THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Choosing my next car

I’ve decided I want a new car – the big yellow Pontiac GTO has to go – sadly. Why? Well – it’s not really the right car for as aspiring entreprenuer. And I’ve been listening to and asking for feedback from clients. A nurse in Leeds a few weeks ago saw me driving around the car park at Thorpe Park and told me I looked like a chav (!). More importantly, a dentist who is a serious businessman and a good egg pointed out that it wasn’t the correct image for the DBS or for the new company going forward. So that’s thrown me into “new car” mode – and those that know me will know that means weeks, if not months, of review and constant mind changing. Let alone the financial constraints and considerations. However, I’ve always found buying cars is like the long anticipation of a well-deserved holiday. Investing weeks in “leading up to it” is all part of the pleasure. I cannot imagine how dull it must be if you are loaded and can just walk into the showroom and say “I want that one”. My latest fantasy has been the new Audi R8 – the progress and launch of which I have followed carefully and with heightening anticipation.

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“Can you open the boot please?”

Why? Because I don’t have the luxury of being able to buy an R8 for fun and then summat else for work – it’s one car for both. For me that means up to 10 days of travel with clothing and assorted electronics and workshop material. I bet you can guess where this is going. The boot was, of course, at the front – and the lid was lifted to reveal a storage area just about big enough for 12 cartons of semi-skimmed milk. In a panic, I rushed around to the side of the car, opened the drivers door and looked behind the seats, to find a “parcel” shelf 3 inches wide. This car has been designed to sell to Premiership footballers who only ever use it to drive to the training ground and back with a pair of shorts, a shirt and trainers in the “boot”. Or a WAG – in order to reduce the amount of shopping she brings home. If I had attempted to transfer the luggage I had in the Pontiac into the R8, there would have been no room for me. So that was £98,000 saved – not bad for one day. Dream over. Back to the drawing board. I spent another hour shuffling between the RS4 and the new S5 (rather nice) – and deciding that, although they were excellent cars, they didn’t juice me. As I mentioned to a friend (who I emailed in desperation this morning for advice on “which Porsche?” – I need a car that will take 35,000 miles a year, my luggage – and still set my pulse racing every morning when I get in it. It’s a guy thing – I know – in fact it’s especially a 53-year old guy thing – at least I’m honest enough to admit it. Any suggestions? Excluding “grow up” please – no intention of doing that.

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