At the tender age of 28!!!! A white Ford Cortina. An ex-taxi.
I was working at an Italian restaurant at the time and got to know many of the customers. One of them owned a local taxi firm and I regularly used it for our diners.
Cliff offered to let me have one of the taxis he was replacing, a ten-year old Cortina for a bargain £175! The valeting alone must have cost £30! When I went to pick it up, my beautiful white chariot was gleaming inside and out.
I sat for a few minutes while Cliff explained the controls.
It was a Concorde compared to the tinny tiny Micra in which I had learnt to drive and passed my test.
He then waved me goodbye as I chugged to a shy start.
My first exploratory trip was that same afternoon to a town ten miles away.
My wife sat in the passenger seat. In the back, next to our two-year old son, Adam, sat her aunt who had been invited to go shopping with us.
I set off with a Cheshire cat's smile on my face, looking out for a familiar face to blow the horn at.
A couple of miles down the road we came upon a traffic accident. A policeman was surveying the scene and, as it happened, so was I.
Suddenly my wife let out a chilling scream.
Startled, I looked ahead.
An oncoming car swerved out of the way onto the pavement to avoid me. I had been so captivated by the sight of the two inept drivers who had collided, that I had veered onto the wrong side of the road. I quickly slipped back in the right lane. The aunt's face was as white as a sheet. Adam was screaming. My wife gave me a killer stare that forecast many frosty days ahead.
A few seconds later a flashing blue light appeared in the mirror. I stopped the car and began shaking like a leaf.
The policeman who had been attending to the accident was fuming. So was one of the drivers who had just missed a head-on collision with my Cortina. He had followed the police car to add further oil to the fire and ensure the admonishment was severe.
"Are you here on holiday?" The policeman asked. After all, I had briefly driven on the wrong side of the road.
After sheepishly apologizing and confessing that it was my first sortie in my brand new Cortina he let me go not without a reprimand and a caution to be more careful in future.
A year and a £10-water pump later I sold the Cortina for £225! A net profit of £40!Come on then, what was your first car?
Labels: cars, life, memories