Now not everything that I write about relates to education, though you could be forgiven that from my recent blog entries. For a couple of weeks recently, I have been seen riding around in a petrol Hyundai 1.2, and rumours have been growing that I have ditched the electric car. I can’t say I was that happy that the Advertiser decided to chase me for a story about the installation of charging points for electric cars in their car parks. You can read more about that here – http://bit.ly/f19mwN, and the rather embarrassing picture that goes with it.
I first bought the G-Wiz back in February 2007, partly because I had decided my old BMW estate was not the car to use for short 2 mile journeys about my daily business. In truth, the project has worked way better than I initially thought, as the old Beamer lasted a further 4 years before it was finally pensioned off as an engineer’s van just before Christmas. Now the BMW cost me about £1 a mile, inc petrol, servicing and parts, and since I have completed 9000 miles in my little car, it has more than repaid the initial £8k it cost me, and has cost me little by way of larger electric bills.
History has it that I have needed rescuing twice, once on the way back from servicing in Southall, when Goingreen had failed to charge it fully before letting me have it back, and once after running around the prep.schools in GX/Beaconsfield. Now our legendary Head of Rowing, Henry Cremin was the valiant knight on both occasions, though the second time, he chose to tow me at 45 miles an hour across the Widbrook plain on the road from Cookham back to Maidenhead. I can only say the experience was really surreal, I in my little silver car being dragged behind one of the school’s minibusses on a tow rope, feeling all the world as in control as a balloon does on the end of a string. It made a great assembly the next day, with Henry switching the minibus for his Harley, and driving into the hall where a surprised school assembly had already found me and my G-Wiz, lights ablaze!
Anyway, the mystery disappearance of the car was revealed this Monday, when I returned to school after the car had taken on a new battery pack to last another 4 years. Have no doubt, the G-Wiz is arguably the world’s worst car, with a top range of 48 miles an hour in warm weather and little more than a dozen when I have left it off charge over a frosty night. Build quality is as good as Jeremy Clarkson suggest in Top gear (not), and it has the rise experience of a supermarket trolley on a travelator. But let’s be fair, I did not buy it for vanity, but for practicality. In this week when the world wakes up that nuclear energy might not be all we would wish for and petrol nudges towards 140p a litre, I can honestly say that Sir’s Noddy car is as economic and green as I could wish. Nothing is faster around the town’s roundabouts, it parks up almost anywhere, it’s instantly recognisable so everyone knows where I am and, with a current resale value of over 5k, I am quids in as well, so it’s no surprise that every time I use my G-Wiz, there is a smile all over my face.
Not to mention the air con on those balmy Saturday evenings when you’re coming down to Maidenhead’s premier cricket ground!