This was a car with a voice: Its engine note, a deep, powerful burble, was as distinct to me as the voices of my parents and friends, but then a lot of other cars had voices too. Triumph Heralds purred, Rover 100s, the ones with St Bernard dog profiles, made a soft, almost musical whining sound when setting off sedately from traffic lights, Morris Minors blew flatulent raspberries when they slowed down. I'd hear these things and assumed other people did too. As a car-obsessed child of the 1960s, Martin Gurdon lived in a lost world of bubble cars and Ford Anglias, a place where dads took spare gearboxes on holiday and cars were frequently fixed at the roadside. A 1970s family crisis saw him sent to relatives in rural Lancashire, before spending five dysfunctional years at a vegetarian boarding school, where cars were both his salvation and undoing, thanks to an illicitly acquired Triumph Herald. He's since driven everything from supercars to 25 Morris Marinas and been stalked with murderous intent by Reliant Robins.As iconic, and sometimes spectacularly awful vehicles passed through his hands, Martin dreamed of owning an exotic Bristol 401 like his dad's, and of writing about cars, but would anyone ever be mad enough to let him...? Car fans and car agnostics alike will love An Estate Car Named Desire's eccentric cast of wheeled and human characters.