My first car: Have you ever named your car?
16:49 28 July 2014
Samantha - that was the name of Colin Reeve’s first car. Samantha was a 1971 Austin 1300 in midnight blue, although Colin says it was more of a purple tone.
Colin, of Wetheringsett, near Stowmarket, said: “I named Samantha after the witch in Bewitched because I had a bit of thing about the actress Elizabeth Montgomery back then. She cost me about £250 in 1979.
“A few weeks later I bought a white one and my uncle Ray – a mechanic of some repute locally – swapped over the engine and gearbox as the engine in mine was smoking badly. Over the next few months, Ray seemed to spend more time under the car than I did driving it, fixing rusty sills, sub-frames and goodness knows what else.
“I had a great time in that car – it meant independence and a chance to have a bit fun.”
Colin continued: “After a couple of years, I fancied a change and bought my cousin’s Maxi – in a sort of mucky-orange colour with brown velour interior – very 70s.
“A much under-rated car in my opinion, it served me well for a year or so before a badly leaking petrol tank prompted me to swap again. This time for a Mini in Applejack – a kind of limey green – very eye-catching!
“As many will agree, the original Mini was a great car and it still is. I really loved mine.
“But after a year or so I was tempted by a new arrival, the Austin Metro. A year later I got my first new car – a Maestro – but that was written off after just nine months. Despite the verdict of history, I reckon it was a pretty decent car really.”
He continued: “After a couple of years I fancied a change and went for a Maxi (in a sort of orange) and sold Samantha to a mate. From there I followed Janice Poulson into a Mini.”
After that, I had a couple of Fiat Unos, then a couple of Fiat Tipos. The second had a very flashy electronic dashboard that looked like it came from the Starship Enterprise which appealed to the geek in me.
“But after a couple of years I was tempted again – this time a Mazda 323F (a 1992 if I remember correctly) with the pop-up headlights. I reckoned it looked great but it cost a fortune to run.”
Colin was bitten by the coupe bug and proudly claims to have been one of the first owners of the Vauxhall Tigra in the UK. It was in Apache Gold which was a brilliant metallic orange colour.
It was the first of two Tigras, and sticking with Vauxhall’s, he then went onto Agila. He said: “It was a bit of a departure for me and a car most people said was like Postman Pat’s van. Practical, but not a lot of fun.
There have been several others in between, then in 2011 Colin’s heart was taken by a 1996 Mk1 Mazda MX-5.
“I’d wanted one of these for as long as they have been available but they were always a bit too expensive. But in the summer of 2011 I spotted one on the forecourt of a local garage and, after a very short test-drive, I was hooked.
“A few days later Geraldine joined our family and it has to be the best £1,500 I have ever spent. A basic-spec car to which someone has added cream leather seats (and I have added a wooden steering wheel and a nice set of alloy wheels) she is simply brilliant. My wife, who is singularly uninterested in cars, loves her too.
“We have had several touring holidays in her in the UK and, given the choice, I’d drive Geraldine in preference to Hilda (my Hyundai). Julie says that every time I drive Geraldine I have a huge boyish smile on my face. The explanation for that is simple – it’s the most fun I’ve had a car since my courting days!”