I should point out, before we go any further, that I’ve never had a great deal of cash to spend on a car. The most I’ve ever laid out on a single vehicular purchase has been £3,000, spent on a 1995 Jaguar XJR. And that car, in fact, brings me on to a very salient point: how, exactly, do you justify a poor car purchase?
But shortly after buying it, I found there was a gearbox harness that needed doing. Then there was the supercharger belt that fell off, and then the electrical work that was required when the washer jets gave up the ghost. My Jag wasn’t really a hound, but it certainly needed plenty of upkeep. The final straw came when I had to move away from home for a new job; the fuel bills were simply too much, and a mere six months (and some pounds) after I bought it, it had to go.
Was it a bad buy, though? I loved it when it was working, and enjoyed the road trip of a lifetime in it when I drove it over to Austria in the middle of winter. So I got something out of it. I reckon that doesn’t make the decision to buy it a bad one; it’s certainly not something I regret, as it scratched an itch I’d had since I was a lad.
It was while I was at university, and I’d been shedding around in a frankly hideous old Mondeo diesel for a few months. I was sick and tired of it, and on a cheeky eBay browse one evening I spotted the perfect (ha!) antidote. It was a Rover Vitesse, the turbocharged model, again dating from 1995 and finished in Nightfire Red. Lured by the promise of a 180hp-odd barge with fantastic sleeper points, I walloped in a bid for £400 and that was that. No, I hadn’t even seen it, and yes, I was young and extremely foolish.
I could go on – I’ve had my fair share of shonkers – but I’m more interested to hear about yours, so I’m turning the discussion over to you. Let’s hear about your most keenly regretted purchases; the hounds that bay at you from somewhere in the darkest recesses of your memory. Meanwhile, the rest of us will sit here and, alternately, nod sympathetically or point, laugh and shout ‘What did you do that for?!’