Four Wheels

Four Wheels

I must have a genetic defect in my DNA as I’ve owned1 exactly ONE car in my life. For the male of the species, that’s highly unusual to say the least.

Where I live now, there is absolutely no reason to own one – about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Where you headed? Jump in and I’ll take you for a drive down memory lane.

94 Nissan Pathfinder

She was a good ride, even if she did chew through the juice having a V6 under the hood. A 1994 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD, she got me from Tassie all the way to Darwin (OK, I did outsource the Adelaide-Katherine leg to the Ghan, which I don’t regret at all. Turned out cheaper than the fuel cost was going to be for a start!)

Old cars tend to become money pits at some stage of their lives, and when I found myself buying a second starter motor I decided that the cost outweighed any benefit of hanging onto her any longer, and sold her to a friend for roughly what I paid for her (AUD $1500)

While I owned her I put 4 new tires on (about $600 bucks), had to have the alternator re-conditioned and replace the starter motor a few times (which was located in a bitch of a position – the whole engine had to come out IIRC.) Throw in a few services and I probably spent a couple of thousand over the 4 years we were together (cheaper than some women I’ve been with, that’s for sure!)

Driving to Darwin

When wife 1.0 gave me my marching orders in early 2012, I had to make the journey from Tassie to Darwin, with a layover in Sydney to pop in to work and catch up with some friends.

My possessions where instantly whittled down to anything that I could fit in the car, and boy did I manage to cram a lot of stuff in! Although I didn’t quite grasp it at the time, I didn’t actually own anything, anyway.

First I had to drive to Devonport and onto the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’ to get to mainland Australia, after which it was a simple enough drive down the Hume highway to Sydney.

16-Jul-2009 17:09, Canon Canon DIGITAL IXUS 80 IS, 4.5, 14.303mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
 

Then I drove to Adelaide and put myself and the car on the ‘Ghan’ for the trip to Darwin. Takes a couple of days to get there, but a lot of fun – met some interesting people as I hung out in the ‘club car’ and the scenery of the outback is amazing – especially the sunsets.

I got a pretty good price – somewhere around $800 bought tickets for both the car and myself. Not sure I could afford it now, it looks like all the cheap seats are a thing of the past.

Remember getting out at the Alice and feeling the searing heat hit my face. Bit of a run around town and a few beers and then back on the train. Unfortunately the train terminated at Katherine (NT) and I had to drive the remaining 300 or so kilometers to Darwin.

Great scenery to be had in Outback Australia but I nearly ran out of fuel. I hadn’t taken into account just how much juice a V6 uses when travelling over 120 km/h (it’s not possible in other parts of Australia). Have never been so happy to pull into a ‘servo’ in all my life.

It was good to finally arrive in the Top End. After all, you’ll never never know if you never never go!

29-Mar-2014 16:07, Apple iPhone 4S, 2.4, 4.28mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 80
 

The Other Ladies

Some of the other cars that I’ve driven – none of these will ever be ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ – there’s something to be said for owing a car that no-one wants to steal, or driving one that belongs to someone else!

15-May-2004 13:38, Canon Canon DIGITAL IXUS 400, 2.8, 7.40625mm, 0.002 sec
 

Datsun 200B

The car I learned to drive on – for a while until I backed into a headstone at Rookward Cemetery. Then I had to pay for my own driving lessons. Don’t blame you Dad, teaching someone to drive is a job best left to the professionals!

86 Holden Barina

The first car that wife 1.0 owned. A bright yellow 86 Holden Barina, she gave us a lot of good years until I dispatched her to the wreckers with an ill-timed right hand turn. My first and only accident – luckily no-one was injured. Father-in-law ran into the middle of the road to retrieve one of the number plates, which was a custom bicentennial edition.

Not the actual plate. BBJ eh?

Who remembers drive-in movies with your girlfriend 🙂

Nissan Pulsar Sedan

Everyone should own at least one new car in their lifetime. Someone told me that and I tend to agree, there’s just nothing like that ‘new car smell’. Wife 1.0 and I paid cash for it, and it was registered in her name.

A solid set of wheels, it was the first automatic that I regularly drove. Hey, cruise control is great for the open road, letting you rest that right foot. I still believe everyone should learn to drive on a manual (stick-shift) but I guess those days are long gone.

Alfasud

John’s mother was silly kind enough to let myself and ‘Billy’ drive his car while he was away on his gap year in Brasil. Neither of us crashed it, though not for lack of trying. No surprises that this is the only car I have received a speeding ticket in! We used to make annual pilgrimages to the Adelaide F1 Grand Prix, non-stop with 3 drivers. Those were the days!

Ford Capri

My room-mate ‘Texas’ had one, and was gracious enough to let me drive it. On weekends we would whip into town to catch a new release movie. It looks sexy in red, but in white was much less so! A poor mans convertible in every sense, think it was front-wheel drive.

Took it for a great drive to the ‘Mooroopna Massacre’, a B&S ball held in country Victoria. No ‘circle work’, for this girl though!


1. Technically speaking. i.e. only one car registered in my name. Disposed of same in 2013.
2. Image credits: Blatantly ripped-off images of all ‘The other ladies’ and the BBJ plate (Gumtree)