This article originally appeared in the wonderful JUSTGOFASTER.COM site. Go and have a look – we’ve just won an award for cool site of the day!
At the age of 38 I’ve finally discovered that life is infinitesimally short. It is obscenely brief and you must squeeze every moment out of it.
I, to my very great shame, have not been doing this. Two years ago I made a huge blunder. A blunder greater than the vast amount of money I lost in an internet venture in 2000, greater than the preposterous game of “who can leave starting their revison latest” I used to play with my (cleverer) friend for our A-levels and indeed considerably more foolish than hitherto most foolish time of my life – when I tried to drive through a road block set up specifically to stop me after an 8 mile chase by the garda just outside Drogheda.
“Stop you wee shite. The speed limit down here is fifty five not a hundred-and-fucking-fifty-five”
I bought a 530D.
I was driving 25,000 miles a year and had read too many car magazines. I’d absorbed too much smug toss about “real world performance”, read about “effortless overtaking” once too often and actually started to believe that torque was all that really mattered.
So there it sat on the driveway. Sucking the very life out of me every time I got into it. Every time I tried to overtake and ran out of revs. Every time there was another injector problem, maf-fecking-sensor issue, a turbo on it’s way out. Every wee slide on my favourite roundabouts that was curtailed by a lack of revs. The hideous clatter. The teeth grindingly tedious conversations with fellow 530D drivers about how fast they are (even though they’re not) and all the made up stories about how economical they are.
Self-satisfied smug bastard
I started off the period of ownership looking like the fellow on Lord of the Rings that the ladies like. Full of bravado, swagger and a bit of a cheeky grin. By the end of the two years when I finally had enough I was like Gollum. I’d had every inch of life sucked clean out of me and my only obsession was to get out of that fecking car even if I had to cover hundreds of miles in a stinking loincloth through the camera crew infested mountains of New Zealand.
I had to get out of it and purify myself. Cleanse my smug middle-class mind of the filth that it had absorbed in the previous two years. The hideous all-pervading nightmare and lie that is the modern diesel.
Me – enquiring about a decent trade-in price
On Tuesday of this week I chopped it in for a last of the line E39 540i Sport and gradually my life is seeping back. The exquisite pleasure of keeping my average mpg below 15. The relentless glares and tutting from casual road users as I pointlessly blip at every opportunity. Every roundabout becomes a glorious wail of preposterous wheelspinning slides. Horror from Grannies and mums with prams. Even my 8 year old daughter insists on keeping her window down just to hear it.
But with every look of horror and every tut my life seeps back. I get stronger, I get wiser and a few of the mums are starting to give me little coy looks. Deep down they despise their diesel driving husbands and they know that I represent freedom. Freedom from yet another fvcking story about how many miles they got out of a tankful.
I’m back and I’m happy. Not fully well yet by any means but I’m getting there.
Me – picking my daughter up from school yesterday.
So diesel vs petrol. I really don’t think that’s a question that any truly sane car fan should be asking. There’s a finite amount of oil left. Don’t let it simper away in justifications of real world performance. Get yourself out there in the petrol car and let those revs wail.