The end of a mid life crisis
My mid life crisis began at 40 when my Nissan Micra failed to negotiate a bend whilst following a Ford Transit to work. For reasons I never really understood, me and my car went hurtling sideways through a hedge and the ‘Nasty Nissan’ ended it’s days on it’s side in a field full of rather surprised sheep.
That was how the day started. It ended rather differently shaking hands on a gleaming chunk of German metal with a roaring engine. My beloved Z3 spent the next 18 years whizzing from home to work and from house call to house call. It’s oversized engine and full fat tyres meant that it never hesitated on the twisting Powys roads and certainly never destroyed any hedges or surprised any more ship.
Blue, brash and occasionally topless it became a familiar feature in our home roads but it did have one or two drawbacks. We once went camping in it and Sally was never really deceived by the, ‘deceptively large and practical boot’ which was, in reality, minuscule. Four hundred miles later her legs had to be prised out of the seat well and disentangled from cook pots, sleeping bags and the odd tent.
If the boot was small the bonnet was massive and, bulging beneath it, was a huge piece of German engineering hewn from solid steel. Thousands of thirsty cc’s sucked gallons of fuel into those huge carburettors. Almost as much engine oil kept the whole thing going and out of the exhaust pipe came £18,000 of emissions over the course of it’s long and happy life.
In later years the glossy paint began to peel and turn to rust. New panels replaced gaping holes and every year my trusty mechanic would shake his head and say, ‘it will need a lot of money spending on it next year’. But somehow it always squeezed through it’s MOT and celebrated by sending another plume of blue smoke through yet another hole in the exhaust.
During this dark winter the dashboard was kept nice and bright by a dazzling array of warning lights that blinked randomly. I tried to ignore them especially the ones I didn’t understand. I was pretty sure that the traction control warning wouldn’t put me back in the hedge but I did get a bit nervous about the ABS warning as I thought that would not end happily.
By January 2019 and with 146,000 miles on the clock I decided that there was virtually no chance of my trusty steed surviving a Spring MOT. With regret I put a notice in the window, ‘For Sale, one careful owner, £1,000 some work required’!
Within a week or two it had gone! Sold to a patient determined to put it on a race track and throw it around the sports car racing circuit. Remarkably I received a bundle of cash too as compensation for the end of an era and the end of my mid life crisis.
Farewell my trusty Zed I will miss the roar of all your horses echoing through your leaky exhaust. I will miss the wind in the hair on those fine summer days and I will miss the heads you turned with your bold and brash statement. I doubt that many will even glimpse me as I swoosh past in our new, silent and totally anonymous electric VW Golf. That’s what follows a mid life crisis.