A LifeTime through The History of Cars

The Austin A40

Courtesy of Wikipedia Ref: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Austin_A40_MkII_Countryman_rear.jpg
Courtesy of Wikipedia Ref: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Austin_A40_MkII_Countryman_rear.jpg

My History of Cars

This is going to be a nostalgic trip back in time to an era when you could still travel the roads of Britain without being nose to tail in a traffic jam, spending half your life queuing at traffic lights or crawling past endless miles of traffic cones with no apparent activity the other side. To a time when the terms speed and camera were only used together to describe how quickly the shutter operated.

It is going to be my little indulgence as I progress from the mid seventies to present day sharing my life through the history of cars I have owned over the years. When I counted up how many cars I have actually owned I was more than a little surprised to say the least and if I am a typical example of my age, then there is little wonder we have a global warming problem.

Still, enough of being a grumpy old man, on to the business in hand and my first car bought in 1975 for the princely sum of £50 including 10 months tax and 8 months MOT.

It was a bright red Austin A40 with beige plastic seats and a top speed of around 80mph, well from what I remember.

Don't expect me to recall that level of detail for all the cars I have owned, in particular the year of purchase, price or condition. The Austin A40 was my first so a little came back to me. As for the others, well they are just cars and even though they are my history of cars, I still don't remember that much about them other than the odd ones considered favorites.

I must have been sporty, this was one of the very first hatchbacks that existed back in the 70's. Don't remember it having much pulling power though, most of the girls I met asked me when I was going to get a proper car!!!

My Love Affair with Ford Motor Cars

After about 18 months of running around in my A40 and now having passed my driving test I thought it was about time I bought that proper car all the girls kept asking me about. The A40 had served it's purpose and was sold for, you guessed it, the princely sum of £50 including 2 months tax and 10 months MOT.

Its replacement and my idea of a proper car was a light blue Ford Escort MkI. I proudly took to the road to pick up my girlfriend of the day and who promptly said when I arrived 'I thought you were going to get a proper car'. I guess you can't win them all.

I did have a bit of a love affair with Ford and over the years I owned not only a MkI Escort, but also a MkII Escort, a Ford Capri, a MkII Cortina, a MkIII Cortina 2000 and my pride and joy a black Ford Escort XR3i

Some of these photos are courtesy of Wikipedia Escorts or Wikipedia Cortinas as back in those days I wasn't really into photography and didn't actually take photos of every car I owned.

Ford Motor Cars

Click thumbnail to view full-size
What I got (only it should be blue)-circa 1976What I wanted What I got (but it was white) - circa 1978An early gas guzzler - circa 1981A family car - circa 1984After the divorce before I had any money - circa 1985 and this was mineAfter the divorce once I had some money -circa 1987, this one was mine alloy wheels and all.Family car - circa 1988 my 2L Ghia, wish I had gotten this one as a new car
What I got (only it should be blue)-circa 1976
What I got (only it should be blue)-circa 1976
What I wanted
What I wanted
What I got (but it was white) - circa 1978
What I got (but it was white) - circa 1978
An early gas guzzler - circa 1981
An early gas guzzler - circa 1981
A family car - circa 1984
A family car - circa 1984
After the divorce before I had any money - circa 1985 and this was mine
After the divorce before I had any money - circa 1985 and this was mine
After the divorce once I had some money -circa 1987, this one was mine alloy wheels and all.
After the divorce once I had some money -circa 1987, this one was mine alloy wheels and all.
Family car - circa 1988 my 2L Ghia, wish I had gotten this one as a new car
Family car - circa 1988 my 2L Ghia, wish I had gotten this one as a new car

A Mitsubishi Shogun Off Road

A Miscellaneous History of Cars

It wasn't all Fords, although I admit it is beginning to look like it. No there were a few other makes scattered in amongst them. One of the most memorable was a Volkswagon Beetle, memorable for a few reasons really. Like the bonnet being strapped down with rubber bungees, the fact the heating didn't work so I could not see out on a frosty morning, the 6v electrical system that meant nothing really worked. But most memorable of all being the way it aquaplaned straight across to the other side of the road whenever you hit a puddle, not funny when someone was coming the other way. A good job it had plastic seats really; much easier to clean.

Then there was the Hillman Avenger, the Mini Clubman, the Austin All Agro, I mean Allegro and of course the Austin Metro. As you can see I had a wonderful taste in cars, the mini could have been good, except I had 2 kids and a wife to transport around when I had it, not very practical really the pushchair was more out of the boot than in it.

There are a couple of photographs missing, I couldn't find one of a Vauxhall Astra Estate I owned around 1990 for love nor money. Also a Fiat we once had, but for the life of me I couldn't remember which model it was; even though it was a bit of a sporty classic and a collectors car. We sold it to someone who actually wanted to restore it, hopefully he did and it is still around somewhere being truly loved.

Life is funny in 2013 we were given a Vauxhall Astra which was destined for the scrapyard, supposedly with lots of problems. Turns out there really wasn't a lot wrong with it, so with a few quick fixes, a control technique (French MOT) and a bit of insurance, it is now our emergency car. This one is a 1998 model, 8 years younger than the first one I had and of course I could photograph it myself to fill a gap in the history. Doesn't look too bad for a condemned soul, does it?

So there you have it, my life through the history of cars from 1975 to 2010 and the grand total, if I haven't forgotten any is 26 cars in 35 years, taking into account a Ford Fiesta I just remembered and a second Renault Clio we got after the first one was written off while it was parked in my drive. That was a brilliant shot from a painter and decorator who skidded on ice and turned his van into a bit of a psychedelic disco when it rolled over after hitting the Renault, on the inside anyway.

I was thinking about my favorite from all these cars and found myself struggling to come up with an outright favorite. My wife on the other hand didn't hesitate it was the Volvo 480 for her.

For me I had to narrow it down to 4:

  • Ford Escort XR3i
  • Volkswagon Golf GTi
  • Mitsubishi Shogun
  • Saab 90

I really enjoyed all these cars and just couldn't pick a winner. Let me know which one you think I should have picked.

Oh by the way if you want to find out what happened to the Nissan in the river, click on Space the Band

Filling in the gaps with my miscellaneous history of cars

Click thumbnail to view full-size
What was I thinking - circa 79My favorite family car, just needed a few more kids to fill it - circa 1982Definitely an All Aggro vehicle - circa 1983Just so boring, 1000cc and the performance of a wet paper bag - circa 1984A Saab 90, just like flying an aeroplane - circa 1989Golf GTi - circa 1990 and again circa 1994, must have really liked theseA little Renault stop gap -circa 1995My Nissan got a little wet, but at least it got it's 15 minutes of fame - circa 1996Mitsubishi Shogun for country living - circa 1998Daihatsu 4Track - circa 2001The wife's pride and joy - a Volvo 480 - circa 2002The latest and greatest, apart from the dodgy windows, steering column electrics, and CD player - 2005 to dateA Vauxhall Astra, donated as an alternative to the scrapyard in 2013, but you will be happy to know fully legal, insured and still running.
What was I thinking - circa 79
What was I thinking - circa 79
My favorite family car, just needed a few more kids to fill it - circa 1982
My favorite family car, just needed a few more kids to fill it - circa 1982
Definitely an All Aggro vehicle - circa 1983
Definitely an All Aggro vehicle - circa 1983
Just so boring, 1000cc and the performance of a wet paper bag - circa 1984
Just so boring, 1000cc and the performance of a wet paper bag - circa 1984
A Saab 90, just like flying an aeroplane - circa 1989
A Saab 90, just like flying an aeroplane - circa 1989
Golf GTi - circa 1990 and again circa 1994, must have really liked these
Golf GTi - circa 1990 and again circa 1994, must have really liked these
A little Renault stop gap -circa 1995
A little Renault stopgap -circa 1995
My Nissan got a little wet, but at least it got it's 15 minutes of fame - circa 1996
My Nissan got a little wet, but at least it got it's 15 minutes of fame - circa 1996
Mitsubishi Shogun for country living - circa 1998
Mitsubishi Shogun for country living - circa 1998
Daihatsu 4Track - circa 2001
Daihatsu 4Track - circa 2001
The wife's pride and joy - a Volvo 480 - circa 2002
The wife's pride and joy - a Volvo 480 - circa 2002
The latest and greatest, apart from the dodgy windows, steering column electrics, and CD player - 2005 to date
The latest and greatest, apart from the dodgy windows, steering column electrics, and CD player - 2005 to date
A Vauxhall Astra, donated as an alternative to the scrapyard in 2013, but you will be happy to know fully legal, insured and still running.
A Vauxhall Astra, donated as an alternative to the scrapyard in 2013, but you will be happy to know fully legal, insured and still running. | Source

Volkswagon Golf GTi

Finally in 2013 a Different Car - The Mazda MX5

The Renault is still going strong, but to add a bit of fun to life and for touring in the South of France... a left hand drive Mazda MX5
The Renault is still going strong, but to add a bit of fun to life and for touring in the South of France... a left hand drive Mazda MX5 | Source

The Subaru Forester - Our New Wood Collector 2015

Our new 4x4 option to help with wood collection from the forest.
Our new 4x4 option to help with wood collection from the forest. | Source

Your history of cars

How many cars have you owned

  • 0 to 10
  • 11 to 20
  • 21 to30
  • More than 30
See results without voting

So what is your history of cars and which was your favorite? 13 comments

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

Ah, my parents worked for General Motors so...every car I've owned to date has been that (in one way or another). My first car was a Pontiac Fiero, very small. To this day, I love smaller cars.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Funny, I am working on an article about Ford cars, which I love and have always had, except for the times I had an MG, an Austin Healy and a Jaguar (not all at the same time). Interesting hub...enjoyed it.


BrianS profile image

BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France Author

Hi Mulberry, I think General Motors owned Vauxhall at some point and the Hillman was a Chrysler. Other than the Mitsubishi and the Daihatsu the cars I owned were all pretty much considered as being small, even the 2L Sierra was relatively small. Thanks for the comments.

Hi Alekhouse, an MG, a Healy and a Jaguar, some nice cars. Looking forward to your article on Ford. Thanks for the comment.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

For a non-driver a lovely read. Thank you.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

We still have pictures of our Austin A40! Later on we acquired an Austin Cambridge, a Volkswagon Beetle and a Ford Anglia. Right now it's a Honda Civic. :)


BrianS profile image

BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France Author

Hello, hello, tahnsk for the comment.

Hi Quicksand, you reflect the change in history. In a nutshell going from a British car to a Japanese car. The British car industry actually no longer exists; although there are car makers from other countries operating in the UK, and Honda is one of the biggest.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

Well, Brian I even used to wonder what happened to certain electronics companies like PYE and Collard. Our first record player was a PYE.

During my childhood it was an established fact that "Made In England" meant superior quality. :)


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I think the car that I loved the most was my Ford Sierra 3L. It was a really wonderful car - speedy and responsive and comfortable. I loved it. I went into mourning the day I was hit by a silly person driving a Merc (ugh!) who was reading an estate agent exam textbook while driving and so went through a red traffic light and took me out. My beloved Sierra was a write-off. Luckily both the other driver and I were alone in our respective cars and were neither of us seriously injured. I never heard from her again, but I hope she failed her estate agent exam! (I hope that's not too vindictive of me!)

I have recently owned a Hyandai Getz 1.6 which I thoroughly enjoyed.

If you ever need any car info my son Zak runs a great site called CarFolio.Com which he modestly says "is, as far as we know, the most comprehensive database of car technical specifications on the internet." URL: http://www.carfolio.com/ Hope that's not too promotional?

Thanks for a great read.

Love and peace

Tony


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol

That is quite a lot of cars. I on the other hand have never even owned a single car, despite having had a licence for four years!


BrianS profile image

BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France Author

Hi Tony, no problem with the link, all adds to the usefulness of the Hub.

Hi BristolBoy, I guess you must live in the city. Only guessing but if you live outside of a large city getting around without a car can be a bit tricky.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

A Metropolitan Rambler, '65 Ford Mustang GT convertible, Audi 5000, Toyota Corona, Camry, Honda Accord Hybrid--all sensible cars after the first two. I will have to say that the 2005 Hybrid was a mistake by Honda. The horsepower is greater than the regular Accord and when the electric and gas motors engage together, it screams off the line. Not a lot of gas savings but raises a few eyebrows. =:)


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting Hub - Sorry to hear about your Clio. I like your first Car. As you have such a passion for Ford, I wonder what you thought about the Ford Focus.

Your wife has good taste. Volvo's are so powerful and reliable. I love the ones that have heaters underneath the seats. (for winter)

I've only had one car so far - a Red, Toyota Corolla.

Lovely Hub.


BrianS profile image

BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France Author

Hi Winsome, an interesting collection of cars, especially that Honda hybrid.

Hi Lady E, I liked the look of the Ford Focus but never actually owned one. I have driven one from a hire car company and it was fine, very reliable which is typical of Ford as they serve the fleet car market. Actually so do Toyota now, so you should be OK with your Corolla if you still have it.

Thanks for the comments.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    More by this Author


    Click to Rate This Article
    working