Continuing the abysmal history in the automotive market, my first real car purchase was another disaster. After receiving a loan from the bank to purchase a car in the £1000- region I set of in search of my own first set of wheels. Rather than study the <£1000- market I decided instead to take the first car I looked at as I was so eager to own a vehicle of my own. In Stockton there was a 'Swiss Toni' character lying in wait for me. I should have smelled a rat when he explained why he wasn't using his own house to sell the car. He didn't have enough car space so his cousin had gladly let him use her empty drive.
"Trust me I'm from Stockton!"
I drove off in my shiny Blue Rover 216 and £750 lighter. Swiss Toni says 'Cars are like women'. If so this car was going to turn out to be the bitch from hell.
On my first long distance trip to Hemel Hempstead the Rover 216 decided to breakdown in a one-lane part of the M1 during roadworks. After 10 minutes of hell and abuse it decided to start again. On Radio 1 I heard that there were 10 mile tailbacks due to a car breaking down. I stopped at the first service station and signed up with the RAC immediately. Not a unwise choice as approaching Stokesley on the A19 it broke down again so after a 2 hour wait I was towed home with a knackered alternator.
A few weeks later I was towed from the A66 near Stockton with a failed clutch. Shortly after the brakes started scraping and had to have all pads and disks replaced.
After 6 months it was up for its MOT. The car failed on about 15 points. One of the main ones being that the frame of the car under the windscreen was so rotten that the windscreen was about to fall out. I was quoted around £1000- to get the car driveable so I decided to put it in the paper for 'spares or repair' for £300-.
Surprisingly enough a young lad from Premier Road in Ormesby came and paid £300-for it. I asked my Mother who was there when he came round to be honest about the car. But he insisted he was going to love fixing it and as he was training to be a mechanic it would be good practise.
So all in all not a good buy, but the worst part of owning this car was not the hassle, the unpredictability, the costs, the disappointments or the tears its was this.............
Hyacinth and Richard Bucket minding the pedestrians.
Strangely enough I don't think I ever realised at the time that I was driving the same car as Richard Bucket . I can honestly say I never felt at all happy to be driving the Rover 216, but whenever I see an episode of 'Keeping up appearances' the bitter memories of my first 'real' car become a little more bitter.
Max Speed: 100mph
Mileage obatined: 5,000
Overall rating: 0/10
next episode: Another Stockton based 2nd hand car salesman (now a lawyer) sells me a car that lasts.