52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Week 3 Cars

19 January 2011

Gunderson young familyThis week’s topic is one that I do have clear memories of.

As a teenager I wasn’t all that fussed on getting a driver’s license and in fact, I was in my early 20s before I obtained my first driver’s license. By then I was married and my husband had a blue volkswagen but we replaced it shortly after I got my license with a Honda Civic which I really loved. However that marriage didn’t last and sadly the car went with the ex and I was carless yet again.

I remarried a few years later and my husband was a sports car fan so we had a blue Celica hatchback which I now blame for my lower back pain. When our son was born I was the one who drove to work, dropping him off at kindy on the way and getting him in and out of the two door Celica was a strain on my back at the time. In  the afternoon I repeated the process and we did that for quite a few years as my husband did not want to trade in the Celica hatchback for a family car.

Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we traded the Celica in for a family car (it’s a long story) and we bought a red 4 door Ford Telstar which was much more family friendly. After surviving cancer my husband then bought himself another sports car, this time a Supra (all second hand of course) while I kept the Telstar.

This marriage also didn’t go the distance and I moved to Canberra taking the Telstar with me but there didn’t seem to be any point in having a family car without a family. So I bought my first ever car for myself. What did I buy? A very sexy midnight blue Mazda MX6 with sunroof and all the works. Talk about a mid life crisis but that car sure did attract some looks and not a few tried to drag me off at the lights!

As I approached my 50th birthday the mid life crisis had passed and I wondered if it was time to settle down. Plus I was finding it harder to get in and out of the low seats of the MX6. I had always wanted a BMW – don’t ask me why because I don’t know. So a few months after my 50th I went out and bought a second hand Beemer, a lovely light green colour that matched my nail polish that week (maybe I wasn’t quite grown up yet). The sales person told me that no one liked green cars and that was why this one was cheaper than other BMWs of the same age and make. When I pointed out that it perfectly matched my nail polish he simply looked at me as if I was strange. However I am not silly and did get it checked out by the RACV before I bought it.

I really love driving the BMW and it has travelled many kilometres with me and although I really should start to think about replacing it, I will be sad to part with it.

It’s funny how our cars are an integral part of our lives and represent different stages and events all with their own memories. I hadn’t really thought about it until doing this challenge. It has been interesting reflecting on my own life through events associated with the cars in my life!


Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society. In 2009 Shauna received the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Services to Family History Award for her achievements in Queensland, Canberra and Victoria.

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