A year or so later I dropped out of college and into work and needed a car. For the princely sum of £250 I acquired a brown Vauxhall Chevette. I loved that car; it was freedom, it was fun, it was sideways an awful lot. Although looking back now I think that was perhaps more to do with a lack of talent than deliberate driving prowess.
After an unseemly incident with a couple of girls, some over-enthusiastic use of the handbrake and a rather large rock (of course this story transformed into a fox running out in front of the car), the ‘Vette was relegated to the driveway where it stood for many months while I planned its resurrection. Naturally this never happened and in its place I moved onto a Rover SD1 donated by my father.
The Rover spent even more time than the Chevette on opposite lock, but again this was less talent induced and more lack-of-tread-on-the-rear-tyres induced. Still, I had huge amounts of fun in the 18 months I spent with that car until the accumulation of complete lack of care, servicing or mechanical sympathy took its toll and it was retired to the scrapyard.
What followed was a succession of FWD cars including a Mini, Cavalier, Peugeot 405 Sri and Audi A4 1.8t complete with Reiger bodykit, ICE install and 18″ alloys. I was in boy racer heaven.
It was at this point that I had my Skyline virginity taken. My girlfriend, on the lookout for a replacement for her V6 Probe, had spotted an R34 GTR on the M1 and decided she would quite like one. After a rational discussion about budgets and availability she decided that an R33 GTSt would do and we set about finding one. Nothing in the UK at the time was sensibly priced or low enough miles so we sourced one directly from Japan through an agent. After a lengthy and nervous wait we collected the car. I had to work hard to keep up with her on the drive back…
It took a few weeks to prise the keys out of her hands but that first drive was incredible; right there and then I knew I had to have one. Strangely, the most difficult thing was persuading her that two Skylines on the drive wouldn’t be too gauche and indeed in the end it was less agreement than fait accompli that resulted in my own Skyline ownership.
Since buying her Skyline I had managed to find a company that enabled me to bid directly on the auctions in Japan; at this point my fate was sealed. I was supposed to be bidding on GT4’s and S14’s but on one fateful day I placed bids on two R33 GTSt’s, not really expecting to get either, so when the day after the auction I got an email to say that I had won both of them I was slightly taken aback, how the HELL was I going to explain this……?