In my 15 years of driving in England, I have owned three cars (like my ayah, I call them motokar in Malay, not kereta). It had always been Volvos with me, just like ayah and my brother. Blame ayah for this as he used to be a manager at Federal Auto.

My first was a 1990 1.7 litre Renault engine-powered 440 which was 5 years old when I bought it at a Honda dealer around the block from my flat with my Lloyds Bank professional loan money. I really drove that one to the ground for 7 good years and it lived in Newcastle, Birmingham and Sheffield. It has done a Newcastle-Edinburgh-Glasgow-Inverness-Jedburgh-Newcastle round trip, and the odd journeys to London and the Lake District. It was also in this 440 that Stomach Of Chaos (my first ever band!) spent the night in at a motorway stop en route to Brum because of yours truly being knackered as hell after playing a gig at the University of North London. Being skint when I started training in pathology, the 440 was not serviced as regularly as it should. If I remember correctly, I had its exhaust system replaced like 3 times!

Next came an upgrade – a 1999 2 litre S40 standard in met silver. It was a 3-year old company car with high mileage. I still chose a petrol engine being the petrolhead that I was. My neighbour had thought I really ‘moved up in the world’ when I brought it home from the dealer in Leeds. I actually bought it from a Joe Bloggs used car dealer as opposed to a proper dealer as I did with the 440. Looking back, I would never ever do that again, for obvious reasons. I remembered taking the above photo the day after bringing it back to Sheffield with a mate of mine who also bought a second-hand S40. So pimpin’, yo. Hahaha. The S40 didn’t travel as much as the 440 but I drove ma famille up to revisit the North East and for my first ever trip to Wales – specifically, Cardiff and err.. The Valley (in The Vale!). It clocked a massive 170000 miles on the odometer and as I don’t want the pisang to bear fruit twice repair-wise, it was time to look for nombor tiga.

As usual, I opted for a new-ish second hand. I did consider a new set of wheels after talking with some mates but decided not to do so as, in my humblest of opinions, it’s a waste of my hard-earned cash. Bak kata Jason Newsted -“I have plans for my millions and it ain’t for fcukin’ sandwiches”. After two weeks of trundling through Autotrader, I found what I liked, but it was 80-odd miles away in Wolverhampton. Thankfully, it was worth the effort!

Buffy’s (thanks to the letters BF on the plate) a 2.4 litre diesel. Yes, shock horror. The unbeliever has repented, and so did ayah after the test drive. The D5 virtually describes the turbocharged nature of the engine, a diesel counterpart to the petrol T5. It’s in a black sapphire finish with a contrasting cream calcite leater upholstery and walnut trim. It’s also got most of the modern bells and whistles you get in a car made in the 21st century – power-assisted driver seat, rear park assist, heated seats, 6xCD player, autodimming rearview mirror, windscreen wipers with rain sensors, the list goes on. It’s no wonder a half price second hand comes with a 5-figure price tag (my 1999 S40 was only £5k), but I am sure you won’t get this car for the price I paid for here, in Malaysia. To add, Ayah was still awestruck at the ease of getting a loan from the bank (I was wearing my kain pelekat on a Sunday morning and all it took was 5 minutes online – money banked in on the spot and all) as well as the first class service we received when we went for the test drive. I shan’t say any more.

What did I do with Buffy on the second day of driving her? Did a 200-mile round trip to a vintage Triumph rally in Northamptonshire. What joy!