A LifeTime through The History of Cars
The Austin A40
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
Ford Motor CarsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 carsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Volkswagon Golf GTi
Finally in 2013 a Different Car - The Mazda MX5
The Subaru Forester - Our New Wood Collector 2015
Your history of cars
How many cars have you owned
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