How many breakdowns does it take to make you hate a car?
The struggles of automotive enthusiasm.
In my first 6 weeks of owning my 1990 Rover Mini, it broke down each week, without fail.
By each week, I really do mean each week - having only just driven it home, I returned from a family trip a few days later to find it sitting in a puddle of its own oil. It was a driveshaft seal leak, local garage, £200, just a small hiccup right?
Week 1 - Leaky McLeakface
This was just the beginning. The Mini was out to get me, it was out to bankrupt me, it was out to ruin my relationship with my family. 6 weeks, 5 breakdowns, 3 RAC callouts, 2 new tyres and a plethora of parts later, my attitude towards the little blue blob was still unchanged. I didn't trust it that was for sure, but I didn't despise it in the way it perhaps deserved. Also for those saying "its a classic car things go wrong blah blah blah" unreliability was to be expected, but seriously once a week?
The floor of my parents garage looked like someone had been murdered on it, to this day it remains an amazing contemporary patchwork of black oil stains and orangey red coolant stains. Unhappy with the floor, they were also growing tired of my blind optimism towards a car that was useless in nearly every sense of the word. It took 10 minutes just to get the bloody thing over the speed humps on the drive and was always broken when they needed someone to run errands. It's unreliability had become a running joke; "can you pick me up from the station please.... ....oh wait *chortling intensifies* your car won't make it" becoming a family favourite.
Week 3 - fuel pump packs up on the way back from getting new tyres for a puncture from the day before
I suppose I've been able to remain fond of the Mini in the same way its possible to love a new puppy that defecates everywhere - it can be a real pain, but its hard to truly hate it or throw it out of the house. The question remains; how long before my hedonism runs out? What happens when the puppy grows into a dog, but still lays turds around the house?
Now 6 months and 9 breakdowns into ownership, I'm pleased to report that I still don't yet hate it. The frequency of breakdowns has subsided somewhat and the pleasure of the buzzy little engine, or the short wheelbase or the joy of looking back when I park up make the faff worth it, well for now at least. So long live my Mini.... and sorry Mum and Dad.