The bus trip is actually quite pleasant and only takes two and a half hours which is about half an hour more than by car.
It is cheaper too when there's just me as about $45 return is cheaper than petrol.
The car I'm buying is a Toyota IST 2004.
That's right a Toyota IST. I'd never heard of it before either. It's actually a bit of an old lady's car but, for what I want it for it will do nicely.
I'm buying it from the tenants in our house so know that it's well looked after and, if something goes wrong I know where they are!
Actually, I'm also buying it from them as a favour as they are good tenants and need the money to put towards a camper van.
This got me thinking of the cars I've owned over the years. I've had company cars for over 30 years and these have been much better but I won't list those.
The first car I owned was a 1948 Austin 8. This sounds really old but as I bought it in 1970 it was only 22 years old. There are a lot of older cars on the road today.
I bought the car when I was in the 7th form at college. It cost $80 which was a lot of money then. I used it during my final school year before I went to university.
It was a neat old car that had leather seats and doors that opened out opposite to the way doors usually do. It had some idiosyncrasies like: needing to be hand cranked to start it sometimes; having virtually no brakes and having to use blocks of wood when parked; having to reverse up hills when the petrol tank was low as the fuel pump wouldn't function properly.
It was fun though and I sold it at the end of the year to friend Tony who coveted it.
Going against the trends for motor vehicle buying and selling I sold it for $100 a 25% increase on what I bought it for.
Tony liked the car and used it for a couple of years. He also abused it and once peed in it I think. Richard of RBB no doubt will have the details.
Keeping with the theme of usury I bought the car back from Tony for $60. 40% less than I sold it to him for. Net profits over the two transactions - $40.
I sold it to my brother for $60 - hey he was my brother (and besides the car smelled of pee) and he converted it into a 'beach buggy' for driving up the river beds over Cape Palliser way.
The second car I bought seemed like a real doozy. It was a 1962 Triumph Herald (remember this was 1970 and I had been driving an old Austin 8).
I bought it for $400 from a car dealer on Christmas Eve. Late. So late in fact that the State Insurance office was closed (no internet transactions in those days). Of course the worst happened and on Christmas day I crashed it. Into a parked car. I spent the rest of that year paying off the damages to the car I crashed into and had nothing to spend on mending my Herald. I bent and twisted the metal as best I could. I replaced broken lights. I tied down the strange lift-up front end that Triumph Heralds had with ropes which would have to be anchored to the drivers and passenger doors. It would have been a nightmare in an emergency.
I crashed this car again, this time crossing the Porirua motorway and bashing into a bank on the other side
A truck reversed into it while it was parked in an alley.
The car from the two frontal crashes and one rear one developed a lopsided crabbing motion.
This was spotted by a traffic cop and I was ordered off the road. This was before the days of pink-stickering. The cop just said "we know where you live and don't want to ever see you driving it again".
I complied. I sold it for $200. I told the guy that bought it that it had been ordered off the road. "No worries" he said "I'm just driving up to see my girlfriend. In Napier! I don't know if he made it.
The third car I bought was a 1962 Hillman Super Minx.
It cost $500 and was a great car that I kept for 5 years. I drove it up and down the country - North and south Island and it just kept going (pretty fast too). It never really gave me much problem but good friend Mike, who was about as good with cars and things mechanical as Britney Spiers is with quantum physics, managed to mangle the bonnet and burn out the brakes on two separate occasions.
The fourth car I bought was another Hillman Super Minx. This was a 1965 model station wagon.
I bought this in 1977 while still owning the 1964 Super Minx. Gasp! Two cars although admittedly the other had stopped working by then. I still sold it for $200 though. This is a reflection of the times where import quotas and high tariffs meant that cars were hard to import. The newer model cost me a whopping $600. It was a good car and served me well. It got severely smashed up in Adelaide Road outside Murray Roberts when hit by a truck but good old State Insurance fixed it up again. they very rarely wrote off cars back then.
In 1979 I bought my fifth car. This was a 1971 Ford Escort. It was flash (well flash for me) and cost a thousand bucks.
I had no problems with this car and sold it in Auckland in 1981 when I got my first company car.
I didn't buy another car until 2008 being my sixth car (we had bought cars for The Old Girl) who on seeing this brand new 2008 Peugeot 206 sports version immediately appropriated it and gave me her Rover.
I didn't mind really as the Rover 620ti was a superb car.
I'd had it from new in 1998 as a company car and drove it for 3 years until the company, as per the car replacement policy of the time, gave me a new Passat. Two years later we saw it advertised for sale and bought it. We sold it last year before going to Canada.
Now, the Toyota IST will be the seventh car I've bought for myself. It's hardly the Maserati I'd always promised myself but, for cheap running around up North it'll do. I'll be getting a new company car next week for Auckland so can't complain.