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Picture it, it's a sunny day, everyone's sitting in beer gardens watching the world go by, people are cruising along with their windows down, radios up full blast, shades on...
...But what's this? a white blur in the distance, the chugging sound of a mini-cooper doing 40mph in 1st gear, a hideous whaling noise, a cloud of smoke;
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
Is it a washing machine on wheels?
No! It's me in my Ford Fiesta!
The white blur is my lovely white Fiesta 1.1, born in the 80's, in its prime in the 90's and in the noughties it's on its last legs but this old guy aint giving up!
The chugging sound is the rattling gear box, the grind of the gears, the clunking of the wobbly bonnet...
The hideous whaling is me singing "I will survive" at the top of my voice (as the stereo gave up the ghost a long time ago and I have to entertain myself somehow).
Costing £500 in 1999, this little guy had 20,000 miles on his clock and a little rust, but with a little 'T Cut', some 'Back to Black', a hoover, some polish and a lot of TLC he was the belle of the ball in the 6th form car park.
We had such happy days (when the stereo still worked) driving around with the windows down, three in the back, squashed and smokey (as it was cool to smoke in 6th form and the back windows don't open so we got double the inhalation from our Marlboro Lights) and two in the front, having a go at racing Porsches at the traffic lights, beeping at cute guys, and generally thinking we were pretty cool.
With a full tank of petrol costing me just £28 I can pick up my "Homeys" and make the three hour journey to Manchester, doing 70mph all the way in 3 hours, and still have enough petrol to drive around while we are there.
Insurance for a "careful" "lady" driver is around £300 for 3rd party, so I needn't worry about the odd scrape if ever I was to have one.
This little guy (mine christened Simon) can squeeze into tiny parking spaces, sit out in the snow all night and start (with a lot of choke and a little pumping of the gas) in the morning, ok so the de-misters are virtually non existent and I have to wipe myself a little peep hole in the windscreen to see through, the "heaters" are totally dead but I enjoy the refreshing icy wind he pumpes out at me as I'm driving to work at 8.45 am, It wakes me up nicely.
Maybe my ass goes totally numb about 2 hours into a car journey in him because the seats have approximately 1mm of padding, and maybe I have had to start him more than once Fred Flintstone-style with one foot pushing us along and one pumping the gas, but he's still my little Simon and I love him!
This car has survived 2 crashes (one guy coming at me from the left costing Simon his near side wing bumper) and one coming at me from behind leaving Simon back bumperless with a naked rear end.
He has had 2 attempted break-ins one left him with his passenger-side lock hanging off (but little Simon didn't let them in!) and the other saw the driver-side lock being butchered and unusable (He still didn't let them in!).
He has been hit while I've been in work, leaving him with a stoved-in front bumper and a little "sorry note" on the windscreen, but he still happily starts up for me after a hard day in the office and takes me home at night.
In return I top him up with oil, keep him clean (using the rain), keep him fed with petrol and pump up his tyres. He is protected by the AA which is cheap, and new bulbs cost a few pence. Tax is about £60 for 6 months.
Alas, a company car is in the horizon for the summer, and little Simon will have to be sent to the big car park in the sky *sniff* but I will remember him forever as my first car, a faithful friend who served me well, who listened while I told him my problems, who understood my road rage, and who didn't mind when I hit his steering wheel and swore at him for being uncool.
Right now I would not be without my little Simon and I would recommend a Simon to anyone thinking of investing into a really cheap, really economical, really reliable little car of their own.
Great review very entertaining Simon sounds like a ok car to me hope you dont get to up set when you send him to car heaven great review keep it up--Adam
Igloo_Vindaloo 24.03.2005 23:22
Lovely review. I was reluctantly given a Fiesta, and much to my own suprise I actually liked it. Until some jumped up spotty little oik rammed me in a fit of road rage and wrote the car off. At least he got banned for 6 months as a result! Good fun driving round with a door hanging off and no window for a month while the insurance was sorted, though! ~Tim~
Surprisingly the Fiesta was initially not that popular in the Panda car role as the ... more
British Police are cautious when considering the purchase of their workhorse cars and time spent in the workshop is seen as wasted time. The Fiesta was Fords first ever front-wheel-drive car and that was a technology that had proven less than durable on other manufacturers offerings. Therefore forces all over the UK stuck with the tried and tested rear-wheel-drive Escort Mk2. However Hertfordshire Police realised the packaging, economy and comfort virtues of Fords new billion dollar baby and were among the first to adopt the Fiesta as a regular Panda car. Unsurprisingly they found it very reliable.