I was just seventeen years old when I passed my driving test. It was about four years later that I got my first car... a Renault Clio.
The following Christmas, I pulled a cracker at a family party, and the novelty gift was a small black toy car, about 2 cm long. It was one of those cars that you pull back let go and it moves forward.
For whatever reason, I put the toy car in my pocket only for it to fall from the pocket onto my Clio’s floor.
A few weeks later I found it and for some reason put it into the tray near the car’s cigarette lighter.
When I changed my car several years later I moved the toy car to the new car, and this continued for the following eight or so years.
By that time I had a black Audi A2, not too much different in looks to the toy car it now held. That little car had been my travelling companion.
Then, one Friday in March 2003, a car came out of the 30mph zone in my village doing an estimated 90 mph. I was driving the other way and the speeding car hit me head on. The design of my car meant the engine crushed like a drinks can, and somehow I emerged unharmed. The occupants in the speeding car faired less well.
My car was an insurance write off, and a few days later I went to collect it’s contents from the warehouse holding it. Days later I remembered my small black toy car. It was missing. It was only sentimental but rather surprisingly I felt a loss of something I had travelled the UK with.
By then my car had been sold on for scrap. I scoured the internet for scrap dealers, and eventually found what looked like the remains of my Audi. I sent them a speculative email.
It went something along the lines of “I have seen what I think is my old car, registration number ...... In the car when I had the accident was a little toy car. It is of no value except sentimentally and wondered if you could have a look and see if you can find it.”
Less than an hour later I had a phone call. They had found my little black car on the back seat of my write-off. Within days I was reunited after they posted it to me.
The little toy was put into my new car, and has been in every car I have owned ever since. To me, that little black car is a survivor, a travel companion, and an important good luck charm for me. In a weird way it looks after me when I drive. After all, we have been through a lot together.
Many people have items that to other people would be meaningless, but to them means a lot. Whether you are superstitious or not, to me that little car helps keep me safe on the road.
I would love to know if any of you have similar items, and what their stories are.