Me & My Motors – Alisdair Beveridge

We’re talking to Teessiders about what motors get their pulses racing.

Continuing the series is Stockton-based businessman Alisdair Beveridge, who fulfilled a boyhood dream when he bought a Rolls Royce aged just 30…

Alisdair Beveridge

From: Middlesbrough.

Lives: Middleton One Row.

Job: Managing director, The Build Directory, Stockton.

My current car: I spend most of my time driving around in company vans. But my pride and joy is my Cobalt blue, 1991 Rolls Royce. I was 30 when I bought it, five years ago. She’s called Joyce, after my grandmother.

Best feature: I’ve got to say the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ ornament at the front of the bonnet, which is also known as the Silver Lady or the Flying Lady. It feels like she’s leading the way when you’re driving.

Best drive-time music: There’s a retro Blaupunkt sound system in the Rolls. The quality isn’t great but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I like listening to 1980s classics, Magic radio or sometimes I listen to audio books.

Best place to drive it: Everywhere! Anywhere where you don’t have to drive too fast. It just floats along. And it makes people smile.

My favourite car when I was young: It was definitely the Rolls Royce. When I was about 10 I was visiting my Dad in Scotland and I found a set of Rolls Royce keys. That was the spark really, and I always said I’d own one by the time I reached 30.

My parents’ cars: I always remember my Mam learning to drive in a Fiat Panda. She also had a red Renault 5 and a white Audi 80 saloon. She drives a Honda Civic now.

My first car: It was a Peugeot 205. At school I told one of my mates that my first car would be a Peugeot 205 GTI. But when I went to get one after just passing my test, the insurance was going to be £1,200 fire and theft, so I had to settle for the basic model!

My worst car: I don’t think I’ve had one. I’ve had a few cars that haven’t run so well, but because I loved them so much I kind of washed over it. You get attached to cars. Well, I know I do. I think they have feelings, like Herbie in the film. That’s why we do magazine features like this.

My other cars: I’d say my first big car was the Saab 93 2-litre Turbo. I was going to get an Audi A4 Quattro, but when I went into the garage – aged 19 and in my tracksuit – it was like something out of Pretty Woman. The salesman looked me up and down and couldn’t wait to get me out of the showroom. So I quickly left and bought a Saab instead.

My last car: It was a Smart Forfour. The funny thing was when I was looking to buy a Rolls Royce, I started doing some research and I managed to get in touch with the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts’ Club. Yes, there is such a thing – they’re based in Paulersbury down in Buckinghamshire. Anyway, the guy on the phone asked me what I was driving, so I told him, ‘a Smart ForFour’. There was an awkward silence for a few seconds, I don’t think he was taking me seriously. But eventually he put me in touch with a Rolls Royce Enthusiasts’ Club accredited dealer in Newcastle, so they were very helpful!

My dream car: It really is my Rolls Royce. I like other cars, but I wouldn’t swap her for anything. If I had to choose another I’d probably say the Audi S8, they’re really nice.

My worst crash: It was in my Peugeot 205. It was snowing, I went to turn one way and the car just went in the opposite direction and into a building. It cost me a fortune to repair it, and probably would have been cheaper to write it off, but I was determined to get it back on the road.

The maddest place I’ve driven a car: I haven’t driven anywhere mad, but I’ve been a passenger in plenty of mad places! Egypt is interesting, and Italy is a bid mad. But one which springs to mind is Austria. When I was younger we were on holiday there with my Uncle Joseph. He was a lovely, lovely guy but he couldn’t drive for toffee. We were in a small BMW and the engine started to overheat, so he topped it up with fizzy water. We were driving up a glazier, as you do, and we came across a bus which was half-hanging over a cliff-edge. We had to get out and help people get off. It was like something out of the Italian Job, but in Austria. It was a memorable journey!

The car journey I’ll always remember: As sad as it sounds, the day I bought Joyce. When I got home I beeped the horn and my wife came out, just as excited as I was. I then went to visit my Mam but she’d already set off to walk into Darlington to go shopping. So I caught up with her and gave her a three-minute lift into town. It was a special day.