If you read last week’s piece you will be aware that my 21 year old Mercedes was due it’s NCT. If for some reason you didn’t read last week’s piece, then you should. I assumed the car would be declared unsafe for human consumption and that I would be advised to take the bus home. Now it did indeed fail the NCT, but the technician who conducted the test must have been a Mercedes enthusiast because it didn’t actually fail by much. There are three small jobs that need attending to and then theoretically the big blue Merc is ready to be deemed road legal. Weld the exhaust. Weld a plate into one of the rear arches. Weld a front suspension mount. If I could weld I’d be sorted wouldn’t I?

Anyway, it is not the damning report I was anticipating; Mercedes is a bright girl but she is lagging behind the other students at braking, lighting, maths and home economics. Her German is good though…

I drove home and concluded that the technician must have had a soft spot for old Mercs. It got me thinking: When you hear the term ‘ car enthusiast’ what kind of person springs to mind? Blue Subaru jacket man standing behind a dry stone wall at a rally stage? Reckless young fella practising his handbrake turns in the local car park? Waffling old codger rambling on about the virtues of his nearly always not working Ford Cortina? Or maybe that one man in your village who owns one of everything – Mini, Beetle, Bmw E30, pre 1980 Ford of some sort, and something odd like a Mercedes Unimog. Maybe that man springs to mind when you hear the term ‘car enthusiast’. Every village has one. Hi Eamonn.

Remember how popular plastic fantastic jap scrap used to be, everybody wanted a Honda Civic with a bodykit and Lexus lights. Well that day is gone. The insurance companies seem to have priced them off the road. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, the individual who in the past had a penchant for lights underneath their car a lá Fast and Furious now has to change with the times. Diesel is desirable now. Young lads and ladies aspire to drive a diesel VW Passat, Golf, or something similar and ideally it should belch black smoke under heavy acceleration and emit a  loud ‘boo’ noise between gear changes. I’ve just searched the term ‘boo’ on Donedeal.ie and I swear it returned over twenty ads including phrases like ‘nice boo from the exhaust’ and ‘great boo off her’.

I don’t understand the appeal myself but it’s good that enthusiasts are plentiful enough to have a few different species. Feel free to use the comment section folks – what car appeals to you and why?

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