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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Nostalgia...3. Cars

I've had many different cars in my lifetime, but only a few bring back memories for me.  I don't have any photos of them, but I've found some similar ones on the internet.

My very first car was  a Hillman Minx.  I was in my early 20s.  My father-in-law from my first marriage, was a manager of a garage in those days.  They really only dealt with expensive cars, so I would never have been able to afford one from him.  However, he knew I was looking for an inexpensive runaround, and when a customer offered this car in part-exchange for a new one, he thought of me.

It cost me just £50.  I ran it for two years, then sold it for £150!



My second car was the one I really wanted, and again my father-in-law found it for me.  A lovely 1960s red Mini.  I can't remember how much I paid for it, but again I ran it for a few years and sold it at a profit.




After the mini came a couple of cars which were so boring, I can't even recall them.  One day I discovered that a friend of a friend had a car for sale that I just fell in love with.  It was a black Triumph GT6.  These were only produced from 1966 to 1973, so this was really a collectors item.  It was immaculate and I just had to have it.  At this time I was in my late 20s, working as a Studio Manager for an industrial photographer.  I had an expense account, and the freedom to wine and dine new customers.  Somehow this car seemed to fit the image I had of myself at the time...oh the vanity of youth!

I should have known better.  The GT6 cost a fortune in repairs.  Eventually it just died and I had to give up on it.  But I did enjoy the thrill of it while it lasted.

In my 30s I had my children, and so followed a stream of sensible cars, fitted with child seats, and enough space to carry all the paraphernalia associated with being a mother.

When my kids were in their teens, I started to think about a car that I really wanted.  It was a car that I hadn't often seen, but every time I caught a glimpse of one, I immediately fell in love with it.  I found a Citroen garage and my first 2CV.  By this time I was well established in the social work field, and I had many comments from friends about the 2CV being a typical social worker car, and that I just needed the open-toed sandals to complete the image.  I hadn't even thought about this.  I just loved this quirky little car.  My first one was blue, and I called her Bluebell.  In fact, she was the only car I had ever thought of as female, and the only one I had ever named!  My son refused to travel in Bluebell.  Typical teenage boy, embarrassed at his mother's choice of car, which he thought looked like an upside-down pram.

I had Bluebell for a year or so, and would have kept her for longer, but one day as I was passing the Citroen garage I saw that they had a slightly newer model in red and white.  I traded in Bluebell for the red and white one.  The soft top was getting a bit worn and faded and I decided to have it replaced.
I wanted to personalise it  so the top was made in red and white stripes. It was beautiful and I wish I had a photo of it.  My son was pretty disgusted with it, and said it now looked like an upside-down pram with a deckchair on top.

I've had many other cars since then, none of which stick in my memory.  The above are the ones that make me nostalgic.

Did you have a favourite car? 

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24 comments:

  1. Brilliant post ..... I have had several cars over the years too ... I started with a red mini I absolutely loved it. Inbetween I had an Astra, a Fiesta and a Ford Orion (all very boring cars) and finally a couple of years I went back to my all time favorite the Mini and I love it as much as I loved my old one. I must admit though I quite fancy a car which I cant remember the name of its small and Italian and in lovely colours it was the first ever picture I put on my blog. xx

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    1. I like minis because they're easy to park Bomb! I have no idea what the Italian car could be..maybe you can search and find out.

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    2. Its not Italian its a Nissan Figaro ... its so cute and can be bought in pink or green hehehehe well and other colours of course xx

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    3. And I bet you'd opt for the pink one Bomb :-))

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  2. Oh my gosh.....love your cars. Most of the cars we don't have here. I only use to see them in British films. Your son is funny, the way he described your car.....
    We have something in common...I also had a Triumph when I was in my last year of high school. I was so popular with the guys that my Dad took the car away and I got stuck driving his Cadillac, well that was better b/c it was a convertible. So at lunch time we would put the top down and pile girls in and drive around the school. Getting looks from guys. :-)
    One of my brothers has a Mini, as an extra car. He has driven that car from NYC all the way to LA in the winter time and said he loved it a few times even during snow blizzards.
    Thanks for the blast from the past cars...loved this post.
    Sorry about your weather....it's like a yo-yo effect here too. Don't know what to wear sandals or boots from day to day.XX

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  3. I'm not really a car person...they get me around...but I remember boyfriends with Ford Prefects whose windscreen wipers would move of their own volition....and a souped up Austin A30 - I think - which would knock the socks off upmarket cars getting away from he lights!

    I had a 2CV - a deuch - for a while and it was great fun - the old model with the suicide doors.

    Then came Mr. Fly who had just decided that his MG used too much petrol and it was Audi from then on - lovely reliable cars.

    Now it's - wait for it - a SsangJong Rexton - a sort of Korean Mercedes which will climb walls if it has to.

    Oh...it seems I may be more a of a car person than I think!

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    1. I think you are Fly. I don't consider myself a car person either and here I am doing a post about them!

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  4. I can just imagine you and your friends in the Cadillac Erica. Great fun!

    This weather is strange..it's back to summer again today...just because I wore boots and a jacket to market...phew!

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  5. Great postm, ayak. DH and I are the kind who buy a car and run it until it's worn out, so in nearly 40 years of driving, I've only had 4 cars, plus our old VW campervan (I don't drive this one). I started with a Minivan and then graduated to a Metro. My all-time favourite was an ex-demo model Ford Escort Ghia turbo-diesel, which we bought when I was promoted to Area Librarian and had a lot of driving to do. I really loved that car and almost cried when we sold it after buying this campervan. We kept DH's Escort Ghia because it's an estate car, but it's just not the same.. Sob, sniff....

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    1. Oh dear Perpetua...sorry you had to part with your Ghia.

      I forget to mention that we had a couple of camper vans. One VW and then later an enormous great thing with all mod cons. It was very old but like a home from home. The idea was to take the kids for holidays in it but they weren't interested so I'm afraid it didn't get used much.

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  6. Ooohh, this is a lovely post, what a wonderful collection of cars you have driven. I passed my driving test, aged 29, 3 days before I went to live in Wisconsin. I had heard there was only 1 bus a day out of Sheboygan, the town I went to live in, so I thought I'd better learn to drive. So my first car was American.... an outrageous 1976 Pontiac Catalina, it was the size of an ocean liner and did 8 m iles to the gallon. It cost me $800, and it broke down every time I attempted to get it out of the Sheboygan city limits. It had already done 120,000 miles when I bought it. But I loved it, drove it back and fro from work, and then sold it for $400 at the end of the year. With the $400 I rented a proper car.... that didn't break down when 20 iles from home,and drove across the US, Milwaukee to LA and back, via whatever bits of route 66 we could find. It was Thelma and Louise, with a much better ending. x

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    1. Oh what a fabulous story Janice. I'm so glad I did this post as I'm getting some very interesting comments xx

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  7. I loved my Citroen Dianne. It was a fun car to drive. On the whole, though, I prefer vehicles with two wheels.

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    1. omentide,until I met Mr A I had a fear of motorbikes, but we've had more bikes than cars since we've been together and the fear has gone. There's nothing quite like being on a motorbike during the summer here, while everyone else is stuck in their hot stuffy cars.

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  8. Hello Ayak, I have been enjoying reading your blog for a time now. I'm amazed at your patience and impressed with your resourcefulness and candour. As for cars... 2CVs have a cult following around the world, especially in France of course. The original design requirements are amazing - a real multitasking car! Did you know there was an 'estate' version also? I found an article on the BBC site which might interest you. Here's the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17603598. And thank you again for your blog, it's always a pleasure to read.

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    1. Hi Christine and welcome. Thank you so much for your kind comments about my blog.

      No I didn't know there was an estate version..I'll have a look at the link.

      Yes I realised there was quite a cult following. I also loved the way 2CV drivers responded when they passed another 2CV on the road. Not just a flash of headlights, but tooting the horn and waving too!

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    2. Indeed, very friendly drivers! My message was confusing - the link was about cars but not 2CVs... If you want to see what the '2cv estate' looks like, google '2cv fourgonnette'. And try '2cv mehari' - a 4wd version!

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    3. Thanks Christine. That clears up the confusion for me!

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  9. My first car was a Renault 5 which I crashed, I then got another one that I kept for a about five years before getting a Renault 11, I really liked the Renault 11.
    Next was a Volvo which I hated followed by a PEUGEOT 309 GLD DIESEL a couple couple of peugeot 306's and a Ford Escort.
    I also drove a variety of company cars, mostly Astras, Escorts and lastly a Mondeo.
    Have you seen this site where you can check how many cars of a particular make and model are still on the road in the UK:
    http://howmanyleft.co.uk/

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    1. No I haven't seen that site Peter. I think I'll check it out. I'd particularly like to know how many GT6s are still on the road.

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  10. I love the pic of the GT6. My mum had one in the 60s, I think it had dodgy brakes though so had to go. We were always a car family, my dad was a complete petrol head. He loved Alfa Romeos and we had several. I now have a gorgeous red Alfa Spider, it's my pride and joy, and I still have my mum's old Alfa keyring from the 70s.
    We had a mini like yours too back in the day!

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    1. Hi urbanjane. I don't think I'm really a car person as such, well clearly not so much as your family. I usually can't tell one make of car from another, except for the ones I've mentioned, probably because they are mostly a bit different from the run of the mill cars.

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  11. Lovely memories! I'm just running a weekly nostalgia Link Up on my blog. This week happens to be all about car memories. I hope you won't mind if I link up your Post? You can find it here... http://saveeverystep.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/the-drives-of-my-life-lifes-a-journey-link-up-week-26/

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    1. saveeverystep: Welcome to my blog. I'm happy for you to do a link up to my post xx

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