My recent post about the death of Eleanor sparked some questions why men covet cars so much. Too be honest I’m not a massive petrol head, I barely know anything about cars. When something goes wrong I haven’t got “a guy” that’ll fix it for free, I don’t know what a twin turbo engine is, I barely even know what the difference between petrol and diesel is!
But I was thinking to myself today at work, what is it that gets us so hooked on cars? What makes us think of them as not just a thing but a him or her. What makes us emotionally attached to them?
I can’t answer for all men because no doubt the reasons vary but for me, I see driving as freedom. Since not having a car I’ve had to rely on public transport to take me where I want to go, having to sit on a *shudder* bus and sit near people I don’t know on a seat where I have no idea whose been sat there before me.
For all I know it could have been some old woman with a weak bladder; pissing deep into the fabric and now I’ve just sat down on that very same seat; have you ever seen a clean bus? They might give em a sweep every now and then but lets face it, we’re not sitting on the floor.
I haven’t seen any friends since the loss of my car, most of them live in another city. I like knowing that at any moment I can just jump in my car and go wherever I want. I can just up and leave if I wanted to; I could go to Manchester or London just for a drive if I wanted to.
And when I’m on those drives my car has always gotten me home safe and sound. Doesn’t matter if some prick is trying to ram me off the road or if I’m travelling on a very dodgy road, even if it should have died long ago they’ve always kept on going.
As of this moment I’ve only owned two cars in my life, the first one being a Ford Fiesta, my first car. It was ten years old and low mileage, it wasn’t a flashy car and the colour was something to be desired but it sure as hell was reliable.
I treated that car like a piece of shit, I hammered the hell out of it. Pushing the engine far beyond its capacity resulting in a busted head gasket (I don’t even know what that is but it was expensive to repair). That car took me to all corners of the United Kingdom, Brighton, London, Wales, Scotland and it always got me home. I suppose that’s why we get attached because they look after you.
Eventually the car just wasn’t worth repairing with the amount of work that needed doing to it, after four years the time came to move on.
And with that came the MG TF. Unlike the Fiesta I didn’t go for reliability, I went for pure looks, I wanted a convertible. I wanted to cruise around with the top down and feel the breeze in my face; there’s just something awesome about looking up while driving and seeing nothing but sky.
It did seem like I was sold a lemon with that car at times though as soon after I bought it the clutch went out on it and boy that was expensive to repair, though to be fair the only check I did on the car was test how loud the engine was. Once it was fixed though I didn’t have any more problems with it; I loved having a car that made me smile every time I looked at it. Eleanor as I affectionately named it after the GT from Gone In 60 Seconds was a beast compared to my old Fiesta in terms of speed and handling but at the same time was also a beauty.
I don’t mind admitting that I used to just sit on my wall and look at her for a couple minutes before getting in. I had a car I could be proud to drive around in. The best time of my life was driving back from Scotland with the roof down all the way back, just me, the road and the sun.
Unfortunately unlike the Fiesta the mileage was quite high and had more previous owners; it was pretty much shagged when I bought it and ended up not lasting the year, end of Feb being when I bought it. The engine overheated on New Years Eve but I thought nothing of it, then it overheated again a couple weeks back. It looked as though it was just the water pump that needed fixing but it could also be the head gasket or the engine itself. The mechanic took so long to fix it I made the decision not to get it repaired and I would just go ahead and buy another. The MOT was also due and I know at least three of the tyres would need replacing and God knows what else.
I feel my time with Eleanor ended before it should have, she was not well looked after in a previous life but she still got me to where I needed to be right up until the point when she couldn’t anymore. I also feel a little sad because the winter period is over, it’d soon be time for top down weather but I remind myself that I will one day have another convertible, hopefully one that’s been better looked after with less miles on the clock.
So what’s next? I shall be buying my friends Toyota Celica, a little older than the MG and more miles on the clock but more looked after and from someone I trust not just some random man at a garage that’s obviously experienced in sales.
The Celica is a beauty in herself, very sleek. And it’s faster than the MG… and louder (which is always a must) I haven’t decided what to call her yet when I eventually purchase it but I can’t wait to get my hands on her.