Our cars are central to our lives, taking us on essential, every day journeys as well as memorable trips, which then become part of our identity.
And this blog is a great example of how driving experiences involving different cars and different locations conspire to maketh today’s better and more confident driver…
We asked FOXY Lady Drivers Club member Claire Jones-Hughes from BrightonMums.com to share her defining motoring experiences with us.
What car did you learn to drive in?
I learned to drive in our family car at the time was a Vauxhall Nova saloon in carmine red. Our family named all our cars; this Nova was Nancy – not my idea for her name!
I grew up in the Sussex countryside so having a car was essential to your social life. My friends and I took in turn to drive to gigs in Brighton and festivals, even day trips to France.
I dented it backing near a pick-up truck and not noticing the step at the back, I felt very bad! But having a few minor scrapes is a rite of passage I suppose.
What was the first car you bought?
I bought my parent’s Sierra off them but I’m not sure that counts.
Then I bought a Mini Metro from one of my Nana’s mates, one careful lady owner and all that. I called her Mavis and she did me proud, especially when I moved to Brighton but was still commuting to Horsham every day.
It was a sad day when I took her to the breakers yard I can tell you.
Tell us about a defining motoring moment in your life, one where you truly enjoyed the car and journey.
I was lucky enough to spend a summer in Los Angeles with a family who lived there and my cousin let me use one of his cars as a run around. It was a Porsche 911 in a beautiful scarlet red. I’d never driven a car with such a powerful engine; it took a while for me to learn how to handle it properly.
While many of my cousin’s colleagues were impressed I’d manage to navigate the freeways during my time there, it wasn’t that difficult compared to the congested roads of the South East of England.
My favourite journey was travelling the length of Sunset Boulevard, which runs all the way to the sea, through Topanga Canyon, still one of my dream locations.
What’s the most unusual or unforgettable vehicle you experienced driving?
My husband is from Wales and we’ve driven through the country roads while visiting family and on holiday.
They were proper single-track roads where it’s a case of reversing hundreds of yards to find a pull over point if another car comes your way. I was bricking it the whole way, tensing up my
shoulders and shrinking my body in the driving seat.
Not routes I would happily drive again!
What will your next car purchase most likely be?
We have a 2009 Peugeot 308, called Patti, which we bought new but it’s not the most comfortable to drive for my 6’ 3” husband. So we will be looking at crossovers next year which are fairly compact in length but plenty of space for when we go camping.
I love Peugeots and looked at the 2008 and 3008 diesel models in the showroom but it may be time to break that habit and find something more suited to our budget. Ideally I’d like to go as eco-friendly as possible and I’ll be asking the FOXY team to point me in the right direction when the time comes.
FOXY says: Delighted to give you a second opinion when it’s car shopping time…
If money were no object, what car would you buy?
Despite my lovely Porsche 911 experience, sports cars or massive Land Rover-type things still do not impress me, especially the fuel guzzling kinds.
I’m more likely to try and find the most eco-friendly car on the market, best for the resources available in this country and the planet. In a cadmium-scarlet red of course!
About our Member:
Claire runs community website BrightonMums.com as well as offering social media services to clients, ClaritaCo Media.
She has been a Club member since April 2016. And it’s clear she likes scarletty-red cars best…