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Alex

17 years ago...

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Alex

Sentimental moment coming, but it's an anniversary I've been wondering if I'd reach. 

 

On the 9th March 2000, I went to Bristol to pick up what was to become my first car. A Polo GT  Coupe with 107,000 miles on the clock, full of dog hair and covered in tree sap. 

 

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I still own it. 

 

Which means, for the first time, I've come around to two milestones. Firstly, babies born on that day can start driving today. And, secondly - I've not worked it out exactly - it means I've had this car half my life. 

 

Car ownership is becoming less common among teenagers these days. It's quite sad. Looking back, it's amazing what a lump of metal can do. 

 

It's been shown:

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Many times. This was the first - BVF back in 2001. I've made great friends, people who've helped me when I've needed it, sorted parts for me, given advice and even helped double the power under my right foot. Thanks Andy...

 

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It transported me and my friends all over the country. Brought us home from memorable nights out. Taken us to memorable weekends away. It kept me in touch in the days before WhatsApp or Facebook. When my girlfriend - now my wife - was up at Sheffield Uni, it did a weekly round trip from Cardiff without fault. It kept me mobile. 

 

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Of course, it's not always been straightforward. It's broken down when I've neglected it or others have cut corners, it's aged and needed restoring. I've taken most of it apart at some point, finding squeaks and rattles, ironing them out, changing the way it drives.  

 

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I've tracked it. Not a lot, but among those days it's done a few laps of the Nürburgring (and the return journey). It's also spun off the Nürburgring. Which was interesting. 

 

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It's followed me through A-Levels, through Uni, through house moves, crap temp jobs and into my career as a journalist. It's shared a driveway with all sorts of press cars. It's been a project car in Max Power and Performance VW - the magazines which, once upon a time, inspired me to waste my money mucking about with silly old cars. It's done many airport runs for press launches. And, when it doesn't, other journalists often ask me: "How's the Polo?"

 

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I confess it doesn't do as many miles these days. No ISOFIX. But it's still part of the family. My eldest has his eyes on it already. 

 

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But best of all, it's still here. Finished for about a year, no new parts to report, just something that puts a smile on my face every time it whines into life. Which it does first time, every time. For all the many new priorities I've picked up in the last 17 years, it's nice to have a constant in there somewhere!

Edited by Alex
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PHIL SWARBRICK

I've had my Mk2 for 15 years. Mainly stock and never broken broke or should I say the motor never actually stopped even when the head gasket failed. Both my sons learnt to drive in it. Its had three different gearboxes and now is going to be rewarded for sterling service with some extensive mods. It is part of the family and will never be sold. The most reliable car I have ever had.

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Alex
2 hours ago, PHIL SWARBRICK said:

I've had my Mk2 for 15 years. Mainly stock and never broken broke or should I say the motor never actually stopped even when the head gasket failed. Both my sons learnt to drive in it. Its had three different gearboxes and now is going to be rewarded for sterling service with some extensive mods. It is part of the family and will never be sold. The most reliable car I have ever had.

They're good cars. We had a Mk2 breadie as a family car in the Nineties. Saved my Dad's life, he was hit by a stolen car. 

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Buggirl

That has brought tears to my eyes!  What a lovely story!  I am so glad you have her still.  

I own my first car a 1966 beetle.  I sold her then brought her back 4 years ago.  She isn't going anywhere at the moment as she needs some TLC but starts first time after standing months on end!  I was so lucky to find her and buy her ack.  You are right that the millennials don't seem as interested in cars these days.  

 

My Polo Mk4 I have just brought is a 1.6 GLX and I am using her every day for work at the min.  I really hope I can keep her and restore her to your standard.  She has 107,000 on the clock too.  

 

So so pleased that you are so happy with your old friend.

Edited by Buggirl
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Buggirl

Thought I would share this.  Not a polo but I think it captures what you have said!

 

 

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Alex
4 hours ago, Buggirl said:

Thought I would share this.  Not a polo but I think it captures what you have said!

 

 

I've never seen that before, ha! Yeah I think it's interesting to think of all the moments a car gets involved in, in the background. 

 

We we just traded in our first proper family car for a new one. We weren't that attached to the old one but seeing it on Auto Trader with the imprints of our child seats in the leather was a reminder that it was with us through an interesting period of our lives. And now it'll go on to someone else who will make new memories in it. 

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Alex
4 hours ago, Buggirl said:

Thought I would share this.  Not a polo but I think it captures what you have said!

 

 

I've never seen that before, ha! Yeah I think it's interesting to think of all the moments a car gets involved in, in the background. 

 

We we just traded in our first proper family car for a new one. We weren't that attached to the old one but seeing it on Auto Trader with the imprints of our child seats in the leather was a reminder that it was with us through an interesting period of our lives. And now it'll go on to someone else who will make new memories in it. 

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Elijah

Great story, great polo and fair play to you.  Longest I've owned a car is my current vw sharan 9 years and still going strong.  

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Alex

I should probably add that - for those of you who are interested - there's a project thread on this car, started back in 2006, here:

 

That covers quite a broad part of the ownership, from a year or so into it being a G40 right up to last summer. So a big chunk of the current spec, and the restoration back in 2011.

 

Though tbh I don't think the spec is 100% up to date.

 

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Elijah

Rare car being an early get in that colour.  In my opinion it's the best colour.  Not many left on a h plate at all most were either red, silver or white.

 

 

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kwijibo_coupe

Fantastic story for a fantastic car. You're right when you say car ownership is rare these days thanks to all the HP & PCP finance arrangements and I bet in another 17 years it will be an even rarer sight to still have your first car.

 

 

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griff

Great story (& a lovely car)

 

Sadly my first car didn't last anything like so long, thanks to a Rover SD1 broadsiding us at high speed at a crossroads 

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Lowvalver

Really enjoyed reading your post mate,great looking polo,im in the same boat with my e36 m3,had it 14 years now,rebuilt it and modified it from the ground up,me and my son always tinker about with it on weekends,its apart of the family i supose and it will be handed down to my son at some point,really nice post mate.

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