This the model of car involved in the story below. It is a Ford Cortina Mark 1
Car of the Week!
“Car of the week! They saw me coming,” I was mentally screaming in frustration.
It was a beautiful car when it was cruising on the motorway and would travel at 100mph comfortably. I’d fallen in love with it as soon as I spotted the car raised above the rest of its competition on the garage forecourt with the ‘Car of the Week’ legend above its coffee coloured roof. It wasn’t particularly old, the lower half was cream contrasting nicely with the coffee coloured top and it was a model that I’d often admired. There was no question of me not buying it. That was the first mistake. I would even go as far as to say if you ever see something as a special of the week avoid it like the plague.
It still was a beautiful drive when it was going. The problem with it was getting it started. I would drive to work in it one day and the following morning, wanting to repeat the experience, the bloody thing wouldn’t kick over. When I’d bought it there was a three month warranty so I would ring the garage and they would come out get the beast to go and it’d be ok for another couple of days. Eventually the garage agreed to take it in and give it a good going over in an effort to rid me of the problem.
Need you ask what happened next? Sunday morning, after the car had been serviced, I went to the vehicle to make a short journey, placed the key into the ignition and turned it. Click! Nothing! I was furious. The feelings generated by having spent a significant amount of money and the stark realisation that you’ve made a huge mistake, creates a swathe of feelings ranging from utter despair to incandescent anger. It was matched in the ire displayed by the garage owner, when I insisted that he come out and fix the car there then. He was not a happy man, which was understandable, but I felt that his business was not doing anything to solve the problem. He looked very smart in his Sunday suit wielding spanner and pliers and the car did start eventually.
Problem solved? I was beginning to think so. The travel to work and back had been uneventful and I was beginning to believe that my beautiful car was going to re-establish itself in that special place in my heart. I was so happy with the vehicle I travelled to see my parents in it the following weekend. The 200 mile return journey was trouble free and not a worry crossed my mind.
Monday morning the car started, I picked a colleague up and we headed off to work. The traffic lights were on red and I stopped as you have to then the unthinkable happened. The engine stalled. I tried the key and nothing, just the old, too familiar dry click. It was just as well that there was the two of us. It was a big car and I couldn’t have pushed it to the side of the road without help.
We got to work eventually, the car was restarted by the garage once more but the mechanics had come with a message saying that they wouldn’t come out to the vehicle anymore. I took the opportunity later that day to go to the garage with the troublesome transport, the bill of sale, the warranty, and the log book. I took the paperwork and the keys into the office of the boss and slammed them down on the desk. I demanded another car.
I didn’t want my car to go. It sat on the forecourt looking deceptively smart yet forlorn in that it was being left behind. How many times had this happened before? The garage owner was as exasperated as I was but did a straight swap with another older vehicle and cheerfully watched me leave his establishment undoubtedly hoping never to see me again.
The story doesn’t quite end there however. The second mistake I made was accepting a lesser vehicle as it represented a financial loss. Indeed that loss was compounded a couple of years later when the engine of the second vehicle blew up and, as I was financially strapped, I couldn’t afford to repair the car. It was sold at an auction for £20 which was barely scrap value. In the end buying the ‘car of the week’ had been a very expensive mistake!
My advice - don’t be dazzled by someone else’s hype. It could cost you serious money.