Thursday, 6 June 2024

Serious downpour this evening, which resulted in having to drive through several huge puddles — the kind of puddles that would reliably have caused my uni car, a 1968 Holden Torana, to stall. I remember walking home one day and seeing it in the driveway and thinking, Oh no. I hope my dad hasn’t bought this ancient thing for me. What a terrible child!

It had a couple of issues, primarily the dodgy brakes. You needed to pump them to get them to work. The first press down did very little. The second was when you slowed down. It sounds terrible to me now, but I learned to live with it. After a couple of years the brakes developed a new problem — suddenly engaging at full force after just a slight press of the pedal, which would cause the car to skid forward.

The first time was on an empty back street and, typically, I figured it was just some thing that would fix itself.

The second time was on Great Eastern Highway during peak hour. Approaching a red light with one car in front of me, I did the usual pump then press and the brakes grabbed. I went into an uncontrolled skid left up onto the verge and footpath then back onto the road finally ending up just in front of the car I had been behind. A stream of curses flowed my way, which I answered with a river of adrenaline-drenched apologies.

To this day I’m amazed and thankful that I managed to not hit any pedestrians or any other cars. I gently crawled the car to our family mechanic, Tony, the next day to get the brakes replaced so there was no third time.

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