Ending The Abusive Relationship - Splitting up with an RX-8

In Episode 0 of the Podcast, I discussed my Mazda RX-8 and how it has been both the best and worst car Ive ever owned. This sparked some chat on Twitter about how most motoring fans had been attracted by at leas the idea of the RX-8 at some point - something I find totally understandable given I went in to the garage to try a Mazda 2 diesel!

I think that the best way to sum up how I felt (and still feel) about my RX I thought I should post something I posted to a forum I'm a member of after I'd had a couple of drinks the night I split with it and traded it for a Panda 100HP instead. Enjoy, because reading this again makes me slightly sniffy once more...

I finally snapped.

Like one half of a bad relationship I’ve spent the last 14 months being messed about, let down and making excuses for what should be inexcusable behaviour. I’ve invested money and time and passion trying to make things right.

I’d already had thoughts about going with others - how they would reciprocate my feelings like other that had gone before - but it had always just taken one amazing, rip-roaring ride of passion and I was back, filling the tank and topping up the oil.

Today was different. I’d been let down during the week. I was up, organised and ready to go with a day of training ahead of me only to find that starting just wasn’t going to happen. It was okay, I could get a taxi the couple of miles each way and it wasn’t a major inconvenience. I persuaded myself this was actually easier than parking in the open car park. That night - sure enough - I jumped in, turned the key and took it for a rag around Gloucester. Harmony was restored and I had a great run home on Friday. 109 pleasant, relaxed motorway miles. Just how it should be.

I’d planned on going to the garage today anyhow. I went to book in that 4 year service and to show the service manager the video i’d taken of it not starting so he could see what the issue was. He and his team had tried before but never managed to replicate the issue.

Maybe it was my fault, because before I got back in the car to drive off I decided to have a look around the used cars on offer. The Mazda 3 MPS looked nice but was a bit “boy racer” The Mazda 2s are nice, but there were only 1.3s in my price range and they were a bit dull. The garage was quiet so the saleman came out to join me. He’s a “car guy” and has also been following the troubles we’d been having. I explained the situation - service at the end of the month and if the intermittent starting wasn’t diagnosed then I’d be looking for something else. I’d set the ultimatum. We wondered around the collection. 3MPS? Too loony. Mazda 6? Too grown-up. 3 Sport? Only a 1.6 so too gutless. Mini Cooper S? Do I look like an estate agent...

”I’ve always liked these Panda 100HPs.”
”Its quiet and I fancy some fun - would you like a shot?
”Sure, if I can”
”Hang on and I’ll fetch the keys”

I played away. I took another car for a drive. And I loved it. It was hilarious. A pillar-box red, slammed and tinted bucket of enthusiasm. A 5-seat, 5-door go-kart. Everything I’d always assumed it would be.

Well guess what happened next? The jealous partner - the one that causes all the issues - took umbrage on my infidelity. The intermittent fault happened right outside the dealer’s main door. It was like a scene from Casualty. Gurneys rolled, apprentices pushed and it was linked up to life-support whilst the fault was manifest. 40 minutes later there was a Lazarean recovery. From flatlining it was firing on all - erm - lobes. It had been an abberation. A passing phase. All would be fine now.

I drove home.

I drive to friends’ for lunch. A wild, passionate romp of hard cornering, heel-toeing and the gentle pop of an exhaust flaming. I was smitten once again. It was behind us. In the past.

I thought about a small Italian that had given me so much (semi) legal fun already today and felt guilty.

I went to drive to the restaurant. Nothing. Fucking nothing.

So I had lunch anyway. Wringing my hands over what was to be done. Maybe I’d pushed too hard. Too soon. It would work out later on. It always did. Even that time on the way to the Channel Tunnel. Or the time under the Holiday Inn at Heathrow. Or in the service station near Reims. Or beside the A1 at Borehamwood. It was always okay in the end. It always was.

But this time was different. This was twice in one day. Right after embarrassing me in public. I’d decided.

Assistance was called and, right to the end, the stubborn prima donna still wouldn’t go. Not to edge on to the breakdown lorry or to come off it again at the dealership.

I’ve emptied out all my stuff. I’ve de-modded all the mods. I just have the wheels to swap.

I’ll sign the paperwork on the Panda tomorrow and collect it next Saturday. In the meantime I’m wondering how the hell I’m going to get to Gloucester and back for next week given no car rental places in Northamptonshire seem to be open on a Sunday.

I’m pissed off and I’m upset.
— http://forum.thesmallprint.org/index.php?topic=20030.0