Motoring: My Worst Car, Ailsa Greenhalgh's Mini Metro: My dicey banger was jinxed

THE MINI Metro I ran at university was not only my worst, but also my unluckiest car. My sister christened it the blue helmet and made me a huge pair of fluffy dice which hit me full in the face every time I braked.

On one occasion when it was snowing I got a flat tyre and had to stop. I was standing there kicking the wheel when out of the corner of my eye I saw a car on a collision course with mine. It happened in slow motion as the car rammed the side of mine. I'll never forget the driver because he had one arm and rotten teeth. His insurance turned out to be bogus, so the damage never got repaired.

I once made my grandfather a meal and took it around to his house. Unfortunately a carton of cream spilt all over the back seats. From that day on it always smelled of puke. Whatever I did to try and clean it off never worked. Even in the coldest weather I had to have the window wide open to help get rid of the smell.

My unluckiest experience with the Metro involved a very important interview and being late. I was due at Deansgate in Manchester and I could see where I wanted to go, but never quite got there. Eventually my way ahead was blocked by a lorry parked right across the road. In complete frustration I put the Metro in reverse, and when I got to a crossroads found out just how bad my brakes were. I had a crash.

My mother always told me to get the name and number of a witness to an accident, although she neglected to add that this would be a bad idea if the crash was my fault. I found a witness, blurted out, "I'm sorry", left the Metro where it was, then ran to the interview.

At Granada Television I broke down, cried my eyes out, failed the interview, ran back to the car, met the police, got a fine and points on my licence and generally had a bad day.

That Metro was reliable, but very unlucky. I abandoned it in my garden and let it go quietly to car heaven.

Ailsa Greenhalgh presents the travel show, `Was it Good for You?' on Channel 5 on Fridays at 8pm. She was speaking to James Ruppert

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