Once upon a time, I was given a red Honda Accord automatic coupe with a rusty sunroof and not much else by way of mod cons.
I named her ‘Rhonda’.
I know it was free, I know I was between cars, but Rhonda was the worst car I ever drove. It had a transmission problem which felt like when it transitioned to second gear, the world was going to end horribly and suddenly, and the noise it made reminded me a little of that scene from Cast Away when the plane is going down into the Pacific.
I sold it for $50 to a group of school-age boys and the last I heard about it was that she’d been seen up past Paraparaumu, upside down on the side of the road, burnt out.
It’s no way for a car to die, and it was no car for a lady either.
Now I drive an Alfa Romeo 156 in Azzurro Fantasia Metallico. No, it’s not a hairdresser’s car. I mean, Rawdon Christie has one.
The Alfa is the perfect car. There’s no M Sport, no AMG or MTM badging needed. The Alfa comes out of the factory and you buy it, then drive it, end of story.
People stare at it and many do not know what it is. Including the guy who does my servicing. This works well because you can explain away its various oil leaks as being ‘Italian’.
It was made by Italian men. The dashboard resembles a shapely pair of breasts. The front of the car dips into a V shape. I place my views of sexist car styling on the backburner for this car because I get it.
I know I need a Honda Odyssey. I know I need something with a sliding door and seven seats, with no tint and a footbrake instead of a handbrake because there’s no room in my centre console for normality.
But I’m not ready just yet, to take a step back to the Honda.
I am sorry, Honda seven seater. You have no curves. You are a rectangular contraceptive.