Saturday, 5 November 2011

Cars, cars cars!

If my father or his brother Geoff had written blogs the first one they would have written would have been about cars so this is a tribute the them.

Austin A40
My way of tackling the topic of cars might be a bit different - not about their horse power or their special features but about the memories they evoke. For a start I am sure I do recall standing on a running board on the first car we had in my childhood although most of my childhood is symbolised by the Austin A40. It was what would now be  called a hatch back and had room enough for two small bodies - mine and my brother's to curl up in the back on that 8 hour annual journey to Cornwall. The excitement of leaving at 3 in the morning, drifting off the sleep with disembodied parental voices and the hum of the car in the background. And a holiday to look forward to! I am terrible at remembering numbers but the two A40's number plates will never be forgotten.

Mk 1 Cortina
Then cut to the 1970s and the car I learnt to drive in was a Mk 1 Cortina of ban the bomb tail lights fame. It was bottle green and a snip for £80 and given the name Nellie [not all my cars have had names]. Not a perfect first car, too big for me but all I had. I certainly learned a lot about diagnosing car problems from the noises she produced that have come in handy ever since. My very first  passenger after I passed my test got out of the car after a couple of miles - I was in central London - and was violently sick! Nothing to do with my driving but not an auspicious start!

Ford Popular
I had a six month spell with a cream Austin 1100 which had a dicky gear box and didn't last long but my next memorable car was a sensible Ford pictured in the drive named Olive that had only 17,000 miles on the clock despite being 4 years old [ now I do sound like my Dad!]. I am here with the very missed Beckton.

I loved my next car a red Mini Clubman estate in which I could carry my infant children until a Dutch lorry driver scraped the whole of its side one afternoon while I sat helplessly at the wheel. and left me like jelly.

I enjoyed my silver Escort with its sun roof - don't see those any more, and then a green Citroen Estate but the only new car I have had has been with one job where I took delivery of an Astra and that was an exciting afternoon and was followed with 11 years of Astra use and many miles of work travel.

Leisure wise there are loads of memories attached to the camper van we had for some years for  weekend overnights. Great views driving up there too though I have to confess I never quite got the hang of driving it or used to the pain in my ankle from the pedal position and was mostly a passenger. Just need to remember to take the roof down coming out of car parks!

Camper van
What I would really like to have - if the weather was good enough is a Suzuki Vitara but I have to be satisfied with the odd few days hire on holiday.

Suzuki vitara


  1. At last I am able to post a comment - it's taken me so long to get here I've forgotten what I wanted to say!

    We seem to have a lot of similar memories - running boards, setting off on holiday in the middle of the night - I used to pretend to be asleep at first so I could listen in to my parents' conversation but they never sais anything of great interest and sleep soon became real!

    My first car was a 1959 Ford Anglia, which cost £30 and it had a top speed of 45 mph - happy days!

  2. Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

    Lola x

  3. Heather - we are spookily similar aren't we? Thanks for your thoughts.

    Lola X - Thanks! Loved your blogs too. Can't see how to follow you though!! Don't find that part of blogger v intuitive!

  4. Like your blog about cars Susan. My memories of the first car we had when I was a child was similar to yours. I think it was an Austin A40 and like you I remember setting off very early in the morning to travel to Wales on holiday. There were 4 of us in the back my two brothers and my sister. Me and my sister always drew the short straw of having to sit in the middle.

    Am currenly loving a new lease of life with my new car a Mazda2 - happy days.

    Susan H

  5. On FB Eve said:
    my favourite car was a Ford [small car not sure what it was called] but when we sold it I cried when the man came to tke it away !!!!

    Steve said:
    My old Ford Popular (1st car!) was an old tank but I loved it!!x

    Thanks for your thoughts Sue - I thought we were squashed and when you think of all the other gear too - the roof rack came in handy though...