I grew up around cars and car racing. It is in my blood. I love nothing more than driving a beautiful car along a long, winding road and enjoying the sound of a finely tuned engine. Yes, I am a rev head in high heels. I learnt to drive on an automatic car, as that was all we had at the time. All I wanted was to learn on a manual and my best friend at the time tried to teach me, but let’s be honest, it was a spectacular failure.
It wasn’t until I was almost 32 before I learnt how to drive a manual car and I haven’t looked back. The circumstances as to why I had to learn to drive a manual at the time involved me blowing up my Dad’s car (which thankfully, wasn’t as bad as initially thought) but the outcome has been a couple of years of driving pleasure and the knowledge that when I have restored my MGB, I will be able to drive it!
My first car was a Volvo and that car lasted for years. My second car was a silver Honda Civic, with the unfortunate nickname of the Demon Car from Hell. It was magnetically attracted to other cars and I swore I would never buy another Honda Civic (again, with the NEVER). I followed that up with my parents’ Magna and then a hand-me-down Hyundai Accent. When I left Sydney I took the MGB but I couldn’t drive it. It’s been sitting in the shed at the farm ever since.
For a couple of years I drove whatever car Dad bought off eBay at the time, until the Pulsar arrived as the ‘only car available that is cheap and you have to learn to drive a manual’. It was a cool little car but it had no air conditioning and no power steering. It wasn’t ‘my car’ per se, and with the commuting back and forth to Brisbane that I was doing, I decided to buy myself a car. It felt really, really good to say it was my car, that I was paying the car loan for it and I could drive it whenever I wanted without having to ‘ask’. And what did I get? Another Honda Civic!
It was one of my favourite cars and it was my go-kart. It drove well, it had air conditioning, it was comfortable and it had no problems with the number of kilometres I put on it. I was honestly sad to let it go. When I moved to Brisbane, we didn’t need two cars and only had garage space for one. Simon’s Mazda was newer than the Civic, as well as a four door, as opposed the two door go-kart.
When I started work at the uni, I caught the bus. It is a ten minute drive but it was a half hour journey on the bus. I had to drive a few times to campus to do other things after work and I got hooked on driving to work again! When I did the calculations, it is cheaper to park at the uni than it is to catch the bus each day, as well as much quicker! Plus I have the added advantage that I leave when I want and can head home when I want in the afternoon. Parking is the fun part of my morning, but I think I’ve worked out the best time to leave and where the best places are on campus to try to get all day parking.
The car I’ve always wanted is a dark blue Subaru Impreza WRX with the silver mag wheels, one of the very early ones that doesn’t have the tuned down engine capacity. Everyone tells me they are a waste of money, in terms of resale but that’s not what it’s about for me! My tastes have improved somewhat and I would love an Audi or an Alpha Romeo Brera (hey, it looks like a baby Astin Martin!). I adore Simon’s mum’s Audi A5 and my god, is that a beautiful car to drive! Realistically, our next car is likely to be a newer Mazda 3 and I’m happy with that, too.