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Triumph Spitfire

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In 1972, as soon as I got the job with SSB as a trainee production wireline operator, I was sent to BSP in Brunei for two years’ training. I was staying at the SRC bachelor flats. I bought my very first car in Brunei. It was a twenty year old Triumph Spitfire! It cost only 2000 dollars. The special thing about this car was its twin Weber carburetor which was the fore runner of the turbo charger.

Fiat 125

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My next car in 1973 was a 12 year old Fiat 125 bought for 2.5K in Brunei. Its engine was very smooth and quiet on the high way. It had an external rubber timing belt which was ok for the clean roads of Italy and Europe; but entirely unsuitable for the dusty sand roads and dirt tracks of Borneo!

Datsun 100A

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Christine did not like this car, a Datsun 100A which I bought new for her in 1975. She complained a lot about the front suspension noise because it was a front wheel drive! The engine was only one litre and it had no air conditioner! The only plus point was the child proof door lock for the rear doors. The children were still very young and this small car was the ideal family car for us then.

Toyota GL

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After five years, I inherited the Datsun 100A when my wife bought a new Toyota GL in 1980. It has air conditioning! The GL was one of the best models produced by Toyota and she was very pleased with it for a while. There were two drivers; but we then had 3 cars! When we got ready to move into our new house in Pujut I was required to sell one car.

Isuzu Trooper/Subaru 1.6

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Soon, I swapped the Datsun for an Isuzu Trooper, 2.3 litre, 4x4 diesel jeep. That cost me another 25K. However it had plenty of oomph for towing the boats across logs and all, on the beach. The only minus point was, this jeep was bright yellow in colour and the diesel engine was very noisy! I used it for 10 years until I bought an old Subaru 1.6 litre station wagon in 1993 for 7K. That was supposed to become my retirement car. Kevin used the jeep to drive Pearl and Eugene to school.

Honda, Mercedes, Volvo, Mitsubishi Challenger

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So, on arrival in NZ, the first car I bought was a twelve year old, 1.6 litre Honda Accord(6.8K) followed soon by a Mercedes 280SE (7.8K)and then a Volvo 760GLE (9K)! These had been my dream cars for far too long. I cannot tahan any more. The only problem now is, what do I drive next?! (answer? my next car) Luxury cars tend to spoil their owner’s taste for ordinary cars like Toyota!

Four wheel drive

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For practical reasons, I have decided early that my next purchase was going to be a 4x4. This was due to my Volvo being stuck on the wet lawn in front of the Ngaroto sailing club one weekend. Everyone has left and I was starting to panic because I could not get home! In the end, an old couple in an old Holden gave me a hand. I hitched the boat to the Holden and it was towed from the grass on to the gravel road for me and I was ok!