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Gone But Not Forgotten – First Cars

I remember as if it were yesterday. She’d gone to another man. I watched her disappear down the road; those sleek curves, that lovely rear end…. actually, sorry, that’s all a bit clichéd isn’t it – a bit Mills and Boon. Your first car wasn’t like that at all, was it? Although, maybe the sentiment is right. So let’s go back; back in time to the day you acquired your beloved first car.

Oh bliss! Oh joy unbounded! You’ve just left the Test Centre with – despite the best efforts of the dead-eyed zombie examiner – your pass certificate. You actually wanted a new car but, after your Dad stopped laughing and wiping the tears away, you realised it was time for that trawl around the used car market. Now, it doesn’t matter to which era you belong, the memory remains the same.

It might have been a Mark 1 Mini or an Escort or a Citroen Saxo but the process that followed has always been the same. Big, straight through exhaust – a Cherry Bomb if you could afford it; after market rear light clusters which are de rigueur for the Saxo and some engine embellishments that serve no useful purpose whatsoever. Now you were ready to hit the streets.

How you loved that car! You cleaned and polished it. You explained to the police that, yes, these really were your wheels and, yes, your parents did know where you were – although, of course, they didn’t have a clue. A lot of time was spent trying to get girls to ‘go for a drive’ – a euphemism – whilst fully understanding that your evening was bound to end in disappointment. I’ve just realised that the last sentence was not inclusive. Please substitute gender to suit. Whatever.

For many though, in our modern world, filled with green issues, ambulance chasers and insurers that have forgotten the meaning of fair trading, the cost of car insurance has made it almost impossible for a young person to afford any sort of ride at all. Cars today are better, safer and more reliable than ever. Quality used cars are available to suit all pockets. Yet even the greenest, lowest power city car attracts swingeing and unfair premiums thanks to the antics of a stupid minority. Never mind, young person. Soon enough these problems will be a thing of the past as both you and your car will have gracefully aged and it will be time to trade up. Your much loved first car will be gone; perhaps to another young person or even to that great breakers yard in the sky.

You’ll shed a tear but, don’t worry, as I once proved, time and a Porsche heals all.

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