Monday, August 20, 2012

Rattletrap

Old PeugeotWhat I know about cars can be restricted to three spheres of knowledge:

1) How many wheels a car has.
2) What colour a particular car happens to be (provided I can see it, of course – I don’t do telepathy or foretelling).
3) What the purpose of the airbag and the seatbelt is.

Other than that, talk of engine size, fuel mix and torque ratios means absolutely nothing to me (oh Vienna). And I am not, in truth, interested in finding out. A car is a car is a car.

But today my wife and I have bought a new car. A new second. A Peugeot 206.

Our last car was a Peugeot 106 so I am assuming from this that our new car is 100% bigger and 100% faster but I might be wrong about this.

Our old car has served us well. It was 7 years old when we bought it and has lasted another 7 to this present moment in time. It has taken us to Wales and back numerous times. It has taken us to Legoland Windsor no less than 5 times. It brought Tom from the hospital to our home when he was a mere few days old.

It has taken me to work when I didn’t want to go. Picked me up in the rain when passing. Taken rubbish to the dump. Taken us to the cinema, shopping, friend’s houses and, all in all, assisted us in various errands.

But our recent holiday has killed it.

Barely half an hour into the outward journey the trim on the right side fell off. On the second day the hand-brake snapped and we had to call out the AA. On Friday 10th, in the depth of Cheddar Gorge, the exhaust – much loosened by a malicious branch a few days earlier – virtually fell off. We had to get it stapled back on by a kindly Cheddar mechanic (no cheesy jokes please) and avail ourselves of a Kwik-Fit fitter in Stroud on our homeward journey to get a new exhaust fitted.

A galling expense when the plan had always been to trade the old girl in for a new one in September anyway (or rather, sell her for scrap – but we never said that out loud lest we hurt her feelings).

So. We decided to listen to the omens. To obey them. September may be a month too far. The old girl might well expire before we get a chance to put a bullet through her crust.

And so in a whirlwind of activity that saw us purchase the current copy of Autotrader and thumb tenderly through its Top Gear-esque innards we had a new prospective car lined up in a matter of days.

We went. We saw. We test drove. We liked.

Today we paid up and drove home our new wheels leaving our old girl on the forecourt awaiting her last journey (to the knackers’ yard). We have opened every compartment, pulled up every seat. We have reclaimed lost Pok√©mon cards and bits of Lego that have probably not seen the light of day since Christmas 2006. The bits of crisp and mouldy tuna sandwiches will be our gifts to the scrap dealer and our fragrant offering to the god of cars.

I pray he takes our old girl to his bosom and gives her long and straight celestial roads to travel during her journey through the afterlife.

I don’t know much about cars...

...but I know we loved and appreciated our old 106 very much.

Goodbye, girl.
New Peugeot

18 comments:

English Rider said...

I too have had emotional attachments to certain cars. Not currently though. Nondescript would be our vanity plate, if we had one. Total Blah! In fact, this car is so unremarkable, several people have tried to drive right through her.

Steve said...

English Rider: that's not good! Karen and I like to choose cars that, even if we idiotically left them with the doors wide open, no self respecting thief would be bothered to steal it.

vegemitevix said...

I don't have emotional attachment to my cars, I absolutely hate the car I have currently (Vauxhall Zafira..you should have told me you were looking I'm ready to sell her) but the one car I do feel sad about was the Landrover Freelander I had in Auckland. That was my status car. My I've actually managed to make a few dollars and hang onto it car. It broke my heart having to leave her behind and I still pine just a little. Happy travels for your new Peugeot. Hope the kids spill a Maccas coke all over her to back seat, to christen her. Vix

Gorilla Bananas said...

Heh, you sentimental fool! Did you give your car a name, like Herbie? No, that name belongs to a VW Beetle, how about Herbert?

Vicky said...

We are even sad enough to give our vehicles names..............

libby said...

Funny how even a box of metal on wheels can become part of the family isn't it........happy and safe motoring in the new addition.

Steve said...

Vix: we christened her with fish and chips from St Neots (where we bought her). Now she truly smells like home.

Gorilla Bananas: nope, no name as such other than 'the old girl". I find it pays not to get too close to the things you ride.

Vicky: see above. ;-)

Libby: it's so nice to be able to accelerate uphill...

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

I'm still laughing at the sentence "It has taken me to work when I didn't want to go". Maybe this new one won't know where you work and might take you somewhere else?

Keith said...

Again, I find myself with you 100%. I have had my car... hold your breath... 13 years. and I sweat it is improving with age, like wine. Logic tells me that isn't so, Metal doesn't have the same properties as Merlot, but I swear.

Many happy miles of driving in your shiny new shiny. May it speed you towards good things, and away from the bad.

Rol said...

I'd at least have bought one with a proper registration plate. The second a copper sees you driving round with that blurry messy, he'll pull you over for trying to cheat the speed cameras. That said, your old car had a very similar plate. Maybe you're just lucky.

the fly in the web said...

I grew very fond of our old Audi estate...bought second hand she weathered everything for over twenty years until grarage bills threatened to become greater than the price of a new (second hand) Audi....

I just cannot feel the same about the Ssangjong....

The name, perhaps...?

Steve said...

Trish: no, it got me to work on time this morning just like the old one. Personally I blame the satnav.

Keith: our old car was certainly fruity and fragrant... though this had less to do with maturity and more to do with tuna sandwiches that the kids had dropped down behind the seats.

Rol: I find it helps me with clean getaways when I ram-raid the local post office.

The fly in the web: it sounds a bit like a bullet ricocheting off a wall.

Marginalia said...

But has it alloy wheels?

If I'd known I'd have lent you few grand so you could buy a decent car.

I had the same trouble when I drove to Wales. It rained so much the car rusted as we went. But that was in the 1980's.

Steve said...

Marginalia: alloy wheels? Alloy wheels? Do I look like Jeremy Clarkson?

Being Me said...

1, 2, 3.... nawwwww! Shame she had to go to the knackers, though. I forgot how attached you can become to a car (even a troublesome one, like the Shitnault we traded in at Christmas) until I got my new Suzuki. Oh my. Yes, she has a name - Yoobie (which is how you'd phoenetically say the letters of her number plate). She's so pretty. She started crawling at 4 months and was toilet trained at 9 weeks... oh no, wait. I'm getting my brags confused.

Lovely new car, Family Of Steve! And bless all who eat fish and chips in her.

Steve said...

Being Me: thank you. The air conditioning alone has made me love her.

Sebastian Gaydos said...

It seems like it was really just the old car’s time to go. A total of 14 years running is definitely something to applaud though. The 206 surely looks like an upgrade from the 106. I hope it drives better than the 106 too!

-- Sebastian

Steve said...

Sebastian: 6 months+ down the line I can confirm that it definitely is.