(WARNING: NOT ART! Unless you consider a section of creative writing detailing one man’s journey through the treacherous world of “Purchasing a Car” to be some kind of art.*)
Alas, the time came for the Silver Stallion to face its Fit For Work test (MOT), and upon consultation with its carer (Thorpe Satchville Garage), I was told that they would not be willing to do the amount of surgery that would be needed: “Be more weld than chassis when I’m done. Not gonna happen, mate”.
A month before the MOT, with a couple of weeks insurance left, I had to yet again enter the murky world known to the brave and foolhardy alike as “buying a second-hand car (shudder)”. I looked online, browsed the auction sites, trawled through many a list of “real bargains” and “reduced for quick sale”. I very nearly bought a copy of Exchange and Mart!
Asking around my social circles and networked contacts (didn’t we used to call them “friends”? Y’know, back in the last millennium?) bore little fruit.
Driving home one afternoon, I remembered a local car dealer: Flora Bros. I’ve driven past them a hundred times, spotted the Polish lads washing cars, and a few dozen “good runners” and “one careful owners” sat on their forecourt. Got to be worth a look.
Indeed, they had several possible options. A couple of Fiat Puntos, a Fiat Idea and a Suzuki Alto were vying for placement in my price range. The Idea was a little on the expensive side, but with low mileage and a full service history, it had to be worth considering. It took three visits before I managed to pluck up the courage to ask for a test drive. “What’s the Suzuki like? Can I take it for a spin?” , “Not until the boss brings it back – he uses it to drive around in.”
To me, this sounded good. He’s not going to use one of the clapped out bangers, is he?
I consulted with my Financial Advisor, and extolled the virtues of the little red car. Being my Dad, he insisted upon seeing it for himself before lending me the money. Luckily, he agreed with my assessment: despite the higher mileage, it looked in good condition, drove well, and being from a local dealer with their own mechanics, it should be reliable. They agreed to put he Silver Stallion out to stud (Yeah, I know, he’s off to the Glue Factory!), so we shook hands and signed the paperwork.
I am now the proud owner of Li’l Singing Suzy! We’re taking some time to get used to each other, like in any relationship, but so far there have been no major incidents and I think she likes me! The clutch is a bit sharp, and she shudders a bit while idling, and for some reason really doesn’t like going at 40-50 mph. She is a little lacking in the parcel shelf department, but this can be resolved, and I do miss the sheer number of pockets, alcoves, and general storage-sections of the Ebony Goddess (but I can’t mention her in Suzy’s presence. Suzy has more space overall, so we’re good).
When she’s in the mood, I’ll get some photos. For now, you’ll have to be content to know that the first couple of weeks have gone well, and I look forward to many more miles!
*Yes, I know this wasn’t going to be a car blog. But apart from the railway bridge with its new “feet” mural, there’s not much Art going on right now.