Over a year ago I posted about the joys of driving the (arguably) world’s worst car, the Reva G-Wiz. For most of the 5 years or so that I have owned the wee beastie, I have been considered a trend setter; dear reader I want to assure you that after 61 months of ownership, I see no sign of others following in my footsteps and I can now declare myself up some kind of evolutionary blind alley. I am so to speak, an endangered species!
The car still works brilliantly well for what it is; I am at the stage that every time I drive a mile in the car, I get money back in my pocket from the knowledge that the motoring is free and there is no car as economical. Every now and then I spot a boy walking home from school; much to their dismay I stop and offer them a lift. It’s like offering someone a lift with a leper, so rapidly do the boys scarper for the safety of the hedegerows! That’s the paradox of the car – ideal in practice, for everything I do in the locality, but the principle is just appalling. Cars you see are so much more than a vehicle getting you from A to B, they are required to be an extension of your personality, indeed perhaps even a mirror onto your soul.
But there in lies the rub; I have moved so far beyond that stereotype because they’re just so unhelpful. Almost all my working life has been spent as a headteacher, with peers and strangers alike not just trying to work me out, but to pigeon hole me too. And that’s what I don’t like. I start each day seeking to refresh and renew, as well as to consolidate and affirm. That’s important because each colleague or family I meet do indeed face new challenges and require support and guidance in equal measure. There’s no point thinking that there is a formulaic answer for life’s problems; I have experience and professional knowledge to inform what I do, but like all good craftsmen, I know solutions need to be carefully tailored.
So when I bought my G-Wiz, I was looking for a unique solution to my daily work schedule that has me running around Maidenhead to be with my school community. My friend Keith’s Harley did me proud in the 1990’s but as soon as I found out that the main cause of death for 50 year olds was big bike accidents, that ‘Sportster’ had to be returned to his garage for something safer. To be honest, travelling at well below sub-sonic speeds my little car feels both safe and maneuverable, but as fans of Top Gear know, the G-Wiz came out terribly in their crash-dummy test. That fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia informs us that “Experts at the Transport Research Laboratory were so concerned about the Indian-made G-Wiz that they refused to risk their more sophisticated £130,000 crash test dummies – full of electronic instruments – in the test for fear of them being wrecked“.
Sales figures of new G-Wizes are through the floor, the cost of transporting them to the UK and keeping them compliant is beyond any economic business model. But a little perhaps like all the other eccentric things the English are famous for, I am content with my current mode of travel, because it does just fit the bill and it is, after all, a collector’s item. Who knows, one day I can show it off at the Antiques Roadshow; in the meantime, I’ll stay hugging the kerb except when avoiding the ‘sleeping policemen’, and cherish the last of the ‘Dodoes’ whilst it is with me!