Definitely not the AA man who looked at it for me. Yes, I actually paid for a qualified engineer to look the car over, but I still went ahead with the deal despite his damning report - I must have been mad.
On the drive home I found out just how mad I was and how accurate the AA man's report had been. On the motorway I heard this loud bang outside. I knew it had to be the car and pulled over.
To my horror I found that the hub onto which the wheel was bolted had separated itself from the suspension. So the only thing holding the wheel on was the brake calliper.
Luckily, I'm a fairly slow driver, because if I'd been going any quicker I think I would have been a write-off. The embarrassing thing was that I'd phoned my family to say that I was driving down in my new car to see them. So there they were all lined up outside the house to see the Maserati's triumphant arrival, on the back of a recovery truck.
In fact, the Maserati grew very attached to that flatbed truck, constantly shuttling backwards and forwards between me and the dealer as he tried to sort out all the problems. The complicated engine had a very serious misfire, you had to be bionic to work the heavy clutch, and the speedometer was definitely dodgy. Not only that, the doors were full of rust.
In all, I did 10 miles in eight months. When friends wanted a drive, all I could offer was a vomit-coloured seat in a sick and immobile Maserati. Obviously it had to go. I advertised it privately, but no one was interested, except the dealer. I lost half my money, but at least I got rid of that mangy old Maserati.
Giles Andreae is the creator of `Purple Ronnie', the cartoon stickman. Five new Purple Ronnie books including a `Little Guide to Boyfriends' and `History of Everything' are published by Boxtree on 8 OctoberReuse content