Thursday May 3, 2018
I was fortunate enough to pass my driving test in 1990 as this was a great time to be a new driver. The 80’s produced a number of great hot hatches and even teenage newly qualified drivers could find insurance on these cars for a reasonable amount.
I desperately wanted my first car to be a Mk1 Golf GTI. My friend, who admittedly was a couple of years older than me, had one and I absolutely adored it. That Golf ball gear knob and the GTI styling made it the perfect car as far as I was concerned. My parents, however, wouldn’t allow me to jump straight into something this quick so I had to ‘prove myself’ with a Mk1 1300 Escort. At the time this was a couple of hundred quid banger, although likely to now be worth five figures if it was still around. Rust meant the death of the Mk1 and after various other bangers came and went (Talbot Horizon, Morris Marina, Fiat 127 Sport) I finally managed to get behind the wheel of my first hot hatch – although it wasn’t the Golf, it was an Escort XR3i.
I probably should note that I get bored with cars really quickly and change them constantly and that’s as true now as it was through my 20’s! The XR3i was followed by an XR2 and then an Escort RS Turbo (readers might note a bit of a Ford theme developing!) At 25 I was the proud owner of an early RWD Sapphire Cosworth which was probably where I started learning about modifying cars. The Cosworth marked the end of my Ford obsession and was passed on to make way for my first Japanese sports saloon – the iconic Subaru Impreza.
Several years of company cars followed and it wasn’t until about 2005 that I decided to take another look into the world of classic car ownership.
What I really wanted was a Triumph Stag but I struggled to find one locally in anywhere near usable condition. I’m a bit impatient when it comes to cars and once I’ve decided I want something it’s got to happen right now! So rather than wait for the right Stag, I found a 1500 Spitfire advertised locally and following a quick phone call, and an even shorter inspection, it was mine!
The first thing that struck me was how small it was! Sitting in traffic alongside vans and lorries could be quite intimidating but did I care? Of course not - I owned a classic British two seater convertible! It didn’t matter that one windscreen wiper didn’t work and I wasn’t really concerned that the handbrake didn’t work either, it was mine. Sadly, a change of job location involved a house move and I had nowhere to store it so it had to be sold.
Fast forward to the current day and I was recently tasked with choosing a car for probably the biggest giveaway Lancaster Insurance has ever offered. I wasted no time in choosing the car I’ve wanted since my teens – a Mk1 Golf GTI. They say you should never meet your hero’s but, in this instance, there’s certainly no disappointment. What a great car! The only sad part is that I know, in December, someone is going to win it and I’ll have to say goodbye but, for now, the dream has become the reality and I’m certainly enjoying being the ‘custodian’ of this iconic 80s hot hatch
For your chance to win this fabulous car follow the link below to enter our free prize draw.