My Worst Car: Susan Mckillop's ford escort van
THE WORST car I ever owned was a red Ford Escort van. I had it through my student years and it became something of a local phenomenon. I practically lived in it; in fact my mother commented many a time that it looked like me.

The main problem was that it wasn't just me who practically lived in my little red can, but a handful of girlfriends, too, so it became a social centre.

Eight glammed-up girls ready for a good night in London are hard to pass off discreetly , and we were regularly stopped by the police for being overloaded.

The van also came in handy as a portable changing-room; we'd dress up to the nines for a few drinks in Soho, and then later bundle back to slip into jeans and T-shirts for a warehouse party. We even wangled the van into the campsite at Glastonbury, claiming that one passenger, who had a jumper stuffed up her jumper, was heavily pregnant.

However, despite such exotic hidden extras, it was a uniquely rusty and unreliable vehicle. And the worst part of being the privileged owner was that I gradually became a local taxi service, and a teetotal one at that. Not only did the petrol money offers thin out after a few weeks, but I was never in a position to make the most of the red van effect and accept the copious offers of free drinks, on which my girlfriends shamelessly capitalised.

By the time they had got their own licences they were more interested in staying in with their boyfriends.

To this day, old acquaintances ask after the red van, and it is with a tangy mix of sadness and insurmountable glee that I'm able to say: "I now drive a silver Jaguar XK8."

Susan McKillop is the managing director and designer-in-chief for Giant, her own womenswear label. She was talking to James Ruppert