A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland

Why Cars

A Life in Cars provides a window into the life lived.

Cars have been a strong and influential theme running throughout my life. Cars influenced my thinking, my interests, my career and my family life.

Why Cars...?

A Life In Cars is not just the story of my life, but also a story of an era when transport evolved to become affordable for everyone.

So much so that cars first allowed my generation to spread their wings and comfortably go further than any other generation before.

Cars gave new freedom and new adventure. Cars become a hobby and provided new opportunities in life.

I have particularly enjoyed piecing together the timeline of the cars that have featured in my life.  The process has evoked memories both old and new, and it has allowed me to connect with old friends and revisit the adventures we shared.

The more research I invested into A Life In Cars, the more I was able to recall old memories and reignite emotions I felt whilst growing up. However, writing these stories has also raised more questions that I need to answer.

I particularly enjoyed recalling the period when I first started work; when my whole focus was dedicated to buying my first car.

The next major chapter of my life was the trip taken to the UK in 1970.

Although I have written about this in my earlier publications, the trip included several influential cars and related experiences that fit into A Life In Cars.

Thankfully, during the UK trip, I kept a series of relatively detailed diaries.  And looking at them now, the diaries are a story of a trip that was preoccupied with cars.  The UK diaries tell the story that evidently, I was continually looking for the next car to buy.

The UK diaries also affirm that cars have always been the focus of my life.

A passion, an interest or a hobby?

My life story is recounted through cars. Cars are the common thread that binds my life’s story together.

The experiences, the people and the places along the way. The cars I owned, the cars I experienced, the cars that ‘should have been,’ and the notable car-related moments in my life. 

Many times, along my life’s journey, there were opportunities to follow the story of many different cars. However, it seems, I gave little consideration to planning A Life in Cars. Rather, you could say that each car has been its own short story within my life itself.

I like to use the analogy that each car has been like its own storybook.

Some books I have read from cover to cover (like the Triumph TR4A) and I have enjoyed the full story. Whilst others, I have only read only a chapter or two, and put the book down; unfinished.

Many books are unread, but admired from the cover page, without a desire or strength to experience the deeper story.

I digress.

Reading was always a task that I found extremely difficult. So, I guess, it’s no wonder I didn’t manage to read many books through to the end.

Similarly, I have “looked at and considered” hundreds of cars.

“Bought and sold” dozens of cars.

“Should have bought “quite a few cars (oh, that E-type Jaguar or the MGKN Magenet; now they are unfinished stories).

And there have been cars I “should never have sold” (I am sure we can all relate to that one).

But overall, A Life In Cars is a poignant reflection of a life well lived.

The collection of six cars we owned at one point in time when our adult kids still lived at home.