What’s The Most Unreliable Car You’d Happily Own?

Chap broken down

“Buy with your head, not your heart,” is something you’ll either hear from your parents, partner or non-car person. I’ve had this kind of advice fired at me from all angles over the years… thankfully, the wife is (slightly) more understanding.

Luckily, if you are like me and born with high-octane sluicing around in your arteries, this advice goes unheard, no matter how persistent the messenger. I’ve bought cars with my heart every time I’ve fancied a change, and to hell with reliability and MPG, especially with my first two. When you’ve just passed your driving test and you are still in your teens, money is usually an issue, especially when it comes to insurance – you are advised to select something simple, sensible and cheap for both insurance and maintenance.

1978 MGB GT

1978 MGB GT

“Bugger that,” was my immediate response, all ready knowing full well I wanted an MGB GT. A 1983 Ford Mustang quickly followed, then an Alfa, a Maserati, an M3… the list goes on.

People spend silly amounts on various hobbies, such as art, flying, fashion and golf, so why is driving your desired car a problem to these people who harp on about MPG and reliability?

Funnily enough and despite the marque’s bad reputation for breaking down, the Alfa I owned was reliable and extremely fun to drive. My 147 was Russo red with cream leather and top-spec alloys; it was a lovely looking thing, too. The older Alfas are not so reliable, which leads me onto the point of this post – notoriously bad for electrical and mechanical failings, there is one particular model I’d happily own, despite the bad rep.

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

The combination of the Alfa Romeo GTV6’s looks and V6 wail is enough to hammer the last nail into the proverbial pragmatic coffin. With looks this good accompanied by the mechanical opera soundtrack, who cares if you spend more on fuel and recovery trucks?

This is defiantly a car you’d gawp at over your shoulder every time you parked up and walked away.

Here’s the Italian beauty in full flight in 007’s Octopussy. 


What Car Would You Drive To Woo?

Couple Kissing in Car

I’ve started many posts with a “what car would you” title, and being Gargling Gas, they usually run along the lines of something dark, sinister, destructive, or worse…

This time out I am really interested in understanding what cars you would choose to woo and romance a date. Car designs and tastes are extremely subjective and we never discriminate against ‘scenes’ within car cultures, but when it comes to romance and setting the tone for a romantic drive/date, a lot of cars can be eliminated, especially tuner and super-cars.

This may sound odd but a super-car just isn’t the right car for a romantic drive – they are loud, shouty, you are bound by racing seats, and causing a scene everywhere you go just dampens the mood for romance. If your date is classy, she/he may even feel embarrassed having to clamber out of the likes of a Ford GT or Lamborghini – if you are dressed to impress, having to play twister just to exit a car eradicates any iota of dignity.

Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

Supercars certainly look the part, but when you are trying to impress a date, having members of the public offer you masturbatory gesticulations is without a doubt a passion-killer. On a romantic date you hope to be swapping spit with your sweetheart, not finding it in/on your car when you return.

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

I’ll jump right in and offer up the car I’d use on a date; whether it’s a country drive and pub lunch or a classy London restaurant, my choice more than finds itself at home.

Behold the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce.

This quaint little red sports car oozes Italian flare without screaming sharp lines, carbon fibre and 700-bhp of noise. It’s timeless in design and so classy it would happily roll with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren should they happen to meet on a high street.

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce

Okay, so if things heated up and more space was required, this car might not be practical, but if your date is the sort of person to appreciate a classic and a gentleman’s car, chances they’ll settle for nothing less than a four poster bed.

So what car would you choose as your metaphorical and mechanical oyster?

What Car Would You Choose To Impress A Date?

I like to ignore all that commercialisation that is Valentine’s Day by turning the feelings in my heart onto cars. It’s hard to ignore the fact it’s the day of love, what with all the stores raping the public by selling roses cards and chocolates. In fact, as I stood in line at the supermarket buying lunch, I noticed all the men – roses, chocolates and wine in hand -all looking a little peeved.

Anyway, after I got home I quickly knocked this out for Motor Ward whilst I devoured lunch.

Valentine’s Day: Sexy And Romantic Carriages

Serial Killer Car Series: John Haigh (Acid Bath Murders)

Apart from adoring cars, I also love to write and read horror fiction. The psychology behind serial killers’ motives really interests me, so what better way to merge these passions into one big bloody pot than a series about killers’ cars?

John George Haigh is one of my favourite serial killers because of his audacious acts of fraud, impersonation and his ability to lead a lavish lifestyle. He befriended rich people, murdered them and disposed of their bodies in barrels of sulphuric acid. Because the remaining sludge was poured away down a drain, he thought, “No body, no conviction.” When he was eventually arrested after body fat and teeth were discovered in the drain, Haigh simply implied he was a vampire to try for the insanity plea. It didn’t work, and on 6 August 1949, Haigh was hanged at Wandsworth Prison for the murder of six people. This all took place in Sussex, not too far from where I live.

Haigh loved cars and took a job as an apprentice in a firm of motor engineers after he left school. He eventually found success as an underwriter for advertising and insurance. Here he learned about high finance and even managed to buy an expensive car – a red Alfa Romeo, similar to the one pictured below.

After a few more murders and cashing in their belongings, Haigh drove about town in a lovely Alvis – this one was driven by the actor Martin Clunes in the movie A Is For Acid, so is most likely quite accurate.

Unlike most serial killers, Haigh was a bit of a cad, a well-dressed chap driving about town in a sporty car.

Next up… Charles Manson.