Blog : What a lovely drive home last night

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Being a Rover driver, I’m well used to being treated badly on the roads. Being cut-up by cars badly emerging from side-roads, tailgated in 30mph areas and generally treated like a sub-human is part and parcel of driving a car wearing the badge of a failed marque. I’m used to it, and although it niggles me no end, it’s a fact of life – especially in badge conscious Northamptonshire.

About half way into my commute last night, I had a bit of a moment – ‘wow, I’ve just realised that nothing bad’s happened. I’ve not been tailgated or cut-up,’ I said to my co-pilot. He agreed, and for a second I wondered what had happened. Yes, I left the office later than normal, but not by much. But then it hit me – there’s football on, and England’s playing.

Now I’d never suggest for a moment that there’s a correlation between the level of civility on the roads, and the number of football fans staying at home to watch their match. Oh no, definitely not. But I must admit I do like it when there’s big footballing tournaments on the go, because you’re guaranteed some quiet time on the roads when the home team is playing.

Also, you have these lovely little flags, denoting the cars to give a wide berth to on the roads. So, the longer it goes on, the better it is for keen drivers.

Good luck England – long may you stay in the tournament…

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

23 Comments

  1. I have had similar good times. It is particular nice on the Autobahn during a world cup final when Germany was playing 🙂 But then, I don´t find it THAT bad driving a Rover across the UK – being obviouslz foreign with white plates on the rear may make a difference though. But be it here in Germany or over in the UK, with a 40+ years old car I find that I am treated more friendly by other road users.

  2. I am amazed at your intolerance to us Football fans Keith (lol). Whats next flat cap wearing proton drivers?

    Seriously though it is the same for many of the big sporting events when old England is playing – Rugby World Cup anyone?

  3. I think it is very patriotic to see drivers with England flags on their German, French, Korean, Italian etc cars.

  4. Reminds me of the old Saab advert, there was a match on and the driver of a 9-3 estate took the oppurtunity to drive on the empty roads.

    Generally I find that unless you drive (and join their club) an SUV or a german car, you are fodder for tailgaters, cut-uppers etc.

  5. I drive a german car at the moment and still get tailgated in 30 zones while doing 30 like Keith was saying. I recommend the patented Frankie Get Off My Ar*e Manoeuvre. Keep your foot on the right pedal and press the brake pedal JUST enough so the brakes light come on, then watch the Audi/Transit/X5/Chavmobile disappear into the distance in your mirror 😀

  6. Keith
    You may be driving a car with the badge of a failed marque, but do remember that the football bores have been following a failed squad for the past 40-odd years.

  7. Keith,
    You just need to modify your driving style a bit.

    For reasons that are not for this place, my current work car is and old model 3 door Chevrolet Aveo, in Urban Grey Metallic.It is thus practically invisible to all German Car drivers. In order to make it visible, I have now perfected pensioner driving techniques, this ensuring that shiny £40K Germans keep a very wide berth..

  8. Our fleet consists of a Bini Cooper S (my wife’s) My Midget and an S plate Polo Diesel. I find the Polo gives the most fun around these types of driver as it is invisible until someone tries to take my road space – I simply ‘hold my ground’ the faded look of the Polo makes it quite clear that I have nothing to loose so the ABS ASP and all the acronyms the BMW / Merc / Audi salesmen used on the individual rapidly heading my way get put to the test Of course this does not work in the Bini or the MG as I would hate to scar those two. But as I said earlier – I prefer to walk to work – much less hassle.

    @ Frankie – your technique does work with tailgaters – I have tried that many times too! 🙂

  9. Oh not more stereotypical tosh about people who drive German cars. I’m sure your all lovely people but when you whine on like this you come across as a bunch of complete and utter losers. Now stop it!

  10. As a proud Englishman, the thing that makes me laugh most(or embarrassed, depending on my mood) about these people is the “Two World Wars and One World Cup” chant, before jumping into their Cross of St George festooned BMWs/Mercs/Audis/VW GTi’s to force themselves through the traffic for the journey home.

  11. @ Mike Humble

    I can think of one Proton driver you would probably not want to do that to… Mind you, Dan Welch of Welch Motorsport wears a race helmet and drives his Proton Persona in the BTCC.

  12. Re Dominic Burgess on Facebook. I once borrowed my boss’s BMW 3 series whilst my dear old 75 was in for some minor surgery. The look on the face of other road users when I stopped to let them out at junctions was priceless. First confusion then disbelief followed by gratitude.

  13. @ clive – he’s not wearing a flat cap. Also add Kia’s, Daewoo’s and Hyuandi’s to that list (lol).

    Anyway just get a Volvo V70 and people think your an unmarked police car and slow down and move out of the way! It’s True, especially if you wear a white shirt with a black tie.

  14. @Frankie, That Sniff petrol ad still makes me chuckle.

    Oh, and as a Baseball cap wearing Proton Driver I’d like to nominate Trilby hat wearing Nissan Almera Drivers for cutting up.

    I had an amazing moment on my drive home in the ZT tonight, A Mondeo driver saw me approaching and moved over to let me pass.

    Must be something in the air.

  15. Keith, I was working the night of the last England game, and in Frinton I was clearly at one point following someone who was smashed out of their mind. Their Fiesta van was adorned with said flags too, and this was after pub closing time. The van was all over the road and doing about 25 mph in a 40. I was in an unmarked car, black tie & hiviz, and odds on he probably thought I was plod. Wished I was, as I wouyld have loved to have pulled him over and breath tested the clown

  16. I have never found myself ‘bullied’ by other roadusers because I am driving a Rover, but I think they do tend to make wrong assumptions about the car and its driver. When repmobiles, white vans, and boy racers tailgate my 75 through 30mph zones they probably assume that I’m a pensioner, and are very surprised when we get out of town and I reveal myself to be a youngish and extremely enthusiastic driver with a heavy right foot!

  17. I remeber some years ago driving the forst Vitesse Sport I had, this was a badgeless Fastback which had lost it’s 17″ wheels and was on standard SLi 16″ wheels, so looked like a cooking 820. I was driveing out of wantage toward hungerford with a tailgating 3 series while in the 30 zone, it was amusing to see his face when he utterly failed to overtake on hitting the national speed limit sign.. I did of course let him pull alongside first

  18. I drove a white van for a few years and used to have fun with it.
    It was rated 3.5t, but rarely carried more than the equivalent of 3-4 people, had a 2.4l turbo diesel and was as such quite quick off the mark, mid-range acceleration was excellent and it stopped ‘on a dime’. Top end was around the ton, and rear wheel with a good steering lock drive meant it would parallel park in not much more than it’s own length.
    I used to pull up and park (steal spaces) while drivers of much smaller vehicles were figuring out if they could get in, but the best looks came when I was polite and let people out of junctions etc. Confused barely describes it!
    And yes, the flash stuff used to get alongside just, but by that time we were at the speed limit and…

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