Saturday, 28 February 2009

Life story of a Ford Escort

The following is the life story of my Ford Escort...

The year was 1994. I was in my mid-teens, and my dad was looking to buy a new car. I remember him taking me along to look at the different cars and then asking me which one was my favourite. I said I liked the Escort best. That was the car he then decided to buy. I was so happy he chose the one I liked best and enjoyed riding along in it.

After my father died in 1998, the car was registered under my name. It was very reliable and always served me well. It survived a few bumps and scratches and also a minor accident. It also has had a total of 4 different licence plates.

The original licence plate lasted almost 10 years, until I went on a trip to France in the summer of 2003. At that time, my car also had a bumper sticker with the words "Jesus died for me & you" on the back of my car, together with a Christian fish and a Union Jack. Somebody in France obviously did not like that message and scratched up the bumper sticker and also stole the licence plate on the back of the car. That was very unfortunate, but I was relieved the damage wasn't any worse.

So I reported the vandalism to the French police, scribbled the number of my licence plate on a piece of paper, which I stuck to the back of my car and drove back to Germany like that where I was able to get a new licence plate with a new number.

The second licence plate only lasted for a year or so, because I sold my car to the pastor of a Spanish-speaking church before starting my first full-time job in Ireland in 2004. Since he lived in another district in Germany, he had to get a new licence plate number.

However, after returning from Ireland to Germany in 2006, I was able to buy back my old car because the pastor didn't really use it that much and was wanting to sell it again. So that's how my car got its fourth licence plate number, since I could not keep the number of the other district.

In 2006, I got some World Cup tickets for Sweden v. Trinidad & Tobago and I drove up to Dortmund with Milthon, a Mexican friend from college, to see the game. England were playing Paraguay on the same day, so I fitted my car with England flags and we drove to Dortmund. My Ford Escort won the race to the official parking area, as it was the very first car to arrive there in the morning! The photos below should provide sufficient proof... ;-)

And the photo below may be the only one of me driving my car. It was taken the same year on a rainy day in August by Maki, a Japanese friend from uni who came to visit.

My Ford Escort is now 15 years old. I had been thinking about getting a new one, but decided against it. Then, in late January, the German government introduced a scheme of giving car buyers that have their over-9-year-old car demolished €2,500 towards a new, environmentally-friendly car, in order to boost the economy and help the environment. I thought about it, but decided against it again. But then, this past Sunday morning, someone crashed into the back of my car at a red light and caused about €4,500 worth of damage, making my car a total write-off. (My car was worth about €1,500 before then.)

It does not look that bad really, but the frame has been squeezed together, causing the left back door to fall out of place and the boot to be stuck in a half open position. And the worst thing is that the fumes now enter the inside of the car, thus making it totally unsafe to drive in.

So I am glad I can take advantage of the government grant and receive some money from the other person's insurance towards buying a new car. The only trouble now is that there are so many people buying new small cars. This is because there is only limited funding available from the government and once it's used up, there is no more available. I took a whole day off on Wednesday to look for one, and I couldn't find any anywhere! Many places said they wouldn't be able to get any new small cars until June, July or even September! One car dealer said he hoped to get some within one or two months and there was just one car that could be delivered within a week. I also phoned several places with the same answer. But on Thursday evening, I did find a car dealer in another town who was able to offer me a small new car on the spot and I signed the dotted line the same day to have it reserved for me. Thank God! I hope to pick up my new car on Thursday.

And then I will have to say goodbye to my faithful Escort and have it demolished...


Anonymous said...

Hey, thats a great story.
So what small car will you get?
Phil McCollum

Michael said...

Thanks! I already got a new car! It's a Kia Picanto! I love it! Hope to put up some pictures here soon...