Motoring: My Worst Car - Ainsley Harriot's BMW 518
Saturday 21 February 1998
By far the most embarrassing incident involved me and a girlfriend starting to get amorous - the driver's seat broke, which ended any further developments. For a while, a black plastic bin-liner full of old clothes behind the seat kept it propped up. Of course, the cost of a brand-new replacement was more than the car was worth, so I ended up getting a second-hand one from a scrap yard.
Which is, now I come to think of it, where I should have left the BMW. My theory is that it must have been involved in a lot of accidents before I got hold of it. Everything rattled, and the engine behaved like an old washing-machine banging about on an uneven floor. The sills leaked in water, fitting a suppressor for a radio only seemed to cause more interference, and at least once a week it refused to start. I kept saying to myself, this is a BMW, so it must be OK. I dearly wanted to be cool, but that was difficult with steam billowing from the bonnet.
That BMW was a pig of a car. I part-exchanged it for a Fiat Mirafiori, and I must be the first driver in history to say they preferred an old Fiat to a BMW. The whole experience has put me off BMWs for life. That's why I drive a Mercedes.
Ainsley Harriot's new book `Meals in Minutes' (BBC Worldwide, pounds 14.99) accompanies his seven- part series on BBC2. He was speaking to James Ruppert.
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