Flash wheels not bet­ter than smug lit­tle car park­ing

Hastings Leader - - News - BY ME­GAN BANKS Hits ra­dio an­nouncer

I've never owned a flash car.

As it stands, al­most all of my cars have been at least 17 years old, and the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is no ex­cep­tion. We have an an­tique Toy­ota Corona and a lit­tle less an­tique Toy­ota Runx.

Grow­ing up on a farm, I learnt to drive in a 1972 Holden Com­mon­wealth Games car. It was Dad's pride and joy, but there cer­tainly wasn't a lot of joy as he watched his daugh­ters crunch the col­umn gear stick.Then he let us loose in a Vaux­hall Chevette and I've never re­ally up­graded to the big car club since. All of my cars have been small, enough room for me to fit my hand­bag in the boot. So with a fam­ily trip to Welling­ton over the long week­end on the cards, my won­der­ful mother-in­law sug­gested we do a car swap and take her flash big­ger car down to Welling­ton.

Her car is very nice and has four very dis­tinct rings on its grill. To buy a car like this you go and see Terry at Euroc­ity. I've never had the priv­i­lege of Terry show­ing me around a po­ten­tial car, and un­less I win Lotto then I prob­a­bly never will.

To re­ally look the part I bought a new pair of cheap sun­glasses and we drove in lux­ury down to Welling­ton. Now when you're driv­ing a nice car there are a few things to get used to. One is that it tells you when you've done some­thing stupid with a mes­sage on the dash telling you you're an idiot when you left the hand­brake on and tried to drive away. The other thing to get used to is the un­spo­ken ‘flash car' club that you now be­long to when you're on the road. There's a slight nod of the head when you pass some­one else who's in your club. I'd de­scribe it as a kind of smug­ness. That smug feel­ing con­tin­ues when you don't have to pull over on the Rimu­takas to let the trail of cars that you've held up pass you. You get to pass cars on the Rimu­takas. It's very lib­er­at­ing but fleet­ing be­cause it's back to re­al­ity now. I'm zip­ping around town in my lit­tle Runx, back to the small car club, but still kind of smug be­cause at least we can park any­where.

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