I wanted to make mention of a canteen operator at Sekolah Menengah Tengku Idris Shah, Kapar, a Mr. Tee who I remember lent me his Peugeot 304 which I drove from Kapar town all the way to Klang when I was a young lad.
It has been over 40 years ago, when I obtained my driving license at the young age of 22 years old. I was a greenhorn and inexperienced. The above car, being a hand gear vehicle was to be frank a difficult vehicle to drive. Its handbrakes were located beneath the dashboard.
I forgot to release the handbrakes and drove a distance of 10 – 15 km to Klang before releasing the handbrake mechanism. In doing so, the brake pads of the Peugeot 304 sustained major damage. When I offered to pay for the damage incurred, Mr. Tee flatly rejected it.
Although many of the cars which I borrowed were old vehicles in my younger days, nonetheless, one that would go on to assist me going places that I wish to go. In fact, I believe driving old cars had its advantages. The experience a new driver achieves from it is as they say, immeasurable. No amount of money can buy it.
My friends used to advise me, “if you can drive an old car, you can certainly go on to be a good driver”. If you can handle an old car well, then obviously handling a new car then will be no problem at all.
One of the initial cars I learnt to drive was a Ford Falcon owned by my cousin. At that time, the above car was converted to use a special fuel used by aeroplanes. My first lesson was going round Kampung Kuantan village. Although the Falcon was a large car, it was fairly easy to handle.
Another car which I frequently borrowed from my friend, Chee Miau, was his Ford Prefect. Believe it or not, this car hand only 3 gear. I drove this car a number of times. I remember this car has a very unusual reverse gear. Anyway, I have forgotten how the gear is manipulated.
The Holden, which was a very big vehicle was used by my cousin again to teach me how to drive. Like the Ford Falcon, this was also a British made vehicle. Although big and huge, it was quite easy to handle, nonetheless.
The Audi was another car I used to borrow from a cousin of mine, Henry Lim. Henry has unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Even though I was not an experienced driver, I could sense the Audi as being a very nice car to drive.
Nevertheless, the Audi was not a very popular car with Malaysians in those days. German technology for building good cars is much well known. However, Malaysians seem to prefer Japanese technology to German’s.