Thursday, 12 September 2013 3:38 PM
With former-editor Dan Anslow leaving our ranks, we embark on a new era of TotallyMotor.
In the driving seat from now on is Leo Collis, who will continue to bring you all the very best in motoring news from across the globe.
As Leo waved a fond farewell to Dan, he also had another sad goodbye to make during the week…
LC: About four weeks ago, near-disaster struck.
On the way home from Sheffield to Leeds, my poor Skoda Fabia finally gave up the ghost. With 170,000 miles on the clock, and with many a fond memory attached to it, my 02-plate former beast-of-a-machine began to cough out unsightly white smoke from the bonnet.
For all those who have experienced a similar unfortunate fate behind the wheel, the diagnosis is never welcome.
Head gasket failure.
Having pulled onto the hard shoulder of the M1, a tense wait for the recovery vehicle began, as I tried to keep my composure as motorway traffic zoomed past.
To make matters worse, the battery life was slowly draining from my mobile phone. Panic began to set-in at the prospect of the recovery service missing my poorly garbled directions, leaving myself and my car stranded on the side of the M1, with no viable means of contact.
After a wait of almost two hours, the truck arrived. Binding up my car and dragging it onto the loader, I looked on at my helpless vehicle and wondered what the future would hold for my little burnt-red Skoda.
In the days following, I was issued with a quote for repairs. It was just shy of £1,000.
With my insurance about due, the cumulative cost was too much for my feeble bank account to handle. There was nothing left for it; I would have to wave goodbye to my beloved car.
When the scrap truck arrived, and tossed the lifeless Skoda onto the back like a ragdoll, a wave of sadness washed over me. Just managing to hold it together, I watched as the vehicle pulled away from my street, taking my Skoda to the big scrapheap in the sky.
While some of you may not mourn the loss of an 11-year-old Skoda Fabia, with an obscene amount of miles on the clock and an annoying penchant for making random beeping noises; for me, it was a rather emotional moment.
No matter what make or model you have, whether it cost a couple of hundred, or a couple of hundred thousand pounds, your car is just that: Your car.
That four-wheeled marvel packed me and a group of friends inside to whisk us away on a fantastic day at a theme park. It powered me to Edinburgh and back across stunning countryside and winding, mountain roads. I've loved it. I've hated it. But it was MINE.
I don't care that it veered slightly to the right on main roads, or that the fuel tank could hold as much petrol as a teacup, or that it kicked up a fuss when I went over 90mph.
Now, with many keepsakes, we can simply put them in a drawer and forget about them for a few years, before discovering them once more and feeling your heart fill with warmth because of the memories it contains.
However, with a car, it’s pretty difficult (never mind impractical) to keep it hanging around. And that, my friends, is an enormous shame.
Goodbye dear Skoda, you served me well. Now it’s time to find another car to capture my heart!
I’m open to suggestions…