I have a (not large) pile of cash and the ‘Buying Mania’ is very much upon me. The Volkswagen Golf has been sold, and I was surprised at how I felt as it departed. It might have been a bit of a dull motor, but it did everything I demanded of it, including trips to Devon and North Yorkshire. It has gone to a young, female Volkswagen enthusiast to allow her Golf Mk1 Cabrio to have a bit of a rest over the winter. I’m sure it’ll be ideal for the job.
The merest sniff of interest was enough to have me plotting what to get next. It’s a proper excitement trip, that leaves me exhausted. Hours and hours spent trawling Ebay, Gumtree, the classifieds in Classic Car Weekly and random forums, bursts of huge excitement as I decide what I want followed almost minutes later by depression as I realise the folly of my ways and pick something else to lust over.
During the past three days, my Ebay watch list has been evolving to a great extent. Some of the cars that have appeared on it include the Ford Puma, Volvo V70, Rover P4, Austin Landcrab, Ford Probe, Mazda MX3, Mazda MX6 (but not MX5), Perodua Kenari, Volkswagen Lupo, Smart (original, LHD), Triumph 2000 (it was a nice one, it soon went out of budget), Triumph TR7, Fiat Multipla, Fiat Coupe, Volkswagen Beetle, Rover 75 and Austin Maxi. What sort of a list is that?! There are sports cars, people carriers, city cars and proper, chrome-dripping classics. There are icons and there are obscurities. Trying to choose one is leaving me as flustered as a group of female Strictly fans suddenly faced with a chest-baring Artem Chigvintsev (nice cultural reference eh?). I have no idea what to do other than flap my hands and make unusual cooing noises. Naturally, my wife is finding all of this a bit annoying.
Incredibly, I’ve made it through the day so far without buying anything at all. The sensible thing would be to continue with that. After all, I have two perfectly capable cars sitting outside the house, even if they do both have ancient underpinnings – the 2CV’s date back to 1948, the Disco’s to 1970. It even still has beam axles and a steering box, like a 1930s car.
I’d like to think I could do it. Keep the cash, perhaps even add to it so I can buy something really old and nice. Yet, it also feels like it’s only a matter of time before a rather expensive button gets pressed on a certain website, or a phonecall leads to rather too much temptation. Buying a car still gives me a massive rush. I love the excitement, even though the days leading up to it are inevitably filled with sleeplessness and aching eyes. Often, it is even accompanied by a massive hangover, as I wonder what on earth was going through my mind. The cold light of the day after is not always forgiving.
The biggest problem is that when the mania has kicked in, as it most certainly has, I can do pretty much nothing else. It’s that endless searching that helped me find my Discovery lurking in the parts section of Ebay. But it’s also the constant pondering of what to get next that can leave me prone to making daft decisions – like buying an enormous Mercedes, or buying a Ford Maverick sight unseen. The danger is that rationality can be utterly overlooked, though the Discovery proves that it needn’t be so. Perhaps that was luck more than anything!
So, I should put down the laptop, make plans to go out for the day tomorrow and go and get a good night’s sleep. I’ll just have one more check of Ebay first though… and possibly Gumtree. And maybe Preloved. And maybe I should check Classic Car Weekly from a couple of week’s ago…