In 2007 I sold my trusty Mitsubishi Mirage wagon, which was my first car, the day before I flew out to live in London. It had been a reliable vehicle, making the journey from Wellington to Auckland and back plenty of times without any incident, plus coping admirably with a week driving around the varied roads of the South Island. By the time I sold it the Mitsubishi was 17 years old, so I was prepared to take whatever I could get for it, mainly to save my family from having to sell it in my absence. As it happens, finding a willing buyer was no problem at all. I polished the bodywork, tyres and interior to within an inch of its life and took it to a small car fair in downtown Auckland. Within ten minutes of driving into the car lot I had sold it! Clearly the buyer recognised the opportunity to make a quick buck, because he would have been able to sell it on to backpackers later in the day for a profit. This didn’t bother me at all – I hadn’t paid much for it to start with back in 2000, and anything I got from its sale after seven good years of driving was a bonus as far as I was concerned.
Then in my four and a half years in England I had no need for a car. I only drove when visiting New Zealand, or on the one occasion in England and Northern Ireland when my friends Ruth and Phil and I had a rental car and I was able to get behind the wheel for a couple of days. But now I’ve returned to live in Wellington it was always part of the plan to acquire a car for shopping purposes and for weekend expeditions.
And here it is. This is the trusty wagon that has belonged to a friend’s dad since the mid-90s, and now sits in my garage. It may only have two hubcaps and they may not match each other, it may be as old as my old Mitsubishi was when I sold it, and it may only last a year or two before its retirement, but for now it’s great to be mobile again!