Wednesday, 4 March 2009
As soon as I was age to hold a provisional license I applied for it,received it and went to purchase my first car immediately after it came through, such was my haste to learn to drive and gain some independence. I was a commercial fisherman and through hard work I was making enough money to buy a fairly decent car while my friends who were working ashore learning trades and the like could not afford to buy any kind of car as their earnings would be poor until they served their time or got promotion in whatever occupation they had chosen.
I took my father with me as I thought I would benefit from his experience and we went to a trader who was a family friend thinking this would also benefit my purchase.
On arrival my father and I browsed over the dozen or so second hand cars on show until we whittled them down to two, one of my choice and one to my father's taste.
It was an old basic Morris 1000 that my father advised me to choose because it would be economical to run but as it had a bit of rust about it and a few rips on the leather seats I had opted for a pale blue and black Humber Super Snipe with overdrive, luxury interior with picnic trays on the back of the front seats.
The salesman had appeared by this time and after considering our choices he too opted for my fathers Morris 1000 explaining to me that it was a more sensible first car and as I had to learn to drive in it, it was the more sensible choice for these reasons. After much debating I ignored their advice and purchased the Humber Super Snipe because of the luxury, style and power it had over the Morris.
It was sitting in all its glory at the front door one day when I arrived home from a trip at sea and instead of having a well needed bath and food I threw my kit bag down and asked for the keys.
DO NOT MOVE IT! I was warned as I unlocked the door and had my first real examination of my car. The gear shift was situated on the column on the left hand side of the steering wheel with the hand brake on the right hand side of the drivers seat leaving plenty room between the two well padded reclining front seats. I pulled out the choke and started the engine, pushing on the accelerator and listening to the sound as it revved up then wound the window down so I could hear better. With the engine running to my satisfaction I started to examine all the luxuries on the inside like the cigar lighter, wireless that needed a license in those days, the luxurious leather seats and the real chestnut wooden dash and surrounds and everything else that made this car special. Many of the extras on that car are standard on the cheapest of cars now and when I think of the wireless that needed to be licensed and all the other standard things that cars come with now (like electric windows and central locking) compared to the cars of then maybe my first car was not so luxurious after all but I did make full use of the reclining seats though. It would have been better though if I had taken my fathers advice and gone for the Morris as the Humber could only get twelve miles to the gallon compared to to forty odd to the gallon that the Morris could do. In the end after I had a lot of bother with the clutch, plus a crash which put it off the road for a while as I had ages to wait on the insurers assessment I decided to sell it. So after a year my pride and joy went to an auction with a still faulty clutch to be sold for a fraction of the price I paid for it. With my first car came an expensive lesson in life but enjoyable memories to look back on as I am sure yours has too.