What an ordinary vehicle got up to …
It was back in the day, when I was young, naive and a bit foolish.
I was 19, and in my first year of being in the workforce, working for one of Australia’s major banks, when my mother pulled me aside to offer a business proposal: if I saved $2000, I could buy the family car, a rather unassuming dusky blue 1976 Toyota Corona sedan.
It was in mint condition, as my parents were meticulous about caring for their cars, and only updated them for a good reason, such as the baseplate rusting out (this spelt the end of their first car, a 1957 Holden FE, which they reluctantly parted ways with after 15 years).
They wanted to help their son out, and get him mobile, and also to update their Corona for…you guessed it, another Corona.
I knew what I was buying, and with its regularly-serviced history, was too good to refuse. I was also familiar with driving it, as my mother had been one of my teachers when I learnt to drive. She replaced my father, who cringed with every gear grind and abrupt stop — I remember his stressed “What are you doing to my car….?”.
The savings target was reached, and money and registration changed hands.
Soon after, I was mobile.
I had recently passed my driving test, after three attempts (yes, that is another story, involving an interesting driving instructor), and my driving confidence grew with every journey.
The newbie driver
The open road was now mine.
I was able to drive myself and friends to and from my church youth group on Friday nights, as well as take them on journeys to far-flung destinations on weekends.
It also led to rather interesting after-youth-group journeys, to hang-outs such as the Doncaster Pancake Parlour, where a group of us made it a tradition involving face stuffing with assorted sweet and savoury pancakes, washed down with malts in bulging glass mugs.
We also made expeditions to a legendary independent cinema known as The Valhalla…