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Dead man walking

9 months ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


5 September 2023

We sat in the rearmost seats facing backwards, thrilled to be way out there on our own, waving at the drivers of cars behind, sometimes aiming the handle of a child’s golf club at them as if it were a shotgun. We laughed and giggled, not at all concerned, nor even aware, that we were essentially sitting inside a crumple zone.

Dad’s rotten Austin Montego estate wasn’t with us for very long but we loved riding in seats six and seven. The elderly Honda Accord Aerodeck he bought years later for a couple of grand was a far nicer car, but with no rear-facing seats in the boot it wasn’t quite the same. I vaguely remember a bright orange and very crusty Ford Escort estate too, but for the life of me I can’t figure out if it would’ve been a Mk 3 or 4. Maybe best forgotten anyway.

I grew up with estate cars, all so aged they were merely taking a breather at ours en route to their final destination at the scrapyard. While I’ve never owned one, I did spend a year tooling around in an ageing Volkswagen Passat wagon a decade or so ago. It was a 53-plate car, the facelift model, with a turbodiesel engine good for a rippling 100bhp. The fuel filler flap release button failed one day (I was on my way to the McLaren Technology Centre for a technical briefing on the recently unveiled McLaren P1; funny how we remember these things) and the manual release the handbook told me was hidden in a compartment in the boot was nowhere to be seen. So I took a screwdriver to the filler flap and snapped it off.

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