READERSí RIDES

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James Heaneyís 1975 BMW 528 E12

Twenty years ago, I was looking for something interesting and European. There was a good chance Iíd have ended up with a Benz, but I miraculously stumbled across this gorgeous metallic brown 528 and I was besotted.

The curvy back end was one element that helped sway me. Thereís something very charming about the E12 shape, and the woodgrain.

There were E28s everywhere when I bought this car, but E12s were rare. Still are.

Iím pretty sure my little brown Beemerís actually gotten prettier the older it gets. It wasnít cheap to buy, even in the 90s when these cars werenít really considered a classic yet. I think I paid about 10 or 11 grand for it, but it was worth it. Sadly, my E12ís become more of a Sunday car now, I just donít get as much time to drive it as Iíd like or as much as I used to. Regardless, itís a keeper.

Iíll never sell it, Iím just not interested.

I remember back in 1977-í78 the Radial Tuned Suspension on Aussie Holdens scared BMW in the handling department. My carís quite old-school in terms of suspension but I think itís still quite comfy despite the

Holden RTS one-two BMW copped. You can feel even on the freeway at 100km/h it would be quite comfy going faster on an Autobahn Ė it sits so easily and comfortably at 110 thanks to the independent suspension. Itís delightful.

Iíve had to replace a few things but sheís been pretty maintenance free, thanks in part to it being driven infrequently. The 2.8-litre straight six is nice and pokey, it makes a smooth gear change thanks to the three-speed auto and the noise is reasonably throaty thanks to the double-barrel carby.

It does everything I need it to do, never lets me down and is a delight to drive. I love my E12 that much, Iíll probably be buried with it!

Jeff Farlowís 1981 Corvette C3

I bought the Corvette in 2012, and Iíve driven it, shall we say, extensively.

I bought it mainly to drive the Great Ocean Road, which I did. It was excellent, just a brilliant trip.

It really ran without a hitch, I started it up every morning and I stopped it every night.

It just kept going.

With just my wife there are only two of us, and obviously thereís not much luggage space, but it took everything we needed it to. It was just an excellent trip.

It was in this condition when I bought it, by and large. I havenít really changed anything, but I have made it sound a bit better. Itís just too good as it is. Besides, this is probably as it would have come off the showroom floor, except the tyres are maybe a tad wider.

This was the second-last year of the C3 I think, and after that they started to lose the style. Theyíre getting it back now, of course, but the C4s were flat and I donít think thatís really for me.

As they got older, you couldnít keep them in lefthand- drive, so when I made the purchase it was just on 30 years old and I got to keep the left hook. After that, I think you can still get an early C4 and keep it on the left.

I think to keep it original, it has to be left-handed. You canít have them any other way.

This oneís got matching numbers, everythingís the same. I think it had only done 68,000 miles when I bought it, but it doesnít really matter because in a few years I might hit the hundred and itíll click back around. Then itíll only have a couple of thousand on the clock!

For the most part, I just love the style. I love that itís a V8, Iíve wanted one of these since before I was able to drive. I still canít believe that in 1981 these were the shape they were. They look great today, so what must they have looked like back then?!

Molly Wibauxís 1970 Volkswagen Beetle

I was told that, for my 18th birthday, my parents were going to help me look for a car.

We knew that depending on the type of car, older cars sometimes last longer than newer cars. I thought, ĎWhy not splash out a bit?í So I looked for something a little older than something from 2010. This oneís 45 years old now, but Beetles are known for lasting a long time so Iím holding out hope it could last me another 45. That would be really cool.

I bought it fully restored by a guy called Pete in Carina, but I did put in the radio myself. Other than that, it hasnít needed any work since Iíve owned it, everything was worked on before. It wasnít always this green either. It used to be more of a mossy green, but the previous owner wanted something that would stand out. So they stuck with green but just made it a bit more modern and funky.

Sometimes Iíll be out on my break from school and get a call from mum asking why Iím driving around during the day, because she spots me so easily!

People do look at me when I drive past; Iím not going to lie. Itís something I can be proud of though. In terms of learning how to drive it, itís a daily experience. This is my daily drive, I donít have another car and I donít save this for weekends. Every day I learn something new about it, whether itís the way it drives or the car itself. The other day in a car park someone was trying to tell me that I could drive it on water and that it would float for a long time, but thatís not happening with my car. The everyday learning isnít always helpful.

As a P-plater I know that owning a car like this can be expensive with insurance and things like that, but Iím glad I have it because I think itís the best car I could have chosen.

Maybe an earlier model like a í62 would be cool, though.

Paying for fuel is probably the only issue I have with it. Being a student and having to work to afford it is a bit difficult sometimes. Learning to drive without power steering is up there, too. Itís a very different car to the one I learnt in.

The only changes Iím considering are whitewall tyres, but only if theyíll go with the green and the black trim. If not, a bigger stereo with more than one little speaker would be a nice addition. The stereo in it now is right behind the in it now is right behind the steering wheel, so itís fine for me. If anyone else in the car wants music, they can listen to an iPod. Or the exhaust note.

My next car will be secondary to the Beetle, which even has a name. Itís Mrs.

Smith, after the apple.

Tony Slatteryís 1969 Mustang Coupe

This is actually a 302 Windsor, itís not a Boss but the engine has matching numbers. I got it about two years ago, and Iíve pretty much kept it the same other than the upholstery.

Itís still black but the black upholstery it had was pretty worn. I think the only things on the Mustang that are really different are the rear tyres, theyíre a bit bigger.

Fortunately, I havenít had to work on it at all since I bought it. I havenít even had to change the oil because itís been clean the whole time.

This is pleasing considering it gets a run every weekend, if not every other weekend.

Itís a driver so I donít leave it parked up, it needs to get out. Sometimes mid-week Iíll get out and take it for a drive up to the shops.

Itís hard to leave it sitting there once you have driven something like this because once you are driving it you just want to keep going. I never want to get out or even turn the key off.

The plan is to keep it just the way it is. Even if I do make any changes Iíll be keeping all the original parts in boxes.

I think itíll need a repaint soon, actually. Itís starting to show some little imperfections in some light, but Iíll keep it the same colour.

But I donít think I will change anything. Iíve had ideas like bonnet scoops or spoilers before but because itís original itís fine as it is.

I donít want to drill any holes or compromise it. I just want to drive and enjoy it.