My Vauxhall Astra is no more. It was taken away this afternoon by The Scrap Man to another place.
It is a little sad. A car is just a car, but God’s Own Car deserves tribute.
I bought it in 2003 for the princely sum of £570 (the vendor wanted £700). It was about ten years old, with 130,000 miles on the clock. It served me well. It gave me very few problems and I soon began to see it as a blessing, hence the moniker.
I averaged less than 5,000 miles a year; it’s easy to keep usage down in London. But every mile was a privilege until the arthritis took root last year. Last month multiple problems emerged with no obvious solution. It was finally time to let go.
Last Thursday I spent two hours, with the help of a friend (the beneficiary), siphoning off the petrol. Of half a tank, we eventually extracted five litres from the fuel line and a further five through a hole under the back seat. The battery went too.
Today I ripped out the stereo which had come to drain more energy than the alternator could generate.
The Scrap Man arrived bearing £90 in hard cash. A good deal more than I expected; indeed I feared having to pay him!
So… I paid £570 in 2003. Subtract £90 equals £480. Divide that by eight equals £60 a year. That’s just over a pound a week. Cheap driving, and a real blessing.
I have been on many journey’s in God’s Own Car; in it I took Vanessa on one of our first dates. We’re both sad to see it go.