BMW 320i saloon (E30)

This was the first family car I actually had a say in buying. I spotted it for sale in a small garage near Homebase in Shawlands. It was a white, one-owner car, previously owned by an indian doctor. The car was clean and totally standard except for the car phone that had been fitted to the centre console.

I’d just turned 21 at this point which was perfect, as our insurance company refused to insure anyone under that age on this car. I quickly found out why: with plenty of free-revving power from its straight six engine, it was very easy to spin up the rear wheels coming out of a corner. And with no LSD and no electronic driver aids of any kind, this car was an absolute handful.

Within a week of ownership I’d managed to spin the car at least twice. But it was a great learning experience, and set me up nicely for the years of MX5 ownership and track days that were to come.

From memory, I think we took that car from around 50K to 100K miles, by which point I had my Mini and the BMW was on its last legs. I took my dad car shopping for a second time and helped him get something even tastier — a tastefully modified Toyota Curren (Japanese market-only Celica saloon) which became probably his favourite car that he ever owned.