Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception

The Diva of Deception, Mandy Davis, is a professional close up magician and balloon modeller working for the corporate market as well as banquets, dinners, receptions, weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, private parties etc. As a member of The Magic Circle, she is chairman of the Young Magicians Club and editor of their coveted glossy magic magazine. Mandy is also a member of Equity.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

TOP OF THE RANGE!

In 1980, years after my friends and acquaintances, I learned to drive. I passed my test and started to wish for a car to drive. My then husband had just bought himself a low slung sports model so he phoned the garage where it had come from and had a probably conversation like this: 'Do you have any old thing for my wife to drive - she's just passed her test?' 'Certainly sir, got a 1300 just come in' 'OK - bring it round and we'll have it!' It was when I decided to clean it for the first time that I discovered the second set of pedals on the passenger side - the thing was an ex-driving school vehicle and consequently only lasted for ten months before it died completely. This was the shape of things to come - a rusty, past their sell-by shape of make-do motors meandering through my life.

The next car was an Avenger, a runaround kept for transporting materials by the builders who were knocking down walls and installing heating into our new house. It was a real rust bucket but I ran that until it caught fire one day as I was driving down the A41!
The third one was an old Cortina used as a cab by the boy who lived across the road. I was actually able to sell that one on for £250 because they didn't notice the oil pouring out from the bottom!


Then I borrowed a little money, just over a thousand pounds, and bought a bargain - a Suzuki Alto which was the tiniest car on the road at the time.
It was smaller than a micra, maybe a four door smart car in size but I loved it until I became a market trader and filled it to capacity (which wasn't much) with nuts and dried fruits.

So it was the dawn of the Sierra Estate - loads of room to branch out into herbal tea bags until that, too, became full to capacity and the police would stop me at regular intervals to find out how I could possibly see out of the windows (well there was nothing in front of me and I was only driving forwards!) Then for four glorious years I sat up high in a Bedford Midi Van
until I retired from markets to become a full time magician and didn't need the space any more.


My next car was a mistake - from up high to small and compact in a Metro which lasted six months before it was written off by an elderly man in a hat and I lost the will to drive for six months.

It was then that I discovered the world of the Proton. What? Exactly - you've never, or barely heard of it. The Proton was made in South Korea and in the early nineties was made with a Mitzubishi engine. No one knew of them, they weren't fashionable and they still aren't - so they are very reliable and very reasonable to buy.

The first one, in '97 was £2,200 and lasted me for six years with no problems at all but was written off by a hit and run merchant. The second one, at £800, was bought in a panic of having no car at all and lasted me three years and is still going strong but was just now starting to cost me money. So I began an intermittent trawl through google to see what was around in the Proton second hand market.

And two weeks ago I found what I hope is a real gem! It was tucked away in Exchange & Mart on line and hid among the sporty, but according to the reviews unlovely, Satrias and the Compact hatchbacks. It was a 2002 Impian with only 25000 miles on the clock - and it was being sold in a garage for £2695! I thought there must be something wrong with it as others of the same age and with more miles were selling for at least a grand, if not two, more. I waited a week - but it was still there, not snapped up at all but neither were any of the others. It was also the only one in the South East of England as most Proton garages seem to be in Lancashire, Manchester or Yorkshire.

I called the garage and verified the mileage and price, then drove over on Sunday to have a look. It was sitting at the back of the forecourt kind of waiting...

On Wednesday the RAC went to check it over and came back with the news that it 'needed a good hoovering inside' (is that all?) and that the air vents weren't directional.... so I bought it. I'd also asked how much for part exchange and they'd offered £400 which was a fortune for a twelve year old with serious signs of aging.



And now it's here - outside on the drive waiting for me to love it and I will and I do. I'm just not yet convinced that I've a bargain here. Once my mechanic services on Monday and can tell me that the RAC man was right and there is nothing major wrong and the irritating things I've found have been put right (the directional vents referred to turned out to be the fact that I can't demist the windscreen and the cigar lighter doesn't work so I can't charge the sat nav or phone) - once I know all these things are going to be fine then I'll love it and love it and love it.

Not least because I've also discovered it's not any Proton but a top of the range Proton which they are still making! I've never owned a car which was still in production before - and it has electric everything. So watch out - I've joined the ranks of the modern motor and I'm goiing to be the happiest bunny there ever could be!