My first was car was a Marlin Roadster 1.8TC. It was a brilliant little car and taught me a lot about mechanics as I was forever tinkering. Unfortunately one winter it went up in smoke after getting a clutch changed over at a local garage. It’s a shame the car disappeared the way did – it was a fine example and whilst at the time I hankered for something “cooler”, I look back now with a smile on my face!

A little review

Why do I own this car? I can’t count the number of times I have been asked this. If you list out all it’s problems (as a car not necessarily mechanical problems) it really is a bad idea, I mean, it has no proper roof and leaks, it’s cramped inside with little room for passengers or luggage, I worry constantly if I leave it anywhere… Having said that, I love it to bits and wouldn’t give it up for the world at the moment.

It was the first “performance” car I’ve ever been in, never mind driven and at first I couldn’t believe how fast it was, but now with 2 years of ownership under my belt I can tell you it’s quick, but not fast. For example in a straight drag race I would anticipate it’d be beaten by a Ford Mondeo 2.0lt, take it to a corner and the story might be different however.

It does feel much faster than it actually is mind and that catches a lot of passengers out. The seats are low to the ground, as is the whole car and the suspension is quite hard that you feel most of the lumps and bumps in the road. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a bit tiring on a long journey when you get a sore bum!

The other thing about the Marlin is that it’s different. I’m not a young lad is his modified Nova, I’m labelled as a car enthusiast, which is great! People will happily wander over, mention the car and have a chin-wag about it before disappearing off again. On the roads people let you out of junctions, you can wave to all the other sports cars and old cars and people on the pavement and people in houses… Maybe it says something about my character but it’s nice to have a car which people want to look at and talk about.

So it’s great to drive, it’s great to be seen in but that’s not all – it’s great to work on as well. One of the main reasons I bought her was to enable me to get my hands dirty and to be able to use my fingers for something other than typing and it certainly allows for that. After the first two years or so of ownership I would describe myself as a competent amateur mechanic, something I’d never thought I’d say. I’ll happily tackle bigger and harder tasks as they arise and I love the opportunity to make my brain work when trying to solve a problem