During the week, I set about organizing some driving lessons for my son. Like most young men, he's excited at the thought of getting behind the wheel for the first time. We've had some interesting discussions about the kind of cars he likes and which one we're likely to buy him (dream on, boy). It made me think of that scene in the movie Transformers (2007), in which Ron Witwicky, played by the excellent Kevin Dunn, takes his son to buy his first car. He pulls into the Porsche sales lot, only to drive straight out again once his son gets his hopes raised.
Then I remembered. My son's already had his first car. I built it for him with my own two hands.
I built it out of Duplo bricks. It took me the better part of three days to design the thing and put it all together. I even made a raised seating area behind the drivers seat where my daughters (17 months younger than their brother) could perch as I 'drove' them all around our front room. It lasted about a week before the girls decided to see how fast they could take it all apart.
My own first car was nowhere near as fancy. I didn't learn to drive until I was 26 years old. the only thing I could afford was a 27-yr-old Mini Traveller. It was two-tone (maroon and rust), with a push-button starter motor on the floor, next to the handbrake.
This isn't mine - for one thing it's in too
good condition, but it's similar.
Mine was maroon, like this. The inside was
somewhat sparse. No radio, air bag. Bits
of wood trimming where always falling off.
When I first met Senior Management, she thought I was a real gentleman because I would hold the passenger door for her whenever we went out. The truth was, the door wouldn't shut properly unless you held it a certain way, and even then, only if you closed it from the outside.
Within a year, the engine passed away. It hadn't been able to climb steep hills for some time, so I was half-expecting it when I came down one morning to find my little car had finally given up the ghost. It had gone round the clock at least once and was nearly 28 (which is about 112 in human years). My friend, a mechanic, told me the technical term for the car's problem: 'It's well and truly knackered.'
I was really sad when they towed it away. That was over 20 years ago. I've had a few cars since, but not had anything like the same emotional attachment to any of them.
How about you?
Do you remember your first car?