Motoring: My Worst Car: Nick Ferrari's Triumph TR4a

It handled atrociously - well, it was six cars glued together

I COULD tell you all about my Lancia. It was a beautiful thing, styled by Pininfarina, but that company had a terrible reputation for making rusty cars and mine was depreciating by the minute. I fancied having something sexy and stylish; then, by some strange coincidence, a garage selling Triumph sports cars opened up in the next Kent village to where I lived. So I traded my Lancia and for pounds 500 drove away in a beautiful blue TR4a.

There I was, 22 years old, with my first-ever convertible. It was springtime, I had a wonderful girlfriend and I had just started to do shifts at the Sunday Mirror. Life seemed to be just about perfect and I had visions of me pulling up in great style in my Triumph on Fleet Street and getting loads of admiring glances.

Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out like that. For a start it rained a lot, and so I soon discovered that the hood did not exactly fit, and I was totally soaked the whole time. Rather more seriously, the Triumph was a total nightmare to drive.

The special feature of the TR4a was that it had independent rear suspension, but on my model it was a little too independent. In fact it had a mind of its own. I would describe it as trying to get a mule train across ice.

Now, I'm not the best driver in the world, but I could barely control the thing. Taking a right -hander meant parking up and having a bit of a rest before attempting such a heart-stopping manoeuvre.

Obviously something was wrong. Unfortunately, the dealer who had sold it to me had by now shut down. Luckily, a friend's father ran a garage and put it on a ramp. He pointed out all the welds and it seemed that I had bought a cut-and-shut. But rather than just two cars, I think there were half-a-dozen stuck together.

Using all my journalistic skills, I traced the dealer to west London. His house was just around the corner from Lady Diana's, whom I had been doorstopping with the rest of the press pack. So as I sat in the Triumph, my mates were nipping around the corner to use the phone box and saw me sitting there. They thought I'd found another royal girlfriend, so dozens of them came around the corner with all their tripods and ladders. By the time the dodgy dealer opened his front door, he thought that I had brought a media mob with me and so he gave me all my money back on the spot.

Nick Ferrari presents the `Big Boy's Breakfast' with David Banks on Talk Radio 1053/1089 AM weekdays, 6am-9am. He was talking to James Ruppert

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

    Day In a Page

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue