It’s about time I came clean. Fessed up to my secret vice; my dirty shameful secret. Please don’t think the less of me for this… We all have flaws, some more fatal than others. J
|Rather like an Exmoor track...|
Okay. Deep breath. I’m a secret petrol head. Yup, I love cars. Not any old car, I hasten to add - ideally they need to be fast cars or deeply trashy trucks. Nothing much inbetween. Yes, yes, yes, I know…I’m into environmental stuff. In fact I’m a pretty deep shade of green, not quite at the ‘the world would be better without humans’ stage – but not that far off… and yes, yes, yes, cars are hideous polluters. Hideous.
But, what can I say? I get a kick out of driving cool cars….fast.
Now, let’s have a reality check here. A sad reality check. Right now, I drive the most hideous car in the world – well, not far off. Arsebiscuit Toyota RAV4. Pale gold. Dubbed ‘The Bauble’ and about as fecking useless as its Christmas tree decoration namesake. The thing is neither fish nor fowl – neither comfortable saloon nor hardcore off-roader. It handles like a drunken supertanker and drinks like an elephant. Seriously seriously crap car.
|How cool is that?|
Second confession. I watch Top Gear. Oh yeah (and the new series starts tonight – oh sweet serendipity). James and I ooh and aah over the supercars and apparently I look very funny when the reasonably priced car bit comes on as I lean into the bends, shift gear and grind my heel into the mat shouting, ‘Put your fecking foot down!’.
Third confession. Jeremy Clarkson makes me laugh. Yes, he’s an arrogant tosspot but he’s a funny tosspot. And I like that Top Gear is kinda real. They take chances; they do their own stuff and, oh my, their travel journeys are beyond awesome and I am beyond envious. Oh, you know how I love road trips and sometimes I just wanna get behind the wheel of a car and just drive, drive, all day, all night…
Anway. I’ve had a motley crew of cars over the years. My favourites:
My very first car, an ancient (1967) VW Beetle – red. Impossible in heavy rain, freezing cold in winter, but gutsy brilliant little car. Laughed at ice. Played with truckers on my long journeys up and down the M1 and M6. Gutted when the suspension cracked. Got it welded. Ran for years.
Toyota Celica – the old shape. Red. Cool as shit. Wouldn’t let Adrian drive it.
Mitsubishi Shogun - first four-wheel drive. Solid as a tank. Great off-roader.
Suzuki Vitara – spunky little four-wheeler…cheap as chips but a great little car. Hugely underrated.
Don’t talk technical to me. I’m no mechanic. I can’t think of anything worse than lying on my back under an engine. I just like driving them…the good ‘uns. So, often, when we’re driving, James and I play fantasy car fleets. Adrian rolls his eyes – he really doesn’t give a toss.
And I’ve narrowed my current list down to these…
Porsche 911. Pure nostalgia this. My favourite car when I was 18. Erik the Viking recklessly promised he’d buy me one for my 21st birthday. Sadly, when that came around, he’d managed one of his spectacular downturns. Never mind. Just a great-looking, fun to drive, car. Ultimate cool.
Noble M600. Fast as feck. Bit of a looker. To be honest, it's a bit flashy for me and crap visibility but James loves it, so it made the list. Made in the UK. So, buy local huh? Car miles, y'know? Hey, positively virtuous. J
Toyota Hilux. The indestructible one. I love trucks – the older and more battered the better. This would be my workhorse of choice. It wouldn't stay that colour long on Exmoor!
Audi A7. The family car. For cruising up the motorway in comfort. Audi make great cars (have had several), responsive, good acceleration, nice handling. Forget Mercedes and BMW – Audi are WAY better. End of.
Ford Mustang GT5. Okay, so the handling is crap but if you’re gonna have a muscle car, you gotta have a Mustang, right? Pick me up, put me down on a US highway and let's go eh?
Ford Focus. Don’t laugh. If you want a nifty little runaround, this has to be it. I’d have one of these for city driving – nippy in traffic and a perky little parker. Okay, so that's the rally version... And?? Your point?
I could go on but I can feel your eyes glazing over. So let’s have a bit of road music, huh?