I HAVE only owned two cars. Both were Volkswagen Beetles and both started out as my best cars, but eventually turned into my worst ones. Obviously I always have had a soft spot for Beetles and have loved them since seeing Herbie films.

It all started when I joined BBC Belfast straight from school and resolved to pass my driving test as soon as possible and try to save money by buying a Beetle.

I ended up with an absolute wreck of a car. Being young though I wanted it customised and had it painted like a giant ladybird. It was difficult to miss, especially when it broke down.

The heating never worked properly so I carried a sleeping bag around for my passengers. Eventually I got it fixed, but then it was summer and the heater never stopped working so I was always boiling.

The end came on the way to Dublin one weekend when the engine basically blew up. It was rescued by the RAC, but by then everyone was sick of it including me and my dad, who was always repairing it. It had to go.

In 1990 I was filming in Los Angeles when I spotted a metallic-bronze convertible Beetle with a white-leather interior. It was left-hand drive obviously but I had to have it. I used it in Dublin for six wonderful and trouble-free years.

When I moved to London all that changed. It needed a new engine, followed by the clutch and electric wiring.

It cost me thousands of pounds, but I didn't mind as I was getting it ready for summer. Unfortunately someone spoilt all that.

I looked out the window one morning and it was gone. Stolen. So I'm now without a car.

I suppose I would love another Beetle, although I'm not sure I want an old one. In fact, if VW is reading this, I'd really love to get to the front of the queue for a new Beetle. Now I'm sure that would soon become my very best car ever!

Shauna Lowry is a presenter for BBC2's `Country Tracks', the offbeat guide to the countryside, which is broadcast on Fridays at 8pm. She was speaking to James Ruppert