Simple pleasure in life #23. Driving down a narrow road and listening as the gentle rumble of the KIngswood sets off car alarms. Joy.
A few years ago I bought a car that would change my life. Until that point cars had only ever been something I used to get from A to Z. My father - for those of you that know him - is a man with passions that lie under the hood of car. Specifically Model T Fords.
I had begun to think the automotive gene had skipped a generation. Then the Beast came into my life. And it was love at first sight.
The Holden Kingswood was manufactured from 1968 through to 1984 by General Motors-Holden's, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors (GM). My car was built in 1972 making it an “HQ” Holden and 38 years young. She’s got a 202 cubic inch six-cylinder engine and what is those in the know call “three on the tree” which is a three speed column shift gear stick. She’s got bench seats front and back which is always popular with the ladies - I suspect there have been more that a few liaisons in the Kingswood’s back room.
Yes, she’s a grumpy old bird and not a morning car at all. She’s got a really rough matt black paint job and whenever I go back home my father tells me to “get that piece of shit out of my driveway”. There’s no power steering and driving her is more like sailing a ship across the urban sea than driving. She's had more than a few additions over the years. Some tats on her bonnet. A new hood ornament courtesy of the talented artist Martin Horspool. And Mr Bone who hangs from the rearview mirror. She's baggy as all get out and hungry for gas but I love her.
Truth be told, I’ve always wanted a Kingswood, it was a car from my youth that all the bodgies drove. The guys with greasy hair, black T-shirts and the hottest bottle-blonde girlfriends. So I took her for a drive, pressed the cash into the man’s hand and never looked back. Her and I have driven the length of New Zealand many times.
She’s a beast but she’s my beast. She’s the reason I’m King of the Wood.