You’ll never forget the first one. CineCars reporter Martin Philippo tells the tale of his first passion. About the freedom and the love. About transience, but mostly the unforgettable experiences.
There is nothing that unties so many things in a twenty year old, nothing that can compete with what the first one does to a young lad. It’s the first one that often leaves way too soon, when reason disappears as snow under the sun when there is money burning holes in the pocket of your jeans. My first was a Fiat 850, for sale at one of my dads friends. The car of the man’s daughter, so what could go wrong? These were pre-MOT days. It couldn’t really hide in the garage, in its canary yellow livery, it was just begging to be bought. The sale was nothing but a formality and from now on I no longer rode a moped but a genuine automobile.
The transition from moped to car is not just about luxury, speed and arriving on the spot in dry clothes. It’s also the transition from wee lad to young man, from the own village to the entire world. Distances that once seemed impossible have now become a piece of cake. The other end of the country no longer some kind of foreign destination, but only a few hours away. The world really does become your oyster. A reality easily fed at the local petrol station. My own little car makes the world a tiny place. The possibilities are endless.
There is more than meets the eye, young ladies really do prefer to be taken home in a car rather than on the back of a moped. Them living in completely different villages doesn’t matter at all. Stopping to a halt at the beginning of the street for a little peck on the cheek (or more) as thank you for the nice evening, silently leaving at the other end, trying not to wake any parents. Ending up in places you never expected, not having had all that much attention for your direction earlier. No problem, time and petrol a plenty. A smile running from ear to ear, bright enough even to show in the dark. Petrol and testosteron as an explosive cocktail.
Membership of the Fiat Club opens more new worlds. Bringing agility challenges, tech meets and lots of kindred spirits. Changing the clutch in my fathers workshop is a major success, something I never achieved before. Complicated stuff I looked upon with fear for years now become daily reality thanks to the little Fiat. Tinkering on mopeds changes into serious car maintenance. The little car with the cute booty changes my life. I enter a next fase and enjoy the gained freedom fully. No more Saturday afternoons behind the school bike stand, but chatting away with friends and a crate of beer at the service station.
Friend Leo, of whom I am so jealous for his beautiful Ford Escort Mexico, is the first. One day he announces he and his girlfriend decided to buy a family car. A decent one, with possible room for a pram. My time to part with the little Fiat has come as well. Rust in the sills has deteriorated the car beyond salvation. The newly introduced MOT means the scrapper for my yellow love. The new car is bigger, faster and most of all more mature. The end of an era. Little boys become men.