I set out to write about the cars I’ve had over the past 35 years, but 4000 words later, I ended up writing about the many fond memories I’ve had around car ownership and life in general. This is part 3.
Exit the Capri and welcome the Opel Ascona 1.9 Berlinetta in metallic green (the German equivalent of the Vauxhall Cavalier). Apart from having a persistent problem with condensation forming on the inside of the windows this was a nice car and very quick too for its time. I don’t really have much to say about this car as for the first time I didn’t have to spend every other weekend lying underneath it or hunched over it. That said, it was plagued with a carburetor problem in that it would just stop after driving around 150 miles, give it 10 minutes and it would go another 150 miles and pack in again. I eventually traced the problem to a sliver of metal that had come off one of the bolts inside the carburetor and would occasionally find its way into the jet. I can’t remember how we went our separate ways, I must have sold it I guess and moved onto the next chapter.
Vauxhall Astra Mk2
Next up was a Vauxhall Astra Mk2 in red. A very clean and tidy car that had perfect bodywork and was mechanically solid. It must have been much younger than any of my previous cars as I don’t think I ever had to do anything to it mechanically. However, it wasn’t a good car because it wasn’t reliable, i.e. I couldn’t rely on it being where I left it the night before. For some reason it attracted thieves like nobody’s business and it must have been stolen about four times before I finally got rid of it. A policeman once told me that he could get into an Astra with a lollipop stick, very reassuring. Bizarrely though, other than the door lock being punched into the door, it never suffered any real damage, but I needed something more reliable and so it had to go.
I replaced the Astra with a Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 in metallic blue. I think the Mk2 was voted car of the year when they were launched and rightly so in my opinion. A great car, stylish, good engine, good to drive and the hatchback meant you could lug all sorts around in the back. I have fond memories of this car and I enjoyed every minute of ownership. I sold it onto a good friend who kept it going for years afterwards.
I only parted company with the Cavalier because I changed jobs and got a company car as part of the new job. It was a Ford Sierra 1.8 in red and if I’m completely honest I found this a very bland and boring car after the Cavalier and as such I never really grew to like it. My displeasure with the Sierra didn’t last long though as after about a year I chose to leave the company and the car with it.
Thanks for reading, read part 4 here
Footnote: these pictures are for illustration only they are not of my cars