My grandfather drove a Ford Taunus, my cousin an Opel Ascona and my uncle a FIAT 131 Supermirafiori. Well, of course they all owned other cars both before and after those mentioned, but it’s that Taunus, Ascona and Supermirafiori which I primarily remember them for. There will of course be several reasons for that, but the amusing thing is, I don’t quite recall what made those three cars stick in my memory. Apparently, that’s just the way it is, and there are multiple other examples outside of the family, where it’s one particular car which has etched itself into my memory as practically defining a friend, colleague or neighbour.
As most of you will know, I’ve owned a fair few classic cars and I genuinely feel I’ve made a real effort to ensure that there has been a lot of diversity in my choices. Biased as I am, I of course think they’ve all been interesting in their own unique way. But what if I could only be remembered for one of them?
The question arose when I recently happened to bump into an ex-girlfriend. We have both moved on in our lives, but we still took the opportunity to catch up and even chat about what had been. That’s where I discovered that she remembered me for my SAAB 90. While my mid-eighties SAAB was white, it’s probably obvious to all that there was hardly a prince on a white stallion analogy hidden in the story. At the time, she owned a BMW convertible and to me there were many similarities to be found between the two – sublime ergonomics, high build quality and so on… Though her BMW was black.
It was never put into words – and frankly, no interesting and respectable woman would be so platonic anyway – but I had a feeling that my white SAAB 90 was perhaps a contributing factor to our relationship never really evolving. I did in fact try to explain what it was with a SAAB, but it’s almost as awkward as trying to explain a joke. I’ve since remembered a comment made by one of our Danish followers on ViaRETRO’s Facebook page, where a comparison between Volvo (the other Swedish variation of the automobile theme) and sex concludes that both are safe but boring. I suppose the BMW-driving ex-girlfriend would have wasted no time decoding the front wheel drive SAAB as something even more uninspiring. Was that where it all went wrong?
Yet it doesn’t change how I felt and still feel about my old SAAB: It was a lovely youngtimer. But just like that ex-girlfriend, I’ve moved on since the SAAB as well. Which leaves me wondering whether there might be other cars which I would rather be associated with. Well, how about my Jaguar XJ12? See, that’s a vehicle which is bound to elevate me to husband material par excellence. Or how about my Honda CRX of the first generation – mmmm… the modern and dynamic man!
Or something entirely different…?
So this Friday’s big question is one of those deep and life defining ones: Which car would you prefer to be remembered by?