Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Apak's cars over the years

As far as I can recall, Apak had the opportunity of owning four cars during his lifetime. These automobiles gave him much pleasure as he went about his work, as well as, taking his young  family on trips up and around the Peninsular. Well before the days of the PLUS Highway Apak would take us to as far as Pontian and Mersing, Kangar and Padang Besar, to Penang, and up to the Cameron Highlands.

His first car was a Ford Prefect which, I think, was blue in colour. This was during our time staying in Bota Kanan during my pre-school days. Apak used to drive it to commute to his school in Kampong Gajah. He was the headmaster there.

Next, came the red Toyota Corona. During this time I was already in primary school. By this time also our family had moved to Kuala Kangsar. Apak was then working at the Pejabat Pelajaran as an inspectorate. So the Toyota saw a lot of travelling as Apak went on his rounds visiting schools.

When I entered secondary school in Perlis, Apak drove the whole family to Kangar in this red Toyota to enrol me into the new school.

But one day when I came back home from Kangar, Apak's car had turned blue! Yes, he had changed his car again. This time came a continental one in the form of a Renault 12TL. By this time we had moved again - to Tapah.

Of all his cars, Apak had kept the Renault the longest I think. The car followed us to Teluk Intan when our family moved yet again. And when Apak transferred to work in Ipoh until his retirement, he still had the Renault, although by this time it had changed colour from blue to white.

When Apak retired, and as his health slowly deteriorated, it became very obvious to us that the big Renault had become quite cumbersome for Apak to drive around and manouvere freely. In any case, he didn't venture out to drive as much as before apart from the trips to the mosque, to Chun's house nearby and the odd trip to the local restoran Mamak with Emak.

So that was when my brother Man suggested that we buy him a small Perodua Kancil.

I was with my family staying in Japan when we bought the Kancil for him. The cute and nifty little beauty served Apak well as it was a convenient, fully-automatic car. I drove my whole family together with Apak and Emak in tow to Sg Petani in it once. No problem. When I' d finished my study in Japan, whilst waiting for my own car to arrive by sea, I borrowed the Kancil from Apak and took it to KL for a few weeks for my use to go to office.

Towards the end of his life Apak could not manage to drive himself even in this convenient little car. It got neglected a bit and lacked maintenance. But recently, Man bravely drove it all the way from Ipoh to Shah Alam, and is now slowly and lovingly trying to restore it back to its former glory.

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