My First Car: The Little Red Bomber


I was in my mid twenties, many moons ago, when I decided that I was finally going to buy myself a car and learn how to drive . I was always a determined person and when I set my mind on something I usually follow through.

I had not the first iota of driving, nor of cars, but off I set with excitement and determined ambition.

My dad appointed himself as my 'car broker' and found me an 8 year old, little red Ford Fiesta (1981) in a back street garage off Dorset Street in Dublin, going for a song.

                                                                  (image via flickr)

Unfortunately that's about all it went for, as it stalled halfway on the day we took my new red beauty home! The garage man had to drive over and get it going again.

Not an ideal start and it sure was a real quirky car. It had great 'character' had my little red car - that was once painted mustard as we subsequently discovered! You can tell where this story is going, can't you?

But I loved it, I loved the freedom and independence it gave me, and the many unforgettable memories...

I recall my dad bullying convincing me, only two weeks into driving lessons, to bring him to a relatively nearby builders providers yard to pick up cement or something. I was terrified and remember stalling, completely confused and disorientated, in the middle of a busy junction whilst all other drivers kindly held back to let the silly learner driver re-correct!

I'm sure the look on my face was one of pure terror. But that was nothing compared to the look on my driving instructor's face as we passed him by on our way home! I swear he almost made his charge crash the car as he looked at me with his jaw on the floor! He had serious words with me at our next lesson. Which I duly passed on to my dad.

Me and my little red car got on very well though and I eventually reveled in driving everywhere. She brought me to work, to dance classes and to my show rehearsals for a national variety competition, where she ultimately earned her nickname: The Little Red Bomber.

Oh, she was a real show stopper alright, my little red bomber, as she regularly stalled at the traffic lights on the way home from rehearsals! Seven traffic light changes was our absolute record, as I recall. Although that may have also been due to my driving abilities.... at the time, I hasten to add! She also got stuck in the sand on Dollymount Beach when we were all leaving, in convoy, after our after-show reunion party following our success in said national competition! We won!

The little red bomber brought me many places in the following year or so. She even chugged her way around France, the poor thing, finally crawling home off the boat like a dying Love Bug on her last wheels. Or her last engine as it turned out. After completing 100,000 miles (that we knew of) her engine had finally clapped out.

Being raised in an era of 'waste not want not' a refurb engine was purchased, rather than buy a new car, when I hadn't even finished the loan repayments on this one. Boy, was that a mistake.

Let's just say that within a few short months the little red bomber had a short trip to the local shops as her final voyage, going up in flames on the way home. Quite literally, with me sitting behind the wheel! Seriously, I was driving along, minding my own business when I spot smoke coming from the bonnet. I pulled over and suddenly the smoke turned to serious fire. I jumped out, wildly seeking help from the bus behind me, full of passengers. The funny thing was I had stopped outside the house where my friend who normally lives abroad was staying. I knew she was in Ireland as this was her wedding day, but had no idea that she was in that house! You can imagine the shocked reunion when I knocked on the door to suggest they might want to move their car unless they wanted it toasted, along with my car with it's vast collection of cassette tapes!!

Within a week the car was removed by Dublin Corporation and no doubt squished into oblivion, forever.

At that time I was dancing in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre, on a two week run with the Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society, and the joke doing the rounds was that I was getting a new piece of jewelery for Christmas: my Little Red Bomber on a chain!

I subsequently bought a new car, another Ford Fiesta, blue in colour this time and in much better condition.

In fact, despite tough beginnings, I have always driven Ford cars and find them to be fantastic cars to drive.

My first car was the worst car I ever owned but gave me the best memories.

I will never forget my Little Red Bomber.

May she rest in pieces!



Note: This is my entry into Carcraft: My First Car Competition. I entered this competition because it's a fun one that appealed to me. I doubt very much that I will win the iPhone 5 but if, by some miracle I do, then I will donate my relatively new iPhone 4s to iPhones4Autism.ie campaign to help a child with Autism or Special Needs with communication.


xx




18 comments:

  1. My first car only lasted 3 months when I managed to remove the gear stick at 60 miles an hour! I was quite upset to trade it in - first cars are special aren't they? Hope you win btw xx

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  2. @Blue Sky: Well done you, that's some achievement! Yes, first cars are special but it was definitely safer for me to move on. Not much hope of me winning as it's a global competition, but it sure was a fun post to do!

    Thanks for your comment :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  3. Really enjoyed reading this - there's always a great story behind that first car - and this one was a beauty! Can't believe it caught fire on your friend's wedding day - outside her house! Priceless! My first car was called Prunella! X.

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  4. @Older Mum: Yes, it's a great idea for a competition isn't it? Glad you enjoyed my little tale! I will never forget that day, knocking on the door and the shock and surprise at my friend's mother opening the door! Hadn't seen any of them in years. In I went, had reunion with my friend and saw her wedding dress hanging up. Wedding car was arriving in about 90 minutes and there was my car in flames right outside her house!! You couldn't make this up!

    What a great name for a car, Prunella, very Fawlty Towers-ish!

    xx Jazzy

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  5. Love it!!!
    I drove my dad's Metro for a while and loved it - used to bomb up and down the motor way with the kids laughing in the back!!!

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  6. Poor little red bomber! Great memories of a not so reliable car! I hate driving, but I will always love that first car I had! :D

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  7. @Julie: Thanks, really glad you enjoyed! Now, THAT sounds like fun!
    Thanks for visiting :-)

    @BavarianSojourn: Yeah, poor ould thing, served me well.... kind of!You don't like driving? Wow. I do but not on holidays, I refuse to drive on holidays!

    Thanks for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  8. Love it, I had a Ford Fiesta too as my first car.

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  9. That sounds very like my first experience of a car. My first one was a little red fiesta too, and I bought it in 1985 when it had been refusbished. I even still remember the registration number on it.....

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  10. My first car stalled at every traffic light too! This is a great essay, and I hope you win! xo

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  11. @SusanKMann: Thanks! I think Ford Fiesta's were a very popular first car for many.

    @Scottish Mum - Lesley: Wow, what a coincidence...and a memory! I cannot remember reg of mine. Thanks for visiting :-)

    @Tanya Savko: I think it's a rite of passage for first cars and learner drivers! Thank you, so glad that you like it :-)

    Thanks so much for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  12. I never had a 'first car' so to speak. I was terrified of learning to drive and only passed my test 4 years ago! My first car was the family Ford people carrier. Your little Red Bomber did very well to get you around France.

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  13. @The mum of all trades: Good for you! I know plenty of people who were either too terrified of driving or just couldn't be bothered to learn til the were older. A certain person I know made selective house purchase so wouldn't need a car to later to discover how handy it could be to drive oneself golfing:-)

    Thanks for your comment :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  14. Well, despite the worst things that your car had given you, it is still good to know that you were able to make great memories with it. I’m pretty sure you will never forget those bittersweet memories you had with your first car. Have good time with your new Ford Fiesta, and may you enjoy great memories with it as you did with your first car!

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  15. @Tyra Shortino: Oh yes, I will never forget my little red bomber and all the memories she gave me! Over the years I have moved through the Ford range and thoroughly enjoy driving our current car:-)

    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

    xx Jazzy

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  16. ‘Firsts’ are really some of the best and most memorable moments that we’ll ever have in our lifetime! Even though your car got burned, at least, it led you to an unexpected reunion with your friend! Isn’t that cool? The name “Little Red Bomber” surely fits your first car!

    -Sara Anthony

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  17. ‘A first car’ does not have to be fancy at all. It just needs to be in good condition to help you with your first years exploring your driving skills. It should look decent enough so you can drive it around anywhere. Then, when it’s time for it to retire, that’s the time you can buy a new set of wheels.

    Nicole Vickers

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  18. I agree with Nicole, JazzyGal! Your first car shouldn’t be a Jaguar or a Cadillac. It just needs to be the perfect car that would let you drive around town until you perfect your driving skills. It just needs to be well-maintained and loved. ^_^

    Leisa Dreps

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