A life time in the motor trade means, I have had literally hundreds of cars over the years, some for a few days, some for a few weeks, rarely anything longer than a couple of months.
It’s a blokey conversation – ‘the best car I ever had was a…’
What normally follows is a monologue about some car that clocked 145 mph, out ran a Virgin Train, was chipped, the girls melted when they saw it and had some dubious celebrity as a previous owner.
It’s not like that for me. Maybe because I’ve never really had a car long enough to fall in love. Maybe because work always makes me think ‘don’t get attached you’ll only get hurt when you have to break up’ because the car’s gone off with someone else.
Maybe they’ve just not been exotic enough.
I’ve had a few brief affairs with Porsches, some Italians, a few Mercs, everything else you can think of from mainstream but never an Aston, never a Ferrari…
I have however had one affair with a car that’s lasted 8 years. It’s not strictly my car, I share it, with Apollo. It’s known in our house as Apollo’s car.
When I drove back from our walk this morning I realised I was in love.
She’s automatic, you can drive her with one hand and one leg. You can almost sit sideways and drive safeishley at the same time.
Petrol – she does about 2 or 3 months to half a tank.
She gets up early, rarely washes, always starts, can’t sing (there’s a Pioneer stereo in the slot but it’s never worked), in fairness she stinks but there’s something intoxicating about her.
She’s got a digital watch but it’s measuring a different time space continuum. It won’t tell you ‘you’re late for work!’ – ever.
The doors close tight enough but they’ve never locked. Throughout the winter the inside is constantly damp, the windows are always dripping with condensation, the heater gets going but the trip is never long enough to get much. If you see me setting out, I’m not waving , I’m drying the inside of the windscreen.
When we first met, she’d already been around the block a few times, I think I was first attracted (I’m ashamed to admit this) because she was cheap. In dog years she’s 112 now (S reg), Apollo’s only 63.
We’ve never discussed it but we know, we both love the same person. If I get out and leave Apollo for a few minutes, I’ll often catch him in the drivers seat when I get back, I’m not jealous.
Something happens when she wraps herself around us, we just relax, we treat her right, we drive slowly, 40 occasionally, I’ve never overtaken another car in her.
I treat her to a spa day every year, then an MOT, just to thank her for being special.
Our trips, they’re over quickly, we always get home tired but happy, often muddy and needing a shower (she really does stink, even her washers stink for some reason).
So why do we love her so much?
Well she’s always pleased to see us – and us her too.
She never lets us down.
She always gets us there
Most important of all, we always have just the happiest times – great memories of everything about our trips and she’s there with us.
We talk, but never that much, just the pleasantries. Blissful walks (they are the only trips she ever makes), rain, snow or shine, occasionally we meet friends, occasionally we make friends, we always see something different, ‘that wasn’t like that last time’, none of it matters, we’re in love!
You are so lucky if you find the one…