Yes, there’s no fun in just having money sitting around, so like millionaire businessmen around the globe, I’m going to invest my vast wealth in a motor car.
I spent yesterday trawling around the local countryside for objects of desire. A Fiat Panda was explored, poked and rejected.
I’ve always liked Pandas, but this one just didn’t win me other. It’s hard to say whether it was the colour, the dirt or the ruddy great holes in the rear wheelarches and the fact it wouldn’t start, but I decided to look elsewhere. Then I had a look at a local City Rover. It had to be done. Surely the City Rover isn’t as bad as everyone says? Er, sadly, it is. While within it beats the heart of a willing and sprightly motor vehicle, the shoddiest interior plastics made me really quite depressed. Why? Because four money grabbing venture capitalists temporarily distracted themselves from creating lovely pension schemes for themselves and thought that rebadging a cheap, Indian-built hatchback was the way to save MG Rover back in 2003.
I found the car quite charming in some ways. The Peugeot four-cylinder engine delivers a good turn of speed, the handling is nice and the ride firm but not unacceptable. I’m very glad I wasn’t a dealer trying to sell one of these new though. The electric window switch fell apart in my hand, I almost cut myself on sharp edges and the bonnet release had all the structural integrity of mist. It was an interesting experience, but I don’t think it’s a car I’d want to own. Especially as the airbag warning light was on and the bonnet seemed to be rusting. The boot also smelt of Morris Marina. That’s ok on a Morris Marina. It’s not ok on a seven-year old car.
So, I got back to scouring Ebay and the classifieds, honing in on the sort of car I wanted. I got tempted by Ford Pumas, but managed to refrain from bidding on one. In fact, several cars including a Perodua Kelisa and a Rover 75 took turns to top my watch list before ending with no bids lodged by myself. I was frankly astonished at my newly-found powers of restraint.
In fact, so impressive are these powers that I’m leaping on a train tomorrow to view a car and may then buy it. I haven’t actually gone ahead with a blind purchase and am trying to tell myself that if there’s something I don’t like about it, I’ll just come home on the train.
I’ll give no further clues for now. You’ll just have to stay tuned. All I will say is that I’ve never owned anything made by this manufacturer before and that sadly, you cannot buy anything from this manufacturer new. It’ll be a tribute to the many names consigned to history in the name of motoring progress. A colourful tribute…