Our new man, Chris Pollitt, has had a lot of cars. However, his first one was subject to quite the adventure. In a bid to prove his worthiness to be on the pages of Onlymotors, we thought he should tell us all about it…
I have no idea where to start with this one. There are people I still remain friends with who will read this and remember the car vividly, while there are those who know nothing of it at all. I’ve had a lot of disastrous cars in my time, but this one really takes the cake. While I get my head around what to write, enjoy the only picture I have of it. Taken with a disposable camera. At night. In the rain. Enough photo-hindering factors to hopefully make it look half presentable.
This car came at an important and crucial time of my life. Namely the week I passed my driving test. While I had owned numerous cars beforehand, none of them had ever been a position to be classed as road legal. Mainly because they were mostly in bits. Or because they were all rusty, decrepit heaps of crap. The Mini was no exception, though it did have an MOT. However, it would later become apparent that said MOT had been carried out by Ray Charles and signed off by Stevie Wonder.
At just £400, alarm bells should have started ringing immediately – they did not. I was just excited to own a presentable little number from the motoring hall of fame. I’d been brought up to love Minis care of friends who had one, along with my Dad, who also had one as his first car.
It was a seed sewn at an early age, so it was inevitable I would own and drive one at some point. But because I’m crap at buying cars of any discernible quality, it was also inevitable mine would be a shed. Or in this case, a shed hidden under a misleading respray. Shame really, it looked so pretty.
Despite wanting to go on an immediate joyride I offered some restraint, drove it straight home and parked it up. The car had no tax and I didn’t want my driving career to begin with a ticking off from the local constabulary. Two long days passed, my wages hit my bank account and I giddily bought tax and proudly wedged it in the corner of the windscreen with the condensation and dirt.
I. WAS. ROAD. LEGAL!
Tax disc in situ, I hit the road, and within mere hours the bad luck started. But it didn’t directly affect me. My friend Dean, however, didn’t get off so lightly. Nor did the Mitsubishi Charisma that he and his Metro bounced off minutes into our first tandem drive. Furthermore, this was also my first drive as an independent driver. GOOD TIMES!
I watched in horror as the Metro broke traction during our descent into Daisy Nook (a place, not a comely lass). Slamming on the brakes, my little Mini skipped through a shower of flying Metro debris. I attempted to point the Mini at a gap in the street furniture that could hopefully accommodate the sudden arrival of Alec Issigonis’ most famous napkin art.
I avoided, well, everything. The dust settled. No limbs were lost, and the only things dented were panels and pride. When the Police arrived we were quizzed about what had unfolded. I myself being asked directly if Dean and I had been racing. Raising an eyebrow before shifting my gaze from the police officer to what was left of Dean’s Metro, then to my Mini, before returning to the powerful stare of law enforcement personified, I retorted with a sincere and somewhat baffled “no”.
After taking Dean home, I spent the drive to my house reflecting on the day’s events, exclaiming how it all happened in slow motion and how it was very much like being on Police Camera Action! but, like, in real life and stuff. It was an exciting first day of driving, that’s for sure.
Arriving home, as we exited the Mini in favour of a night of Playstation and beer, I laughed to myself as I thought once more about my exchange with the police officer earlier in the day. I swung the door of the Mini shut only to be greeted by a dull clunk. Tried again, same thing. One last time…
…the driver’s door fell off.
If you know anyone who needs a first car, please, don’t ask me to source one for you.