she’s not just four wheels and an engine ~ she’s a friend
Caterham 7 and one-time friend
Sitting at home in this government-imposed lockdown I’ve had lots of time to think and to remember. I found myself remembering all the cars and motorcycles I’ve ever owned, the good, the bad, and the just damn ugly. As I have an almost perfect memory I believe this is a pretty good list of my motoring history.
Bikes; BSA Bantam, Honda CB 175, Honda 400 Four, Norton Commando, Ariel Square 4.
I was never a particularly keen motorcyclist. England is just far too cold, wet, windy, and icy to be a fun place tor ride a ‘bike. However for one memorable year I did commute on a Honda CB175 like the one opposite. The upside was I could weave through traffic, the downside was that weaving through traffic is damn dangerous.
The very first car I ever owned, the one I learned to drive in was a Vauxhall Viva HA in dark blue. Since then I’ve liked navy blue cars. Following that I owned a Mini 850, Austin-Healey Sprite, Mini Cooper, another Austin-Healey Sprite, Lotus Elan, (which I wrote off in a bird-strike at 100+mph on the road from Durham to Edinburgh), MG Midget, (which is the same as an AH Sprite except for the badge), Jaguar E-Type Coupe, Mini 1275.
Then I bought a house and swapped the mini for a Reliant Robin van. As series of vans followed; Ford Escort Van, Bedford, and another Reliant.
Then I went upmarket again; Austin-Healey Sprite, VW Scirocco, Triumph TR6, Ford Escort as a second car, MG Montego, (that shit heap was really bad), Rover Vitesse, Vauxhall Astra, Rover Coupe, (in dark blue with the removable glass roof, great little car). Then a stealth black Vaxhall Calibra 2.5, which was a genuine 140mph car, Nissan 200SX, Caterham 7, (and that Caterham was the fucking fastest point to point little car ever on anything other than a freeway). And finally a Light Weight Landrover, which had to be the most brutally ugly car ever built.
Of all the myriad of cars I rented after that, three stand out. The Ford Mustangs, always a convertible. The Dodge Charger, and a few Nissan SUVs, which I liked a lot.
If ever I get out of this lockdown I’m buying a Volvo, a C30 sports coupe, which if you have to ask is a very cool car.
I won’t ever tell which of the above list I made out in. A gentleman never tells. I will say that you can’t make out in a Lotus or a Caterham.
I owned one of these weird 3-wheeler vans
eventually it just fell apart.