Why Driving is not fun anymore?

Lord  Banks By Lord Banks, 12th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Urban Living

Todays driving conditions are very diffferent to the 1980's

Why Driving is not fun anymore.

Driving is no fun anymore!

Today the sun is out and the sky is blue. I was thinking to myself how wonderful it was to drive in Britain on a spring day such as today. I’ll tell you of a typical Sunday in 1986. I would get up and see the weather and think,

“Right time to valet the car and go out”

I passed my driving test at 17 in 1982 my first car was a Mk1 Ford Escort. I progressed through various Ford Capri’s until I ended up with my favourite car I ever owned with was a British racing Green metallic 3.0s Capri. It is the car that had the distinction of being the only car I ever brought off a garage forecourt! I would hand wash the Capri as mechanical car washes can leave minute scratches on the paint work.

I would then drive to a local garage and Hoover the inside of the car. At the time no guy of my age would drive without a ’Traffic light’ air freshener! You had a pin and stuck the pin into a coloured bubble on the rear of the air freshener. I used to pierce all the bubbles I.e. red, amber and green! Subtlety was not a word used in the 1980’s.

My father would stir from his bed and have his breakfast, I was still leathering down the Capri. My father would insist the whole family meet at lunchtime for a pub lunch and a few beers. We would pick a pub in the country where it was necessary for a long drive through winding country lanes. I would wind down the bronze tint windows on the Capri so I could listen to the twin exhausts and the burbling 3.0 V6 Essex engine.

My father drove a Gold coloured Capri 2.0s a very nice car but not a match for my 3.0s. We would set off down the country roads which had a speed limit of 60mph. Now the Capri I had would do 75mph 2nd ! And 95mph in 3rd, This would lead to a MPG (Miles Per Gallon) of 14! And perhaps 10mpg if we raced all the way! I could afford the fuel it was £28 to fill the Capri tank from empty I have just worked out today it would cost £85! Or more.

We would arrive at the pub and I would be told off by my father for taking too many risks on the way down then he would wink at me! We would have a pint of beer which cost £1.10 the same pint today will cost you £3.95! We would as a family eat and swap stories from the week. We would always sit near the cars as in 1986 the Capri was the car to have if you were a proper ‘Boy Racer’ and therefore they were stolen a lot!

The Capri only ran on leaded 98 octane fuel which is not available now. The Capri had a large twin barrel Weber carburettor which dumped the leaded fuel in just when you needed it. Today no new cars have carburettor’s as they do not meter the fuel well enough to meet modern day emission requirements. Without being too technical and you losing interest in my article, I will say that although cars are safer now and far superior on fuel consumption they are not as fast or fun to drive than their predecessors.

Its not just the taming down of the cars that has taken the fun out of driving it is the roads themselves. Where I live now in Yorkshire it has some spectacular countryside and some real drivers roads! However the roads are so crowded now. There are millions more cars on the road now than in 1986. The chances of you enjoying a speedy drive in the country are virtually nil. Then lets not forget the speed cameras! You maybe driving quickly and see a village approaching then back in 1986 I would back off the gas and let the car slow down.

Now in 2011 if I see a village coming its hit the brakes hard and make sure I’m travelling well under the 30mph speed limit. Chances are there will be a speed camera tucked behind a tree to take a lovely picture of you and then send a speeding ticket to your house! Of course I’m not advocating speeding in built up areas but there are so many speed cameras it is taking the fun out of driving.

Car insurance has also paid a large part in ruining any fun in driving. I bought the Capri 3.0s when I was 21 years old. The insurance for a year was £306, The car had an insurance grouping of 15** which was the maximum loading at the time. I also only had 2 years no claims bonus as I had previously had an accident (well several) There is no way on Earth now I could have even been insured on that vehicle at 21.

Youngsters today will pay typically £2,500 per annum for a group 2 car! Insurance companies are pricing motorists off our roads. Fuel prices are so expensive people can’t afford to drive for pleasure anymore its strictly to and from work or to the supermarket. Who could afford to run a vehicle now that does 10mpg when thrashed?

Earlier in this article I mentioned the price of fuel and beer what’s the connection? The connection is wages in 1986 I was taking home £250-£300 per week. My fuel bill was easily affordable and so was going out and being sociable! My last best paid job in 2007 I took home £275 per week! Wages have not increased for the average working man for 30 years! How can we afford to be motorists anymore or have a social drink in a pub?

Lord Banks


Capri, Country Lanes, Driving, Fuel, Petrol, Roads

Meet the author

author avatar Lord Banks
I am 46 years old. I was born in London and have lived in various counties around the UK. I presently live in Yorkshire. By trade I am a qualified Vehicle Engineer. I have been writing since my school days. I specialise in WWII aircraft. My blog pag...(more)

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