My first car, where it all started. I’ll document elsewhere my affinity to classic air-cooled cars. So, a tatty old orange Beetle my parents kindly bought me when I was 16 to work on before my 17th. ENV395K – about £700 from memory. Born in the same year as me it wasn’t wearing its years well. I did the car no favours, first I sprayed parts of the bonnet a dark gun metal grey and then the swoops along the roof-line down to the engine lid. I thought this looked cool, so added in a baseline at the bottom of the doors arcing into the rear arch. It looked terrible and eventually I realized… in true cal-look fashion off came the chrome and I prep’d and resprayed it myself a wedgewood blue with peppermint green accents – yes, it was the end of the eighties and luckily no photos survive, although I do remember one from a pinboard that may be buried somewhere in my parents loft.
There are a fair few stories of course, but for another time. The car met its demise when turning right off a main road and a driver waiting in the side road alledgedly sneezed and pulled out hitting me in the rear 3 quarter. The car had apparent had a dodgy repair previously and this resulted in a write-off.
A cultural reference – at the time Nescafe had a cool TV ad with a girl pulling up in her beetle and making a cup of coffee whilst overlooking the white cliffs of Dover – all to the backing track of ‘I can see clearly now’, it was this playing on the radio when the other driver couldn’t!