Motoring: My Worst Car: Truly a meal on wheels

Amanda Grant's Citroen 2CV
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Indy Lifestyle Online
My worst and, strangely, one of my best cars, in which I had lots of adventures, was a bright red Citroen 2CV. I christened it Bertie. I loved him and even had his name spelt out on the boot. However, we didn't get off to a good start.

I bought Bertie for pounds 300 and then popped into a petrol station. But the petrol cap would not come off. A smug driver in a new Mercedes didn't help when he said: "Oi luv, need a tin opener?" I felt dreadful, this was my new pride and joy.

My heart sank even more when I looked at the floor and could see the petrol forecourt below. There were loads of holes I had never spotted. So after finally filling up with petrol, I stopped for a quote for repairs. The mechanic condemned Bertie as a pile of junk. This was the worst car I could have bought, he said. I was close to tears but went for a second opinion, and the next garage didn't think there was a problem.

After that it was relatively plain sailing thanks to the brilliant suspension - I could drive to shoots without food ending up on the floor. And that food once came in very handy when the police stopped me because I turned without signalling. But they scoffed some of my cakes and let me off with a warning.

However, Bertie let me down on occasions. Once in thick fog somewhere between Cardiff and Warwickshire he just stopped and stranded me for hours. Then there were all the rust holes; it was freezing in winter.

Just as bad were the petrol fumes. I had to ban passengers from smoking otherwise it would have been a tin snail flambe.

When I sold it, I thought that the buyer would not get far before coming back to complain, but I still got more for Bertie than I paid 18 months before - a very handy pounds 350.

And he definitely had a lot left in the tank - my dad spotted Bertie on the road a year later.

Amanda Grant's latest book, `The Cosmopolitan Vegetarian Cook Book', is published by Robson Books at pounds 7.99. She was talking to James Ruppert

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