"Swade", formerly of Inside Saab sends in this story of his first car. With Saab recently succumbing to an international conspiracy to kill the brand / give it's bountiful and innovative engineering prowess and high quality product to the red chinese, that literary venture has come to a close. HOWEVER, you cannot keep a good man down, and Swade is back on the net at Swadeology . Swade produces a great site, and all "Saabistas" are heartily encouraged to check it out. And anyone else who likes cars too.
"Early April, 1988.
Earlier in the day, I was driving in some small 4-cylinder car listening to the two other people in the car set a date when one’s family would come over and visit the other for a BBQ lunch. I just listened and turned when I was told to turn and let them carry on their conversation. The more they talked, the less they were thinking about me and the more I could think about the task at hand – and more importantly, what I’d do later. Later that day, later that week. Every day for the rest of my life, probably.
I was 18 years and three weeks old, and this was my driving test. And I could. not. wait. to start driving.
This is not my Holden Gemini. Mine was baby blue and didn’t come with a kangaroo.
Later that day, licence in wallet, I got into my 1977 Holden Gemini and drove around to my mate Jeremy’s house, picked him up, and the first thing I did as a licenced driver was head to the newly constructed Greensborough Bypass and break the law – as fast as I dared – with my little 1.6 Isuzu motor flying along at 160 km/h.
It was reckless, irresponsible and totally, addictively empowering. I was 18 and free. The only limits to my geographical freedom were the depths of my wallet, the reliability of my car and the law telling me how fast I could get there, wherever ‘there’ was.
I’d thrown in the towel at university and taken a job with Telecom Australia. Of course, with the job came an income and with an income came the ability to obtain credit.
That credit came in handy when I was driving to the movies one night with a friend of mine, Fleur, and we encountered one of those freak Melbourne thunderstorms. It came as quick as it went, thick with rain, and whilst sauntering along the lightless, curbless St Helena Rd at a very cautious 50 km/h, I realised that I was no longer on the road when I saw the tree about 6 feet in front of me.
Fleur and I were both OK, but the Gemini was toast and I couldn’t contain my excitement – that accident meant that I could finally ditch the baby-blue Gemini that was so unfitting for a teenage male and buy something a bit more ……… Aussie bloke.
That car was a 1973 Holden Torana. In white, with mags, a rear spoiler, tinted windows and a thumping 202 six cylinder with an ‘Aussie 4-speed’ gearbox."
Aaahhh, a white Torana; NOW you're talkin' Steve!