For the longest time I didn’t own a car, or at least own one long enough to make the relationship between man and metal a legal one. Perhaps the painful memories of previous car relationships had made me reluctant to commit to anything more long term than a rental. However, that changed last September when I decided that the time had come for me to accept my responsibility, settle down, behave like an adult and get myself a vehicle.
My previous union of man and motor ended one snowy December night with an extremely loud bang on the A10 just outside of Buntingford in the South of England. The trauma of waiting for a tow truck to come and rescue my green Mini and I was perhaps the last straw after a string or failed relationships with automobiles.
I didn’t really need a car back then, so on the odd occasion that I had to go somewhere out of range of a walk of bike ride, I went by either bus or train. Thanks to Merseyrail’s budget cut backs, the trains became free of charge due to the fact that they couldn’t afford to pay anyone to check that passengers had valid tickets. This made the shockingly bad service seem like good value for money. And on the odd occasion when someone would ask to see your ticket at the exit to the station, you could always partake in another well practiced Merseyside tradition and just leg it!
Most of my cars came with stories pre-installed. With one I had to try and avoid turning right because the battery would fall out of it’s place and the engine would stall. Another was so loud that I could only drive it in the day. If the police were to stop me, as often they did, I was always on my way to the garage to get it fixed. One car had an annoying habit filling with smoke, while another required me to push start it, and often just push it wherever I was going.
Perhaps one of my most well known cars was the one which required the assistance of a milk bottle to start, or maybe the Fiat that resembled a go cart and had a worrying tendency for losing a rear wheel while going around corners. Then of course there was the… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]