Motoring: My Worst Car; Gloria Hunniford's Austin Maestro: Her Maestro's voice
Saturday 07 November 1998
Another thing I can never forget is my worst car, which also happened to be an Austin, but a much less useful one - a really horrible Austin Maestro.
It was the Eighties, and I always made a point of buying fairly new cars, so I could rely on them. Not something I could do with that Maestro. The worst thing about it was the electronic voice - state-of-the-art stuff at the time - which was supposed to inform you how the car was performing, but very irritating if you happen to be a driver, or passenger.
That robotic voice very quickly drove me insane. The funny thing was it never told me anything very important and broke down when I least expected it.
The worst occasion was in the middle of the West End of London. The fuel gauge always played up and that voice would constantly remind me that the petrol was low. Even so, I always drove into the red, because I knew the gauge and the voice were lying. But in the middle of the Marylebone Road, it wasn't. It was the ultimate humiliation. I caused traffic chaos and had to push the stranded car out of the way. I didn't even have an empty can in the boot. it was a dreadful experience, and I'm much better organised now.
In a way, I ignored one of my car-buying rules, which is that I have to like its shape. That Maestro was a boring boxy thing, which probably explains why I've had a beautiful Jaguar XJS for eight years, which has never let me down.
`Open House' with Gloria Hunniford transmits every weekday, at 2pm on Channel 5. She was speaking to James Ruppert
Life & Style blogs
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...