Lusting after a languishing classic

| 13 Sep 2016

For the past two years, my classic fleet has consisted of just one car: my MGB. The lack of space that goes with living in London is the main cause, closely followed by my long-suffering wife, who has put up with my automotive infatuation for much longer. But I’ll let you in on a secret – I’ve desperately been trying to buy another car. 

How hard is buying a car, I hear you ask? Quite – as it turns out – when the owner is unwilling to sell it. Or so I assume, because, despite numerous attempts, I’ve been unable to get in touch with anyone who knows anything about it at all. 

The car is question is a glorious Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1, which has been languishing on the driveway of a nearby house for as long as I’ve lived in my flat. I clocked it as soon as we moved in and made a mental note to stop and chat to the owner when I saw them. But days turned into weeks, which turned into months, and I’d not seen the car turn a wheel. 

Curiosity got the better of me and I tapped the details into the DVLA website (not strictly allowed if you’re not the registered keeper, but I couldn’t help myself), and found that its MoT and tax had long since expired. 

Fast forward two years and seven months and I’m on the cusp of a move to the other side of town. Despite evenings spent packing my life into boxes and every spare penny consumed by our flat deposit and moving expenses, I made one last ditch attempt to buy the car by posting a card with my details and a short message through the letter box. And of course heard nothing back. 

What makes it difficult isn’t the thought of getting a bargain from an unsuspecting owner, as is no doubt the aim of the circling vultures who would love nothing more than to stick it on eBay and call it a barn find. No, it’s a challenge because all I want to do is to return it to the road.

Every time I walk past it I feel like it’s calling out to me – to anyone who might pay it the attention it deserves. And I think even my wife would understand that.