Just over two weeks ago I bought a new car.
In February I went to Donegal for a weekend. Despite living in Northern Ireland for over ten years it was my first trip to that part of the world. I went with four friends, my wife, our dog and my camera.
Where we stayed, Dungloe, had a wonderful sense of isolation to it, despite being part of a small development. A couple of miles down the road there was an almost deserted, secluded little windswept beach which was a definite high-point of the trip.
I vowed that we would be back.
The only problem was my beloved car, a ’98 Seat Arosa, really wasn’t up to the task of taking on the roads of Donegal. Don’t get me wrong, the main roads and motorways are fine, but some of the little twisty-windy roads that we went on tested my cars suspension to it’s maximum.
If I was to make good on my vow of returning I really needed a different motor to do it.
Which brings me to this post.
It’s an ’04 Rover Streetwise 2.0 TD SE.
Metallic Dolphin Grey.
26-odd thousand miles on the clock.
And it’s fantastic to drive.
I had to travel to England to get it. I didn’t want to get the petrol version because I’d heard various negative things, but the diesel model was pretty rock-solid. I couldn’t find a diesel model near me that didn’t have 80k miles on the clock so I looked farther afield.
I eventually found two that I was interested in, then two became the one that I got.
So I booked a ferry crossing from Belfast to Stranraer. Drove down through Scotland to Blackburn, part exchanged the Arosa and drove my new car back up to Scotland.
Not having driven a diesel before (the only time was in Donegal when I drove a Land Rover for a couple of miles, and even then I didn’t drive it properly) I felt like a learner driver when I test drove the car, but everything went okay and the purchase, as well as the part exchange of the Arosa, went through.
The 200-odd mile drive back home was the tester, and it was uneventful. The first half was pretty much a straight motorway drive up the M1 where I got a good feel for it’s overtaking abilities *smile* the second leg of the trip I let my wife drive and she was also very impressed with it.
The only thing I really need to do is change the stereo to one that will work with an iPod but will also still use the steering-wheel mounted controls of the car. I have the new stereo, but I’m just waiting on pay day so I can get the correct connectors.