It had to happen eventually. I’ve evaded them for years, but this week the North London Kamikaze Driving Squad finally found me, and my trusty Citroen was written off as I sat waiting in traffic.
The car proved no match for the current-generation Astra that collided with it; while the Vauxhall bore little more than a scratch, the Saxo was twisted, scarred and broken. Coolant gushed from underneath and the misaligned steering creaked and groaned as I limped it back to my house. The time, it seemed, had come for W169 OFJ. In contrast, I was physically unhurt, but the end to eight years of incident-free motoring and the loss of my no claims bonus was a bitter sting. The only small consolation was that the woman who had brought about its untimely demise was apologetic and very amiable – I couldn’t deal with an argument that early on a Monday morning. Fortunately, she too was unhurt.
And so, the following morning, the salvage company came to collect the first car I had ever driven. It had come from my mother and seen me through university, various house moves, several memorable holidays and a couple of less clearly recalled music festivals. It was like a family pet. Still, this didn’t seem to matter to the lorry driver as he thrashed it onto the top layer of the car transporter. Just as quickly as it had appeared on the forecourt all those years ago, it was gone.
I wasn’t deprived of transport for long however. Somewhere in the insurance application my inner-scrooge had forgotten to untick the hire car box and I was now rather glad of this. Frankly it wasn’t TVR weather (despite a hastily purchased outdoor cover in case I had to commute in the S3). Instead, I found myself presented with a Vauxhall Corsa, less than 24 hours after the smash. I’ll discuss the relative merits of that at a later date, but suffice to say, it has got me moving. What’s faintly disturbing is that even with the traumatic events of the previous day and a less-than-enthralling 79bhp to look forward to, I was still very eager to go and have a play. It’s just possible I need to get out more.
Looking ahead, I obviously now have a requirement for a new daily driver. In truth, the excuse to legitimately scour Autotrader, rather than just window shopping for once, has proved the biggest consolation… Now, like an automotive Jack Bauer, I have just twenty four days to locate my new car. That's likely to be a topic in itself, but rest assured I shall keep you informed.