Quite simply, the most loyal,trusted friend
over a period of thirteen and half years. Scarlet came into my life on the 23rd
June 1989. I saw her in a used car lot. She was brought in the day before. Heavy
rain the previous night meant she was covered in red dust that had since become
encrusted onto her "Regency Red" paint work. 11,700 miles on the
clock, one previous owner and priced at the princely sum of £4,795. next to her
was a White D Reg Ex-demonstrator 309, but this beauty cried out to me. One test
drive later I was committed to 30 months of late 1980's Hire Purchase at
astronomical interest repayments and on the 24th June 1989 she was registered to
me. We never meant to stay together as long as we did, the idea was 2-3 years
tops, but we kind of grew into each other. There was always other things to spend
the money on (Mortgages, women, drink hahaha) and it was always cheaper to keep
Scarlet told me her name after 2 weeks,
she was originally called Yvette, but she told me that was a stupid name
and that she preferred Scarlet...and (if I was honest) so did I.
Most that knew her, loved her, there
was just something about her that grew on you, although, one very
worried later life passenger did complain of disturbing floor vibrations
from the dodgy front near side driveshaft (oh and the bizarre burning
Our first few years together were
wild. Helped by the fact that you could actually get three sets of golf
clubs in her (plus trolleys) and that she was spectacularly beautiful.
"Be careful of men who drive cars like that" one wise mother
warned. We eventually settled with the daughter of that mother after
four years, or in Scarlet's case 48,000 miles.
Numerous holidays and jaunts around Britain
ensued. We went everywhere.
At 77,000 miles I got bored with
working five minutes from home and we decided to work 45 miles from
where we lived. For six and half years Scarlet did 90+ miles a day. With
her radio we discovered
Wake Up To Wogan
Sorry I Haven't A Clue
We heard Terry read out numerous daft
e-mails of mine along those motorways.
Her radio and cassette played so much
music that she introduced all that listened to her...in particular....
One compilation tape had the sound
effects of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise on. We used to have
fun entertaining our passengers with that.
In our younger days we used to outrage
everyone with our sadness, playing at full volume (whilst driving into
Guns n Roses
Bryan Adams (sorry, I know i am
Tom Petty's "Full Moon
Kylie's 12" remix of
"Hand on Your Heart" (no I'm still proud of that one)
What can I say? We where both young
and a little 'Reckless'. I think the height of embarrassment (for me
anyway) was twirling her keys on the end of my fingers in a local High
St. The keys flew from my hand, skywards, before spiraling downwards
into the drain cover.
In our latter days the TOG sticker in
the rear windscreen was enough to outrage any passing witness.
To our knowledge we only ever hit two
birds. Both on the local "Duel-Cabbageway", one was pigeon,
the other was unidentifiable. I'm afraid many, many insects where
killed, Scarlet and myself wish to apologise to any insects reading
this.....except that moth that took two months to remove from her front
Roadrage? The odd few moments
A meathead outside a Garage one night just
past midnight. A gentle bleep on the horn resulted in him stopping getting
out of the car and approaching armed with something heavy. Unfortunately we
missed the b*stard as we swerved around him at speed...he desrved worse.
A rather arrogant mid-evening racing
cyclist, who was annoyed that I found his cycling in the middle of the road
at 21mph frustrating, decided to spit on Scarlet's windscreen. He then
decided to cycle at record speed as we drove six inches from his rear wheel.
Should have seen those legs go....
An absolute T*sser in a BMW who cut across
three lanes on a roundabout. On my complaining (along with some rather
splendid improvised hand signals) he decided to stop and get out and have a
go. he was more shocked when I then wound the window down and gave him a go
back. He retreated back into his cave...sorry BMW M3 Penis Replacement
A rather disgruntled pedestrian who
decided that although Scarlets reversing lights were ON and we were in
reverse motion, would still walk decide to walk into the path of our
passage. Much bonnet slapping and head slapping ensued.
The bulk of her miles were done on the
South-East motorways of England during the last six and half years we were
together. Scarlet loved the M25, we used to enjoy spotting the cars that
were older. On some days it was as many as three.
We had many adventures together and
our last few months were our last great ones, we lived
dangerously together and she always protected me, she didn't let us
down. She saw everything, heard everything
and lived everything. Scarlet was my chariot, my confident, my phonebox,
But Scarlet was tired and she told me
late in 2002 that she really couldn't do this anymore. The Blue Tac on
the drivers window wasn't keeping the window in place anymore and she
was getting pretty embarrassed with me having to open the door and get
out to pay the toll booth guy at the Dartford Crossing and at Ashford
International. Such was Scarlet's embarrassment, that she would show off
and refused to give me the seat belt back. The final discussion we had
was on the A244 one Monday morning. Held up in a queue of traffic for 5
minutes, we pulled away and she gave off a glorious puff of blue smoke.
"I'm not putting up with this much more" she said, "but
I'll get you through until you find my successor, but don't wait too
So on the 4-Jan-2003 we said goodbye
to each other. Scarlet was exhausted, but she purred like a kitten as we
pulled into the garage where we said goodbye. Our last drive was in a
blizzard along the A20 and back on the M20. I think she ordered the
weather as I wanted 'one last thrash'. Scarlet knew one last thrash
would probably kill her....we parted whilst she was still alive....