So which car would you have chosen from the three beautiful machines above? The moodily elegant deep blue one on the left, the sky blue classic in the middle or the shiny and bright red one on the right? One of them became my new car yesterday. Before I reveal the winner, let’s take a look at all those vehicles, gone but not forgotten, that I used to drive, perilously some would say, on the country lanes, motorways and even the seedy back streets of England. The rot set in in 2009 when I got my first ever brand new car. I had never dreamt of such a thing until a brilliantly inventive new-car-for-old scheme was introduced by a certain Peter Mandelson, the Labour government’s under-rated Industry Secretary who was trying, and succeeded, to inject some vitality into the British car industry. Before then I always drove old but much loved machines that gradually got more and more decrepit until they finally fell apart and, I hope, went off for a long and relaxing retirement at that home in the country called the scrap yard.
It was always a sad moment when those kind car welfare officers came to take them away on the back of their lorries.
No matter how fond I was of them, Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Fiat or Ford, I always knew that I was not their first love. It was always somebody else who knew them in their glossy early years when they could still turn a head or two with their sassy ways.
I was always the guardian of their twilight years, easing them on their way and finally wiping away a tear as they were gently taken away to live out their days in the scrap yards of old England.
My thanks to Zoe then, the sales executive from Mr Ford’s splendid car company, for opening the door to my very own and very new car. Here it is, and here she is, on day one of its shiny bright red life with less than one mile on its clock and as clean and as perfect as it will never be again.
That deep blue car, by the way, was my old one – once my brand new baby too but now two years old and time for it to move on now that I have taken the best years of its life.
What fickle things we are, I have discovered, us new car drivers….it was a good job that I photographed my old one because I have already brain-ditched it now that my world has been painted a vivid bright red.