Motoring: My Worst Car: Eddie Shah's Mini - Taking a gamble on a Mini
Saturday 06 February 1999
So every car I've had has, in some way, reflected my personality at that particular time. My first car was a Standard 8, which was owned between seven of us. It cost pounds 17 and I remember that it also cost pounds 17 to insure. It leaked in water like a sieve, but proved to be very useful.
If you really push me, I might admit that the car I won in a poker game was hardly ideal, though it served me very well. I was playing poker with a few cast members of Coronation Street, among whom was a good friend of mine, Bill Roache. The debt was pounds 25 and it was suggested that I take a car in payment, which I did. It was a bog-standard Mini, but it had a paint scheme, which made it look like a Mini Cooper.
The roof was black and the bodywork was red. These cars had subframes, which held them together, and the rear one had rotted away. The only way that I could keep it in one piece was to tack some carpet down at the back. On my way into Manchester on the M62 when it rained, which happened quite often, the carpet would gradually soak up the water. I would hear a huge sucking noise and the floor would disappear. I would have to stop the car on the hard shoulder, then run back 100 yards to collect the carpet, roll it up, dry it out and tack it down again.
This was my first car when I started in newspapers selling advertising. It was such an embarrassing sight that I had to park it around the corner from my clients' offices. Not only was it awful to look at, this Mini was always breaking down. Even so, I still loved it because it helped me do a job and, to be perfectly honest, however many times it broke down, that Mini was always better than the cash I would have won in that poker game.
Eddie Shah chairs the Messenger Leisure Group, which owns the Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk Golf and Country Clubs. He spoke to James Ruppert
Life & Style blogs
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
Coachella Festival 2015: from Kendall Jenner to Alexa Chung, stars and festival-goers parade their boho best
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...