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 RuppertReuse content