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My life with cars (Part 10) – An itch that wouldn’t go away and why you shouldn’t fight kismet

I set out to write about the cars I’ve had over the past 43 years, and now 6000 words later, I ended up writing about the many fond memories I’ve had around car ownership and life in general. This is part 10.

An itch that wouldn’t go away

After three years with the Tiguan it was time to change again and as nice as the Tiguan was, this time I wanted (needed) something a little more exciting. However, it still needed to be practical as despite the kids having their own cars at home, I needed something to ferry them and their kit to university. Anyone who has kids at university will appreciate a transit van would be the perfect choice here, but I wanted something a little more refined.

I didn’t want another big 4×4 otherwise I’d probably be telling you about how I bought yet another Touareg, so that limited my options. I was really struggling for inspiration until a friend of mine turned up in his shiny new BMW X3. Despite my previous dislike of the brand, or at least the snotty salesman from years back, I have to admit I really liked the look of it. This took me by surprise as I really didn’t like the original shape. It looked like a clown car, due to the styling and especially the overly long nose.

A quick phone call to my local dealer and I was out test driving the X3. I was impressed, I liked the how the car got down the road and cockpit aside, BMW’s are always quite bland in that department, the experience was very good.

I’m back in the showroom with the sales manager and he ran some numbers which weren’t too scary and I was sold on an X3. I was ready to reach for my chequebook right there and then (actually that’s a figure of speech as I haven’t written a cheque for at least a decade if not longer) or at least I would have, but I didn’t buy the car! 

I’ve bought a lot of cars over the years and I really like the negotiating part of the process, or at least feeling that I’ve been able to negotiate a deal. If the sales guy had been prepared to flex the price of the X3 by as little as a few hundred pounds, then I’d be telling you about my fantastic X3. Unfortunately for him and for BMW sales, he wouldn’t, which meant I wanted to go away and think about it. Theres a strong lesson around closing a sale right there.

Why you shouldn’t fight kismet

They say that history has a habit of repeating itself. This was the same BMW dealership that I mentioned in a much earlier post when instead of buying a BMW 3 series as my very first new car, I went over the road and bought an Audi A4. 

As if by some sort of kismet, that day I drove out of the BMW dealership having not signed the deal on the X3, I noticed a really cool looking new model Audi A6 Avant outside the Audi Dealership across the road.

To cut a long story short, I’ve been the proud owner of an Audi A6 Avant S-Line with all the bells and whistles for 8 months now. It’s a fabulous car, it ticks all the boxes for what I was looking for. Albeit, I would say that some of there gadgets like adaptive cruise control and lane assist are good, they don’t work as well on the Audi as they did on the VW, which you might think would be the other way round or at least the same with them both being from VAG. Maybe they haven’t gotten around to optimising reuse across there brands yet!

However, that aside it’s a great car and as far as the buying experience went, from the minute I walked into the showroom, the sales experience was great, the test drive was great, and the sales team were very kind when it came to the negotiations and cut me a great deal on the car. 

When the day finally came to pick the car up it looked absolutely stunning, and I was really glad that the BMW dealer wouldn’t cut me a deal that day. Kismet indeed!!

Regrets, I’ve only had one

That brings us bang up to date, now I’m up to 21 cars spanning 43 years and all with their own memories and stories to tell. 

If I have one regret, it’s that I should have kept the TVR, not because it would have been worth twice what I sold it for, but because it had something that no other car I’ve owned has had. When you look at the history of TVR, it wasn’t quite a kit car, but it was assembled in Blackpool using a myriad of parts from other manufacturers and it shouldn’t have worked, but it did. That car had soul!

Some people have asked me if I had names for the cars. Whilst I called them a few names on numerous occasions, that can’t be repeated here, I have to admit I wasn’t one for giving my cars names, apart that is for the TVR, which was Red V8.

Here’s the full list:  

  • Austin 1100
  • Vauxhall Viva
  • Ford Cortina (almost)
  • Ford Consul
  • Ford Capri
  • Opel Ascona
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Vauxhall Cavalier
  • Ford Sierra
  • Vauxhall Carlton
  • Citroen ZX
  • BMW 520
  • Audi A4
  • Audi A4 Avant
  • VW Touareg
  • TVR Chimaera
  • Jaguar XFS
  • Jaguar XK
  • VW Touareg
  • VW Tiguan
  • Audi A6 Avant

This time I’ll not say this is the last post about ‘My Life With Cars’, as I may have to write at least one more to tell you about the Porsche 911, or maybe even the Jaguar F-Type, or another TVR, watch this space!

Thanks for reading.

Footnote: these pictures are for illustration only they are not of my cars

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