Auto – Biography, a Synopsis-part one

I have owned many cars over the years and with one small exception I have lost money on every one.  A fool and his money….  Well I thought that I ought to try to give a historical perspective to the large number of vehicles that have passed through my hands.

The first vehicle that I owned was a lovely VW Beetle 1200, an exciting car, particularly on wet downhill bends.  I covered it in stickers and managed to bend every wing whilst parking by braille.  It had none of the extras that modern car buyers take for granted, it had no wing or door mirrors, the dipping rear view mirror was a concept not seen on cheap cars and there was no rear screen demister.  I rectified this last fault byVW Beetle
putting an after market ‘Harry Moss’ rear screen element.  I managed to stick it on with only a few wrinkles but when I wired it up the fuse box banged and poured out smoke.  I had of course not allowed for the fact that the older VW beetles were positive earth whereas all current cars are all negative earth; who knew? It also had a rev limiter (controlled by centrifugal force on the distributor, a little nugget of nerdism) that proved bowel loosening on overtaking manoeuvres.  Back in 1973 the Beetle was by no means fast, but most other cars were equally slow and there was less traffic.  At 18 one was considered immortal and there were many overtaking opportunities.  The V Dub and I covered many a mile; I recall once returning from Newcastle on the A1 late one night in very thick fog.  In those days it was a dual carriageway with many roundabouts and I was driving far too quickly, the traffic was very light and I took to driving down the centre of the road following the white lines.  Suddenly the white lines ceased, there was a loud bang and then the car started bouncing and jolting, another thud and then the white lines resumed.  I had driven straight over a roundabout!

I disposed of the car some months later and bought a Mini 1275GT.  Now there was a car!

To be continued.