Cars and Girls - Part One - The Mini Van
In the words of Prefab Sprout's Paddy MacAloon, "Some things hurt more much more than cars and girls". Although not quite echoing my own experience cars and girls have certainly cost me a lot of money in my lifetime. Most of my cars have happy memories associated with them. Associations with certain phases in my life, music and the girls that have sat in my passenger seat.
My first car was a blue Mini van. Americans would associate the term minivan to be what we would call a people carrier or MPV. This, however, was the van version of the ever-popular Mini. My Mini (this was before I got into the habit of naming my steeds) was a darker blue than the Mini in the photo and quite frankly a bit of a shit heap and the first in a succession of two-seaters.
Although I wasn't exactly close to my father he did provide me with a roof over my head, paid for my driving lessons and brought me my first "car". It didn't cost much, maybe only a couple of hundred pounds, but it prevented plenty of entertainment. This is one of the few cars that I don't really associate with any women. I do recall running round to let the occasional female passenger out of the car. Not as an act of chivalry, but because the door would always get stuck.
I often had to park the car on a hill so that when it didn't start it would be easier to push it to get it started.
The car was eventually involved in an accident. I remember this event fairly clearly. We were sitting in the car waiting at a junction listening to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", headbanging to the heavy bit like the scene in Wayne's World. Then someone in a sports car hit a motorcyclist and rolled into my poor Mini. The motorcyclist lived to tell the tale, but my Mini didn't. The car was written off and with the money from the insurance I bought a nice new racing bike. I got fit through cycling and lost a load of weight... Money well spent.