Monday, 13 February 2006


Cars and I just don't seem to go together. In fact, vehicles I own seem to have some sort of problem with me. Friend's cars, company cars, rental cars, none have ever given me any problems. Only when they're mine do they decide to make the struggles of Sisyphus look like a great afternoon out in the open air.

You know, I do all the maintenance on them, I keep them shipshape, I've never lost my No Claims Bonus ... but something always just. Seems. To. Happen. I'll show you what I mean.

My first vehicle was a motorcycle. I had it for a year or two, before being run off the road by a woman going through a stop sign. I still remember flying through the air over her car thinking, "Hmmm, what happens now." So I bought a car. A beautiful little MG Midget like that one on the left. That too lasted a year and a bit, before the axle snapped while I was giving my girlfriend a driving lesson. I headed to Sydney to recover, as you do.

Somehow, on my return, I was persuaded to buy a Mini. The Mini lasted a few years, doing a lot of driving between Wellington (where I was living) and Auckland (where I was playing footy), before expiring on a routine trip into Uni one morning: the brakes failed coming down Mt Pleasant Rd. Unpleasant. I avoided going over the edge, but that was the end of that Mini, and at least one fence-post.

A friend in Auckland took pity on this poor Uni student. He had a Minivan in his barn, and when the chickens were shooed out the car went, and there was plenty of space in the back for my tools. The car ran well. Once. Drove down to Massey Uni for Easter to see my girlfriend, who was living on campus in a flat at the base of the Vet Tower. It ran beautifully.

I parked outside in the wee small hours, and I was shaken awake too few hours later by my hostess. Was the car I'd driven down a cream Minivan? I said it was. She said it was upside down outside -- the sight of the little car had been too much for a group of passing students, it seems who had done what you do when you're dumb. The car (and my tools inside it) were never the same again. I should have known better, really: my tools had been stolen from the earlier Mini at the same place a year earlier.

To cut a long story short, since then I've had a Ford Escort which was stolen and wrecked; a long hiatus in which I enjoyed no problems at all with company cars, thank you very much, before returning to Auckland and a Mitsubishi Sigma that was destroyed by another woman going through a stop sign; a Fiat Spider in which one by one gearbox, engine then body gave up on life; and a Subaru that was written off late last year after three cars and a Coca Cola truck decided to go into the back of it on the motorway.

Bad karma. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was being picked on for something, wouldn't you?

I have a new car now. Bull-bars. Bullet-proof engine. Sturdy engineering. And it doesn't leave the house except when it really, really, really has to. I try and borrow other people's instead. I have no problem with them.

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Blogger Rick said...

Hmmmm. Superstitious Objectivist!

13 Feb 2006, 11:28:00  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

Your new car wouldn't happen to be one of these would it?

You did say it had a bullet-proof engine and sturdy engineering...

13 Feb 2006, 14:13:00  
Blogger Eric Olthwaite said...

Of course you are having problems with cars, you owned a Ford...

Q "What is the difference between a Ford and a tampon"
A "Tampons come with their own tow ropes."

Just buy a Holden, don't you watch Bathurst?

13 Feb 2006, 14:19:00  
Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

There is only one safe rule regarding cars - avoid British ones.

13 Feb 2006, 16:12:00  
Anonymous tincanman said...

I just had to replace the clutch in my Ford about 8 months ago; first time in about 39 years as far as I can tell from the car's service history. Most amazingly reliable car I have ever owned.

So what did you get though?

16 Feb 2006, 00:34:00  

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