In September 1978 a worker in a factory in Wolfsburg Germany tightened the final screw on a gold VW Scirocco. It was loaded on a ship to England and sold to a proud new owner.
Over a decade later I bought that car as an MOT failure and lovingly brought it back to life. It is without doubt my favourite car, the one that, if I could, I’d buy back, strip to the bare metal restore and drive to work every morning.
Its fuel economy was dubious, styling now as dated as that of a Lamborghini Miura and an exhaust manifold that tended to come lose after a bit of hard driving as three of the studs were sheared into the aluminium head. The gear shift was worn, first gear was an art if the gearbox oil was hot and the rear anti-roll bar was slightly tired making cornering occasionally interesting.
There are many reasons I love that car, and this is only one of them.
I was at a friend’s birthday party. For no other reason than having a good laugh. I wasn’t particularly looking for a girl, though I was single at the time. I just wanted a good night out. Despite this I got talking to a girl, and we hit it off. I can remember her name, but being a gentleman I will not divulge it.
At the end of the night I agreed to take her home. Well, her, her friend and the friend’s boyfriend. Curiously we ended up driving out in to the countryside (the opposite direction to where she lived) and indulging in a little groping, fumbling and tongue jousting. Nothing more, nobody got any further than a good feel. We were in the front seats, her friend and her boyfriend in the back.
If you’ve ever been in a Scirocco you’ll understand that the logistics of such activity in a car like that is just plain impossible but we managed to have half an hour of fun and frolicks before I decided I ought to take her home.
It was just before that point that she said something that will stay with me forever.
“What’s that between my legs?”
“It’s my hand.”
“No, the other thing.”
“It’s the gearstick”