This week it was the hubcaps that did it for me! Not many cars have proper hubcaps anymore.
Funny thing is when I was young it was the first thing I would whip off, and before you knew it the silver wheels spray can was out and the wheels and tyres and everything was covered in silver paint followed by a cutting back of tyre paint and we were ready to go.
Now it’s the nostalgia of a memory from the past of the bling of hubcaps that’s drawing me in.
I went out this week to do a write-up on what it’s like buying a second hand car, and ended up with an icon of family motoring.
There was only the one Beetle for sale at the local dealership when we visited it this week. This car was first created in the 1930’s by Ferdinand Porsche and eighty years on it may have evolved but it still looks the same.
For me a used car has far more appeal than buying a brand new one! Maybe it’s the challenge of picking out a peach rather than ending up with a lemon.
I really enjoy a salesman’s patter on the cars provenance! Standing there painting the picture of the wee car and its previous owner, You would end up nearly wondering why they needed the car in the first place, as they had done so little with it!
I think this five year old Beetle looks class, but Beetles are not everyones cup of tea. The car was finished in brilliant white, inside and out. A quick call into the showroom to meet that sales team and get the keys of the car and I am off.
Although this third generation beetle looks like a Beetle its more the size of a Porsche on heals. I am now sitting in a traffic jam but all those retro touches are working on my brain! People look at this Beetle as it’s driving along but try to look away quickly, before they’re caught. This car doesn’t need to be 172 DL to get noticed.
We are heading out Glenswilly for a spin and this model has 140BHP on tap from its two-litre diesel engine.
That’s five times more power than the original beetle so as you can imagine this car had no bother climbing out over Meenaroy. They’re things you see and feel in the Beetle that just bring you back in time. The old strap-like grab handles at the top of the middle pillars which were some times used by a bad passenger like myself are still there. They are more likely used to extract the passenger out of the cramped back seats.
All that is missing out of this Beetle is a half a dozen eight-track-tapes to slide over and back across the white metal looking dash. God rest Don Williams who passed away this week. They are reminiscing about him playing his songs on the radio just reminds me of his songs which we listened to over and over again on them big eight-track cassette tapes all those moons ago.
Silver coins that jingle jangle
Fancy shoes that dance in time
Oh the secrets of her dark eyes,
They did sing a gypsy rhyme.
A friend of mine had a Beetle years ago. Both of us headed to the Donegal Rally in it to marshal in 1980. He said the wheels on his Beetle came off a Porsche. I didn’t know whether to believe him or not but they looked the part anyway, but when he came to a corner the wider “Porsche add ons” caught on the Beetle’s mudguards.
Meanwhile back in the present, I have to remind myself that I am not buying the car, I am only writing about it.
Try telling that to these high back seats and headrest of this beetle which just seems to fit perfectly hugging my back and head. These are far superior seats, as far a safety is concerned compared to the high back seats available on the likes of the old “Jeans Bug” Beetle of the seventies but they feel the exact same to the touch. I know that nowadays head rests are really head restrains for safety but in the 70’s and 80’s headrest were extras on cars and boy did we look cool with them, or so we thought.
This beautiful Beetle is 5 years old priced at €13,995 or €229 per month on PCP. that’s €100 less than the PCP per month price for a new Beetle, it has 44,000 Kms on the clock and has a two year warranty. You can see from the pictures it was perfect inside and out and is just waiting for the right person to come along and make it part of their life.
On a completely different side of buying second hand cars is the paying for them.
I am not a bit happy leaving this beautiful car back in the forecourt where all the rest of the secondhand cars are looking perfect, but sitting in a forecourt , something they were never designed to do.
I never liked HP even when I only knew it as a sauce in a bottle sitting upside down on my Auntie B’s dining room table. Bida would give out to her husband, Miah that the bottle would fall over if he didn’t put it up the right way, but sure he didn’t listen. Miah was human.
As far as the other HP is concerned everyone who goes out to buy a car with HP up their game, a bit like a new year’s resolution. We say we will do without this and well will do that so we can make the payments. We unbalance our lifestyle
It’s not called HP anymore. It’s personalised now to be called PCP, and talking personally it never worked that well for me. Over the years I have been turned down for car loans and then accepted for ones on the same day by the same bank. I have been threatened with a court action for not paying the full interest on a hire purchase agreement that was squared up half way through its term only to have the finance company not turn up or being represented on the day of the court.
People don’t talk about this side of buying something through hire purchase because it reflects on themselves as their failure to meet what they agreed when they signed on the dotted line.
Now that’s only me, don’t get me wrong. In the recession no one was interested in loaning anyone money and the car makers decided to take a lead and become bankers as well as manufacturers.
But here’s the thing, their forecourts are now overflowing with the best of quality secondhand cars and no one seems interested in selling them or buying them.
There is something very alarming about the amount of secondhand cars that are building up in garages all around Ireland. Since the financial crash Ireland went from having no second hand cars as no one was buying anything or trading anything to the complete extreme of over supply when car makers became bankers and offered interest free or very low interest on new cars through PCP
Is the HP bottle sitting upside down now for the motor industry with the fear of overbalancing as carmaker focused garages to sell new cars and reach sales targets rather than look at the bigger picture. Could they not make it more attractive to sell the growing number of used cars. Could the hiring or leasing of second hand cars at a lower cost be away of generating business out of this over supply of perfectly good second hand cars.
Happy Motoring folks.