I have many fond memories of my school days. You see by cunningly playing sports, music and talking too much in class, I managed to transcend different social groups and in turn the bullies that preyed on kids from one particular group seemed to pass me by. What I don't have fond memories of however is how I went to and from my school, starting with a wet and windy bus stop, going via a used car supermarket and arriving at my destination cold and hungry.
Living in a town outside Cardiff has many benefits such as cheaper house prices and being quieter, but my parents insisted the schools weren't much cop locally so off I went everyday on an hour long bus journey to and from Cardiff. The bus itself had seen two world wars and the birth of Christ from the looks of it and offered hard wooden seats, a cold draft and windows that somehow managed to condense in the summer as well as winter.
The banter on the bus was the only thing that kept us going I think, but there was always trouble of some kind, culminating in the bus driver taking photos of individuals, so he had evidence of the shenanigans we got up to - at least that's what he told us they were for.
As bad as the bus was though, it was the endless trudging to the bus stop first thing in the morning that got to me the most Autel MaxiDiag MD808. From beneath my duffel coat, scarf, gloves and ten jumpers, morning after morning I saw drivers in their warm cars sliding past gracefully, laughing at the radio as the rain lashed down on me. I vowed that once I was older and I had a job, I'd be driving in a nice car through puddles splashing school kids myself.
Through the condensed windows on the bus I'd spy all manner of cars throughout the countless journeys and changed my mind daily on what I wanted. Then on a particularly cold and icy day as I looked at the used car supermarket we passed daily I saw the curves of a car I'd never seen before, adorned with a badge I'd never seen - it looked like a ‘H' but wasn't Honda. The car was a two door coupe that was simply the best looking car I'd ever seen in the flesh.
Everyday we'd drive past and I'd see this magic car with no identity wondering what planet it'd come from and that once the ice covering it had thawed someone really ought to notice an alien craft at their supermarket. The car it transpired was from a foreign land - not Mars or Jupiter, but Korea - it was the new Hyundai Coupe and the world was agog at Hyundai's audacity of making a car this good looking when their history was founded in a sea of grey autel maxidas ds808, boxy pensioner-mobiles.
Fast forward ten years and I own a first generation Coupe and I love it. The car has been dubbed the ‘Korean Ferrari' which despite my undying love for the car is complete rubbish. The curves are beautiful alright, but it's no Ferrari and the performance and price tag differential reflect this. What this car does though is make you feel special. The front headlights look like tear drops; the bonnet has two bulges very similar to a Porsche 911 and the sides taper gracefully to the rear light clusters hiding under a spoiler that could easily be a sculpture in its own right.
Engines range from a 1.6 litre to a 2 litre, although the car to look out for is the limited edition F2 Evolution which has an extra 17bhp pushed from the 2 litre engine, resulting in 155bhp. The F2 Evolution is even prettier than the standard car, with bigger wheels, front bumper, rear spoiler and oval racing exhaust. It was designed by Peter Stevens who designed the McLaren Formula One cars of the mid 90's and the super car of the same name and Hyundai's World Rally Championship team.
As standard you get, well everything really: leather seats, air conditioning, cruise control, ABS, plenty of bits moved electrically and a CD player. All derivatives have exceptional handling, with the car sticking to the road like glue no matter how hard you push it. This is the one main criticism of the Coupe - a lack of power, as the chassis could easily handle more.
The car is near bullet-proof when it comes to reliability too. Yes it's a Korean car so the materials used for the interior are especially cheap, but I challenge you to find a better styled, handling and equipped car for the money. Oh yes the cost is by far the best bit. Even if you track down one of the rare 1,500 F2 Evolution versions, you still won't pay more than £3000, with a bog standard 1.6 litre version £2000 tops.
There's a well known advert that says to be doing what you really want is priceless. The reality is that it'll cost between £2000 and £3000.