As the Irmscher grilled Corsa hove into view, onlookers could only wonder at what this unidentifiable, hitherto unseen automobile could be. Whilst some speculated that an Arab sheikh could be visiting their humble town, others were convinced Top Gear were testing the latest unobtainable hypercar. Devoid of its Vauxhall, Corsa and 1.2 badges, the small black hatchback wafted sublimely through suburban Hertford, delighting the populace with a glimpse at how the other half live.
Leaning on his spade and wiping the sweat from his brow, Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency clerk Jeff Peters smiled triumphantly, gazing around at the new money pit. The Scrooge McDuck esque cavern, finished with opal touches and extensive marble, has been constructed to replace the smaller, outdated baths previously used.
Head of public relations at the DVLA, Richard Fillibuster effused “this is a big step forward in employee pleasure, we at the DVLA have always strived to extravagantly fritter away our victi…taxpayer’s money. This new multi-million pound three acre nude-only money pit exceeds our dual brief; to be obnoxious and also a little creepy. In the past our staff have had to be content to ‘snow angel’ in bathtubs full of taxpayer’s coins but now we can strip down to our slimy skin and leap from the Olympic regulation diving board into a deep vault of gold. Better still, we have now achieved a certification for our 0% contribution to road maintenance”.
Fillibuster added that whilst the new money pit had always been on the agenda the project was finally put into motion when Mr Grant, a factory labourer from Wolverhampton had the audacity to tax his hard-earned second-hand Ford Focus ST. The actual denomination of the cash used to fill the pit has yet to be decided but Mr Fillibuster was keen to point out “whether we fill our platinum-clad, polished gold, opal finished money pit with pennies or £5 notes, we will all gain sick pleasure from Mr Grant’s £295 annual tax.”
Fillibuster and Peters laughed maniacally, shared a passionate kiss then Peters added “yeah, fuck that guy”.
I have desired the Porsche 944 since I was five years old. Actually, that’s a lie, I’ve desired a 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo with the massive whale tail in Guards Red wi…oh hang on, I need a cold shower. Anyway, with £3,000 sitting in the bank I plumped for the people’s Porsche. I’ve always admired the sheer unashamed 80’s cool of it, the beige carpet interior, the sharp faux futuristic lines, the Nightrider-esque pop-up headlights.
I’ve been reading up on them for two or three years, online reviews, users guides, wikipedia articles and trawling Autotrader so I know all the good and the bad. I’ve never seen the phrase “bombproof” used so much outside of a Hurtlocker review and apparently the car is fixable by anyone with a basic mechanical knowledge of farm machinery (I am not among that number), however it is still a Porsche and servicing can be (not IS, CAN BE) pricey. I’m 25 years old now and have been driving for 6 of those years, with no claims. I got a price for £450 to insure, which I was pretty pleased with considering that its a 2.5 Litre. So, with a “you only live once” (I won’t be abbreviating that) attitude I got myself a Lux FH. After trading in my Yaris, I had money left over for the insurance, a full tank of petrol and still had change from my savings.
I’m not particularly fussed by what people think of me, afterall I have been driving a 2002 Toyota Yaris in a nice shade of Parking Dent and Rust for the past two years, however the reactions of peers and coworkers has surprised me. A close friend of mine came for a drive with me and was effusive in his praise, rambling excitedly about the great condition and what a beauty it was. Then, oddly, at a social gathering the following week when asked what he thought he joined and even led the mockery. Yes, mockery. I’ve never batted an eyelid when my friends have bought cars and yet somehow mine became a subject of group discussion.
Despite being the sort of person who spends several hours a day on forums for months researching purchases as mudane as computer graphics cards, my friends seemed to be under the impression that I swanned into a showroom and threw my wallet at the closest thing I could see. Everything from “rustbucket”- it has a galvanised steel body, to “thirsty”- I’ve been getting 33mpg, was slung at it. A work colleague, who drives a five year old Ford Focus said “I’m not daft enough to be lumbered with a huge loan like that”, yet I bought the car outright. Which is odd as his car cost twice as much and a 1.8 Focus returns probably 3mpg more to the gallon. A friend who bought a “designer” hatchback (you know the type), on a five year finance plan called the car “silly” and implied it was part of an early midlife crisis. Yet it cost as much as 8 of her monthly payments and, by my rudimentary maths, would need to cost £1,200 in every service for ten years to be more of a drain on my pocket.
So perhaps it is jealousy, or if not then my friends feel that far more of my life is their domain than I do of theirs. Regardless, I smile like a Cheshire Cat every time that I step out of my front door or put my right foot down on a straight.
In my next blog I will talk through, in as journalistic a fashion as I can, my early ownership experiences and offer a first review of my new toy.