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Sunday, July 03, 2005

I love my car




My first car was a 1978 Ford Escort 1600 GL – Banana yellow. She was a total rattle-trap that spent more months motionless in the yard than she did in service. We had some adventures together, but I wasn’t exactly sad to see her go.

My second car was a 1994 Volkswagen CitiGolf Shuttle 1300. She served me well for five years, but since I was a student when I got her I couldn’t afford to maintain her properly. Late last year she was getting dangerously close to the end of her life, and since I had just started a new job I was looking for a significant upgrade.

I fell in love with a 2002 Ford Focus 2.0 Ambiente. My finance didn’t come through, so I had to settle for something cheaper. I was disappointed to have to go for the 2003 Ford Ikon 1.6i CLX. She was the top of the line Ikon, but she was no Focus.

She gave me a little trouble in December which made me even more disillusioned.

But since then I have fallen in love with my Ikon.

This morning I fell in love with her all over again.

As a combination of my anger from last night, from LD canceling on me for tonight, not much traffic and Rob Zombie playing too loud on the (standard but still impressive) sound system, I decided to push the Ikon a little.

The spec sheet says she’s capable of 187km/h… I got her up to 185. I’ve never traveled that fast in a car before. It was a thing of beauty. She sailed up to it like she was meant for it – like she was aching to please me.

I think it’s time to give her a name. I’ll have to think of one that suits her.

I know, I know... it's reckless and dangerous to drive so fast, especially on South African roads. But I wasn't about to let the BMW 323CI in the lane next to me get the better of me. He pulled away when I tried to overtake him, and that pissed me off.

He capped it at 150km/h, but I was enjoying myself too much to stop there. The Ikon was begging for more, so I left my foot flat. Even at top speed she hardly shuddered. She just didn't have the revs for any more.

Sure, she's nothing fancy. Just a jazzed up entry-level family runabout. But she has enough power to give me the acceleration I need when I need it. I still underestimate her sometimes.

She even has cornering ability comparable to the Focus... the European benchmark. She can handle corners at speeds more powerful cars wouldn't dare attempt.

I was thinking of upgrading her for the Focus as soon as I could get the finance, but somehow I don't think that will be necessary. Besides... who needs ABS and Airbags anyway?