Shednesday: Trains, trams and taxis

00s cars Mercedes-Benz Shednesday

Merry Shednesday. It’s been a long time – I shouldn’t have left you, left you without a dope beat to step to. Well that’s what someone far cooler than this middle-aged man-muffin once said anyway.

This time things are a bit different; there will be no links to Facebook Marketplace. In fact I am writing this piece while on a tram in the pouring rain, having already been on a train. I then plan on getting another train and then a taxi. No my car hasn’t broken down. Where am I going? Why, to buy a car of course.

The purchase, at least to me, validates me writing this piece. Previously, I was not a car owner and more of a car user and contributor.

Don’t get me wrong, I have owned cars before. But it’s hard not to feel a bit fraudulent recommending vehicles, when you have never owned a properly cheap car yourself and, worse still, are in between car ownership. The ownership status and at the time a growing work-life imbalance is why Shednesday ground to a halt.

So, imposter syndrome aside, what am I going to see? Well I have been wanting something small enough to fit in my seventies-era garage, that was ULEZ compliant (we are soon to join the scheme) and was pokey enough to be fun without me living at the petrol pumps. It also had to be quirky and, after a conversation with my children, it needed a panoramic roof.

You are probably thinking about the Fiat Panda 100HP, Suzuki Ignis Sport or a Honda Civic or Jazz? Nope, keep guessing. Fiesta? Nope. Something by Proton? Ha! No that ownership is covered by our host, for now at least. How about a Hyundai Getz Sport? Nice guess and it fulfils most of the criteria, but they are just a bit too mundane – at least interior and kit wise.

I will stop teasing. I am on my way to buy a first-generation Smart ForFour. It’s a 1.5-litre petrol, but sadly not the Brabus version – remember what I said about not wanting to live at the pumps. Its 1.5-litre engine develops 107bhp and is apparently capable of doing the zero to 60mph sprint in 9.8 seconds. It also has a manual gearbox and an electric sliding panoramic roof.

Why this car? At time of writing it is the only 1.5-litre non-Brabus I can find (and I know where to look for cars!) that has an MOT, appears to be working, has a manual ’box and is well within a Shednesday budget.

Several hours later...

The car is mine! Bought for £800, which in hindsight was a lot given the work that needs doing; but that is the market we’re in.

It is going in my garage with a plan that I will make it more mechanically sound as well as educate myself on more mechanical matters. Then I plan to thoroughly clean and swap out the interior, change the wheels, possibly lift it (that’s another conversation) and then start thinking about other aesthetic bits and bobs. I will keep you updated.

For now Shednesday is back (time permitting – I now have a very grown-up job at a well known charity). However, if anyone else with some writing chops would be interested in contributing I am sure he of the long surname may be persuaded with coverage of mundane exotica. That or copious packs of automotive Top Trumps. We all need to try and keep this wonderful beast that is PetrolBlog alive a while longer (Feel free to imagine your own team-spirited montage at this point). It takes a village, or something.