Motoring: My Worst Car: Dave Courtney's Mark I Ford Mustang

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The Independent Online
IT ALL started when I sent a mate to the car auctions with four hundred quid. He could buy anything provided it had a tow bar. You see, I was going to collect, or should I say nick, a speedboat that afternoon.

Sure enough he came back with a tow-barred car. But what a car - a bright yellow mark 1 Mustang with four bald tyres and an exhaust full of holes. Normally I wouldn't mind something flash, but the job I had in mind needed a little more subtlety.

But there was nothing we could do, so we set off up the A11 to Norfolk.

I thought it would be nice to have some fresh air and started to wind back the sunroof, not a good idea at 80mph. The wind caught it and ripped the canvas right off.

Then it started to rain. I had to slow down because the combination of bald tyres and rumbling V8 engine was pretty lethal. That meant we got wet. It was cold and the heater refused to work.

There was an eight track sound system, which sadly did work. In it was a cartridge containing The Four Seasons Greatest Hits, and that's all it played. I tried to dig it out with a screwdriver, but that only made it stick even more. I tell you what though, I knew "Cherie Baby" by heart by the time we got to the Broads.

I was pretty miserable by the time we got to the coast. I was cold and wet, and driving a big yellow tank that sounded like a 747 taking off had given me earache. Anyway, we found the boat we were after, hooked it up and started back to London.

At first we thought it was a bloody heavy boat. We didn't realise until it was too late that the brake on the trailer had been left on. After four miles it pulled the back of the Mustang's chassis off. We had to dump the Mustang and trailer at the side of the road and catch a train home.

Dave Courtney is `a legend in south London criminal circles'. His autobiography, `Stop the Ride I Want to Get Off', is published by Virgin at pounds 16.99. He was talking to James Ruppert