Friday, 11 March 2011
Friday Five: All About Cars
For the first time I am taking part in a Friday Five challenge from The RevGalBlogPals. I felt particularly inspired as today it is about cars. Absolutely nothing to do with church or religion, so a total change for today but when I think of cars I think fondly of my beetles, and the fact that I now drive a 'family car' is rather depressing, so here I shall be able to reminisce... If you want to take part visit their blog and answer the questions... These are mine:
1. earliest recollection you have of a family car
My parents are vintage car enthusiasts so when I was a kid we literally drove around in a 1927 Austin Seven, affectionately known as 'a box'. I was kind of cool in a weird way and it got us some friends who just wanted a ride in the car. Plus my Dad had to always drive the Village Fair Princess around on fair day which provided some schoolgirl kudos...
2. The first car you drove when you could (legally) get behind the wheel yourself.
By this stage my parents had canned the box and were on a mini-metro as the daily car. I learned to drive in this, but my first own car was a VW Beetle which I loved. It was called Derek and was a rust bucket, and a money-pit but I loved it and spent hours sanding down rusty bits and repainting them. I formed a life-long love with 'jenolite' which won't mean much to must of you but was a chemical powerful enough to do away with rust, and of course your fingers if you got it anywhere near them...
3. A memorable road trip
Probably the most memorable was a trip to Glastonbury with my neighbour and his friend. It was literally Thursday eve before the start of Glastonbury and we were sat around talking about it and on the spot (well after a few, err, drinks...) decided we would hop in the car and go the next morning. We took nothing except sleeping bags and beer. Oh the stupidity of youth... That said, it was the first time I had driven further than the local town and we cranked up the radio on the way and had a fab time and managed to sneak into glasto without paying (I should like to say this was pre-Christian days for me and pre the massive glasto fence designed to keep out idiot teenagers like me ;)
4. The car you drive now. Love it? Hate it?
I don't hate my car but I don't particularly like it. I feel very middle aged when I get in it. It's a Renault Grand Scenic, with 7 seats. It just screams 'family car'. I long for my beetles... that said, it has an awesome stereo, heating that actually works and air-con. I really hate to admit it but I am not sure I could drive a car without air-con these days. Does that make me shallow...?
5. An interesting story that involves you and a vehicle. (No, I do not have a dirty mind!)
Ok, so my beetle... well beetles are funny things, because they are collectors cars they keep their value, even when they are not in a great state!, which is great if you are a student, so often they just get patched up any old how just to keep them going.
Beetles have tyres with no inner tubes, it's supposed to mean you can't puncture them I think but what happened with mine was that as the wheels were so old you could bump a kerb and the tyre would literally deflate on the spot. Particularly handy on a trip into town... On top of that it was impossible to get the wheel nuts off if you needed to change the wheel, so I had to carry a scaffolding pole in the car to use to get leverage on the nuts..
But anyway, the funniest thing was when I nearly set fire to my car whilst driving... Beetles have the radio in the front dashboard as most cars but there is nothing behind them, it just leaves a hole into the front luggae compartment (or boot at the front...). So I was between radios and had just a hole in the dashboard. It was middle of winter, the heating was practically non-existent and through this radio-less hole a gale was blowing as I zoomed down the A23 at (max speed...) 55mph. So I stuffed a rag in the hole to stop the draft (Note: always keep rags in a beetle, useful for mopping up when the floor leaks, oil leaks, the windows mist up constantly or you need to do something daring with the engine...). So rag stuffed in hole, draft gone. Then I start to think I can smell burning... then I notice smoke appearing from the rag. Now, what would be the sensible thing to do here? yes, absolutely, pull over, take the rag out, maybe call the fire brigade. did I do that? no. at 55mph on a busy dual carriage way I yanked the rag out of the hole to find it actually burning... with real flames... I can't remember how much panic went through my mind and for once I was grateful for the leaking and 2"deep water puddle on the floor... It transpires that the live radio wire was still there and linked directly to the battery. Oops...
I still say my beetles were my favourite cars though...