Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 - 9:39 pm

27 Feb


I’ve driven Burt – my PT Cruiser – for seven years now – I got him in 2011 as my very first car. He had gone through a lot in the seven years – we visited many places together. He also bears some scars of my driving experience. Despite his limitations, I still like him a lot. All of the things that other cars can do easily, Burt may need some more effort to complete the same task. I remember the days when I would get pretty stressed driving up the Willunga Hill with Burt struggling to go past 70 km/h with his heavy body. Other cars would zoom past us and I felt responsible for not keeping up with the speed limit. Those days are long gone – I accepted Burt’s limitations and quirkiness.

However, Burt’s getting on with age – he was born in 2001. He’s getting tired, and he may well be flourishing when he meets his new parents.

(PS, Yes, I do name my cars – it started with a childhood habit in Indonesia when I named our family’s first car ‘Obli’. Its number plate was 1780 – so if you read it upside down, the car’s telling us its name. Haha.)

So for the past couple of months, I have been eyeing retro-looking cars that would suit my taste. Somehow Minis don’t rock my boat, and unfortunately Chrysler stopped producing PT Cruiser in 2010. Then, I started noticing Fiat 500X – it has some retro styling, thanks to its older sibling, Fiat 500. The model also has five doors – one of my key requirements. Then at the beginning of the year, I spotted a listing in Gumtree for a 2016 Fiat 500X from an owner in Rostrevor, a suburb in the northeastern side of Adelaide. I had a look with Yani and Ps. Toming, as he knows much more about cars than I do. I made my offer for the car, and thankfully the previous owners accepted my offer during the weekend.

Today, I went to collect the car and drive him home! I gave my PT Cruiser an ‘American’ name – Burt – because, well, he’s American. So, for my Fiat 500X, I want to give him an Italian name. For a while, I nearly chose Mauro, but at the end I settled with Totò.

Why Totò, you asked?

Well, Totò is the name of the key character in one of my favourite movies – Cinema Paradiso. In the 1990s, I remember borrowing the VHS from the State Library and watched it in my dorm room at Hampstead Centre. It remains in my top 10 movies of all times and I thought it would be a perfect homage to this film if I name my car, Totò. Naming him Salvatore (the formal name for Totò in the film) would be a bit too much. Haha.

I will say goodbye to Burt when I list him online and find his new parents – who hopefully like him as much as I do.




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