There is a sim racing link here I promise so bear with me. I think it’s safe to say that every one of us, unless we were lucky had a first car that, well, was a bit crock.
Officially my first car was a minty blue L reg Vauxhall Corsa. Mmmm! Mint. It even had colour matched dials for speed (such as it was) and revs (quite a few to make it go). I say officially because as a youngster I was also allowed to drive my parent’s various cars - they were reps so they changed with fair regularity so this not admitting any life of multi-car opulence. The best by far was a 52 plate Civic Type R. You know the one. The slightly boxy model with the gear stick mounted high on the dash a little bit like a sequential shifter in a touring car. Well that’s what I said to myself anyway. That car was many things to me. Sporty, fast, attractive in a quasi-touring car kind of way and above all not broken.
My Wrigleys Corsa however was broken. Firstly there was the small matter of a knackered rear wheel bearing (my fault) though in my defense if a small hatchback can’t handle the odd Devonian rally stage then what use is it really? Then there was some really random issues that meant it would cough and splutter to a halt up steep hills. If I’d lived in, say, Norfolk this wouldn’t have been an issue but sadly I don’t and hills are an occupational hazard in Devon, even in the less rural bits. Days the thing would spend in a garage being checked over to be returned with a ‘we’ve fixed it gov’ only to find out they really hadn’t. There’s nothing worse than a problem that goes away by itself. This was ok because the next problem very much didn’t go away by itself. Well, that’s not strictly true as the problem - the gearbox - decided that it no longer required internal parts in such a manner that it duly distributed them across the middle lane of the M5. While this certainly did relieve the problem it did rather arrest the car’s ability to move thus rendering it essentially a mint coloured paperweight. I was not pleased with this turn of events. Even worse was the Civic R had been replaced by a grey Mazda 6. That was not a good month!
So we reach the sim racing portion and come to the subject of your first car ‘in game’. For many they cannot wait to get out of the little box they’ve had thrust upon them just in order to earn enough credits to move on to something a little more exciting - if only real life worked like this!. My argument is that everyone has to start somewhere. While my Vauxhall Fisherman’s Friend may have left a bad taste in the mouth at the end, it did set me off on my motoring journey and I did have a lot of fun with it. I seriously doubt if I’d had something significantly newer that was actually mine I would have ‘rallied’ it or treated it half as badly as I may have. I think the only thing I genuinely didn’t do was speed. It simply wasn’t an option! Still, the silly little car that used to trap my clutch foot in the steering column got me on the way and so it is in racing titles. Value those first cars in game - they’re your stepping stone to greatness. Plus they give you the best anecdotes!
*Actual Corsa not shown - it's very much dust by now!