Okay, I did warn you that this would go off topic…
I have owned a Ford Puma for a number of years; she was my baby… unbelievable grip, accentuated by the addition of 17 inch low profile alloys. Even at the grand old age of 16, the enhanced 1.7 Zetec engine still growled with such a passion that I never lost the thrill of gunning her up to 50 – 60 mph in second gear (hey I use a slip road correctly to slot into the traffic…).
Well with the MOT looming at the end of this month, I knew I was in a spot of bother. I had a list of advisories as long as my arm. For starters, the rear bushes would most likely need replacing. Ouch. To add to that, I think the other sill had rusted through, as the floor upholstery was absolutely sodden. You could put your hand on it, and water would pool around it. The exhaust was blowing again; most likely the silencer had rusted out (again!).
At one point, I had a seedling growing in there
Then, a final spasm of mechanical rigor mortis, the hand brake cable snapped. Fortunately I always leave the car in first and the wheels turned to the kerb accordingly. That was still very unsettling.
So I started looking for a new car. As a keen horse rider, I had always considered driving a Landrover. What else can you tow a horsebox with, if not a 4×4? So Mrs Clavain and I would go car hunting, and one day she jokingly pointed out a rather nice looking Freelander TD4.
So I scrapped my Puma; I said a silent and forlorn mental goodbye as a forklift crunched into the side of what was once my pride and joy. I kept the alloys though, hah! I then ran round to the garage, got the Landy, drove back and chucked the alloys in the boot. Oh yeah, I have boot space now.
Needless to say, following buying our first home, our first Christmas in our new home, buying the Landy, taxing it, insuring it… I am skint and we’re in a seven week financial month.
Fast forward to this morning. It was very frosty and the car was iced up. I have to say it was a real genuine pleasure to be able to open the door (the Puma would have been frozen solid), scrape the outside of the windows (the Puma would have needed the insides scraping too) and drive off with the sunroof open and the rear window down.
Everything is awesome. Yes, but I wonder how long I’ll carry this aching tinge of loss with me. I imagine I’ll be heading over the Pennines via the A686 in my dreams for a few years to come. *That* was the best driving experience of my life.