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 9.
Purple Flares and White Platform Shoes
The Touareg was fast approaching its third birthday and a choice had to be made, does it stay, or does it go? There were a few other factors to take into consideration this time. Our kids had grown up and both had passed their driving tests, we had grown to a four-car household and our virtual garage comprised a Tiguan, a Ford Fiesta, a Vauxhall Adam, and the Touareg. I say virtual garage as the space the TVR once proudly occupied was now filled with gym equipment to support my other passion, athletics.
The other consideration is that I had made the decision to retire early and I wouldn’t be travelling with work, and what with the kids having their own transport, the Touareg was no longer needed. That said, I was rubbish at being retired and instead I decided I would retire from corporate life, but that’s another story.
After much deliberation the plan we came up with was that I would take the Tiguan, which brought back memories of when I got a pair of purple flares and white platform shoes handed down from my older brother when we were teenagers.
It was less than a year old and whilst it didn’t exactly set the world on fire, it was a decent car to drive as it was packed with the latest cool tech such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist and digital cockpit which were brilliant. I could get the golf clubs in and being 4 wheel drive it worked all year round.
So, we swapped the cars around, I waved goodbye to the Touareg for a second time, I inherited the Tiguan and my wife Liz took ownership of a shiny new VW Golf. This was the first Golf we’ve owned, it’s a 1.4 TSI and I have to say it’s a brilliant car and the driving experience is right up there with all the cars I’ve ever driven.
The passion still burns deep down
Even though I’ve put function over form since the TVR and the XK, my love of fast cars still smoulders deep down. For many years I hankered after a Porsche 911. I regret not investing in one when the prices were relatively modest, and I can only imagine what a decent 993 would cost these days.
Instead I feed my addiction for fast cars with track days and driving experiences. I took my son to Croft Motor racing circuit and we had a fantastic time driving single seat racing cars and Porsche Cayman’s… I must admit the Porsche was the better experience as the single seater was a beast to drive. I had a good chat with the driving instructor and he told me if I wanted to buy a Porsche then go for a Cayman instead of a 911 as it’s a better all-round daily driver, and you can park it in a supermarket car park without someone having a go at it with a key or a trolley.
Driving experience days are also a great way to experience fast cars without spending silly money. The last one I did was at Elvington racetrack near York and I had the pleasure of ragging a Jaguar F-Type, Audi R8, Aston Martin DB9 and a Porsche 911. From worst to best I’d say the DB9 was the worst experience, it might be good for James Bond but it was too heavy and cumbersome, not as powerful as the others and with massive understeer through corners it was a poor high performance experience. The R8 was better that the DB9 and was better at going in a straight line than it was cornering, and the cabin wasn’t anything to shout about. The 911 was fabulous, fast, cornered like it was on rails, and did everything I expected from a Porsche, a thoroughbred high-performance machine. However, the F-Type was exceptional, I hadn’t expected it to be such a wonderful car. From the minute you start the engine the noise gets your heart rate up and although not as planted as the 911 around the corners, it’s super quick, has by far the best cabin and wins for me on all round experience. Maybe I haven’t lost my love of Jags after all as I could see myself owning one of these.
Thanks for reading part 9, read part 10 here
Footnote: these pictures are for illustration only they are not of my cars (or my flares!)