May 12, 2004

My First … Car

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for mechanical things, being more into Meccano than Barbie when younger.
I had scooters then motorbikes long before I thought about having a car. So I was approaching my 21st birthday when my thoughts turned to 4-wheeled transport. I began having lessons when a friend mentioned that someone he knew was selling the perfect car for me. Mechanically easy to maintain and fairly trendy at that time.
I went to have a look and fell in love. I tend to lose my heart fairly easily.
A baby blue, curvy bodywork, chrome bumper 1972 VW Beetle. The clincher was a small glass ‘posy vase’ mounted on the metallic dashboard. I’m a girl. The small touches matter.
I bought the car there and then and he waited in the garage for me to become street-legal. He was definitely a ‘he’. In true girly fashion I called him Bruce and had his name signwritten in inch high lettering just below the rear side window on both sides.
Befitting my optimistic nature, I’d booked the day off work for the test. I passed and made my way home from the test center to release Bruce from the garage. That first solo drive was invigorating. A drive around the country lanes then up into the Chiltern Hills. I pulled into a layby which looked down upon the town I’d grown up in. Cliched but true, I felt freer then than ever before. Anything was possible.
I cherished Bruce. His bodywork shone at all times and mechanically he’d never been in better shape.
When I decided some years later to up sticks and go to university, naturally, Bruce came too. He was loaded up with my meagre worldly possessions and we began our exodus to the coast. He ran smoothly, seeming to enjoy the prospect of life by the sea.
We’d reached Southampton when without warning, the engine blew up. Literally. Metal scattered, flames engulfed, the whole kit and caboodle.
Bruce died by the side of the M27.
I’ve had numerous cars since then, powerful, quirky, drop dead gorgeous, but none have ever really got under my skin the way he did.
I hope he’s happy in the great scrapyard on the sky.


5 thoughts on “My First … Car

  1. i feel exactly the same way about rhonda. you know, rhonda the honda. only she’s still alive. maybe i’d better call her and say good morning.

  2. Would that be the Rhondda 500 ?
    It’s weird, I’m sure I knew someone with a beetle called Bruce. Ah well, that’s why the word coincidence is in the dictionary…

  3. my first car was was called olive and she was as old as i was! in car years that’s got to be octogenarian at least. in january she was stolen from off the street outside my house. i miss her still.

  4. My first car was called Poxy, because it was. Then the next one was called Foxy, because it was; and the one after that was called Moxy, because it had a lot of it.
    Then I drove a car that was secretly known as Voxy for a year, and now I share a car with Pete so I don’t feel that I have the right to give it a name.

    Karen on May 13, 2004

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