later it got potted. A lass of my stature should have known this was a schoolgirl error.
Next came a Nissan Terrano 2.7 TDi which I was completely in love with until I realised how expensive it was to run and my love quickly died.
A BMW 316ti Compact followed and I cherished, cleaned and polished it to within an inch of its life. This was my first experience with a dealership where they spoke directly to me and not the male I was with when car shopping (impressed me) and I got a bouquet of flowers when I came to collect it which was a lovely touch and a bottle of red wine which I thought was a bit odd!
I next had my head turned by a brand new, jet back, special edition Mazda MX5 with red leather interior. It was beautiful and I drove with the top down at every available opportunity, irrelevant of the season, with a huge smile on my face. Shortly after buying it I had to start making regular trips for work to the South West of England. I can assure you that a regular 500+ mile round trip in the same day driving an MX5 is NOT conducive to having a fully functioning lower half of the body. Needless to say it had to go. In 2016 I bought a cheap 14 year old MX5 and still own it as a “little something for the weekend” – it drives like a go cart and gives me as much pleasure as the original but for a tenth of the price!
I decided to go from a brand new, quite expensive car to a more economical one (not sure why exactly but think I was in an economy drive at the time). My Ford Focus was truly the worst car I’ve ever owned, not because there was anything wrong with it per se but it had a musty/mouldy smell that I could never get rid of. It was suspected as letting water in but for the life of Ford they couldn’t resolve it. Four weeks later I returned it for a refund.
The Focus didn’t put me off Fords but this time I went back to a new car with a bit of va-va-voom. A Fiesta 1.6 Sport. I’d had one as a courtesy car and fell for it so on my birthday I treated myself to one. It was agile and I loved it.
This time personal circumstances forced a change of car and I went for the good old, solid, reliable work-horse that is the VW Golf. I did not love it. It was practical but I was bored to tears by it. When I got to a point in my finance agreement where I could hand it back to the finance company that’s exactly what I did, though I did feel a tad guilty because it never let me down and genuinely was a great car.
Then these weird looking quirky things hit the market and I thought one suited my personality down to the ground. The Nissan Juke is the car that holds the record for ownership for me, marking up an impressive four years. Brilliant car, never let me down, used more fuel than the published figures would have you believe but overall I was very happy with its bug eyed frog face.
I was tempted away by a jaw droppingly stunning, electric blue Audi A5 convertible. I was sat on Autotrader filling up my fantasy car garage one night (a dangerous past-time for me) when I came across it whilst looking at convertibles. A couple of days later I went to look at it and shook on it there and then, trading in my bug eyed little Juke. A new job had meant I was going up in the world so why not celebrate in style!
About 6 months later I had a call from the salesman I’d bought the A5 through, asking if he could get me into a brand new car at no extra cost would I be interested. The impracticalities of the two door A5 were starting to grate on me by this point so I said yes and spent the next two years owning the practical, luxurious, spacious, economical delights of an Audi A6.
That brings us right up to date. Today I fulfilled an ambition I’ve had for quite some time, but didn’t want to commit to the indulgence and expense of, a Land Rover. Today the Audi A6 was traded in for a Range Rover Discovery Sport Lux and I am very much in love once more. I’ll be booking in for my half day off road driving experience soon and I’m most excited indeed!
Life is short, we are here for a good time not a long time and before we know it, it’ll be gone in a heartbeat. So if cars are your thing, enjoy them, lust after them, own them and follow your heart for one day we may be too old and frail to enjoy the delights of throwing an MX5 round the bends of a country lane. That’s of course if we are privileged enough to grow old.