When I got the chance to drive a 1967 Ford Anglia this week, I was more than a little bit excited to be getting the chance to jump into the car famed for being owned by Ron Weasley’s family – although, to my disappointment, this car didn’t fly or become invisible! It turns out, though, that driving a car with only four gears and wing mirrors on the bonnet is more Voldermort than Harry Potter.
As another journalist from Blackball Media and I got into the car, the whole thing felt like it dropped to the ground, so already we were worried, as the suspension clearly wasn’t great, but we ploughed on. Starting the car, I was expecting it to magically drive itself, but this wasn’t the case AT ALL. No power steering on this old thing! I had to force my foot down on the clutch and use all the power I had to move the gear into first.
As we toddled along (the highest speed we could go to was probably about 50mph – no Firebolt or Nimbus 2000 for us) in our little light blue car, I struggled to change gears. Nearly every time I tried to go into third gear, it went into first. The people behind me were not happy.
Another thing about the gears is that I had no idea how to go into reverse (and still don’t!) Luckily, this wasn’t needed at all in the hour I got in the car, but it did lead us to wonder at what point did car companies decide maybe it was a good idea to show you where the gears were with a diagram! I still don’t know where the indicators were either, so I became one of those people I hate – the ones who don’t indicate.
The last thing that made me appreciate newer cars was the placement of the wing mirrors. Placed on the bonnet; there was no point to them whatsoever, as I couldn’t see a thing out of them! If I didn’t have a passenger in the car, I don’t know what I would’ve done to change lanes, or just move, generally.
While I did like feeling like Mrs Weasley for an hour, I think I’ll stick to my trusty new car for now, plus you don’t get any of the cool tech in these old cars, like you do in the new Ford Fiesta that I tried out too!