I was lucky enough … hang on, I will rephrase that. I am lucky to have a current model Hilux to drive around in, thanks to Sunshine Toyota.
You may have seen me, resplendent in red and white flowers, driving around the Coast. So, I was even luckier the other day to have a new Hilux GR to drive to work – next level in four-wheel-driving. So good, in fact, that I had a tear in my eye when I gave it back on Monday morning. That got me thinking about my approaching retirement with no car.
Firstly, though, the GR has everything, including red seat belts. I know, right up my alley, and a little red-leather strip on the steering wheel to remind you when the wheels are straight during rugged driving (like at the supermarket or picking the kids up from private school). It made me reflect on what cars have in them now, compared with my childhood when Holdens had three classes: Standard, Special and Premier. The Standard had no mats, no chrome and no radio, which of course was entry level for pineapple farmers from Eudlo.
We never had a radio in a car until I was a teenager. Or chrome. Just really nice vinyl seats that were awesome in summer. We did have air-conditioning. Well, that’s what Dad said the quarter glass was for.
In 2023, I am heading back to the future. I mentioned to Old Mate that I would love a GR for retirement. I got a massive spray about all the money I had wasted on cars back in the day: “You have had your turn, you d*ckhead. Anyway, I bought you a car. It’s in the driveway!”
Harsh but true. I notoriously bought two Ford GTs that I shouldn’t have. But probably my best effort was when she picked out a new Ford Fiesta for 10k and sent me to pick it up. I came back with her car and a 50k tricked-up ‘boy racer’ I couldn’t afford. That didn’t go down well. Obviously, it been stored away in a massive vault she has with all my bad decisions.
So, as I look out the driveway and see my 22-year-old ute with 245,000km on the clock that she bought me, I am eternally grateful to Woodriff Smash Repairs for sprucing up my retirement wheels and thankful that Sunshine Toyota hopefully won’t remember where their Hilux with the red flowers is for a while.