My life in cars… Danny Rughoobeer

You can learn a lot about a person based on the cars they’ve owned – are they outgoing and colourful, or are they practical and sensible? It’s safe to as that everybody at Red Marlin has a varied and distinct history when it comes to their cars – continue reading to learn a little bit about the cars I’ve owned.

1989 Ford Fiesta Mk II Popular Plus

My parents bought me my very first car just before I headed off to Uni in Nottingham and I thought it was the bee’s knees! It faithfully ferried me and my mates around the country to visit other friends, watch football matches or head or to parties in random towns. I should have guessed that I was destined for a career in the motor industry when I spent my entire first student loan putting in an ‘essential’ aftermarket sunroof into the Fiesta.


1992 Ford Escort

Having graduated and moved into full time work with a place on Dunlop Tyres’ graduate training scheme, I had to fuel my inner boy racer by moving the Fiesta on and upgrading to Essex’s finest… the Escort.

Peugeot 406

Following a promotion and moving on to a ‘proper job’ within Dunlop, it came with the massive perk of a company car. OK, so it was a hand me down from a previous employee and it was rather sluggish and boring, but free motoring…. yes please!

I was highly amused several years later to see this car again trundling down the inside lane of the A14 being used as a taxi. I gave it a wave but sadly I don’t think it remembered me!

2000 VW Bora

Having endured the ‘Pug for a while, our lovely fleet manager got in touch and told me that I could choose a brand-new car! How utterly amazing! I obviously had a to pick from a fairly restricted list but the VW Bora was the stand out choice in my opinion. It was a relatively new model, came from fine German engineering and proved to be a great choice running without any problems.

2001 Ford Puma 1.4

I changed jobs and moved to Prodrive, reluctantly I had to give up the company car. To hold my head high in the car park among such motorsport pedigree, I wanted something relatively sporty, so I managed to find a cracking deal on a brand new Puma. The car, which had a massive ad campaign featuring Steve McQueen, didn’t disappoint and brought a real smile to my face as I threw it around the Oxfordshire lanes that became my new home.

2002 Land Rover Freelander Td4 GS

With my new country life, my wife convinced me that we needed a 4×4 for our rural lifestyle. Land Rover products have a reputation for somewhat questionable quality levels and I can only say that the Freelander always provided much amusement and entertainment when the rather cool sliding rear glass window decided to open and close whenever it felt like it – it was just a touch inconvenient at 70mph on the M40 with the dog in the boot!

Mini Cooper S

Onto another job and another hand me down company car. This time a fully spec’d Mini Cooper S. The supercharger delivered a lot of smiles but the ride comfort was somewhat less entertaining. I have to say, this car suffered the most quality issues out of anything I’ve ever owned, and that’s saying something given I’d just come from a Freelander.

2007 Volvo V50 D

The Mini was not suited in the slightest to my new position as a first time Dad, so when it came up for renewal, I did the most sensible thing in my life and ordered a brand new Volvo V50. Plenty of room for the pushchair. Plenty of safety features. Ideal. Just to make sure I hadn’t lost touch with my boy racer roots though, I did upgrade the alloy wheels and add a rear spoiler as an optional extra!

Ford Focus

Redundancy meant financial worries so I offloaded the V50 which came as part of my package and moved to a cheaper option of a Ford Focus. It did a job and that’s about all I can say about that car. It wasn’t fun. I remember it being uncomfortable on long journeys but as least I could get the pushchair and kids in.

2007 BMW 320D M Sport Touring

As my new business was starting to take off and having recently been impressed by driving a BMW for the first time ever, I thought the 3-series was the ideal car for me. And it was. It was a fantastic car made even better by all of the freebies and upgrades I made to it via our clients at the time – an engine performance upgrade, high performance tyres, windscreen technology, frequent wheel alignment – it was a beauty and I held onto this for years even after it was nearly written off by a random lady crashing into me outside Morrisons on a quiet Saturday afternoon!

2011 BWM 320D M Sport Convertible

Mid-life crisis in full swing, I was yearning for a convertible and I duly scratched that itch and bought a 3 series convertible. Given that I’m a keen cyclist, the car never really suited as it couldn’t fit the bike in the boot. However, my brief time with the car was a lot of fun. The kids always wanted the roof down on the school run and it brought a lot of smiles to our faces. Before long, my cycling practicalities took over and it just had to go.

2012 BMW 318D M Sport Touring

Having been so happy with my first Beamer, it was a no-brainer to go back to similar. This car once again ran like a dream and looked fantastic until I foolishly tried to drive it through a bit of a flood, which unsurprisingly it didn’t like. It never really recovered from that and had quite a few issues, misfires etc, so eventually that had to go too.

2018 Mercedes C Class 220D AMG

After my third 3-series, I decided I couldn’t possibly go for a fourth on the trot so I made the switch to another German stalwart, a C-Class and my first ever automatic. What a revelation! Crawling along in traffic jams has never been so easy. And the car is a dream. Three years into ownership with this car so far, and it hasn’t skipped a beat. The only question I have is, what next?


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