schmorgas Posted January 4, 2015 Report Share Posted January 4, 2015 Noises off…… The precision click of a Parker 25 ballpoint pen. The sound of a Snap-On ratchet tightening a bolt. The rope winder on an ocean going yacht. The burble of a V8 engine. The sharp crack of a Montesa 4RT engine. The irritating high pitch whine of a lone mosquito in your hotel room in the dead of night. Emotive sounds each and every one. Think back, if you will, to bikes and cars you have owned or aspired to own. Then identify which of them you were most attached to and hold the fondest memories. Then ask yourself why. I remember vividly my first push-bike with proper tyres. Passed down from a cousin who had outgrown it and still a little too big for me (8 yrs old ‘ish). Kneeling next to it and listening intently to the crank/freewheel as I rotated the pedals backwards. I remember too (13 yrs old) the Sony cassette player my friend had. A top loader with “piano key” controls that when pressed were quite special in that they were firm, secure and robust. You knew they wouldn’t fail or stick. A bit like an Audi door handle. My first car I bonded with of course, but why? Not just because it was my first surely? The solid and secure clunk as you closed the door to the outside world, then perched upon the hideously bouncy vinyl seats but basking in an air-cooled glow as the engine started instantly despite the -12C temperature outside. The flat four engine located right at the back waffling and clinking through its tortuously complex exhaust/“heat” exchanger. So why did I bond with my next car, given that it was such a dog?! A 1970 (this in 1985) two door coupe with only one functioning door, fortunately the driver’s near side front. Yes, you read that right. Near side front. And as I write this I’m struck by the irony of going from one car with virtually no heater, to another whose heater I couldn’t actually turn off! But I forgave it it’s faults because it was a very rare beast(dog) indeed being a Dodge Challenger (BFC 154R) with a small block 318 cubic inch 5.2l V8. Nice! Also benefitting from the manual gearbox with the proper Hurst competition shift. Very nice! And talk about torque! A pity then it had drum brakes all round, a wing and door in primer and a lot of filler, the remainder in metallic moss green. But with that Hurst shift it returned better mpg than would my old “K” reg’ Range Rover later. Also a dog, also green, and also manual. And I’ll leave you to decide at which end of the reg’ plate the K resided……! After my all too brief flirtation with American muscle, I went back to something a little more Teutonic with a beautiful Audi Coupe GT (BFU 363W). A proper thing though sadly, not the hairy chested Quattro, but that five cylinder engine sounded glorious when you got on the loud pedal. But after 60k miles, what began as charmingly quirky electrical issues, got to me. Then one day I was dazzled by a 3 series from the Bavarian Motor Works and the Audi was gone. A beautifully engineered oatcake. Bland. Dull. Reliable. Swapped with a dodgy dude in Durham for a Range Rover Classic. Not bland. Not dull. Not reliable. 12 mpg. Brake failure on the drive home. Nice! But I loved it! Burbling V8, commanding driving position, what’s not to love? After that life changed and space was required, the resulting aberration manifested itself in the form of a Montego (no hint of ginger) Estate. Bland. Dull. Reliable-ish. But I did like the rev’ counter. Then I got my multi-cylinder mojo back. A Rover SD1 2.6 (D874 MOJ) . A lovely drive but with appalling build quality. When it rained I could have kept fish in the glove compartment! But that six cylinder engine was a delight, all wrapped up in a body that was a blatant copy of the Ferrari Daytona. Bonded! That gets us up to 1996. And the good people of Weissach, Germany, tempted me. Since its launch in the 80’s I was totally smitten by the Porsche 944 styling. A more svelte and elegant sports car was either Italian mega-bucks, or simply non-existent. But at the prices they were asking, way beyond me. Then I spied one in another dodgy forecourt in a lesser known part of Bradford. It was black, and it was calling me! Yes it only had four cylinders, but they were BIG. And I could afford it. From the very first moment I sat in it and closed the door. Clunk. I was having a Beetle flashback. And then when I first looked through the wing mirror and gazed down the swoopy flanks to its rear arches? Bliss. And it was plenty quick enough too, with the handling simply sublime. It wasn’t the finest example of the marque but there was something strangely empowering as you turned on the headlights and watched them rise smoothly and silently from the bonnet. Since then: Volkswagens many and various. All fine in their own way, brand new through work, but none of them food for the soul. Lacking that certain something. That brings us back to two wheels. Regular readers of my ramblings will know that I dallied mercifully briefly with the two stroke. Noisey, rattley and smokey. Until I settled on the proper suck, squeeze, bang, blow, that was the Beta Rev 4T. Two wheeled civility I thought, kneeling down beside it listening as it waffled through its short and efficient exhaust. Bonded. Then onto the 2011 Evo 4T. Not quite as waffley, but nevertheless, beautifully softly spoken. Bonded. Then right up to date with the current Montesa Cota 260 4RT. What a thing! It reminds me in a lot of ways of my Dodge, lots of torque from minimal revs with a sharp crack through the exhaust. Bonded? I may move into the garage!! The only thing lacking in my automotive cv is electric. Now. What did I say about mosquito’s……?! Keep ya feet up! 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