Cars. They have been around for over 100 years and thus have transformed dramatically throughout time. They bring us joy, they bring us pain. They bring us good time, bad times, memories. Cars may be only metal, a collection of bolts and some rubber but despite this we can grow attached to them. They are mechanical, something we use frequently yet we develop a relationship with them. This is interesting as we would never think to treat your white goods like this. That is if you are not a bit odd anyway.
So, what is it that makes a car more than just an object which ferries about people and luggage from A to B? Collins Dictionary describes a car as : “a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers, esp one with four wheels that is powered by an internal-combustion engine”.Now, not all people have this relationship with cars. I know some people who only drive because it is a necessity and gain little pleasure from it. However, is that down to the person or the car? Do they get little pleasure of driving because the car they have is not special to drive? You see, not all cars can strike the magic and wonderment of actual driving pleasure. Also I think it’s worth pointing out that the memories that the car creates is a big factor.
My first car was a metallic grey Fiat Punto that cost £900. It wasn’t well equipped, it wasn’t pretty and it had quite a few dents and scratches. It was alright to drive but you can’t afford to be picky with your first car. In fact, you can probably just about to afford the car itself! I got rid of it after just under a year because it went through a 3 month period where I had to keep forking out for repairs and maintenance. But despite this, it was the car that drove me to my wedding and appears in one or two of the pictures. Therefore, for that reason alone, it did have it’s own certain charm.
As much as I was fed up of paying to repair it and a brand new car was a more exciting (and viable) prospect, I still slightly miss that car. When it was working, it was rather nippy for a little 1.2 engine. Probably because it had no luxuries like air con or sat nav to carry about so it was lighter than your modern day hatchback. I then went onto a Renault Clio Dynamique TomtTom which was nice but by no means exciting to drive. It was comfortable and well equipped but I could not grow to love it. After just 3 months I had grown bored of it and I was looking to get rid of it. This was not an option though as I had taken it on finance so I had to endure the slouchy French hatchback.
Over 2 years later I was able to trade that in and I bought a used SEAT Ibiza FR. That was a stressful process as the dealer I used was a deceitful liar. I won’t mention his name but his initials are CH and he is based in Stoke Poges. Despite all this it did not take away the joy and excitement I gained from driving the arctic blue Ibiza home. I hooned about the A roads taking the car to the red line and feeling the wheels struggling for grips at times on the potholed tarmac. Hearing the revs build before shifting up and doing it all over again.
A year and a half later and this car still grows a strong fondness when I drive it. It is the first car I have dared to take on a track day which was one of the best and fun days of my life. As a result this hatchback has very much wormed it’s way into my heart. This is very much a case of 3rd time lucky and I will definitely miss it when it comes to getting a new car.
People name their cars (not really my thing BTW), buy them silly accessories (those stupid eyelashes spring to mind) and spend hours spoiling them with tins of wax. There are not many things in everyday life that we would do this with and it goes to show that cars are extension of ourselves. So I feel that a car is more than “a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers, esp one with four wheels that is powered by an internal-combustion engine”. A car can be truly special and raise itself to the level of which a family pet holds.
What are your views? It’d be great to hear.