Friday, 3 November 2017

My Life as an Adult as Told in My Vehicles

When you have time on your hands you think about things. Weird things - strange things, bizarre things and I was caught by my thoughts about what my life was like as told in the vehicles I bought, owned and drove.  I go my first car in 1982 and my current one is 2018, 36 years of motoring history.

And diverse breeds too.   As a single young male I didn't have the encumbrance of girlfriends so my car choice was in that vein, sporty and fast.  I had no inclination to get driving as my life was largely taken up with the job.  But it was that job that eventually drove me to learn to drive as part of the job description was driving 4x4 Landcruisers so at the age of 23 I passed my test and naturally I had the urge to buy a wagon.

All images are others from Google as my own photos have disappeared

1982 - I was on leave in Palmerson North and scouring the Used Car lots (in those days they were few) and my eye settled on a 1968 Holden Kingswood 186 Ute.  Seriously the wheels and tyres were worth more than the car but hey!!  It was mine ($3500)  That wagon went through shitloads of things, collecting firewood, drunk sailors and all the piss for my Sister's Engagement (right down on its back axle.)  And it had character. The wipers would fly off in heavy rain, the firewall had a big hole where the heater should have been and the bloody gear linkages would jam, usually in heavy traffic. And remember those wheels and tyres, saved my bacon as I ended up 60 feet down a bank (long story).

Eventually the Ute dropped out of favour so next cab off the rank (pun) was my 1978 Ford Escort MK II Sport 1600.  She too was a character car, though a different type of  character.  She was a flat out sports car and I drove it like that (Yes we were hoons back then - called Boy Racers now) .  Had a forward air dam, Hella driving lights, a rear window louver and spoiler. AND of  course ESCORT across the top of the Windscreen.  I also had it tuned by an air force mechanic who spare-timed as a rally mechanic for sports cars.

Then I got bored with hard driving and decided to get something just as fast but more comfortable.  I traded the Escort in at North Harbour Ford on Wairau Road -  I got a good price for the Escort and bought a Ford Cortina MK IV Ghia (with sunroof and vinyl top.)  She was a great car and like the Holden Ute, I did my own mechanics, a breeze.  And it was a chick magnet.  I ended up having the car as a family car.  Great car all round, but we needed a bigger wagon with kids coming on the scene.

And here she was, a 1986 2 L  Ford Sierra Ghia S/W.  She was an ok car, took me about two or three visits to the service station to find out the arsewipes had sold me a car with a rebuilt front end.  Nonetheless a nice wagon.

Then we (yeah we, lol) decided to down cycle as we were tight for money and we traded to a Nissan Bluebird ZXE 2L.  Nothing to write home about, just a car.

Then one of  those diamonds in the rough.  My first Japper Import, a Nissan Bluebird SSS 1.8L  Looks sporty and drives sporty.  Nicely timed after the Piece of Shit before.  Should have been wary but she was a great car.

Then finances changed and a growing family and trips out of town dictated we get an appropriate vehicle, a van and not just any ole van, a Mitsubishi Delica Exceed 2L  Popemobile - LUXURY!!  We went everywhere in that wagon, and it was also my work van for firewood and carrying sheets of Gib, you name it.  Eventually I was relegated to another vehicle (especially for my golf tours)

Yup - my golfing wagon, especially around the Auckland areas  A 1974 Mini Countryman (or Traveller) 1000cc.  A rough diamond but a beauty.  I honoured my baby with an appropriate number plate - GLFKRT (Golf Kart)

My first Toyota, a Corolla G Touring, a nice peppy little car, principally bought for the room for golf clubs. Ending up having a crash and selling as a wreck.  I liked it though.

Didn't have a car for some years as I was in and out of hospital but when I could I bought a 1995 Ford Laser Sports.  Frankly it was a heap of shit but needs must at the time.

The next baby was a huge surprise. Another Mitsi (Diamante S/W 3.0 V6)  Plenty of room, plenty of juice and just plan a great car.  I bought it for $3000 and traded it after a year or too for the same sum.  My faith in Mitsi is justified these days.

And frankly this car rates as my all time favourite.  A 1997 Mercedes Benz SLK200 Convertible (2L) Peppy, smooth, just a wonderful  driving experience I wouldn't change for anything. Except eventually not being able to drag the golf clubs around got to me, and with a pending family reunion the need for a suitable truck saw that grey ghost traded.

Enter the Beast!!  3.5L V6 4x4 from Mitsubishi in the form of a Pajero.  I miss her - nothing short of the truth.

And I downsized due to no job and drive around in an Old Folks Shopping Trolley.  A 2004 Toyota Corolla Spacio 1.5L

I came into the (Driving ) world in a clapped out Holden and I go out in a Piece of Shit 2000 Holden (Commodore VT V6 3.8L Olympic model)

Me:  Is 312,000km too much?

Salesman  They are still driving them at 800,000km as Taxi's.(Aus)

I drop wheelies in it!!

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