But earlier this year, I started to become increasingly mindful of the 528i's growing mileage. I decided I wanted to sell it before it hit the big 150,000, and so it went up for sale early in November. After three weeks without a single phone call, it finally went last weekend. I'm not afraid to say I was rather gutted to watch it drive down the road; I'd become rather attached to it, and it felt like watching a faithful old retriever being taken off to the vets for the last time.
So, to cheer myself up, I turned my thoughts to its replacement. I'd decided to go for something a little quirkier, a little more interesting, and probably a little older than the Beemer. With the need to commute in it removed, it didn't need to be too sensible, and as such, there were plenty of options with my £2,000 budget.
But as is always the way with these things, all those cars I'd seen and earmarked in the classifieds simply seemed to dry up the moment I actually found myself endowed with some folding to throw around. I called up about two promising cars; one had sold that morning, and another turned out to be up in Scotland. So I turned to some of the other cars I'd been considering. A Citroen BX GTi, for example, had sold the day before. An utterly fantastic CX GTi had sold two days before that. I scoured eBay for a classic Saab 900 Turbo I'd liked the look of, but it had evidently been taken down. The same story was true of a 9000 Aero I'd been after.
By Friday, desperation was setting in. I arrived at work and announced proudly that I'd spotted a P6 Rover 3500 that was actually still for sale. This was met with the silence it deserved. I rather fancied the idea of an old boy's Rover with a silly V8, but I knew in my heart of hearts that my colleagues were right: at this price, it had the potential to be a world of pain.
Then, to my amazement, on the journey home that evening, someone actually replied to me. It was a chap from Walsall with a Mk1 MR2 T-Bar. It was still for sale, and yes I could come and have a look the next day. At last! So it was that after a Saturday morning schlep up the M40, I returned with my very own slice of 80s retro fun - and a big silly grin on my face.
I'll reveal the full details of the new addition to the PH Fleet with a proper update another time. Right now, though, I'm off for a drive. With the roof off, and some Human League on the stereo, natch.