My mum’s car in 1990 Volvo 343
I’d only just turned four years old in the spring of 1990, but I vividly remember that while dad proudly used his Range Rover throughout the week, the car I’d get dropped off at nursery in was my mum’s light green, X-registered Volvo 343. In fact, as far as I’m aware, it’s the first car of any kind I travelled in, transporting me home from Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Doubtless my mum would have been largely unaware of its Dutch heritage as a DAFdeveloped replacement for the 66. Her one had a fairly conventional four-speed manual gearbox rather than the wonderfully left-field Variomatic originally developed for the model.
Even at a very young age I thought the Volvo was a dreary-looking vehicle – obviously the fact that it had some early input from Triumph Spitfire and Maserati Sebring designer Giovanni Michelotti was lost on me.
In the end the family outgrew it, to the point where on several occasions I remember having to walk home with a friend’s parents because one of my sisters had brought a school chum back for tea! It got an unlikely replacement as the Simister family chariot in the form of a Land Rover One Ten County Station Wagon – the 3.5-litre V8 might have been a lot thirstier but our eight-strong brood fitted in on longer trips with room to spare.
As far as I know, the Volvo – which was already crumbling around the wheelarches when we sold it – was scrapped long ago. Shame, because its rear-drive layout makes it a favourite with the drifting fraternity these days.