Saturday 1 December 2018

The Saturday List #197 - The complete list of cars I've owned

Ok, I'll fess up. I'm not a petrolhead. If you are expecting a list of Lambourghini's and Bentleys, please look elsewhere. My love is music and many of my choices reflect this. Nearly all are fairly utilitarian vehicles, however all have given great service to the cause. The pics are not mine. Sadly I've never really felt the urge to photo any of my cars

Here we go 

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A Hillman Hunter Pic Courtesy
1. White Hillman Hunter (around 1979). I bought this to "learn to drive" for £50. Sadly, I didn't bother to see how much the insurance cost. I drove it illegally a couple of times around the corner to impress a girl I was keen on. Got a lecture from my Dad about breaking the law and that having no insurance was a criminal offence. A dodgy local mechanic, who we called Martin O'Goodbloke, nicked the engine and the radio and then it was scrapped. That was when I realised cars are simply money pits.

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DAF Daffodil Pic Courtesy
2. DAF Daffodil. When I eventually learned to drive aged 30, my mum donated her car to me . It was a white DAF Daffodil. Some of the people I worked with (at BACS at the time in De Havilland Road, Burnt Oak), who had BMW's etc thought it was a rather poor sort of a car. I challenged one to a race in his souped up BMW. I said that the only condition was that I set the terms of the race when we got there. He saw no way that his car could lose. We went to a long disused airstrip. He was horrified when I informed him that the terms were first from one end of the runway to the other, in  a straight line. The only thing was that the cars had to be riven backwards. What he didn't realise was that although the DAF could only do 70 and it took a minute to get there, it  had a unique gearing system that meant it could travel as fast going backwards. I'd taken the precaution of betting him a £100 so that was actually the only car that I made a profit on.

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VW MKII Pop Top Pic Courtesy
3. White VW MkII Camper Van. This is one of only three vehicles I've ever really desired. (The other two are a James Bond Aston Martin with a machine gun under the bonnet and  an E Type Jag - Neither is going to happen). The VW is the ultimate musician vehicle. You can fit all your gear in it. You can live in it and have romantic liasons in the high street, simply by drawing the curtains! Which may be why the Missus hated it. We toured around France in it. Sadly it was extremely unreliable. It was my second vehicle for a long time. I bought it from a couple of wide boy car dealers who operated a dealership called PX Cheapies from Bunns Lane Works for a couple of years for £1,000. It was a great investment. Sadly I couldn't find a piccie of one in the right colour. One of the best things about driving a VW camper is that all of the other camper drivers give you a wave when you pass them.

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Mark V Cortina Estate Coutesy
4. Gold MK V Ford Cortina Estate. This car had a very interesting history. My brother Frank ordered if from new as his company car in 1978 when he was running Mac Metals (my families crash repair business). By the time it arrived, he'd had enough of the hassle and got a proper job in an office, working in the Aerospace industry. My Dad inherited it. It was his only new car. He loved it. Unlike me, Dad was a petrolhead. If ever I did a list of his cars, it would be far more interesting. This was his last car. When he died in 1987, my mum gave it to my eldest sister Catherine. She drove it until 1994. She then inherited another car, I drove it for a couple of years, but when my Daughter was born, the Missus insisted on a more reliable car.

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Red 1995 Ford Mondeo (Pic Courtesy of )
5. Red 1995 Ford Mondeo Turbo Diesel. We bought this from Nearly New Cars in Scrubs Lane for £12,500 - it was six months old and had 3,000 miles on the clock. After driving old bangers, it was good to have a car that actually worked properly. It was the last car I owned that had a cassette player in it. That was great for me as I could listen to band rehearsal tapes on the road and old mix tapes. My brother told me that I was a nutcase getting a diesel car as they have rubbish performance. I gave him a white knuckle ride around the block (very irresponsible and not recommended). He concluded that diesel technology had come on a bit. It was a superb car in a very boring way. As a Man City fan, I had been determined not to get a red car, but for some strange reason the red ones were far cheaper. I suspect it was because Ford knew the red quickly faded to a very drab finish.

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Purple Ford Galaxy 1.9 TD (Pic
6. Purple Ford Galaxy 1.9 TD. Eventually I had to give in to the complaints about the camper van and get a more practical vehicle for the band and the growing family. We settled on a Galaxy. Again from Nearly New Cars for £17,500. My fondest memories of this car  are of shuttling around my son and his mates as 7 year olds, across London, playing for the Watling Youth team. There is something joyous about watching a bunch of kids kick a ball around in the rain. As it was primarily a working vehicle, I never cared if they jumped in caked in mud. I'd whack the heating up on full and adjourn to the nearest garage and buy them a bar of chocolate. I used to snigger at the other dads with nice cars dreading their sons trying to get in without ruining the expensive leather seats.

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Grey Ford Galaxy - Pic Courtesy
7.  Grey Ford Galaxy 1.9 TD Automatic. So we reach the end of the journey with our current motor. Bought from Dagenham Ford in Colindale for around £17,000. The previous Galaxy had started to fall to bits. It was reliable, but Mrs T decided that it wasn't in keeping with the image she would like to project, with all the dents and scratches. She initially stated that she didn't want an automatic as this would be too hard to drive?? (she's now won't drive a manual). She also liked the bluetooth enabled radio, meaning she could chat to her mates as she drove. If you've been to any of the local music festivals that Mill Hill Music Complex assist with or sponsor, this is the vehicle that has made it possible. We deliberately bought a diesel as the govt said this was best for the planet. Now we are polluting pariah's. You can't win, can you!

So of the seven cars, five were Ford motors. There is a reason for this. I am not a small chap and as far as I can tell, Fords are the only cars not designed by midgets. Every other car, and I've driven lots including BMW's, Mercs, Toyotas and Vauxhals are uncomfortable and have blind spots. I am convinced this is one reason that so many people who drive BMW's are such awful drivers, they simply can't see anyone else on the road. What will my next motor be? If I have my way another Camper van. If my wife has her way, it won't. I suspect we've got another couple of years with the Galaxy before we have the usual row. If you see me in a Camper van before then, you'll know she's finally twigged that her life would be so much happier without me and kicked me out. 

Have a great weekend

---- Don't forget to make a date in your diary for The Barnet Eye Xmas party and Community awards at Mill Hill Rugby Club on Fri 14th December at Mill Hill Rugby Club at 8pm. We really hope you can come down and say Hi. Admission is Free. 


Anonymous said...

Nothing really interesting there for somebody describing themselves as a petrolhead !! Most of it looks like grey porridge, sorry for saying so. I suspect you became a family man fairly early on in your motoring career.True or False ?

Rog T said...

Erm, read the article again? I open it by saying "Ok, I'll fess up. I'm not a petrolhead.". But as I said bought the first car aged 17 and had my first kid at 33, so had 16 years. As I stated, most of the cars were bought primarily for the purpose of ferrying my band and musical gear around, hence a VW van, a Cortina Estate and two Ford Galaxy's. In fact the only car I bought specifically because of the kids was the Mondeo in 1995. FYI - If I was into cars as a hobby, I'd have bought a powder blue E Type Jag, A Aston Martin DB6, a 1969 Cherry Red Corvette and an "Italian Job" Mini Cooper. Can't really thin of a car built after 1970 that really excites me at all. The last one I got a real Buzz out of was when I got to drive a 1960's Batmobile. Having said that I'd love to drive an F1 around Silverstone