Do you love your car? Does she love you……?

Do you love your car? Do you clean her and polish her and show her off to your friends and your neighbours?

Does she feel the same way about you? Does she thrill you as much as she used to? Is she showing her age? Is she still as economical as she once was? Are you doubting if she possesses the same attractive qualities she showed when you first met in that showroom? Careful now!

Those who know me know that I had a dreadful 2013 with my car. The engine blew up. They fitted a new engine but the problems didn’t stop there. Those who fitted the engine were clueless. It was subsequently repaired several times by others before it met the appropriate acceptable standards. All done by official Vauxhall dealers but not to official Vauxhall standards. Struth! Following four bad breakdowns in six months my son and I were eventually stranded in the middle of nowhere and my resolve and my love for my car were both severely tested. However they fixed it. Stranded hundreds of miles from my home but they fixed it – it only took them 5 weeks. After all of this hassle I didn’t think my relationship with my car could get any worse. If you followed my story on the UK Vauxhall forums it really couldn’t get any worse could it? Never, definitely not! Sorry……but it did!

I drive thirty thousand miles a year. I have driven for twenty five years without incident and then little Miss Vauxhall Insignia enters my life. Earlier this year I discovered she doesn’t like low oil pressure and she made me pay for that – big time. Little was I to know that the love affair was under a different kind of pressure from that moment on. Little Miss such and such decided to take on a mind of her own on Tuesday morning (22nd October 2013). She rounded a bend in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland shortly after an overnight rain storm. She wiggled her backside and decided (all on her ownsome) to leave the road – big time. Perhaps she doesn’t like surface water. Perhaps she turns her nose up at surface water and pokes her backside out instead – big time.  Whatever mind-set she had on Tuesday morning she got on her own accord. Luckily for me she missed any oncoming traffic with her big backside and instead smashed sideways across the carriageway, dived into a ditch, and looped the loop as she finished her final manoeuvre. Sorry to tell you but she did not survive. She is now dead. Dead and not coming back.

Of course I didn’t get the best deal from her highland jig but she didn’t really care – I was immobilised at the scene by paramedics before I was taken by ambulance to hospital. I am home now, battered and bruised with internal and external injuries and a tremendous loss of pride. I am regretting the day I ever set eyes on that deceptively beautiful Miss Insignia. She pretended she loved me but she shafted me at every opportunity. She’s now gone from my life and she has left me with nothing but bad memories and big financial penalties. Some people at Evans Halshaw and Vauxhall will have you believe she was a beautiful, loving, caring companion. She was not. She rejected my advances. She rejected my care and attention and she let me down badly. I will heal in due course and I will recover to drive another day and find a more suitable long term motoring companion but, for the moment, I am hurting badly.

At least that’s how I felt until I went to see her today. She has been laid out for inspection at Allied Vehicles in Glasgow awaiting her final “PM”. What a sorry state she was, mangled beyond recognition but I initially had no sympathy whatsoever. Then, as I creaked open the passenger door I was sure I could hear her whispering one last loving expression. Poor thing convinced me she was crying out for the last time before she left this earth for the breaker’s yard. Was it real or was I traumatised by the whole experience? – who knows but she triggered something inside of me.

I think she was telling me she was sorry. I think she was apologising and trying to show me how hard she tried to protect me. She knew she had let me down throughout this past year but there she was, smashed and broken, battered beyond recognition, and trying hard to show me how she tried everything possible to save me. In her last desperate attempts to win my affection she had thrown her arms around me to protect me, enveloping me in her safe air-bag bosom, ensuring nature’s cataclysmic forces were soaked up by her crumple zones, her seat belts and not by my body. By doing this she saved me, she really did save me. I live to tell the tale because she looked after me and for that, I must admit, I am eternally grateful. I left the yard with a tear in my eye as I realised how brutal the impact must have been for her. Did she pay the ultimate sacrifice for me? Other Insignia drivers need to know this – maybe she really does love you and she will protect you. She has her faults (big time!) but she will do what she can in your hour of need to keep you safe. Treat her well guys.

I will be fine of course. It may take a few weeks but the pain will subside, the bruises will disappear. And anyway, there’s this gorgeous wee German/Spanish red devil on four wheels who said hello to me today. I think I might ask her for her number…………

Car Crash!

Car Crash!

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The 2013 British Grand Prix – Silverstone

For the final leg of my prolonged birthday celebrations my son and I spent a long weekend at Silverstone for the 2013 F1 British Grand Prix. It was brilliant – 27 degree sunshine and a packed weekend of activities. The race is only a part of the weekend at Silverstone, a whole series of events take place and it’s like a massive festival with 294,000 visitors over the three days. Really worth going just to savour the noise – it’s incredible! Of course the camera came along for the ride and here are a few favourites. Red Arrows were brilliant as were the mad, mental, stunt riders from www.animal.co.uk. The marshalls opened the gates to the circuit at the end of the race and we managed to collect a few rubber souvenirs. Amazing weekend and can’t wait until next year!

All images copyright (c) Gerry Wilson 2013. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited

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