I've been sitting here thinking about motor cars. Well, actually I hadn't but I'd seen this video from ages ago and needed to write something to justify posting the song.
But, anyway, It did sort of make me think about cars which is not a subject that crosses my mind much these days. I thought I'd miss it when I got rid of my last car and started walking everywhere but, in fact I don't. These days the roads are all too crowded and driving is no fun anymore. Not like back in the sixties when the blokes all wore multicoloured clothes and all the girls were in cheesecloth blouses.
My mate Paul got a car waaaay before me. It was brilliant and I was so impressed. An Austin A40 that he picked up for about £25 (around $40) if I remember rightly.
It was a bit unfortunate that you couldn't open the doors from inside, nor the windows. For the first few weeks the only way to get out was by taking off the back of the rear seat and climbing out of the boot (trunk). That made it really fun when we'd been out for a drink.
One morning we drove off to a pub about a hundred miles away and when Paul was parking he knocked into a low wall and the exhaust fell off. Luckily we were both wearing ties (as you do) so we were able to tie it back on again.
On a Sunday afternoon with nothing to fill our time we took what house paint we had and painted it black, red and silver. All stripes and flames from the wheel arches. That was fun too.
One week Paul went off on holiday and told me that I could borrow it. That was really nice of him and I much appreciated it.
It wouldn't start very well though and I used to have to start it by pushing it up to the top of a hill and 'bump starting' it. Give it a shove and then leap in, put it in gear and hope that the engine started.
By Thursday of that week I'd had enough of that and asked one of my neighbours, Brian, if he'd give me a tow to get it going. Now, Brian was a bit of a local gangster and was convicted of multiple murder a few years later but at the time he seemed fine to me. We only had some electrical flex for a tow line and it was pretty short, I was about six feet behind his truck when he was towing me.
When my engine started Brian stopped his truck and I ran into the back of him. I took off his rear lights and wiped off Pauls offside headlamp and the wing of his car. Brian took it in good part though. Well, at least he didn't shoot me.
Paul was very understanding too.
A while later I bought my own first car which of course had to be a Mini. I picked it up on Monday and on Thursday the exhaust fell off at the engine end and twisted 'round until it stuck out at the back like a rats tail. Unfortunately this was in the middle of the main street. When I looked in the boot (finally) I had no jack to lift the car up and twist it back again.
I rang my mate Paul and he brought his jack around and we tied the exhaust back with our ties (again).
The following Tuesday my petrol tank sprang a leak and used to spew petrol whenever I went around a corner. A week later the speedo packed in.
Luckily, two weeks after that the floor fell off and I could estimate my speed by how far my cigarette sparks flew when I dropped my fag end through the floor (trying to avoid the leaking petrol tank of course).
A few months later something dropped off the engine and into the gearbox making a mess of everything. Luckily my local garage put in a replacement engine and gearbox for fifty quid ($80). The new engine was 1300cc and not the 850cc that was in there at first but it worked alright. We had to bend the bonnet a bit to get it to close over the bigger engine.
I sold the Mini eventually to a bloke from the hospital who wanted the engine for his wife's car. Unfortunately when he changed the engine he didn't change the gearbox too. When she started it up and put it into gear she flew off through his garden wall at about 30mph in first gear.
After that I went through a few cars.
Mk1 Escort. That was pretty good and easy to work on. The brakes locked up sometimes to the point where the wheels wouldn't turn at all. I'd had an accident too and I could never get all of the blood off the interior. I got a jogger with it, the bugger bounced off my roof and left a dent there. I sold it to a mate and two days later the gearbox fell off.
I've been through a few cars since then. Renault GTL (Grand Touring Luxury). That was nice and really comfey, it'd cruise at 140mph too. I missed the end of a road once and took it over a six foot drop. Put the nearside suspension strut through the wheel arch and wing.
I've driven a few cars over the years. Toyota MR2, Lotus Elise (never again), a couple of Landrovers. The best car I ever had was again from my mate Paul. A little Datsun two door fastback, that had the best gearstick. Made those little 'snick, snick' sounds when you changed gear. I felt quite like Steve McQueen in 'Bullit' when I drove that.
Looking back it was fun but, I'm glad I don't drive anymore. Enjoy the video.