JayG reports that ASM826, blogging at Random Acts of Patriotism, has started a new blog meme:
- What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
- What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
- What happened to it, what's the end of the story?
Mine was a 1966 Morris 1100, light gray in color, in moderately good condition, almost identical to the one shown below.
My godmother, God bless her, gave it to me in 1977. I was serving in the South African armed forces at the time, and didn't have enough money to buy a car; so instead of trading in her old one when she bought a new vehicle, she gave it to me.
Adventure? I guess you could call it that. Literally one hour after I got the car, I hit the rear corner of a double-decker bus in Cape Town (almost identical to the one illustrated below, and not five hundred yards from where that picture was taken).
The bus pulled out right in front of me. Unfortunately, my godmother had neglected to inform me that the decade-old brakes on her Morris didn't slow the car down as quickly as might be desired . . . Fortunately the damage was limited to a rather bent, upward- and outward-cocked left front headlight. For the next couple of months, until I could afford to get it fixed, it attracted (and illuminated) what seemed to be most of the owls and moths in the Cape Peninsula when I drove at night!
What happened to it? I'm afraid that the BMC A-series engine powering my little Morris had one grievous fault . . . it sometimes ate its own gaskets. I found out about this the hard way a couple of years after I got the car when, one day, its engine began smoking, steaming and making interesting noises. Pulling off the road, I took off the oil filler cap to reveal a brown sludge oozing slowly upward, overflowing the rim, and dripping down the side of the engine block. The damage was beyond my means to repair at the time, so I regretfully had to sell the car for parts. The proceeds went towards buying a used Suzuki A100 motorcycle, similar to the one shown below, on which I put-putted around the city of Pretoria and the Witwatersrand area for the next couple of years.
I was fond of my little Morris, and very grateful to my godmother (long since gone to her reward, God bless her) for my first set of wheels.