Monday, November 05, 2007

New wheels

The new wheels
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
The more devoted among my readers may recall that way back before the summer (I know. What summer?) I enthused here about our ordering a new car. Turns out it was so new that Renault had to make it for us; they sent us chatty letters telling us of its progress and at last it's come. (This reminds me, always, of my copy of The Sleeping Beauty, in which the first words of the awakened Beauty were "Ah, my Prince, at last you've come!")

As I remarked before, buying a car in Inveraray is not like going to your average city dealer. We drove our old car into the workshop at Semple's, the owner drove the new one into position outside and left the engine running "to warm it up for you" (the temperature had by this time dropped to 5ÂșC and there was a snell wind), and we popped into the office to deal with the paperwork and the small matter of payment (Haven't done that yet: he knows where we live...) The boss then came with us for a wee spin down the road beside the loch - just to make sure that everything was all right/we knew what we were doing with the automatic handbrake - and then it was ours.

The ride is great - firmer and more butch-feeling than other models we've driven - and the engine does that exciting dig in your back when you accelerate (rapidly) to 50mph. The steering-wheel seems pleasantly low, rather like driving a van - I don't feel I'm peering over it - and the high seat position means you can see so much more. As well as being called a Renault Megane, it is also named "Conquest", and it conquered our Somme-like back lane with ease and no scrapes. It has that lovely new smell and a flat-loading boot.

And the seatbelts are orange.

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