‘Old Banger’ – a Love Story

Cars Culture

Got to thinking the other day that most of the time on British roads it’s pointless having a ridiculously fast car.

Having hundreds of frisky ponies under the bonnet certainly gets you places with panache, resonance, and a certain sort of drama, but there’s always a little bit of frustration when you get behind the wheel of a truly fast car. Sure on a country lane you might drop that R26R into second, and enjoy twenty seconds of dramatic bump, point, squirt and shimmy: but sooner or later there’ll be the good citizen in the Micra, stoically sticking to the indicated speed limits to spoil your fun.

Similarly, when you can’t get track time and you’re blessed with the helm of an F430 Scuderia, the only thing to do is to get up in the early hours and hope that even the nation’s finest are still tucked up in their cosy beds. Lurking in the back of your mind then, is the sure and certain knowledge that the law never truly sleeps.

It was in the light of these self-evident truths that the workability of cars like my battered and bog standard twelve year old Civic were cast in a renewed, glowing light. You can chuck the thing at bends and it will skitter and chatter with enthusiasm. You can lob it over humps in country lanes; you can fling into impromptu three-pointers without worrying about the blackberry bushes scratching the paintwork; you can ferry bikes, football kit and all the other flotsam of a daily life into its ample guts without the concern of decreasing your return on investment.

Long live that old banger. But save me a speedy ride for the days of early morning devilment.