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The question: Cars

My best and worst cars were both the same vehicle - a 10 year old six cylinder landrover.

Basic, underpowered and hopelessly unreliable it nevertheless serviced my thirst for exploring the Kalahari, and won me a wife with its luxurious interior !

Alasdair Massie, 37, freelance engineer, London

Best car: a Triumph Spitfire; my first new car and great fun to drive, especially with the roof down and the sun shining.

Shame about the lack of space for children . . .Worst car: an Austin Maxi; riddled with rust, the driver's seat back collapsed if you leaned on it and it was not until I filled the petrol tank that I found the leaking weld.

Derek Goodchild, 53, highways manager, Hants

Best: Ford Cortina Mk 2, 1600 (not the E unfortunately! ). This car really felt like you could ask it to do something, and it would do it - a genuine workhorse which generated affection. The body eventually threatened to fall off, so sad goodbyes.

Worst: Vauxhall Viva. Too heavy for its 1200ish engine; so very slow and sluggish. It did not sit well on the road and threatened to roll on corners.

Convenience was not helped by the two doors - a bad idea! Only one of the last straws was when the gear stick came off in my hand!

John Fazakerley, 53, principal assistant engineer, Chorley

I cannot really say I have had a best car as I am still waiting for my company Jaguar, but the worst wins by a mile. My first company car was a Rover Maestro TD (known to its friends as the Throb Monster! ).

It had such power it could move small mountains: it was just a problem when you wanted the turbo to cut in before Friday. I still maintain that Maestros would be more aerodynamic if the body was put on the other way around!

Brian Rousell, 28, senior engineer, Dartford

In the early 1990s when I was working for Wimpey as a trainee site engineer on the M20 Ashford Maidstone link I paid £80 for a very rusty 1965 Mini 850. Insurance cost £45, and I could drive 300 miles on £10 of fuel. It took me all over the site with my chaingirl and a load of surveying kit.

A couple of years ago my Vauxhall Cavalier SRI cost £18,000. Insurance was £1,600 and I could drive 300 miles on £60 of fuel. I still wonder what happened to that Mini. . . and the chaingirl . . .

James Bell, 33, sales manager Europe, London

My worst car was a Lada Niva when I worked on site in Jordan - not because the car was particularly bad, but because the importer was not geared up to support it. The right size spare tyres were not imported into the country, a considerable drawback when you are working in a rocky desert. My best car was also a four wheel drive a decade later in Oman - a Mitsubishi Pajero (Shogun in the UK). It felt as if it would go on for ever.

Charles Duthie, 53, technical director, London, UK

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