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This love affair dates as far back as my very first memories.
My dad used to collect diecast model cars and keep them safe in his display cabinet, hidden away from me.
But, after my persistent requests, every now and then my mother would sneak one or two out to shush me, only for my father to find a dismantled version of it the next day.
Cars seemed to be in my blood, and in those early stages of life it was all about collecting models.
Eventually, the scale got bigger.
Aged 17, I came across a 1982 W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class parked at one of our relatives’ houses, and it was love at first sight – no matter how clichéd that may sound.
I did all the convincing I could to get the car, but it took months for the time to finally come.
When it came to our house for a wash one day, I quietly took the keys out of the ignition and hid them in my room, willing it to never go back – and it did not.
I spent every evening with my W126, looking up online what I could do to improve the car, and it took me several years to get it to where I wanted it to be.
Along the way, the two of us shared some unforgettable memories.
In 2020 I moved from Pakistan to England and began university, also thinking that I needed to reinvent myself: it was time to find something new to play with…
Nine months later, I was holding the keys to a 1975 Spitfire 1500.
I couldn’t get it out of my system.
Every sunny day lacked something until I took the roof off, and revved the Triumph out on the winding roads of the Peak District.
After a tiring day of lectures, the car was my retreat.
I spent winter nights in the garage, getting every nut and bolt clean, and days on the driveway, detailing every pipe in the engine until I could almost see myself in the reflections.
The funny thing is that, while I was growing up, I’d always hear stories about a Spitfire being one of the cars around at home.
It would have once been a common sight in England, but in Pakistan there was just a handful of sports cars across the whole country.
I’d heard about them, but never seen a picture of one nor even knew what a Spitfire looked like.
But the first time I saw one, I fell for it: the curved lines from nose to tail, the way the hood drops… it screamed of a dream.
I bought the Triumph to drive it, and that is what I do.
As soon as the sun comes out, so do we and a bit of rain lets us swing around corners with a smile.
I take more care of her than I do of myself, and she reciprocates by not letting us down.
In my eight months of ownership, she’s been all around Yorkshire and across to Wales; she makes heads turn, and people from all walks of life smile.
In a short time, we’ve had quite a lot of fun and we are ready to share it for the rest of our lives – isn’t that what love is all about?
Images: Thomas Ellison
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