Tuesday, 7 July 2015

midlife crisis-mobile

file under: Engineering boasting

About a month ago I was walking past a children's playpark that had a fantastic slide. I'd have liked to go down it, but I had neither the nerve nor the energy to scale the fence. It was at that moment that the creeping realisation that I'm never going to be young again started to dawn (Also I split up with my girlfriend).

I used to joke about what form my midlife crisis would take because I already rode powerful motorbikes and played guitar in a rock band. It turns out to have been as clich├ęd and predictable as any. This weekend I ordered a fast uncomfortable car that I don't need. The only thing that marks me out from the crowd of disaffected forty-somethings is that I'll be assembling the car myself.

Buying a new Caterham Seven is a charming experience. The salesman was knowledgeable, helpful and attentive and applied no pressure. The test drive made me grin like a fool. One of my friends bought new base model Ford KA and was disappointed that it didn't come with central locking. At Caterham roof, doors, windscreen, paint and having the car assembled are all optional extras. I'm six foot tall and had to pay a £400 surcharge to have the floors lowered by 50mm so that I fit inside it. I wouldn't have had to be much bigger around the middle and they'd have politely led me to the other side of the showroom for the "widebody" models which are larger, heavier, and more expensive again.

The most English thing is that I haven't actually bought a car. I haven't even bought the kit of parts to make a car. I've bought a slot on the queue to have the kit of parts that make a car manufactured.

Richard "Roll on January" B

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