End of Term: The End of An Era

01_499d3a582c4a9-lightboxBacktracking to the morning and all is good.  The sun is shining and after an early burst through Horse Shoe Pass, my friend and I met in Llangollen, Denbighshire.

Our brief for the day was to explore the roads of Snowdonia and the surrounding area.  We aimed not just to revisit our old favourites, but to hopefully discover a selection of new ones as well.

The best route of the day was one well known to us.  It cuts up through Snowdon and then recklessly weaves back down again, the whole time tightly enclosed by walls.  The surface is good so it allows you to concentrate fully on ploughing through the irresistible series of bends.

The scenery surrounding the road is breathtaking, which makes it an extremely popular destination for day trips, yet despite the superb weather today it was lightly trafficked; a blessing for us.

After several runs through I was left buzzing and wondering how even after over two years of privileged ownership my car is still able to amaze me.  Its lack of weight definitely helps, enabling it to change direction instantly and with minimal inertia.  And the 106 GTI’s natural adjustability is an attribute many of its over-tyred modern counterparts struggle to match.  It is predominantly this, the sublime handling of the Peugeot 106 GTI, that will be permanently etched into my memory.

After a spectacular morning and early afternoon, the beginning of our homeward journey saw disaster strike, with a seemingly safe and well planned overtaking manoeuvre ending in catastrophe.

My Diablo Red 106 GTI will be a very hard act to follow.  It’s been nothing but a pleasure to own, providing me with over two years of entertaining and reliable motoring.  With the exception of a faulty Manifold pressure sensor causing it to splutter to a halt on the motorway on a bitterly cold morning in December 2005, it has never let me down.

The GTI encompasses practical performance motoring in an affordable guise that is accessible to the majority of people holding a driver’s license.  I’ll miss it dearly but will endeavour to move on to something equally rewarding.  After all, I’ve been spoiled by a car that indulges me at every opportunity and because of this anything less for my next four-wheeled companion simply isn’t an option.

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Chris Lageu